Kurayami Monogatari

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ICEMAN – GATE//white July 8, 2014

Filed under: ICEMAN — solarblade @ 2:15 am

gatewhite

Track Listing

  1. white dimension
  2. dope light
  3. out of crowd ~ Kikai na Mousou ni Shinshoku Sareru Persona
  4. BLEACHING
  5. close your eyes ~Natsu e no Tobira wo Aketa Koneko ni Sasagu~
  6. GATE ZERO
  7. Neo Age
  8. Beauty and Beast 0’0”
  9. Genetic Bomb
  10. all over the destruct
  11. CRAZY JET (Album version)

1. white dimension

Opening the album is an intro from Daisuke and it really does sound quite futuristic when you listen to it with the flurry of synths and the countdown going on.  Though the piano makes it go away and it turns quite dark and foreboding with a clock ticking that comes in right after too.  Then it goes into our next track…really random huh?

2. dope light

We move onto our first main track and dope light is a pretty much typical Daisuke-fare song which is no surprise but hey this early?  Michihiro sounds good and has good enough energy to power through the song (and some places he’s even filtered which adds spice).  It’s an actual good song to kick things off…kind of reminds me of like “Digirizm Mutation” stuff still good though.

3. out of crowd ~ Kikai na Mousou ni Shinshoku Sareru Persona

So with our long titled track, out of crowd sounds like what would become access’ sound for a while.  I like the mysterious glow of Daisuke’s synths in the intro.  Once the guitars come in, it does sound a bit aged for me surprisingly.  Michihiro luckily adds to this mysterious tone and I liked it a lot!  Sexy tune for the trio…probably one of my early favorites.

4. BLEACHING

What a weird intro with the guitars for BLEACHING.  Likewise, listening to this, it makes me think of access but quicker which makes me wonder if Daisuke was putting more effort here than in access XD.  I love the guitarwork, though it did confuse with Michihiro/Daisuke since the former was sounding dark and evil while Daisuke was sounding light and airy.  It’s an odd juxtaposition to have, but the song is kind of catchy and not as terribly aged.

5. close your eyes ~Natsu e no Tobira wo Aketa Koneko ni Sasagu~

After listening to ICEMAN for so long, I wasn’t expecting the trio to just kind of release a song like this.  Unlike the synth-heavy arrangements, close your eyes is poppy as hell…(actually could be a T.M.Revolution tune).  The breezy pop arrangement is odd to say the least and the choice to put Michihiro under filters here is a bit wtf but it’s a nice relaxing song.  Random on an album like this though xD.

6. GATE ZERO

After the side trip, we get back into synth songs with GATE ZERO (which suits this whole trilogy of GATEs ICEMAN has been doing).  I actually am surprised how breezy this sounds too but the synths make it magical and soothing to listen to.  Unfortunately, it’s a 5 minute instrumental focusing on Daisuke’s techniques which makes this a bit boring of a listen after a while.  I mean on its own it’s a great song to showcase Daisuke, but on an ICEMAN album…it doesn’t work much besides tying this whole GATE trilogy.

7. Neo Age

Then we get to Neo Age and I feel that whole nostalgic Daisuke feel come all the way forward.  It’s a synthpop track of course and once again Michihiro is filtered out so his voice sounds odd and synthed.  It seems like it could’ve been a much stronger track if this wasn’t the case, but what we got seemed plastic almost…

8. Beauty and Beast 0’0”

Our next track is at least trying to win me back by bringing them guitars and Michihiro’s manly vocals back.  The tune is a bit goofy and cheesy and a lot of the time, Michihiro is over pronouncing the lyrics lol!  I’m not sure what Daisuke was going for but it’s kind of quirky in a weird way.  Actually it sounds like an access song once again XDDDD.  At times he even sounds like Hiroyuki…throws me off!!!

9. Genetic Bomb

Man, with a title like that, I was hoping for a REALLY badass song to come out.  It starts off with high hopes as Daisuke’s synths give off this futuristic feel.  Actually I really liked Michihiro’s filtered vocals here as it’s deeper and adds this anison tone (kind of like “Shining Collection”).  It’s all good up until the chorus.  I felt that was the weakest part of the song but the rest is just right!

