Kurayami Monogatari

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Kaya – Yumeji June 14, 2017

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 6:52 am

yumeji

Track Listing

  1. Yumeji
  2. Frosty Rain
  3. Yumeji -Trance Remix-

1. Yumeji

Oh wow, is this tribal drums and percussion I hear that opens up Yumeji?  Wow, I’m actually impressed by it even after piano & strings are added to the mix.  I feel like it does sound a bit jazzy when Kaya starts to sing and I quite enjoy the soft atmosphere that he’s not really totally known for.  I will say I’m surprised too by the abundance of reverb here giving Kaya an echo-y sound to add to the whispyness of the track overall.  Decent song here and was not expecting a track like this.

2. Frosty Rain

Are we really seeing this song again?  Yup, not even one single after (it was a B-side from “Perfana”), we have a new version of Frosty Rain that makes the ballad even MORE ballad-like with a softer performance from Kaya.  Actually there’s another voice in the song singing lines too, Yume Suzuki (who I never heard of) and they both did a pretty good job.  Strange, but I think I prefer this cut over the original take.

3. Yumeji -Trance Remix-

Since the single so far has been a quiet ride, knowing that we’d get to a trance remix of the leading song perked my interest especially the genre shift from jazz to trance is quite the stretch.  Honestly though, the arrangement with blazing synths and cool melodies are neat to listen to, but I was expecting the song to just fizzle out and quiet down for Kaya.  Though once the chorus kicks in, everything feels right in the world and it just works SO well together. I have to say for just a remix, this was pretty damn good!

 

 

Kaya’s 2nd single for the era is quite a nice single from him I’d say!  Yumeji was a nice change of pace for an A-side being quiet and jazzy and somewhat cool for him to tackle and it even makes a better trance track on top of that!  I am curious to why Frosty Rain was chosen to be redone, but it definitely made the track more memorable than before!  Awesome single!

 

Kaya – Perfana February 10, 2017

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 6:59 am

perfana

Track Listing

  1. Perfana
  2. Crescent Moon
  3. Frosty Rain (Regular only)

1. Perfana

Opening with a rush of sound and synths, Kaya kicks off with Perfana and it feels like he hadn’t let on hiatus as long as he did because Perfana is more of the electro sound that we’ve gotten accustomed to.  I do like the gothic vibes with the strings and piano being blasted with deep bass and dance beats.  It does sound a bit standard considering it’s Kaya and all, but this is a pretty cool track and a nice way to come back!

2. Crescent Moon

The B-side, Crescent Moon though is more along the lines of what Kaya can come up with by experimenting and Crescent Moon is a little more lighter in arrangement and ironically, the arrangement makes me think of Erasure (a UK synth/new wave group).  I do LOVE the glow of the song and the dreamscape-like atmosphere on top of Kaya’s whispy vocals that filter throughout.  It’s a neat song and one of the ones that stick out in his discography!

3. Frosty Rain

So the regular editions of the single came with a bonus track in Frosty Rain and funny enough, unlike both of the previous tracks, it’s without any synths or dance beats, actually it’s a natural-sounding ballad with acoustic guitar and string/piano.  If anything it reminds me of an ending theme to an anime with some of the chord progressions and the growth of the song.  It’s pretty unusual to say the least but Kaya sounds amazing here…still anison??

After being on a hiatus for about 2 years, Kaya returns with a new single in Perfana and it’s more progression on his career I’d say.  Perfana seems a little of the usual fare from him, but that’s not such a bad thing in this case, though I much preferred Crescent Moon as it has a very pleasant and flowing sound to it and Kaya’s soothing vocals just matched it perfectly.  Frosty Rain is a bit weird I can’t deny and the anison-like tones were different but not displeasing since Kaya killed it with his powerful vocals.  Let’s hope he’s working on more material now!

 

Kaya – GOTHIC February 26, 2014

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 5:11 am

gothic

Track Listing

  1. Gothic Elements (Instrumental)
  2. Vampire Requiem
  3. remains of mind
  4. Curse of Rose
  5. Traumerei
  6. PENDEL-drei (Instrumental)
  7. Marionetto
  8. Coppelia
  9. BABYLON
  10. PENDEL-zwei (Instrumental)
  11. SODOMY
  12. Infection
  13. SALOME
  14. PENDEL-eins (Instrumental)
  15. Memento mori
  16. VORWISSEN-null (Instrumental)
  17. Danse Macabre (Type A only)
  18. Tempest (Type B only)

