Malice Mizer was created in August of 1992 by guitarists Mana and Közi. They formed the band with the purpose of answering the question "What is human?", and to "seek out something which lurks deep inside the human mind" (Közi). As the "main" leader of the band, Mana had quite a bit of influence as to the type of music that Malice Mizer would play. He based the band's musical direction based on the fact that his direction in music was not going to be masculine, along with his interest in classical music and the background music of Italian horror films.
The other members of Malice Mizer at the time were Yu~Ki (b), Tetsu (v. + c.g.), and Gaz (d). In early 1993, Gaz left the band for Kneuklid Romance, and was replaced by Kami (formerly of Kneuklid Romance). They released only one album, memoire, before Tetsu left because of artistic differences¹ in late 1994. Yu~Ki stated that "Tetsu did not like that the members danced and acted short plays on the stage". After Tetsu's departure, Malice Mizer went on hiatus while the members searched for a replacement vocalist.
It wasn't until after a year of searching and auditioning when Malice Mizer finally found Gackt, who also doubled as a pianist. After they received his photo and demo-tape, Mana and Kami invited Gackt to karaoke to see him perform live. When asked to comment on this outing, Gackt said that it was "more like a party", rather than an actual audition. Since Gackt brought with him his own musical knowledge and theories, the other members were inspired a lot by him. This led to a successful run as an Indies band with the release of two singles, one full-length album, and a vhs cassette of their live at Shibuya kokaido. And as a result of their success, Malice Mizer had caught the attention of Nippon Columbia. While signed to this major label, they released five singles, one full-length album, one silent movie, and vhs cassettes of their live at the Budoukan and a video collection. Unfortunately, however, Malice Mizer major label career was short-lived, as they went on a second hiatus in early 1999 when Gackt left the band.
During the summer of that same year, Malice Mizer was devastated by an unforeseeable tragedy. On 21 June 1999, Kami had passed away due to a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A private funeral was held by his immediate family and close friends. The other members then decided that, despite being without a vocalist, they would carry on with Malice Mizer, as they believed that this is what Kami would have wanted them to do. They released their eighth single, 再会の血と薔薇, in November of 1999. The song had no vocals, and is most likely Malice Mizer's tribute song to Kami, due to the usage of butterflies² in the accompanying video. In the following February, a memorial box, 神話, featuring two songs composed by Kami and a vhs cassette was released. Also in 2000, Malice Mizer recruited a session vocalist, Klaha, and released two more singles and their fourth and final album, 薔薇の聖堂. After the album's release, they put on a live performance at the Budoukan, where Klaha's promotion to official member was formally announced. They then went on to release four more singles (one of which featured 薔薇の葬列, composed by Kami, as a bonus hidden track), a second silent movie, and a vhs cassette of the Budoukan performance. After the Gardenia tour in 2001, Malice Mizer went on an indefinite hiatus, allowing the members to focus on starting their own solo projects.
- ¹ As mentioned in an interview, one of the differences was that Malice Mizer started becoming only Mana's views on the band, instead of everybody contributing.
- ² The butterfly was Kami's favorite animal.