Kurayami Monogatari

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exist†trace – Diamond July 25, 2014

Filed under: exist†trace — solarblade @ 2:19 am

diamond

Track Listing

  1. Diamond
  2. Kuchibiru
  3. JUST ONE
  4. Diamond (Karaoke: Jyou Vocal Only) (Limited only)
  5. Diamond (Karaoke: miko Vocal Only) (Limited only)
  6. Kuchibiru (Karaoke: Jyou Vocal Only) (Limited only)
  7. Kuchibiru (Karaoke: miko Vocal Only) (Limited only)
  8. JUST ONE (Karaoke: Jyou Vocal Only) (Limited only)
  9. JUST ONE (Karaoke: miko Vocal Only) (Limited only)
  10. Diamond (Instrumental)
  11. Kuchibiru (Instrumental)
  12. JUST ONE (Instrumental)

1. Diamond

It’s been a while since I’ve heard from this lovely band and I returned to Diamond and this song was a lot of what I missed from them.  I’ve noticed the band has slowly started to have two vocalists with miko joining in with solo lines as much as Jyou does.  I’m surprised to hear synths backing the band up but it’s still a cool song (lighter than any of the leading songs on “virgin”).  Not bad though.

2. Kuchibiru

The first B-side to pop up is the edgier and gritter song Kuchibiru.  I’m loving how loose and free it sounds and Jyou also has a certain looseness in her vocals that really sound good though there wasn’t a lot of miko (though she has a miko-only version).  Now this song definitely reminds me of stuff from their debut in Tokuma.  It’s just a very cool song from them and is better than “Diamond” unsurprisingly.

3. JUST ONE

The final track, brings us back to something more straightforward with JUST ONE, it is the loudest hitting of the three which is great and Jyou and miko sounds surprisingly together and good in tandem.  I can’t see why this couldn’t be the leading track.  It’s pretty damn good and both vocalists sound amazing!

 

 

exist†trace kicks off this new era with a pretty decent single in Diamond.  I can tell their sound has slightly transitioned into a more mainstream kind of rock which might worry fans, but this wasn’t the case…well ok, Diamond is kind of a meh song but Kuchibiru and JUST ONE are both worthy songs in their discography.  I am curious to how the rest of the era plays out.

 

exist†trace – virgin July 10, 2012

Filed under: exist†trace — solarblade @ 2:11 am

Track Listing

  1. WONDERLAND
  2. Daybreak ~13gatsu no Shikisai~
  3. HONEY
  4. GINGER
  5. Keiyaku
  6. Little Mary to Utsukushiki Nikushimi no Donau
  7. Signal
  8. TRUE
  9. Futatsu no Koe
  10. Anata
  11. KISS IN THE DARK
  12. I feel you
  13. SORA
  14. virgin (hidden track)

1. WONDERLAND

Sweet that the album opens up with pipe organ with WONDERLAND.  I think it madee a pretty hardcore opening to the album.  Plus with the band exploding out of the way, I felt like this song was a great intro (even when it is a full track).  Jyou sounds glorious and fits with the darker atmosphere too.  Definitely a cool track here!

2. Daybreak ~13gatsu no Shikisai~

Though I wouldn’t have minded if they had decided to open up with this song instead because it’s so DAMN AMAZING!  If they needed a track to blow down the gates with, it’s definitely Daybreak (the leading track from “THE LAST DAYBREAK”).  I mean the tune is hard, edgy, and just all around badass.  There’s not much to say otherwise because it’s such a rockin’ track and Jyou and everyone else sounds great here.

3. HONEY

Moving back into some new tracks, HONEY is also hard-hitting but a ltitle more like their indies stuff which wasn’t that long ago for them so it’s a nice move on their part.  It’s raw and just fun to listen to.  Jyou also sounds really strong in this tune but I still prefer her in “Daybreak”.

4. GINGER

As the promotional song for the album, GINGER is quite the departure for the band because it’s not hardcore and kind of has more of a jazzy rock style to it which is surprising to me lol.  Also add in that miko is sharing the lead vocals with Jyou and you get this very interesting sing that might turn some heads from fans of theirs.  Unique track and I kind of enjoyed it.

