La'cryma Christi (ラクリマ・クリスティ) is a Japanese rock band who you, even if you're a fan of Japanese popular music, might not be familiar with. The name is Latin1 for "the tears of Christ" and the musicians behind La'cryma Christi are Taka (vocals), Hiro (guitar, backup vocal), Koji (guitar, ProTools), Shuse (bass, backup vocal), and Levin (drums).

La'cryma Christi formed in 1994 in Osaka and their first album, "Warm Snow", was released on an Osaka-based indies label in 1996. The band began as a visual kei group, but by the time of the release of their first full album, "Sculpture of Time", only the guitarist, Hiro, maintained a visual image. He was well known for his extremely long black hair and his look helped the band sit the fence between visual kei and rock, attracting fans from both camps. However, since 2001, the band has entirely shed their visual kei image.

Common themes in their music are dreams, Indian or Tibetan imagery, and astrology. The music ranges from a flowing reflective feel to fast-paced with catchy melodies. There's always a lot going on in a La'cryma Christi song and the albums are worth a few listens through to properly pick up on the intricate melodic interweaving. Interestingly, the band has no lead guitarist; Koji and Hiro play both solos and rhythm lines. Chronologically, their indies and early music tends to be more mystical-sounding and darker. Beginning with "& . U", their albums have been a bit poppier, which has displeased some fans of their earlier work. However, they continue to write excellent music and, although undergoing a change in style, have not slipped from their high musical standards. With their latest single, "CANNONBALL," they seem to be moving in a more classic rock direction, both in look and sound, which is quite a departure from their early days.

When it comes to the songs, each of the band members has done part of the work of composing and lyric writing. On their earlier albums, Taka wrote most of the lyrics, although recently he often collaborates with Shuse. Hiro and Levin have also written lyrics on more recent albums. Musically, Hiro, Shuse, and Koji do most of the composing, although Taka and Levin have also done so. The members spend all of their time working on La'cryma Christi and none of them have gone solo except for Taka's appearences as an actor in the drama Tengoku no Kiss and the movie Noel.

While not a super-popular band, La'cryma Christi is well known and their recent album "Deep Space Syndicate" enjoyed time in the top 20s indies charts in the Oricon listings. However, they are not well known internationally and, with a few exceptions, there is very little English information about the group online.

Some trivia about the group: Taka is friends with Gackt and Luna Sea, who helped them go major. Levin is extremely short at around 4'11" and adores Star Trek.

La'cryma Christi's official website is: http://www.lacrymachristi.jp/

Partial Discography (not including singles)

  • Warm Snow, 96.2.04 (ZILL-004)
    • 1. Warm Snow
    • 2. Forest
    • 3. A.S.I.A.
    • 4. Karibu de umareta tsuki
    • 5. POISON RAIN

  • Dwellers of a Sandcastle, 96.7.22 (TFCC-88081)
    • 1. Warm Snow
    • 2. Forest
    • 3. A.S.I.A.
    • 4. Karibu de umareta tsuki
    • 5. POISON RAIN

  • Sculpture of Time, 97.11.12 (POCH-1657)
    • 1. Night Flight
    • 2. Nangoku
    • 3. Sanskrit Shower
    • 4. Ivory Trees
    • 5. Angolmois
    • 6. Henseifuu
    • 7. Nemuri kusuri
    • 8. THE SCENT
    • 9. Blueberry Rain

  • Lhasa, 98.11.25 (POCH-1741)
    • 1. Mirai korou *Album Mix
    • 2. Tsuki no mabuta
    • 3. With-you *Album mix
    • 4. SHY
    • 5. Lhasa
    • 6. Green
    • 7. PSYCHO STALKER
    • 8. Frozen Spring
    • 9. Tori ni naru hi
    • 10. Zambara

  • magic theatre, 00.3.15 (POCH-1914)
    • 1. Magic Theatre
    • 2. Israel
    • 3. Cry Sour Grape
    • 4. SCORPION GLASS
    • 5. Blossom
    • 6. Sweet Suicide
    • 7. Subconscious Desire
    • 8. GUM
    • 9. Lime rain
    • 10. Yuki ni natte kieta futari
    • 11. Dear Natural

  • Singles Collection, 00.6.28 (POCH-1995)
    • 1. Ivory trees
    • 2. Henseifuu
    • 3. THE SCENT
    • 4. eternal colors
    • 5. Nangoku
    • 6. morning whisper
    • 7. With-you
    • 8. Egos and Lies
    • 9. Mirai kouro
    • 10. Siam's Eye
    • 11. IN FOREST
    • 12. Lhasa (unplugged)
    • 13. Without you
    • 14. I Love You
    • 15. Eien

  • & . U, 02.3.6 (UPCH-1141)
    • 1. Your Song
    • 2. Sister mon amor
    • 3. Jonetsu no kaze
    • 4. PRIDE
    • 5. JUMP!! (& . U STYLE)
    • 6. ASH
    • 7. Kamereon
    • 8. LIFE
    • 9. My generation
    • 10. SCREAMING
    • 11. Heart&Soul

  • Deep Space Syndicate, 03.11.05 (UMCE-8001)
    • 1. intro
    • 2. Mystical Glider (album mix)
    • 3. GROOVE WEAPON (album mix)
    • 4. DEEP SPACE SYNDICATE
    • 5. Vampire Circus
    • 6. surrealism
    • 7. Simply Red
    • 8. raggle-taggle-revolver
    • 9. HIRAMEKI
    • 10. HAVEN
    • 11. REVERSE
    • 12. (untitled end track)

  • ZEUS, 05.29.06 (UMCE-8006)
    • 1. AWAKEN
    • 2. Lay down
    • 3. Hot Rod Circuit
    • 4. DESERT
    • 5. DANCING IN THE DARK
    • 6. Under my skin
    • 7. CANNONBALL
    • 8. Don't tell me lies
    • 9. DRONE
    • 10. SAME OLD SHIT!
    • 11. yesterdays

The only (decent) sources for La'cryma Christi information in English are "In Forest" at http://www.geocities.com/in_forest/ and "Night Flight" at http://rokujo.dreamhost.com/nightflight. These websites and my personal La'cryma Christi CD collection were my references for this writeup. Please /msg me with any updates or corrections.

Notes:
1. It has been pointed out to me by Jurph and liveforever that "La'cryma Christi" is not proper Latin. The proper way to spell it would be Lachryma Christi or Lachrymae Christi. However, the nodetitle refects the orginal spelling used by the band on CDs.

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