Persuasio – Sukekiyo

Kyo exudes violence and sexuality throughout the performance.

I do not often look forward to live DVDs. The only exception is when I am personally at a concert recording, since it is nice having a visual reminder. But not only was I looking forward to the release of Persuasio, the first live recording for Sukekiyo, I pre-ordered it. So expectations were high for this one.

Usually it’s not fair to place such high expectations on an artist. However, as I mentioned in the review for Vitium, these guys can take it. I was fortunate to see Sukekiyo live at Rokumeikan in mid-2014, and it was one of the few shows that blew me away. The level of musicianship and art in the performance was mesmerizing. You rarely find a band or music artist that can blend a high level of musical skill, while still keeping a high entertainment level.

Between that small show and the release of Peruasio, Sukekiyo solidified a bit more as a band in both their sound and their image. Once the trailer for Persuasio was released, I knew that this was not just going to be a great concert, but also a great show. That distinction is important.

Because this show gets weird — wonderfully, horribly, and excitably weird. This is Kyo’s performance art. Kyo exudes violence and sexuality throughout the performance. And like all his performances, he gives his everything to the audience.

The entire performance is dark and seductive, with Kyo leading you down the rabbit hole to the psychedelic Wonderland.

Guitarist and keyboardist, Takumi, really gets an opportunity to shine here. He plays his instruments with such a resounding focus that it is mesmerizing to watch him. Takumi especially stands out since the rest of the band tends to match Kyo’s energy, while Takumi is the diligent master at work. The rest of the band does get to show off their skills, but they do not seem to have the stage presence that Kyo and Takumi possess.

The entire performance is dark and seductive, with Kyo leading you down the rabbit hole to the psychedelic Wonderland. Eccentric dancers and vivid videography enhance the performance. Yet some of the additional post-production effects are distracting and over the top. More discretion could have been used during the editing process. The cinematography is a notch above the average live recording, balancing wide full stage views with carefully planned close ups. The viewer does not feel like they are missing anything important on stage.

I will continue to look forward to anything this band puts out, as they are one of few bands that I feel push the boundaries of music as an art form. With each work, Sukekiyo’s direction becomes stronger. And where they are going is a terrifyingly strange and beautiful place. (9/10)

A post-visual kei supergroup containing members from Dir en Grey, 9Goats Black Out, Rentrer en Sol, and Kannivalism. Sukekiyo produces difficult-to-classify music, often earning the genre of experimental rock. Elements of post-rock, prog, and psychedelic are strong in their music. They released their first album, Immortalis, in 2014. http://sukekiyo-official.jp/
Dir en Grey, Rentrer en Sol, 9Goats Black Out, The Novembers. Fans of dark psychedelic shoegaze will also enjoy this band.
Persuasio was released June 10th, 2015 by FIREWALL DIV. and distributed by Sony Music Marketing Inc. http://sukekiyo-official.jp/

Not yet released in North America, but can be imported through various online retailers.

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