Kurayami Monogatari

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Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Hoshi Furu Yuuenchi August 1, 2014

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 6:47 am

MSI_遊園地ブックレット1004入稿

Track Listing

  1. Prelude
  2. Shiny tale
  3. Death Parade
  4. Wanderer
  5. Urameshi Yashiki Chika Nikai
  6. Kagayaku Sora to Umi to Sekai ni.
  7. ONESTAR
  8. Tenshi to Itazura (YUKI Voice) (Limited only)
  9. A devilish teacher (MIKI Voice) (Limited only)
  10. The only sweet heart?
  11. SCREAM go AROUND
  12. SKY HEAVEN
  13. promise

1. Prelude

The album opens up with a 2:23 long intro with the Prelude.  It begins with a ticking and a deep clock going off.  Then it gets all mysterious and creepy with clanking noises and echoes and then a pretty string melody that turns angsty.  It grows into something of a march which is pretty cool and I honestly wouldn’t think this would be something from the band, but I like it…it really fits the themes they’ve tackled in this era.

2. Shiny tale

I can’t believe I’m reviewing this song for the 3rd time.  When I reviewed it the first two times, I didn’t think much of this one because it was heavily anisoned up which was something I wasn’t expecting from the band.  I don’t exactly hate this song as much as I did back then, but it still kind of feels generic from the band.

3. Death Parade

I was wondering what the album songs would bring and already from Death Parade, I was already loving the edgier arrangement and the energy was great!  I’m loving the dual lines from both YUKI and MIKI.  They definitely turned this song on its head and it just sounds like what I’ve been loving since I started reviewing the band.

4. Wanderer

Then we hit even harder with Wanderer which brings in the pounding drums which annoyed me a LOT, but things quickly get fixed when they start the verses because it has a lot of funk and bass lines.  Both members seem to sing a bit deeper as well.  Add some chanting and wild arrangement and I was kind of left confused and just not into it.  It just didn’t have a lot of cohesion so I just kind of forgot about it.

5. Urameshi Yashiki Chika Nikai

Which makes no sense why it leads to our next song which sounds like something that could’ve been in the band’s first era with it’s Halloween-esque/Carnival-like atmosphere.  As playful as it is, the song doesn’t seem as powerful as I would’ve expected.  Though I wasn’t expecting YUKI and MIKI being playful in their vocals.  Also the kids that chant in the second verse…wow.  It’s not as messy as “Wanderer” but it pretty wild.

6. Kagayaku Sora to Umi to Sekai ni.

We escape the hard songs for actually a lighter tune from the album with Kagayaku Sora to Umi to Sekai ni.  I really loved the fact we got a reprive from the album here since we can hear how the duo sings and they work really well together.  The overall acoustic tone of the song (plus the mid8 section) just sounded great.  It is a bit strange where it’s placed, but it’s still a neat song in and of itself.

7. ONESTAR

So they brought the promotional track from “SEAPARADISE no Hihou” onto the album.  I like how we move genres again from the softer tones of the previous into an energetic track that has a surprising amount of synths behind the band’s riffs.  Like I said on the mini-album review, the only bad thing of this song is the grunting rap sections…what the hell was that all about?  It’s a cool track albeit strange…I guess that works (though the raps need to GTFO).

8. Tenshi to Itazura (YUKI Voice)

So on the Limited editions of the release, there was two bonus tracks added but the two were split between YUKI and MIKI.  YUKI’s Tenshi to Itazura comes first and it’s pretty straightforward which kind of adds a simplicity kind of feel to it.  There’s even a little section where it feels like a carnival but it’s not the whole track.  I do like YUKI’s voice…he brings energy to songs and this was a good track to showcase it!

9. A deviish teacher (MIKI Voice)

Then we get the other track which is MIKI’s tune!  I can quickly tell that MIKI go the edgier track right from the introduction because it has a grittier feel and the guitars are heavy.  MIKI’s voice though is oddly filtered here and sounds like hes doing it double.  He seems to have the deeper voice of the two and so his singing reminds me of ASAGI from D which is cool…but was it necessary to throw filters?  It’s OK, but I don’t think I’ll come back to this one for a while.

