Visual Winter Wonders – DIV’s “Relic Snow”

We jump back for this final piece in the not so recent past of 2016. I have to admit this feature jumped forwards and backwards quite a bit, but it’s all in good fun. For this particular piece, considering the date it’ll be published (my birthday), I figured I would feature one of my all-time favorite Visual Kei bands, DIV. “EDR Tokyo” was a rather surprising last release of the group before their disbandment. It has a theme of more EDM tracks, and of those tracks was the interestingly titled “Relic Snow”. Alas, once again this song doesn’t have a music video. I wish it did though, because the concept would probably be absolutely wild.

Before I jump into my analysis, I want to credit JpopAsia and it’s users here for have the original lyrics and a translation up. The translation is a bit too literal for my liking, but helpful in further elaborating my points.

‘Relic Snow’ completely throws out the prior formula of piano or synth opener, then other instrumentals. Instead DIV opted to immediately hit us with the opening lines, and what becomes a variation of the chorus and refrain actually.

“忘れたくないよ”                     “I don’t want to forget”
涙の色も                                    The color of tears”
明日 会えなくても…”               I can’t see you tomorrow”

Obviously, one can tell this is not your typical winter fare, even for Visual Kei. The instrumentals, given the album title, are heavily EDM inspired. The entire track has a much more punchier vibe that you can actually bop along too if you’re not paying attention to the lyrics. I fondly remember this being the song that Chobi and Shogo would often make faces at each other when the guitar/bass kicked in when they performed live. Something that again, doesn’t really fit the imagery that the lyrics creates.

There’s no snowy vibe created, no twinkling effects of power ballad vocals. The song has more body and momentum then white noise, so I unfortunately can’t make that comparison. Unlike prior songs that play up ideas of snow, and winterscapes “Relic Snow” seems to thrive off using undercurrents and semi-distortion to alienate the listener.

Admittedly, this is often a feeling that occurs in winter. At least for me it’s more reoccurring the alienation thanks to snowy conditions and such. The sudden blast of feelings does come off a bit out of left field for this feature.

However this lack of connection to previous visual kei snow tracks, is what makes this song stick out a bit more. It still connects with the idea of relationships being comparable to snow. ‘Silent Snow’ was the idea of appreciating a relationship for what is in that moment, just like appreciating freshly fallen snow. “Relic Snow” turns this idea on it’s head, that the relationship won’t last much longer like melting snow. Trying to hold onto a ‘relic’ like that is nearly impossible.

It’s a bit of a heavier note then I thought I would end on. However, despite the tone of this song, I have a lot of fond memories of this song. They always seemed to enjoy playing it live. To this day, I still adore DIV and their music. So I will be playing this song and jamming out a bit.

With that, I hope you found some new tracks to listen to this December! Thanks for joining me on this journey!

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