Phantasm (FES CV Yui Sakakibara) – End Prophecy

endprophecy

Tracklist:

  1. Mikkyou no Kubikazari (Black Mass Ver.)
  2. Shokuzai no Erotica
  3. Zaika ni Keiyaku no Chi wo
  4. Yami ni Hikari wo Tomosu Mono
  5. Haritsuke no Misa (To The Distance Ver.)
  6. Harukanaru Idiyona (Heavy Generation Ver.)
  7. Hallelujah no Fukuin (Extra Solo Ver.)
  8. Glajioul
  9. Nageki no Arabesque

———————————

1. Mikkyou no Kubikazari (Black Mass Ver.)

The first song of the album is an exciting and rocking track. Guitars blaze out the rhythm with a loud, grungy bass providing the driving force behind it all. While the verse is a quieter affair, Yui charges through the chorus full of emotion and power. She is a little flat and strained on some of the high notes, but I find I don’t really mind it. And I can’t fault her for her voice’s expression. For those of you that have heard the original, the Black Mass Ver. is just the added string part at the beginning, and a couple of extra guitar lines. I must point out the lyrics at the beginning of the chorus are pretty cool too! A great song, and one of Phantasm’s funner tracks to listen to.

2. Shokuzai no Erotica

Deep strings play a haunting melody and as a choir accompanies some light vocals from Yui, a short drum fill announces the entrance of the rest of the band. Although it’s a slow and dark piece, it was an interesting choice to use a bright sounding guitar in the verse, but I think it ends up working well. There are also more strings in this song than the previous one, and although they are hidden behind guitars at times, they provide good harmonies and add interest. It’s a good track, but not quite up there with the stand-out Phantasm ones.

3. Zaika ni Keiyaku no Chi wo

The first ballad (ok, power ballad) of the album uses a church organ, soft piano and haunting wind blowing to assert itself in a darkly majestic way. Some snare drum in the verse provides a nice touch, before electric guitars enter at the pre-chorus and continue through the chorus. Arrangement-wise, I think the guitar riffs in the chorus are fantastic, and on a different note, I also like how the organ isn’t overbearing. Vocally, Yui’s tone is quite calm and controlled. A strong ballad.

4. Yami ni Hikari wo Tomosu Mono

As a change of pace, Yami ni Hikari wo Tomosu Mono is slow and evil metal track with strings playing the melody over crunching guitar riffs. I’m loving the fire in Yui’s singing during the chorus, and there’s good interplay between the strings and the vocals in the verse. If you listen carefully, you might notice that there’s also a male singer in the verse, which is pretty cool. And the guitar solo is absolutely wicked. I want talk about some more technical stuff too. The song is in 3/4, which is unique to the album and also has some very interesting offbeat starts to the verse. And there are quite a few notes where the vocals clash with the chords, which I think really lends to the sinister atmosphere  Basically, this song=awesome. I could seriously listen to it all day!

5. Haritsuke no Misa (To The Distance Ver.)

This was one of the very first Phantasm songs I heard, and has a special place in my heart🙂. Ok, it’s bloody good as well, and one of the heaviest songs in the Phantasm repertoire. It has a great guitar sound with a rather irregular chord progression during the verse, but for me the super-aggressive drums steal the show. Yui’s sounding full of energy too. With the version change, they haven’t really modified the arrangement, just stuck on that gloomy intro and a quiet guitar solo in the bridge. I mentioned this one of my earlier posts, but I really like the (relative) simplicity of this track compared with others of Phantasm. A hard and powerful tune!

6. Harukanaru Idiyona (Heavy Generation Ver.)

Released on the same single as Haritsuke no Misa, Harukanaru Idiyona also uses more of a straight-rock sound instead of having strings and gothic-ness of the other songs. The vocals sound quite calm which is a good change, although a little weak in a few places. It is on the slower side, but there are lots of interweaved guitar parts to keep you interested. I thought the use of triplet semiquavers was an nice touch as well. As with the previous tracks, the only version-related changes are some extra guitar lines. It’s a pretty cool song!

7. Hallelujah no Fukuin (Extra Solo Ver.)

Soft guitar plays over forlorn piano chords, and an ominous wind swirls in the background as the scene is set for the album’s darkest and most powerful track. As is suitable for a ballad, Yui’s vocals in the verse are deep and soft with an enigmatic quality. Then when her harmonising backing comes in, they are sung really high in her upper register, resulting in an awesomely creepy experience. And then the chorus will blow your mind. Guitars enter and blast away with wailing harmonics, and Yui shows off how powerful and emotional she can be. The guitar solo fits perfectly, and it’s amazing how the arranger could put in some of those ridiculously fast drum parts while not sounding over the top. This song is just epic, and I reckon it is the best Phantasm song yet.

8. Glajioul

Glajioul returns to more standard rock sound, powered by guitars playing some pretty sweet riffs featuring lots of harmonics. There’s even some disc-scratching going on now and then! I quite like the choir-synth sound playing through the chorus too. This song has more of a mainstream feel than the others, and has a simpler arrangement. Very solid indeed.

9. Nageki no Arabesque

Piano plays a gentle melody over a fast and bustling introduction with gritty guitar and some busy drums. The song is probably the brightest of the album, and uses some jangling clean guitars along with strings to create this atmosphere. I’m loving the energy in Yui’s singing throughout, and you can tell she’s putting her all into the chorus. The guitar solo is pure shredding heaven, with some great harmonising licks going on. I’m not sure if there are actually any arabesque parts, but then again I don’t know very much about that genre. It definitely ends the album on a high!

So Phantasm’s first album ticks all the boxes in my book! Each piece was unique and excellently composed, with gothic influences abounding of course. I like Yui’s vocals here, while not being the most technically perfect singer she captures the style very well, but I could understand if people didn’t like her singing too. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a bit of gothic rock in their lives!

Top Tracks:

  • Hallelujah no Fukuin (Extra Solo Ver.)
  • Yami ni Hikari wo Tomosu Mono
  • Haritsuke no Misa (To The Distance Ver.)
  • Harukanaru Idiyona (Heavy Generation Ver.)
  • Mikkyou no Kubikazari (Black Mass Ver.)

Rating: 10/10

This entry was posted in Yui Sakakibara and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments make me happy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s