Kurayami Monogatari

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Kalafina – Consolation May 9, 2013

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 8:15 am

consolation

Track Listing

  1. al fine
  2. consolation
  3. moonfesta
  4. Door
  5. Mirai
  6. Hanataba
  7. Signal
  8. obbligato
  9. Kiichigo no Shigemi ni
  10. Manten
  11. to the beginning
  12. Hikari Furu
  13. Yume no Daichi

1. al fine

The album opens with a two minute intro with al fine which starts off very mystically with some ethereal and shadowy sounds with Kalafia singing far away.  Once this short passage is over, the vocals start to come out a bit more into the open and it’s just really beautiful alongside the added strings to give it some backbone.  Then it quietly ends…not bad for an intro!

2. consolation

Then we are thrown into the title track of the album and instantly the song pulls you into this really cool chanting intro, then the song opens up into this heavy rockin’ song like “Magia” was and I was blown away because of the awesomeness from HIKARU and KEIKO together but more of the former in the song in the song.  It’s just a really powerful and edgy song and I was quite surprised this is the first full track of the album!  I was blown away…what a great way to kick things off!

3. moonfesta

Which is a VERY strange contrast moving from the angry and powerful song into the Children’s song from Kalafina…moonfesta still amazes me with its light and playful nature, but when you put that after “consolation” you’re bound to get some very STRANGE looks from your fans.  This is definitely a very unique song that kind of is in the vein of like “Natsu no Ringo” and “Hikari no Senritsu”, but there’s something magical about this track.  I think WAKANA (or KEIKO) led this one and I liked that about it…one of the more interesting A-sides in Kalafina’s career!

4. Door

Our next new track on the album, Door kind of reminded me of “al fine” with that ethereal opening which stays in the song for most of it (makes me wonder if they were originally planning this song to be the first vocal track >.>).  WAKANA gave a pretty performance for most of the time she was singing.  It does remind of past ballads, but there’s something really sweet about it (especially the little electric guitar melodies in the solo).  Good song!

5. Mirai

When I reviewed this B-side back on “Hikari Furu”, I felt this song was a more progressive “Eden” and that still stands as I review the album.  It still kind of gives me that feeling of flight and the movement song just adds more to that ideal I had.  I will say that it’s one of the more weaker songs especially after the last couple of tracks, but I can’t really say why it’s forgettable…

6. Hanataba

Oh that accordion opening the song was just icky at first and you can hear the buttons being pressed too >.>.  Of course HIKARU leads this track and it’s really nice since her voice just sounds perfect.  I thought it was going to be a dead ballad, but the song grows into this mid-tempo affair with band instruments and accordion thrown here and there.  I quite like this track overall!

7. Signal

I just love that Kajiura always puts on at least one awesome dance track on the album and for Consolation, that song is Signal.  It opens with a very ominous intro with deep drums before whooshing into a electro beat with Kalafina singing along it.  I will say that I love that it sounds so tribal and mysterious all rolled up in a ball!  They were definitely going for an epic track and they really pulled it off (even if “consolation” still kicks its ass).  Though the random accordion/keyboard solo was a bit weird…but Signal is a great song nonetheless!

8. obbligato

Moving into the longest track off the album, obbligato is a really another one of the unsettling songs on the album that really catch your attention.  This song is technically another rock track but this has a bit more in common with “Mata Kaze ga Tsuyoku Natta” from their debut album.  I do like they stuck to the term of obbligato because there’s a lot of repeated melodies to be found here as well.  Though I will say that this song just goes on for too long and for a song that’s made the way it is…that’s not a good thing to do IMO.  Not bad, but too long for its own good.

9. Kiichigo no Shigemi ni

I’m happy that this album contains a bit less ballads from “After Eden” and with that being said, we’re on our next ballad.  It’s got this regal kind of feel about it and I love the orchestration about this song since it’s so dramatic and it flows so smoothly.  I found it surprising that it’s only a little over 3 minutes in length so you could see my shock come in (especially after “obbligato”).  The harmonizations though were great too…short but sweet, I like that.

10. Manten

Getting into the tracks from the singles, the first is Manten (B-side from “to the beginning”).  If I took the previous track and leveled it out more riggedly and added some drums and guitars, we’d get this track.  Back on the single review, I really enjoyed this song.  Here, it’s not the best track…but we get to hear KEIKO a lot more than before next to HIKARU who leads the track.  Kind of reminds of “Kizuato” from their debut single actually…not bad of a song though ^^

11. to the beginning

Yeah, moving to the single that started the era, to the beginning still has a hard time cementing its place on me.  I know Kajiura leads FictionJunction, but this song was more suited for them rather than Kalafina because like “obbligato” it kind of lacks something about it.  I will say that the high notes throughout are impressive and the ladies give a great performance, but iono…this song just didn’t do it for me.

12. Hikari Furu

Which is the same way I feel about the 3rd and final single released for the album.  Though it has slightly grown on me because it reminds me of “seventh heaven” with that empty spaced arrangement.  I love the vocals though, they’re probably at their best in this song (ballad-wise).  However, it does sound like a couple of previous ballads, so it’s definitely not a grand-slammer of a song…but it’s pretty strong!

13. Yume no Daichi

Ending the album, we get the song that actually promoted the album and while it’s not a dramatic ballad like “symphonia” was, Yume no Daichi kind of sounds like what if “Mirai” and “Natsu no Ringo” had babies.  It really does have closing theme in its style though and I appreciate that quite a bit…but it does become background fodder as the song kind of sounds one way throughout (as in like the melody is never changing really).

Tracks Recommended

  • consolation
  • Signal
  • Kiichigo no Shigemi ni
  • moonfesta
  • Hanataba

Song of Avoidance

  • Mirai

Kalafina’s 4th album did actually impress me more than what “After Eden” did.  The strangest thing is how the album songs stomped all over the singles (and respective B-sides).  Kajiura must’ve had a brainstorming session and came out with this and it really worked for the most part.  I really had worries because of how disappointing the singles were but Kajiura saved her ass with this one…another great album from Kalafina!

 

3 Responses to “Kalafina – Consolation”

  1. 123 Says:

    Nice review. I really like consolation (the song), the only thing that bugs me about it is in the chorus where poor Wakana doesn’t seem to have a good place to take a breath. I agree with you on Mirai, it seems to me a bit poppy and bland and doesn’t have as much awesomeness as the others. Personally, my favourite was Manten. Anyway, I’m glad Kalafina picked up a bit after After Eden.

    Also, I think you’re getting some of the singers mixed up sorry😦
    Hikaru is leading in moonfesta, Wakana in Manten (mostly). It helps picking them apart if you watch them live (and can tell them by looks).
    Eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeJdI2J3p0Q
    Wakana sings the verse (on the right), Keiko mostly does backing (middle), Hikaru sings the chorus (left)

  2. I love this album.

    I think the part that I like the most, is that KEIKO appears more in the songs (more solos), than After Eden.
    Like signal, I love that KEIKO got a solo in the song and also for Hanataba and Door🙂
    About moonfesta the one leading the song is HIKARU, meanwhile WAKANA appears more after half the song, with KEIKO as background vocals.

  3. Matt91_ Says:

    Personally, I liked After Eden more. I thought this album was all over the place – by no means bad, it’s quite good, btu less cohesive than its predecessor. Well, I’m liking this album more with each new listen, but it didn’t leave a strong impression in the first time as After Eden did.

    But yay, more Keiko.


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