10. The only sweet heart?

Whoa, the opening for the next song caught me off guard!  Starts with an 8bit intro then a force of sound from the band kicks in.  I do like the heavy feel and the vocalists sound great together with MIKI having an easier time hitting notes through it.  It does slightly chill, but only shortly.  It’s a pretty wild song but I actually enjoyed this than the other ones of the same calibur.

11. SCREAM go AROUND

Moving on, SCREAM go AROUND brings us to well another heavy rock song but it sounds a little more like well…the previous track, but the members are having more fun lyrically as both MIKI and YUKI do some weird things.  It’s a nice track, but it doesn’t really go anywhere during its duration so I feel a slight bit bored.

12. SKY HEAVEN

At least we get this song, as the 2nd A-side released, SKY HEAVEN was a song that brought me back into the fangasm of the band.  I mean it is kind of anison like “Shiny tale” but I thought the guys did a much better job with this one.  YUKI/MIKI sound great too so it adds up and it’s still definitely one of my favorite songs from this album.

13. promise

Ending the album, promise seems to be another odd song from the band as it’s more alternative and suiting to close the album as it’s light and includes strings and piano.  I really like the vocalists took a lighter route singing and once again like in “SKY HEAVEN”, they sound plesaant together.  For an ending job it was pretty damn good!

Tracks Recommended

  • SKY HEAVEN
  • Death Parade
  • Tenshi to Itazura (YUKI Voice)
  • promise
  • The only sweet heart?

Song of Avoidance

  • Wanderer

As the band’s 4th studio album, I was kind of surprised that Hoshi Furu Yuuenchi didn’t have a solid idea behind it unlike the previous ones.  It really felt like the group was just wanting to throw this album out there because it had been a while.  There’s some good songs no doubt, but there’s some meh ones too.  I would say this wasn’t as good as “It’s a Dream World” but it’s OK.

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SKY HEAVEN October 7, 2012

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 6:18 am

Track Listing

  1. SKY HEAVEN
  2. Tooi Kaze

1. SKY HEAVEN

I actually came into this song assuming the worst, but SKY HEAVEN is probably my favorite Mix Speaker’s song since I’ve started reviewing them!  There’s just something aobut the song that really works from the straight-forward rock arrangement to MIKI and YUKI’s solo and melodic lines together.  The overall song is quite breezy and the strings really add to the experience…oh yeah this is pretty good!

2. Tooi Kaze

Taking a slower route for the B-side, Tooi Kaze doesn’t strike me as well as the A-side, but it seems like MIKI gets a little more time while YUKI kind of acts as support.  I think it’s a little more stripped down, but I’m not exactly the biggest fan of the song to be honest.

 

 

Closing out the era before their upcoming album, SKY HEAVEN is definitely a step up from their last single, “Shiny tale”.  The leading track is awesome and powerful and just blew me away on how good the band can be.  Tooi Kaze though whule nice they took things slower and with a less powerful arrangement, the song itself didn’t really stand out to me.  Looking forward to the album (even though “Shiny tale” is on it 😄

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – SEAPARADISE no Hihou September 14, 2012

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 9:05 am

Track Listing

  1. SEAPARADISE no Hihou
  2. ONESTAR
  3. Shiny tale
  4. Mr. HOOK
  5. Capsule
  6. UNDEAD
  7. MERMAID

1. SEAPARADISE no Hihou

So on this sea-bearing theme of a mini-album, the title track is just an intro but keeps true to its name.  The sound of waves begin things before this clanking comes in and the creaking of a boat gets placed in as well.  After a little bit of that, the song gains a violin melody and this voice comes in (and in English) and talks a bit before it goes back to the boat sailing off.  Interesting introduction indeed. 

2. ONESTAR

As the promotional song, ONESTAR also fits into the theme of the mini quite well, but I was even more impressed with the mix of synths and the guitarwork.  YUKI & MIKI together are interesting singing and they give strong performances (except that quick grunting part).  Beyond that, this is a pretty good track and it just makes for a good promo.

3. Shiny tale

Interesting that they placed Shiny tale and one of the B-sides from the single on here.  I still don’t think it feels right despite being tied to an anime.  It kind of feels really basic and just doesn’t leave as much of a mark on me like “ONESTAR” did.  Yeah, this song is still quite meh for me.

