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Found 29 results

  1. So @emmnywrote the definitive Kagerou piece about their best era.... but the timeframe discussed there left out one of my fave Kagerou songs! (And I wanted to talk about what Kagerou meant to me a little bit...)
  2. Shoutout to @doomsoul136for starting a thread about this band (with much more info than I'm able to provide in the video) just this weekend!
  3. I highly encourage checking out this band/mini-album if you haven't. Let me know what you think! (Ignore my dirty windshield! Focus only on the mountain landscapes...)
  4. This is the worst release Sadie has ever put out. It's inconsistent, repetitive, and unmemorable. The first problem is that every track overstays its welcome. More than half the album is over 4 minutes, most going almost up to 5. While you might think that's actually a good thing, it isn't. There are plenty of tracks that would be fine if they ended about halfway through, especially the heavier ones, but they keep going and going repeating the same elements. It really drags the album down. The inconsistency in this album is no secret. You've got tracks where M to the ao tries the rapping thing (2 only actually), a few that sound more like a poor rendition of a middle school jazz play soundtrack, one that tries to implement electronics and synth for that fun and poppy yet heavy sound, a heavy alternative song (that sounds somewhat like Yellow Card's "Lights and Sound"), an uplifting pop ballad, a "Spirited Away" instrumental piano track, and a majority of songs that feature Sadie's typical chug a chug who gives a shrug style. I'm not even disappointed that the album doesn't incorporate any "gangsta" elements. I just at least expect a uniform sound throughout the album. The album is all over the place and has absolutely no idea what its identity is. I found "Madrigal de Maria" to be a poor album, but it still had a uniform sound between all the songs and you can tell they're all from the same album. But not using the gangster elements is another thing. If you're going to call your album "Gangsta" and even have a few tracks where you try to implement things like rap, why are there only 2 tracks that you do this on? What is the point to all this? You take these 2 songs out and you're left with nothing that relates to the title. Either go full out or don't do it at all. Make a choice and stick with it. * * I found barely anything worth listening to on this natural born trash CD that is only good as orange rotted. -Shoot the targets, hidden in your mind - there's a lovely melancholy guitar break 2:40-2:50. The actual break is longer than that but when Mao comes in his vocals ruin it. -Gesshoku - It sounds like Mao says "I scream for you p***y". It's kinda (kinda) funny. -I find Tokyo Gypsy to be the only song I can listen to (the last guitar melody actually kind of sounds like something off the GazettE's Disorder. Tokyo Shinjuu, Tokyo Gypsy. Coincidence?...maybe?) All in all there's about 5:04 worth of stuff I would listen to on this album. Sadie needs to stop releasing material for a while and really think about what to do with their music. I think this album proves that they have no idea. Gangsta is a prolonged cluttered wreck that needs to be banned and cut off from all access to consumers. In fact, someone needs to take every copy and
  5. For the second week in a row I reference the Gazette during a review of some new VK. This time while reviewing ゴシップ's new single. This is @inartistic's excellent post about Ains/Yukika I referenced in the vid:
  6. This is my first review guys, so I hope I do a good job of it! >~< *DISCLAIMER* Everything stated in this review is solely my own opinion, if you'd like me to review more things I'd like to, but I'd appreciate feedback before I write more, enjoy! So, MIZTAVLA are a new band, they came on to the scene around mid-late 2016. MIZTAVLA consists of: Riuki (Vocals) Hiryu (Guitar) Kou (Guitar) Yuri (Bass) Fumiya (Drums) Their 1st mini album consists of 5 tracks: 01. 「Untitled」 02. 絶望宣言 (Zetsubou sengen) 03. Psycho Creature 04. 黒と赤 (Kuro to aka) 05. 喪失の雨 (Soushitsu no ame) So without further ado, let's begin this review! I'll try keep entries per song relatively short and digestible so it's not a tl;dr situation. 「Untitled」 This track is an SE, it's pretty good, I don't have much thought on it as it's an SE, but I seem to remember it fitting with the next track. 絶望宣言 (Zetsubou sengen) This song definitely has the opening track feel to it, it's relatively fast paced and full of energy. To me, it feels like a mixture of the songs [DIS] and The $ocial Riot Machine$ by 'The Gazette', the similarity was apparent to me upon the first listen. It's as if it takes the thrashy sections of [DIS] and has the same style chorus as The $ocial Riot Machine$, whether it's a coincidence or not I don't know, and I hope that there is no plagiarism here because I do like this song, however, the song itself doesn't feel like something fresh. Psycho Creature 'Psycho Creature' was a really good listen for me, I really enjoyed it. I'm not usually a fan of songs that implement electronic aspects, but I feel this song pulls it off well, it really adds to the energy. Add this to the insanely catchy chorus which gets stuck in my head for days upon listening to the song. To top off this song I must say that Riuki has some amazing vocal talent, showing his ability to scream and sing, I was impressed by the energy present in his vocals. This song was one of the best on the mini album in my opinion. 黒と赤 (Kuro to aka) Kuro to aka is that song that shows the listener that they aren't just capable of one genre, Kuro to aka is the jazzy song of the album, and shows off Yuri's bass skills and Fumiya's drum skills. I really enjoy the bass and drums in this song, they stand out to me as the bass is really energetic and I'm partial to jazzy drums. This song is also the first on the album that doesn't feature Riuki screaming, and I must say Riuki has a very impressive vocal range, judging from other songs on the album Riuki can go from really deep to really high. Kuro to aka, like the previous songs are bursting with energy, and you can't get tired of them because of this. It's not the best song on the album, but I still enjoyed it nevertheless. 喪失の雨 (Soushitsu no ame) "Wow" is all I can say about this song, I love this song and I believe it makes the mini album, literally what a finisher! It's a ballad track, and starts off really quiet, Hiryu and Kou play minimal guitar from the beginning of this track, but as it progresses they get louder and have that ballady feel, particularly in the solo, the solo is very impressive, and the song further boasts Riuki's vocal range. As far as ballads go, this is one of my favourite ballads I have ever listened to, I'm not too fond of ballads, but this just did it for me, it was stunning. Overall, I give 'Adramelech' This is VERY good as far as debut's go imo, I think MIZTAVLA have potential to go places, let's just hope they don't get hit by the disbandment train like many bands did in 2016.
