Kurayami Monogatari

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Asriel – XANADU November 8, 2012

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 10:14 am

Track Listing

  1. Nights of Blood
  2. CRIMSON
  3. Sabaku no Kouro
  4. BIRTH
  5. COCYTUS
  6. Yume no Kyoukai
  7. Sono Negai ga Tsumi Naraba
  8. ILLUMINATE
  9. Botan
  10. Marionette no Koi Moyou
  11. Shirayuki Matoi
  12. XANADU

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.

2. CRIMSON

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.

4. BIRTH

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.

5. COCYTUS

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.

8. ILLUMINATE

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!

9. Botan

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.

12. XANADU

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

Tracks Recommended

  • COCYTUS
  • CRIMSON
  • Botan

Song of Avoidance

  • ILLUMINATE

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.

 

Asriel – Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana May 3, 2012

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 9:31 pm

Track Listing

  1. Catharsis
  2. Souyoku Fuuga
  3. Amethyst
  4. Nemuri no Mori
  5. Yoiyami no Gaibana
  6. Loveless

1. Catharsis

I really loved the intro for Catharsis, it was dramatic and pretty to listen to.  After that, Kurose comes in with his goth-rock shpeal and we’re back to something we probably have heard once already with the duo.  I mean it’s energetic for sure and it’s a fun arrangement and all but I’m so busy paying attention to KOKOMI that three’s not a lot of time to pay attention.  I do love the guitar solo though, that was pretty awesome.  About KOKOMI, she’s not as bad as she is normally…but she uses too much vibrato to express herself…it’s kind of frustrating sometimes (especially with the high notes she’s forcing out)…not bad of a start though.

2. Souyoku Fuuga

Oh hey, I hear synths once again being used.  It reminds me of “Silencia” from their first mini-album.  I love the fact the arrangement is pretty awesome and all but damn KOKOMI near ruined that for me.  Her vocals don’t seem to fit the song (except in the verses) but the chorus just sounds all kind of bad for me.  At least Kurose’s doing better arrangement-wise.

3. Amethyst

Once again, I’m really like Kurose on this mini, I still think he’s still inside his box with the strings/electric guitar/anime-esque feel but at least he’s changing it up slightly.  KOKOMI does slightly sound better here which is good but the chorus is slightly missing that spark that’s found in the previous two tracks but it’s a nice enough song for me to praise.

4. Nemuri no Mori

A 7 minute Asriel song?  Jeeze, that’s just wanting to put ignored haha.  The strings that open the song sound really nice and then the actual song starts quite smoothly with mostly piano, strings, and percussion which is simple but works before Kurose’s edgy guitar sneaks its way into the arrangement.  For being as long as it is, I didn’t mind it because once again…everything sounds good for once!  A solid Asriel track we have here and it’s the longest song of the mini XD.

5. Yoiyami no Gaibana

I was expecting the title track for the mini to be something a bit more different than what we got but it’s just like “Catharsis” but more dramatic and heavier with Kurose’s rock arrangement.  These kind of songs just make me yawn and the fact that there’s so much percussion annoys me to death.  The good thing is that KOKOMI isn’t too bad singing here and the slow parts were random but cool. 

6. Loveless

Closing the mini-album off, Loveless acts as the lone ballad here and it sounds totally uncharacteristic for Asriel because it’s bright and KOKOMI’s vocals are put on this light echo-y feel which REALLY works for this setting.  I really like this song for some reason…it’s just calming and really well put together!

 

 

After all that time that I’ve disliked something from Asriel, they finally got a good solid one in Awaki Yumemiru Yoiyami no Gaibana!  Only two songs I really didn’t enjoy, their 13th indies album (11th mini-album) was well structured and Kurose put a lot more effort in songs like Nemuri no Mori and Loveless…they still have some issues like clearly being obvious to what they’re doing (a problem they’ve had since the beginning) and KOKOMI’s vocals (which can’t be helped at this point XD) but this was something you wouldn’t expect Asriel of achieving LOL.

