Kurayami Monogatari

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Kalafina – storia June 27, 2009

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 6:56 pm
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storia

Track Listing

  1. storia
  2. lirica
  3. storia (instrumental)

1. storia

After that minor setback with “Lacrimosa” they actually tried to do folk again with storia and they finally got it right adding a sense of an epic sound as well.  All three girls do get their fair share of solos which is sweet enough and the songs mystic sound works with their vocals.  Well, maybe not KEIKO’s becuase it’s kind of nasally here, but WAKANA and Hikaru are quite nice.  They definitely still have it.

2. lirica

If you think it couldn’t get any better, it did.  lirica is one mysterious song from the ladies with haunting plucked strings and an undertone of electric guitar to make things sound darker.  Opera vocals and darker songs are always great and Yuki struck gold again with this.  The best part is the middle where they are quiet and gradually build up the suspense in the song.  I have to say, this easily should’ve been an A-side more than “storia”

 

 

Holy shit…Kalafina is definitely not losing any steam.  After “Lacrimosa”, Maya was officially out of the group which left us with a trio of amazing sounding ladies.  I was worried where would they go next, but with this single they are still strong as ever.  storia basically fixed the problems that “Lacrimosa” has and built upon that while lirica was surprisingly bone-chilling and almost as perfect as “sprinter”….*RECOMMENDED*

 

Kalafina – Re/oblivious May 11, 2009

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 10:23 pm
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reoblivious

Track Listing

  1. oblivious ~Fukan Fukei mix~
  2. interlude 01
  3. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku ~acoustic ver.~
  4. interlude 02
  5. Kizuato ~piano02 mix~
  6. finale

1. oblivious ~Fukan Fukei mix~

We start off our remix mini-album with obviously the first A-side.  oblivious was originally a dance-ish kind of track with dance beats and such, well for the remix is starts off sounding like we’re in a jungle with birds chirping with the ladies ad-libbing across the song.  Eventually after a while, the beats come in, but the song still sounds very naturistic and I quite like that a lot.  The synths are pretty freaky here and it sounds pretty cool with the song.  It doesn’t follow the song too much, but being past 6 minutes you can’t argue with the fact that it’s a pretty cool remix for their debut.

2. interlude 01

The first interlude sounds muffled and echoey, but it’s so strange there’s actual singing going on in the song which surprised me.  It reminds me of “sprinter” with the harmonizations and anti-melodies going on.  It sounds so damn good and they all sound good together, they should’ve made this into a full-fledged track.

3. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku ~acoustic ver.~

Just like it implies, it’s a bit calmer than the original version.  I actually like this version more than the original because it didn’t feel like it was dragging itself along.  It worked so much more better.  Keiko really sounds particularly stronger in this song.  The other girls seemed to have just taken a break, because they aren’t in the song at all, except for like one part where they seem really distant in the song.

4. interlude 02

interlude 02 starts out the same way as the first one, but once the girls come in the song is way different.  It’s like they are in a marsh or a dark area because there’s bubbling sounds and staccattoed string playing to make it sounds more creepy and wondrous at the same time.  It is however shorter than the first interlude which is unfortunate and once again left me wanting a full version.

5. Kizuato ~piano02 mix~

Kizuato stood out in my mind as the folk B-side of the single, so this mix pretty much took out the the evident culprits and replaced it with the piano to do most of the folkish sounding stuff.  It’s a nice rendition to their track, but I easily prefer the original over this. 

6. finale

Ending things off, Kalafina really brought the mini to a great close with amazing harmonies from the girls and they sound so very haunting with the whole ethereal sound.  Then this boom comes in the make it more powerful and it worked in this case, but it disappears quickly.  Then things start to fade away and it ends just like that with the birds chirping from the beginning.

 

 

Why did I pass this up?  This was amazing.  It didn’t feel like a remix album, it felt more like an actual mini-album because each song has vocals and some pretty great touchups to the older tracks.  I’m surprised that the interludes didn’t get any looks at during the choosing for “Seventh Heaven” because they would’ve sounded AMAZING on it.  Maybe, another day right? *RECOMMENDED*

 

Kalafina – Lacrimosa March 1, 2009

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 7:41 am
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lacrimosa1

Track Listing

  1. Lacrimosa
  2. GLORIA
  3. Lacrimosa -instrumental-

1. Lacrimosa

Is it too soon to makes quick judgments?  It sounds just like a less powerful version of “Natsu no Ringo”.  Strange as it seems, but yes.  After listening to that amazing album, this comes just as a bit of a disappointment.  I will say that it is different from the previous A-sides, but it just doesn’t seem that good. 