1. Gothic Elements (Instrumental)

Opening the album, we get an introduction, woo >.>.  It’s the longest of the 5 instrumentals this album has…yeah…Like the title says the intro is dark and has a haunting piano line mixed with some filtered sounds thrown in.  Things get louder as the opening moves further and then meets its high point and dies off until all you hear left is crackling fire.  Interesting…

2. Vampire Requiem

Fitting to see that the album really begins with the first A-side he released after “QUEEN”.  Back then however, I wasn’t a fan of this song.  Working with HIZAKI, you can really tell the gothic tones with this song and I love the stringwork with the intro.  As Kaya begins singing the song changes into this oddly crawling goth track.  As he gets closer to the chorus, the tune cleans up and it starts to sound better.  BTW, it seems like most of the A-side got touched up VERY slightly for the album, but I couldn’t tell the changes.  Overall it’s not bad, but still my least favorite A-side of the era.

3. remains of mind

I was surprised Kaya would bring back remains of mind on this album.  If you remember, this was the B-side from his debut single, “Kaleidoscope”.  It was also redone to fit more of Kaya’s current voice and the arrangement has been updated slightly too.  I love the changes and they still kept a lot of what I enjoyed from the original.  Not too much was changed though so its relatively the same tune from before and it still is one of his bests IMO.

4. Curse of Rose

Moving to the B-side from “Vampire Requiem”, Curse of Rose still kind of sticks out as a sore thumb to this album by being more rock than electro so it kind of finds itself just a bit out there but fits with the goth look for the album.  It’s pretty dramatic of a song and I like it for it, but it kind of seems out of place amongst the multitude of electro songs here.

5. Traumerei

Wow, with each edition it’s weird that we only got 4 new songs each.  The first new song opens up with some lone, dramatic violin before the song opens with a dark arrangement, like “Vampire Requiem”.  It kind of sounds like it would’ve fit more after the intro as it’s dark and it’s raining in the background while Kaya sings.  It kind of sounds like a folk song which caught me off guard.  It’s a nice track to listen to to get the theme of the album perfectly.  Still surpassed by many of the other tracks, but still good!

6. PENDEL-drei (Instrumental)

We come to our first interlude with PENDEL-drei.  As a minute long interlude, it really stands as the creepy one that’s for sure.  Some creaky sound and a ticking clock (or a metronome) moves and it’s just there for aesthetic aural noise…didn’t make sense to me.

7. Marionetto

I’m not sure why the song has a new title, but it’s “Marionette” from the “Nocturne” single.  The changes here were pretty minute, but some of the arrangement was tweaked better and Kaya’s build in lines sound a bit cleaner as well.  Overall, the song is still pretty good and brought the album to focus more on the electro songs.

8. Coppelia

Fitting that Coppelia would come after “Marionetto” as it was the same way on the “Nocturne” single.  Coppelia is still that creepy song, almost a bit too creepy especially with that pipe organ intro.  I have decided that I really like the whispery lines he does, but otherwise this is kind of a typical song for Kaya…though the chorus is playful…I liked that.  It’s a tune that’s slowly growing on me.

9. BABYLON

Moving to the B-side from “SALOME”, BABYLON really suited to be right after “Coppelia” because they both had a certain circus melody going.  He sounds like he’s being even more playful in the song and Kaya gave a pretty good performance with this song.  It’s dark, danceable, but a bit fun…definitely one of the album’s cooler songs.

10. PENDEL-zwei (Instrumental)

Another minute long interlude comes our way and it’s the same goddamn thing as the previous interlude…with the ticking pendulum (hmm…seems to make sense with the title) it fades out though when it ends.  Strange…

11. SODOMY

It leads to a song that really throws me back to the “GLITTER” days with the synth arrangement having that certain “Epicurean” feel but not as heavy.  Kaya’s darker vocals really seem to catch me here and I enjoyed losing myself to this song.  Even though the song could’ve been a tiny bit more faster, this song is pretty nifty and is probably the best of the new songs.

12. Infection

Back to old songs, we move into the B-side from “TABOO”….wait…why is TABOO not even on this album?!?  Anyways, I’m OK with this as well because Infection keeps with the motif of the album and the harpischord is here to add amongst the creepy strings and flute and timpanis here before suddenly becoming this fast-paced electro track.  Kaya is being filtered similarly to “Rose Jail” but Kaya’s vocals are just flying through the arrangement and I love it!  Definitely another favorite from the album!

