Kurayami Monogatari

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Phantasmagoria – actuality May 17, 2010

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 4:51 am

Track Listing

  1. actuality
  2. Lie Light&Lost Sky
  3. Hikari ni Furu Ame ~Strings Version~
  4. Ficticious Theory (BONUS TRACK)

1. actuality

So just like the previous mini-album, actuality opens things up with an interesting piano segment.  I do like that Riku has a small speaking part with the opening and it does build up more and more getting louder and adding synths and ends with piano again

2. Lie Light&Lost Sky

Wow, I did not mind that opening for the first new track because it actually didn’t sound so drastic.  It starts with a pretty piano and strings opening with some female speaking the title.  Once Riku comes in and opens up the song, the band also enters finally and while it’s hard and gritty, it’s not dark and continues to show the airy feel.  It’s prolly their goodbye song and I think they brought it out quite nicely. 

3. Hikari ni Furu Ame ~Strings Version~

So we get a strings version of a track from their 2nd single, “NEVER REBELLION” and it has been quite a while since we really had a new version of the song and I kind of like this tune.  The strings and overall majestic feel really gave the song a new breath of life and Riku as well sound really great.  Though I still much prefer “Gensoukyoku ~Eternal Silence~ as the perfect ballad.

4. Fictitious Theory

After two 7 minute long songs, as a bonus track we get a 5 minute one and it’s one that really twists the mini-album.  The songs were all relatively soothing songs from the band and lighter than what they usually put out but with Fictitious Theory they went loud and fast for the song, but there’s still that synthy undertone going as well.  Riku’s vocals are filtered so much that it’s so difficult to hear what he’s exactly singing…Still it was a boost of energy and ended off with a bang.

 

 

Now I’m sure this is the last thing the band is releasing throughout this revival shindig.  actuality was a nice final mini-album from the group and while that bonus track, Fictitious Theory was rather surprising and kind of unfit for the mini-album the other songs were nice and smooth.  So long and goodbye Phantasmagoria xD (or is it???)

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Phantasmagoria – Seeds of Brain March 18, 2010

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 8:57 pm

Track Listing

  1. Seeds of Brain
  2. Cry…
  3. Desperate Resolution for my soul…
  4. My Mental State…

1. Seeds of Brain

As the opening, Seeds of Brain is short yes, but it’s also dark and kind of forlorn in the way it flows.  It’s chilling and this static sound in the background is eerie, but it fits together and sounds like a good area theme to some Final Fantasy castle or something.  Strange right?

2. Cry…

Since the song flows into the opening to Cry…, I wasn’t expecting something pounding and amazingly hard from the group since “Diamond Dust” is so far from that.  The arrangement is heavy and full of edge and makes you pay attention.  Riku’s vocals here are under a filter so it makes it hard to understand him, but otherwise this is a pretty good track from them.

3. Desperate Resolution for my soul…

I think the best thing off this mini-album is this tune which reminds me of their stuff before their split, Desperate Resolution for my soul… is still pretty edgy, but Riku’s vocals are clear and the arrangement is more together and filled with a lot of interesting passages.  I even hear KISAKI with him in the chorus.  It could eventually become one of my favs from them.

4. My Mental State…

The final song was actually not made by Phantasmagoria.  Actually, the song was a collaboration between Riku and bassist KISAKI when they went to form the shortlived KISAKI SLAVES.  Now, here it’s a new recording with Phantasmagoria and it’s actually not too bad of a song either.  It is back to a more J-rock sound like “Cry…” but a little less hyperactive.  Definitely goes back to their early days.

 

 

Since this mini-album was a collection of rarities, a re-cover, and a beginning interlude…it wasn’t too bad.  While most fans of the band will be all over this, I for one don’t mind it, but it’s still a pretty good mini-album.  Since this is prolly the last thing we’ll get from the band..it’s a good way to finish the band up.

 

Phantasmagoria – Diamond Dust

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 6:27 am

Track Listing

  1. Diamond Dust
  2. Diamond Dust (Instrumental)

1. Diamond Dust

While it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed something from Phantasmagoria, I wasn’t surprised their revival single was basically an upbeat song from them which isn’t bad because it has some pretty epic guitar parts apart from the rest of the song.  Riku still sounds really great…oh wait…there’s an explanation for that.  Well, Diamond Dust isn’t a bad song really, just there’s better ones out there.

 

 

Ok, so here’s the story.  Phantasmagoria were supposed to go major with their first single “Kami Uta” in 2007, but the band’s issues and potential breakup kind of dashed that thought.  Kami Uta’s B-side was supposed to be Diamond Dust, but since y’know things happened, Kami Uta became their last indies single and Diamond Dust would have to wait 3 years before it’s own release.  Now they aren’t together long since this revival is up until April…but I guess it’s nice their putting their stuff out now!

 

Phantasmagoria – Gensoukyoku ~Eternal Silence~ April 18, 2009

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 12:55 pm
Tags: ,

cd4

Track Listing

  1. Gensoukyoku ~Eternal Silence~
  2. Gensoukyoku ~Eternal Silence~ (Instrumental)

1. Gensoukyoku ~Eternal Silence~

Unlike the the last two, the final of the trilogy is surprisingly a bit slower than they were.  Not to the point where it’s consider a ballad, but it has the most interesting effects.  Like there’s synths and Riku is under some machine…auto-tune?  vocoder?  Anyway for being a bit more mainstream sounding, it sounds pretty nice as well. 

