Kurayami Monogatari

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Takanori Nishikawa – His/Story/Roll The Dice June 1, 2019

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 1:44 am

hisstory

Track Listing

  1. His/Story
  2. Roll The Dice
  3. His/Story (Thunderbolt Fantasy Touriken Yuuki 2 OP ver.) (Limited Anime only)
  4. Roll The Dice (Thunderbold Fantasy Touriken Yuuki 2 ED ver.) (Limited Anime only)
  5. His/Story (Instrumental)
  6. Roll The Dice (Instrumental)

1. His/Story

As the main A-side, His/Story has an interesting opening with a bit more rough guitars and drums at the forefront, but the song gets a bit synthy once Takanori starts the verse.  I definitely can see this song as a mixture of Takanori’s groups he’s been a front of and I quite dig the mix as it’s both rockin’ but futuristic at the same time.  Not bad at all here and it’s much stronger than his previous effort, “Bright Burning Shout”.

2. Roll The Dice

As for the other A-side (used as the ending theme for the same anime), Roll The Dice focuses more on the heavy rockin’ side of things which sounds a bit more natural and powerful as well.  While not as fast, I think Takanori’s vocals were much more controlled and emotional too.  I have to say, this one stood out to me more and makes me miss abingdon boys school in the worst way lol.

 

 

As the 2nd and last single before his solo? album “SINGularity” releases, I have to say His/Story & Roll The Dice was a pretty good offering.  I guess I’m sort of seeing the split away from Daisuke Asakura (hence why this isn’t T.M.Revolution) but I’m liking that the decision to do his own thing hasn’t strayed too far from what he’s done prior so good on him!  Interested in his album now!

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Takanori Nishikawa – Bright Burning Shout October 13, 2018

Filed under: T.M.Revolution — solarblade @ 2:53 am

brightburning

Track Listing

  1. Bright Burning Shout
  2. awakening
  3. Bright Burning Shout (Instrumental)
  4. awakening (Instrumental)

1. Bright Burning Shout

Oh hey, this song sounds like a slightly touch like someone told Nishikawa to bring back abingdon boys school, doesn’t it?  Yeah, I’m not sure what’s going on with this decision to not use his T.M.Revolution moniker, but right from the start, I feel like Bright Burning Shout is more or less a combination of both his units.  The song is quite loud and in your face like many of the abs discography, but it also carries an obvious anison tone to it as well.  It’s a pretty good song though and Nishikawa brings a great performance as usual with his crazy vocal ability!

2. awakening

As the B-side of the single, I instantly found myself liking the intro with the piano and overall slow feel as a rock ballad.  Takanori’s voice in the verses are so much better heard and he sounds a lot cleaner with less vibrato.  Then he hits the chorus and it hits hard and it’s so dramatic with the piano/strings behind the heavy rock instrumentation.  I kind of preferred this track over the leading track just because it has a bigger dynamic to me.

 

 

So I guess Takanori is going solo?  I still don’t quite understand why this is a thing because this single sounds heavily like something abingdon boys school would release due to the heavy rock influences featured in both Bright Burning Shout & awakening and makes me miss them even more because these songs were good!  I’m curious to see where he takes this move and if it’ll be a good choice!

 

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.

 

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.