By Michael Diana
It’s 2006. I’m in tenth grade. YouTube has just been invented and all I use it for is watching music videos. I’ve been studying Japanese for a year. I’m obsessed with visual kei. True story. This intro has nothing really to do with anything except that I guess I’m on a visual kei kick again (at least in terms of this column) and so you all must suffer with me the memories of my youth. JK, you just have to suffer my choices in music.
As a throwback and a nod to my post-weeb(? dubious) 16 year old self, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite bands from high school. Please enjoy.
RENTRER EN SOI
Rentrer en Soi was a visual kei band that formed in 2001, probably in Tokyo, but Wikipedia doesn’t know so I just have to assume. They were active until the 2008, and released three albums, four mini albums, 18 singles, and one best of album. Just as an aside, they did not pronounce their band name the actual French way, so don’t bother. Somewhere in the first half of their existence, they were produced by Yukari, vocalist of the legendary 90s visual kei band BAISER, but I can’t find exact dates for that. If I had to guess, I’d say they were produced by him until their first album, because the aesthetic leaned more towards BAISER’s at that point. It was very… ethereal and, like, kind of soft and pretty and lots of falsetto. Their second album, an eponymous work released in 2006, veered more towards Dir en Grey. Their musical aesthetic became much heavier overall, and with the aural change also came a toning down of visuals and a slight name change, to the all caps version seen in the title of this post. It’s not to say that they didn’t have any heavier songs before then, but that became more their musical focus. Their third album remained in this heavier vein, but it was a bit more melodic.
Alas, they broke up at the end of 2008 after releasing a best of album and went their separate ways. Satsuki began a solo career, returning to the more ethereal, soft style of RES’s older work, though I don’t know how actively he’s doing that either. I saw him live with Kaya 3.5 years ago, which is no indication…. Takumi works with Dir en Grey and has joined vocalist Kyo’s side project sukekiyo. Drummer Mika is also involved in sukekiyo. Shun and Ryou are both no longer active in bands, as far as the internet is willing to tell me (but you know how the internet can be).
Eyes of Forest
Thorny Rain Break
One last picture of what they looked like In The Beginning to get you through the rest of the day: