Kurayami Monogatari

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Satsuki – LUMINOUS January 23, 2013

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 3:45 am

LUMINOUS jacket

Track Listing

  1. TWILIGHT
  2. DETERMINATION
  3. ROMANCE
  4. FATE
  5. AVEC LE TEMPS…
  6. INSIDE
  7. NVN
  8. MALACHITE
  9. AFTER GLOW
  10. IN A LUCID DREAM
  11. SYMPATHY

1. TWILIGHT

I thought opening the album up with TWILIGHT was a pretty interesting decision because it’s not what I was expecting.  At first glance it does kind of sound a bit weird with Satsuki under filters and the arrangement being mid-tempo and a bit empty.  After he sings the first couple of lines in the verses, the song gains a stronger backbone, but not enough to reach awesome status.  Odd way to open the album up.

2. DETERMINATION

I think the album really starts off with DETERMINATION since it’s a bit more true to Satsuki’s sound since he went solo and it’s pretty consistent of a track.  Add that it has a pretty awesome guitar riff and style.  I also felt like Satsuki himself a lot more stronger and into the song than he was in “TWILIGHT”.  Great song overall and one of the early favorites.

3. ROMANCE

So we enter our first of the previously reviewed songs with ROMANCE (which I think now was a digital release?) .  Whatever it was, I still am not too big of a fan of this track because while it has the same energy behind it like “DETERMINATION”, the song is a little more poppy and happy which is kind of strange when it comes to someone like Satsuki.  Add some questionable disc scratching in the middle 8…and it’s just a confusing and a little to the books for me.

4. FATE

So it seems that only two of the three physical singles made the album…(kind of sad that “INNOCENT” didn’t make the cut), FATE was the primary A-side of the second single of the era and boy did FATE impress me!  I’ve said that I loved RENTRER EN SOI’s stuff when they were still together and FATE kind of brought me back to their sound and it sounds incredible.  Mind you, Satsuki is under heavy filters at first, but when he breaks through it, it’s amazing and powerful!  It’s just a heavy-hitting song and really makes up for “ROMANCE”.

5. AVEC LE TEMPS…

Is that Latin?  *shrugs*, it seems like after the powerful “FATE”, AVEC LE TEMPS… starts off surprisingly quiet and grows when Satsuki comes in and wow, I’m just like impressed with his vocals here a lot since he has room to hit a wide array of notes.  Sadly when the chorus comes in, it becomes a lot like “TWILIGHT” when I feel it’s a bit lifeless and needed a boost of speed.  Suffice to say this is a bit disappointing and it kind of doesn’t fit after “FATE” either >.>

6. INSIDE

So the sister A-side to “FATE”, INSIDE was just as amazing because it was so dramatic and powerful and I’m a little saddened to have “AVEC LE TEMPS…” kind of break that connection because I personally feel this and “FATE” belong next to each other.  I’m just love the piano and guitars and Satsuki altogether like this.  Take out the slight disc scratching part and we got a perfect track!

7. NVN

Back into some new tracks, NVN kind of takes an interesting turn because this song sounds like a bit more punk/metal with little traces of V-kei.  It’s different which is something I kind of liked about the track, but it feel like it wants to reach to peak of pure rage and awesomeness but doesn’t quite make it?  I don’t know, it’s a solid track and all…but it could’ve been better.

8. MALACHITE

The shortest track and loudest track on the album, MALACHITE really comes out of nowhere for me with a furious arrangement and speedy tempo.  Unlike “NVN”, this is kind of what I expected said track would’ve been like.  Like “FATE” the song brings the filters back and the arrangement this time included strings.  For a song that’s only 2 and a half minites long, it sure made its mark on the album.  I’m still unsure where I sit with the song, but it wasn’t bad…just unexpected.

9. AFTER GLOW

Then we enter this song and I wasn’t expecting something so unique.  I mean it still has guitarwork and such, but there’s now synths.  It’s like “ROMANCE” done right because I kind of like this happier side of his music (even if it really doesn’t fit majority of the album’s sound).  I might be the only person that will like this song, but if it was an A-side this would’ve been great too lol.

10. IN A LUCID DREAM

I almost didn’t notice that I had reviewed this a long time ago! (it was a B-side from Satsuki’s debut single, “AWAKE”).  Obviously since there’s been nearly a 5 year gap, IN A LUCID DREAM has gotten updated.  The length of the track has nearly doubled and the arrangement has a bit more going for it.  The song itself doesn’t feel as if I’m listening to Satsuki ad-libbing for most of it (although he still sings at a higher pitch which might be strange to newcomers, but I’m used to this back in the days.  I love the haunting melody though and for all the changes it went through, there was nothing bad…a much needed upgrade (though one I wouldn’t have seen coming a mile away).

11. SYMPATHY

I will never understand why Satsuki would end the album with SYMPATHY because this song is probably the most basic track of his.  I mean there are the lyrics that might be the point, but the arrangement sounds a lot like “AWAKE”, “CRYSTAL”, and “ROMANCE” which really meant that this song did not do anything for me!  I would’ve rather had “INNOCENT” close the album than this one meeeh.

