INUWASI – Chimera

Inuwasi

Release the Beast: the idol group INUWASI returns with heaviness and positivity in the fittingly titled ep Chimera.

Having only debuted almost a year ago, the six member group INUWASI have a pretty sizable discography through the release of EPs. Today we bring their latest entry, aptly titled Chimera (since their official description is an idol group that speaks for the “hybrid raptor”, a being that consists of “dogs who can’t bite, eagles that can’t fly”), that contains a whirlwind of six hard hitting tracks sure to keep the crowds moving.

“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.


TOP 10 IDOL MV – March 2021

TOP 10 IDOL MV - March 2021

Another month has passed, and so here we are for another Top 10 of the best alternative idol MV’s released in March. Let’s take a look at these ten awesome videos!


10) EIMIE – FAKE

EIMIE‘s latest MV is pretty good. “FAKE” consists of an alternative metal sound with vocals mostly influenced by rap, except for those awesome growled parts, which unfortunately don’t last that much. In any case, the song is still very enjoyable.


9) 8bitBRAIN – Black Sabbath

No Osbournes were harmed in the making of this video, I promise. 8bitBRAIN are back with their electronic-infused metal sound, with the usual autotuned vocals. If you love this style, you’ll surely enjoy “Black Sabbath”. Although I wanna hear them saying I am iron man in autotune now.


8) プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga) – Winning Ark (Daybreak)

How many times have I been featuring プシュケとラーガ (Psyche and Raga) lately? Not that’s a problem. The psychedelic unit brings us their first MV for “Winning Ark (Daybreak)”, which is a kinda catchy and simple one, compared to other songs they have released before.


7) POPPiNG EMO – SELFISH

POPPiNG EMO have been doing great lately, just listen to the intense electronic/pop-infused rock sound of “SELFISH” to understand what I mean. For some reason, the main guitar has been stuck in my head for a while, despite not being really that much unique or awesome. Not that I complain, anyway.


6) ピューパ!! (Pupa!!) – Vanilla

Everytime I listen to ピューパ!! (Pupa!!), I get fascinated by their dreamy, delicate sound; “Vanilla” is no exception, of course. You start getting lulled by guitars resembling post-rock’s calmer parts, accompanied by a synthetic background, and then some intense synth pop hits you. That’s a very nice feeling.


5) FRUN FRIN FRIENDS – バニラ (Vanilla)

More “Vanilla”, this time from FRUN FRIN FRIENDS. Both the song and the video feel very artistic, if that makes any sense. Catchy, cute and poppy, but still refined and kinda unique. Check out the MV for “Strawberry” too, released together with this one.


4) 9DayzGlitchClubTokyo – Brand new Stimulate

Heavy and weird electronic stuff, catchy and intense pop/metal mix, a bit of hip-hop: anything else? Apparently, 9DayzGlitchClubTokyo have anything you need in their music. “Brand new Stimulate” is their first MV, and it shows how promising this unit is.


3) INUWASI – holy

If you read the review of their EP, you should already know I love INUWASI; in case you haven’t, go read it. Do it NOW. Anyway, while “holy” is not my favorite song from the mini-album, it’s still a good one where post-hardcore and electronic/hip-hop meet, which is a great mix.


2) めろん畑a go go (Melon Batake A Go Go) – 撃つな琉陀瓶! (Utsu Na RUTAKAME!)

Our favorite masked super-heroines are back with their usual retro-styled music. “撃つな琉陀瓶!” (Utsu Na RUTAKAME!) is an awesome song featuring memorable vocal lines and lots of stuff from long lost decades, exactly what we would expect from めろん畑a go go (Melon Batake A Go Go).


1) 感覚ロヂック (Kankaku Logic) – 深愛嫌悪 (Shin’ai Ken’o)

感覚ロヂック (Kankaku Logic) really outdid themselves with “深愛嫌悪” (Shin’ai Ken’o). The song keeps switching between extreme metal and dark, haunting parts, with a video which fits perfectly the music. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. Unless you want to get traumatized.


Honorable Mentions

INUWASI – Thanatos

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Listen to INUWASI’s second ep titled Thanatos, which blends idol music with rock guitars, post-hardcore energy, electronic synths and hip-hop beats.

The release of the second EP of INUWASI finally gives me a chance to spend some words for this great group; so let’s see what the brought us with Thanatos.

Taking its title from the Greek personification of death, the album presents itself with a cover art which reminded me of Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day, except in place of the dead bird we have a bizarre creature depicting the concept of the group: a colorful hybrid made of a dog which can’t chew and an eagle incapable of flying.

The five tracks of Thanatos draw inspiration mainly from powerful genres such as rock, post-hardcore and alternative metal, although other elements such as electronic synths and hip-hop-like beats make their way through the music to improve it and make it more varied and appealing. The usual catchy idol vocal lines make the songs very enjoyable and memorable, and at times leave room for some harsh vocals which further enhance the energy of the whole sound.

“Burnt Sienna”, a pigment that got famous during the Renaissance in Italy, is also the title of the opener: fast paced, full of energy, soaked in electronic sounds and even featuring vaguely middle-eastern vocal lines, it’s perfect song to start the album. Next up is “in flames”, a less experimental but still powerful and enjoyable track with some intense guitar riffs, cool synth melodies and a very nice hook.

Halfway through the album we meet “Hades”, another name coming from Greek mythology, representing the god of the underworld; the song leans even more towards the electronic side of INUWASI, with beats ans synths piercing through the electric guitars, without actually replacing them. On the other hand, “budh” — my favorite one — seems to get into some sort of industrial rock sound and features a very emotional refrain.

The final track is “holy”, which also got a music video recently. Post-hardcore electric guitars and hip-hop beats fight with each other just to get both replaced by mysterious piano notes, ending the album in a great way.

This EP shows that INUWASI are already a very interesting unit, although there is obviously room for improvement in both the production and the vocals; regardless, the group is absolutely praiseworthy for having an original concept and also an unusual music style which brings together many different worlds. You can listen to Thanatos below or on your favorite streaming service.