Kurayami Monogatari

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Onmyo-za – Kishiboshin December 24, 2011

Filed under: Onmyo-za — solarblade @ 8:50 am

Track Listing

  1. Shuushuu
  2. Samayoi
  3. Ubugi
  4. Namasu
  5. Oni Kosae no Uta
  6. Gekkou
  7. Zakuro to Jubaku
  8. Kishibojin
  9. Urami no Hate
  10. Michi
  11. Kourui
  12. Kikoku

1. Shuushuu

A little introduction for the album kicks off Kishiboshin and I’m surprised by it quite frankly.  I’m used to hearing Onmyo-za just rockin’ things out but this is a breezy intro with piano (and it sounds happy?).  The band does come in at the 2/3 point of it and it sounds great from the guitarists!  though there’s a little chuckle before it seamlessly moves into…

2. Samayoi

Samayoi which is the first vocal track…though if the chuckle wasn’t there I wouldn’t have noticed the track changing.  Then again the furious guitars and pounding drums could also be a helping factor right?  I love hearing the three singers together and have their own parts which is strong and I always love Kuroneko and Mabataki’s vocals together…melds well together.  Good start!

3. Ubugi

The intro for Ubugi is quite pounding and has a lot of Maneki playing guitar.  As dark as the song is, I think it worked for Kuroneko’s vocals since she’s leading the song for the most part.  I’m not complaining about how slow the song is though since it’s been a while since I’ve heard one of these kind of songs from them. 

4. Namasu

I didn’t really understand what was said in the beginning of Namasu but I guess I’ll just roll with it for right now.  I will say this is more of their edgier songs in the first half of the song since there’s some growling and an evil glow coming from Mabataki and then all of sudden, Kuroneko’s higher vocals just kind of pop out of nowhere and moves the song forward.  It’s kind of rigid of a song and while there’s a story to this album, musically it’s a bit rough on the edges.

5. Oni Kosae no Uta

I saw the word *oni* in the title and I kind of pictured we were going to get an eviler song than “Namasu”.  This one starts with filtered chanting with a flute playing in the background.  Kind of sound like a carnival really.  This one is actually not as forboding or scary as I thought since the arrangement is ligher a bit more playful.  Kuroneko also sounds like an enka artist as well which was an interesting twist to the song as well.  I also like Mabataki’s parts and Maneki’s guitar solo.  It was a song that I wasn’t expecting but it turned out quite nicely!

6. Gekkou

I didn’t think Gekkou’s opening had to be as long as it was before Kuroneko started to sing but this is actually a solo song for her and it’s pretty odd that most of the band members are absent in the song so we’re left with a little percussion from Atsushi…but otherwise the song is a twinkly, slow ballad.  It’s different and I do like that about, but it’s a sore thumb because of the lack of the band.

7. Zakuro to Jubaku

Funny how that the first half of the album each track didn’t even reach the 5 minute mark while all of the second half is over 5 minutes…clever idea perhaps?  We do start with the album’s longest song though with Zakuro to Jubaku at 7 minutes.  Mabataki kicks things off singing pretty slowly with not a lot of stuff going on in the background.  It’s a good intro and then the band comes and and Kuroneko starts to sing her parts.  It’s not a heavy song and that’s pretty good to hear that to be honest.  I’m enjoying this track!

8. Kishibojin

I guess this is considered the album’s title track since it’s similar to the title of the album.  I love the opening orchestral piece since it had such a dark aura to it!  I will say I’m kind of getting a little tired of these long intros but it seems like it takes forever to get to vocals.  Once again, it’s really only Kuroneko singing the song and I found her better in this song since she has a great voice when she’s singing with the band playing along.  So yes, this was pretty good as well.

9. Urami no Hate

I like how our next song kind of just slides into the headphones and I felt like this song sounds like an ending theme to a video game or a song you would literally hear in a Guilty Gear game.  It’s got a consistent beat and melody and Mabataki reminds me of GACKT in this song funny enough.  Otherwise, this is pretty straightfoward for them, but it’s a solid track nonetheless.