10. all over the destruct

Another foreboding intro huh?  all over the destruct is a rather interesting song since it sounds even older, going back to their debut album, “POWER SCALE”.  It’s that obvious it’s hitting some 90’s euro.  It seems to be the outro of the album however since there’s no vocals to be found and once again focuses on Daisuke’s synths and a little guitarwork from Kenichi.  I mean we already had “GATE ZERO” did we really need another long instrumental break?

11. CRAZY JET (Album version)

The album closes out with a new version of CRAZY JET (which was a video single…yeah you know this album is old when this is the case LOL).  I love the bass intro mixed in with those digital bleeps.  It’s a very interesting song with a lot of twists and turns but at the same time goes back to “Digirizm Mutation” where it’s just lot of guitars and synths.  I liked it, though it took a while before Michihiro started singing.  Still a good song!

Tracks Recommended

  • out of crowd ~ Kikai na Mousou ni Shinshoku Sareru Persona
  • Genetic Bomb
  • BLEACHING
  • CRAZY JET (Album version)

Song of Avoidance

  • Neo Age

As it’s the trio’s 5th album, GATE//white is an interesting experience.  There’s still places where Daisuke’s typical sound bores me but there’s a lot more songs I like on this album than any other of the “GATE” albums they released.  Sadly, this would be the last thing they would released.  Michihiro would leave the trio in 2000 and subsequently Daisuke would disband in 2001.  While they don’t have a big discography in comparison to Asukara’s other duties (access and T.M.Revolution) they were a group that is not well-known…thought I’d try them out and while I was mostly disappointed, there were some gems!  Interesting group.

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ICEMAN – GATE I March 18, 2009

Filed under: ICEMAN — solarblade @ 5:40 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

gate1

Track Listing

  1. THAT’S BLACK GATE
  2. Strike Back of PSYCO
  3. Deep Wild ~Genkaku Chitai ni Okeru Shinkai ni te~
  4. Last wild wind
  5. In The Black Hole
  6. DEVIL CRY-MAX
  7. Eyes Bright
  8. Gate I-gate odyssey
  9. For the next gate from Black

1. THAT’S BLACK GATE

The 2nd of the GATE series begins with a very haunting opening that slowly builds up to a climax which is then cut short into the next track.  Not really what I’d call exciting, but at least it’s there.  I guess..

2. Strike Back of PSYCO

Our first full track has a pretty heavy beat to start things up.  I found it funny that a lone piano chort splits the song before the crazy arrangement starts up.  I’m not sure about this but but how Kenichi was singing was so messy and the song just didn’t sound right and was probably too much for one song to handle.  I do love Michihiro’s guitar solo though.  It really reacted with the chaotic speed this song was going and Daisuke’s crazy beats.

3. Deep Wild ~Genkaku Chitai ni Okeru Shinkai ni te~

Deep Wild took things and calmed down a bit.  The first thing I reaslly noticed was how Kenichi’s vocals were filtered and giving an echoey glow to it which I thought worked nicely, but the chorus wasn’t climatic and I didn’t even notice it happening until I heard Daisuke’s vocals.  Not really helping out much. 

4. Last wild wind

Things calm down further with Last wild wind and my interest was also cut down.  Instead of the hard rock, we get a cheesy pop tune with synths.  I’ll tell you, I was not impressed with what was happening around here.  I even thought of Takami from access because of the similar vocals heard here. 

5. In The Black Hole

We actually get back into a better direction one this song starts.  I can really sense the space theme going on with all of it based off of Daisuke’s playing.  It still isn’t as fantastic as “Strike Back of PSYCO”, but at least it’s better than those last two tracks.  Oh that inderlude in the middle was so boring IMO.  meh.

6. DEVIL CRY-MAX

LOL, Everytime I read the title, I think of Devil May Cry.  We see a return of Kenichi trying to sing like Takami which is very disheartening and pretty bad if I may say.  Anyways, the song sounded pretty empty as songs go and the chorus was repetitive and boring to me as well.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean to do that, but this song was bad.

