【Review]】Unlucky Morpheus – So That A Star Shines At Night Sky

Unlucky Morpheus is yet another doujin circle that creates arranges out of the Touhouscene. It’s another group that is widely known and consists of two major persons, yuki and fuki. Yukimura Hirano is a very talented guitarist and has been featured on a lot of magazines, aswell as on a large amount of album. He is currently member of four circles as far as I know. First, Unlucky Morpheus (even though Denshirenji Takeshi has more or less taken over), then Icarus’cry (where Denshirenji is the vocalist), UNDEAD CORPORATION and another one starring Setsuna from Black Night Funeral (forgive me, I forget the name). Fuyuki Tenge however is just a member of Unlucky Morpheus albeit she’s featured in some other albums of other circles.

Unlucky Morpheus dates back to 2008 and quickly grew to fame with their very cliche power/speedmetal sound and fuki’s powerful voice. However, I believe what really blew Unlucky Morpheus fame through the roof was their second album, REBIRTH. The album featured tracks like 木葉天狗, 奇子 ~ Unknown Child, 断罪は遍く人間の元に and Missing Girl and Unlucky Morpheus quickly grew from that. fuki at this stage did have a lot more power in her voice than she do has today though, and I really liked her more from the past. Especially without Denshirenji messing up the tracks. His voice cracks me up. Seriously. :l

Straight out from (compton) M3-23, together with their release of REBIRTH they released yet another album titled So That A Star Shines At Night Sky, an album featuring arranges not from the Touhou scene but from an anime called Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien (Rumbling Hearts). This show was a big hit within the animescene however this album is really overlooked for some reason and I do not understand why. This is Unlucky Morpheus and a great animes soundtrack combined, what could possibly go wrong? Well, I’m here to give you the answer.

So That A Star Shines At Night Sky (god, long name that is tedious to write) is yet another powermetal album from Unlucky Morpheus, however much more melodic and much easier to listen to than their previous work (and from REBIRTH aswell). And for some reason, the mastering aswell as the overall sound of the album differs extremely from their original sound, probably to give it a more “realistic” feel seeing how the show the tracks originates from is a very realistic one aswell. However, I do must say I feel that this album has been given a lot of care, thought and hard work on. Unlucky Morpheus tracks in general seems a little bit rushed, even though some of them are very original (yet very generic in sound) and are not being given the full potential they could have brought. This album though makes up for that, and I’d love to hear more of this kind of Unlucky Morpheus.

The first major flow would be the introduction track, titled “So That A Star Shines at Night Sky( Instrumental )”. This track has nothing to do with the Rumbling Hearts franchise, nor is it any good neither for the albums nor the ears. This is just a bad filler in the album which acts like an opening, but is not. It’s boring, fast and very short. However, as soon as this shit ends, we are introduced with the REAL opening of the album, and guess what? It’s an arrange of the opening for the show itself. Wouldn’t this be a bit more appropriate to put as an opener for the album? Oh well, whatever. From this track alone, the entire sound is displayed to you. The entire album sounds like this. It’s speedy, melodic and kind of catchy. However, the guitar work is not displayed very well in this track. In general, the riffs are a very solid addition to the overall sound of the track and sets a great atmosphere. However, I do must say that the first REAL track on the album (which is Rumbling Hearts) is kind of neglectable. It is however quite powerful and fuki is doing a fantastic job on the vocals using a higher pitch than usual (I guess she let her vibrato she’s so proud of aside to make this kind of vocals instead which I DON’T REALLY MIND!). This is a great voice, powerful and it sounds amazing. A fuki I definitely would like to hear more of. The overall sound of the album seems well thought out, sounds great to the ear, not too convoluted nor too little going on. However, in the end some of the tracks get too repetitive after awhile which is actually UM’s major flaw. Rumbling Hearts, Next Season and Blue Tears (which has an AMAZING intro though) all gets very repetitive and boring after awhile. However, the two golden tracks (which ironically is in hiragana/kanji, 風のゆくえ (Where the wind blows) and 星空のワルツ (Waltz under the starry sky) are without doubt the two best tracks on the album, aswell as the top tiers of UM’s songs in general. These two tracks shows without doubt what Fuyuki is capable of, and not that “low” pitch vibrato style she so much likes to use (and to be honest, it does even sound crappy at times). I do not however say that she’s a bad vocalist, no no. She’s very good, but to say talented is not what I was meaning, nor ever will say about Fuyuki.

So That A Star Shines At Night Sky is a good album. It can get repetitive if you listen to it with scramble on, however two tracks very well placed on the list makes up for this giving you room to “breathe” after the slightly generic sound of power/speedmetal and the repetitive beats/riffs (though 風のゆくえ is speedy aswell, Fuyuki’s voice is amazing and she’s doing a great job to the track. I’d say her voice makes at least half the song here). However, the album in general is slightly boring due to the fact that most of the tracks is fast-paced ones with some lesser breaks in the middle (or every here and there) and neglectable guitar for the most parts. Drums are extremely repetitive and there’s not many highlights in general. It’s like winegums. Tastes good for the first part but damn, it becomes boring and not so good after awhile. But hey, it’s well done despite of that. 6/10

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【東方First Impressions]】UNDEAD CORPORATION teaser

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhtLvaA2dL8

iapprovelolis uploaded a video not too long ago today, and I thought it was just a new track from some new Circle I haven’t heard before. However, such was not the case. The video he uploaded is a teaser of two tracks, one from UNDEAD CORPORATION and the other from I believe Foreground Eclipse.

