VALLUNA - silent prayer (2010, Japan) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: 虐, 「Ghost」
The title track of this single starts off on a dark note, but lightens up with the sound effects going along with the crashing of cymbals and the speed change. It's a slightly different side of the band that some don't recognize. "虐" features that chaotic rage that I enjoy in VALLUNA. It has a good arrangement and is pretty simple in quickness. It kinda reminds me of Dir en grey's "ZAN". "「Ghost」" closes up the single with dramatic backing music and an intense bass guitar. The vocals are best featured in this track and the song leaves a good impression.
ROACH - For you, I will (2010, Japan) Rating: 4/5
Favorite Tracks: Mimi wo sumaseba, scream with love
After being silent for so long, ROACH comes back with a strong opening of "For you, I will". It gives a false beginning of hard screamo-ness, then brings in their signature rock sound that reminds fans that they haven't lost it. "Mimi wo sumaseba" brings out the aggressive side of the band while maintaining their core in the music and vocal arrangement. It shows off Tama's range from growling to unique singing style. "scream with love" closes off this comeback single with a bright, edgy introduction. It mixes hard screamo music elements with their original sound to create a great concoction.
defspiral - REVOLVER (2010, Japan) Rating: 3.5/5
Favorite Tracks: REVOLVER, SHINING (IN YOUR HEART)
After (re-)introducing themselves to the world and taking some time off, the band busts out with a double single attack. "REVOLVER" shares a similar sound to their debut song, "DIVE INTO THE MIRROR"; an upbeat rock sound that keeps you dancing to your heart's content. "SHINING (IN YOUR HEART)" has a gradual intro build until it hits the drum section and everything picks up smoothly. The music is easily catchy and Taka's vocals are flawless. The remainder of the single consist of instrumental tracks of both songs.
defspiral - Twilight (2010, Japan) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: 月とヴィーナス
"Twilight" opens up with a dual guitar intro that's very soft and then jumps out at you, showing off both guitarists' skills. Taka's vocals smoothly slip in and the song easily fit the mold of their previous works while changing bits and pieces to make it interesting. "月とヴィーナス" shows of Taka's beautiful range and how the guys can deliver an equally beautiful melody and still keep it rock. "Lost In Shadow" shows a different side of defspiral by adding synth sound and rock into a dramatic musical arrangement. The rest of the single features instrumentals of all three tracks.
cocklobin - grisaille (2011, Japan) Rating: 4.5/5
Favorite Tracks: grisaille, rein, fall on one's knees
After going on hiatus, cocklobin returns with grisaille. "grisaille" gives off a grand, exciting intro and emphasizes the bass and guitar ties expertly through the verses. The perfect song to use as a comeback! "rein" speeds things up a little and still shows off the band's great musical abilities. The pace doesn't take away from their original bass driven sound, but shows a new side to it and adds onto the band's appeal. "fall on one's knees" is a little heavier than the other tracks and a bit quicker as well. The bass stands out a lot, but doesn't take away from the emotion being portrayed by the vocals. It's an interesting arrangement between the music and vocals, but it works so well that it's admirable.