KAMIJO // Behind the Mask (1/3): Symphony of The Vampire

Bonjour! (I have never opened an article with this greeting before, but it’s somewhat “on brand” so I will just apologize for any cringe that might have happened there.) Anyhow, you’ve probably heard the news about KAMIJO’s upcoming European tour “The Anthem” that’s taking place in June of this year, right? (If not, we’ve already made a post with tour dates and ticket information here.)

You might know KAMIJO as the vocalist of Versailles (and Lareine and New Sodmy before that) and a solo musician in the 耽美系 (Tanbi Kei) subgenre of ヴィジュアル系 (Visual Kei), but did you know that there is actually a whole story behind KAMIJO’s solo works?
KAMIJO started his solo career in 2013 with the release of the single “Louis 〜艶血のラヴィアンローズ〜” (Louis ~Tsuyachi no Ravian Roozu~), but the 2014 EP “Symphony of The Vampire”, the 2018 album “Sang” and the 2022 album “OSCAR” are all connected to one another, telling a story that is still unfolding to this very day.

With the European tour on the horizon we figured it would be a good time to bring these releases to the front once more, and we’ve decided to do this with a three-part series that we’ve named “Behind the Mask” (yes, we are aware this is also the name of one of KAMIJO’s singles that came out in 2021).
Today we’ll start with part one, which is “Symphony of The Vampire”. An EP that exists out of 7 movements, namely “Presto”, “Sacrifice of Allegro”, “Royal Tercet”, “Dying-Table”, “Sonata”, “満月のアダージョ” (Mangetsu no Adaajo) and “Throne”.

Are you ready? Then let’s go!


“A life born in a world of revolution.”

“Symphony of The Vampire” is the first part in KAMIJO’s universe, where history and fiction come together into one original work. Before we get to each of the individual tracks, let’s look at the story the movie containing all 7 movements starts off with:

“In 1770 a political marriage between the Bourbon family of France and the Habsburg family of Austria brought Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette together. The two were what most people would consider to represent the “Beautiful France of Medieval Europe” itself. In 1774, Louis XVI ascended the French throne. The eldest son had died at age 7 due to tuberculosis, so Louis-Charles (later known as Louis XVII) was crowned prince.
In July of 1789 the French Revolution broke out. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were executed. And Louis XVII was imprisoned in the temple and passed away at age 10. Many rumors kept surfacing which said the one who died in the tower was a fake.
That someone had snuck the prince out and that he was still alive. There were people who even claimed to be the prince himself. But there is a significant development in the mystery thanks to 20th century DNA testing. After conducting DNA tests on a 200 year old mummy heart, said to be Louis XVII that died in the temple, and Marie Antoinette’s hair passed down for generations in the Habsburg family, the heart was determined to be from Louis XVII himself. Louis XVII’s heart now rests along with his parents in Basilica of St. Denis where the French royal grave is located.
However, he was alive…”

There are a few characters that are key players in this story, and not all of them are mentioned in this introduction. Because of this I won’t mention them yet either, but instead save their introduction for when they start to play a role in the grand tale of Louis XVII.
For this review I’m also focusing on the story, and far less on the musical compositions accompanying it. Because yes, I want you to watch the video version of this EP and experience it for yourself, or experience it again with information you might not have known about when you saw it before.
With that out of the way, let’s look at each movement by itself and see what part of the story each of them unfolds, shall we?


KAMIJO // Symphony of The Vampire


Starting off with “Presto”, which lyrically serves as an introduction to the story as a whole by introducing itself as a requiem for the aristocrats buried in the darkness of history. But it also asks the questions of “did he survive?”, “was he revived?” and “or have you achieved immortality?”. “There is no way for anyone to know about this Presto of darkness and blood.”
The word “presto” is used in music to indicate a quick tempo of playing, but as a noun it is used in a similar way by marking a movement or passage to be performed in a quick tempo. With that definition in mind, the title for this movement is probably suggesting a very, very quick summary of the main question everyone is asking, namely the fate of Louis XVII.

The second movement, “Sacrifice of Allegro” tells the story of Louis XVII while imprisoned in the temple tower, where he continuously suffered from the violence and threats from the guards. Until, one morning, he was sucked into the natural light that poured down on him. (There is a bit of a conflict here information wise, since the lyrics speak of the morning while the same event will be referred to as a night with a full moon a little later in this story – but this can be taken as a result of loneliness and depression causing a warped perception, right?)
Louis escapes the temple he was imprisoned in, and Marie Antoinette is executed by guillotine in front of a square full of spectators. “No one notices the scapegoat set up.”

