Kurayami Monogatari

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SDN48 – MIN・MIN・MIN August 18, 2011

Filed under: SDN48 — solarblade @ 10:08 am

Track Listing

  1. MIN・MIN・MIN
  2. Onedari Champagne (Undergirls A)
  3. Abazure (Undergirls B)
  4. Everyday, Katyusha (SDN48 ver.)
  5. MIN・MIN・MIN (off vocal)
  6. Onedari Champagne (off vocal)
  7. Abazure (off vocal)
  8. Everyday, Katyusha (off vocal)

1. MIN・MIN・MIN

I always knew that SDN48 would be the group to use so much synths in their songs and it shows in their 3rd A-side.  The girls do return to using whispery vocals like how they used it in “GAGAGA”.  Sadly, the chorus lacks a real tight hook and the ladies this time sound not so much melodic as they did in their debut A-side as well which is a frown.  Though I will say that it does beat their last one by a big amount.

2. Onedari Champagne

Just like the previous two singles we get two tracks from the split team of Undergirls starting with A and Onedari Champagne.  That beginning though is annoying as hell for sure since it’s them yelling.  They don’t sound as together like before and the song doesn’t really do much for me since it’s just an upbeat track with stronger vocals than found in “MIN・MIN・MIN”.  That’s not a good sign for this single.

3. Abazure

Thank god that Abazure fixes things for the time being.  Unlike the last track the arrangement is a bit more ear-catching and better vocals are also found within this tune.  Even the chorus sounds strong and the dance style feels perfect if not a little too light and cute but still comes off a bit sexy…Why couldn’t they have made this into the A-side eh?

4. Everyday, Katyusha (SDN48 ver.)

So I guess Rachel doesn’t get another solo song (sad face, Reiko is an amazing singer in the group).  Instead, we get a somewhat new version of AKB48’s last A-side and already from the beginning the song I can hear changes.  The biggest thing is that the song is in a different key and there’s a bit more guitars present.  Vocally, I seriously can’t tell the difference so it feels the same for me. 

 

 

 

I’m rather on the fence for SDN48’s 3rd single of their debut era.  It just seems that the A-side was a step up from “Ai, Chuseyo” but somehow the B-sides kind of lost its step this time around and while Abazure was the only plus side to the single I still love the previous B-sides a lot more sadly.  I didn’t understand why they needed to have their own version of Everyday, Katyusha because besides the key change nothing else really feels different right down to the vocals.  Kind of a bummer single overall.

 

DIR EN GREY – DUM SPIRO SPERO

Filed under: DIR EN GREY — solarblade @ 7:30 am

Track Listing

  1. Kyoukatsu no Nari
  2. THE BLOSSOMING BEELZEBUB
  3. DIFFERENT SENSE
  4. AMON
  5. “Yokusou ni DREAMBOX” Arui wa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame
  6. Juuyoku
  7. Shitataru Mourou
  8. LOTUS
  9. DIABOLOS
  10. Akatsuki
  11. DECAYED CROW
  12. Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami
  13. VANITAS
  14. Ruten no Tou

1. Kyoukatsu no Nari

Hmmm, strange piano chords open the album up with this 2 minute introduction to the album.  After the strange chords, it gets rather destructive for the rest of the time being as there’s dissonant sounds coming from everywhere and static and maybe Kyo doing something with his vocals maybe?  I don’t know but since it really didn’t have a focal point this seemed rather pointless.

2. THE BLOSSOMING BEELZEBUB

As I look at the tracklist I see too absurdly long tracks on this album and the first one comes after the introduction.  The beginning does have a slow start and continues to have it for the first half of the song since it’s mostly instrumentation and Kyo ad-libbing the song.  However, once the second half starts Kyo does start to sing with the slow and destructive arrangement and it sounds evil for sure.  He doesn’t pull many of his vocal stunts like he did in the singles but it’s interesting…but did it have to be more than 7 minutes long???

3. DIFFERENT SENSE

Turning the energy up is the 3rd and final A-side released in the era and since I’ve seen the PV for it…I can say what a weird ass band lmfao.  Like I’ve said on the single review of this single, I said that the only song I really knew from them was “saku” because of its popularity in the states back when.  This tune showed me a lot more of this wild side to the band and Kyo’s singing ten fold.  It’s so strange yet enticing and then he gets all melodic and it’s like how is he capable of such things!  It’s a song to oddly experience because it has so much emotion strung through so it did went up on my songs to listen to.

4. AMON

Our next track, AMON sounds just as gritty as “DIFFERENT SENSE” in the way the arrangement starts off but once Kyo enters the song it does get faster and full of more guitars to shake a fist at.  Kyo does seem like he’s singing against the melody of the guitars and percussion which gives this uncomfortable atmosphere.  It’s an interesting concept and in some places it works and other times it doesn’t.  Not as good as the previous song…but it has its merits.