  7. Reviewing Fatima's best single; M:I-44. Mostly driving by corn fields.
  8. Driving home from work and talking about the ambitious new mini-album from VK upstarts Insanity Injection. Let me know what you think! I don't think everyone will like this mini, but I do think everyone should give it a listen.
  9. Cruisin' around and talking about Emmuree's new single, Red. I said the wrong track was called 'red', but the text on screen is correct haha. Let me know what ya'll think now that you've had a chance to listen! Shoutout to @r... for spreading the Emmuree love.
  10. Rev Reviews - AvelCain's 輪廻転生 I feel like I stumbled upon some good scenery near the end of this video. And to advertise the fact that I'm inundating the forums with Avelcain shit today... check out my live report from their show on June 8th!
  11. Reviewing Holyclock's newest release, Shinshou Aquarium.
  12. 1. UNDYING - This song didn't really give me a deep impression until reading the lyrics which Ruki wrote. At first listen, it sounded like the GazettE were trying hard to be heavy and dark but in a good way. Then I had the impression they were trying to put lots of dark and anger elements in one song - the screams, melodic choruses, piano breakdown which gave the song an eerie sadness feeling. At first line of the lyrics, I realized that this song is a sequel to OMINOUS from their album DOGMA. What Ruki wrote was really heavy, deep, angry, and dark. The line which gave me the most impact was "許されぬ願いに夢を見た", which I can only roughly translate as "Saw my impermissible wish in a dream", because I often dreamt of dreams that I wasn't able to accomplish myself. 2. MALUM - The meaning of this song matches quite well with the music. It's full of anger and hate because the first person character in the lyrics wanted revenge to someone who killed a girl (probably lover) close to him (or maybe her). However, despite of all the hate, Ruki wrote well in the last lines, saying that killing someone back was just emptiness no matter where you went and the reason to live also became was to revenge. This actually reminds me of the morality topic which was raised by several authors in Japan these years, which was about if imprisonment and death penalty was really enough for paying back the death of victims of murderers. (off-topic: Japanese author 東野圭吾 (Higashino Keigo)'s book "虚ろな十字架(Uturonajuuzika)" nailed the topic's contradiction well in his book.) 3. VACANT - This song, as with the lyrics, is less heavy than the other songs in the single. I interpreted that the lyrics of the song was about the emptiness left from a broken relationship. The melody and Ruki's voice flows well throughout the whole song, and the guitar solo gave a sad atmosphere....but that's it. I guess it's a safe song to put into the single as B side. Overall: It's actually been some time since I really tried to delve into Ruki's lyrics and I'm glad I did. It just added lots of meaning and fun while listening to the music. But then, I'm personally getting a bit tired of their dark music campaign which has gone to a bit elitist feel and I really miss the old, fun Gazetto times. Music and lyrics-wise, the is a decent single.
