Release the Beast: the idol group INUWASI returns with heaviness and positivity in the fittingly titled ep Chimera.
“Setsuna” kicks things off with a real heavy opening riff alongside two of the girls’ vocals and an ever so faint backing vocal before exploding into synth. Throughout the course of the song, each member gets a starring role in the chorus, showcasing a higher range of their vocal ability. At times it feels like the song is dancing on the metalcore side, coming full circle around the 2:57 mark with the slowly creeping breakdown. “Israfil” brings a bit more of a lighter feeling by comparison, though still playing in the hard rock field, containing a mix of English and Japanese lyrics beaming with positivity and the desire to stay true to yourself. The frenzied drum opening and super prominent bassline — which I love — keeps things quite hardcore.
“Monotonous”, the third track, keeps the mix of hard rock and digital effects going as well as that nice bass. The pre chorus is sure to get the listener geared up as everyone chants together, flowing right into a harmony as one once the chorus hits. Around the second verse we get a nice chugging rhythm going (almost feels a little mathcore inspired) that got my head bopping — then at the 2:45 mark the song takes a dramatic turn with an increased tempo that had an interesting doppler effect, like something was coming at you, before returning to its original beat for the final chorus. “Darkness” has a boss battle feel to it, bringing back the aggressive and frenzied vibe. The lyrics appear to be on the more melancholic end, but wishing for a way to break through from the darkness the girls are feeling (expressed frequently through English bits throughout). The lead vocal in the second chorus absolutely shines during her part through the power her voice carries. At 2:19 there’s a brief, but still sick, breakdown and the final chorus gets a key change.
“Reimei no Sora” has super cool glitch-like effects that get their own moments to shine, but overall retains the hard rock vibe with a bright feeling. The chanting throughout is sure to have spirits raised and fists pumping at a live show — in the final round before the song ends, you get a little bit of the harmonies at work as the girls take over themselves and the instrumental stops. The final song, “Axenxion”, has an opening that was reminiscent, for me at least, of Bring Me The Horizon’s “Kingslayer”. Much like the rest of the album, it’s got a hard sound with an upbeat feeling about it, featuring a bridge solely in English. The key change at the end, followed with a nice guitar lead, brings everything to a fun and headbang-worthy close.
Overall, INUWASI continue to solidify themselves in the rock idol world with the release of Chimera, as well as solidifying their sound direction. Being as young of a group as they are, it makes one hopeful to see how far they go — and something tells me these girls have the energy and sound to be huge.