7. Eyes Bright

The ethereal synth playing was pretty spooky, but then Daisuke came in with the beats and Eyes Bright lost points again.  It reminds me too much of access’s “VIEW” to not find itself differentiate itself from it.  I’ll say it’s a good pop track with no focus on the guitar moments.  Just not that good to call it original.

8. Gate I-gate odyssey

It has a pretty dark opening that lasts for a bit and they dramatic strings and Michihiro’s hard guitar playing brings the mood into an epic zone.  Once again Kenichi’s vocals are filtered to fit the mood of the song and his singing is so hectic and pretty cool.  I can’t believe it took the album this long to get a good track.

9. For the next gate from Black

Another one of these tracks?  The ending interlude of the album has a pretty light electronica feel with some ethereal sparkling moments popping in and out of the track which is intriguing, but for a track that’s 2 minutes long I was expecting some vocals.  Near the end though, a countdown starts and then everything ends when he says ~1~…It’s weird because the electronica sounds this song has appears on the next album as well.

Tracks Recommended

  • Strike Back of PSYCO
  • Gate I-gate odyssey
  • Eyes Bright

Song of Avoidance

  • DEVIL CRY-MAX

 ICEMAN’s 4th album was more or less the same as “GATE II” was in fact, It’s hard deciding which of the two I really liked more.  I really enjoy their let loose and rock hard tracks, but their pop tracks are better left forgotten.  Eyes Bright would be the only exception because it did sound quite good, but familiar to a another Daisuke track.  Still it’s an ok album at best.

 

ICEMAN – GATE II August 21, 2008

Filed under: ICEMAN — solarblade @ 8:25 am
Tags: , , , , ,

gate2

Track Listing

  1. RED gate OPEN
  2. PERFECT FUTURE?
  3. Expander Drive Machine ~ Haten Tojoujin Gata Android no Mita Yume
  4. Wish Matrix
  5. CAUTION!
  6. Space Dreamer
  7. FATE WEATHER
  8. GATE II-sensitive gate
  9. Shining Collection
  10. For the next gate from RED

1. RED gate OPEN

Kind of a bleak opening to an album with this strange opening.  There’s some music to it but it’s happy and getting faster and faster…Definitly some odd stuff going on here.  Freaking out man!

2. PERFECT FUTURE?

Starts out with an odd clapping beat and then the song flies off and really sounds new and fresh.  Though I’m not sure why Michihiro has a lisp in the song.  It’s pretty good and they harmonize pretty well in the chorus.  It’s futuristic and rockin’ at the same time.

3. Expander Drive Machine ~ Haten Tojoujin Gata Android no Mita Yume

Pretty nifty title don’t you think?  This song is just like “PERFECT FUTURE?” but this time Michihiro sounds pissed in this song.  I didn’t really like that sound of his voice so much, and the chorus sounded weird and they say the title sooooo bad.  Though I do like Kenichi’s guitarwork in the song. 

4. Wish Matrix

The beginning left the song in a more standout position since it sounded almost naturistic.  Though I don’t know if I really liked the guitar to have been in this track.  It made it more complicated as song altogether.  Then the chorus comes out and he’s squeaking and that turned me off.  I loved the after-chorus though.  Different to my ears and pretty cool.

5. CAUTION!

A mysterious track this is for sure.  The start is so cryptic and alluring to me, then the dance beats start out which is usual, but then Daisuke plays piano and hits some god awful chords on purpose.  Luckily it didn’t bother me too much as the voices are still there.  It’s got such a hectic beat.  Michihiro comes in sounds pretty cool getting some fast lyrics out.  A very cool track.

6. Space Dreamer

Kenichi solo at the beginning, then becomes an odd pop tune.  With organ in it which is awkward and Michihiro being so forceful with the lyrics.  I like Daisuke playing the piano though that sounded nice but this was just weird overall.

7. FATE WEATHER

Kenichi totally owns in this song and so does Daisuke for that matter.  This is probably the fastest track so far and synths and fast and so is Kenichi too.  The chorus has them once again showing they can sing in tune.  If they were thinking space travel they hit gold doing this track.