Royal Tercet”, the third movement, is one of the shorter ones in terms of lyrics. It doesn’t give us much clear information in terms of the story, but around this time the substitute boy in the temple tower passes away, and the doctor performing the autopsy took the boy’s heart in his coat’s pocket, soaking it in wine and hid it on a bookshelf in his home. However, over time the heart became as hard as stone.
In the meantime, the real Louis was transported away from Paris in a horse-drawn carriage and given vampire blood by the Count of Saint-Germain before being carried into the pyramid. Louis fell into a deep sleep where he wandered between life and death, dreaming of the peaceful days he spent with his family before the revolution. In his dreams he only felt love.

When Louis is 20 years old he regains consciousness in “Dying-Table”, the fourth movement. Which is easily the most “aggressive” song in this EP, and the video also reflects this with a much more simple outfit for KAMIJO, and obviously the blood. We are dealing with a vampire here, after all.
Lyrics wise the bloodthirst is almost palpable, but Louis is desperate for blood, and his body is aching uncontrollably. While he was sleeping he was given vampire blood, and now he’s awake he cannot control his urges by himself, something that definitely reflects in the lyrics which are far less poetic than the other movements. “I won’t let even the last drop escape.”

It is during “Sonata” where Louis is saved from his fate as a bloodthirsty beast by a beautiful melody played on the piano by none other than Ludwig von Beethoven. However, Louis finds more than a beautiful melody. He finds a friend. A friend that taught him music, a friend that loved a human girl. “A beautiful melody is a substitute for blood.”
While he understood the meaning of the words, Louis was still very immature when it came to love. So he wasn’t able to abandon the idea of sucking blood entirely. Beethoven however, gradually became deaf over time. This must be his punishment for loving humans.

No matter how beautiful the melody he plays might be, he is unable to hear it and thus cannot “feed” himself, but refuses to drink blood because of the woman he loved. By the time the EP reaches the sixth movement, “満月のアダージョ” (Mangetsu no Adaajo / Adagio of The Full Moon), Beethoven tells Louis everything. It was Beethoven who took the young Louis from the temple tower during the night of a full moon. “You are the last light that I took out and connected to the future. Eventually, you will pass through time.” It is for Louis to become the future king.

The EP reaches it’s end with the seventh movement, “Throne”. From all of the movements, “Throne” is definitely one that gives the most information in it’s lyrics.
“Even if I come forward, no one will know who I am. The facts have been rewritten, I no longer exist.” Louis can’t do anything at this moment, so he hides in darkness to wait for his time.
Time passes, and the fake heart is moved to the Cathedral of Saint-Denis, the final resting place of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. However, due to advances in DNA testing the heart will eventually be revealed as a fake. This will stain French history and the royal family will lose all of it’s authority. Something that has to be prevented at all costs.
“Beautiful melodies can replace blood.”, which enables Louis to travel to the cathedral and replace the fake heart with his own, which will render the DNA test positive once it is conducted. For as far as history knows, Louis XVII rests in the same tomb as his parents.



While the heart of Louis XVII has been positively identified as genuine in 2004, he currently lives on through the beautiful melodies of music. This is however not the end of the story of Louis XVII, but since this story continues through “Sang” and “OSCAR” I will not be continuing it in this part either.

This concludes part 1 of our “Behind the Mask” series, but don’t worry, part 2 and 3 aren’t far behind. Before KAMIJO embarks on his European tour this June you will be fully up to date on the story of Louis XVII, and hopefully look at KAMIJO’s work with different eyes!


雪 (Yuki) is the owner and driving force behind Arlequin.
She originally started the project in 2009 as a photographer under the name of Arlequin Photography, but developed an interest in journalism and translation ever since. Because of these interests interviews and reviews were added to the project, until it eventually hit the limits as a "photographer" in 2021, and Arlequin Magazine was added to the mix.

雪 (Yuki) is a native Dutch speaker with a graphic design degree, which means she is also the main person behind Arlequin Creations.
After all these years she is still the main person who does interviews the interviews and live photos that you see on Arlequin, but also a large chunk of the reviews and behind-the-scenes work and communication goes through her.

She speaks Dutch and English on a native level, but also understands Japanese and German.

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