Kurayami Monogatari

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FLOW – #10 March 4, 2016

Filed under: FLOW — solarblade @ 7:07 am

10

Track Listing

  1. Niji no Sora -Album Ver-
  2. Oblivion feat. HISASHI (GLAY)
  3. DARK SHADOW feat. TeddyLoid
  4. Steppin’ out
  5. Hikari Oikakete -Crystal Lake mix-
  6. Chimimouryou feat. Hayate
  7. DECATHLON feat. AFRA
  8. JOY TO THE WORLD feat. Kiba of Akiba
  9. World Symphony
  10. Good Days ~Kimi wo Wasurenai~

1. Niji no Sora -Album Ver-

So opening the album we get a new version of the first single they released this era and really there’s not a total reason for it because it’s just a new intro to the song (which could’ve easily been an introduction track).  Beyond that, it’s the same song which is pretty great as I liked it originally as well!  I do think it’s a safe song for them because it’s a lot like their other Naruto themes and some other anime-tie-in songs out there, but it’s pretty good!

2. Oblivion feat. HISASHI (GLAY)

Moving into new songs, Oblivion is a different change of pace getting the help of the legendary guitarist, HISASHI and he makes his appearance WELL KNOWN by his heavy sound.  Both vocalists give a strong performance, even though the song panders between a hard rock sound to a more poppier side in the pre-chorus.   I wasn’t sure about the bridge with KEIGO though being a totally odd section to the furious song though…It’s a cool song and a nice hard-hitting track to really push the album up!

3. DARK SHADOW feat. TeddyLoid

Now, I know TeddyLoid from his stuff and remixes so I wasn’t sure how his sound would fuse with FLOW’s sound and it’s an odd mixture to say the least.  I like that the band stills gives off a heavy vibe, but I’m not totally on board with hearing KEIGO/KOHSHI being under auto-tune…it just never fully appealed to me I guess.  I think without that, it would’ve been an amazing song, but the auto-tune kills my interest a bit.

4. Steppin’ out

Which is funny that Steppin’ out comes next as it fixes the problems I had with the previous track!  Being the 2nd A-side from the album (and the only old track that was left untouched), Steppin’ out was a pretty interesting song for the band as it has an interesting rhythm going for it and a mix of their rock style and a bit of a more dance vibe.  Then there’s the whole carousel-like section in the second verse with KEIGO.  A bit better of an A-side than “Niji no Sora” but there’s better ones out there.

5. Hikari Oikakete -Crystal Lake mix-

I actually was surprised to make the cut because Hikari Oikakete originally was so bland and forgetful (even if it was a B-side to begin with).  Though we get a new version of it on the album and it was a BIG change.  Instead of being the typical FLOW song, this new version makes it a ballad with flowing strings and KOHSHI/KEIGO resinging the tune to fit this new arrangement.  While I do appreciate trying to make it stand out more, it unfortunately became more boring as a ballad.  There was just nothing to really keep me interested and it’s a minute longer than the original >.<  Just wasn’t feeling it…

6. Chimimouryou feat. Hayate

As the rest of the album is new songs, we start with Chimimouryou which opens up with an interesting shimasen melody that keeps up with the song.  I’m kind of liking this riff that’s going on and the band are being harder-hitting, but not like they were in “Oblivion”.  I like the hard sound and FLOW sounds pretty good, but I wonder where Hayate is in the song unless he’s one of the guitarists (wouldn’t be surprised).  I quite like this one a lot!

7. DECATHLON feat. AFRA

I think the weirdest song on the album is definitely DECATHLON which features AFRA and already from his beatboxing and rapping, simply annoys me.  Even the band tries to keep up with some rapping and light vocals and then all of a sudden they’re spelling the title of the song and that ends up being the chorus.  It does come off a bit too messy and nothing really correlates to a normal track, so it’s a tough one to listen to to be quite honest…

8. JOY TO THE WORLD feat. Kiba of Akiba

I definitely recognize this featured band as they’ve released a single with BABYMETAL.  With FLOW this time, JOY TO THE WORLD initially made me chuckle because the title reminds me of that Christmas song xD.  However, it’s anything but that because it’s the hardest song of the album with power drumming and an overall metal (which included some growling from one of the vocalists of Kiba of Akiba) and KOHSHI and later on KEIGO join in the wild adventure.  While I do feel the title being sung in the song makes things awkward like crazy, arrangement-wise it’s pretty decent and FLOW suited the overall tone.

9. World Symphony

I actually did know of this song from last year due to it being involved with J-MELO and due to that, I was so happy to see it made the cut!  I know, it’s a bit lighter than most of the songs of the album, but I feel like it represents FLOW’s sound the best alongside “Niji no Sora” but this is definitely nice to include synths and a positive tone throughout!  Though I have to admit their English is pretty odd during the bridge and it’s the album’s shortest track at that…I still felt this song was a more memorable track here.

10. Good Days ~Kimi wo Wasurenai~

Funny how we move from the shortest to the longest on the album being over 7 minutes!!!  The final track on the album, Good Days is the band’s mid-tempo rock ballad and it’s a pretty hard listen to stay in for the full time.  I will say the major parts of it are nice and the band sounds sentimental almost which is nice but dedicating almost three minutes to na-na-na-ings and dissonant chords just doesn’t justify its need (at least to me it doesn’t).  If they took it out, I think it would be a nice song to close things out with…just too long!

Tracks Recommended

  • Chimimouryou feat. Hayate
  • Steppin’ out
  • World Symphony
  • Niji no Sora -Album Ver.-

Song of Avoidance

  • DECATHLON feat. AFRA

For being the band’s 10th album, I would thin they would’ve done more with it than what we ended up getting.  #10 isn’t a poor album to say the least as they’ve had worse ones out there, but this definitely isn’t going to rank in the top 5 unfortunately.  To me this album feels really short and a lot of the songs were kind of messy or bland except for the couple on the recommends.  I think the idea of featuring many artists was a compelling idea, but I don’t think it worked well for a lot…oh wells!

 

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