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An incredible 2nd studio release - 93%

Radius, July 14th, 2005

Anytime before reviewing X-Japan material, I must always first say that the band is an acquired taste, the music can still be great, but not everyone is going to like it. Toshi's high-pitched vocals aren't for everyone, and neither are their soft ballads. Anyways, I'm going to say here what I thought of the album, and you can choose to listen or not.

A year after the band released their debut "Vanishing Vision" album, their 2nd album "Blue Blood" arrived. One who has heard their first album will immediately notice some progressions here, the main one being the orchestra which can be heard in many of the songs. This is a very welcome addition, and became a very big part of X-Japan's music later on.

Two songs from the first album return here redone. Kurenai (Deep Red) returns with a symphonic intro which then breaks into one of X-Japan fan's most loved songs. Personally since I had listened the hell out of "Vanishing Vision" before finally getting "Blue Blood" I was so used to the original version that I could never truly appreciate the new version here, but the orchestra heard in the song does further improve it.
The other song off of the first album to return is Unfinished, the short minute and a half song which ended off the debut album. It returns here with added verses, guitar, and an extra three minutes which makes this the best version of the song to hear.

All of the other songs on the album are strong in their own sort of way, the album is filled with fast (Blue Blood, X, Kurenai, Orgasm) and slower (Week End, Celebration, Easy Fight Rambling) heavy tracks. The album's main ballad is Endless Rain, which an incredible song, even more so when heard on live recordings. Unfinished may also me considered a ballad by many as well. The album's climax appears in Rose of Pain, a 12 minute epic filled with incredible guitar solos. Like in "Vanishing Vision," "Blue Blood" opens with a mostly instrumental track which is what X-Japan used to begin their concerts, really not a track you'll put in the CD just to listen to, but it strengthens the album. Like the debut album's Give me the Pleasure, the instrumental Xclamation fills in the space.

All in all, Blue Blood is definitely an incredible album. If you are a fan of X-Japan, or any other Japanese visual band, you can't go without X-Japan's "Blue Blood." It is a legendary release for the band, and it's strongest moments can not be denied. "Blue Blood" isn't my favorite X-Japan album, while the quality of the music has improved since their debut, it would also further improve after this later into their career.