8. GATE II-sensitive gate

Title track is actually a more subdued track and softer.  Michihiro though is speaking in the song which turns the listener off, it’s mostly a Daisuke track however since he’s leading most of the synths.  When he plays the melody it sounds like something from FFVIII.  Maybe it’s just me being too close to that series and all.

9. Shining Collection

ICEMAN is mostly famously known as them guys who did the Gravitation opening and this song was that song.  Even faster than “FATE WEATHER” this song is hectic and so damn fast.  Michihiro even is fast in the verses.  The chorus is prety cool and says ~Shining~ pretty well.  Kenichi and Daisuke worked together and synthed up the guitar actually.  The middle of the song was so cool sounding as epic and crazy at the same time.  No wonder why this song os one of their bests.

10. For the next gate from RED

The ending of the album is a bouncy ending from them, another Daisuke thing but Kenichi is in it also.  It sounds real sinister like something is going to happen.  Think of  the “Metal Gear Solid” series and you’ll that same feeling in this song.  Then the album goes back to the breathing found at the beginning of the album….hmmm strange

Tracks Recommended

  • Shining Collection
  • CAUTION!
  • PERFECT FUTURE?

Song of Avoidance

  • Space Dreamer

GATE II was actually pretty good and a definitly a turning point where they were getting more futuristic in their overall sound.  Actually most of it was based on that if not all of them.  Shining Collection definitly was a high point in the album, being so damn fast and all.  I recommend this album

 

 

ICEMAN – Digiryzm Mutation July 23, 2008

Filed under: ICEMAN — solarblade @ 9:47 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

digirizmmutation

Track Listing

  1. L.a.r.v.a.e
  2. CYCLONE MUTANT
  3. 8 Banme no Tsumi ~ COMPRESSED MIX
  4. BEAUTY SITE
  5. tearless ~ Ano Koro no Kimi wo Sagashite
  6. SweetJank, SweetGap
  7. Harmit and Milk
  8. E.v.o.l.u.t.i.o.n
  9. GALAXY GANG ~ COMPRESSED MIX
  10. FINAL PRAYER
  11. BEAT MY LIFE
  12. Image of Tomorrow
  13. LOST COMPLEX ~ COMPRESSED MIX
  14. W.o.r.l.dΛ

1. L.a.r.v.a.e

It’s the opening sequence, and not really much of anything happens just so sounds, and then an evil voice appears and says the album title before entering into our 1st full track.  Not exactly a cool start.

2. CYCLONE MUTANT

This was the strongest song from the album as it introduces everyone in a pretty kickass way.  It’s even cooler that the singers harmoize the way they do.  The chorus has them saying ~Cyclone, Baby~ Now, that’s just putting it obvious.  The middle of the track has a synth voice saying the ~Mutant~ part.  Then it get’s into pretty cool solo/maybe part.  Like I said, best track.

3. 8 Banme no Tsumi ~ COMPRESSED MIX

 A very cosmic start to our first single from the album, 8 Banme no Tsumi has a very dark undertone to it.  Then when it hit the chorus I thought Daisuke’s synth usage was a bit too happy and somewhat weird  comparing with Kenichi’s guitar part.  Add it that I didn’t like the single either, so it was a fair guess to put it early but after “CYCLONE MUTANT”? nvm.

4. BEAUTY SITE

ICEMAN, using ska?  Well, this threw me off.  Michihiro sounds so strange here also.  Kinda like he’s trying to be Takami from access.  In this case it works because it pissed me off.  The song also sounded a bit strange for me.  The chorus reminded me of “America’s Funniest Home Video’s opening song”  Isn’t that strange?

5. tearless ~ Ano Koro no Kimi wo Sagashite

Once I saw the tracklist, I knew I was right calling this as a ballad.  Michihiro sounds pretty soft-spoken here and it’s a nice change ftom the last track.  I did find it weird on the album, as it is one of the softer tunes.  Kenichi’s guitar playing did help boost more interest in it.  Definitly a 90’s pop ballad.

6. SweetJank, SweetGap

A funky start with Daisuke powering it.  Then Michihiro sunds off the verse with a megaphone, but I was distracted by the synths more than the voice.  The melody does get me though.  I like how he sound with the long notes.  I was very disappointed that they they let out Michihiro’s voice and in fact this was more of a Daisuke-only track since Kenichi was not even there.

