I saw Mikaru perform a few times with his band Black Line back in Japan. On stage, he has such a presence: I remember thinking every time, What a frontman. He would grab the mic and start singing, and eyes in the room would dart towards him while ears would just listen. No wonder he has loyal, passionate fans.
Now, as producer and leader, Mikaru gathered some ex-members of DIO and Black Line in his project G.L.A.M.S. As well as visiting cities across Europe in the upcoming European Tour, G.L.A.M.S is releasing a brand new album titled <<A Queen of the Night>>.
The international edition consists of five songs, opened by Forgive Me which strikes straight to the ears with its heavy guitars. The song is a curious blend of elements of metal, pop, and rock, with the song seemingly transforms seamlessly into another song midway then back again.
The second song, Our Freak Show, is more about dirty rock n roll than anything else, and it feels very nicely carved to suit Mikaru’s voice. It’s a song you’d want to blast off from your speakers while riding in a convertible down a highway–and you just want to chime in with the thunderous backing voice.
My most favourite song of all is the third one, Rainy Highway. Putting the roughness of the first two songs aside for a while and switching to dominating electronic sounds, G.L.A.M.S managed to deliver a fascinating song of melancholia and sweeping guitar marching to digital beats. Mikaru sounds extra emotional here, especially as he hits the high notes and, as a love-struck, half-begs, “Shine on me…”
The song is followed by Be Alone that again shows G.L.A.M.S’s various influences. Starting as a grand rock opera piece with strings and chorus, it slides easily into a slower rock ballad, then on to an acoustic bridge, before picking up speed again. The four-plus minute journey is closed with a chant that I imagine would be epic when performed live with the audience joining singing the lalala.
Mikaru then croons in the last song of the album, Let’s Fly Away to the Stars, over dominating drums, organ, and piano, throwing us back in time to when people still listened to music through a gramophone. His voice unfortunately sounds a bit strained here although it’s no doubt he still sings his heart out. And it’s still a nice number to close this little gem of five songs showcasing G.L.A.M.S rich sounds and tastes.
<<A Queen of the Night>> will be pre-released exclusively at each show in G.L.A.M.S European Tour. The release party will take place in Lille, France, on May 24 (free admission). From July, the album will also be available through HIGHFeeL website. The Japanese edition will be published in July by Mikaru’s company G.L.A.M.S, in charge of all his art projects. It will be available in Japan only.
G.L.A.M.S 2017 European Tour schedule
WED May 24: Lille (FR), Album release party | Tetsuto’s birthday, DIY Cafe
SAT May 27 KRAKOW (PL), Magnificon
SUN May 28 BERLIN (DE), Marie-Antoinette
THU June 1 PRAGUE (CZ), Chapeau Rouge
FRI June 2 MUNICH (DE), Garage DeLuxe
SAT June 3 LYON (FR), La Marquise
SUN June 4 PARIS (FR), Le Klub
THU June 8 POZNAN (PL), Alligator
FRI June 9 COLOGNE (DE), MTC
SAT June 10 DEN HAAG (NL), Animecon
SUN June 11 LIEGE (BE), Le Garage
For more information including how to get tickets, please check this page.
Review by Tyas Palar