  13. DADAROMA 「スタンチク」(Stanczyk) 01 オープニング (Opening) 02 「リズリーサーカス」 (Risley Circus) 03 「最終電車」 (saishuu densha) 04 トレンドアイデンティティ (Trend Identity) 05 融け込めないざらざらな芸術を君が殺してくれないか (tokekomenai zarazara na geijutsu wo kimi ga koroshitekurenai ka) 06 「雨のワルツ」 (ame no waltz) 07 ベルカとストレルカ (Velka & Strelka) (Re recording Ver.) 08 モルヒネ♯1 (Morphine 1) 09 モルヒネ♯2 (Morphine 2) 10 SEX!! 11 「溺れる魚」 (oboreru sakana) 12 MONEY 13 月のうた (tsuki no uta) 14 imitation hero. 15 「ルシッド•ドリーム」 (Lucid Dream) <16 KURT (piano Ver.)> Before we begin I’d like to note that I picked up both versions of this album at the band’s tour final last week, so it’s already had plenty of spins for me to base my opinion on. Now that the rest of you guys can hear it, I figured it's a good time to post my thoughts. So here we are at last – a full album release from one of the fastest growing bands in recent memory, DADAROMA. Led by frontman Yoshiatsu, who also has the talent of knowing exactly how to market his band to maximise interest, these guys appeared on the scene last January with nothing but a music video for their first song, ‘oboreru sakana’. The heavy but dramatic introduction to this mysterious new band drew the interest of many both within and without the visual kei community. However, unluckily for even national fans, their first mini album was and remained limited to sales at lives: a strategy that undoubtedly helped the young group take off by tempting fans to head on over to their lives and pick up a copy, but equally alienated those who couldn’t attend, especially foreign fans with no way to acquire this rare debut release. But of course, this is the age of the internet, and it wasn’t too long before ‘dadaism 1’ was available to all to hear free of charge, if not exactly legally. And this is my main cause of disappointment, not in ‘Stanczyk’ and DADAROMA’s decision to include that entire first release, which is itself commendable to please their ever-growing fanbase, but in the community which lessened the value of it, and by extension of this so-called ‘best album’ that is unfortunately fairly packed with tracks we’ve heard before. The album opens with a short introduction that sets up lead track ‘Risley Circus’, named for 19th century performer Richard Risley Carlisle, who pioneered the act of juggling with feet rather than hands. Indeed, Yoshiatsu packs many intriguing cultural references into DADAROMA’s songs, with the album itself a nod to the possibly mythical Polish jester Stanczyk and a generally pierrot-inspired theme running through both the band’s visual stylings and the lyrics of several songs. Risley displays some experimentation with electronic sounds and vocal distortion which may divide fans, but it’s undeniable that the catchy chorus will stay with you even after the track ends. Next comes single track ‘saishuu densha’ (Last Train), which is notorious for its highly erotic promotional video being removed from YouTube not once but twice, despite the band’s efforts to pixelate offensive material. DADAROMA have dabbled in jazz a fair amount, but this is in my opinion one of their best attempts (see also: the sensual ‘urei libido’ from the ‘ame no waltz’ single). Once again a catchy chorus and a steady pace held by the percussion parts make for a memorable track. ‘Trend Identity’ is the shortest track the band have produced to date. It recalls ‘kusatta mikan no houteishiki’ with the heavy riff matched with synth stylings, and was clearly made for live performance, but it sets itself apart a little with Yoshiatsu’s first attempt at something approaching a rap. Not particularly memorable itself, but it was fun at the tour final last week. Next we have a ridiculously long title that I can’t be bothered to type out again, but which is important to the album as a whole because it relates to the theme of art (Yoshiatsu’s final screams ‘kore wa geijutsu/this is art’ adorn the album’s obi strip). The bell-like motif immediately creates an interesting atmosphere as Yoshiatsu whispers his way through the verses, and from there the song builds into a powerful chorus. While initially the verse portions didn’t do a great deal for me, I do really enjoy said chorus and this track has grown on me a lot with repeat listens. Single number two, the red herring ‘ame no waltz’ that, quite unlike a waltz, breaks out of the soft music box and raindrop opening into a brutal chugging guitar riff, fits pretty well here after the raw scream that ended the last track. Somehow this song made its way onto a Japanese TV drama as the ending theme, which is somewhat of a mystery to me but I appreciate it nevertheless as the sole DADAROMA song that actually appears at karaoke. I have an ambivalent relationship with this track – it’s a good song, but sometimes I just want to skip it and get on to something else. YMMV but at any rate it's another song we've heard before. At this point we enter the cluster of tracks that is just ‘dadaism 1’ in a different order. While I appreciate that now fans who couldn’t get hold of that first live limited release (ie most fans) can now hear all those songs they’ve been playing for 18 months, it’s a little disappointing that they didn’t try and blend them more into the tracklist rather than just dumping them all together. For this reason long-time fans such as myself may be tempted to skip through this portion of the album, at least to the songs they like the most. This unfortunate situation is compounded by the fact that in this day and age it’s impossible to keep that limited CD from appearing on the internet sooner or later, diminishing the novelty of finally hearing these songs for the first time for many. DADAROMA have made some attempt to change things up a bit though. The most obvious of these is the re-recording of ‘Velka & Strelka’, one of my personal favourite songs the band has released so far. However, for me the original is still the superior as it takes more vocal talent to reach and hold those notes at the end than the re-recording, which is easier on Yoshiatsu’s highs (and fair enough; if you’ve seen him live, he can struggle with them on a rough night). This retake of the vocal track is just slightly lazier, and ultimately it seems as though little other than the clean vocals has actually been re-recorded. There are subtle changes in the other ‘dadaism 1’ tracks though. All of them have seen some editing at the mixing desk that brings the production more in line with the new tracks – the guitar is slightly less crisp