5. Keiyaku

That’s an eerie opening for our next track Keiyaku lol.  It’s a pretty interesting song with an oddball riff and style for some reason.  The verses are really empty and depends on Mally’s rhythm and miko/Omi’s riffs.  Otherwise, the song isn’t really my kind of deal because it’s a bit too empty and only really gets better in the chorus…*sigh*

6. Little Mary to Utsukushiki Nikushimi bo Donau

Another song to come off of “THE LAST DAYBREAK”, Little Mary also included vocals from miko to go along with Jyou’s vocals and I’m surprised at how varied her voice could be because miko sounded badass in “GINGER” and now using a cuter tone for Little Mary.  This song is also a little unusual as well because it’s got a carousel/waltz like style to it which might not be to everyone’s taste but it’s unique as well.

7. Signal

After getting through the weird part of the album, we get back into some rock songs starting with Signal.  I was missing Jyou’s powerful vocals in the last couple of tracks so it’s nice to see a straightforward song to come from them.  Signal isn’t half bad and the chorus is really catchy…though the drums are a bit much.

8. TRUE

Moving onto their first song from their same-titled major label debut, TRUE is kind of like stuff from “TWIN GATE” with it’s furious riffs and angsty atmosphere.  Like I said back then though, it does feel like it was a bit too much like their older stuff and it didn’t stand out for me…but I think they were being safe considering the change in labels.  It’s OK, but there’s much better on the album.

9. Futatsu no Koe

This is what I mean, Futatsu no Koe is definitely a much stroner song compared to “TRUE” with its more interesting melody and strong guitar riffs.  I also love Jyou’s vocals in the song, she just fits these songs so damn well.  Definitely the strongest of the new songs IMHO.

10. Anata

Probably the weakest song off the album, Anata really sounds like a mess to me because it’s so slow and has no real linear form.  Add in that Jyou sounds like she’s drunk or just trying to wing the song by being so dramatic and wild with her vocals.  It’s a song I just can’t get into the track since it lacks direction.

11. KISS IN THE DARK

The other song that came from “TRUE”, KISS IN THE DARK I think would’ve fit better in the middle of the album because it’s also upbeat and brighter than most of the songs here.  Jyou and miko together sound good, almost like a puzzle together.  It kind of feels like a beta version of “GINGER” but doesn’t quite sound as good. 

12. I feel you

Another track from “THE LAST DAYBREAK”?  Funny enough that I said it was the weakest song from the mini-album but here it kind of stands out in a good way even though it still is regular ole exist†trace.  It’s not bad at all and it does bring the best out of the group.

13. SORA

While this is the last main song on the album, SORA actually isn’t.  I actually was surprised they decided to close the album with a lighter track rather than going out with a band.  It’s no “Kimi no Masshiro na Hane” but this is a nice track to close thnigs off for Jyou since her vocals stand out brightly here.  A great way to close things out.

14. virgin

I was wondering why there was an extra track on the album but it seems like I didn’t expect what was actually up with it.  virgin is just instrumental versions of ALL of the songs racked up in one track (an hour long track). 

Tracks Recommended

  • Daybreak ~13gatsu no Shikisai~
  • Futatsu no Koe
  • GINGER
  • WONDERLAND
  • I feel you

Song of Avoidance

  • Anata

exist†trace’s major debut album is quite what I was expecting from them.  I mean virgin has its ups and down but mostly it turned out well for them.  I did notice they are slowly drifting from their rock sound to try new ideas like GINGER and Little Mary and letting miko share the spotlight with Jyou.  I’d say this was a good release.

 

exist†trace – THE LAST DAYBREAK November 6, 2011

Filed under: exist†trace — solarblade @ 8:39 pm

Track Listing

  1. Daybreak ~13-gatsu no Shikisai~
  2. be Naked
  3. Little Mary to Utsukushiki Nikushimi no Donau
  4. I feel you
  5. Kimi no Masshiro na Hane

1. Daybreak ~13-gatsu no Shikisai~

As the promotional song for the mini-album, Daybreak sounds really powerful for some reason and I just loved the power in the band and Jyou’s vocals have seriously got better for some reason.  She’s starting to sound a little like Ayumu from Zwei to me.  I just can’t believe this was that strong and it defeats a lot of their previous songs that I liked to the ground.  I have to say epic!

2. be Naked

Of course it’s hard to replicate awesomeness after “Daybreak” and all that, but that’s all right for me.  be Naked slows the tone down just a little bit but it seems Jyou kept the powerful vocals and the band made the song a bit lighter.  I still found myself enjoying the song though and that’s good right?

3. Little Mary to Utsukushiki Nikushimi no Donau

Uhm…what is this?  Did one of the other members decide to take charge for the vocals this time around?  I mean miko’s vocals sound like TOMOMI from SCANDAL funny enough, luckily Jyou is also present in the song to sing as well and it just goes back and forth between the two members which is cool and something different that the band hasn’t really done.  I also have to say that it might be a little strange for the fans since this is a waltz and not rock like the other tunes which makes this the oddball song on the album, but still pretty good.