13. SALOME

As the 2nd A-side, I was definitely hoping Kaya would redeem himself after the “Vampure Requiem” single and he did it in a pretty big way.  Just like “Infection” it’s pretty fast-paced and has a lot going for it.  Kaya is singing in a deeper tone and there’s some growls and then Kaya just is singing powerfully all over.  Great A-side!

14. PENDEL-eins

>.> Is this really all there is to it with these instrumentals…35 more seconds of the ticking.  Though there are clocks going off as well which kind of brings a lil something, but it’s still useless.

15. Memento mori

As the song chosen to promote the album, Memento mori starts with some metal xylophone which gets replaced by piano once Kaya begins to sing.  This kind of reminds me of “Curse of Rose” earlier because of its more guitar-heavy sound than other tracks.  It’s OK, but I don’t think it made a good song to promote IMO since it really is outside of Kaya’s electro stuff.

16. VORWISSEN-null (Instrumental)

The ending of the album is really the final instrumental xD.  At least it breaks from the “PENDEL” tracks by sounding like almost like an ethereal ending to the album.  It’s a lot brighter and happier chords are played by synths it goes on for its 1:15 length which is a bore to me…but whatever lol.

17. Danse Macabre

Depending on which type you got, you ended the album with the different song.  Type A gets Danse Macabre and I was surprised it wasn’t on the main tracklist but at the same time it kind of worked after “VORWISSEN-null” as its arrangement is more electro and the synths were brighter (as in, this probably should’ve been on “QUEEN”).  Kaya is singing in English and I could barely understand what he was saying and his vocals were a little higher in places.  It’s a good song, but definitely doesn’t fit on GOTHIC.

18. Tempest

Type B buyers get Tempest which was written by Kaya himself so this was an interesting song to listen to.  This has a bit more fire behind it and suits more for the album than “Danse Macabre” did that’s for sure.  The arrangement doesn’t let up a lot and it has twist and turns, but for some reason I totally forgot about it.  I don’t know, but I suppose it’s good but there were better songs!

Tracks Recommended

  • Infection
  • SALOME
  • BABYLON
  • Danse Macabre
  • remains of mind

Song of Avoidance

  • Vampire Requiem

Where do I start with this album?  GOTHIC to me seemed a bit more random than “QUEEN” did even though it did have a cohesive sound (disregarding Danse Macabre).  Most of it was pretty good, but only 5 new tracks? and 5 instrumental tracks…the latter just seem too much for this album especially three of them were of ticking pendulums…wtf.  Still it’s a smidge better than “QUEEN” but I think the tracklist could’ve done without some songs (and had “TABOO” tbh).

 

Kaya – TABOO August 21, 2013

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 11:31 pm

tabookaya

Track Listing

  1. TABOO
  2. Infection
  3. TABOO ~Kayaless ver.~
  4. Infection ~Kayaless ver.~

1. TABOO

It feels like it’s been a while since Kaya has released an A-side that’s a bit more on the brighter side of things in electro land and I have to say I was sensing he was going to be using dubstep, but luckily he avoided that and just used a lot of gritty synths in the arrangement.  I would even argue that it’s one of the most aggressive songs he’s released in this era so far.  I have to say that I was pretty impressed with this song and didn’t see many flaws (it’s probably going to topple “SALOME” as my favorite A-side in the era).

2. Infection

Well if you were looking for that dark electro track from Kaya you’ll find that as the B-side to the single.  Infection has such an eerie but compelling intro that really grabs you and then it builds into this chaotic arrangement which I fell INSTANTLY in love with.  Kaya’s voice is under some gritty effects which add to the sullen and creepy feel of the song.  Definitely a great coupling song for sure!

 

 

With an album announced for December, Kaya might just throw one more single out before then, but if this was the last of the era, TABOO might have solidified my interest for the upcoming album.  Both TABOO and Infection have won me over with what Kaya does best and it’s making great electro songs!  Can’t wait for the album now *RECOMMENDED*

 

Kaya – Nocturne December 17, 2012

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 6:14 am

nocturne

Track Listing

  1. Marionette
  2. Coppelia
  3. Kugutsu 2012

1. Marionette

The first track on the single opens quietly with a pretty violin solo before the song moves into Kaya’s signature darkwave style and it’s very elegant yet very creepy (sounds like an ALI PROJECT song, but with Kaya’s deep vocals).  It’s kind of like a lot of his past songs so it’s not offensive or anything, but I think there’s a lot better out there.

