Kurayami Monogatari

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Kalafina – blaze August 12, 2016

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 5:17 am

blaze

Track Listing

  1. blaze
  2. Natsu no Asa
  3. blaze ~instrumental~
  4. Natsu no Asa ~instrumental~
  5. blaze ~TV size~

1. blaze

It’s been a while, but it seems we’ve finally got our next Kalafina A-side and boy does this song sound anison as hell!  Like, almost Naruto-esque with the kind of pop/rock arrangement going on.  Despite the kind of unique direction the trio took for this song, I do feel like because of its sound it almost sounds generic if not for the heavenly vocals here.  There’s even some cool parts like the bridge for sure.  It’ll probably grow on me after more listens at least!

2. Natsu no Asa

Did “Natsu no Ringo” & the other folksy songs get another to drop into its folder?  It sure seems like and it honestly sounds like the aforementioned song especially with the flute melody that plays around the song.  I really do enjoy hearing their folk tracks as they give plenty of shine to the trio’s vocals.  Definitely a sweet song and a good B-side!

 

 

After a nice lengthy break after their 5th album, Kalafina releases a new single to begin the road to the 6th album and blaze for the most part is OK.  It’s still nothing too groundbreaking, but I feel like blaze can be memorable, though I feel like the star of the single is Natsu no Asa with their folksy arrangement and beautiful presentation from Yuki Kajiura.  I like to see where things go in this era!

 

Kalafina – far on the water September 14, 2015

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 2:21 am

faronthewater

Track Listing

  1. into the water
  2. monochrome
  3. Gogatsu no Mahou
  4. ring your bell
  5. Usa Murasaki
  6. identify
  7. Hokage
  8. One Light
  9. Musunde Hiraku
  10. heavenly blue
  11. Sorairo no Isu
  12. believe
  13. far on the water

1. into the water

Opening the album is a short introduction piece, into the water.  It has an eerie opening with the trio singing in a creepy but cool chorale as the song starts to open a little further.  It’s pretty neat and the mysterious vibe I get from the song plus the random amounts of odd static-like noise is odd but then it just ends rather abruptly…strange…

2. monochrome

Makes less sense as our first full track begins with a similar static-esque feel before the tune opens up to this kind of weird combination of diner pop/rock and accordion-laced arrangement (think of Cirque du Soleil in this case).  I would go on to and say this song has a bouncy feel and a more happier feel to it that I quite enjoy.  I’m liking it somewhat, but I do feel like it could have a little more movement and changes throughout as I feel it stays on the same level through the entire tune.

3. Gogatsu no Mahou

It seems there’s quite a lot of these breezy-anison-pop/rock tunes these days from Kalafina and I ended up feeling the same way with this song.  I mean the acoustic guitar being featured is a nice touch and all, but the song isn’t too much different of songs past from them.  I do really like the strings passage and the bridge with WAKANA hitting those notes were really pleasant!  Not bad, but it’ll definitely need time to grow.

4. ring your bell

As the 3rd A-side from this album, ring your bell is basically “Gogatsu no Mahou” with a heavier lean on some electric guitars, but it has the same air-like quality to it that really stuck out.  I still love HIKARU’s performance through this and it still gives me this sweet, adventurous feel that only a couple other songs do give so it really to me was the best A-side for the album.

5. Usa Murasaki

Our next track begins with a kind of cool, dark, tribal kind of feel (something akin to songs from “Red Moon”).  The kind of slow almost Arabian arrangement really sports the trio in a nice light and they themselves sound so hypnotizing that I’m soooo drawn to their voices here.  I also do love how it builds up more with stronger percussion hits and a more cool feel with even electric guitars thrown in.  Definitely pleasant to the ears and one of the album’s gems!

6. identify

Hey, a rockin’ performance comes next for Kalafina and that’s always a good thing!  HIKARU though really own this song and once again shown a powerful performance all-around (though I do with the other two members had their share in this one specifically).  I’m not sure why but some of the chords and lines REALLY remind me of “love come down”, “Magia” and “progressive” but I suppose that’s a good thing because those 3 are favorites are mine and this one might seriously join them.  Really cool song overall!!!