4. I feel you

As we get back into the normal zone with I feel you, this actually sounds like regular ole exist†trace with the loud guitars, drums, and powerful vocals out of Jyou.  To me, it’s the weakest song off the mini-albun since it is just like their other songs in the past.  At least it’s above-average and there things to be enjoyed about the song.

5. Kimi no Masshiro na Hane

The final song on the mini-album is a pretty one to listen to, that’s for sure.  It’s not powerful like the other ones on here but the softer vibe and moving arrangement caught my attention.  There’s not a lot to say about the song otherwise, but it’s still a pretty good mid-tempo track IMO.

 

 

exist†trace’s second major label mini-album really did them good since it sounds and came off SO much better than “TRUE” did earlier in the year.  I say all of the songs really brought out what the band was known for doing and pulling it off better.  I also like that the band is letting other members take solo vocals like miko in Little Mary.  I must say, I have high hopes for this band ^_^

 

exist†trace – TRUE June 20, 2011

Filed under: exist†trace — solarblade @ 6:56 pm

Track Listing

  1. TRUE
  2. Honnou
  3. Tokoyami no Yoake
  4. KISS IN THE DARK
  5. Jiyuu no Sora, Chijou no Uta

1. TRUE

As the lead song off the mini-album, TRUE is kind of basic for them but does a pretty good job showing off their sound overall.  I love the speed of the song and the members do have a pretty strong sound and of course Jyou sounds amazing, but it feels safe for them, but I guess it’s major-label debut waves I guess.

2. Honnou

Now this is more of the exist†trace that I was expecting since it’s a whole lot darker and grittier than “TRUE” was.  I like the echo effect added to Jyou’s vocals for sure.  It sounds more dramatic and a lot more stronger of a performance as well.  Maybe this should’ve been the main track of the mini-album.

3. Tokoyami no Yoake

I found the opening to Tokoyami no Yoake had a weird opening with the guitar chords, but it gets better quickly and turns into another epic song for the group.  Unlike the previous two that were hard from start to end, this one has quiet verses oddly enough.  It does grow in the chorus, but I found this to be the best the mini had to offer.

4. KISS IN THE DARK

I was surprised that the next song was so upbeat and happier than the previous three songs for sure.  I found it something refreshing from the band and Jyou sung it quite nicely by being almost sexy with the way she was singing the lyrics.  It’s another great song from them and pretty unique amongst the dark songs.

5. Jiyuu no Sora, Chijou no Uta

Closing the mini-album is a song that kind of has the same feel and route like “TRUE” does but slightly brighter in the arrangement I guess?  Jyou’s vocals are a bit deeper in the song which is pretty cool but she sounds like she’s covered by the band a lot of the times.  Still it’s pretty good, but doesn’t hold a candle to the other songs.

 

 

For their major debut under Tokuma Japan, TRUE was actually a pretty good start for exist†trace for sure.  All five songs were pretty much what they were known for in their indies days and it’s great to hear that sound continuing.  Let’s see what will come next from them hehe!

 

exist†trace – TWIN GATE November 5, 2010

Filed under: exist†trace — solarblade @ 12:48 am

Track Listing

  1. DECIDE
  2. Orléans no Shoujo
  3. KNIFE (Album mix)
  4. Neverland
  5. RESONANCE
  6. VANGUARD
  7. Blaze
  8. unforgive you
  9. “Owari no Nai Sekai”
  10. Cradle

1. DECIDE

Not wasting time to kick things off, DECIDE might not be as hard as their previous songs that started off their mini-albums and previous album, but Jyou’s vocals really stand out in the song since it’s perfectly ridden with darkness.  I don’t know who’s the main guitarist is between miko and Omi, but that solo in the middle of the song was crazy good.  Good start to the album.

2. Orléans no Shoujo

Coming from their 2nd mini-album, “VANGUARD -to the muses-“, Orléans no Shoujo is surprisingly much harder than I thought it’d be and I was surprised of the guitar riffs and how Jyou is just playful in her singing and made cool sense to listen to.  It’s one of the album’s darker songs and I enjoyed it quite a bit ^_^

3. KNIFE (Album mix)

As the only A-side released for the era, KNIFE doesn’t exactly sound much different from its single counterpart.  Maybe it sounds more fuller and some small things were added like an echo effect on Jyou’s vocals during the song.  Otherwise it’s the same song and I still think it’s a little plain but in a special way. 