4. Mr. HOOK

A play on Captain Hook I bet?  Our next track puts up a feisty energy about it that sounds interesting and somewhat like a SuG song with it’s brass movements.  The vocalists give a pretty unique performance and they seem to pull off that sly sound SO nicely.  YUKI though just kicked so much ass when compared to MIKI to be honest.  I actually enjoyed this song too especially after “Shiny tale”. 

5. Capsule

Yeah, I would’ve left off the entire “Shiny tale” single here since it doesn’t really seem to fit the mini, plus the songs themselves suck quite a bit.  Capsule is probably the track with the least amount of anything going on here which is not good.  The two guys really sound like JE guys harmonizing or even ON/OFF here which I’m not fond of from the band.  It’s too uncharacteristic and yikes.

6. UNDEAD

I really am curious to why the new songs here are so good, but the everything else is just crap!  UNDEAD brings the band back at force and this sounds like it’d be a perfect song to hear live because YUKI is really having a good time here and his gritty voice is just kicking so much ass.  MIKI’s deeper tone comes in later and really suits along the song.  Not bad, not bad.

7. MERMAID

Closing the mini-album out is MERMAID and this is probably my least favorite of the new tracks, but it does stand out for its regularity.  What I mean, the song kind of sounds like Mix Speaker’s of the past and I like the sparkling parts of the tune.  I was also liking the vocalists here but the song to me doesn’t stand out like “Mr. HOOK” and “ONESTAR” did.

 

 

Yeah, I definitely forgot to review this hahaha.  SEAPARADISE no Hihou is actually a really solid mini from the band if not for the near wreckage from the “Shiny tale” single being added on here.  The 5 new tracks fit the theme so nicely and they are starting to sound even better than they did from their previous works.  Ignore the bolded tracks and you have a pretty good mini-album!

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Shiny tale February 29, 2012

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 10:22 am

Track Listing

  1. Shiny tale
  2. Pirates of Emerald (Regular & Limited A only)
  3. Capsule (Limited C only)
  4. Shiny tale -TV Edit-
  5. Shiny tale -Instrumental-
  6. Capsule -Instrumental-

1. Shiny tale

I will be honest here, I wasn’t expecting Mix Speaker’s to actually pull a SID for their next single because the intro really sounds like something the other band would use.  I will say that I liked hearing YUKI & MIKI together in this one.  However, I felt like they were just riding the anison waves for this song (since it’s tie-in is an anime).  I kind of wished there was more to this song but to me it feels plain…though the piano and bass were nice.

2. Pirates of Emerald

On two versions of the single, we get Pirates of Emerald and it’s really loud and sounds pretty typical for the band but it’s not too bad of a song.  Some of the verses are a little messy, but the chorus actually makes up for that and both vocalists really sound awesome.  Plus with the theme of the single, it kind of fits with some of the string parts and chanting as well.  Not bad and funny enough the only good song on the single >.<

3. Capsule

Limited C gets an extra track in Capsule and I wasn’t prepared for this song to be rather light and slower than “Shiny tale” was.  I think MIKI is singing primarily while YUKI takes the backups for this song.  I’m also not really feeling this song very well because it felt underproduced and when the two guys sung it sounds like a JE song but with a band.  I don’t know, not impressed.

 

 

As their first single of the era, Shiny tale just disappointed me overall.  Shiny tale as a whole felt like any other J-rock anime theme there is so it felt unoriginal and basic and Capsule felt underproduced and cheesy.   The only thing keeping the single from being pure crap is Pirates of Emerald which suits the theme here in a good way… Wow I didn’t think the band would start this era on such a low note >.<

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – It’s a Dream World August 16, 2011

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 8:14 pm

Track Listing

  1. It’s a Dream World ~opening ceremony~
  2. Kasa no Shita no Sekai
  3. CIRCUS
  4. Cinderella
  5. No.5 COASTER
  6. Urameshi Yashiki
  7. Mix Douwa 1 ~Apple Song~
  8. Mix Douwa 2 ~Imperial March~
  9. Mix Douwa 3 ~Pa Lamp Route~
  10. Midnight Queen
  11. Fairy “Magic” Jungle
  12. Secret Room
  13. HAPPyyy!! LAND
  14. See you again…

1. It’s a Dream World ~opening ceremony~

Lulz at harp opening the album.  Since it’s just merely a introduction I was wondering how it’d be treated and and it’s really regal after the ethereal glow of the first half of the track. It’s kind of interesting to be honest and it makes for a good intro.

