Exist Trace at Tekkoshocon X in Pittsburgh, 2012
Exist Trace (イグズィストトレイス?, stylized as exist†trace) is a Japanese visual kei metal band, consisting entirely of female members. The members originate from Tokyo, and initially formed in June 2003. The founding members are Jyou, Naoto and Mally, who then advertised for guitarists, meeting miko and Omi.
To date, the band has released seven singles, four EPs, and a compilation album. They have also appeared on ten omnibus albums as well as two live DVDs featuring several bands on the Shizuoka-based Sequence Records label. They also had their song 'I Feel You' featured in Nadeshiko Japan’s official 2012 guidebook DVD. Their highest charting is number 84 on the Oricon album chart for Virgin.
- Lead vocals : Jyou (ジョウ)
- Lead guitar : Omi (乙魅)
- Rhythm guitar, vocals : Miko (ミコ)
- Bass : Naoto (猶人)
- Drums : Mally (マリ)
Musical style and direction
Exist Trace's early music can be described as melodic death metal, with vocalist Jyou's growls and shouts throughout many songs, which contributes to their dark undertone. They have since added more complex sounds to the compositions, their guitar sound often featuring heavy distortion and technically virtuoso riffs and solos. The lyrics are mainly based on gothic themes, and their music style has resemblance to gothic rock. In recent work, they have experimented with different electronic and melodic approaches to their music, such as the jazz-influenced "Ginger", the electronic rock of "Diamond" and the '80s disco feel of "Spiral Daisakusen".
In 2013, Exist Trace introduced their 'new world' musical direction, where long-time main lyricist/composer miko would officially be taking a dual-vocal position with Jyou. The twin vocal style was emphasized on 2013's single "Diamond". In 2014's "Spiral Daisakusen", the pair again share front billing and the center spot on the music video. The first album to fully incorporate the twin vocal style, "World Maker" (2014), revealed an improved duet system, where vocals are typically heavier towards Jyou in allocation, but making good use of miko's sweeter counterbalance. After an album gap of 1.5 years, the band released the "This Is Now" mini-album, an energetic offering with more of a metal feel than previous releases (including a return to growling from Jyou and backup snarls from Omi and Naoto), as well as re-recorded versions of the singles "Twin Wings" and "Shout Out". In Japan, the EP sold out within a day, across such stores as ZEAL LINK, Disk Union and BRAND-X.
First introduced to the West by their inclusion on the Silent Hill soundtrack in 2007, the band developed a dedicated international following. In 2008 exist trace embarked on a tour of Europe, including the United Kingdom. The band played Japanese culture conventions, such as Tekkoshocon X in 2012 and AKON 2013.
Official fan club
2014 brought the introduction of the band's official international fan club, 'Archangel Diamond', to act as a supplement to the Japanese fan club 'Vanguard'. The club became an active presence on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, featuring fan artworks and responding to fan questions. It officially opened for membership on May 19, 2014, the 19th of each month being generally used for exist trace announcements as it is 'Igu day'/イグの日 ( Japanese wordplay on the shortened form of the band's name).
Archangel Diamond promises to connect international fans more closely with the band, and offers fan club exclusive merchandise, special prices on merchandise, monthly newsletters with messages from the band members, and special contests and interactions with the band.
- Recreation Eve (November 19, 2008)
- Twin Gate (November 3, 2010)
- Virgin (May 23, 2012)
- World Maker (September 24, 2014)
- Annunciation -The Heretic Elegy- (December 13, 2006)
- Demented Show (September 9, 2007)
- Vanguard -Of the Muses- (April 22, 2009)
- Ambivalent Symphony (October 21, 2009)
- True (June 15, 2011)
- The Last Daybreak (October 19, 2011)
- This is Now (March 16, 2016)
- "Ambivalence" (August 28, 2005)
- "Riot" (July 17, 2006)
- "Funeral Bouquet" (January 10, 2007)
- "Liquid" (July 18, 2007)
- "Knife" (June 2, 2010)
- "DIAMOND" (July 3, 2013)
- "Spiral Daisakusen" (May 14, 2014)
- "Twin Wings" (April 19, 2015)
- "Shout Out" (July 19, 2015)
- "Hai no Yuki" (灰ノ雪, February 22, 2004)
- "Kokumu" (黒霧, July 1, 2004)
- Drive Up!! vol. 1 (April 15, 2005) Corrosion
- Summit 03 (November 29, 2006) Mabushii Hodo no Kurayami no Naka de (眩しい程の暗闇の中で)
- Deviant's Struggle (June 20, 2007) liquid
- Fool's Mate Select Omnibus Seduction#1 (December 16, 2007) Sacrifice Baby
- Summit 04 (January 30, 2008) Venom
- Summit 05 (December 10, 2008) Judea
- Shock Edge 2009 (October 14, 2009) Liquid
- Neo Voltage (May 26, 2010) Unforgive You
- Iron Angel (January 15, 2011) Liquid
- Final Summit 2000~2010 (February 16, 2011) Mabushii Hodo no Kurayami no Naka de (眩しい程の暗闇の中で)
- Mariannes (July 20, 2011) Liquid
- Silent Hill 2061125 Pavilion which deer barks (January 31, 2007) SACRIFICE BABY
- 0704272930 (September 18, 2007) Lilin/JUDEA
- Visual-kei DVD Magazine vol.4 V-Rock Special (March 31, 2010)
- Just Like a Virgin One Man Show (Shibuya O-WEST 23 June 2012)
- exist†trace on JaME Retrieved on Sep 21, 2007 (English)
- McMullen, Leela; Tayrn. "Exist Trace for Nadeshiko Japan". Rokkyuu. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
- "Exist Trace". Oricon. Retrieved 31 March 2013.