Tracks Recommended

  • INSIDE
  • FATE
  • IN A LUCID DREAM
  • DETERMINATION
  • AFTER GLOW

Song of Avoidance

  • SYMPATHY

Took him long enough, but Satsuki finally releases his first album!  LUMINOUS is OK overall, there were some amazing tracks and some really boring ones so they kind of evened out to this average level.  I feel like he does have moments of brilliance like the top 3 tracks I loved from this album, but when he doesn’t have it…it’s quite obvious.  Not bad, hope it doesn’t take 5 years for a full album…

 

Satsuki – FATE/INSIDE March 8, 2012

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 8:16 pm

Track Listing

  1. FATE
  2. INSIDE

1. FATE

Kicking the single off, FATE is quite explosive and a bit darker than normal Satsuki songs for sure and hearing synths is also a bit of a surprise.  Add that Satuski sings the verses under a filter and you got this interesting song.  It kind of goes back to his RENTRER EN SOI days where their music was hard and darker.  It’s a nice song to hear after the happier “ROMANCE” that’s for sure.

2. INSIDE

INSIDE also seems to follow the more darker songs but a lot slower as well which is a nice opposite to “FATE”.  It’s definitely a dramatic song for sure but handled very well because of the flow and dramatics involved.  It’s definitely his most powerful song since “UPPER REGION” that’s for sure!

 

 

4th single eh?  Well FATE/INSIDE is a lot better than both his previous singles since this has a lot of powerful vibes in it and definitely is what makes me enjoy Satsuki’s music a lot!  I do prefer INSIDE more but that’s because it was all kinds of awesomeness!  Now we need an album!

 

Satsuki – ROMANCE

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 4:13 am

Track Listing

  1. ROMANCE

1. ROMANCE

Satsuki must’ve took notes since ROMANCE isn’t as boring as “SYMPATHY” was that’s for sure and I’m loving the upbeat nature of the song and kind of goes back to his last era minus the depressing songs.  I am getting the sense that it was tied to some anime because it has that feel to it as well.  Then it gets weird with the disc spinning in the middle of the song…what was that about?  I kind of enjoyed this!

 

 

I’m a little surprised that Satsuki would make this single only one track but I’m guessing he couldn’t think of a B-side in time (plus “SYMPATHY” failed on that aspect as well).  ROMANCE isn’t bad of a song but I still kind of like “INNOCENT” the best in the era.

 

Satsuki – SYMPATHY September 6, 2011

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 7:58 am

Track Listing

  1. SYMPATHY
  2. AWAKE (UPPER REGION ver.)

1. SYMPATHY

For being the second A-side this era, SYMPATHY, like “INNOCENT” is more mainstream of a sound than anything in the past era and that kind of saddens me a little but I like the synth usage in the song and Satsuki himself sounds quite good.  Sadly, it does feel much like his last release which is what makes me slightly dislike the tune.  A bit too basic I guess…just doesn’t do much like “INNOCENT” slightly did.

2. AWAKE (UPPER REGION ver.)

Why did Satsuki had to reuse AWAKE again?  It’s just the same version of the song off his mini-album, “UPPER REGION”.  Like I said on that review, the changes on this version compared to the original is pretty obvious from the start when strings open the song up instead of Satsuki immediatly singing the opening chorus.  I didn’t really appreciate this on this single since it’s the OTHER SONG…but c’mon an original not a recut? 

 

 

Ok, after the quite good “INNOCENT”, it comes as a hard knowledge to find that SYMPATHY kind of sucks as a whole.  I mean SYMPATHY is pretty plain and just one-dimensional of a J-rock song even for him while reusing AWAKE was just a poor ass idea even though I like the song…it shouldn’t be here AT ALL.  C’mon Satsuki, a little more effort next time!

 

Satsuki – INNOCENT July 6, 2011

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 4:39 pm

Track Listing

  1. INNOCENT
  2. STRAWBERRY SUMMER

1. INNOCENT

It’s been a while but I feel like INNOCENT sounds a lot more mainstream sounding than his previous era but I don’t mind this because the song is actually quite good.  Satsuki’s vocals are a bit lighter, but they’re also a bit more refined so it made the song sound a bit stronger than past works.  It might not be all that and a bag of chips, but this is a good start.

2. STRAWBERRY SUMMER

I’m leaning more towards the B-side for sure because its inclusion of synths in the song is a nice change of style (even though Satsuki is no stranger to this).  Since this is a summer song, I did feel like he pulled it off better and it’s quite catchy too.  Definitely hope to see this on an album from him.

 

 

Satsuki returns for his sophomore era with INNOCENT and I must say, it’s not a bad single but does feel short (then again all of Satsuki’s singles have had 4 tracks).  I did like STRAWBERRY SUMMER a lot more than INNOCENT but it’s not to say it’s a single worth checking out if you’re a J-rock fan or a fan of RENTRER EN SOI.