7. Harmit and Milk

Ick, I don’t like the beginning of the track, with those boring Daisuke synths.  First thing I notice is the whole odd sound in Michihiro’s and Kenichi’s voice.  It’s like Daisuke filtered the voices to make a creepy dual voice.  The bridge did make me shiver cause that was just a perfect moment.  In the end, I thought it was too soft and lacked any substance to it. 

8. E.v.o.l.u.t.i.o.n

The interlude comes into the album, this one was the freakiest interlude I’ve heard in a while.  Organs playing in the creepy notes then sharp synth sounds jump in and then Kenichi, I think? comes in and plays around for a bit.  Then quips from Michihiro comes in.  After all that craziness, it calms for a few measures and strikes back.  I was definitly impressed by this interlude. 

9. GALAXY GANG ~ COMPRESSED MIX

Not that I was real impressed by any of the singles coming from the album, GALAXY GANG sounded good.  A constant dance beat with Kenichi long note playing.  I did kinda think Michihior was covered up too much by the music and was a little monotone.  Maybe except the bridge.  Still, I did like the space theme to it.

10. FINAL PRAYER

When it came to FINAL PRAYER, I just thought it sounded too weird.  There was just too much percussion for one too handle.  Then again it sounds very present to now.  This was probably my least favorite single however.

11. BEAT MY LIFE

Now this is what I’m talking about.  BEAT MY LIFE had such a simple dance beat.  It definitly reminded me of “HOT LIMIT” from T.M.R.  Everyone is harmonizing but not as perfect as it was in “CYCLONE MUTANT”.  Still, Kenichi actually made do a little air guitar lol.  Cool track.

12. Image of Tomorrow

As with “tearless”, this is the other ballad of the album.  I kinda found this sound a bit too much like “tearless”.  The track was just a mirror track if you ask me.  Though, Kenichi isn’t as prominent, he still plays along.  This just didn’t gather my attention until the piano solo.  Ehhh, not the best one.

13. LOST COMPLEX ~ COMPRESSED MIX

My favorite single was this track.  Starts out with a beautiful piano opening before turning into this cybernetic guitar driven track.  Kenichi just sounded perfect and in a right feel of speed too.  Michihiro sounds pretty good.  The strings were a surprise also.  Yea, a very strong track from them.

14. W.o.r.l.dΛ

The ending sequence starts with nature sounds hmmph.  It’s got a nice feel to it.  Then you hear a voice croaking, I couldn’t makeout what they were saying and it just ends that quick.

Tracks Recommended

  • CYCLONE MUTANT
  • LOST COMPLEX ~ COMPRESSED MIX
  • E.v.o.l.u.t.i.o.n
  • BEAT MY LIFE

Song of Avoidance

  • FINAL PRAYER

ICEMAN’s sophomore album was definitly a step up from “POWER SCALE” I mean lead track “CYCLONE MUTANT” beats out every track from the first album already.  The singles were poor choices maybe except LOST COMPLEX, but were making the album poor. Now this album is also the last of the normal named one.  The preceding albums all have ~Gate~ in them…Still, this album was definitly a good album.

 

ICEMAN – POWER SCALE June 21, 2008

Filed under: ICEMAN — solarblade @ 4:35 pm
Tags: , , ,

powerscale

Track Listing

  1. DARK HALF – TOUCH YOUR DARKNESS
  2. Something feel like Heaven
  3. Narctic Boy
  4. REIMEI
  5. Mr.D
  6. White Fusion ~ Kasoi Renai no Tebiki
  7. Dear My Friend -Make Your Shine Way-
  8. Freeter Blues
  9. BREATHLESS NIGHT SLIDER
  10. Edge of the season
  11. ICE BREAKER

1. DARK HALF ~TOUCH YOUR DARKNESS~

I thought it’d be a ballad after the beginning, hell no.  This is a rockin’ song.  Michihiro, the vocalist, sounds kinda bored in thorugh the chorus.  He does get better later in.  The bridge is pretty awesome.  I love Daisuke in this song, he made the song livelier.  Kenichi’s solo was WHOA!  I’m like impressed beyond with him.  Go ICEMAN!