2. Kasa no Shita no Sekai

It seems the band is immediately on the force with the first full track from the band.  To me, it sounds like a basic V-kei rock track since it has the components that make it.  The biggest thing that makes it stand out is that YUKI and MIKI are singing together and they sound melodic together and that’s really good.  Though halfway, I hear accordion being used and that surprised me quite nicely.  I’d say it’s pretty good for being a little basic.

3. CIRCUS

Since this was the second A-side released for the album, CIRCUS at first didn’t really interest me because like “Kasa no Shita ne Sekai”, it sounded kind of typical but hearing it at a better quality makes me think differently since it has a darker feel than the previous song.  Both members once again get to she how melodic they are and it just works for me.  I actually think YUKI sounded much stronger as well.  My opinion of this tune has definitely risen since the single’s release.

4. Cinderella

I did notice the sudden use of synths and vocal filters for our next song and it’s a bit of a surprise since I didn’t expect such a strange song to come next.  I think there were vocals from the other members of the group as well which did throw me off as well.  There’s not a whole lot of singing to be found until the chorus which is very strange because it’s more lighter and upbeat.  It’s one of the oddest songs from the album, but it’s not like there wasn’t gonna be one in the first place lol.  I don’t know why they had to release this as a “special” single…*rolls eyes*

5. No.5 COASTER

Hmmm, edgy guitars kicking off our next song?  It’s more fast-paced than the previous songs and is consistent on that for the song which does bother me a little bit because the drums do kind of annoy me in this song.  Just like the last song, No.5 COASTER’s chorus is lighter and more upbeat than the rest of the song which does kind of make the song odd but it sounds alright and less random than “Cinderella”.

6. Urameshi Yashiki

I’m also unsure how I feel about Urameshi Yashiki since it feels just as weird as “Cinderella” but it’s heavy on the rock which is probably the biggest difference between the two tracks.  The arrangement has a lot of quirks about it and while YUKI/MIKI both sound a little like their under some sort of filter, it’s the ondo of the later parts of the song that just gets me.  Once again, strange tune lol

7. Mix Douwa 1 ~Apple Song~

Usually Mix Speaker’s usually integrate stories to the era’s they produce and I’m gonna take a big guess that the next three songs are probably that.  Weird voices begin Apple Song with what I’d guess is a conversation between the two voices that sound like witches to me lol.  After that stops, creepy music start up and YUKI really puts that creepiness to work since he sounds just as much.  It’s an interesting piece since it vocally sweet to hear YUKI singing but it’s short and the “witches” voices return soon after.

8. Mix Douwa 2 ~Imperial March~

Unlike the last track, this instantly gets into the music itself and it sounds dark and chaotic which is a direction I was hoping to see more of from the band.  I didn’t think the beginning was really interesting but when things picked up the riffs got a whole lot better and…is it MIKI under filters singing?!?  I can’t tell because the voice is new to my ears and I don’t know who else it could be, but his voice is GRITTY and angsty.  It does end early because the witches return to speak more again.  Interesting rock tune and stands out on the album for sure.

9. Mix Douwa 3 ~Pa Lamp Route~

Strange they’d go for a little Arabian for the third of the Mix Douwas but I kind of liked the arrangement here since it’s upbeat and the mood is lighter than the previous two tracks.  YUKI’s vocals are a bit more high pitched but that doesn’t bother me a lot since he sounds really nice.  Unlike the previous two tracks the voices aren’t present either…hmmm.  Still this was the best of the three.

10. Midnight Queen

Being the era’s first A-side and all, Midnight Queen still made me think that they channeled some other Halloween-based V-kei group, but that’s OK because it just was only for some of it.  The rest of the track is actually purely a rock tune.  I like how both singers are just going in and out of each others vocals and gives the song some interesting ideas.  I still do enjoy this song for sure!

11. Fairy “Magic” Jungle

Already just from the beginning it does sound like jungle music but mixed heavily with electric guitars and loud percussion.  However the vocals didn’t really seem all that great this time around because both singers decided that over using vibrato was a good idea.  At least it’s fixed in the chorus and the guys sound actually stronger.  It’s not too bad of a song actually and while it doesn’t rank high with the strong songs, it’s alright.

