Thursday, May 13, 2010

Moi Dix Mois: Beyond the Gate (2006) Review

Beyond the Gate is a 2006 EP by Moi Dix Mois, a band with a uniquely Japanese sound: They combine gothic metal with J-rock. The result sounds like it could be the theme music from an anime series about vampires.

On this album, many of the musical themes are centered around Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King," using synthesized organ and harpsichord to provide atmospherics. It makes for an interesting, very gothic sound--but not particularly authentic. It's really all visual kei posturing, the work of someone trying metal on as an image rather than the work of someone with metal in his blood. There also isn't a lot of variation. If you're not paying close attention, you might think you heard the same song twice in a row.

The Verdict: Despite its shortcomings, it's got a unique, interesting sound, and it is only an EP, so it's cheaper. I probably wouldn't like to listen to it for the duration of a full-length album, but for about 25 minutes it makes decent background music. I give it 1.5 out of 5 stars. Like I said, it sounds like it could be the theme music from an anime series about vampires. If that sounds like a good thing to you, I'm sure you'll love it, but to me it has all the authenticity of a television theme song.


  1. I can't get past the physical appearance of this band. It's just ridiculous. I also am not much of a fan of J-rock in general.

  2. I'm not a fan of J-rock either. I can't remember his name--the tall blonde-haired guy in your class, with glasses and kind of spiky hair--he tried to introduce me to it. I was not interested.

    I got past their appearance, because, hey, they're Japanese, you gotta give them some leeway. And I listened to about a minute of it on Youtube before getting it, but sometimes just a minute isn't enough apparently.

  3. I think you summed it up well - vampire anime, hah.
    I know Moi dix Mois and Mana are huge in the J-rock and Japanese street fashion community and all, but I never did like the man or his band much. There's something about Moi dis Moix's combination of sounds that to my ears makes a great ooky-spooky atmosphere, but really sucks the life out of the heavier elements of the music; it all therefore sounds rather flat.

    I think they did make one fairly good song - Front et Baiser isn't so bad, though it strikes me that whoever that vocalist is, he sounds kind of drunk in that live.

    There are better symphonic rock and metal bands in the scene - Lacroix Despheres springs to mind. Their album La Vérité Fermée, beginning with the song of the same name, is worth somewhat more of a look, so I think.