2. Something feel like Heaven

Starting with Daisuke’s finger power, it kind of has a islandy feeling to it,  It eventually does sound even more like it, I was like hehehe, definitly fun.  Though, there is little work in it, since it’s mostly Daisuke and Michihiro at the reins in the song.  Very reminescent to like Sonic the Hedgehogs’s music…..lol and what’s with the girl….she sounds very uhm….XXX rated lol

3. Narctic Boy

It’s got a funky beginning I’ll start off by saying that.  Sounds like there’s a rapper guy in it.  We hear Kenichi come back playing the acoustic.  It’s something you don’t hear from ICEMAN much.  Though the music eventually covers it back up, it was a treat.  I know that this was a single, but it just sounds very filler to me even.

4. REIMEI

REIMEI’s got more of a mellow tone to it, like a elevator song lol.  The random synths is unusual in a song like this, but it really help the boredom with the song.  I have no idea, why I’m even listening it’s just bleh…

5. Mr.D

Ooooo, we’re jumped back in a dance mood with Kenichi powering with his guitar.  Ok, the verses are very fast for me, and they sound a bit like Orange Range in here but with synths.  I was thinking that this song is poppy.  OMG, I love the entire chorus.  I think this is their fun song of the album, I wouldnt blame them, It’s a good listen and funny too.

6. White Fusion ~ Kasou Renai no Tebiki

After the joyride, where brought to this dark, and droning song.  I think Daisuke in the early parts of the tune, was very random.  Though after Michihiro stops singing then it actually sounds good.  After that it turns out to be something you’d her from Red Hot Chili Peppers.  It’s got a strong bass sound and even nicer guitar playing.  I guess the fusion is here. 

7. Dear My Friend ~Shine Your Own Way~

A ballad?  From a rock/dance group?  This is just pandemonium.  Lacking any Daisuke/Kenichi.  It’s pretty much a Michihiro solo, though I like how the music sounds like it’s being played by a record player.  There’s an interlude where it leads to more instruments, probably is a good thing, I was getting bored pretty fast.  Still am by the end.

8. Freeter Blues

Haha, very jazzy like here.  Michihiru is definitly is into this song I can tell.  Though he lets himself go too much, as some of his notes are squeaked or very outta tune.  Love, the fact that there’s so much to it and it’s overly catchy. Oh yea, Trumpets!

9. BREATHLESS NIGHT SLIDER

Hmmm?  I’ve seen a close title like that, oh yea T.M.Revolution has a track called “BEDLESS NIGHT SLIDER”.  Though this song beats the latter because it’s at a faster pace.  I can imagine this song being connected to Gundam Wing, it has that sound, where most of T.M.R’s music represents.  I just like the wildness of the song.  Daisuke also won points with his playing. 

10. Edge of the season

Ok, I’m also thinking this song is kinda of unusual, the dance beat just doesn’t quite fit.  The guitar also makes point of the reasoning as well.  I didn’t enjoy this song also because it was just too slow.  If it was a bit more alive there prolly wouldn’t have been so many issues.

11. ICE BREAKER

This definitly made me feel like I was in an ice cave, I like how they portray that feeling at the beginning.  Then we got into a synth starting sounding and wow, it drives even further more down the “make the song more cold”.  Though I think this doesn’t have any lyrical content, except for that guy who repeats the same phrase.  It takes a while, but eventually Michihiro comes in late in the tune, but it’s a nice entrance dont ya think?  Still, great ending song.

 Tracks Recommended

  • DARK HALF ~TOUCH YOUR DARKNESS~
  • ICE BREAKER
  • Freeter Blues
  • BREATHLESS NIGHT SLIDER

Song of Avoidance

  • Edge of the season

So ICEMAN’s first album was very catchy, some of the songs were boring but right when I was too bored they came back with an even better track.  My favorite track has got to be the 1st track, totally, ICE BREAKER is probably my 2nd, I just like how that song conveyed the track almost perfectly.  AHHHHH, you should get this album