Nights of Blood
Sabaku no Kouro
Yume no Kyoukai
Sono Negai ga Tsumi Naraba
Marionette no Koi Moyou
1. Nights of Blood
The album begins nicely with a light and slow tune with Nights of Blood (with such a title though, you’d expect something 10x more heavier). I have to say that the intro though was a tease because right when the piano intro ends, Kurose revs up the guitars and the song shifts into this speedy rock song. KOKOMI joins in and the song sounds like something we’ve all heard before from Asriel which is more or less a good thing. It’s not bad, but a little typical.
Unlike “Nights of Blood” the song immediately begins on a high note and is one of their more chaotic songs in their discography and most of the time, this is where Kurose shines in arrangements. It’s heavy and it actually fits KOKOMI’s vocals since she doesn’t sound as thin and shaky which is definitely a good sign for me. This is pretty damn good!!!
3. Sabaku no Kouro
Things go into weird mode with Sabaku no Kouro which kind of sounds Indian in a certain light mixed with Kurose’s normal Gothic arrangement. I would have to say the background is a bit loud and kind droning but the guitars/strings and KOKOMI try to deal with that by being louder. Sadly, her vocal performance is really weak and she sings mostly in a higher tone which bothers me a lot here. Yeah not good.
Fortunately, the album moves away from the ickyness of “Sabaku no Kouro” into BIRTH which is just straight up rock with not a lot of strings (though they are more of the background stuff). It’s like they took the annoying things from the previous track and left off something good here. KOKOMI sounds slightly better here luckily so it’s exactly wished the previous track was.
Asriel keeps tricking me on this album with these intros because they start off slow and quietly and then does a 180 and turns the energy by 100%. It’s actually one of the more cooler tracks since it has a certain quality that makes it stand out (maybe because it’s not all fast and shit XD). It’s actually another one of my favorites on the album!!!
6. Yume no Kyoudai
Then the next track comes up and tones things down a little more but it’s more of a mid-tempo track but still has moments of intense rock which is more or less starting rub off on me in a negative way. KOKOMI’s voice is back to its terribly shaky status and kind of ruins the song for me for the most part.
7. Sono Negai ga Tsumi Naraba
Such a dark and foreboding intro with this one! I actually love that for some reason, but then the guitars come in and the whole feeling just disintegrates. I mean it still continues on well-after, but would it have killed Kurose to leave the guitars for this one. I feel like this would’ve been an amazing ballad. Since it isn’t the song is still good, just not the style I would’ve personally put it in.
I wonder if ILLUMINATE is supposed to be the epic track because it’s loud and in your face. Sadly, the song just doesn’t do much for me since it’s melodically kind of stale and once again sounds like tons of songs Asriel has done before. Plus KOKOMI seemed to kind of struggle in the song because her voice cracks so much in the song…terrible song!
As the album’s longest track (a little over 7 minutes), Botan is kind of lighter and doesn’t seem to run the same angsty tone like most of the other tracks on here which is slightly a good thing for the album. After “ILLUMINATE” it’s really nice to hear KOKOMI actually sound good and hitting high notes without making me cringe. There’s even a really cool flute solo in the middle. A bit long, but it’s quite worth it!
10. Marionette no Koi Moyou
I guess the flutes made another appearance opening our next track. Once Kurose inserts guitars, the song is another mid-tempo anison-esque track which is nothing that raises my spirits any. It’s mostly a forgetful track for the most part and I’m bored with it.
11. Shirayuki Matoi
The same can be applied with Shirayuki Matoi which also has a beautiful intro but leads into mundane and unoriginality. The song actually sounds a LOT like “Marionette no Koi Moyou” but the melody actually stands out a smidge more. Beyond that, the song doesn’t do much otherwise for me.
The final track, XANADU is kind of disappointing for a closing song because once again it kind of just sounds like most of the previous tracks (and moreso stuff from their last album, “Oratorium”). I don’t know but at this point this is just white noise to me and this didn’t exactly close the album well x.x
Song of Avoidance
Well it seems like XANADU takes Asriel back down again. I mean this was even more bland than their last album, “Oratorium”! I’m shocked though that there’s no ballad in sight here and most of the songs could be strung together and it would feel like one LONG song. It just really was boring and Asriel has seen MUCH better days.