The Gazette (stylized as THE GAZETTE and formerly the GazettE) is a Japanese Visual Kei heavy metal band formed in Kanagawa in 2002. Originally an Alternative Metal band, their sound has evolved throughout the years, encompassing Nu Metal, Hard Rock, Industrial Metal and Metalcore. The name "gazette" is possibly a reference to their frequent use of lyrical themes that deal with violent crimes and worldly issues.note
The band was originally signed to Matina, but shortly after producing a few songs, they switched labels to PS Company, a sub-label of Dynamite Tommy's Free Will Records. Their material is released by PS Company through Sony Music Entertainment Japan.
Along with An Cafe, Nightmare, existtrace, Miyavi, and post-Visual Kei prog-death metallers Dir en grey, they were part of the second wave of Visual Kei bands, and are currently one of the biggest names in the modern VK scene, both in and outside Japan. They are often described as PS Company's best-selling visual band, as well as an important act in the modern VK scene.
- Ruki: lead vocals
- Kai: drums, percussion, backing vocals, leader
- Uruha: lead & acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Aoi: rhythm & acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- Reita: bass, backing vocals
- Disorder (2004)
- NIL (2006)
- Stacked Rubbish (2007)
- DIM (2009)
- TOXIC (2011)
- DIVISION (2012)
- BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY (2013)
- DOGMA (2015)
- NINTH (2018)
- MASS (2021)
- Cockayne Soup (2003)
- Akuyuukai (2003)
- Hankou Seimeibun (2003)
- MADARA (2004)
- Gama (2004)
- Album Intro Track: A feature on all their full-length albums.
- Careful with That Axe: Ruki loves dropping a Metal Scream or two on some relatively light songs.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Most of their songs with English lyrics contain at least a few.
- Darker and Edgier: Their album DOGMA has them taking on an incredibly dark and gothic look, not to mention musical direction compared to the past three offerings.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Every member of the band, at some point. Ruki and Uruha tend to look less masculine compared to the band's other members. Ruki's appearance for the song "INSIDE BEAST" has him in a red outfit that could easily be a woman's clothing, and with red lipstick.
- Epic Rocking: Throughout their career, The Gazette have crafted a couple tunes that could easily qualify. "Taion," "Defective Tragedy," "Nakigahara" and "PLEDGE" are just a few examples.
- Expy: Ruki is one of Dir en grey's Kyo and Kuroyume's Kiyoharu. He also tends to look like Takanori Nishikawa at times.
- From Clones to Genre: The band has drawn comparisons to Dir En Grey, with many purists calling them expies or outright rip-offs. This is mainly due to both bands going through a Nu Metal phase, sharing the same musical formula, and showcasing similar edgy, stripped-down visual styles. Not to mention that Ruki sounds almost exactly like Kyo. Many other artists followed, which led to the popularization of the Eroguro kei sub-movement.
- Genre Shift: They have been moving away from Eroguro since the release of TOXIC, though they still have elements of it, most notably in the album artwork and live performances.
- Gratuitous English: Pops up very often, but it is delivered so badly that nobody understands at all.
- Harsh Vocals: Ruki can do these to rather epic results.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Every member of the band has at least worn some form of badass leather.
- Iconic Logo: The band's logo is one of few iconic logos in Japanese metal. The band has adopted a new, more modern sans-serif logo akin to Khanate's typeface in recent years, as seen on the cover of DIVISION, though they still use the old logo from time to time. BEAUTIFUL DEFORMITY introduced another iteration of the band logo.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Though such is often the standard in Visual Kei.
- Indecipherable Lyrics:
- "Discharge" from NIL sounds like Gratuitous English lyrics shouted over chaotic Nu Metal instrumentation. Good luck deciphering them since the actual lyrics are scribbled over in the booklet.
- "No. 666" off MADARA.
- Lead Bassist: Reita, a Type B and C, is one of the most notable members of the band, mainly for being half of the band's Vocal Tag Team and being one of the most stand-out members of the band.
- Long-Runner Line-up: Ever since Yune was replaced by Kai as the bandleader and drummer in 2003, the band has not suffered any lineup changes, breakups or hiatuses.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Even some of their lighter material have dark, harsh and disturbing lyrics.
- Metal Scream: Ruki does these well, and does them even better during live shows.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually a 6 to a 9. Some songs are around the 3-5 range. They've done everything from a 1 ("Hakuri") to an 11 ("Discharge"), though, a range that's eerily similar to another popular J-metal band.
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: In what genre of rock do they fall under is a matter of debate. Alternative Rock? Hard Rock? Nu Metal? Industrial Metal? Alternative Metal? Or something new and totally different?
- New Sound Album: NIL was arguably their first New Sound Album, followed by DIM. They then delivered another one with DIVISION, which introduced even heavier elements borrowed from the Industrial Metal, Dubstep and Harsh Noise genres. As of 2015, DOGMA has topped off DIVISION with rich sounds and an overall Gothic style.
- Refuge in Vulgarity: As per Eroguro kei tradition, they are far more explicit than their non-Eroguro contemporaries
- Secret Relationship: According to Japanese gossip site Tanuki, Uruha is in one of these. As of 2017, it's a secret marriage.
- Sensory Abuse: NINTH's artwork, due to the intense glitch filter and bright colors.
- Signature Style: Distorted guitar riffs drowned in harsh effects, Hip-Hop-influenced drumming and bass, extensive use of Soprano and Gravel, and high-pitched electronics.
- Soprano and Gravel: Ruki can do this all by himself.
- Spiritual Successor: In the early days they were this to Deftones. Around DIVISION, they briefly became this to Ministry and Pitch Shifter.
- Strictly Formula: A good number of songs from their Alternative Metal and Nu Metal era are relatively simple and roughly follow the same pattern as earlier J-metal acts (especially Nagoya kei acts). Averted slightly with DIM, DIVISION Disc 2 and DOGMA, however, as those three albums featured tracks with harder riffs and more sonic variations.
- The Unintelligible: Ruki's English.
- Too Many Belts: Some of the band's outfits showcase lots of belts in places where one would not normally expect any. Then again, they're Visual Kei.
- Visual Kei: They have been a pure VK band from the very start. And together with Dir en grey and L'arc-en-Ciel, they are one of the biggest names in modern Visual Kei.
- Vocal Tag Team: Ruki does the long, guttural screams while Reita does the gang vocals.
- Vocal Evolution: Beginning with DOGMA, Ruki's harshes started getting deeper alongside more powerful-sounding as opposed to earlier on, where they typically came in phlegmy. The singing hasn't changed too radically since GAZETTE's beginnings, however.
- When She Smiles: This is especially for Kai, whose smile is described as being absolutely adorable. See for yourself here