at times and more distorted in the style of ‘Risley Circus’, but on the other hand the bass is more prominent, including a couple of additional samples Tomo seems to have recorded for this album, especially the final note of ‘Morphine 1’ that was particularly conspicuous. As to which version of each track is better, YMMV; ‘oboreru sakana’ and ‘SEX!!’ benefit somewhat from the changes in mixing, but I personally like the cleaner guitar in ‘MONEY’ much better on ‘dadaism 1’. We return to new material with one of my favourite tracks on ‘Stanczyk’, ‘tsuki no uta’. It’s an emotional ballad that retains its energy through the steady drum beats and powerful chords that support Yoshiatsu’s gorgeous vocals in the chorus. Despite lyrically presenting itself as a ballad, it’s a surprisingly short track that lends itself well to repeat listens. As an aside, I think this was the only new song the band didn’t play at their tour final; I look forward to the opportunity to hear it live some time in the future. ‘imitation hero.’ didn’t quite capture my attention in the same way as ‘tsuki no uta’, but it’s also an accomplished ballad in its own right. For me this is a rare case of the composition in the verse being far stronger and more enjoyable than the chorus. The always present piano is a welcome change to the common electronic elements in the rest of the album, and Yusuke’s confident drumming is one of the song’s strongest parts. DADAROMA’s first full album draws to a close with the dramatic masterpiece that is ‘Lucid Dream’. Easily one of my favourite tracks from the young group, the balance of head banging downtuned guitar chugs and a powerful chorus makes this a stellar composition in my eyes. It also wonderfully displays Yoshiatsu’s vocal prowess in both cleans and screams, comprising a wide range in the former and a variety of styles of the latter. Despite the surprising lack of pretty much any kind of audience participation at the band’s recent one man, it was a truly amazing ending to the main set when the band left the stage in awed silence as the last of the fake snow drifted to the ground. Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the bonus track on the regular edition of the album. The piano verison of ‘KURT’ amplifies the emotion in Yoshiatsu’s clear voice, while retaining the best of the instrumental support in a beautiful piano arrangement. I would actually love to hear a purely instrumental piano solo of this track at some point. It’s a fitting, end-credits-style addition to round off DADAROMA’s ‘best’ album. Ultimately I’m divided when it comes to giving this release some kind of score. On the one hand, there’s a lot of old material in here, but none of it is just there to pad out the run time, and in any case it’s all great material. As someone who has been a fan of DADAROMA since the very beginning, and also bought all of their releases and listened to them countless times over, it’s easy to act like we deserved more new material with ‘Stanczyk’. It wouldn’t even be unreasonable to be disappointed that live limited songs like ‘neji’ didn’t make the cut (although to be fair there’s still copies of that sitting on the goods stand at their concerts). However, if I were to imagine this album as my introduction to DADAROMA, this is easily a contender for album of the year.
  14. If I do this again I feel like I'll need a cool name for the series.... suggestions are welcome! This video ends slightly abruptly because my phone ran out of space about 30 seconds before I was done! You're not missing any essential insight haha. (And at least one more time... shoutout to jrocknyc shoutbox-er Ken who did some ride along reviews/reflections on VK that I'm shamelessly copying)
  15. After weeks of listening to lynch.'s new album I've come to the conclusion that "D.A.R.K. -In the name of evil-" ranks among the best of lynch.'s repertoire. Seriously, I haven't had this much fun listening to a lynch. album since "I BELIEVE IN ME". Let's get right into it. INTRODUCTION is nothing special but does a good enough job as a transitional piece. It's just a group of strings playing louder and louder until it climaxes into the next song. D.A.R.K. starts out just as you might think: Heavy and, well, dark. But, the song becomes softer going into the chorus. Hazuki's melody is melancholic and the addition of piano adds a soft beauty. The song is a steady back and forth between the heavy and soft sections but it all gels quite nicely. There's no time to take it easy though as ANTARES ramps up the energy. Immediately, I hear remnants of "Inferiority Complex" in the guitars and the steady "boom-chuck" cadence of the drums. Personally, I'm not a fan of that style but all can be forgiven if the chorus is awesome. Unfortunately, the chorus is weak and uninspired and just doesn't seem to fit the tone of the album set so far. It sounds too bright. However, a little over halfway the song a break down comes out of nowhere and shakes up the place. It's just too bad it doesn't last longer. In fact, because it's so abrupt it breaks the flow of the song and I question if it might have been better had they left it out. In the end, it just feels like lynch. took a weak "Inferiority Complex" era song and re-purposed it for "-In the name of evil-". If the last track didn't get you pumped though, EVOKE hits hard and keeps the momentum going. Hazuki lets out a visceral yell as the drums are relentlessly blasting and guitars are riffing. The chorus melody is really catchy and ranks among one of my favorites and, there's another amazing breakdown in this song. Next up is the medium-tempo jazzy rock track GHOST. While it's nothing jaw dropping, it's refreshing to hear the band do something different for a change. I don't like that it's right after EVOKE though as the change in pace drags the album down. For circus music lovers and radio listeners, lynch. starts out ILLUMINATI with a "crossing-a-tightrope-type" song played on timpani and organs under a radio filter. But, don't worry. If you're not a fan of either, the song launches back into their heavy and dark style. This is another song with a fantastic chorus and the use of Hazuki's backup screams add some brutality. The band is holding back no punches and hits us with another break down but this time with more discord and ferocity. We finally get to our first ballad, ETERNITY. There's not too much to say except that it's all beautiful: The pulsing bass, rolling toms, articulate piano, swirling