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Best of 2011: Vampillia “Rule the World/Deathtiny Land”

by Shawn Despres

Special To The Japan Times

Wanting to attract attention at Texas’ South by Southwest music Festival in March, Osaka’s Vampillia bound vocalist Psychic Yamanashi in a plastic-wrap straitjacket, tied a chain around his neck, and led him through downtown Austin. To add to the spectacle, he periodically had fake seizures. Meanwhile, someone held a sign nearby promoting their festival gig.

The 11-member, self-dubbed “brutal orchestra” approaches its music with the same creative and slightly disturbing mindset as it does its marketing. “Rule the World/Deathtiny Land” is a 25-minute-long, two-dozen-song concept album that seamlessly melds classical, experimental noise, punk and hardcore. The disc switches back and forth between gorgeous piano and strings, and frenzied rock featuring operatic crooning and menacing growls. “Rule the World/Deathtiny Land” has been my most played homegrown record of 2011 and I don’t foresee myself tiring of its beautifully chaotic sounds anytime soon.

What I’m looking forward to in 2012: New music from Mono.