12. Secret Room

Are we going a little dark again with Secret Room?  It sounds like it’d be an epic grand rock song but it’s that the pipe organ didn’t stay through the entire arrangement since it sounds like it’d be great overall.  Besides that, I still found myself enjoying the song all around plus there was a great guitar and drum solo in the song that helped the overall opinion of the song for me.  Awesome track!

13. HAPPyyy!! LAND

I didn’t expect any of the songs from their last mini-album, “ANIMAL ZOMBIES” was going to make another appearance but I seem to be wrong this time around as I see HAPPyyy!! LAND on the tracklist.  Like other songs on the album, this is more of a normal rock song from the band, but it’s not bad at all.  It actually fits on the album as well since it has synths involved and both members singing together once again.  I think it was a great choice here.

14. See you again…

Closing the album, See you again… does mark also as the album’s longest track at 6 and a half minutes long.  It’s also the only song that could be considered a ballad which might be throwing a wrench to what has been an otherwise energetic rock album.  Since it is the slow rock tune I felt that YUKI had a bigger job vocally to sound good with such a slow tempo but I think he did well for himself since his vocals were strong but not overbearing.  The band also did a good job by not ruining the mood entirely and added to the tune nicely.  A good ending yay!

Tracks Recommended

  • Secret Room
  • CIRCUS
  • Mix Douwa 3 ~Pa Lamp Route~
  • HAPPyyy!! LAND
  • Midnight Queen

Song of Avoidance

  • Cinderella

Mix Speaker’s, Inc.’s third album is actually kind of good of a release to be honest.  I mean they are still feeling like they’re playing safe as a V-kei group but having two main vocalists and some of the arrangements are fun and strong just seem to work for me.  There were a few oddball songs but otherwise I like this.

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – CIRCUS April 22, 2011

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 6:59 pm

Track Listing

  1. CIRCUS
  2. MY CIRCUS

1. CIRCUS

After their last A-side, I was kind of letdown with CIRCUS since it isn’t as wacky or all over the place with its arrangement.  It sounds pretty much like basic V-kei that’s upbeat.  I mean it does have hard parts which was cool and YUKI and MIKI sounds good though singing together, but it doesn’t beat “Midnight Queen” by a long shot.

2. MY CIRCUS

For the B-side, it’s a bit softer than “CIRCUS” and a little more of what I was expecting from the band.  It’s actually kind of cute listening to it since it has that eerie carousel feel to it that actually sounds good.  The singers also did a much better job singing here, but I’m not sure what to think if it’s better than some of their older works. 

As the final single before “It’s a Dream World”, CIRCUS is kind of a disappointment after their last single since the A-side felt kind of lacking this time with a meh arrangement.  MY CIRCUS was slightly better, but not by too much.  I enjoyed “Midnight Queen” a lot more tbh.

 

Mix Speaker’s, Inc. – Midnight Queen October 12, 2010

Filed under: Mix Speaker's Inc. — solarblade @ 4:21 am

Track Listing

  1. Midnight Queen
  2. Lie Lie Lie

1. Midnight Queen

I guess they’re taking notes from The Candy Spooky Theater?  Nah, I’m kidding.  Just like the cover art shows, Midnight Queen is definitely more into the Halloween aspect of things and the beginning shows that off with the creepy melody and stuff.  Once YUKI and the rest of the bands joins in, the song becomes a cool rock song from them.  It’s been a little since we’ve seen just a straight up rock tune from the group and I’m happy that it’s more catchy than I thought it would be.  Great flow and the solos in it were awesome as well.

2. Lie Lie Lie

So for the B-side, Lie Lie Lie is just as hard-hitting if not more than “Midnight Queen” to be honest.  I like the fact they kept being rockin’ for this song as well and YUKI’s singing in the song was more strong and had a bit more personality in it.  It might just be better than the A-side to be honest.

It’s surprising that while I’ve only reviewed a few things from Mix Speaker’s, Inc., so far I’m more impressed with Midnight Queen than anything else I’ve reviewed.  Are they actually pulling away from the more experimental stuff they did in “ANIMAL ZOMBIES”?  I hope so because this single was just great for em!