 

Satsuki – UPPER REGION September 6, 2010

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 8:10 am

Track Listing

  1. AWAKE (UPPER REGION Ver.)
  2. Ryuushi ni Tokete Nagareru Namida to Memai no Sou ni Ranhansha Suru Saisei no Koe
  3. MOON SPIRAL (ENGLISH Ensemble)
  4. Veil of MARIA (UPPER REGION Ver.)
  5. Horizon
  6. CRYSTAL (UPPER REGION Ver.)

1. AWAKE (UPPER REGION Ver.)

All of the songs that were previously released before the mini-album has had changes added so don’t expect to hear what you initially liked through Satsuki’s singles.  Instead of the single version where it instantly begins with Satsuki and the full arrangement, the UR version has a strings opening before getting into it’s mid-tempo rock sound.  Besides that, there weren’t a lot of extreme changes and that’s good for sure and I still hold the same feelings as I had then.  Which was that it’s a good tune that began his solo career.

2. Ryuushi ni Tokete Nagareru Namida to Memai no Sou ni Ranhansha Suru Saisei no Koe

My goodness Satsuki…could you have any longer of a title?  One of two new tracks, Ryuushi ni Tokete… begins with a lonely sounding piano and Satsuki singing in his higher pitches and he does go lower, but quickly returns to it.  His higher vocals sound so light and pretty because he’s hitting the right notes too.  After a while a light R&B-ish sound come in and Satsuki lowers his pitch a bit too.  For being a bit experimental, I thought it was a nice enough song.  It does drag after a while, but still good.

3. MOON SPIRAL (ENGLISH Ensemble)

I remember MOON SPIRAL starting off with acoustic guitar and Satsuki singing, but the mini-album’s take is a bit different with more strings here and there and the verses having more guitar and bass lines present.  I thought it added a but more funk to the song.  MOON SPIRAL is still the best song of the era.  I mean having an acoustic-only part was so cool here too.  Yeah it’s that good.

4. Veil of MARIA (UPPER REGION Ver.)

Being the only B-side represented, Veil of MARIA had the most obvious changes of the new versions.  Instead of the synthy feel of the original, this sounds more like something you’d hear in a cave since Satsuki is using both his deep and high vocals and since nothing of guitars are really present, it’s definitely an easier listen too.  I much prefer to listen to this version than the original.

5. Horizon

I was wondering what the other new song was going to sound like and it’s actually a tad lighter than “AWAKE”.  I mean they are both guitar-based songs, but I liked the more lighthearted sound from this one a bit more.  Satsuki’s vocals are at his normal range and after the amount of style he’s been using on this mini-album, it’s nice to hear just something normal from him.

6. CRYSTAL (UPPER REGION Ver.)

Being the middle A-side and all, CRYSTAL wasn’t so bad of a song.  Out of the redone tracks, CRYSTAL has a bit, but it doesn’t really affect the song on a large scale.  It’s still basically the same thing and I liked the fact they didn’t touch much of it.  It still does seem like it’s just an “AWAKE” continuation, but it’s not too bad.

 

 

Being Satsuki’s first mini-album, I would’ve much preferred new tracks over the singles, but for what it’s worth, they were given touchups that did good for most of them.  Even the new songs weren’t that bad (well the one with the long title got boring after a while).  Still not too bad from Satsuki!

 

Satsuki – CRYSTAL September 3, 2010

Filed under: Satsuki — solarblade @ 1:19 am

Track Listing

  1. CRYSTAL
  2. RAIN DROP
  3. HEART
  4. DAZZLE

1. CRYSTAL

Being Satsuki’s 2nd single, CRYSTAL sounds like something that’s lighter than stuff from Rentrer en Soi.  I actually like the change for this song since it’s not symphonic in anyway shape or form which is good.  His vocals also sound straightforward and doesn’t really stray into anything that’s weird.  It’s your J-rock song and done very well.

2. RAIN DROP

Being the shortest song off the single, RAIN DROP begins with a pretty interesting piano-laced intro.  Sounds like it was performed in a pretty large room haha.  RAIN DROP does become another rock tune from Satsuki, but I liked the arrangement and riffs throughout.  It’s of course an edgier song than “CRYSTAL”, but it’s short and sweet.

3. HEART

HEART though brings in the strings now which Satsuki has been using for most of his songs released.  At least it’s still not fully a symphonic V-kei tune.  I like that HEART actually uses acoustic guitar and Satsuki has help in singing as well which is pretty nifty.  Compared to the last two songs, this is slower but it showed off more of Satsuki’s vocals and it’s actually not that bad.

4. DAZZLE

Ending the single, DAZZLE very different compared to the rest of the single because of the song’s mysterious-sounding arrangement and with Satsuki’s higher-pitched vocals it really does stand out on the single.  It kind of reminds me of his vocals in “Veil of MARIA” on his last single.  Not sure to really classify it, but it ends the single on a weird note…but I like the piano’s melody.

 

 

Since “CRYSTAL” is Satsuki’s 2nd single for the “UPPER REGION” era, I though this was better than his debut, but I still think “MOON SPIRAL” beats it.  At least Satsuki stuck with rock for this single and for the most part he did well with the first three.  DAZZLE is a bit of the more symphonically driven songs like a few songs from “AWAKE”.  Good single though.