- The ether
- Tsuki Yabareru – Time to SMASH!
- Thread of fate
- HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS ~Get the Power~
- Summer Blizzard
- Dream Crusader
- Phantom Pain
- CRIMSON AIR
- Count ZERO
- The party must go on
- The edge of Heaven & Revolution
- Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Re:boot) (CD only)
- Thread of fate (Re:boot) (CD only)
1. The ether
Opening up the album is an introduction of sorts with The ether. It’s a pretty interesting intro with the kind of weird mechanical sounds mixed with Daisuke’s more breezier strings section (and some interesting Final Fantasy-esque sounding melodies). Then it kind of ends and there’s this rush of sound bridging up to our first new track!
Which leads to a fanfare intro and then Takanori’s voice just barrels in and the song switches gears into something VERY familiar to T.M. fans out there! Taking some fast paced beats and strong vocals, the song just meshes all the things that I love from them into this track. Honestly, I felt like there was some ideas taking from stuff like “INVOKE”. “Zips”, “Naked arms”. and even “resonance” and just spliced them into an amazing song to kick this album off! AWESOME! Though, chosen as the recut single AND it doesn’t have an original B-side to it? Shady stuff there…
Moving onto AMAKAZE which sounded like it was the promotional song for the album as it’s tied to an anime, AMAKAZE honestly sounds like a song best left for abingdon boys school, hell if I didn’t even know better, I would’ve immediately thought it WAS them. Touting a heavier rock sound, it’s a pretty good song regardless though I do find that DOUBLE-DEAL had more energy and power behind it. I actually did LOVE the verses for some reason! Just enjoy the lighter riffs and then the pre-chorus just opens the song up. Fitting song for the anime and for this album.
4. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!
As the 2nd A-side released for the album, Tsuki Yabureru just made me worry about how the rest of the era would’ve turned out as it wasn’t a song I really enjoyed. As I’ve said in the single review, this song sounds like a VERY watered down take of “Naked arms” with the pulsating beat and everything. Maybe it’s just me, but Takanori sounds rough too…very scratchy voice honestly! Also, very short song for an A-side (2:51). Didn’t satisfy me and definitely didn’t impress after he took a 3 year break.
5. Thread of fate
Which didn’t help that the B-side from the single once again comes after it. Thread of fate does tone things down a bit which is a nice change of pace, but there’s something off about it still. I mean the jazzier vibe and almost old T.M.Revolution sound is a great thing to have here and Takanori sounds nice, but there’s just something that doesn’t seem right in this song and I can’t figure it out. I will say I do enjoy it a lot more than it’s coupling A-side that’s for certain. Maybe it’ll continue to grow on me.
6. HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS ~Get The Power~
So T.M.R also released two digital single as well and they are both up next (yes, I’m not counting the duets with Nana Mizuki). We start with the one released later with HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS and my first thought was…is Takanori working with Bentley Jones? The banging arrangement is really interesting and the slower pre-chorus is nice too. Though I wasn’t sure what to think of the song as a whole…maybe it could’ve been an access song too hahaha. It’s definitely an interesting song and the different vocal readings are fun to follow along.
7. Summer Blizzard
The other digital single is the bizarrely titled Summer Blizzard and I wasn’t expecting a song like this. Now I’m not too big on Takanori’s voice being under vocal filters, but the arrangement is pretty exciting and has a simple, but effective EDM feel. Is it weird that I think it’s one of the better songs from the album?😛
Back to a couple more new songs, Salvage is up next and I INSTANTLY fell in love with that opening! Then things just got weird when Daisuke introduces some dubsteppy parts on top of the synth/keyboard melodies. I wasn’t sure what to think because I was confused where it wanted to be between a ballad or some dance track (I would’ve preferred the lack of the dubstep parts honestly). Can’t help, but say it’s a little messy here (though I got “AQUALOVERS” vibes here).
9. Dream Crusader
Now this song is pulling some nostalgic vibes for me. Actually, why does it remind me of “Tears Macerate Reason”? The powerful choruses, the electric guitar vibes, and the slowish tempo of the song overall, just REALLY reminds me of that song and that was a while ago. Despite the similarities, I did enjoy this song and definitely made up for “Salvage’s” strangeness.
10. Phantom Pain
Then we get into the 3rd A-side released and Phantom Pain and I’m starting to wonder if Takanori/Daisuke is trying to hit this nostalgic chord on this album because when I reviewed this song I immediately thought of “THUNDERBIRD”. That’s not bad, but considering how this album has been so far, it’s getting a bit strange actually lol. I still do love Phantom Pain though and still is up there for best song on the album.
11. CRIMSON AIR
For a song titled as such, I wasn’t expecting a song like this. I’m loving the power chords from the guitar and the verses with the acoustic guitar (and some of Daisuke’s trickery). It’s got a unique sound to it and I just love the different transitions this tune goes through and the chorus is just a nice punch to the face. Really cool track overall!
12. Count ZERO
Now as I have heard the live performance of this, I was wondering what the original studio version sounded like since I never reviewed the single (which was a joint single with SCANDAL). I love the strings opening and the 180 twist to this VERY hyper dance track. Like “DOUBLE-DEAL”, Count ZERO excels because of it’s strong arrangement and punching beat. Honestly, this song is a winner and I was wanting a song like this since “Naked arms”!
I feel like the duo just shoved this at the end for no other reason, like a last minute inclusion. It shows because this single was released in 2011! I will say it does fit the album ironically and coming after “Count ZERO”, FLAGS really has a certain Daisuke charm to it (like a “Doubt&Trust” vibe). I loved that they included it, but I’m not sure placing the single at the end was a good idea?
14. The party must go on
Which makes this song the oddball of the album. As the B-side from “FLAGS” it definitely wasn’t better than the track which isn’t surprising, but I felt like this song has gotten considerably weaker as time went on for me. The guitarwork isn’t as quite interesting (also, it didn’t feel like it worked). Then again the 90s keyboard strikes and ~WOO~ made it a lot harder to listen to. LOL, they should’ve just shoved “UTAGE” on this album too😄.
15. The edge of Heaven and Revolution
The album ends normally with this track and what a bizarre way to close this album. I mean the songs on this album have been mostly powerful and serious tracks (maybe not “Summer Blizzard”) but hey. The edge of Heaven and Revolution is literally a mood changer to a happier place and the arrangement is also quite light-hearted as well. I think after going through this album, I think this ending piece just left a bad taste in my mouth. By itself, it’s actually decent and Daisuke’s arranging is refreshing to hear…still…not a good way to close this album with.
16. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Re:boot)
On CD onlys of the album, we get two bonus tracks and ironically it’s to the weakest single of the era. I thought they’d be live versions like what we got from “Phantom Pain”, but no! They’re rearranged and Tsuki Yabureru was obvious when the synths were changed up to not be at the forefront and the rock variation took over and I actually preferred this version over the original! It’s still short though…but still…a great version!
17. Thread of fate (Re:boot)
The other is of course to Thread of fate and the differences aren’t quite as obvious as it was with the previous track. Maybe a little more interesting things in the chorus is all can pick up. I still think it’s an odd song, but it’s an interesting song regardless.
- Phantom Pain
- CRIMSON AIR
Song of Avoidance
- Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!
It’s been quite a while since the duo released an album and we finally come back with “Ten”. Honestly, most of this album felt like a nostalgic trip through what made T.M.Revolution so amazing in the first place and it worked many times and other times just fell flat. I do think it’s a LOT better than the new songs we were given from “CLOUD NINE” so really it’s just a couple songs I wasn’t a big fan of.