 

Asriel – Oratorium November 8, 2011

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 8:55 am

Track Listing

  1. Loreley
  2. LostMoon
  3. Oratorium
  4. Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete
  5. Kougyoku Zui (Canerian) no Sasayaki
  6. Kuroi Hitomi no Majuu
  7. Rin
  8. Windalia
  9. Garasu no Toiki
  10. Lament
  11. Romancia
  12. Seiren

1. Loreley

I love the acoustic guitar that opens up Loreley for Oratorium since it’s relaxing and very pretty.  It doesn’t last very long because things get hectic when Kurose brings his goth rock arrangement in full swing.  I was surprised that it’s a pretty long intro before KOKOMI finally starts to sing.  At first I thought she did well, but then her vocals became very strange in the chorus.  It just turned me off right then.  Yeah, so much for that right?

2. LostMoon

KOKOMI doesn’t really do a good job cleaning up her vocals but it’s a little more stable here than in “Loreley” which is a plus (I think…).  The song itself is more of the same rock, but a tad anime-like in a sense.  I’m not sure what to make of it, but I do enjoy it better than the opening song.

3. Oratorium

Next comes the album’s title track and I’m loving the intro of the song the most so far from the aggressive rock tracks.  I usually don’t like these songs when there’s so much percussion being heard and it shows quite bluntly in this one.  It took me out of the song and KOKOMI didn’t help much to alleviate the problem either…I forgot 6 minutes too… >.>

4. Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete

Thank god Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete has such an awesome opening with the strings and such.  Sadly, it get overshadowed by the rest of the song which doesn’t seem to stray from the previous.  Plus, KOKOMI’s vocals are just too much for me in this song.  Way high and too much vibrato for me.

5. Kougyoku Zui (Canerian) no Sasayaki

I’m starting to wonder if this album is going to sound the same but luckily things change up with the fifth song on the album which is the album’s first ballad.  I actually like the dark atmosphere of this one and the strings play such a creepy yet cool part.  I can even say that I enjoyed KOKOMI’s vocal performance as well since it isn’t forced like the previous songs ^_^.  Though the cat sounds are humorous, not gonna lie hahah.  First song I’ve actually liked!

6. Kuroi Hitomi no Majuu

It’s interesting that the only old song on this album is this track which was the leading song from “Tsune Shie no Madoi Same Shidoku”.  I will say that the intro does comes off a little like “Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete” but a little more foreboding.  Luckily this is when the duo does music right since it’s strong in its arrangement and KOKOMI isn’t killing me with her vocals.  I still think the waltz interlude was strange, yet compelling and probably the best part of the song TBH.  Great song to choose to be put on the album!

7. Rin

Jeeze KOKOMI, this intro is really hard to get through!  It does kind of gets stuck being a ballad, a mid-tempo, and a rock song so it’s a little weird at first, but this song is alright but nothing terribly amazing.  Yeah, it’s just a normal Asriel song….bah…

8. Windalia

I will say that Windalia reminds me of their anime releases which is good because I’d say this is catchy and while KOKOMI is using too much vibrato once again, it’s not as bothersome and it kind of works with the arrangement just a bit.  Even Kurose’s guitar solo was pretty damn good.  I wouldn’t say it’s the best on the album, but it’s pretty passable.

9. Garasu no Toiki

Piano and acoustic opens up our next song and it seems we get another ballad.  It’s funny, I’m starting to think Asriel are better ballad creators than rock songs.  I found Garasu no Toiki such a beautiful song to listen to and it utilized KOKOMI’s vocals the best IMO.  Yeah, now this is the album’s best track hands down!

10. Lament

Is Lament supposed to be the somewhat odd one?  I noticed this because the arrangement is slow and yet there’s accordion in the arrangement hahaha.  KOKOMI sounds fluid and pretty singing in this rather minimal arrangement but still somehow can pull it off when more instruments are added.  I like this!

11. Romancia

As we near towards the ending of the album, things start to pick up with Romancia which kind of sounds like a bit of the stuff from the first half of the album but somehow a little more controlled.  It’s not too bad and I say this sort of makes up for the album’s first four songs.