5. “Yokusou ni DREAMBOX” Arui wa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame

Another crazy long title to deal with?  Yokusou ni DREAMBOX actually kind of reminds me of a more creepier “LOTUS” since Kyo doesn’t seem to really incorporate his screeches or growling which I’ve said before makes me take notice of the song together.  I will say that his high notes are insane and he hits them strongly.  The second half did feel a little jagged, but otherwise I like this tune for sure.

6. Juuyoku

As this to me is the quickest and hardest tune I’ve come to yet, Juuyoku is definitely the antithesis to “Yokusou ni DREAMBOX” in where Kyo is flying all over the place, screeching…singing high notes, and growling in such rapid succession.  The band is also like they have fire under their asses playing since it’s so heavy and so damn fast!  I will say I kind of pushed away from the music because it was all too much…probably my first disappointment in the album.

7. Shitataru Mourou

After that injection from “Juuyoku” I was definitely wanting the band to calm down a little and they seemed to have done that with our next song.  At first I thought the arrangement had no direction, but they know what they’re doing and Kyo made the puzzle complete when he starts singing.  He does slip in between singing and growling so it’s not too bothersome for me.  Then the high notes came and it just was spooooooky.  It does get more interesting towards the end, but this wasn’t a bad track either.

8. LOTUS

I will admit that I still think it’s one of the album’s best tracks and it was released as the second A-side!  It’s more than likely because this was straight up Kyo singing the song and he sounds great when he isn’t flipping out or getting all demonic in the song hahaha.  I will say that amongst the other songs on the album, this is one of the more slower, ballad-like songs and continues to leave a good impression on me.

9. DIABOLOS

Then we come to the longest song off the album breaking at almost 10 minutes.  I’m sure there’s probably a story with this one because of the crazy length of the tune.  It starts off quite calmly with Kyo and the guitars being calm but it moves into quicker areas and even more slow places as time wears on.  Same thing can be said about Kyo since he changes his vocal settings during the changes as well.  Very long track and kind of bores me once I hit 7 minutes lol.

10. Akatsuki

I’m still shaking off the boredom out of “DIABOLOS” by the time this starts up and Akatsuki sounds pretty mysterious (kind of hard to tell with the other songs, but this one seriously has an interesting arrangement).  I think it’s also the first time I heard some filtering being used, but it’s light.  It’s interesting and Kyo sounds interesting enough to keep my ears listening to hear how much more creepier it can get.  I liked it!

11. DECAYED CROW

Kind of like “Juuyoku” this one is more wilder than the other songs if not as equal because the problems from the former tune is present in this one as well but I barely can tell what’s being said in the tune.  They are just twins in how hard it is to listen to this entirely…I don’t even know which one did worse at this point…

12. Hageshisa to, Kono Mune no Naka de Karamitsuita Shakunetsu no Yami

The first A-side comes next and I’m still not too impressed by this as much as I was with “LOTUS” and “DIFFERENT SENSE”.  I mean the arrangement does comes off like a couple of other tracks on this album.  I will say that I approved of Kyo singing first before going into his growling and it’s only a small step above “Juuyoku” and “DECAYED CROW” because there are parts where there’s actual singing.  Plus, that note slide he does is just epic!

13. VANITAS

A song about the Kingdom Hearts character NO WAY!!!!….just kidding.  I was pleasantly taken aback that the song was a 180 after the quick-paced “Hageshisa to…” by the fact that it starts out with light guitar and lighter vocals from Kyo.  I think this is more of a ballad than “LOTUS” is and that works for me.  I actually think between that and “LOTUS” this is the cleanest song off the album and that’s amazing.  Yeah, I dig this tune quite well actually!

14. Ruten no Tou

As it is the actual album’s closer, Ruten no Tou might’ve fit better if it was placed before “VANITAS” because it’s another loud hitter and the arrangement is wild, yet controlled.  It’s alright but there’s parts where Kaoru (guitarist) and Shinya (drums) didn’t really see eye to eye in parts and it kind of lost it’s charm quickly.  Yeah, not so good of an album closer but whatever.

Tracks Recommended

  • LOTUS
  • VANITAS
  • Akatsuki
  • “Yokusou ni DREAMBOX” Arui wa Seijuku no Rinen to Tsumetai Ame
  • DIFFERENT SENSE

Song of Avoidance

  • Juuyoku

I know I cover a lot of bands in J-rock-land and V-kei-land but DIR EN GREY is seriously in their own category of rock just because of the glaring style they have.  DUM SPIRO SPERO is my first album I’ve listened to by them and I will say they didn’t have filler tracks but they had some misses however.  Though some of the better songs felt like it told a story and Kyo just has an interesting way to convey it.  I think in time I can get used to him doing all those vocals the way he does but right now it’s an above average album ^_^