- Musasabi Ninpouchou
- Oni Hitokuchi
- Doujouji Kuchinawa no Goku
- Tamashizume no Uta
- Nyoro Nyoro
Set to a backdrop of crashing storms, slow guitars form the introduction, followed by the deep vocals of Matatabi. The lead switches in the chorus with Kuroneko taking the main role, and she sounds amazing. It gets better in the extended bridge, with an increase in speed and Matatabi singing higher with an aggressive tone. Quite an impressive start to the album!
No, it’s not a Bakemonogatari character song. Araragi begins with a repeated melodic guitar riff, and uses a medium-fast tempo. Kuroneko leads the song almost the whole way, channelling a fierce energy into her every word. Personally, my favourite Kuroneko part is the “kimi no manimani” at the end of the chorus, where her vocals sound all slithery and cool. Matatabi gets a short part in the bridge to clean guitars, and I love his high extended note at the end. The composition, while still good, isn’t spectacular, but it’s still a pretty sweet song.
Following up is the aggressive Gashadokuro. Starting with a growling bassline and then an imitating guitar riff, next Matatabi spits and blasts his words about in the verse. His vocals sound fierce and raging, and I love it! There are higher extended notes in the chorus which are awesome too. Kuroneko only gets a tiny part in the bridge, but she sounds so incredible I wish she got more. The guitar solo is totally sick as well. The song is on the shorter side (for Onmyouza) but it’s really great!
4. Musasabi Ninpouchou
After giving us a short taste of the “main theme” riff for this song, Kuroneko’s vocals quickly enter. The verse is kind of repetitive, but I like it a bit (and Kuroneko singing basically makes anything good). The chorus… well it’s all right, not brilliant, but at least there’s energy going on. Probably the problem with this song is the repetitiveness, not too bad though.
Kureha begins with the Onmyouza-sound clean guitar, but then follows with a distorted electric guitar progression with a lighter feel. There are also some strings in the background providing a counter-melody. As Kuroneko enters in the verse, the clean guitar returns, giving a laid-back feel. I love her vocals in the chorus, as she goes between relaxed and powerful so easily. The verse after the chorus is more interesting as there are some cool riffs. The guitar solo features both Maneki and Karukan, but it isn’t their most interesting. Overall, it’s a fairly good song
The next song is slower, and also much more aggressive. We see a bit of double kick drums, and Matatabi leads with his deep and powerful vocals. Kuroneko takes more of a back seat in this song, having a little part in the pre-chorus and otherwise harmonising. Matatabi is perfect during the chorus – he’s super-fierce and does that thing where he makes the words explode out of his mouth (for lack of better description). I love this track as it is very dark and strong.
With a little bass slide, an exciting guitar riff starts Hiderigami. Matatabi leads in the verse, strutting his stuff and sounding awesome. Kuroneko gets a part in the slower, but no less energetic pre-chorus and then she leads the chorus magnificently. I’m loving how they drop the tempo at the bridge, which serves as announcement for the dual guitar solo coming up. The song is on the shorter side at three and a half minutes, but it’s definitely one of the best tracks on the album.
Shoukera takes the speed down a notch, but is more fun than the previous couple of fierce tracks. It reminds me of Hyousube from their last album, because it has the same spirit it to it, and also in the verse the band stops when the vocalist sings. Kuroneko and Matatabi receive equal parts, and swap lines in the chorus.Even the band gets to do some shouts and chants. Matatabi gives a rare bass solo before the guitarists show off, and after one last chorus the song is over. It’s really short, only three minutes, but fun and a nice listen.
9. Oni Hitokuchi
Hmm, there always seems to be one of those really fast songs on Onmyouza albums. First up, Kuroneko starts and all is well with her godly vocals. Then next, we hear a rabid dog barking – no sorry, that’s Matatabi doing some weird growls. As you can tell, I’m not too hot about them. I love the chorus though, Matatabi and Kuroneko sing an octave apart with Matatabi singing bass and Kuroneko higher, it’s an evil combination. The middle part of the song does a 180, clean guitar is introduced and we hear a calmer side of Onmyouza…. with some 5/4 timing thrown in. And Kuroneko sound AMAZING!!! The guitar solo is just icing on the cake. This is a really cool song, but would have been even better if they scrapped the stupid growls.
10. Doujouji Kuchinawa no Goku
Now we get to the longass eleven minute monster. The song starts off slow, with some bassy guitar riffs and a solo. Kuroneko leads the track for the beginning and sounds serene an graceful against the clean guitar. In a darker turn, there is a guitar interlude and we see Matatabi’s deep vocals, but Kuroneko soon returns. At the halfway point, the speed picks up and Matatabi and Kuroneko both get roles. But for the most part, the song continues in a slow fashion. Actually, for such a long piece, I quite like it. I think Onmyouza do the long songs well.
11. Tamashizume no Uta
The lone ballad of the album, Tamashizume no Uta begins with marching drums to acoustic guitar arpeggios. In the first verse, the drums are lost, while later synth strings are introduced. Really though, that doesn’t matter as your attention will be drawn to Kuroneko’s vocals. She’s great in the verse, but she shines in the chorus and shows us an operatic side. What I don’t like though is the guitar solo, it’s slow and boring and is a flaw in an otherwise good song.
12. Nyoro Nyoro
Kuroneko leads for the last song. Nyoro Nyoro is an upbeat and enjoyable track, and as well as distorted electric guitar, there’s a lot of jangling clean sound. This provides a brighter mood to the song. The vocals are full of power, and there’s a thrumming energy running through the song. Of course, there’s a guitar solo too, and it’s quick and playful. A great song to finish off with.
Chimimouryou was a lift from Maou Taiten. There were more really good tracks, such as Hiderigami and Gashadokuro, and the band delivered a top-notch performance, with vocals, guitars and drums all sounding great. It seems to me they were consolidating their style on this album, and they got quite a lot right. Give it a listen!
- Nyoro Nyoro