Kurayami Monogatari

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HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – Dreams March 23, 2011

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 4:07 pm

Track Listing

  1. Dreams
  2. Feel Like Dance
  3. Mushroom
  4. Dreams (Instrumental)

1. Dreams

Haven’t we had enough with HandMC and ballads?  Their last album, “San’s” ballads weren’t up to snuff and mostly came off pretty boring and just way too bland for me.  Dreams slightly sounds better than previous songs like “Oxalis”which is so good to hear.  Maaki sounds good oas well, but Yuusuke kind of sounds bored and not into the song…is that really all that surprising though? 

2. Feel Like Dance

I feel like it’s been a while since we had a fun rock song from the band and Feel Like Dance kind of brought the band back after all these slower songs.  I love that Yuusuke feels a bit more at home in the song and the song is a bit more upbeat…but it still lacks energy from the band IMO since Maaki this time sounds a bit bored…Yuusuke though was def into his rap…I guess it’s alright for a B-side.

3. Mushroom

That’s where Mushroom comes in and just blows the single outta the way.  I really thought the heavy rock sound brought back good memories of HandMC in their epic days and it showed through Yuusuke’s signature growling and Maaki’s more expressive vocals.  It might be a little repetitive with the whole ~mushroomu~, but Maaki being cute is quite alarming yet awesome!  Where was this in the last few albums?

Kickstarting the “ROCK PIT” era, Dreams wasn’t too good of a single IMO but that has been happening since “Enrai”.  I learned that HandMC and ballads just don’t go together and it’s true since there’s no real good balalds from them.  Feel Like Dance was alright, but Maaki was bored instead of Yuusuke and it kind of affected the song a bit.  Mushroom though was a new side to the group and it was a pretty fun track to listen to and I’m sad it wasn’t on album…

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – Re:ache August 10, 2010

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 6:12 pm

Track Listing

  1. Re:ache
  2. night light parade
  3. day dreaming
  4. RED (Live ver.)

1. Re:ache

It’s really odd that HandMC is disbanding to a song like this since it’s not like them to release something so light.  It’s like a more interesting “Hana Fubuki” but with HALCA at the reins.  I’ll be honest, but I was bored with this song since both HALCA and Yuusuke (and the band for that matter) since they weren’t giving a good performance IMO.  At least the two singers can mesh well in he second verse and chorus.  Maybe Yuusuke’s a little off but w/e.  Not the best song to leave fans off with.

2. night light parade

While we knew the next two songs for quite awhile from them through various lives, I thought that night light parade was much more impressive as a final song than “Re:ache” was just because it was more like their sound.  I mean there’s a whole lot of Yuusuke to be heard in the song, but when HALCA comes in she really kicks ass.  I mean her vocals to me sound much more fuller and louder than Maaki.  Good energy all around in this song ^_^

3. day dreaming

As for the other B-side, day dreaming is surprisingly louder than both the previous songs and it sort of kind of puts me in that same mood that “Remember” did.  I mean Yuusuke does rap quite a lot in this song however and HALCA is like bridge and chorus which isn’t new to the whole HandMC line of songs.  It’s still interesting nonetheless and arrangement it’s the strongest of three, but I wouldn’t want Yuusuke rapping in the song, sorry.

4. RED (Live ver.)

Ending off their final single is a live version of “RED” which was released in December of last year as a digital single.  I really liked the fact that HALCA can kick just as much ass live like in the studio versions.  RED still sounds great and Yuusuke is back to his awesome yelping he does like in previous big songs of theirs.  Great live version of this song for sure.

 

 

Wow, I can’t believe that HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR is disbanding.  It just seems to have been such bad luck for the band since Maaki left.  Though it sucks more that the reason of the disbandment was musical differences and worry of the future for their sound.  I mean why bother getting a new lead singer when you had this going on.  Even then, HALCA is an amazing choice to have replaced and she sings Maaki songs even better IMO.  So sad that Re:ache is their final single and it’s not a very good A-side to leave us with.  I mean night light parade and day dreaming were so much better and more personality was shot through those songs.  RED…live?  Oh yeah, just as good!

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – XYZ December 24, 2009

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 3:09 am

Track Listing

  1. XYZ

1. XYZ

Yeah, I had to go back to review this.  If there was something to make me drop my jaw and question my liking to the group, this solidified that HandMC is just amazing when they take a break and return.  The guitars are very furious and Yuusuke is up to his normal angsty screaming which always adds a new side to their music.  This time however, we have a new singer in the band’s lineup and that would be HALCA, or I like to call her Maaki pt.2 because she sounds exactly like her.  Powerful song from the group for sure and it ranks up there with “PRIDE” and their other big hitters.