2. Coppelia

If I thought “Marionette” was dark, then this is kind of extreme lol.  Coppelia is definitely fitting to the theme of the single which is goth.  To me, the song felt like it needed something more in its arrangement because it sounded kind of empty compared to the previous track.  It’s kind of creepy though in a way especially with Kaya singing in that distant, whispery tone.  I think I could grow into really liking it, but for right now…it stands as ok.

3. Kugutsu 2012

It’s been a while but we get a new version of one of Kaya’s indies songs, this time Kugutsu from “Hyakkiyagyou” got a new touchup.  Back then, I kind of thought it was a nice track but a bit too slow for me.  The new version is has a bit more going on from what I remembered about it and it still is an evil song to listen to ^_^.  It’s not a bad touch-up but there’s something going on in that chorus…like some warbling effect on his voice…that wasn’t good…but this is still a dark song overall and I think I’m enjoying it more (the original and the new take).

 

 

As the third single of the era, Nocturne isn’t as strong as “SALOME” was but falls in between that and “Vampire Requiem” to be honest.  All three tracks have something potentially great about it, but they all have their own issues like Marionette not standing out in Kaya’s A-sides, Coppelia’s empty arrangement, but solid vocals in that song.  Kugutsu is a good track, but some of the vocal choices were a bit shady…still not a bad single, but not his best.

 

Kaya – SALOME July 2, 2012

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 6:13 am

Track Listing

  1. Prologue -La pleine lune-
  2. SALOME
  3. Babylon
  4. Epilogue -Babylonia-

1. Prologue -La pleine lune-

Singles with introductions?  I really don’t know why but there is one of these here.  La pleine lune is kind of dark and forboding.  Some weird synths and heavily filtered vocals with some strange guitar playing broken chords.  Strange way to open the single but it moves into “SALOME” easily though.

2. SALOME

Since the full single hasn’t come out, we got SALOME (our lead track!).  The song is so much better than “Vampire Requiem” that it’s not even funny to me.  I mean we’re back with Kaya’s mysterious and deep vocals and his goth-trance that I love to death from him.  It really does have that edgy atmosphere down and it’s crazy and powerful at the same time.  This is probably Kaya’s best A-side in a LONG time!

3. Babylon

The other song of the single, Babylon is a bit more darkwave-based which is cool to hear as well.  It kind of reminds me of circus music (but not heavily drowned in it).  I like that the song is different from Kaya and while I do feel that it is a bit short and doesn’t leave as much of a mark as SALOME did, it was REALLY unique.

4. Epilogue -Babylonia-

As the ending of the single Babylonia pulls us back into that dark and creepy atmosphere but does it so much more stronger than “La pleine lune”.  Same stuff with the electronic quips and filtered lyrics.  Then it slowly builds to this synth breakdown as a final touch.

 

 

Kaya’s single is just SOOO much more amazing than “Vampire Requiem” was…a total 180.  I mean switching from rock/trance hybrid into what Kaya is known for OH-SO-WELL is great and should’ve been the follow-up after “QUEEN”.  SALOME is strong as hell and energizes them quickly while Babylon (while a hard song to get into because of how unique it is) is a nice touch to the single.  As for the intro/outro it suits the single, but still is strange to see such a thing for a SINGLE!  Love to see what he releases next!

 

Kaya – Vampire Requiem January 29, 2012

Filed under: Kaya — solarblade @ 9:24 pm

Track Listing

  1. Vampire Requiem
  2. Curse of Rose
  3. Vampire Requiem -Kayaless ver.-
  4. Curse of Rose -Kayaless ver.-

1. Vampire Requiem

I’m actually quite excited to see this release actually!  I will say it’s not like Kaya’s previous single since it’s less electronica and more of a gothic kind of song.  I mean it has harpischord and a buttload of strings which might be something typical but HIZAKI produced this so it’s not like anything before.  I will say the chorus does add the dance beats…but I will say, this one didn’t really impress me much >.<

2. Curse of Rose

The B-side of the single is also quite different for Kaya since this one is V-kei goth rock which might throw some people off.  I will say I actually quite enjoyed this right up until the guitar solo which sounded like every other rock solo and it kind of went downhill after that.  I’m just rather meh with it.

 

 

I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t find myself interested in this single (especially after coming off such a great album in “QUEEN”).  I think it was because Kaya worked with HIZAKI rather than Kalm and Hora which resulted in a rather odd sounding single.  Vampire Requiem does sound alright but dark…but Kaya has better.  Curse of Rose though is kind of too unusual and it’s not his style but more of HIZAKI’s…Meh single.