Kurayami Monogatari

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T.M.Revolution – RAIMEI September 10, 2016

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 5:48 am

raimei

Track Listing

  1. RAIMEI
  2. Route 20 Exclusive Medley
  3. RAIMEI (Thunderbolt Fantasy Touriken Yuuki OP ver.)
  4. RAIMEI instrumental

1. RAIMEI

I suppose we needed another high-octane song from T.M.R and we’re here with RAIMEI which honestly sounds a lot like “resonance” and a lot of his other works.  There’s just something about this song that makes me yawn and make me thing Asakura might be running out of ideas for songs as they’re once starting to jumble into the same ole, same ole.

2. Route 20 Exclusive Medley

  • HIGH PRESSURE
  • WHITE BREATH
  • HOT LIMIT

It seems that this time we aren’t doing Re:boot versions on this single and instead we have a medley of 3 of his A-sides, granted no idea why it’s these three and for what reason.  For a 15 minute track, this is pretty cool watching the songs get transformed into a mix of synths and hard rock (almost making me feel like there’s some abingdon boys school riffs going on here.  I actually didn’t remember how HIGH PRESSURE or WHITE BREATH went, but this made me appreciate them with this new arrangement and HOT LIMIT was pretty good too, but I’ll take HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR’s cover of it.

 

 

As the first single after their best, RAIMEI is meh single for me with the leading song not really breaking new ground and sticking to what they’ve know with their anison songs.  Even though the medley tried to fix things (and trust me, it tried), I feel like this was a thrown out single to make due.

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T.M.Revolution – Committed RED/Inherit The Force April 20, 2016

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 11:04 pm

commitedred

Track Listing

  1. Committed RED
  2. Inherit The Force
  3. Committed RED (Re:boot) (Regular only)
  4. Inherit The Force (Re:boot) (Regular only)

1. Committed RED

Kicking things off with a dramatic opening that leads into some strong sounds, Committed RED kind of reminds me in a way of abingdon boys school’s “BLADE CHORD” with the sort of Samurai-esque feel and the overall guitarwork.  Actually it reminds of many of TMR’s songs which might be good or bad as well.  I love the strings that appear in the bridge and the song’s darker atmosphere, but I feel like it could’ve hit harder.

2. Inherit The Force

The other A-side though is definitely more towards TMR’s exciting songs that focuses on Asakura’s arranging skills and it definitely has a much stronger sound than “Committed RED” for sure.  Though it does fit alongside songs like “ZIPS”, “Save the One, Save the All, or even “ignited”.  While it doesn’t step on new ground, it’s a decent track and Takanori brings a lot of needed energy.

3. Committed RED (Re:boot)

On regular editions we get remade versions (something they started during the “Ten” era).  On these remixes or whatever you want to think of them as, Committed RED sounds totally different from its original arrangement by incorporating a harder rock sound that’s even more akin to abingdon boys school’s sound and I love that because it’s just edgy and aggressive.  I feel like this was the better version funny enough.

4. Inherit The Force (Re:boot)

On the otherside, the updated version of Inherit The Force is also a lot more louder and instead of the focus being with the synths, it’s instead on the guitars and it sounds banging and so much stronger than I expected.  Really though, it’s surprising how these reboots are more interesting than the originals.

 

 

Being the only single before their next best album, I felt like the single was seriously shadowed by its reboot versions (which ironically has been the case of most of them since they started them back on “Phantom Pain”).  The original takes sound like various other TMR songs, mostly Inherit The Force which was the better A-side here.  I really don’t know what’s going on, but hey it’s a thing.

 

T.M.Revolution – DOUBLE-DEAL September 6, 2015

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 7:16 am

doubledeal

Track Listing

  1. DOUBLE-DEAL

1. DOUBLE-DEAL

Well, this isn’t a surprise, DOUBLE-DEAL was one of my favorites from their “Ten” album so seeing it being recut AND not touched is a great surprise albeit strange.  Being another song tied to the Sengoku Basara series, the song is pretty high-energy and has a great mix of rock and Daisuke’s signature kicks.  Of course I also commend Takanori for bringing such dramatic and epic vocals to a song like this.  It’s definitely one of the better songs in their discography that’s for sure!