 

 

Yeah, I know I’m going back in time to review this single and I’m probably not going to review “good bye” simply because it sucks XD.  XYZ was a great return to music, even though the band was pushed into Spice Records.  SONY definitely are getting more dumber with each group they kick out…

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – RED

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 2:54 am

Track Listing

  1. RED

1. RED

RED being a digital single was sadly the only track, but it continues to show growth for the group since this song is powerful.  HALCA has really set herself in the group and honestly she’s definitely the right choice to replace Maaki.  Now the song feels like it’s lightened up from “XYZ”, but still keeps this hardcore sound going.  Yuusuke here in the song returns to being the growling/screaming backup to her and if just feels so natural.  RED definitely needs a PV, but I already think HandMC is starting a new era and it’s as strong as the Maaki era.

 

 

Yeah, we know HALCA can sing but how did she do with the 3rd digital release, RED?  I think the band and her are doing very well with themselves and if RED is signifying another album, then I’m all for it because “swamp man” is still the shocker of the year being all HALCA & awesomeness.

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – swamp man August 14, 2009

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 2:02 am

swampman

Track Listing

  1. swamp man
  2. XYZ
  3. good bye
  4. eyes
  5. fly me to the other moon
  6. pain
  7. 7.2
  8. hate
  9. living
  10. you

1. swamp man

Ahhh, swamp man the “opening” to the album.  It sounds like it’s being played on a record and this lone piano has a very somber sound to it.  Like something that could be heard in a horror film.  After a little bit, SASSY comes in with a small drum moment and more things get added onto the track and ends with HALCA or Yuusuke saying the title of the album.

2. XYZ

Released as a digital single before the album. It’s also the first track to feature new female singer, HALCA.  I have to say that the similarities to Maaki are disturbing and yet comforting because I actually like HALCA’s vocals in the track…The music is a bit harder hitting than previous songs (which is a good thing).  There’s this epic feeling to the song itself especially in the slower parts.  Yuusuke’s growling is pretty cool too and fits with HALCA’s strong singing.

3. good bye

The main promotional track for the album, good bye continues this strong hard rock sound.  Sadly the song features more of Yuusuke than HALCA.  Though it does have a pretty good bassline which I don’t exactly remembering any song from them to have a prominent one.  HALCA does have the chorus, but it doesn’t exactly sound like she’s too interested in the song.  Yuusuke on the other hand is like screaming the lyrics.  It might not be the most amazing way to do songs, but it does show the band still has energy for their songs.

4. eyes

HALCA luckily takes over the next track which is a bit slower and more reminescent to some of the songs from “San” and “ROCK PIT” and it really does show off her vocals in a really good well.  I’m starting to think that she might be the best replacement for Maaki.  Yuusuke is pushed back to BKGD stuff and I don’t mind that at all.  Things pickup nicely in the chorus as it does get faster.  Alright, this is a pretty awesome track.

5. fly me to the other moon

Interesting to hear fly me to the other moon open up like a dance track.  Anyways, Yuusuke is singing again and actually singing and it’s kind of sounds mysterious, especially since the verses go back to the dance beats.  HALCA is singing in a higher register and solidified her as a good singer.  Even Maaki couldn’t do this very well.  As a HandMC track, this is very experimental of them and they nailed it.  Plus, I love Yuusuke’s yelling of the title and he says it right. 

6. pain

pain goes back to the hard hitting sounds from earlier on in the album and also bring Yuusuke and HALCA to sing together and oddly enough the harmonize pretty well.  The song sounds a little repetitive in sound in the verse but when it get further in the song gets way stronger and vocally better. 

7. 7.2

I was surely surprised to see that 7.2 opened up with an acoustic guitar.  It actually is present all of the song and Yuusuke is rapping in the song, so y’know this a pretty exciting song.  MEG and Kazuto (guitarists) should get a medal for the song as it’s so different and pretty good.  HALCA sings pretty fast in the chorus too….It isn’t new that females can sing fast, but I didn’t expect HALCA to deliver on this.

8. hate

For a song that’s called hate…I was expecting something a little bit like “XYZ”.  The song does feel a smidge lighter and HALCA once again gets really good at her vocal work with the group.  The song itself sounds like it would’ve fit rather well on “Gou on PROGRESSIVE”.  It might just be me.  Besides HALCA, the song is a harder sounding HandMC track and it might be my least favorite of the new tracks, but it’s still good.