7. Hokage

Then the album stops suddenly for Hokage (the album’s first ballad).  After the ending of “identify” to just instantly start this track is a bit random and weird, but I suppose we’re on this.  As a piano/strings ballad, Hokage brings a lot more to the table than the ballads that the singles brought in which is obviously a good sign.  I’m loving the kind of depressing vibes and almost dramatic KH vibes it gives me hahah!

8. One Light

Yeah, “Hokage” seemed so out of place being placed between “identify” and this track which was the last A-side released prior to the album!  What I mean is that One Light also has a stronger pop/rock sound to me.  While I have had switched between this and “ring your bell” as favorite A-side, this is a stellar song and has a lot of amazing moments in it!  Despite the anisonness, it’s still a wondeful song and vocally just as!

9. Musunde Hiraku

Oh hi “Eden” and “Mirai”…Yeah, Musunde Hiraku is another effervescent, airy track that has lovely vocals coming from the trio.  Really, nothing much else to really say as the remainder of the track just kind of zooms on by without much effect on its stance.  I mean it’s an alright song overall, but we’ve seen this type of song before as it is…

10. heavenly blue

While I’m still rather bitter about the lack “Kimi no Gin no Niwa” and “Alleluia” being left off, the fact that the best album’s lone new track made it on this album.  Sadly this song seems to be lost amongst the A-side because it’s once again another anison but airy song from the trio and we have a bit too many on this one as it is.  It’s not terrible, but I seem to forget how it goes ater a while lol.

11. Sorairo no Isu

The other ballad on the album, Sorairo no Isu isn’t as grandiose as “Hokage” was, but, it’s kind of folksy arrangement is pleasant and dream-like which is pretty serene!  It flows by pretty peacefully and acts like the aforementioned song as a break of same-sounding songs which is strange but honestly I was hoping this was the case.  Overall, very pretty, not bad!

12. believe

Which leads to the 2nd A-side released and boy does it sound WAY too much like “heavenly blue” and honestly like “One Light” as well.  You know, that same anison pop/rock sound.  I will say that I do love the intro the most of the A-sides, but when it comes to the rest of the song, it just fades into the back.  I suppose by itself and from the single, it was decent, but on the album it sounds so vanilla.

13. far on the water

As the album hits its final mark, we get the title track and boy I’m happy that we get to see some equality between the members (well maybe not KEIKO, but I do hear her a lot more here).  Otherwise, I wasn’t too much into following this song because once again it’s kind of that positive sounding sound this album has been pushing.  I do love the flute solo in the bridge, but beyond that *shrugs*

Tracks Recommended

  • identify
  • Usa Murasaki
  • One Light
  • ring your bell
  • Hokage

Song of Avoidance

  • believe

As we finish off Kalafina’s 5th album, I’m kind of wondering where the magic went with Kajiura’s music.  I do think far on the water is their weakest effort yet.  I think it was because nothing was really connecting the album for me and the A-sides were so anison that it kind of broke off any flow it had (especially having the ballads be the breakoff points between two otherwise similar songs twice!).  There are some winners here, but this just wasn’t an amazing album…

 

Kalafina – One Light August 17, 2015

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 5:40 am

onelight

Track Listing

  1. One Light
  2. Mahiru
  3. Samidare ga Sugita Koro ni
  4. One Light ~instrumental~
  5. One Light ~TV size~

1. One Light

It feels like it’s been a while since Kalafina released a good anison/pop/rock track and with One Light they seemed to find their placing again.  The tune really reminds me of a mix of “sprinter” and “consolation” which is pretty awesome to say the least as they’re songs I love from the trio (or quartet with the former).  The trio seems to really pull this song off and there’s some great parts in there (mostly from HIKARU), but even so this is a pretty cool track, probably my favorite of the era.