 

 

Eternal Silence took things even further down the clean route and made the song into a pretty mid-tempo rock track.  I really did enjoy the trilogy, but which was the best is kind of hard to decide since all of them were pretty good.  “Variant Jihad” was probably my least liked of the three.  I don’t know…we’ll just see with the album

 

Phantasmagoria – Kyousoukyoku ~Cruel Crucible~

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 12:48 pm
Tags: ,

cd3

Track Listing

  1. Kyousoukyoku ~Cruel Crucible~
  2. Kyousoukyoku ~Cruel Crucible~ (Instrumental)

1. Kyousoukyoku ~Cruel Crucible~

Then again….Cruel Crucible is just as hardcore as “Variant Jihad” was if not more.  Luckily it’s more melodically correct than said track which is great.  Riku’s vocals are also on a higher register which is the Phantasmagoria I’m used to.  I love the guitarists having a lot of great moments.  Another good thing is that the strings are used more here and they sounds creepy, but cool.

 

 

The 2nd of the era, Cruel Crucible was a lot cleaner and sounded tons more better than Variant Jihad.  I don’t know why, but so far this era is showing some hope.  I now consider Variant Jihad as crap to this song!

 

Phantasmagoria – Kousoukyoku ~Variant Jihad~

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 12:26 pm
Tags: ,

variantjihad

Track Listing

  1. Kousoukyoku ~Variant Jihad~
  2. Kousoukyoku ~Variant Jihad~ (instrumental)

1. Kousoukyoku ~Variant Jihad~

Beginning the three single era of “Synthesis Songs”  Variant Jihad is the hardest sounding of the three.  I do live the harpischord and organ playing along with the group.  Riku sounds really into the song as he’s doing everything a V-kei group is supposed to because there’s a lot of screaming and fast playing from the rest of the band.  It’s definitly one of the more interesting tracks from them.

 

 

The first of the singles.  I actually thought this was taken on different levels because of all the various moments in the song.  Variant Jihad definitly was one of the cooler moments of the bands short time together.

 

Phantasmagoria – Splendor of Sanctuary January 22, 2009

Filed under: Phantasmagoria — solarblade @ 5:11 am
Tags: , ,

Track Listing

  1. Mikansei to Guilt
  2. Pixy false
  3. Hikari ni Furu Ame
  4. NEVER REBELLION
  5. NEO ARK
  6. Kami Uta
  7. Fairy times memory
  8. Material Pain

1. Mikansei to Guilt

I have to say that I love the beginning of this track.  There’s some airy chanting mix with this cool synth/bass line.  It sounds pretty epic and Riku’s vocals match the mood of the group perfectly.  Sometimes his vocals can seem distorted, but when the chorus comes in, it just turned the epic factor on high.  What a great way to begin the album.

2. Pixy false

Pixy false begins with this groovy bass line and Riku does some yelling which did turn me off.  The song has this strange hook to it and adding in the gothic sound really threw me off from the song.  I think it’s basically just a hot mess, especially with Riku’s screaming.

3. Hikari ni Furu Ame

 get somewhat of a calmer song from Hikari ni Furu Ame.  Once again I found that the song had just a little too much going for it.  Though without the terrible yelling from the last song, this actually sounds so much more forgiving.  Riku’s sound like he’s shouting at some points, but not the usual V-Kei death yell.

4. NEVER REBELLION

I think we get our hardest track so far with NEVER REBELLION which has a loud organ melody that’s also played by the guitar which just made me enjoy it so much more.  Riku to me was a little underwhelming since he was all over the place with his notes.  There’s some pretty cool hooks, but other than that nothing too special.

5. NEO ARK

NEO ARK sounds like something miyavi would do especially how it opened with Riku yelling, which is basically the premise of the song anyway.  It’s definitly hardcore stuff.  Riku does actually begin singing a bit later in the song, but by then, I wanna just pass this song up.

6. Kami Uta

Kami Uta gradually comes in with another really aggressive rock song which mixes the guitar with gothic sounds to create a really impeding doom kind of feeling.  I actually liked how Riku sounded here since it’s so raw and him just letting go.  It’ll prolly bother some people, since it’s just might give people headaches.

7. Fairy times memory

I didn’t expect to have Fairy times memory with some twinkling orgel sounds, and then this lone violin playing.  It’s quite an odd thing to hear, but then again the song sounds almost hopeful as well, which just is another stickout.  I think, I’m liking this kind of sound from them actually and is one of the best tracks on the album.

8. Material Pain

Finishing this rather short album is, well another hard song, but it actually doesn’t sound too messy and has a lot of interesting stuff in it.  There’s some foreboding synth looming in BKGD while the band plays over it.  Riku’s vocals sound pretty cool here and made sense like he was in pain.  What a great way to finish off this way.

Tracks Recommended

  • Mikansei to Guilt
  • Material Pain
  • Fairy times memory

Song of Avoidance

  • Pixy false

Phantasmagoria’s American album, Splendor of Sanctuary pretty much gave them a bunch of previous tracks with a few new ones.  Luckily, it shows that the band can change from just rockin out to using interesting ideas like organ, synth, and an orchestration.  Though, the band does have some issues with making sense of it and Riku’s yelling, this was a pretty cool release by them.