9. living

I’m not sure why but living has a pretty sweet opening of pounding drums and loud guitar.  HALCA is doing a great job still, though Yuusuke is kind of bothersome with his screaming and growling that it kind of takes my mind out of focus.  It might be my least favorite song now…I can’t blame anyone but Yuusuke’s off the wall screaming this time around.  Though the guitar solo is shweeet.

10. you

Rounding off the album, you is a bit slower than the previous tracks and has a pretty strong sound to it.  Yuusuke is singing again and he sounds a lot better than he did in the last album.  HALCA finally has her second slip-up in the album and it’s the fact her high notes are particularly thin here.  She’s still in tune, but still…way thin.  Not too bad as a finisher.

Tracks Recommended

  • fly me to the other moon
  • XYZ
  • eyes
  • 7.2

Song of Avoidance

  • living

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR went through some hard times before releasing the album.  I mean they did release “BEEEEEEST” which left a few people thinking why they’d do it, but then we learned that Maaki left the group to basically become a housewife.  Then SONY dropped them which basically said they were gonna break-up or move on and they moved on to SPICE records and got HALCA.  HALCA really showed that she can replace Maaki and build upon that because vocally, I prefer HALCA to Maaki.  swamp man does take risks and I loved that they did and they also did what they did best and that’s rock tracks.  I might like the direction they’re going and I like this album maybe a smidge more than “ROCK PIT”…..even though there were a few meh tracks, this album is great.

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – San July 28, 2009

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 6:34 am

SanJacket

Track Listing

  1. Enrai ~Tooku ni Aru Akari~
  2. Resistance
  3. DIVE into YOURSELF (YOUR VOICE Version)
  4. Koigokoro
  5. Oxalis
  6. Hummingbird
  7. the moon illuminates
  8. Yoake Mae
  9. Sandome no Sakura
  10. Hibana
  11. Suiren
  12. LAST WORD
  13. a shape of love
  14. Tadoritsuku Basho
  15. Oxalis (MOVIE VERSION)

1. Enrai ~Tooku ni Aru Akari~

Just like the previous albums, we begin with the biggest track of the era.  This time we start with Enrai and just like the previous album openers, this is in your face.  I’m guessing anime tie-ins are what they do best because clearly it is mostly their best songs that comes from here.  Maaki does a pretty awesome job with the song too.

2. Resistance

Our first new track from the group, Resistance sounds a whole lot like something that would’ve been better off on “Gouon PROGRESSIVE” with it’s harder arrangement and edgier metal sound.  Maaki sounds a lot better, but the verses are funny just because Yuusuke is doing her typical growling behind Maaki’s vocals.  It does scream “PRIDE”, but it’s still good either way.

3. DIVE into YOURSELF (YOUR VOICE Version)

What I can gather about our new version of the first single is that on the single release, there was a form for a contest and the winner would have their vocals recorded in the song, hence the new version.  Besides the newish part, the song is still the same ole DIVE into YOURSELF.  The chorus is still just as boring.  The only part where I can really hear the winner is at the end of the 2nd verse…I could be wrong, someone wanna clear this up for me?

4. Koigokoro

Koigokoro comes in next, and takes a more experimental route with the whole ethereal verse and then come in with a rock sound back in the chorus.  The song though lacks a punch or something to really make it stand out.  I did like they were trying things out, but both Maaki sounded really boring here wile Yuusuke’s glorious part is before the guitar solo. 

5. Oxalis

Oxalisended off the era in a not so good way and well it still kind of feels sadly more boring on the album.  What’s good about it is that it’s a rock ballad and both Maaki and Yuusuke have parts to each other.  It’s just that it really drags for being a HandMC track, so that’s a bit disappointing.

6. Hummingbird

Hummingbird stretches back into their debut album for a bit since it’s a bit poppy, but continues the more softer sounds.  At least they did a better job this time around, since there’s hooks in the song and Yuusuke doesn’t sound as boring as he did in “Oxalis”.  I was happy the fans liked it enough to be featured on “BEEEEEEST”.  It was a pretty cool track from the group.

7. the moon illuminates

After two soft tracks, we get back into their more energetic songs starting with the moon illuminates.  I have to say, it’s got a lot of catchy hooks within the song and Yuusuke’s yelping returns and I’m happy to see that, but I’m noticing the song isn’t as hardcore as “Enrai” or “Ichirin no Hana”, but it’s not that big of a disappointment because it’s got its awesome moments.

8. Yoake Mae

We get darker with Yoake Mae and instantly was bored with Yuusuke’s singing (or the lack of).  It doesn’t exactly bring anything to the album besides being a filler track of course.  I’m not sure why I’m not connecting with it, but it just sounds like a poor version of “PRIDE”.

