We previously mentioned NECRONOMIDOL in our Alternative Idols article (linked below) as one of the most interesting idol groups out there and so we wanted to give a little more insight into them and their music in their own piece, just in time for Halloween!
NECRONOMIDOL (or Necroma for short) is an idol group self-described as ultradark, making music that encompasses black metal and darkwave with other influences ranging from shoegaze to NWOBHM and D-Beat and themed around horror; notably, the works of American author H.P. Lovecraft and Japanese horror films and manga. If that sounds cool to you, read on!
Summoning Ritual - Origin and Members
NECRONOMIDOL’s name is a portmanteau of Necronomicon—the infamous grimoire said to have spells to summon the Old Ones of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos—and idol, which itself has connotations outside the obvious. The group is produced and managed by Ricky Wilson, an expat American who became involved in the underground idol scene in Tokyo, first as a fan.
In early 2014, Wilson started planning, writing songs, and sending out casting calls for his new group and in June, they premiered with their first single, Ikotsu Mofubuki, and a live performance as a quartet made up of Risaki Kakizaki, Sari, Ruu Aoi and Seira Henmi. The group also had some somewhat mysterious members who made it through auditions but left before their official debut named Kaede, Kagura Nagata, Aisa Miyano, and Rio Maeda. Membership has been fairly turbulent through the years, as is common with idol acts.
At the end of 2014, Seira left due to responsibilities with her family and school and Hotaru Tsukumo joined. In April of the next year, Ruu graduated for school-related reasons, leaving the group at 3 members for about a month until Hina Yotsuyu and Karen Kusaka joined. Karen and Hotaru graduated in 2016 and Rei Imaizumi joined. Finally, Himari Tsukishiro joined, forming the current lineup: Himari Tsukishiro, Risaki Kakizaki, Sari, Hina Yotsuyu, and Rei Imaizumi.
Ultradark - NECRONOMIDOL’s Eclectic Style
NECRONOMIDOL stands out from ordinary idol groups not only with their nearly illegible black metal style logo but also with their overall sense of style in their personas and music, all of which have seen some variation through the years. While Saki has kept her iconic face makeup and spider accessory, the group has changed from their original shrine maiden inspired attire (common in J-horror movies) to outfits based on Taisho-era school uniforms harkening back to classic horror manga and literature like Teito Monogatari.
“Atai no Tsumeato” showing original outfits
A big element in setting Necroma apart from typical idols is their do-it-yourself attitude reminiscent of indie and punk bands. Wilson has said before that this commitment to the underground scene is a core part of what NECRONOMIDOL is all about, citing his early exposure to punk music as a key influence in how he thinks about the group.
Musically, they’ve seen some experimentation and a noticeable increase in quality over time, at least in my opinion. Their defining sound is a brooding and atmospheric black metal foundation with a notable use of retro synths, as seen in songs like DAWNSLAYER.
NECRONOMIDOL has gone to some extreme feats to promote their music and express their horror theming such as shooting the video for psychopomp in Aokigahara, the infamous suicide forest in Fuji, and, most notably, with “ITHAQUA” which has the members standing and visibly shivering in a snow-covered forest. An appropriate setting for a song referencing Lovecraft’s solitary Old One of the same name that prowls the arctic, freezing its victims with its control over the cold, icy winds.
They also did a really cool collaboration with multimedia artist m7kenji in 2016 called “SKULLS IN THE STARS”, another heavily Lovecraft-inspired track with visuals presented in the style of a Famicom game.
“SKULLS IN THE STARS”
Ultradimensional Harbingers of Terror - International Presence
Despite still being relatively underground, NECRONOMIDOL has a strong international following largely thanks to Ricky Wilson’s fan outreach to the West in the form of frequent interviews—Ricky being a native English speaker certainly helps there—and a commitment to tours around the world. The Lovecraft connection has also been fruitful, with a performance at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival & CthulhuCon in Oregon earlier this October!
They have toured all across Japan and in a variety of other countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, England, Italy, The Netherlands, France, and America.
Dark Future - What’s Next for NECRONOMIDOL?
As far as I’m concerned, NECRONOMIDOL can and should do whatever they want going forward. Their commitment to the horror theme combined with the ability to experiment musically while still feeling unified in concept continues to be one of the most interesting acts out there, we just want more!
Their latest release, “STRANGE AEONS”, came out this September. It’s written by Yakkun from the death-pop band Kiba of Akiba! Check it out!
We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about this especially spooky idol group. Please leave us a comment below with your thoughts and look forward to more from us and NECRONOMIDOL! Cthulhu fhtagn?!