Artist: Moi dix Mois
Album: Nocturnal Opera
Musicians: Mana (guitar), Seth (vocals), K (guitar/voice)
Release Date: 20 Jul 2004
|Nocturnal Opera – Moi dix Mois
01. Invite to Immorality
*Bold titles – recommended listening.
Anyone who has heard and enjoyed Malice Mizer will feel right at home with Moi dix Mois. Mana, the “main” member of the Moi dix Mois, originally came from Malice Mizer… and seems to have stripped most of his ideas from that popular visual kei band. Moi dix Mois has a very similar gothic rock sound, with plenty of harpsichord, organ, and orchestration. Fans of Malice Mizer seeking a band to replace them will most likely really enjoy Moi dix Mois. Nocturnal Opera is their second release, and it is a good album of background music. Unfortunately, background music is not what this album is meant for, and as a result, I can’t rate it higher than I have.
This song is like a freight train running out of control with a speedy organ intro and a blazing harpsichord solo in the middle. However, it also has the most complex melody line and the strongest chorus heard on Nocturnal Opera. “Nocturnal Romance” has the musical direction that I wish was present in the other songs, because more of this would make this album more interesting.
Besides “Nocturnal Romance,” “Mephisto Waltz” is the only song I truly enjoyed on this album. It has a beautiful piano and instrumental opening, and a pretty melody that allows the vocals to take center stage for once without any special echo effects of note. “Mephisto Waltz” is marred by a lack of direction and a lack of musical complexity, since it repeats the same melody throughout the song, but that melody is nice enough that I rather enjoyed listening to it again and again.
This song begins with a sound influenced by industrial rock and quickly moves into heavy guitars and harsh vocals. “Vizard” is a nice break from the standard sound of this album, but it sounds more like the background music of a looming fight scene. Everytime I listened to it, I got a clear image of a villain and a hero squaring off, prepared to do battle against a lightning-illuminated dark sky. The music of Nocturnal Opera is more atmospheric than anything, because while I can’t see myself snatching up their music to enjoy for itself, it might work as background music that you don’t have to listen to at all. It simply is not interesting enough to stand on its own.
“The Prophet” exemplifies the flaws of this album. The major problem with many of the songs on this album is that the vocal line gets smothered by everything else that’s going on. There is too much in each song, assailing the audience with instrument after instrument, and it completely buries the singer. When you can hear his melody, it’s just not as interesting as everything else… or at least, that is what the band seems to be telling us. Even when the vocals can be heard, they are muffled and distorted by as many effects as possible. It really is a shame, because the vocals aren’t bad at all.
“Silent Omen” is one of the shortest songs on Nocturnal Opera, standing at only a minute in length, but it is a microcosmic view of this album. The piano opening wanders pointlessly from note to disjointed note, keeping the listener completely off-balance. The screams at the end, however, were a nice and ironic way to close out the album, since they are a vocal expression of my opinion of Moi dix Mois after listening to Nocturnal Opera.
The Rating: 4