Because of some certain circumstances, I am unable to do some things. x_x It’s like an indirect way of saying, “update your blog”, “make a review or something” of some sort. And so, after some thinking, I decided on making a review on Asriel‘s debut album unveil since I’m getting kinda addicted with their music lately and not to mention, it’s my first time reviewing their works.
And so I shall start. I’m going to make this as short and precise as possible since I’m not in the mood to type novel types of reviews which are kinda long. unveil is the gothic lolita-esque duo Asriel’s debut album. It was released on May 27, 2009 under 5pb. records. It was able to garner #48 in the Oricon weekly charts selling for two weeks. 2,727 first-week sales with a total of 3,301 copies sold.
- Kegare Naki Yume (穢れ亡き夢)
- Sen’oku no Hoshizuku Furasu Yoru no Sora (千億の星屑降らす夜ノ空)
- Setsugekka (雪月花) (unveil Ver.)
- Omoi no Kakera to Shinjiru Kakera (思いの欠片と信じる欠片)
- Mizu no Tsukiyo (氷の月夜)
- Hokorobishi Hana (綻びし華)
- Nageki no Ame wo Hitoshizuku (歎きの雨を一雫)
- Tsuioku no Chikai (追憶の誓い) (Naked JAZZ Mix)
- Al meila (unveil Ver.)
Most of the songs here came from their singles and some are from game tie-ups. And I’d say this album is one whole pack of gothic-inspired rock songs (whether it be gothic or symphonic rock) though at one instance they have the same structure and feel, the versatility and creativity on the music itself is one of its assets. Not much composer would think of using a flute on a gothic rock performance [most likely strings and typical rock instruments like electric guitar and drums] so I could say their way of making music is really something “unique”. And unlike how [personal favorite duo] ALI PROJECT maintain their Kuro Ari (Black Alice] phase which signifies more darker and meaner songs, it is safe to say that Asriel is good at both dark and light plus their songs are not only of one kind — mixture of light and dark.
Having placed the Monochrome Factor opener Metamorphose is a very clever idea though some could say that its anime feel is very strong — pretty much in a way yes but the liveliness and disillusioning feel of the song makes it a very satisfying prelude to the rest of the songs before leaning to the much darker path that is Kegare Naki Yume. Basically almost all of the songs in this album has this kind of same feeling on them though with a different approach of expressing it [see Hokorobishi Hana and Mizu no Tsukiyo].
All songs are also instrument-wise because they also use traditional instruments [see Setsugekka (unveil ver.)] that actually signifies of their loyalty to their local culture.
Re-arrangements or remixes of their old works [indies] are made even more epic this time because of the clear arrangements with some sweet melody on it which I really love [see Al meila (unveil ver.)] but there are also some complex and slow tunes that doesn’t really suit the song that much [see Tsuioku no Chikai (Naked Jazz Mix)].
While there are small participations on the sweet ballad thing, it is safe to say that most of the contents are energetic and with some tendencies to lean on the darker type of music [see the titular track unveil] while some have some slower and more expressive tunes but you can still sense its dark aura by the title [see Nageki Ame wo Hitoshizuku].
Though Asriel and ALI PROJECT has some major differences given the fact that the former are more rock-based while the latter is more classical symphony-based, I think their way of expressing their feeling through music are not too far away [though Arika could be pretty wild when it comes to lyrics as compared by the more milder KOKOMI]. I think they are more comparable to Yousei Teikoku, also a gothic rock duo because of their musical structure (with the exception of the latter having some choral effects while Asriel doesn’t have that much).
What I really like about Asriel is KOKOMI’s ultra clear yet small voice though I sincerely thought at first, that having this small voice won’t suit for neo-classical songs but they proved me wrong. They rarely do clean arrangements but when they do it, it still amazes me up till now. My rating for this album would be:
[Not all songs are that impressive but it grows on you. And it’s a stepping stone of appreciating more of neoclassical songs.]
♫: “Al meila (unveil Ver.)” – Asriel
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