this is a space where the Webmaster will give a brief overview of Visual Kei.
Visual kei (visual style) is a... an umbrella term, referring to an audiovisual movement, influenced by Western glam, goth, metal and punk, and with traditional Japanese performance, art and music adding an additional level of influence and inspiration. That's about as much as can be said - 'genre' is certainly the wrong word. Visual kei bands play all sorts of genres, and generally are fluid within their musical styles.
NOTE: ALL IMAGES ARE MY OWN SCANS ASIDE FROM THE Kagrra, BAND IMAGE; please click on band images for more info!
visual kei 'started' (or, was given a name...) in the late 80s, with bands such as X JAPAN taking the influence of 80s speed metal and thrash, and bringing it over to Japan - in the 90s, visual kei experienced a 'boom' of sorts, with many bands popping up, each with extremely diverse influences. As the millennium closed in, when it came to overarching trends, the style of music took off from speed metal, and into something uniquely 'visual kei', with bands such as Aliene Ma'riage, Madeth Gray'll and Shiver being some of the best examples of the industrial/speed metal/post punk/thrash/gothic mix that the sound ended up as. The visuals of the era, too, are extremely diverse, but the extremely dramatic 'kote kei' look as done by the bands shown below, is arguably the most iconic. Please refer to the playlist above (made by the Webmaster) for a brief overview of the diversity of sound in the 90s!
2000s - ONWARDS
the 2000s saw an expansion to the west, with bands such as AN CAFE becoming extremely popular - and even performing overseas in the late 2000s. The influence of nu-metal in the early 2000s created a very interesting, heavy sound, and then the electronic influence of Japanese idol music in the mid/late 2000s created the iconic substyle of OSHARE. The diversity of the 2000s, too, is extremely difficult to sum up. To the Webmaster, the three most iconic bands of the last 20 years are MEJIBRAY, Kagrra, and Kagerou. The playlist above, however, will give a better and (very slightly) more complete image!