2. Mahiru

Of course it isn’t a Kalafina single without that signature ballad and Mahiru marks as that song which might disappoint some who were hoping a for a break away from them.  Despite that, the song is seriously as pulled back as it can get for Kajiura…you know a song that’s only a damn piano as the acting melody while the trio has to use their vocals to get by.  Oddly enough, whoever sung 2nd (HIKARU?) sounded really bad here and really ruined what was clearly a nice moment for KEIKO and WAKANA.  Then it there’s the end which seriously took a minute to get to with the piano…honestly…wth.

3. Samidare ga Sugita Koro ni

Then we get the 3rd A-side and I was surprised at how anison it sounded (I mean not like Kajiura-like, but general anison).  It’s a mid-tempo pop tune and it’s kind of got this head-bopping feel to it, but it’s really a strange mix once you add in the trio and their super vocals.  It’s a song that’s gradually growing on me and the added ~la-la-la-las~ in the later half actually sound really pleasant to me…strange for Kalafina, but a nice breezy song from the group.

As the end their “far on the water” era, I was actually digging this single a bit more than their last couple (not to say they weren’t disappointing though :D).  One Light reminds me of their heavier rock themes out there and it sounded really good to me.  Samidare ga Sugita Koro ni was an interesting concept to listen to and I think I could get into this, but Mahiru was flatout bad…just boring to listen to…With the album tracklist, I’m a bit sad that that the singles used for the best albums (except “heavenly blue) won’t be on the album, but I think I can deal with the 4 A-sides that do get to be there.

 

Kalafina – ring your bell June 4, 2015

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 10:36 pm

ringyourbell

Track Listing

  1. ring your bell
  2. Koibito no Mukashigatari no Yuugure no
  3. ring your bell (in the silence)
  4. ring your bell ~instrumental~
  5. ring your bell ~TV size~

1. ring your bell

Did we get “Eden” again because ring your bell is really making me feel like I’m hitting deja vu again.  HIKARU finds herself at the front of the song once again and she sounds really pretty as a lead especially in such a bright light.  I feel like I’ve heard this somewhere else though with previous Kalafina releases, but as an A-side this is a nice adventurous piece.

2. Koibito no Mukashigatari no Yuugure no

As for the B-side, I wasn’t expecting a darker arrangement to kind of reverse the effects from “ring your bell” did.  I’m loving the spacious and echo effects placed on WAKANA here (actually I feel like she’s mostly the one singing in the track which is no surprise at all).  Though I do love how after a while it grows into this mechanical piece with some guitar strikes and what sounds like cool percussion taps.  Definitely a track that has a lot of character to it and continues Kalafina’s strong streak of B-sides.

3. ring your bell (in the silence)

I wasn’t sure what to expect with another version of the A-side, but I had assumed it was going to be a ballad version of the track.  After listening to the song, I was completely correct about my assumption.  Having a similar dark atmosphere like “Koibito no Mukashigatari no Yuugure no” up until the strings enter in, this version is beautiful to listen to and shows off how strong the trio is together.  However, it’s only a 1:30 in length which a rather odd surprise…I think the lyrics are about from the bridge…interesting.

Kalafina continues to put out really solid singles it seems and ring your bell is a nice single overall.  I will say that the feeling I got from the A-side mirrors how I felt for “Eden” from their 3rd album.  The b-side fared much better with its darker atmosphere and unsettling arrangement.  The “In the silence” take of the bridge is an odd choice, but it’s there.  Can’t wait for when they do their next album!

 

Kalafina – believe November 19, 2014

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 5:37 am

believekalafina

Track Listing

  1. believe
  2. in every nothing
  3. lapis
  4. believe ~TV size~
  5. believe ~instrumental~

1. believe

Man, does the opening of the song sound like some cinematic movie score, add on that it changes into this kind of rock mid-tempo which is actually something I really found myself loving.  Even though the chorus sounds like something they’ve pulled off before.  Though the verses are really nice to my ears and having WAKANA and HIKARU lead is just right. Man, I need more KEIKO though lol.  I think she has a pretty big line here somewhere xD.  Overall, not bad, but I think the chorus is the weakest part of the track.

