ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (Zenbukiminoseida.) – FlashBack NightMare

ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (ZenbuKimiNoSeiDa.)

The brand new album of ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (Zenbukiminoseida.), titled FlashBack NightMare, drops alongside new music videos.

The first track, “Scar Sign”, opens with a fun, chugging metalcore style riff before kicking up the ぜんぶ君のせいだ。 (Zenbukiminoseida.). have been putting in quite a lot of work this year, with group and solo singles and three (two being re-recordings) albums, and a massive tour, all within the span of this year alone. For today, we’ll be taking a look at their latest album, FlashBack NightMare, which dropped on November 24th. Unlike the previous releases, FlashBack contains completely new tracks.

BPM in the verses, the drums really helping set a precedent of just how heavy the song can get. Compared to the chaotic nature of the verses, the choruses take up a lighter sound and vocal style. Vocals used vary between singing, spoken word and a couple lines of screaming. The last minute of the song really hones in on the yami nature of Zenkimi’s concept, with the members reciting their lines with an almost spine-tingling harmony, something the music video helps in visualizing with their eyes going fully black alongside the blood red lighting.

The second track, “Heavenlyheaven”, was featured in a review I did a while back when it was released as a single; it does a fantastic job in showing how Zenkimi can balance whimsy and hardcore. “Underscore” is the third track (and the third music video to be released from this album), opening with a mathcore-esque guitar and bass riff. In the first 25 seconds alone the song takes some wild twists and turns between singing, screaming and the fun instrumentals, giving some Dillinger Escape Plan levels of chaos. Through the second verse the girls take turns swapping between lines (which sounds super cool in headphones as they go from left to right). Twinkling piano keys, handclaps and digital blips once again showcase the unpredictable nature of Zenkimi songs: there’s really never a dull moment. Each member gets her own chance to shine throughout this song too, their vocals coming off as clear as day.

“Dada”, originally released as a single earlier this year, makes a comeback on this album. The track has a super fun and bouncy beat led by the style of drums (those blast beats in the pre chorus are so sick too). It feels like it’d be perfectly fit for a rhythm game. The twists within the song help reel in that concept of “Dadaism” as well. The bridge takes a fun, but not unexpected, dark turn with the introduction of Kotetsu’s shrill shrieks and Mei’s hearty screams. Definitely a headbanger. “Pistil” gives some classic heavy metal action straight out the gate. The pre chorus sections take on more of a jazzy, almost lounge singer feel that don’t come off as out of place amidst the rapid energy of the song. Vocals are as great as always, especially in the chorus; though I love to hear these girls scream, their clean singing capabilities are just as special and just as top notch. “315.3”, the seventh track, is a classic metalcore track with spoken vocal relays in the verses following a really sick, catchy riff that sounds like descending notes. The choruses really pack a punch with the girls taking turns screaming the English parts, and my goodness, the first scream in the second chorus is insanely good. Putting all of that together has it topping my list as my favorite track.

“Mono No Koi Aware” is probably the most interesting song on the album just from the genre flips alone. Throughout the entire three minute track, there’s never a dull moment and a crazy amount of switch ups, from EDM to dubstep, gothic-symphonic-metal to jazz and more. It almost feels as if the song is playing to the unique conceptual strengths of each of the members– and while the verses stand out in great moments of individuality, in the chorus they all come together perfectly. So while sonically it might be a step in a more lighthearted direction from the previous tracks, it keeps the vibes rolling perfectly.

“Monster” serves as the most somber track on the album through alt rock and the subtle usage of piano. The vocal delivery is a bit more emotional, something I’ve noticed Zenkimi is fantastic at, especially this current lineup. The chorus here makes you want to get up and shout it out with them. “Insomnia”, which was a track released last year with the inclusion of An, Fufu and Kasane, makes a comeback on this album, making it the only re-recorded track to allow for Mei and Kotetsu to partake. Because of this, the song remains relatively the same. The final track, “Rakugaki Kiseki”, brings back a lighthearted vibe to close the album out with the soft opening chords and electronica effects. It’s a slower track as well, almost bordering on a ballad track. Always a group to give it their all though, the build up through the first couple of verses leads to an amazing duo screaming from Mei and Kotetsu at the 1:40 mark declaring their love, followed up by a little rap moment. It mellows out again for the ending of the track with the girls taking turns and harmonizing as they lead us hand in hand to the end, followed by the guitar and drums fading out with them.

