I said we got no guarantee…

…or so says GACKT in the third of his winter ’09 singles, strikingly red GHOST. But here on Secret Garden I’m singing a different tune– because if one thing’s for certain, it’s that GHOST was guaranteed to be a major hit.

GhostSince the release of Jesus last December, GACKT has been moving steadily in a new direction with his music. In the media world,  “new” means naturally that this is a vast declination in quality blah blah blah. Well, for anyone who’s been wondering if the great days of Gackt are over, let me kindly direct you otherwise.

It would seem that this past winter and spring have seen an influx of new anime and television shows for the Japanese market. And apparently whoever is in charge of getting the theme songs in order is on a wild battlefield at the moment– because just about all the great Jrockers are keeping busy getting this song for that person and another song for that other person.

If anyone thought GACKT was going to be an exception, they were wrong. Jesus, GHOST, and Journey were all feeding the need for Gackt’s creamy baritone to represent the title-credits somewhere or other. Gackt continues to indulge his dark side with January’s GHOST, which was used for the Japanese release of the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles show.

terminator

Stylistically, GHOST is, well, unlike anything we’ve heard from Gackt so far. Although the dark heaviness of the piece is congruent with the sound of earlier release Jesus, the style is far from similar.

The single opens with title-song GHOST. It starts up neatly, with some electronic sounds that get layered into a steady, bassy beat and then ease into an even steadier, more layered selection of rhythms that then explode into metal-style guitar shredding– all textured within, over, and behind tasteful electronic effects.

GHOST is a dark dance track, heavy with synthesized bleeps and bloops and chirring sounds. Gackt uses a vocal changer for a technolized sound that turns the ultra-heavy guitars over-layered with an assortment of electronic sounds and synth from heavy metal to grimly loaded Euro trance. The bridge into the chorus is complete with hoarse screamo-style back-up vocals.

The chorus shoulders us on into the heavy metal-style guitar of the instrumental break, exploding with thick drums and a cool electronic, melodic overlay that pours us back into the chorus– thick layers of sound pulsating dancibly behind Gackt’s vocals– altered to robo-ffect.

The theme of the PV, the techno-effects, and the voice alteration all come together to fit perfectly along with the terminator image that hosted this new single as theme song. In the PV as well as on the cover of the single, Gackt is portrayed as a bionic sub-zombie type creature that finally creeps in on the third-party viewer, potentially to cannibalize.

Although the verses are mellow, with Gackt singing a straight, even vocal melody, the bridge and chorus are very heavy– it sounds like core-rock, but the electronica keeps everything rhythmically pumped-up enough that you could either dance to it or indulge in some serious head-banging.

The choice is yours– but either way one thing is for sure, and that’s that GHOST is a single not to be left out of your collection!

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