10. Michi

A guitar solo starts our next song and like “Urami no Hate”, this is also quite straightforward for the most part but it’s a little slower than said song.  I will say that the heavier arrangement is a little more memorable than back in the previous track though.  Both main singers really brought it this time and while this isn’t as quick-paced like “Aoki Dokugan”, this is close enough for me!

11. Kourui

Things slow down once again for Kourui and it’s different since I hear a little more strings than normal used here.  It’s a bit like the other songs on here with a relaxed setting and Kuroneko leading once again.  It’s dramatic and it shows in her vocals, but I’m just kind of forgetting the song overall.

12. Kikoku

Closing the album off is Kikoku which has that same bright piano melody that was found in “Shuushuu”.  However this 4 times as long as the intro and is more hard-hitting that I would’ve expected but that good after all the mid-tempos.  I admire hearing Kuroneko singing and this is her best place to hear epic vocals from her.  It’s a good end to the album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Michi
  • Zakuro to Jubaku
  • Oni Kosae no Uta
  • Kikoku
  • Kishibojin

Song of Avoidance

  • Namasu

I knew coming into this album review, Kishiboshin is a story album and while I don’t understand what the might be, I can insinuate that it’s about life to death which is a cool thing to do right?  Well since I can’t totally talk about that the music is what’s important and for the most part, this album triumphs over their last album, “Kongou Kyuubi”.  I am curious to why there’s no “Konpeki no Soujin” but guessing it makes sense not having it because it probably be odd to the story.  Still, great album from them and a good little Christmas gift to the fans ^_^

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Onmyo-za – Konpeki no Soujin March 1, 2011

Filed under: Onmyo-za — solarblade @ 11:52 pm

Track Listing

  1. Konpeki no Soujin
  2. Aoki Dokugan (Live)
  3. Mezame (Live)
  4. Nurikabe (Live)
  5. Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Kaze (Live)
  6. Kouga Ninpouchou (Live)
  7. Konpeki no Soujin (Inst.)

1. Konpeki no Soujin

Since it’s the only song on the single that isn’t done live, Konpeki no Soujin sounds just as epic as “Aoki Dokugan” did.  Insert awesome guitar riffs and strong ass vocals from Kuroneko and we basically have the majority of Konpeki no Soujin.  I am surprised of the growling/yelling bridge with Matatabi, but I thought the song was quite interesting, but still doesn’t have that kickass image their last A-side carried over.

2. Aoki Dokugan (Live)

Talking about their last A-side, it appears first in 5 live cuts of older songs and Aoki Dokugan is still just as awesome and powerful as it was on the single.  Matatabi sounds really good singing the song live and so is Kuroneko and she hits the high notes quite smoothly.  It almost sounds like the studio version, since there’s really no faults here.

3. Mezame (Live)

As for the other songs on the single, I haven’t heard the studio versions so bear with me while I go through them hahaha.  First is Mezame which is the band’s 5th A-side.  To me, I get anime-vibes from listening to the song since it’s not fully edgy and the guitar licks are quite lighter than anything in the “Kongou Kyuubi” era.  Still for being a Kuroneko-led song, I kind of liked it…of course Matatabi has his own lines, but she definitely stood out more.

4. Nurikabe (Live)

An 8 minute live version of Nurikabe (an album song found on their 2nd album “Hyakki Ryouran”.  I like the ominous air about the beginning for sure.  Matatabi begins things off with singing and it’s just as evil-drenched like the arrangement.  Add in a very long solo and you basically get this track which was evil in a good way.

5. Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Kaze (Live)

Second single comes up next for performance and Tsuki ni Murakumo Hana ni Kaze which sounds like “Aoki Dokugan” with the same amount of energy and force.  However, some of the vocals in this song sound really out of place and almost impossible to understand…luckily the chorus fixes things….still ick xD

6. Kouga Ninpouchou (Live)

Last, but not least, Kouga Ninpouchou (10th A-side) appears and while it doesn’t change the formula at all (still hard rock), Kouga Ninpouchou has a pretty good guitar riff.  I also love the vocals here as well since they’re more vibrant and expressive…at least better than that last song xD.  Good performance, but I would’ve liked a song that wasn’t all hardcore…

It’s been a while since Onmyo-za released something and while Konpeki no Soujin has no B-side, it covered it with 5 live versions of their more popular songs.  I like that they’re continuing to rock hard and take no names, but is it bad that I want a ballad from them next?