FlashBack NightMare has been the first fully original track from Zenkimi since 2019, and it was absolutely one worth waiting for. With this lineup only fully coming together at the beginning of the year, they’ve continuously shown their chops in all shapes and forms. I really couldn’t ask for more (though the possibility of an international tour would be amazing someday), and I’m hoping you give this album a listen. Fan or newcomer, it’s sure to reel you in all the same.

SARI – Paraiso

Dreamy, psychedelic Sari: the alt-pop soloist continues her mystical, musical journey with her new single Paraiso.

SARI has had quite the interesting musical career, something definitely worth watching as she blossomed into a shining soloist, releasing singles, EPs and hosting live shows in her wake (with one just recently in Sweden!). Today’s single review will be documenting just that from her November 6th release, Paraiso.

The song opens with a mixture of trippy synth and SARI’s soft, pleasant vocal harmony. Her tone takes on a light and softer touch throughout the track, melding well with the blips of digitalization, piano and dream pop soundscapes. The feeling of the track reminds me a lot of Blank Banshee’s most recent album Gaia in a way, with the natural imagery of the single’s artwork and the chill vibe. The vocal layering is great as well, I feel like it really helps bring in the experimental direction of the song particularly in the chorus with the different lines coming together. There’s a brief section of guitar and a cool, snazzy bassline that comes in at the last minute of the song. It’s a pretty quick listen though, coming in at just short of 3 minutes (2:49 total). However, it’s pleasant nonetheless.

Since we’re only covering one single today, this review is brief, and I tried my best to really get in my thoughts on the track based on the notes I wrote. I’m hoping we get another EP, or better yet an album, from SARI soon. Her solo career has been one of my favorites when it comes to idols I like thanks to her unique sound and visuals. The next review, however, will be a pretty big one, so I’ll see you all then!

I To U $creaming!! – Parfait.

I To U $creaming

Listen to Parfait., the new mini-album of the self-produced idol duo I To U $creaming!! where rock meets creativity.

I’m always happy to spend some good words about I To U $creaming!!; the self-produced idol duo has been previously featured on this website thanks to their first ep Gloire, and now they are back with another mini-album titled Parfait., which we are going to analyze now. Even if I didn’t know the group, I believe I would have been attracted by the lovely anime-styled cover art; however, as someone who already fell in love with them, the main reasons to appreciate this release are the creativity and the quality of their rock-oriented idol sound.

Despite being quite open-minded with their music, I To U $creaming!! are not afraid to create simple and straightforward songs as well, and it’s a good thing since they always manage to sound enjoyable: just think of the dreamlike and very idol-ish sweetness of “Eternal Snow”, where crystal-clear piano notes and soft strings in the background meet with the two girls’ emotional vocals. The same piano and strings combination, however, will give you different vibes in the first track “Boronia”, which starts off with a more dramatic atmosphere; don’t be scared though, because the sound will soon get more idol-ish, albeit with a refined and sometimes almost epic edge and some vaguely neo-classical hints here and there.

Even a song like “dramatic anthem”, which all in all sounds like your average pop-rock tune, turns out to be enriched by lots of details in every aspect, from the dynamic guitars to the intriguing basslines, from the never too intrusive piano to the always fitting drums, not to mention the usual good job of the vocalists. “Rain” also starts from the same concept, but brings it to the extreme and goes more in depth with the experimentations, especially through comples rhythms and some jazzy parts with a walking bass in the background.

Where the groups totally shines, at least in my opinion, is the song they also chose for their most recent MV, which was featured in our Top 10 of August in a very high position. “float” simply delves into the post-rock realm, following the usual pattern of starting off quiet just to explode into a burst of emotions and walls of guitars. It may be less experimental than “Rain” or less bizarre than “Boronia”, but when it comes to the feeling of the music, this one wins hands down.

Altough I have always enjoyed them, I To U $creaming!! keep getting better with every release; they are being very consistent quality-wise, which is a very good sign for their future. So, what you need to do now is to go and enjoy this Parfait: I can assure it will be the most delicious one you’ve ever tried.

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