『東方Review』Sally – Sally

Circle: Sally
Album: Sally
Genre: Rock, progressive, influences of black and heavy metal

I’ve noticed that the (few ;_;) hits I get on this blog usually is referred to my  Sally – Syndrome review, which actually is pretty sloppy done, almost to the point of it being equal to how bad the album is (in comparison to how good they actually could be). So therefore, allow me to emphasize why Sally’s self-titled album was the best of Comic Market 80.

Sally consists of two persons, NSY and Wani who in the two latest album (which actually makes it half of their total work) have added an extra person to their lineup, Shrimp (these fucking names…). In addition to this, NSY and Wani both have as of C82 has a second circle named Tsugumi. They “debuted” with the album Major ignition which is very Sally-esque. It has the sound, style and complexity of the original Sally, but the magic from the first album just isn’t there. I have as of now given up on Sally, seeing how after five album (I include the Major Ignition one here) they seem to just cannot make another album like their first. However, the credit I give to the self-titled album will be due, and it’s deserved.

As far as I know, both NSY and Wani are new to the Touhou music scene, where there is little to no information about any (or if there even was) previous work. However, by releasing the self-titled album, Sally made an entrance to the doujinscene with the magnitude of a thunderstorm. A seven track album consisting of only arranges from Ten Desires, just that single fact was simple enough to blow the mind. Now, notice that at the time C80 was held the Ten Desires trial only had been out for a mere four months. It may sound a lot, but for Sally to use the tunes in the trial and make a full album of it is pretty astonishing. I also think that Sally was the only circle at that time to release a full Ten Desire arranged album aswell.

Calling in some of the best vocalists from the doujinscene, Meramipop, Chata, Ranko and IZNA one can tell that the vocals will be pretty damn great. Rarely is there that any of these brings a bad performance to the track, and so it is. Vocals are excellent and really has a lot of thought put into them (but personally, I think that someone else would have been better for the last track…). Meramipop is without doubt the ace in this album, as she provides the best vocals one could ever ask for in “Out Of Control”, an arrange of the title screen theme (which also is my favorite track on the album). Her voice is flexible and enchanting, and really helps to set the atmosphere of the track aswell as emphasize the lyrics (which I won’t start talking about). Ranko is doing an excellent job aswell, as per usual. I like Ranko’s voice a bit more than Meramipop, but I do think that Merami is bit more flexible when it comes to setting the tune.

The seven tracks on this album are made with outmost effort. and every single one shines in their own way whether it is a bright upbeat track (actually, most of the tracks has a slight haze of sorrow, which though is only noticeable in the vocals) or a darker theme (plaza desperado, MIRROR for example). As I’ve previously mentioned, this album has some kind of charm to it, something that makes it stick out. It could be the complexity, a typical Sally song has a lot of background enhancements in various form where guitar slicks and drum patterns are the main highlights or it could be that the overall sound is so fresh and new compared to what one typically is used to hear. It’s hard to put it in words, but a Sally song has a very soft touch to it while still being quite fast paced accompanied with a very rough touch of guitar, either riff or slicks. This could also serve to as a reason to why Sally received such a heavy critic from their first album aswell, but is not the major.

Though it’s a short album, most of the tracks are pretty exciting in their own way (save for Remind which is the worst song on the album for me, though I don’t dislike it). The overall sound is slightly fast paced, though with a lot of fresh touches of slicks every here and there (or riffs). The overall sound of the songs are changed in every track, leaving behind a pretty solid result of satisfactionary. There’s really not much room for repetition (except for Remind, which is probably also a reason to why I label it as the “worst track”). The album has a few softer pieces, such as 『min~眠~』and the abomination Remind, and then there are the heavier tracks such as plaza desperado and 童歌. Overall, it’s a very complete album when it comes to variety.

Though I do praise this album quite a lot, there are a few instances where I think the vocals are lacking. There is Remind where the vocals are just a big no at places, further increasing my dislike to it (still, remember that I don’t hate it). Personally, I don’t think that Chata is such a good vocalist for Sally’s music in general, seeing how the only track where I actually like her vocals on the track is the introductiontrack on this album. It’s kind of sad seeing how I am very conscious of the vocals whenever I listen to something. plaza desperado has some single places, such as right before the chorus. It’s nothing major though, Ranko is still doing a terrific job.

Overall, this album is a monstrosity of terrific instrumental work (for most part), which is further enhanced by great vocalists. It’s a very fresh, and very exciting album due to its sheer amount of highlights and new sound. Vocals are great (for the most part), especially Meramipop’s performance in Out of Control (which is my favorite on the album). It’s a great album overall, which makes up for the part it is also lacking. 8½/10

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