Kurayami Monogatari

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Kalafina – Hyakka Ryouran August 24, 2017

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 3:43 am

hyakkaryouran

Track Listing

  1. Hyakka Ryouran
  2. Kantankatan
  3. Tombo
  4. Hyakka Ryouran ~instrumental~
  5. Kantankatan ~instrumental~
  6. Tombo ~instrumental~
  7. Hyakka Ryouran -TV Size-

1. Hyakka Ryouran

Opening the single up, Hyakka Ryouran to me finally feels like Kajiura is up for some kind of experimentation whereas the previous singles in this era felt more or less safe for her.  Actually, the song’s darker rock vibe reminds me of songs like “consolation” and “Magia”.  I love the arrangement and it just sounds like Kalafina back to their awesomeness and mysterious auras.  This is definitely a song that really sticks out for them in a great way!

2. Kantankatan

The first of the B-sides, Kantankatan takes the trio down a slower path with a strings/piano/acoustic guitar ballad.  To be fair, I feel like I haven’t heard the trio tackle a style like this.  I’m liking the harmonies in the song for sure, but I feel like because of the arrangement, it does kind of feel sluggish to me, maybe a bit boring?  I don’t know there’s just not much for me to remember it for.

3. Tombo

Though the other B-side is something Kalafina always seem to do and nowadays, the feeling is cutting short because there’s just not much to say when it comes to bare-boned ballads.  So for short, nice harmonies, melody is forgetful due to it is only really come in the form of piano and it’s a sleeper…

 

 

As Kalafina’s 3rd single of the era, Hyakka Ryouran might be my favorite A-side they’ve done for quite a WHILE so I appreciate the effort in this track especially!  However, I can’t say the same for the rest of the single.  Kantankatan does have an interesting arrangement but the way it flows just kind of feels slow to me and Tombo…is basic Kalafina…there’s SOOOO many other similar ballads in comparison too…

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Kalafina – into the world/Märchen April 19, 2017

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 4:52 am

intotheworld

Track Listing

  1. into the world
  2. Märchen
  3. Haru wo Matsu
  4. into the world ~instrumental~
  5. Märchen ~instrumental~
  6. Märchen ~Anime Size~

1. into the world

As the leading track, into the world follows in the same veins as previous open-air songs like “Eden” and “ring your bell” with the kind of positive, flightly arrangement that we’ve been getting more and more of from Kalafina these days.  I mean I’m not dogging it for not being unique, but they have been pulling this card a LOT in recent times and I kind of want them to move on from it…it’s just starting to feel generic for Kalafina…

2. Märchen

Maybe that’s why there’s a second A-sides here because right from the start, Märchen kicks in for something new and something to push the group out again.  Hearing HIKARU lead is also a good sign because more times than not she gets the cool songs for the group.  I’m not sure where the song lands genre-wise, but it’s a decent mix of anison, rock, and folk blended into a cool and forceful track.  Definitely the more impressive track here!

3. Haru wo Matsu

Surprised the single included a B-side, but like majority of their B-sides have been, it’s a piano-led ballad.  As they’re kind of a dime in a dozen, Haru wo Matsu doesn’t really strike my fancy much, but the mood of the song is a little more uplifting than previous efforts which is pleasant, but for the people not into ballads, then this one won’t do you any good.

 

 

It feels like it’s been forever since “blaze” released, but the fact this single was announced quite a while before its actual release was shocking to me.  This single is odd, but still not up there amongst their bests.  I feel like I’m tired of the hopeful, bright sky-like songs from Kajiura and into the world was just generic to me.  I think most of my enjoyment is from Märchen with a more cooler drive and the members giving a stronger vocal performance.  As for Haru wo Matsu…it’s a ballad, you’ll either like it or not in this case…I just hope it doesn’t take forever for their next single.

 

 

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.