2. GLORIA

I don’t think I’ve come across a piano opening WAKANA into the B-side.  Once again, this just is more of a letdown as such as the A-side.  I’ll agree it’s nice to hear the girls with just piano, but let’s get serious.  More instruments would have make this a better listen. 

 

 

Well, it isn’t surprising that the single release that happened to be the same day as the album’s release would be the downfall.  GLORIA did have the better performance value, but at the same time it felt sort of short.  Lacrimosa is a bit more meh to me because it didn’t seem to break any ground….even though maybe I should’ve heard the single first….still not their best single to date.

 

Kalafina – Seventh Heaven

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 7:27 am
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seventh-heaven

Track Listing

  1. overture
  2. oblivious
  3. love come down
  4. Natsu no Ringo
  5. fairytale
  6. ARIA
  7. Mata Kaze ga Tsuyoku Natta
  8. Kizuato
  9. serenato
  10. Ongaku
  11. Ashita no Keshiki
  12. sprinter
  13. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku
  14. seventh heaven

1. overture

overture begins the album very calmly.  The sound of waves, the girls singing distantly away, and a harp.  It’s very soothing to listen to for sure and sets the album very well for whats to come. 

2. oblivious

It seamlessly flows into our first track, which is also the first A-side of the era and even though the song has a small dance beat doesn’t hurt it one bit.  I love how just everything has some prominence throughout and add the fact that the trio has such a amazing sound even from day one.  

2. love come down

love come down has one of the strongest trance arrangements on the album and it does comes as a surprise because you don’t exactly see that with Yuki Kajiura.  You can actually tell that there’s more than one person singing the solo lines which is awesome.  It’s like a synthy “sprinter” and it’s easily becoming a favorite of mine.

4. Natsu no Ringo

Remember when I said Yuki Kajiura used to be part of Sound Horizon?  Well, this song definitly reminds me of them.  Very much covered in folk song and reminds of the music of yore….*cough*.  It’s got such a smooth drive and the acoustic guitar with the ever so useful flute is just right.  Very different from the singles released.

5. fairytale

Our next track was the last A-side released in the era and fairytale is the ethereal winter tune.  Gotta say, the chanting at the start was so haunting and then hearing KEIKO only heard with low strings and an orgel is something nice.  The other gals are stuck as the BKGD singers but it’s a nice track to represent winter.

6. ARIA

Then ARIA pops up and I’m a little bummed about where it’s placed.  Even though WAKANA is leading the track here, it seems to be very forgetful due to the fact that “fairytale” was placed beforehand.  It does sound like it was underdevoloped, but it’s still good nonetheless and seeing it on the album is great.

7. Mata Kaze ga Tsuyoku Natta

Then Kalafina throws a wrench and throws off the album with the next new track.  First starts out with a screech and then it goes into this metal/hard rock arrangement even more hardcore than “sprinter”.  With how Kalafina is singing, it seems to be getting closer to like gothic rock ala Yousei Teikoku, but with opera vocals.  I have to say, this is amazing.

8. Kizuato

Kizuato seemed to be placed here just to slow things gradually towards our next track.  Kizuato doesn’t have the obvious sound of being folkish, but it’s more lighter and they gave a really good performance here.  I think one of the problems was that of its placement.  It does seem to just be WTF for no reason here.

9. serenato

serenato to me was 2nd best of the entire era and it still is a very strong song, even on the album.  There’s got to be a lining where this song has to stop being so freakin amazing.  It’s tribal and mystical as it should be.  The girls harmonizing is just jaw-dropping and made the song even moreso seem to put me in a trance.

10. Ongaku

What’s this?  Ongaku also has a pretty friggin cool arrangement.  There’s a dance beat and a cool guitar riff and one of the ladies is filtered but the other two aren’t.  It reminds me of something an “I’ve Sound” artist would do….MELL perhaps.  Still, Ongaku is another example of Kalafina stepping out of the comfort zones.

