Enrai ~Tooku ni Aru Akari~
DIVE into YOURSELF (YOUR VOICE Version)
the moon illuminates
Sandome no Sakura
a shape of love
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 😄
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.
Song of Avoidance
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.