guitars, and the heartfelt vocals. Quadruple kick drum is the name of the game with FALLEN. It's a straight forward song with great melodies but the quadruple kick cadence in the drums helps add some extra emphasis to really drive those melodies through the song. It's a nice more energetic extension of ETERNITY. BEAST brings the tempo back up with some awesome riffs and screaming. The chorus is simple but well built and memorable. It's actually similar to ANTARES as Hazuki even uses the same "whooah-ooh-oh"s for the backup vocals in the chorus. lynch. might have been better off renaming the album "D.A.R.K. -In the name of break downs-" because another great one is featured here. Initially I had problems with the length and felt that thet song could've have used more sections, but I've grown to enjoy the length and even its repetitive nature. At least it's not as short as INVADER. Clocking in at 1:27 we have the shortest song here on the album (I think maybe even the shortest lynch. song ever). As a result, all I have to say is it's a fast, heavy song with some great slap bass action and a decent chorus. COSMOS was one of my most anticipated songs on the album. Part of that anticipation can be attributed to the amazing guitar riff heard in the preview. However, it ended up falling short of expectations. I just wanted the song to revolve around the awesome riff, but it takes another 2 minutes from the beginning of the chorus to get there again (aka the end of the song). I think the problem is that they approached this song like GALLOWS where the first half is heavy, the second half is chorus, and the ending is back to heavy. The track could've have benefited from being shorter or being written to sprinkle the riff in more throughout the song. MELANCHOLIC is another wonderful ballad that manages to stay a different flavor than the previous two before it (FALLEN is a ballad right?....Power ballad maybe?...). Again, not much to say except that it's beautiful. We finally come to the last track MOON. First off, I just want to say I love that it extends from the last song by using similar guitar effects/sounds. Basically, I'm just trying to say it really sounds like the perfect song after MELANCHOLIC. It's a really upbeat track and ends the album nicely. Essentially, it's like all the other lynch. album closers (seriously, all lynch. albums end on a more upbeat note). But, it did make me think. Nearly 80% of the album was upbeat like MOON. D.A.R.K., ILLUMINATI, and maybe COSMOS were really the only tracks that delivered that dark and evil theme. All the other songs were either just heavy but not dark/nefarious, or ballads. I enjoyed the album a lot, but I'm thinking maybe the album was misnamed. Still, I regard "D.A.R.K. -In the name of evil-" as one of lynch.'s best works. Most of the songs are fantastic, the pacing of the album is spot on for the most part, and the variety of song types keeps every listen enjoyable. I swear the album only gets better with each listen.
  16. Hello! I can't write such well in English, so I decided to just make a list. There are VK bands and non VK. Since I saw greats best of 2015 I decided to make my What I meant with "Bands that grew the most" are bands that I had been following before, but in 2015 made incredible materials, each release was perfect! Unsurprisingly my favorite album was BLACK, but feel free to post your opinion! Album / Mini Album BLACK - SuG Result - ANGELO Factor - ANGELO PLANETARY SECRET - Baroque VENA - Coldrain EPHEMERAL - AKi REVOLUTION - IGGY LAYOUT - Vistlip TONICK DIZAIN - Far East Dizain Royale - GOTCHAROCKA Rebellion - DIAWOLF dadaism♯1 - DADAROMA Corpse Reviver - MORRIGAN Sirus - DaizyStripper Providence of BIONIC - The Lotus MIMIC - My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND Honne to Tatemae - Yeti Single / Maxi Single SICK'S - SuG Providence - Nocturnal Bloodlust Paradigm Paradox - MEJIBRAY Sennen Dive!! - An Cafe Ikenai KISS - DIV Burn Your Soul - WING WORKS Waruagaki - Codomo Dragon Calling - Loka DTM - Back-on Split EP - The Legendary Six Nine WEAKNESS_MY BLOOD - Shounenki Heads up! - ZON Koi ga Dekinai - D=OUT Subcul - RAVE Gozensanji no kanjousen - Belle LIQUID - Xenon V.A. Family Party - Kiryu, Royz, Codomo Dragon Best new bands GUTS AND DEATH FAR EAST DIZAIN AKi DIAWOLF ZON IGGY Bands that grew the most Angelo Vistlip Shounenki Baroque
  17. 3.9 out of 5 This is my first purchase from Royz and I wasn't too disapointed but not too amazed. 1. Supernova Despite listening to the first track multiple times, I will admit it's good but my first instinct was tha they may be trying something new or back to their roots but it sounds too predictable/generic almost. I thought the song would be at a faster pace for some reason with viewing commercials and a preview PV before the release date. Overall it's good. Somewhat energized 2. ALIVE Starts off with a slow startup then drumming kicks in followed by good guitar riffs I'll say. I mainly liked the lyrics from the song, pretty good tempo I'll add. There's not much to say about this song minus the vocal version beats the instrumental version from my pov. 3. twilight memory I was expecting this track to be a slow melody song with some sadness incorporated into it due to the title. Threw me off a bit nonetheless, a lot of guitar riffs within the right ear, the bass was on a pretty good level. Not to where you couldn't hear it or it was too overpowered. Despite not knowing the lyrics, I suspect this song is more of a mid tone not being focused on sadness or happiness. To add the instrumental or??? Overall, the single gets a decent, 3.9 out of 5. I really like the instrumental tracks ^^
