Industrial rock and nu metal band D'espairsRay were founded and have risen to popularity in Japan, but have spent quite a while courting Western audiences, with some degree of success. The group's beginnings date back to 1999, when it was formed by most of the members of the defunct act Le'Veil, namely Hizumi, Karyu, Zero, and Tsukasa -- a lineup that would stay unchanged throughout all of the next decade. The newly formed D'espairsRay had more or less belonged to the indie visual kei scene, although the band slowly drifted toward its own identity based primarily on music, not fashion statements. This process took them some years, during which D'espairsRay toiled on the local scene and slowly moved up the release hierarchy: they started out with three demo tapes in 1999-2000, then had two maxi singles (one of them limited to 1,000 copies), then got around to EPs (Terrors in 2001 and Sexual Beast in 2002). Then came the turning point -- the single Maverick (2003), which solidified the band's interest in nu metal. The move proved successful -- the song "Maverick" was reprised on the band's third EP, Born (2004), and D'espairsRay got to play their first gigs outside Japan: in 2004, they had shows in Berlin and Paris. After that they released a live DVD, and only then did they finally have the opportunity to record a full album -- Coll: Set (2005), which was released in Europe in 2006, setting a path for most of their subsequent releases. A North American-European tour followed, with a stint at Wacken Open Air no less, after which came the speedy release of their second full-length album, Mirror (2007). Around that time D'espairsRay also performed at the 2007 J-Rock Revolution festival in Los Angeles, and in early 2008, when Mirror was released in the U.S., they also participated in the huge American touring event Taste of Chaos along with Bullet for My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold. During 2007-2008 D'espairsRay also had three DVDs out (one documentary and two live recordings). ~ Alexey Eremenko

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