Now, most people know that I am a very big UNDEAD CORPORATION fan so this is relevant to my interests. But damn, the one minute preview of the track I heard is godly. And I will tell you why. This is a short post of why I’ve set my opinion on that without hearing the full track.

As most of you know, UNDEAD CORPORATION is pretty well known within the Touhou scene. This is because of one (or you could say two actually) major reason(s). Akemi and West Village (I do believe West Village has changed his scenename to AFTERZERO now though, Not sure.). UNDEAD CORPORATION creates Melodic Death Metal arranges of the Touhou music featuring yuki from Unlucky Morpheus on harsh vocals (which are mediocre, and at times kind of lacking). However, the tracks are very well made done and are all arranged by the founder of UNDEAD CORPORATION, pinetree. However, two of the albums (which are by far THE most famous ones) are metalcore featuring Akemi and AFTERZERO on vocals. The tracks on these two albums are in a totally different league than any of the other albums, being the most well made ones and taking the Touhou scene with storm. Colors, emotions and power are all there in every track, and everything just flows together (well, there are a few tracks within these two albums that are lacking a bit) but hey, that still doesn’t mean that the tracks are good. Now, think about it like this. UNDEAD CORPORATION is like Demetori, however they play two different genres. These two circles really deserves every single bit of fame they get.

Back to the track, I do not possess the knowledge of what this track is called. There is no information about it on their website, nor can I find anything about it either. However, all I can say is that the track has a godly composition to it. Starting out with a thundering and powerful verse featuring AFTERZERO on the vocals. Guitar riffs in the background are damn good aswell, catchy and fits in perfectly with excellent mastering, Drums are neglectable, but jolly that doesn’t mean that they are bad. As soon as the chorus kicks in they explode making more or less the main instrument. And Akemi does probably THE best job ever on the vocals during the chorus. That perfect pitch, those emotions and that power in her voice. Now this is why I prefer Akemi over Meramipop ANY day (well, probably because I like female vocalists who has power in their singing instead of “cute” singing. I however do not deny that Meramipop is very very talented. I just feel that Akemi will surpass her, seeing how she can fill in so many more roles in vocals than Meramipop will be able to.

inb4flamewarbecauseIambashingMeramipop

【Review]】Ahnenerbe – EINHERJAR

This will be a very short review, but I felt like I should throw it out here just because this album is fucking amazing. I won’t go into detail with each and every song, however I will try and make this review as detailed as possible.

Ahnenerbe is a side-circle of setsuna’s primary circle (which he has more or less left as of now) Black Night Funeral written as 黒夜葬 in kanji (Kokuyasou in romanji). I will refer to it as BNF for now, just for the sake of the pacing in this review and that I am a stubborn bitch and don’t really want to write the entire name all the time (even though it does look good on paper). BNF is pretty famous in the Touhou scene, with setsuna being the sole member of it. His arranges mixes the gothic element with speed and powermetal, making the lead sound very “chorus”-ish like. If you don’t understand, think about Lord of the Rings soundtrack with choir. The pitch and style is very similar to that, however change the sound of the choir to an electric guitar instead. There you got the lead, and the rest of the instruments follow this lead with precision making all the songs very generic towards goth and symphonic metal. Sometimes, even the vocals are a choir in the background.

Now then, as I previously mentioned Ahnenerbe is setsuna’s second side-circle. There is very little information about this perticular album though, so I am not very sure if it’s an album of arranged tracks, or if it’s an original album. However, all I know is that it’s bloody awesome. It’s a pure symphonic powermetal album consisting of nine delicious tracks, each heavily influenced by goth and powermetal (the album is more symphonic than any of the other). One could classify it as a vocal album seeing how many of the tracks has a background lead consisting of a choir, or a intro with a choir (actually, now when I think about it every track on this album’s intro has a choir in it). Then, if you don’t count a choir as vocals, so be it. But it’s still a vocal album. Hmpf!

Anyhow, this album is a pretty much give or take album. You either like it, or you don’t. Many of the songs has similar structure, or even the same even though the melody, choir and setup changes from track to track. The overall sound of the album is very bland and repeats into every track making it an extremely generic symphonic metal album. If one does not like metal with a keyboard, or choir in it (or just simply gothic/symphonic/powermetal in general) this album is nothing for you. The entire album reeks of it, but hell is it addictive and amazing. Even though many of the songs has the same structure, the album clearly has a lot of thought and devotion put into it. There’s a lot of highlights in every track, the guitars are always amazing and there to add something special whenever you don’t expect it. It’s very fast-paced and each track is a new composition of thundering instruments not giving you a chance to rest your ears. I think the only “breather” one is awarded with is in some of the intros, until setsuna decides to hit you with a wall of noise (now, when I say noise it’s nothing bad, it’s not a cascade of shit). Instead, it’s a wall of melodic noise put together into a composition so well done everything in the tracks just floats together, like water in a stream. There’s nothing in the tracks that actually stands out except when there’s a solo, introduction or ending. That is the epitome of almost perfect mastering.

I did mention it before, but BNF arranges is either a give or take. If you don’t like melodic metal in general (I do not mean thrash (which in my opinion actually is trash) or heavy-metal) do not bother with it. However, if you do like more melodic metal (and ALSO other genres!) I do recommend this album for you. Despite of it being so melodic, it’s extremely fast paced and won’t leave you bored. The tracks just seem to fly by thanks to advance composition, structure (which is repeated in some tracks) and a cascade of harmony in form of highlights and choir. This is by far setsuna’s most well made album he’s ever done. 8/10