- AVENGE WORLD
- Sekai wa Kizu wo Dakishimeru
- Chant-La -Zettau Izon no Utahime- Yori Op. 0
- AVENGE WORLD (Instrumental)
- Sekai wa Kizu wo Dakishimeru (Instrumental)
1. AVENGE WORLD
It appears that the songwriters wanted to capture some gothic spirit in AVENGE WORLD. Well, their hearts were in the right place, but the execution was sub-par. The first problem is the mixing. The volume of Konomi’s part is fine, but some other instruments were poorly mixed. At the start of the track, there are forceful pulses of sound from all the instruments. The result is a loud, chaotic burst where it’s hard to distinguish the notes and tones of the instruments, instead of what should have been a dramatic and exciting introduction. Contrasting with this over-mixing, the electric guitars and choir are too quiet. Both of these instruments would have effectively brought upon a darker mood, especially from the power and flair you could from a choir. What happens here though is overly filtered background guitars, and barely audible choir. The most consistently well-mixed instrument is the strings, which throughout the song display a haunting tone and good dynamics. The second, and more pressing issue is Konomi’s vocals. She is a great singer, and the way she handles the barrage of high notes thrown her way is admirable. So it’s disappointing that she’s flat on some notes, for example “yoake” (the last word of the first chorus). There are quite a few other instances of this as well. This song is all right, but its poor delivery leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
2. Sekai wa Kizu wo Dakishimeru
Onto the next track, Sekai wa Kizu wo Dakishimeru opens with sharp, punchy violin and a high vocal part from Konomin. Unlike AVENGE WORLD, this song is 1) brighter and 2) has good mixing. Using the tried and true anison recipe of guitars, bass, drums, strings and keys, the arrangers combine these instruments to create an exuberant dish, topped off with Konomi’s cheerful vocals. However, like AVENGE WORLD, there are also two main problems. The first one is, again, the vocals. For a lot of the song, she’s good, but there are a few parts where she’s flat. Given the amount of high notes, I’m not really surprised. The second problem is that basically, this song doesn’t exactly capture my attention. It’s bouncy and catchy, but after I listen to it, I can’t really remember how it goes. Unfortunately, another average track.
3. Chant-La -Zettai Izon no Utahime- Yori Op. 0
Now, this is interesting. And ballsy. Why’s that, you ask? The third track is a semi-classical styled piece… and NINE MINUTES LONG. That’s got my respect. You don’t see that often in JPop. Chant-La -Zettai Izon no Utahime- Yori Op. 0 begins with a solemn passage of strings, slow and with ascending notes. Then suddenly, there’s a turn-around, Konomi coming in with a quirky opening line. The strings melody changes, with staccato playing as well as the longer notes. Along with the sparse piano, this gives a playful, mischievous feel. As drums tumble in, the track seems to increase in speed and reach a peak, Konomi’s vocals climbing higher. Following this is a softer, slightly sadder part, using more piano. The track continues on, introducing new sections and fully utilising the different techniques and dynamics available from the musicians. I love how they use all facets of the strings, from long and steady to vibrato-filled, from short and plucked to extended notes, from the lower reaches of the cello to the skyward heights of the violin. And for such a demanding piece, Konomi does a good job on the vocals. She is more expressive than on the two A-sides, having extra vibrato and better dynamics. Her performance isn’t perfect though – she’s still flat in a few places, and some of the super high notes sound uncomfortable. However, it’s vocally better than AVENGE WORLD and Sekai wa Kizu wo Dakishimeru. They took a punt on the third track, and it paid off. Very creative and unusual.
I would call this single wasted potential. AVENGE WORLD and Sekai wa Kizu wo Dakishimeru had their fair share of flaws, and weren’t the best the Konomin had to offer. On the other hand, Chant-La -Zettai Izon no Utahime- Yori Op. 0 was the most daring B-side I’ve heard this year, and I’m thrilled with their decision to put it on the single. Vocally, the release was on the weaker side, and that was a major reason for deciding my dislike for it. The A-sides were average, but check it out for the B-side.
Rating: 3 stars