Now I am disappointed that there wasn’t anything else new to the release, but there is a 2nd disc featuring new versions of older songs, some we’ve come across already and some entirely new like “UTAGE” and “Naked arms”.  Honestly, I couldn’t say if it’s worth the purchase, but DOUBLE-DEAL is definitely a song to listen to (if you haven’t already from the “Ten” album that is).

 

T.M.Revolution – Ten July 26, 2015

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 7:58 pm

ten

Track Listing

  1. The ether
  2. DOUBLE-DEAL
  3. AMAKAZE
  4. Tsuki Yabareru – Time to SMASH!
  5. Thread of fate
  6. HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS ~Get the Power~
  7. Summer Blizzard
  8. Salvage
  9. Dream Crusader
  10. Phantom Pain
  11. CRIMSON AIR
  12. Count ZERO
  13. FLAGS
  14. The party must go on
  15. The edge of Heaven & Revolution
  16. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Re:boot) (CD only)
  17. Thread of fate (Re:boot) (CD only)

1. The ether

Opening up the album is an introduction of sorts with The ether.  It’s a pretty interesting intro with the kind of weird mechanical sounds mixed with Daisuke’s more breezier strings section (and some interesting Final Fantasy-esque sounding melodies).  Then it kind of ends and there’s this rush of sound bridging up to our first new track!

2. DOUBLE-DEAL

Which leads to a fanfare intro and then Takanori’s voice just barrels in and the song switches gears into something VERY familiar to T.M. fans out there!  Taking some fast paced beats and strong vocals, the song just meshes all the things that I love from them into this track.  Honestly, I felt like there was some ideas taking from stuff like “INVOKE”. “Zips”, “Naked arms”. and even “resonance” and just spliced them into an amazing song to kick this album off!  AWESOME!  Though, chosen as the recut single AND it doesn’t have an original B-side to it?  Shady stuff there…

3. AMAKAZE

Moving onto AMAKAZE which sounded like it was the promotional song for the album as it’s tied to an anime, AMAKAZE honestly sounds like a song best left for abingdon boys school, hell if I didn’t even know better, I would’ve immediately thought it WAS them.  Touting a heavier rock sound, it’s a pretty good song regardless though I do find that DOUBLE-DEAL had more energy and power behind it.  I actually did LOVE the verses for some reason!  Just enjoy the lighter riffs and then the pre-chorus just opens the song up.  Fitting song for the anime and for this album.

4. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!

As the 2nd A-side released for the album, Tsuki Yabureru just made me worry about how the rest of the era would’ve turned out as it wasn’t a song I really enjoyed.  As I’ve said in the single review, this song sounds like a VERY watered down take of “Naked arms” with the pulsating beat and everything.  Maybe it’s just me, but Takanori sounds rough too…very scratchy voice honestly!  Also, very short song for an A-side (2:51).  Didn’t satisfy me and definitely didn’t impress after he took a 3 year break.

5. Thread of fate

Which didn’t help that the B-side from the single once again comes after it.  Thread of fate does tone things down a bit which is a nice change of pace, but there’s something off about it still.  I mean the jazzier vibe and almost old T.M.Revolution sound is a great thing to have here and Takanori sounds nice, but there’s just something that doesn’t seem right in this song and I can’t figure it out.  I will say I do enjoy it a lot more than it’s coupling A-side that’s for certain.  Maybe it’ll continue to grow on me.

6. HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS ~Get The Power~

So T.M.R also released two digital single as well and they are both up next (yes, I’m not counting the duets with Nana Mizuki).  We start with the one released later with HEAVEN ONLY KNOWS and my first thought was…is Takanori working with Bentley Jones?  The banging arrangement is really interesting and the slower pre-chorus is nice too.  Though I wasn’t sure what to think of the song as a whole…maybe it could’ve been an access song too hahaha.  It’s definitely an interesting song and the different vocal readings are fun to follow along.

7. Summer Blizzard

The other digital single is the bizarrely titled Summer Blizzard and I wasn’t expecting a song like this.  Now I’m not too big on Takanori’s voice being under vocal filters, but the arrangement is pretty exciting and has a simple, but effective EDM feel.  Is it weird that I think it’s one of the better songs from the album? 😛

8. Salvage

Back to a couple more new songs, Salvage is up next and I INSTANTLY fell in love with that opening!  Then things just got weird when Daisuke introduces some dubsteppy parts on top of the synth/keyboard melodies.  I wasn’t sure what to think because I was confused where it wanted to be between a ballad or some dance track (I would’ve preferred the lack of the dubstep parts honestly).  Can’t help, but say it’s a little messy here (though I got “AQUALOVERS” vibes here).

9. Dream Crusader

Now this song is pulling some nostalgic vibes for me.  Actually, why does it remind me of “Tears Macerate Reason”?  The powerful choruses, the electric guitar vibes, and the slowish tempo of the song overall, just REALLY reminds me of that song and that was a while ago.  Despite the similarities, I did enjoy this song and definitely made up for “Salvage’s” strangeness.

10. Phantom Pain

Then we get into the 3rd A-side released and Phantom Pain and I’m starting to wonder if Takanori/Daisuke is trying to hit this nostalgic chord on this album because when I reviewed this song I immediately thought of “THUNDERBIRD”.  That’s not bad, but considering how this album has been so far, it’s getting a bit strange actually lol.  I still do love Phantom Pain though and still is up there for best song on the album.

11. CRIMSON AIR

For a song titled as such, I wasn’t expecting a song like this.  I’m loving the power chords from the guitar and the verses with the acoustic guitar (and some of Daisuke’s trickery).  It’s got a unique sound to it and I just love the different transitions this tune goes through and the chorus is just a nice punch to the face.  Really cool track overall!

12. Count ZERO

Now as I have heard the live performance of this, I was wondering what the original studio version sounded like since I never reviewed the single (which was a joint single with SCANDAL).  I love the strings opening and the 180 twist to this VERY hyper dance track.  Like “DOUBLE-DEAL”, Count ZERO excels because of it’s strong arrangement and punching beat.  Honestly, this song is a winner and I was wanting a song like this since “Naked arms”!

13. FLAGS

I feel like the duo just shoved this at the end for no other reason, like a last minute inclusion.  It shows because this single was released in 2011!  I will say it does fit the album ironically and coming after “Count ZERO”, FLAGS really has a certain Daisuke charm to it (like a “Doubt&Trust” vibe).  I loved that they included it, but I’m not sure placing the single at the end was a good idea?

14. The party must go on

Which makes this song the oddball of the album.  As the B-side from “FLAGS” it definitely wasn’t better than the track which isn’t surprising, but I felt like this song has gotten considerably weaker as time went on for me.  The guitarwork isn’t as quite interesting (also, it didn’t feel like it worked).  Then again the 90s keyboard strikes and ~WOO~ made it a lot harder to listen to.  LOL, they should’ve just shoved “UTAGE” on this album too XD.

15. The edge of Heaven and Revolution

The album ends normally with this track and what a bizarre way to close this album.  I mean the songs on this album have been mostly powerful and serious tracks (maybe not “Summer Blizzard”) but hey.  The edge of Heaven and Revolution is literally a mood changer to a happier place and the arrangement is also quite light-hearted as well.  I think after going through this album, I think this ending piece just left a bad taste in my mouth.  By itself, it’s actually decent and Daisuke’s arranging is refreshing to hear…still…not a good way to close this album with.

16. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Re:boot)

On CD onlys of the album, we get two bonus tracks and ironically it’s to the weakest single of the era.  I thought they’d be live versions like what we got from “Phantom Pain”, but no! They’re rearranged and Tsuki Yabureru was obvious when the synths were changed up to not be at the forefront and the rock variation took over and I actually preferred this version over the original!  It’s still short though…but still…a great version!

17. Thread of fate (Re:boot)

The other is of course to Thread of fate and the differences aren’t quite as obvious as it was with the previous track.  Maybe a little more interesting things in the chorus is all can pick up.  I still think it’s an odd song, but it’s an interesting song regardless.

Tracks Recommended

  • DOUBLE-DEAL
  • Phantom Pain
  • FLAGS
  • CRIMSON AIR
  • AMAKAZE

Song of Avoidance

  • Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!

It’s been quite a while since the duo released an album and we finally come back with “Ten”.  Honestly, most of this album felt like a nostalgic trip through what made T.M.Revolution so amazing in the first place and it worked many times and other times just fell flat.  I do think it’s a LOT better than the new songs we were given from “CLOUD NINE” so really it’s just a couple songs I wasn’t a big fan of.

 

T.M.Revolution – Phantom Pain September 27, 2014

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 3:48 am

phantompain

Track Listing

  1. Phantom Pain
  2. Count ZERO (Re:boot)
  3. Hesoshukujo -Venus- (Re:boot)
  4. Phantom Pain (Original Backing Track)

1. Phantom Pain

Interesting that we get Phantom Pain so quickly after their last single.  Funny though that the song is a much slower-paced track for the duo.  It kind of reminds me of their older songs like “Hajimari Nami” and “THUNDERBIRD” in a lot of the arrangement.  It’s been quite a while since we have gotten a tune that shows a more softer side to Takanori’s vocals and I already think it’s much better than “Tsuki Yabureru”.  I liked this kind of nostalgic trip and it’s a pretty solid song overall!

2. Count ZERO (Re:boot)

The remainder of the single is some live versions of some past songs.  With Count ZERO, Takanori continues to sound really powerful and has some pretty cool chants that go along with it.  Being a song that was released earlier in the year as a part of the split single with SCANDAL, Count ZERO is a pretty solid song to hear and even live contains its great energy.  Solid overall!

3. Hesoshukujo -Venus- (Re:boot)

Then we seriously dive back in their discography for Hesoshukujo (which is techinically the first single released by them).  Of course the song has got a touch-up including more instruments and having a much cooler vibe and groove.  I dug it and Takanori tackled the song sowell that I would love a full recording of this!  Very good live version!

 

 

Only coming a month after their last single, Phantom Pain is kind of a step back into times with each song.  The main track gave me some “THUNDERBIRD” vibes, but I was into it and after all those edgy songs, it was nice to see a song like Phantom Pain happened.  The live versions were pretty solid too and Takanori sounded great.  Overall a solid single and much better than their last one.

 

T.M.Revolution – Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! August 11, 2014

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 5:26 pm

tsukiyabureru

Track Listing

  1. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!
  2. Thread of fate
  3. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Original Backing Track)
  4. Thread of fate (Original Backing Track)
  5. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH! (Anime Version)
  6. Thread of fate (Anime Version)

1. Tsuki Yabureru – Time to SMASH!

Wow, Takanori actually is active again lol!  Anyways, we have Tsuki Yabureru  begun strong with him singing with guitar, but I felt like the intro was kind of meh when it was going through its beginning interlude (like there should be powerful drums, rather than dance beats).  Basically I feel like this song is a watered down “Naked arms” with the similar speed and drive.  Also, it’s a pretty short track at a little under 3 minutes as well.  I don’t know but I feel like I was expecting more from a song like this and was disappointed in the turnout.

