DESURABBITS – JUMP (Type A)

DESURABBITS

Listen to JUMP, the latest album of the death pop group DESURABBITS which brings old and new together, possibly for the final time.

DESURABBITS is quite an interesting group. Comprising of four members — Karin, Yuzu, Emi, and their producer Buchou (Akira Kanzaki) — come together to create a genre known as death pop by mixing heavy metal, digital hardcore and electronica. After spending almost 8 years together, in November of 2020 they announced that they’ll be disbanding come June due to the pandemic heavily affecting their roles as a performance based unit. However, before they go, they’ve left not one but two albums in their wake: JUMP Type A and Type B.

Upon looking through their discography, it appears that both versions of the JUMP albums contain singles from throughout their long career alongside original songs. Type A contains 17 tracks and clocks in at an hour and fifteen minutes, their longest release to date. It opens with an instrumental track titled “Op.Track” that has a nu-metal style, mixing a raging band with record scratches of a turntable. “Isshunde” (“In The Blink of an Eye”), which was promoted as a single last year, comes next with a blossoming opening of string instruments. The chorus exudes a fun and energetic beat, and the girls take turns in the verses with Buchou’s screams and growls. “Mushi suru na, kimi no iro wa kimi de kimereba ii” (“Don’t ignore it, you can choose your own color”) teeters on the edge of being a ballad, but the rock instrumentation comes through much stronger, and there’s a bit of electro pop in the bridge before closing out with Buchou’s screams.

“Rayword” rips right into some heavy metal, while “Don’t Think, Feel!” has more of a thrash metal attitude to it. Buchou’s verses contain the more hardcore elements, where as sections with Karin, Emi and Yuzu are a complete switch up with the introduction of piano. “Demo, Nigenna” utilizes more of an electronic pop/rock sound. With an extremely catchy chorus, and a rap verse from Buchou around the 2:30 mark, it makes for a great song to dance to. “Sotsugyou shoujo -Mirai e-” (“Graduation Girl -Future Picture-”) is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with digital hardcore being the dominant genre at play, neat vocal effects and sweet hints of piano throughout. “Tokyo no Sukima” is a rock ballad with a more melancholic feeling, which immediately separates it from the other songs. The feeling of the song makes you want to raise your lighters (or phone flashlights) and sway to the heartfelt singing of the girls. Towards the end, there’s a key change with English lyrics!

“I’m On My Way” is another song with a heartfelt emotion in vocal delivery while still retaining a hard edge with elements of hard rock. Buchou’s verses have a sick glitch effect to them and Karin, Yuzu, and Emi’s parts all showcase gorgeous harmonization. “Magic of Butterfly -Seichou-” opens with piano, then kicks up the energy with a power metal flair. “Aikotoba” follows in the same vein but introduces traditional Japanese instruments as well, and employs quite the fun chorus.

“IdolSTAR Wars (Re-Singing Version)” is a redone version of their single from 2013, and is one of the shorter tracks on the album. Buchou’s growls take center stage in this track before the girls come in with a cuter vibe in the pre chorus and chorus. Alongside “Anger”, which features some jazz elements in the mix, and “Desuma supuringu ~Sorosoro keigo o tsukatte mimasenka~” (“It’s Spring ~Let’s try using honorifics properly~”), they make up the oldest tracks on the album. “Chaban Chaban Ban”, another favorite of mine, is a track that makes use of DESURABBITS‘ digital hardcore sound with spoken verses. The track is so much fun, especially in the way it suddenly switches up at 1:20 into dance pop. The guitar solo towards the end is absolutely killer as well.

The final two songs almost feel like a fond farewell. “I Love Desurabbits” is another heavy metal banger that has Karin, Yuzu and Emi taking center stage, with Buchou employing his screams briefly throughout (and some sick gutturals at 2:45). The lyrics feel happy, and there is a very sweet part in the beginning of the bridge expressing thanks and love. The final song, aptly titled “Last Song”, has a magical feeling with softer vocals and a dance beat, before ending with the girls saying “goodbye” and Buchou joining in for one final “We are Desurabbits”.

