L'Arc〜en〜Ciel

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About L'Arc〜en〜Ciel

L’Arc〜en〜Ciel means “the rainbow” in French, and fittingly, the Osaka-formed band of the same name, singing mostly in Japanese with the occasional English lyric, offer a colorful array of sonics—’80s and ’90s American hard rock, British glam, pile-driving punk and metal, and even orchestral-tinted pop. The group’s secret weapon is frontman hyde, who boasts a powerful, dramatic voice with the range (and crooning flair) necessary to handle these disparate styles. Co-founded in 1991 by hyde—who also fronts Vamps and maintains a solo career—and bassist tetsuya, L’Arc〜en〜Ciel were initially associated with the image-conscious visual kei movement. The quartet landed a major-label deal, debuting with 1994’s Tierra, and by the end of the decade they were superstars in Japan, thanks to a No. 1 chart single (the string- and horn-heavy “winter fall”) and a pair of best-selling 1999 albums, ark and ray. Over time, L’Arc〜en〜Ciel have become known as a formidable live act—they played Madison Square Garden in 2012, becoming the first Japanese act to headline a concert at the venue—and have branched out into movie and TV work; “Don’t Be Afraid” was used as the theme of the Japanese theatrical release of 2016’s Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Through it all, L’Arc〜en〜Ciel have maintained their ferocity and commitment to craft, which have kept them at the forefront of the Japanese rock scene.

ORIGIN
Japan
FORMED
February 1991
GENRE
Rock

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