Depending on your point of view, Malice Mizer were either one of the most ridiculous or most brilliant of Japan's "visual-kei" bands. The group, whose name is said to be based on the notion that human existence is full of "malice and misery", existed for nearly a decade, and despite being built on some odd premises and experiencing some major bumps in the road, kept a sizeable devoted fan base throughout. The group was formed in 1992 by Mana and KÂ¶zi, who met while...read more
Depending on your point of view, Malice Mizer were either one of the most ridiculous or most brilliant of Japan's "visual-kei" bands. The group, whose name is said to be based on the notion that human existence is full of "malice and misery", existed for nearly a decade, and despite being built on some odd premises and experiencing some major bumps in the road, kept a sizeable devoted fan base throughout. The group was formed in 1992 by Mana and KÂ¶zi, who met while working at a karaoke pub. Both played guitar and synthesizer, and drafted Yu-ki on bass, Gaz on drums and tetsu on vocals. The band adopted a gothic look, and exhibited classical music influences. They also developed a distinctive Double guitar sound. Malice Mizer's debut release was the song "Speed of Desperate" on a 1993 compilation called Brain Trash. Shortly thereafter Gaz quit the band to join Kneu Klid Romance, and in turn Kneu Klid Romance's drummer Kami joined Malice Mizer. In 1994 Malice Mizer released their first album Memoire on the indie label Midi:Nette, founded by Mana, the group's main composer and de facto leader. Soon after the album release, Mana fired their singer tetsu, feeling that he was inadequate for his grand designs. The band went dark for about a year, but came back in 1995 with new pretty boy singer, Gackt. This incarnation became more romantic, further classical, and influenced by French pop. In fact the members claimed that they were born hundreds of year before in France, although none of them spoke French. They dressed in elaborate costumes recalling the more regal of historical European dress. Further they wore heavy make-up, each with his own style, Mana looking quite like a woman. In 1996 they released their second album Voyage -sans retour-. The band became increasingly popular after the release, and in 1997 signed to Nippon Columbia, where they made their one and only major label record, Merveilles, generally considered their best album. They also made a short film Verte Aile. In January 1999, while Malice Mizer was experiencing their greatest success ever, Gackt announced that he was leaving to go solo. Gackt proved to have a fanbase at least equal to that of the band's, and some fans left with him. The group retreated, and moved from Nippon Columbia back to Midi:Nette. Just when things seemed they couldn't go worse, Kami died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. Kami left behind some songs which the group subsequently recorded and released as Shinwa-Kami's Memorial Box on his birthday, February 1, 2002. The group decided to not replace Kami, and instead use "support drummers", and list Kami on subsequent albums as "eternal blood relative". The group released a few items in 1999, but still did not have a singer. In 2000 Malice Mizer returned with the classically trained vocalist, Klaha, who they recruited from the visual-kei band Pride of Mind. Their music changed after the addition of the new member, taking on a darker and heavier sound. In the summer of 2000 they released their final album Bara no Seidou, and supported it with an incredibly elaborate show which included fireworks, a choir of veiled nuns, and a cathedral-like backdrop. In 2001 the band starred in a full length feature vampire film called Bara no Konrei. They also released three more singles, including "Beast of Blood", which became a fan favorite. Gackt has had an incredibly successful career since leaving Malice Mizer, although he is perhaps now more considered a "talento" than a musician. Gackt maintains a toned-down visual-kei look, and is seen constantly on TV and in advertising. He was given a feature article and photo session every week for over a year in Oricon, which is considered the "Billboard of Japan". Given his incredible industry support and effeminate look, he is sometimes subject to rumors of having a rich boyfriend who bankrolls his career, which seems to only help him maintain his mystique. Klaha has also pursued a solo career, but with modest results. Mana created a solo project, Moi dix Mois, runs his label and designs for his fashion brand, Moi-meme-Moite. The brand's concept is EGL (elegant gothic Lolita) for girls and EGA (elegant gothic aristocrat) for guys. Kozi joined the industrial goth band Eve of Destiny, and has also done solo projects. Since leaving the band in 1994 tetsu has been involved with a number of bands, mostly visual-kei oriented bands on indie labels. Yu-ki has done some lyric writing but has largely disappeared from the music scene.collapse
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Malice Mizer - Illuminati
reizakurou_evh added self as a fan of Malice Mizer in November, 2012.
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Artist page created by: Keith Cahoon
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