12. Seiren

Closing the album is something I liked with the synthy opening.  Sad, it only lasted a couple of seconds before the song changes into another rock track.  It sounds like KOKOMI is doing a little better vocally except in the chorus but I’m used to that lol.  I wouldn’t say it made for a good end to the album but whatever lol.

Tracks Recommended

  • Garasu no Toiki
  • Kuroi Hitomi no Majuu
  • Kougyoku Zui (Canerian) no Sasayaki
  • Lament
  • Windalia

Song of Avoidance

  • Sekiki Chou wa Yami yo ni Kiete

I can’t seriously get through an Asriel album without feeling bored and disturbed just a little bit.  I was seriously turned off by the album’s first four songs for sure and made me wonder if that was it.  Luckily, the songs after got better and it became alright but it’s not as good as what “QuoVadis” was which was their last indies album.  I’m even starting to dread their releases nowadays x.x (album-wise at least).

 

Asriel – Tsune Shie no Madoi Same Shidoku May 3, 2011

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 2:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Kuroi Hitomi no Majuu
  2. Shiroi Yubisaki
  3. Hai’iro no Amaoto

1. Kuroi Hitomi no Majuu

Ahhhh, it’s been a while coming but we get a good song for an A-side (I guess this is the A-side at least).  I found the opening to this song to be so epic and true to Kurose and KOKOMI before it lets loose and gets overall faster and more energetic.  KOKOMI’s vocals have always been hit or miss for me and while she does try to support her voice the best way she could, she still has hiccups in notes.  Other parts of the song were more Kurose based like the waltz-y middle and the edgy arrangement overall.  It’s pretty good actually and surpasses a bunch of songs from “Angelrhythm”.

2. Shiroi Yubisaki

Sort of starting like “Kuroi Hitomi no Majuu”, it quickly turns into the hardest song off the single.  Unfortunately with that comes with the poor KOKOMI vocals as well.  I can sense a little bit of some randomness like filters being used and a little latin passage before the choruses.  It does have its quirks but KOKOMI still can’t keep it together vocally.

3. Hai’iro no Amaoto

I do think Hai’iro no Amaoto is the slowest track off the song and it’s also one of the more straightforward songs they’ve done since it sounds like a good portion of Asriel’s slower indies stuff which might be good or bad, depending on your outlook towards them.  Yeah, not much to really else say but KOKOMI’s vocals sound a little better here.

As it’s their 3rd indies single (I’m thinking an album with “Devils Lullaby” and “Aoi Hitomi no Hikari wa Kieyu” is coming soon), Tsune Shie no Madoi Same Shidoku is alright but nothing too special like the other singles.  KOKOMI still has vocal troubles and Kurose doesn’t step outside of the box of his arrangements…yeah it’s seriously is what’s keeping them from getting better…

 

Asriel – Angelrhythm February 18, 2011

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 8:23 am

Track Listing

  1. Angel
  2. Sequentia
  3. Hollowly Rain
  4. FERRIS WHEEL
  5. Kagami no Yami wo Ugachite
  6. Dearest…
  7. Akai Natsume
  8. Ajisai
  9. INNOCENT
  10. Finale
  11. ALTAIR
  12. White Feather

1. Angel

Opening the album up, Angel starts quietly with a beautiful string opening with some piano/keyboard before it stops and instantly throws the rockin’ arrangement into the song.  KOKOMI still isn’t such an amazing singer, but she sounds kind of good throughout this song when she isn’t trying to hit the higher notes of the song.  After a while the song seems to kind of blend into the background, but I still think it’s a good opening!

2. Sequentia

Next up is the era’s first single, Sequentia has kind of been tossed aside for the more recent releases since they’ve slightly ended up being stronger basically.  Sequentia does come off as being a bit like “Angel” in execution and vocally as well, but likewise, the song still has something that I just like about it, but I’m not sure what that is.  Ehhhh…it’s OK I guess.

3. Hollowly Rain

After two strong rock tracks from the duo, we turn to Hollowly Rain, which is a very creepy song when it starts since it’s dark and foreboding plus it’s raining which is extra creepy points.  I like the fact that Kurose chose to make the song more slower and dark.  KOKOMI’s vocals are pretty shaky throughout, but it’s a lot more emotionally driven that previous ballads they’ve done.  So this song is definitely hitting the right spot.