2. in every nothing

What a beautiful introduction to the first B-side.  It really gives off this medieval and dark setting which is always a good thing in my book.  I can really see myself loving hearin this live because it has this rather strong appearance and the ladies really sound into it as well.  I feel like this could’ve been a great song from “Red Moon” with its unique sound.  I’m really loving whoever leads this one because she has a lot of power and has a striking voice here.  Definitely the best the single has to offer.

3. lapis

Of course the 3rd song from the single was going to be a ballad.  Though it’s a bit different than most efforts prior by having a king of lullaby-like dream/atmospheric kind of arrangement that popped out at me.  All of the ladies sound splendid here and even manages to throw in a guitar solo as well.  I think it’s actually one of the better Kalafina ballads out there.

 

 

After being disappointed with how little there was to their last single “heavenly blue” (yes, I know it was a recut single, but there should’ve been more incentive to getting it), believe is interesting…still not as good as “Kimi no Gin no Niwa” was but it’s nice.  believe is mostly good, but a way-too familiar chorus kind of kills some of it.  lapis is a nice atmospheric ballad from the group and stands out nicely.  Although I will say that in every nothing won me over, it’s got a cool sound and the vocals are just powerful.  Overall, good single.

 

Kalafina – heavenly blue July 23, 2014

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 2:41 am

heavenlyblue

Track Listing

  1. heavenly blue
  2. heavenly blue ~Instrumental~
  3. heavenly blue ~TV size~

1. heavenly blue

heavenly blue really kicks things immediately with a “sprinter”-esque tone with some guitars and dramatic strings.  It actually reminds me of something that would’ve came from FictionJunction which is unsurprising since it is Kajiura and all.  It’s got some good vocals, primarily from WAKANA and HIKARU, and of course KEIKO acts as the deeper voice throughout the song.  It’s a pretty good Kalafina song, but there’s songs that are still way better and stronger.

 

 

It seems so weird that Kalafina would release a recut single in heavenly blue.  As the lone new song from “THE BEST “Blue””, this wasn’t a song I was expecting getting its own single release.  Though the disappointment is more in the fact that there’s no real reason to get this.  No B-sides, just an instrumental and a shortened version.  Hate to say it, but this was a lazy release and more for SONY to be cash cows.

 

Kalafina – Kimi no Gin no Niwa November 5, 2013

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 9:16 am

Kimi_no_Gin_no_Niwa

Track Listing

  1. Kimi no Gin no Niwa
  2. misterioso
  3. Tsuioku
  4. Kimi no Gin no Niwa -instrumental-

1. Kimi no Gin no Niwa

I really love the intro for the group’s A-side plus for the total change after the ballad “Alleluia”.  It seems to bring the trio back to more of a folkish and bright sound like “storia” was!  Even more surprising is that WAKANA is leading the song (which is pretty rare in the group’s list of A-sides).  The song in its entirely is really nice of a song to listen and is full of life!  Definitely an improvement after the last couple of A-sides).

2. misterioso

What if “consolation” and “Eden” and “Mirai” combined into a song?  Well, you’d get our first B-side on the single, misterioso.  I love the breezy output from the song and the added flute kind of gives it a sound that almost makes me want to think Uematsu had some kind of influence.  You get to hear more from WAKANA and HIKARU in this song with some Keiko thrown in and I’m just loving the song in its entirety.  Best song from the single!

3. Tsuioku

Then the 2nd B-side comes in and unlike the positive and bright nature of the previous tracks, Tsuioku has more of a darker and a struggling kind of nature to it and I’m enjoying the movement of the song as it goes along.  There’s just something so enjoyable and unsettling about it that I feel so intrigued to listen to it over and over and hearing HIKARU just being badass is just enough for me to LOVE it.

 

 

After nearly boring me to death with “Alleluia”, I was wondering if Kalafina (and Kajiura) lost that spark to their music…but BOY WAS I WRONG.  The entire single was such an improvement that this could BE my favorite Kalafina single yet!  Kimi no Gin no Niwa has such a nice and fun folk arrangement that I couldn’t help but smile.  Though misterioso with its even brighter feel and Tsuioku with it’s more darker tones really filled the single out and made it more stronger.  Feels like Kajiura has refound that interest! *RECOMMENDED*