『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

【東方Review]】Sally – Syndrome 【Reitaisai 9】

Sally – シンドローム
Rock, Progressive pop

Sally brings out their third album which in my opinion is their worst. And I am very disappointed. Sally made a huge debut with their first self-titled album, being one of Comiket 80’s best and most well made album with great success and critic. At C81, Sally released another album, Sadomasochism which had greatly fallen in quality. Sally had a great chance of becoming another of the Touhou scenes greatest arranger within rock, but it appeares that they by now have lost that chance. Okay well, back to the album. It’s a seven track album and all of the tracks origin is from the sixth game of Touhou, the famous Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and also my second favorite game of all time from Touhou. So let’s start this.
1: taste ~紅く染めたkissの後味~
Original would be the famous Septette of the Dead Princess which is one of the best themes out there in my opinion. It’s a great theme, very gothic, mysterious and noble. Sally arranges the theme into… not so very different from the original. They use the original tempo, structure and even the drums are extremely similar. I cannot help but to feel that this track is not very well thought out, a bit rushed and lacks colors, feelings and atmosphere. For it being a track so similar to its original it has completely removed all of the colors which the original has. It’s a very mediocre song, and even the vocals are lacking a bit. I’m not quite sure why, but I get the feeling that Chata’s voice here is lacking emotion and power aswell, which is Chata’s major handicap. However, don’t get me wrong. I still think she’s very talented.
2: Plaze On-Impulse
Original is The Maid and the Pocket Watch of Blood. This track is a bit better than the previous one, having a distinct source of color and emotions. With Ranko on the vocals, the track feels like it has a bit more soul and passion not to mention that the song feels much more “worked on”. But still, it’s a very “vanilla” song, or in my opinion… boring. I don’t like it at all. All the instruments are vivid and active, the bass is great and drums sets a great atmosphere but I can’t help it. The overall sound is so boring.
3: カーニヴァル
Original is Voile, the Magic Library. This track is a bit more lively, a bit funky and a bit jazzy aswell. It’s very pop and truly sticks out from the album. I kind of like this track because of the funky sound it has. This song has more character than the last previous two ones, and it’s a pretty decent track aswell. The guitar wailing in the background sets its tone amazingly but the bass is very sluggish and forgettable. It’s a simple melody but it works. Vocals are amazing and fits almost perfectly with the overall sound of the track. IZNA is really fit for this.
4: 虹色キャンバス
Original is Shanghai Teahouse ~ Chinese Tea. WITH MERAMI ON VOCALS! BUT!
Damn, this song is terrible. Even Merami sounds like dying on the song. This song my friend, is the epitome of a horribly done arrange. It’s too similar to the original, but way too boring to be interested. The mastering is very meh, bass is overwhelming so many of the instruments with a really boring lead. And repetitive to add on that. The same can, and will be said about the guitar. The entire song is repetitive. And boring. Just no…
5: ナイフ
Original is Lunar Clock ~ Luna Dial. Now this is the best song on the album by far. If one can pass by the very generic intro, the person is rewarded with a cascade of harmanous intro lead. The sound in that lead pretty much explain the entire tone of the song in general, it’s very chaotic but at the same time gentle. It has a great amount of power thanks to the drums which is just enhanced together with the chords of the guitar which by this time is great. Bass however can be neglected, but it has its moments to shine and however sets a pretty solid addon to the song. Vocals are lacking a bit but are pretty good aswell. In chorus, the vocals are excellent but the instrumental part is slightly off to this. But, it is a solid song in overall. I repeat, it’s the best track on the album.
6: HANAVI
Original is Locked Girl ~ the Girl’s Secret Room. A decent track, but unfortunately not very interesting. It’s very similar to the second track in color, but has derailed from the originals sound by a mile. I can’t say much about this track, just read track #2’s review and you got almost everything I wanted to say. However, a difference would be that the vocals seems much more thought out, and fits better. It also has more soul to it. And the bass is very boring.
7: con~痕~
Original is U.N. Owen was her?. This is a very happy and cute song, a bit too cute for my taste. Once again, Chata on the vocals and this time she does a better job. The song feels more alive now. However, the track has completely removed the “insane” part from the original and just replaced it with cuteness overload. Even some keyboard has been added to enhance that. Bass is excellent and interesting, but drums feels out of it at some places. Overall, the song is just too cute for me however, the song is fairly well done and quite interesting.

Overall, the album feels a bit rushed. Some of the songs has not been given enough time, and feels just like fillers in a show. They’re just there to make the album look complete which is a major turndown, especially for a circle like Sally who holds great potential. There is a gem in the album, but it’s flawed and could be polished a bit however, compared to the rest of the songs its the gold amongst the fake gold. Ranko makes an excellent addition to the vocals, and is in my opinion the heart of Sally’s success. And will keep holding it. 5/10