11. Ashita no Keshiki

Why does this song seem familiar.  The one girl singing against orgel?  It seemed like it wasn’t gonna go anywhere until the marching drums came in and gave the song a support beam.  There’s even a flute solo which is a little strange, but then again look at the album so far.  It wasn’t the best song, but I can see how this could’ve been a ending track.

12. sprinter

And then there was sprinter.  It’s downright epic by all means.  It’s a perfect combination of Yuki’s works and the “4” singers here as well.  There’s a feeling of being anxious throughout and would make a great choice of music to put it in a movie.  There’s so much to it, that’s it’s blaring especially this late on the album.

13. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku

It’s kind of mean to say this, but it is the weakest track on the album.  Not only was a B-side to “oblivious” it just didn’t seem to pop out at me in any way.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s similar songs to were more powerful.  It’s not terrible, but the whole dragging feeling was bringing the song down.

14. seventh heaven

It isn’t surprisng that the final song is the title track and the longest off the as well.  It seems to bring those ocean waves back from the beginning.  It started out as a slow ballad with KEIKO and then WAKANA takes another part, but here’s added more instruments and became lively.  Hikaru even gets a part.  I have to say, this is a way to bring an album to a close.

Tracks Recommended

  •  sprinter
  • Mata Kaze ga Tsuyoku Natta
  • love come down
  • serenato
  • seventh heaven

Song of Avoidance

  • Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku

Ok, this is hands down the best album put out so far this year.  Kalafina delved into many different styles and what an experience that was.  The new tracks were so much better than the released songs prior to this and I was grateful for that.  Even though they never released news on whatever happened to Maya, the rest were amazing and hope to hear more. Definitly *RECOMMENDED*

 

Kalafina – fairytale December 23, 2008

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 1:11 pm
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28su3cx

Track Listing

  1. fairytale
  2. serenato
  3. sprinter ~Instrumental~

1. fairytale

fairytale begins pretty smoothly and very sweetly.  I think it’s another winter-themed track, but done so great.  All the ladies sound so pretty and in tune with each other.  I’m not exactly sure who’s singing but her voice is perfect for these ballads.  If I didn’t know any better I would’ve put it in the same genre as Enya because of how close they sound to each other in this song. 

2. serenato

Traditional is what come to mind when serenato starts up.  There’s some chanting going on with some taiko drums before the main lady comes and sings across the song.  There’s a small amount of fierceness about the song that I really like about it and is just as memorable as “fairytale”. 

 

 

Wow, Kalafina’s 3rd offering is great and IMO their best single so far.  Both songs are so vibrant and pretty and would catch anyone off guard for sure.  The sprinter instrumental though does sound out of place on the single, but still a nice addition.  Yea, why are they putting instrumentals of the last A-side on their releases? 

 

Kalafina – oblivious December 20, 2008

Filed under: Kalafina — solarblade @ 6:40 pm
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Track Listing

  1. oblivious
  2. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku
  3. Kizuato

1. oblivious

oblivious starts with some chanting going on and some ad-libbing which is soothing, but then begins getting this nice dance beat.  I’m not sure who is exactly singing since the single only had two members at this point of time.  Stylistically it does seem unoriginal…I mean like the whole chant put with a dance beat isn’t what you call original, but the song is a great listen and whoever the guitarist is I praise them ^_^.

2. Kimi ga Hikari ni Kaete Iku

The first B-side is a no surpriser, it’s a ballad.  It seems to be a slow burner for me because the verses are so quiet and lifeless to me and then the chorus, being louder is way better.  Then the 2nd verse gets better because of the added guitar and strings.  I think the song was meant to show how much power their voices have and it’s quite nice, but it isn’t memorable as “oblivious”

3. Kizuato

Kizuato definitly reminded me of Sound Horizon because of the arrangement of the song.  Like it’s perhaps folkish in style.  I’m not quite surprised to actually hear a song that reminds me of Sound Horizon in the first place because Yuki Kajiura was/is part of the group.  I really do like this track though, it has some pretty string moments and both singers are good as well.

 

 

Yuki Kajiura did a smart thing to create this group to be like Sound Horizon almost.  Even though the music is a little different, you can hear similarites between the two.  oblivious isn’t the highest of releases this year, but the A-side was something nice and different from the regular stuff.