4. Neverland

I love how Jyou opens up our next new song with ~Take meeee~.  While it still has a pretty good gothic-y feel, Neverland has a sense of wonder and mystery that gets amplified by Jyou’s singing in the song.  It’s full of dread and I liked every second of the song since it’s a powerful tune.

5. RESONANCE

Since it was the first song off their 3rd mini-album, “Ambivalent Symphony” RESONANCE is probably as hard in not moreso than when I reviewed “liquid” since they both have a much harder and sinister sound when compared to their other tunes.  I found myself liking the song and hearing someone singing with Jyou is new yet very nicely done.  Liking this song a bit!

6. VANGUARD

Being the main song off their 2nd mini, VANGUARD surprised me with a little usage of synths, but it only lasts for a little bit until the band starts to take over and once again I hear Jyou getting some help here.  It’s a tad stronger hitting than “KNIFE” and I like the growling parts that Jyou does, but a few other songs do stand out much better.

7. Blaze

I was expecting Blaze to really cause a stir since it’s such a badass-y song, but to me it came off more as something similar to “DECIDE” more than anything else.  That being said, it doesn’t really do anything for me and just came off as a little too plain even though some parts of the tune did impress me like Naoto’s playing (the band’s bassist).

8. unforgive you

Being the only song that’s not entirely on their discography, unforgive you was on a VA called “NEO VOLTAGE” which I’m guessing has a bunch of other V-kei songs.  To me, unforgive you to me sounds a bit undermade against the other songs off the album.  I still like the fact there’s a lot of Naoto present more than the other musicians.  It’s alright since the melody is straightforward and easy to follow as well.

9. “Owari no Nai Sekai”

Since this song was also on “Ambivalent Symphony”, I was happy that it actually was more upbeat and something that sounds like V-kei today or pure J-rock in some standards.  It’s still something otherwise standard though, but at least it was enough to slightly change the mood of the song.

10. Cradle

As the longest song off the album, Cradle actually sounds pretty damn cool at the start with tribal drums and strings playing a really sweet melody before it gets drowned down so the members can get in.  I found it great that it’s probably the slowest yet majestic tune on the album.  I didn’t know they could pull something like this off but I found myself enjoying the entire thing, even after the rest of the band shows up.

Tracks Recommended

  • Neverland
  • Cradle
  • RESONANCE
  • Orléans no Shoujo

Song of Avoidance

  • Blaze

As it’s their sophomore effort, exist†trace’s TWIN GATE is a pretty interesting album though I much prefer their more outgoing and slower songs than the usual flair of Visual-kei.  Though still being quite original with being all gals does stand out already and I hope they continue making music (and at least STAY on a label)…

 

exist†trace – KNIFE November 2, 2010

Filed under: exist†trace — solarblade @ 2:39 am

Track Listing

  1. KNIFE
  2. Mirror
  3. liquid (2010 vo. retake ver.)

1. KNIFE

I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into with exist†trace’s music but I was pleasantly surprised I ended up liking KNIFE as much as I did.  While the group is in the V-kei genre, they are different because they’re all female and that raised my eyebrows a bit.  The music is of course of normal visual-kei sound, but with Jyou singing it has a different sound but I love it since her vocals are quite strong.  It’s an alright start for me.

2. Mirror

As for the B-side, Mirror sounds more like something experimental from the group.  I love Jyou’s vocals as they’re kind of creepy and a little strange with the empty arrangement until the vocals where it just pops up right in your face and becomes heavy, yet slow.  It might not have a real good sense of direction, but for what it is, I think it’s alright as well.

3. liquid (2010 vo. retake ver.)

Ending the single off is a new version of liquid (which was their previous single before switching labels).  I haven’t heard the original so I can’t tell you what some of the major differences are, but I’m guessing they resung the song.  I really like that this song really has the dark atmosphere and having Jyou begin with a death scream really caught my attention fully.  It’s the heaviest song the single has to offer and it does give off a rather Halloween-ish vibe and I LOVED IT!

Beginning and ending the “TWIN GATE” era, KNIFE was an alright single for an all-female visual-kei group.  KNIFE was kind of the run-of-the-mill kind of deals where it’s like deja vu since I swear I’ve heard the arrangement somewhere else before.  Mirror was alright, but something about it felt jagged almost.  Though I will admit, the new version of liquid was pretty amazing and I hope there’ll be some songs like it on the album.