 

Onmyo-za – Kongou Kyuubi September 20, 2009

Filed under: Onmyo-za — solarblade @ 12:35 am

kongoukyuubi

Track Listing

  1. Baku
  2. Aoki Dokugan
  3. Izayoi no Ame
  4. Kosode no Te
  5. Kujaku Ninpouchou
  6. Banka
  7. Soukoku
  8. Doukoku
  9. Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Tamamonomae
  10. Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Shoumakyou
  11. Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Sesshouseki
  12. Kuraiau

1. Baku

I love how they open up their album up with such an ethereal sounding track.  Then Matatabi comes in with a fitting guitar melody.  As he comes into the song, his voice sounds eeriely like GACKT’s which is pretty awesome.  Kuroneko comes in a bit later and takes over for vocals and while her voice is a bit shrill, she stands out nicely.  I was more entranced in Matatabi’s vocals than hers.

2. Aoki Dokugan

As the second single’s main track, Aoki Dokugan continues to be a kickass song and a great choice to be a single.  The vocalists were strong and expressed themselves so strongly that it did make the sound epic all-around.  I think it’s the best song I’ve heard from Onmyo-za thus far.

3. Izayoi no Ame

Their next new track, Izayoi no Ame continues with a great rock feel and Kuroneko starts off singing and she’s rather a strong singer and then Matatabi comes in to harmonize with her and it also sounds really nice.  The arrangement is a bit lighter and not full of hard chords and dark sounds.  I thought it was good and different enough from “Aoki Dokugan”

4. Kosode no Te

At first, I thought Kosode no Te was going to be an instrumental or sorts with it’s long opening melody.  Once again we find ourselves with just Kuroneko singing this song which is nice and all, but it’d be nice to listen to Matatabi some more.  The song is a bit more towards regular rock and it’s nice to see the album getting calmer. 

5. Kujaku Ninpouchou

I wonder if this has any relationship to their single, “Kouga Ninpouchou”.  This song is a lot faster than the previous few tracks and it’s pretty cool to see the band get energized.  Once again I do feel like Matatabi would’ve been a better fit than anything else.  Otherwise, this is just a filler song for me.

6. Banka

I think it’s the first time I heard piano in one of their songs.  Banka finally brings back Matatabi to the lead vocals and he got’s your normal J-rocker voice but he can sing pretty nicely.  It’s also classified as a mid-tempo ballad, so it’s different from the other tracks as well.  I personally fell in love with the guitar solos in the song…Pretty damn sweet.

7. Soukoku

Ahhh, the first A-side of the era, Soukoku is just as strong as “Aoki Dokugan” with it’s strong guitar melody and Matatabi’s smooth vocals slying itself by.  It’s a rather strong tune on it’s own and with how strong the two vocalists sang, I think it’s up there as best song.

8. Doukoku

The other A-side, Doukoku surprisingly pops up before the “Kumikyoku” songs and I think it did a good job bridging the gap between the songs.  Doukoku is actually a Kuroneko-solo track so at first this track didn’t impress me much, but after a couple of listens her vocals are strong and has a certain feel to it like something mystic.  Nice on the album, though maybe shouldn’t have been put after “Soukoku”.

9. Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Tamamonomae

I’m pretty sure with these next three songs, there’s a story behind them, but I don’t have that great of a grasp on the language enough to know what’s going on.  The song once again is a bit lighter than the leading A-sides and Kuroneko is once again doing the song by herself, but there’s something about it that sounds anime-openerish to me.  I think this was a great track.

10. Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Shoumakyou

Then we get into this second crazy track.  It seems to be the band’s epic tune off the album with a 9:26 time to go with it.  At first the song starts off slow and manages to bored with it, even when Kuroneko is singing here.  Matatabi somehow returns and though he doesn’t have that much of a major role.  It’s just way too long to keep up with.

11. Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Sesshouseki

It fades quite nicely into the final track of the three and it’s also one of the darker tracks.  It then becomes one of the hardest hitting tracks off the album.  Matatabi is just an angry sounding person in this song and Kuroneko is just adding total emotion in the song and I love every moment.  I’ll say sometimes, Matatabi is forcing a little too much in his vocals, but it’s awesome.

12. Kuraiau

Oh my gah!,  I haven’t heard Kuroneko unleash her vocals like this throughout the entire album and this was what I was hoping she’d pull off and she did with flair and power.  The guys are back-up for her as that yelling crowd that repeats the title.  It’s a song that’ll get your fists pumping in the air and wanting more when it’s over.  Awesome AWESOME album closer.

Tracks Recommended

  • Aoki Dokugan
  • Kuraiau
  • Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Tamamonomae
  • Soukoku

Song of Avoidance

  • Kumikyoku [Kyuubi] ~Shoumakyou

My first album from this heavy metal group, Onmyo-za has shown that that JPN can do anything.  Kongou Kyuubi is a wild anthem that shows the crazy rock side and the more sensitive slow songs.  I do like the idea of the yin/yang thing going on but if there’s only one presence in the song it rather becomes meh all of a sudden.  That being said, this album continues the string of strong albums released this year ^_^

 

Onmyo-za – Aoki Dokugan September 19, 2009

Filed under: Onmyo-za — solarblade @ 2:13 pm

aokidokugan

Track Listing

  1. Aoki Dokugan
  2. Akaki Murayami
  3. Aoki Dokugan (Instrumental)
  4. Akaki Murayami (Instrumental)

1. Aoki Dokugan

Aoki Dokugan actually was the song that introduced me into Onmyo-za’s music.  When I first hear it, I was surprised at the expressive singing from both Kuroneko and Matatabi.  They both just stand out very nicely.  The music here sounds like our American hair metal and even though I’m not a big fan of that genre, somehow I like it better when the JPN does it?  I have no clue, but it’s really good, especially the guitar solo.  Beautiful tune.

2. Akaki Murayami

The following B-side is a bit less metal sounding and is a Kuroneko-only track.  It does sound like something that’s alternative and is quite a nice change of sound.  Kuraneko’s performance is nice, but there’s something missing for some reason.  I’m pretty sure it’s the whole lighter sound that’s missing some punch.  It’a alright.

 

 

Well the second and final single of the “Kongou Kyuubi”, Aoki Dokugan isn’t quite as hard-hitting as Soukaku/Doukaku but I really love the A-side for some reason.  It’s so furious and the drive is amazing and the band sounded great.  Akaki Murayami was alright, but there’s something that held it back from being really good.

 

Onmyo-za – Soukoku/Doukoku September 7, 2009

Filed under: Onmyo-za — solarblade @ 8:53 pm

soukaku

Track Listing

  1. Soukoku
  2. Doukoku
  3. Soukoku (Instrumental)
  4. Doukoku (Instrumental)

1. Soukoku

I’m actually pretty new with this group, but I’m already liking what I’m hearing from this group.  There’s a strong rock feeling from them and I really like Matatabi’s vocals as they’re strong as hell and he gives a good performance.  Kuroneko (the female vocalist) appears with him in the chorus and she’s got a pretty good voice that reminds me of Tsukiko Amano’s vocals.  Pretty epic if you ask me!

2. Doukaku

It opens similar to “Soukoku” but a bit slower at first and the bells are together a bit longer.  As it turns out, Doukoku is more of a rock ballad and Kuroneko is singing majority of the track and her voice is quite nice and stable throughout.  It sounds traditional somewhat, and the guitar solo is quite awesome as well…

 

 

I have to say, Soukoku/Doukoku is pretty epic.  Soukoku with it’s high-energy rock sound and then Doukoku with a pretty soothing ballad sound.  I’m definitely looking forward to their next release because this group is sounding really awesome right now.