X-Japan - Art Of Life
MMG Inc. (Tokyo / Japan)
Symphonic Heavy/Speed Metal
1 songs (29'00)
Release year: 1995
X-Japan
Reviewed by Chris

I guess none of you, or a very small number heard of X-Japan. X are the biggest metal band that ever existed in Japan, unfortunately they disbanded more than 2 years ago and since then their lead guitarist commited suicide, so there's little or no chance at all for the group ever to comes back into the scene... and believe me that's a pity because this band is one on a million, and is my all time favorite band.

But let's talk about the album itself. Only one song, a 30 minute song but only one. But what a song ! Art Of Life is exactly what is meant to be, the art of life itself and through this impressively melodic song, Yoshiki (drums, piano and main composer) will make you feel everything you feel during a lifetime in matters of emotion. Violins and guitar will marry to perfection to bring you every emotion : joy, sadness, loneliness, pain, happiness, fear, despair... everything we can feel during our short passage on Earth. These emotions have touched the very bottom of my soul and never before did a piece of music touches me in that way, never ! The music itself vary along the different emotions of the song, of our lives... from slow orchestral melodies to speed metal moments you experience all that Yoshiki can offer you ... his own soul !

If I had written this review a year ago I would probably have quoted 99. Why ? because there is a 7 minutes piano break in the middle of the song, even though I love piano, the melody get quickly distorted, and becomes kinda crazy as well... in the beginning I was annoyed by this too long break until I realized it was the only way to express certain emotions we have inside ourselves, something hidden that we normally don't reveal but that is there... from fear to madness, from melancholy to despair... strong hidden emotions inside ourselves that drives us crazy sometimes... and there it was, in front of me... while Yoshiki was playing it from the bottom of his soul on his piano... expressing his deepest hidden feelings. I warn you, 9 persons out of 10 will find this moment almost unbearable... but when you accepted it for what it is, a moment of your life in music, it won't bothers you anymore and even though it's far from being my best part, now I think that it is not something that can be cut of the song or it would not be Art Of Life.

Toshi's voice is incredible and this is one of X's only entirely English song. Toshi is probably one of the best singer I ever heard... he's my favorite for sure cause he's able to sing some notes I never heard before and his voice can seamlessly melt with the music and make one with it. A women voice speaks from time to time, helping explaining some emotions during the song, just a few words but they add a big plus to the general ambiance. The guitars are extremely melodic and technical in the same time, from nice and catchy melodies to fiercely fast riffs and solos. The drums is wonderfully and quickly played and Yoshiki has nothing to envy to Jörg Michael or Mike Terrana. In live Yoshiki's able to make more than 10 minutes crazy solos... something I never saw before as well (Mike is also able to make terrific solos during live).

The 100+ means it is simply the best thing I ever heard and even though in my dreams I think I might hear something as great someday again, it might as well just stay a dream. The perfect marriage between classical and metal like you never heard before. Other bands like Rage did that kind of marriage, but only X can make it sound so loud that your entire soul is trembling on every single note of music. If I had to take only one CD on a deserted island, it would be this one without hesitation.

Killing Songs :
The only one present on the CD : Art Of Life
Chris quoted 100+ / 100
Other albums by X-Japan that we have reviewed:
X-Japan - Blue Blood reviewed by Kyle and quoted 90 / 100
X-Japan - The Last Live reviewed by Chris and quoted no quote
X-Japan - Dahlia reviewed by Chris and quoted 100 / 100
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 95
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