  18. 12012 - XII 12012 have been rolling with a new style since one of their guitarists left them before the release of their self-titled. Overall, it's been a hit-and-miss with every new record since then, but the thing that remained constant in this transformation is that their music, regardless of whether or not it was bad or good, featured some very memorable content. I'm not too familiar with 12012's earlier years or even their mar maroon & Seven eras, but I will say that, within the context of these newer albums, I believe XI to be their best release yet. I will start out by saying that this album does not feature 12012's current heavy style (minus red). The album starts with vicious of absolution, which begins with an intro reminiscent of their last album The Swan. It quickly picks up into a slick guitar line and Wataru later joins in with a smooth and flowing melody. This pattern continues throughout the song until its short yet efficient ending. If I were to describe the track in two words it would be simple and eloquent. story of a different dimension kicks things up a notch with heavier fast paced drums and features some tight and distorted guitar playing. Even with this upbeat change, the song features a melancholy string solo and, almost, Gothic choir sequence. The best thing about the track though is definitely the guitars: They're charismatic and also played in a variety of styles keeping things interesting. The album finally gets more into the band's recent hardcore sound with the red. It's what you'd expect from a recent 12012 heavy song except that it's much cleaner in execution and Wataru's screams are done much better without delving into ridiculous loud shouting and vomit noise territory. There's even a short acoustic Spanish guitar break that's oh so sweet. It does begin to feel too long near the end with the song being just 3 seconds shy of 6 minutes. A lot of this, I feel, is contributed from a weak second melodic chorus. It gets especially sigh inducing the second time around when it transitions/becomes the climax of the song but just kinda stays the same. Still, this can be forgiven because of the catchy main guitar riff. alone is a sweet upbeat ballad that's somewhat of a throwback to their mar maroon/Seven era (at least in terms of the more poppy nature of the song). I find the bridge and chorus to be one of the more catchy melodic lines they've thrown at us in a while and just can't get enough of it. One thing I never really noticed in other songs but did in this one is the deep and rich tone of Wataru's voice. I usually don't notice this because he sings so high but alone really makes his voice shine. We now come to the final and longest song on the album, aqua. The first thing I'll say is that it's way too long. This song did not need to be over 9 minutes. Basically, it's the main chorus repeated again and again. The chorus is sung softly at first until the climax when everything is played at full force and then slowly fades out. I don't like the way the song fades out on this part because nothing is really happening in the music; it makes for a weak and unmemorable ending. Couple of suggestions: -If the song went into the climax after the piano break, I think it would've been much more tolerable. -Take out the bass solo (too flat and adds too much time) -Place the guitar solo at the end of the song to create a much more interesting fade out and keep the listener engaged. I think its fine as the closer to the album, but these few qualities really take away from the impact the track could have had. The songs individually are fairly strong, but I don't feel like that's where the strength of the album lies. Rather, I remember XII as a whole. I find it to be a fairly solid album from the start to finish having a smooth flow between songs, a uniform sound despite all songs being written by different members, and overall strong compositions. This is something their last few mini-albums lacked. Yes, the album doesn't have that recent hardcore and intense 12012 sound, but I'll trade a softer more refined album for a messy execution of a style that doesn't really match with them. I feel like this is a stable balance between their heavy and poppy sides. The album is brighter than Decida of Silence and The Swan but still retains a serious dark tone. I'm glad they're going on hiatus so they can take a break and perhaps think about what direction to go next, but I definitely don't want them to disband. I hope that they'll return with a fresh new release that continues to build on this style. [Kudos if you can guess where the skeleton image is from]
  19. Screw manages to roll out another mediocre album. Where there's potential, they take that and go their usual route, which makes for a less than thrilling ride. It's only been about a month and CDJapan is already selling it for 10% off. That should tell you what to anticipate. Nearly every song tries to be heavy or hardcore and they all begin to sound the same. They try to incorporate different elements like jazz and electronic/dub-step, but they aren't very well executed and distract more than add to the experience. Burst Forth, for example, is fast and intense mostly throughout but will have these short jazzy moments. But, they're too short and infrequent that it just seems out of place. Calvacade is another example where the electronic breakdowns don't have much to do with the rest of the song and in fact drag it down. These sections don't work because they're too distinct and sudden. I can understand changing the mood of a song but Screw's execution is choppy and awkward. A quick note on Eternal Flame, I'm all for the use of auto tune but Byo uses it throughout the entire song and it gets old fast. Calvacade also featured some auto tune but it was only used in some parts and much better executed. Also, evil passions sounds like the GazettE's my devil on the bed. The voice department especially falls flat as Byou just can not deliver the right vocals to back up the songs. His vocals don't have any power behind them and he sings some of the most unforgettable melodies. Also, his use of filters to add an harsh edge is as unsuccessful as ever. Not to say he can't sing entirely because sometimes he does sing well. I've been ripping apart this album head to toe but there are some nice moments. - mellow is a refreshing upbeat ballad that's a throwback to older Screw and reminds me of tracks like Celestial Bliss and Dearest Wish. Byo does a fine job here too. - The use of piano in Burst Forth, while very short, is beautiful. They should have pushed the piano instead of the jazzy parts. - オブセッション is a pretty neat track that mixes traditional Japanese sounds with a heavy vk style. - Helter Skelter has a decent chorus and breakdown. - 絶望の讃美歌's back up vocals in the chorus slightly remind me of BABY STAR. Overall, It's a weak album. There's not much variety and when the variety happens it's usually sloppy and unfitting. With tracks like mellow, though, a little bit of hope is restored and I'm now in a place where I look forward to their next release.....But not that much. Final Opinion 3/10 *edit 5/10 (some of the album really stuck with me even after about a week. I admit the album has more staying power than I initially gave it credit for. I still say.....)