9. Sandome no Sakura

What’s up with the wannabe “PRIDE” tracks?  This even sounds moreso to their most well-known track which is unfortunate.  I think the biggest difference between the two is that there’s no strings and this track isn’t as emotionally driven.  Not even Yuusuke could’ve saved the track, how disappointing.

10. Hibana

So everyone basically was confused about this track as they wrongfully called it Hanabi when the kanji clearly put it as Hibana.  Compared with the last few tracks, this is a bit more fresh sounding and has a good dark undertone to make it last against a lot of the other tracks on the album.  It’s a little sad though, because I do feel that the track sounds a bit rushed on everything lol…Yuusuke’s growling is weird….but I can understand it XD

11. Suiren

Suiren starts off in a pretty odd way, kind of like something tribal.  After a bit the group comes in with the usual scremo-fest and then Maaki’s singing parts come in, so in other words the usual fare.  I can agree that it’s another new sound for them, but the chorus was just enough to make me bored again.  How bad can it get?

12. LAST WORD

LAST WORD does take things back into a harder sound (a little late now).  I actually kind of like this song since it’s a bit more easier to enjoy and not think of past songs.  It is a little slower than the other songs I really like, but it was handled pretty nicely, maybe not Yuusuke….but Maaki did a fine job with the song.

13. a shape of love

I’m oddly freaked out when a shape of love starts out with a synth line before turning into something that’s kind of different.  I actually like this track as well, it’s a bit pop-like, but it’s catchy as well…talk about strange right?  Good job with this track.

14. Tadoritsuku Basho

Almost at the end.  Tadoritsuku Basho ends off the album is such a nice way like it’s sister A-side “Oxalis”.  The song does sound good after “a shape of love”, and hearing the minor details made this a better listen for me.  I still think it’s a bit boring, but I can appreciate this song better than “Oxalis”.  I think it was put in a great spot.

15. Oxalis (MOVIE VERSION)

Being almost 30 seconds shorter, the movie version of Oxalis erases Yuusuke and left Maaki by herself with the rest of the band to move along with the track.  For being a Yuusuke-less track, it felt a lot more emptier as a track and the arrangement way too boring without him.  I guess they did screwed this song up even further.

Tracks Recommended

  • a shape of love
  • Hummingbird
  • Enrai ~Tooku ni Aru Akari~
  • the moon illuminates

Song of Avoidance

  • Oxalis (MOVIE VERSION)

Unlike “Gouon PROGRESSIVE’s” overall metal nature, San was quite the wrong direction they were going.  It was more alternative and half the songs came off as being carbon copies of “PRIDE” which is y’know their biggest song to this day.  There were a few good tracks, but most of them felt like HandMC in bored mode.  Srry, but can’t say I like this album much.

 

HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – Tadoritsuku Basho/Oxalis June 29, 2009

Filed under: HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR — solarblade @ 11:36 pm
Tags: , , , ,

tadoritsukubasho

Track Listing

  1. Tadoritsuku Basho
  2. Oxalis
  3. Tadoritsuku Basho (MOVIE VERSION)
  4. Tadoritsuku Basho (Less vocal track)

1. Tadoritsuku Basho

After the amazing “Enrai”, Tadoritsuku Basho went for a more pop like sound which is pretty interesting since Tadoritsuku Basho isn’t all about heavy sounds and hard rock sounds.  It’d definitely different from what they’ve previously been releasing and in this case, I’m not a big fan of the song because well, it’s quite boring actually xD.  Maaki tries to keep some emotion and Yuusuke’s rapping parts were covered by the music so it was pretty tough to follow. 

2. Oxalis

Same problem lies within Oxalis because this track is basically the same exact track.  I mean it is a different melody but the same emotion just pops off here.  It’s also a pop/rock ballad which kind of disappointed me.  Sadly, the song is quite worse actually because Yuusuke is singing in a bad way….oh well….

3. Tadoritsuku Basho (MOVIE VERSION)

So both songs were used in the same movie where Maaki was lead singer for a fictional band.  Weird that the A-side’s movie version is on this single while Oxalis’s appears on the upcoming album.  If you really think about it, Yuusuke isn’t even part of the song which I guess is good and the song sounds a bit more raw I guess?  Then after a while, I start to miss Yuusuke’s parts and the song sadly feels empty….hmmm

 

 

Honestly, this is HandMC’s worst single to date.  Both songs did nothing for me and they were both boring rock ballads.  The movie version made Tadoritsuku Basho sound even more boring than it already was.  I’m sorry but what the hell happened here.