D'espairsRay (formerly typeset as DéspairsRay) is a Japanese rock band formed in 1999 by Hizumi, Karyu, Zero and Tsukasa. The lineup has since remained the same and as of February 2008, the group has released several singles and EPs, as well as a two full-length records. Besides Japan, D'espairsRay have also toured Europe and North America in recent years, along with domestic releases in these territories. They performed at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2006, and a second album, titled Mirror was released on April 11, 2007. They also performed during Jrock Revolution 2007 held on Memorial Weekend in Los Angeles, California.
Their most recent appearance in the USA was during the Taste of Chaos tour in 2008.
1999-2001: Early career
D'espairsRay was formed on September 9
, by Hizumi, Karyu, Zero and Tsukasa. They started out as part of the indies visual kei
movement, and released their first demotape, [Ao]
in December of that year.
2000 began with the release of two more demotapes, and during the rest of the year they gained popularity, eventually leading to the release of their first maxi-single
in October, Kumo
. With only 1000 copies pressed, the CD sold out in no-time.
In April 2001, they released their second maxi-single, Genwaku
, along with a second press of their first maxi-single. Because Genwaku
had sold out through web-ordering, a second press was released the same day as the first press release.
This was followed by the release of their first EP
, in July. Their popularity rose after the release of this album and they started to move out of the local scene.
2002-2004: The road to success
Following the success of their previous releases, D'espairsRay wanted to give their fans an insider's look into their music, so they released their final demotape, Ura Mania Theatre
, which was sold at several stores only. After this they released their second EP, Sexual Beast
in June 2002, along with a second press of their first EP. Once again the CD had sold out, so another 2000 copies of their second EP were pressed in July.
At the end of 2002, they released another single
, titled Ori no Naka de Miru Yume
, which came in two editions: A regular edition and a special edition with a bonus track by their alter-ego band "Animalmania", which was only available through web-ordering.
In January 2003, they gave out a "secret CD" titled Itanji
, with an unnamed song, to the people who attended to one of their lives. The song would later be renamed Maverick
, which was also their next maxi-single, released in February. The CD was reissued in March because of high sales. At the end of 2003, yet another maxi-single was released, called Garnet
In April 2004, the band released their third EP, Born
. It featured a DVD with the video for the song Garnet
. In July, a second press of the album was released, but without the DVD.
Two months later, they released another maxi-single, called Gemini
. A limited edition of the CD came with a DVD with the video for the song Born
In 2004 they also played outside of Japan for the first time, in Berlin and Paris. All of this made them known throughout Japan and gained them some international fans. Footage for their first live DVD was also shot at the end of 2004.
2005-present: Going international
2005 began with the release of their first live DVD, Murder Day Live
. A video for the song Reddish -diva version-
was included as a bonus.
Soon after, they released their first full-length album: . This was the breakthrough they had been working for all along. It contained two previously released songs, Fuyuu Shita Risou
, which were not on the initial limited edition of the album. Their maxi-single Garnet
was reissued for promotion of their album later that year.
In 2006, they went international with the European release of in January. 2006 also marked the start of their international career, as they began touring in Europe and the United States afterwards.
A documentary-DVD was released in March, with the title World Outside the Cage
(as a reference to their song "The World in a Cage"), with footage from their last tour. Soon after that, they released another single, Kogoeru Yoru ni Saita Hana
, which came in an A and B types. At the end of 2006, they released their second live DVD: Liquidize
, which would also be released in Europe in 2007.
2007 began with the release of their latest maxi-single, Squall
, in March. One month later, they released their second full-length album, Mirror
, which was also released in Europe in June.
2007 ended with the release of yet another live DVD, Spiral Staircase #15
, with footage from their latest tour. The DVD was also released in Europe in January 2008.
In 2008, D'espairsRay participated in the Taste of Chaos 2008 tour, along with fellow-visual band Mucc. Their album Mirror was released in the United States, and their new single Brilliant was released on 14 May.
A new single titled Kamikaze was released in August.
- "Genwaku" (眩惑, April 1, 2001)
- "Sixth Terrors" (August 29, 2001)
- "Ori no Naka de Miru Yume" (檻の中で見る夢, September 8, 2002)
- "Itanji" (異端児, January 20, 2003)
- "Maverick" (February 12, 2003)
- "Garnet" (November 12, 2003)
- "Gemini" (September 1, 2004)
- "Kogoeru Yoru ni Saita Hana" (凍える夜に咲いた花, April 5, 2006)
- "Squall" (March 14, 2007)
- "Brilliant" (May 14, 2008)
- "Kamikaze" (August 6, 2008)