4. FERRIS WHEEL

I kind of actually like the opening to FERRIS WHEEL to be honest since it kind of sounds like some of their earlier indie albums.  I see that Kurose seems to be having fun playing with the arrangement giving it a much more playful and humorous feel to it than the saddening “Hollowly Rain”.  While the chorus feels a bit uninspired, it’s still not that bad of a song.

5. Kagami no Yami wo Ugachite

As the B-side from “Sequentia”, I wasn’t surprised she would’ve added the B-sides of the era and I’m happy since it’s one of the better songs of the entire era.  I love how KOKOMI sounds in the verses because it’s just straight up awesome, but the chorus just has too much vibrato going on and it sort of turns me off.  Maybe less of this and I would’ve loved it, but as it stands right now, it’s still pretty good, just too much.

6. Dearest…

Hmmmm, what’s the B-side from “Tsuioku no Chikai” doing on this album?  I actually think it’s a bit out of place since it’s not like a majority of the songs on the album.  I will say that getting a gothic-like folk ballad is a pretty nice idea and with KOKOMI singing lighter than she normally does is just as good and easier on the ears.  I will say it’s one of the best songs on the album.

7. Akai Natsume

After “Dearest…”, it was great to see a more synthy string track with Akai Natsume, but of course Kurose’s guitar playing is still present.  However after listening to “Angel” and “Sequentia” earlier, this song feels damn empty for some reason…and it lacks a certain energy to keep the song afloat in my opinion.  Sorry, it just doesn’t spark anything for me.

8. Ajisai

Ajisai is one of the duo’s more slower songs and while I like the overall mood it brings, it weirds me out that there’s this kind of scoping sound that comes in and out of the song and it’s very distracting here.  Anyways, it’s kind of a nice song overall, but it just drags towards the ends with the chorus of theirs.

9. INNOCENT

As the 2nd single’s primary A-side, INNOCENT is oddly enough the longest song being a little over 6:30 in length.  I still think while it’s a pretty nice sounding song, it’s the worst track to hear for KOKOMI’s vocals since she slides her notes so harshly this time around.  I never really enjoyed the song because of that and I still kind of don’t…

10. Finale

I find it humorous that our next track, Finale, is actually not the final track on the album (way to screw that up Asriel!).  As much as I hate to say it, I really liked Finale a lot since it fixes a lot of the problems that were present in “INNOCENT” and it’s not hellishly long like the previous two.  I also get indie Asriel vibes here as well, but they tackled the song as good as they can and I love the anime-like vibe I get.  One of the album’s better tracks ^_^

11. ALTAIR

Likewise, I feel the same about ALTAIR, but this was actually a secondary A-side so I kind of felt a bit disappointed then with this, but hearing it on the album, it reminds me a lot of “Finale” in the sense of arrangement and style, but somehow I still think it fits much more than it did sitting next to “INNOCENT”. 

12. White Feather

As we finally get into the album’s last track, White Feather, we’re reminded why Asriel sounds good to some people and that’s with this upbeat strings/rock and powerful chords that make a song epic.  While KOKOMI still is vocally all over the place unfortunately, she isn’t like what she was in “INNOCENT” and that’s good at least.  It’s a bit weird ending Angelrhythm with a song like this, but what can ya do?  It’s just a good rock track.

Tracks Recommended

  • Hollowly Rain
  • Dearest…
  • White Feather
  • Finale
  • Angel

Song of Avoidance

  • INNOCENT

Asriel’s 2nd major label album, Angelrhythm is definitely an upgrade after “unveil” since the songs that were on this album felt more memorable and had more effort put into it than their debut album.  However, I still feel baffled that their major releases totally own the indies stuff they put out…maybe that’s a sign they need to take.