2. Thread of fate

As for the B-side, Thread of fate has a bit more of a toned down feel which is cool since Takanori can give a more pronounced performance.  The arrangement isn’t exactly totally intriguing, but at least it doesn’t feel weak like the A-side was.  After a while the song just kind of fades my attention away unfortunately…it comes off as an album song more or less.  I don’t know it’s better than “Tsuki Yabureru” but not by much.

 

 

Feels like forever since T.M.R. released something (though I’d rather have abingdon boys school back) and sadly, Tsuki Yabureru wasn’t all that memorable of a single.  Maybe it’s just me but Tsuki Yabureru sounds a lot like “Naked arms” without the energy behind it and that kind of disappointed whereas Thread of fate just kind of was there…not terrible, but nothing that’ll say come back to me.  With another single on the horizon, “Phantom pain”, I hope he can redeem himself.

 

T.M.Revolution – UTAGE November 16, 2011

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 8:29 am

Track Listing

  1. crosswise
  2. Naked arms
  3. SWORD SUMMIT
  4. FLAGS
  5. The party must go on
  6. UTAGE
  7. Naked arms -English ver.- (Bonus Track)

1. crosswise

Starting this special mini-album, We have crosswise which was originall the B-side from “vestige”.  Since this is my third time reviewing most of these songs I’ll get through these once again.  crosswise at first surprised my because it was more towards hard rock than T.M.R’s usual productions.  I still do think it fits more as an abingdon boys school tune but there’s some places where you hear a T.M.R. sound.  It’s grown slowly at least and it’s not after “SWORD SUMMIT”!

2. Naked arms

At least there’s one song that stands out in a big way and that’s Naked arms which was “CLOUD NINE’s” 3rd A-side released in the era.  I love the energy of this song and the mix of synths and rock just feels perfect.  Add in Takanori’s expressive vocals and you get this edgy and epic song.  I love it and it’s the best of this mini-album.

3. SWORD SUMMIT

As the secondary A-side from his 3rd single in the “CLOUD NINE” era, SWORD SUMMIT still kind of sounds upbeat and odd within this mini of songs tied into Sengoku Basara but there’s something that kind of fits with the game and it could be the slight oriental sound and swords clashing.  It’s different and it stands out but I still think “Naked arms” is a better song!

4. FLAGS

It has been a while since I’ve actually sat down and listened to “FLAGS” which is the first A-side in the current era.  Since it’s placed next to “SWORD SUMMIT”, I do get the same vibes (minus the oriental stuff).  Then again the chorus to me screams “crosswise” which I didn’t catch the first time I listened to the single then.  I will say it’s pretty good though and Takanori is just great singing the song!

5. The party must go on

Fitting that the B-side from “FLAGS” would show up as well.  The thing that makes this one pop out is the fact that it’s the quickest tune of the mini and Takanori’s vocals are sounding pretty strong.  However, I was kind of disappointed with the tunes chorus…it just lacks oomph but at least Takanori’s vocals is trying to make up for it.

6. UTAGE

Just like on T.M.R’s last special mini-album, there’s a new song and that’s in UTAGE.  I will say that I wasn’t expecting such a light song to have found its place on here.  It’s a little weird that the other songs are a lot harder hitting and epic than this song but I won’t deny that it’s catchy and the arrangement kind of harkens back to the old days.  It’s different but like “Imaginary Ark”, this doesn’t fit here at all!

7. Naked arms -English ver.-

Closing the mini-album is an English version of Naked arms.  Don’t be excited though because this was found on the single as well which kind of makes this a pointless addition to the mini.  When I reviewed it before, I said that the song wasn’t as solid as the English version of “Web Of Night” because I had a hard time understanding what the hell Takanori was singing in Naked arms.  Take the original!

 

 

Altogether this special Sengoku Basara mini-album of just T.M.R. songs weren’t as tight nor as memorable as the GUNDAM one by a long shot.  Besides Naked arms, the other songs don’t really have a strong memorability towards them and it caused me to pass some of the songs up.  The new song, UTAGE wasn’t really worth it either.  It’s alright but not my go-to set of songs.