  20. | Well at least you tried a little more. So after writing a rather positive review on Alice Nine's new single, a terribly unfunny review of a rather depressing release couldn't be left unpublished. I am very sceptical about the new 12012. I wasn't a big fan of their music before they lost their main composer, but when he was still around there were plenty of individual enjoyable songs that got a definite spot in my music library. When I heard the previews for this mini-album I slowly started to gain hope. The PV totally ruined that image, but that left aside, I had somewhat promising expectations when trying this mini after the shitfest that was their self-titled and CUNNING KILLER. Obviously, I was wrong. 身千切りの莟、奇しくも恍惚の桜 is a progressive track that sounds pretty nice up until the 2:40 mark, the rather annoying chugging left aside at some parts. However, when 2:40 kicks in, I just cringe. The heavier section did not match the feeling of the song, was completely unnecessary and Wataru still doesn't know how to properly use harsh vocals. Luckily this section is rather short, so I am able to forgive them for that. If you look past the few irritations this track has, it's fairly enjoyable. They actually seemed to have tried on this one. DEICIDA OF SILENCE was not much different from the average track on their self-titled, apart from the fact that they at least tried a little harder than on most of the formerly mentioned tracks. What I noticed in this mini-album is that the heavier sections always start at around the same point in the song, regardless of length. That falls more into the category of shitting out the same song five times in a row...not cool. Whatever happens at 2:00 I don't even know. Whether he's having a seizure or trying to summon the dramatic overlord Xenu I'm not sure of, but I do know for sure that even though it matches the song it just doesn't sound very healthy. That single section destroys anything slightly decent that the song had. CHABOO-CHABOO was one of my least favourite previews. I don't have much to say about it, it's a typical metalcore song with bad harsh vocals, countless chugging and the overly annoying CLICKCLICKCLICK. 夢喰い was my favourite when it came to the previews. It starts and ends very well. The focus is more on the melodic parts than on trying to sound overly heavy and brutal...until once again they think it's necessary to incorporate a heavy section into a song that doesn't NEED a section like that in order to sound good or give it a darker feeling. I get the feeling that 12012 is convinced that they can't make "heavy" songs without having to put in countless amounts of chugging, blastbeats and awful grunting. And with heavy I mean dark songs, strong guitars...like drone, basically. Correct me if I'm wrong, please, I'm not an expert. Anyway, this would've been a great track and probably the best one on the mini if only they would've let that heavy section out. But like with the first track it's fairly short, so I'm willing to forgive them and look past it...again. DOOR TO THE SKY has the same problem as 夢喰い has, misplaced metalcore elements. Overall it's decent with good parts here and there. The thing with these tracks is that you can hear on what parts they actually tried and on what parts they were like "how do we continue this? I don't know, let's just chug and abuse the bass pedals for around 30 seconds and then we'll be able to close it off without having to do anything remotely interesting." 12012 still hasn't found their way in their new direction and I don't think they will for the upcoming time. I just hope they realize they can also do the style they want to go for without overabusing the same elements time after time. It's not as bad as CUNNING KILLER or their self-titled, but in all honesty, that's not very hard. I hope at least some people will be able to enjoy this release though. -------- SILLINESS BEYOND THIS POINT, BEWARE! SO. I said this was going to be unfunny. As I'm still slightly torn on the fact I didn't get a flawless victory for my DIVISION review, I'm going to give a brief review of this mini-album in gifs. I am bored once again and my explanation on why I thought this mini wasn't very good has already been written down. 身千切りの莟、奇しくも恍惚の桜 DEICIDA OF SILENCE CHABOO-CHABOO 夢喰い DOOR TO THE SKY
  21. This is my first time ever writing a review, so I may not be the best at this, but here it goes... I received my copy of 蒼-AO-'s 3rd maxi-single, "Afterglow" today. I've been a fan of theirs since they first started, and they have improved greatly in sound production quality and overall music. This single shows that very well in my opinion. The first song, "Afterglow" starts off with a symphonic, almost operatic melody that quickly turns into symphonic power metal with heavy guitar riffs. The song continues with this melody, throwing in long, nice guitar solos here and there (obviously from ShuN, their guitarist who composes all the music). NEON sings clearly and powerfully with the music; I feel he has adapted his singing style to the symphonic power metal 蒼-AO- wants to play. (in their first single, it seemed like he wasn't sure how to sing along with the music.) The second song, "Insane Rose" is similar in how it starts out but is a heavier song than the previous one with faster guitar riffs. Again, NEON's voice compliments the music, singing about the struggles one experiences from a breakup. Overall, I think this single is the best they've released yet. It seems they've figured out where they want to go musically, sticking to symphonic metal and their theme of love and loss. I'm looking forward to what 蒼-AO- has in store for the future.