 

Asriel – Bara no Hitsuji ni Taiyou wa Arazu November 2, 2010

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 8:53 pm

Track Listing

  1. Qliphoth
  2. Annihiliation
  3. Fukai Mori no Sasayaki
  4. Edelweiss
  5. Rosen Blood
  6. Taiyou ga Kagayaku Koro ni

1. Qliphoth

I actually liked how Qliphoth began with just string before Kurose came in with his guitar and stuff.  At that point, I wasn’t expecting to be somewhat good and sounding like something Versailles did.  While I’m still trying to enjoy KOKOMI’s more vibrato-heavy sound it sort of worked, but the chorus brought out the worst from since she was all over the damn place with her voice and the lyrical melody.  I guess it’s alright for now, but that chorus is just too messy.

2. Annihiliation

I’m not sure if the next song was supposed to represent a more chaotic sound but it’s what it came off as especailly with whatever Kurose was doing speed playing mostly everything that was in the song.  I had an actual better time listening to this song since KOKOMI wasn’t stressing or messing up and at some points she sounded really nice here.  It’s just a very musically busy song and I didn’t mind that one bit.

3. Fukai Mori no Sasayaki

It’s funny that we sort of leave the fast songs for something a bit more reserved with it’s rock arrangement.  I mean there’s parts where Kurose’s guitar playing does make things a bit more rockin’ but otherwise it’s somewhat mid-tempo and with KOKOMI going back and forth on filters and some chorale joining in by giving the song an eerie glow…it’s strange.  It’s alright for right now since it’s different and both members show off very nicely.

4. Edelweiss

Slowing down a tad more for our next song, Edelweiss is definitely running in my mind as more of a fantasy-sounding kind of song since there’s twinkling and some good ethereal parts.  I could’ve lived without the drums and guitars in the song since they’re more of an annoyance in this song.  Otherwise, it’s the best thing off the mini-album.

5. Rosen Blood

Raising the tempo back up with Rosen Blood kind of is that typical Asriel song which is kind of disappointing since it really does sound like a bunch of stuff I’ve heard beforehand.  Though out of the 6 songs, this one has more of an anime sound. 

6. Taiyou ga Kagayaku Koro ni

Ending the mini off we get an actual ballad like out of previous albums.  Well, it’s the closest you could call it to be a ballad because Kurose had to sneak his rockish stuff in it.  I was surprised that there’s some marimba in the song which perked my ears.  Otherwise, it’s not amazing, but it’s alright.

Meh, I’m starting to get a little tired of Asriel releasing these mini-albums.  I think it’s just that they’re starting to become a little plain and kind of boring.  Bara no Hitsuji ni Taiyou wa Arazu was at least better than their last mini-album, but Kurose needs to learn that not every song needs to have guitars and drums on it…a few songs would’ve benefitted from that IMHO.  Still, otherwise the usual problems are here like KOKOMI’s uncontrolled singing style and arrangement issues, but at least it’s better than “Nanji wo Terasu Oboro no Aria”.

 

Asriel – INNOCENT/ALTAIR September 1, 2010

Filed under: Asriel — solarblade @ 4:21 am

Track Listing

  1. INNOCENT
  2. ALTAIR
  3. INNOCENT (Off Vocal)
  4. ALTAIR (Off Vocal)

1. INNOCENT

I love how INNOCENT began with a rather jazzy piano opening before the full arrangement comes in.  It sounds like the usual bass-heavy Asriel soft tune, but the fact that there’s synths give it a different touch to make it sound better.  Then KOKOMI starts singing and I really hate the way she has to slide into the godawful high notes on the song.  It’s good for it’s tie-in and it has a slighter easier sound overall besides the songs verses.

2. ALTAIR

Since it’s Asriel’s first double A-side released in their career, ALTAIR sounds like something that I would normally hear each time through their mini-albums.  I thought by the piano opening it was going to be great, but sadly it turns into your usual Asriel rock song but with piano.  Sad there’s not much else to say about the song totally, but at least KOKOMI’s vocals is a little more stable than in “INNOCENT”.

 

 

It’s only been about over a week since “Aoi Hitomi no Hikaru wa Kieyu” was released and seeing this released kind of was strange but since this is a major release and the former is an indies, INNOCENT/ALTAIR sounds a bit stronger but only a little because INNOCENT is good but is hampered by bad vocal parts and ALTAIR’s overal plainness.  One can wonder where they’ll end up next.