The alternative idols from South Korea X!DENT make their debut with three haunting songs where metal sound and idol culture meet.

In discussing what to review with Vlakorados, I was given a very pleasant surprise: information on the group X!DENT, a trio of girls hailing from South Korea, had recently dropped a debut single. The excitement grew further when I read on their bandcamp that they’re Seoul’s first metal idol unit (holy cow!), set on integrating their sound in the country’s famous idol culture. Composed of members HUYU, Xii, and S3ARU — who we got to know through an in-depth interview — they dropped X!DENT on June 9th.

The single contains three tracks. The first, aptly titled “Intro”, is an instrumental that sets the gothic atmosphere the rest of the set contains. By mixing sound effects like dial tone, ticking — and even a gunshot at the end — over the organ-like music, you’re fully consumed by the track’s dark nature. The following track, “X!dent”, briefly continues the feeling of the previous song before diving straight into heavy metal. Using both Korean and English lyrics, the vocals are rich and deep, with a near haunting style of delivery. At the 1:15 mark we’re introduced to a classic style of growled vocals which are always such a treat to hear from idol groups. They’re never overused, either– instead, they’re given a set verse that allows it to shine.

For me, the stand out track is the last one, “Candle”. It immediately opens with a nu-metal flair and I absolutely love how prevalent the sound of the bass guitar is. The vocal delivery here is especially ghostly in that there’s a soft edge to them. The chorus — which is super catchy — adds a funeral dirge-like atmosphere to an already dark picture. The verse the screamer gets is especially grim and completely in English — I feel it’s worth noting that the skills these girls have in multiple languages both in music (including Japanese, as they cover various Japanese groups at their live shows) and when communicating with fans is very impressive.

With this debut, X!DENT are a promising trio to keep your eye on. I’m familiar with the difficulty metal musicians have when it comes to trying to gain footing in South Korea. However, I feel as though I can say these girls have a bright future ahead of them in being not only the premiere metal idol unit, but also in leading the way for more musical possibilities for Korean idols. Let’s show them the support to grow even bigger!