  22. Let me go ahead and say that the one downfall to this single is the instrumental of Shooting Star. It's lovely but during the A-melo, there isn't much going on besides the drums and the electronically distorted guitar...unless that's Saga. On the second verse you can hear Tora playing really quietly in the back. Shooting Star wasn't what everyone was expecting, but it's exactly as I predicted. Out of the 3 title tracks, Daybreak was going to be loved, Shadowplay would be the crown track, and Shooting Star would be in 3rd ranking. I, personally, love the song. It is rather relaxing and it does sound a little R&B but Shou sounds lovely and I'm not one to focus on Shou. Last time that happened was Hanagasumi from [9]. While I do love it, it is my least favorite of the 3 singles. Affection is a step in the right direction. This is the rock Alice Nine that I constantly want. There are some badass riffs, Shou sounds a little aggressive in his own way, there are some really awesome bass lines, and that guitar solo from Tora is just full of energy. I know most aren't going to like the auto-tuned "Come on, Come on, Come on" but I don't mind, I think Shou uses it very playfully here. I also love that the chorus isn't a chord progression but more of a riff than anything. I love the live version of Kasumi so that just bumped this single up a lot!
  23. Now I'm not in the mood to really write a huge in depth review or anything like that, but, I would just like to say that this album was my entry to this band. This album is the first thing I have listened to from coldrain, a band who I had previously avoided due to some pretty dumb reasons. This album was absolutely amazing to me, it had some pretty amazing songs: The Revelation, The War is On, Time Bomb, Chasing Dreams. All the other songs to me were all pretty good but not amazing. This album has some really amazing choruses which are just the highlights of most songs and I love that this album isn't full of heavy breakdowns all around, but it includes some pretty great, yet short, guitar solos or awesome melodic breaks between the songs. I went back to their previous releases such as The Enemy Inside and Through Clarity, my favorite song from Coldrain has to be Inside of Me from Through Clarity (it even helped inspire some new songwriting for me). I can definitely tell that in their new album, the drums sound a lot tighter, and the guitars are most focused on a melody than trying to keep the rhythm of the song with riffs. All in all, I have found an amazing new band to follow, some great new songs to jam out to, and an addition to my "Top albums of 2013"
  24. A very good release, best album they have put out so far (This is their second album LOL) This album was coming in with expectations I had from their past 3 singles. The title tracks didn't attract me as much like Starry Heaven and NOAH, but INNOCENCE was really badass. The only thing exciting me was the thought of getting more songs like the final track on the Starry Heaven single or SHADOWS from INNOCENCE. The preview for Tears got me a little down cause it sounded like they were doing some poppy ballad type song, but, it wasn't entirely that and I ended up loving it. The one thing I have always loved about Royz, besides the crazy melodies that are almost unexpected in most songs, is Subaru's voice. It has a sort of soothing lullaby to it and the fact that he can growl makes him and the band a lot more interesting. Kind of like with SuG and Howling Magic, once you heard Takeru growl, you kind of felt like: "Holy shit, maybe this might start getting good" Royz was already good but they just got better. This album brought forth some really amazing songs, and unlike their first album, I don't find myself skipping songs to find the good ones and listen to the rest later. アルカロイド was the first step towards more INNOCENCE type songs, 糜楼 was their next heavy sided song, claiming the spot as my Favorite song of this album, followed up by FlashBack which to me resembled SHADOWS a lot. We got some great ballads such as アテナ with such a calming slow acoustic melody in the melody, and then you get an uplifting, cheesy if I might add, song right after which gains the spot as my least favorite song. Don't be mislead though, it's still good, it's just not my cup of tea. Why the hell didn't I have 恋花火 on my iPod beforehand? I thought I had their whole disco, amazing song. Very nice fast tempo that gets me energized. The final song Aerial Cord gave me some hope with a name that awesome. I was hoping for a fast song but it was more in the mid-tempo style of songs. That's not a problem here. Sorry if my reviews aren't as astounding as Zess but my hope is that some people read my reviews on these amazing bands and decide to give them a try.
  25. I secretly expected this thread to have popped up already (because Augie usually starts Alice Nine review threads), but since it hasn't, I figured I'd open up a review thread for the second instalment of Alice Nine's 3 month-consecutive single releases. I liked DAYBREAK for what it was, a more mellow side of Alice Nine that successfully showed their progress as musicians. It wasn't their best, but it was a nice single. When I heard Shou would be the one composing the A-side for SHADOWPLAY, I was a bit worried. Shou has only composed one track for the band so far and that one is one of my least favourite Alice Nine A-sides of the past few years. Needless to say, Shou really outdid himself on this one. SHADOWPLAY is a song that I'd put in line with their GEMINI album. It's a bit difficult to get into at first, but when it hits, it HITS. The piano in the background was a nice add to the general feeling of the song and doesn't mindlessly play in the background as some songs usually tend to have. It's a vital part of the song and I love how they incorporated it. The guitar solo is probably one of the best solos of theirs I heard since GEMINI and the general atmosphere of the song is just very epic and powerful. Scarlet is a song I hadn't heard before but apparently has been played live before the release. Scarlet matches the atmosphere of the A-side. It's dark, more distorted and overall rather powerful. The bass shines in this song, and listening to it really gives you the idea that they really thought this through. I personally prefer SHADOWPLAY over Scarlet, but Scarlet is still a good song. The guitarwork after the solo is the best part of the song in my opinion, it really shows how well Hiroto and Tora can blend together. My final rating for the single: I prefer it over DAYBREAK, and I'm really excited for their third single now!
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