JUMP is quite the long journey, with almost every track coming in at four or five minutes, but it’s one worth making and a familiar road to travel for longtime DESURABBITS fans. Though the death pop unit will be leaving us in the summer, this album will serve as a fond reminder of all the memories they’ve made and the impact they’ve left on the idol scene.


NECRONOMIDOL – Vämjelseriter

Necronomidol (2020)

Tokyo’s dark idol unit NECRONOMIDOL returns to the scene with a new killer album titled Vämjelseriter, featuring new members and re-recorded old songs.

Early 2020 introduced some rather shocking news for NECRONOMIDOL fans with the triple graduation of Michelle, Imaizumi Rei and founding member Kakizaki Risaki. Leaving Tsukishiro Himari as the sole member, many wondered what would become of the group, until months later when members Kamino Nana, Rukawa Shiki and Toda Roa were revealed (as well as a logo created by the legendary Christophe Spajdel), followed up by the comeback singles, and subsequent music videos, of “Tupilaq” and “Santa Sangre”, the latter of which was certainly not for the faint of heart. Soon news of a brand new album titled Vämjelseriter with original songs and re-recorded versions of previous tracks was announced and was finally delivered on February 24, 2021.

The album boasts an impressive 15 tracks, with six being brand new and nine being redone from previous albums and EPs like 2016’s From Chaos Born and Nemesis, 2019’s Scions of the Blasted Heath, and 2017’s Dawnslayer. The album opens with “Tupilaq”, released in June of the previous year, immediately opens with a creepy atmosphere before exploding into metal riffs. “Santa Sangre”, the second of the singles, opens with a catchy synth pop beat, then descending into a chaotic flurry as screaming guitars (and a choir!) take over in the bridge and final chorus before coming to an abrupt end as the synth gets cut by white noise.

The girls shine gorgeously in “Celephaïs”, “Salem” and “R’lyeh”, where the emotional impact weighs heavily in the mood of the song; these serve as the softer side of NECRONOMIDOL, employing a sense of melancholy through compositions similar to that of funeral marches and lyrics that speak of final goodbyes and closing chapters.

The new version of “Warabeuta”, which is my favorite on the album, hits harder in the upgraded instrumentation that contains a beautiful mix of heavy metal and synth that accentuates the war-torn world they’re creating. Another treat is the new version of “Sarnath” that features original spoken word sections from Himari alongside an stronger instrumental, especially when it comes to the chorus, which helps in engaging the listener with a sense of terror and doom.

“Necropolis” and “Ritual” (which got a music video prior to the album) especially stand out in that when NECRONOMIDOL goes for heavy metal, they go for absolute gold, with the latter having a black metal sound akin to that of the modern day scene. Darkwave and synth rule the worlds of the tracks “Nyx”, “Ex Oblivione”, “Phantasmagoria Cosmos” and “Cassilda”, rounding out the array of musical styles NECRONOMIDOL can excel in, be it with cheerful, magical girl energy or a horror film-like soundscape.

All in all, this was a solid album to introduce the new unit in, and what looked to be a promising lineup for the future. It’s unfortunate, then, that now the group has re-entered a hiatus period and has seen the graduations of Shiki and Roa so soon. Yet, we’ll be able to look forward to the new unit making their return on the 27th of this month.


KNOW YOUR IDOL #16: 椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari / Pikarin)

椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari / Pikarin)

On this new episode of the Know Your Idol series, in collaboration with Idol Underworld, we will get to know the one and only idol from the Demon World, 椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari / Pikarin).

Idols are cute, they said; they are not scary, they said. Well, the first half of this statement is certainly right, but what about the other part? 椎名ひかり (Shiina Hikari), or Pikarin for short, was probably the first idol that taught me that idols can be cute and scary. I still remember watching her going from kawaii voice to deep growl for the first time, and the fact that I haven’t forgotten about it in all these years must mean something.

In this in-depth interview, Pikarin talks about various things regarding her, such as her music, the many sides of her career and the reasons she bites and walks on people. Enjoy the interview!

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