MEJIBRAY - Sabbat (2012, Japan) Rating: 2/5
Favorite Tracks: Sabbat
After VanessA disbanded, Genki changed his name and joined MEJIBRAY. Now, I wasn't a fan of VanessA and the only reason I know about them was through a good friend (and some jrock news feeds). She sent me the PV for "Sabbat" and I checked it out. The song is pretty garbled at first with growls and heavy instruments. It has a few musical moments, but it all sounded like screaming noise. I wished there was more singing than screams and growls. On the other hand, I liked the visuals of the PV for it. "Akercock" begins with some more promising heavy instrumentals, then the screams and growls kick in...throughout the whole damn song. "Divergence" has some nice strong bass moments and the music is a little lighter than the previous tracks. I was so happy there was some actual singing, despite a few screams, but the sound is very generic visual kei and the vocals don't stand out that much. I think they've improved a little, but not by much. I might check back on this band and see if they've grown later, but for now I'm not that impressed.
Se7en - SE7EN 2ND MINI ALBUM (2012, South Korea) Rating: 3/5
Favorite Tracks: 내가 노래를 못해도, 그런 사람, 이해해, MAKE GOOD LOVE
From what I've seen through music videos for this album, I felt really bad for
SHINee - Sherlock (2012, South Korea) Rating: 1.5/5
Favorite Tracks: Sherlock (Clue+Note), Alarm Clock
Still not fan of theirs, but I still listen to Lucifer proudly. I was curious how their comeback would turn out, especially with those uncomfortable gay French teaser photos. Then I saw "Sherlock (Clue+Note)" and the song wasn't that bad. It featured some retro horns and mixed it with some modern pop elements. Now the video, on the other hand, tempted me to start reviewing music videos on here because there was just a lot going on that made me facepalm (like Taemin's weave).
NOISEMAKER - PLATINUM SHOES (2012, Japan) Rating: 4.5/5
Favorite Tracks: Platinum Shoes, rule, CONTACT
Let me relieve my confusion with a new jrock band I came across. "TRUTH" starts off with some skilled guitar work and immediately pulls you in with intensity. The musical arrangement is a little all over the place, but it kinda follows the odd vocal inflections. If you saw in my recommendations, "Platinum Shoes" is responsible for getting me here on this review. It has some really great musical moments, admirable transitions, and the vocals feel so familiar to me like old ROACH, coldrain, or something. "rule" starts off softly with some wandering bass notes and subtle drums, then bursts out full on until it calms back down to a reminiscent Limp Bizkit echoy sound during the verses. I love it! "CONTACT" also highlights some bass guitar and slowly picks up the other instruments before the vocals join. It has another Limp Bizkit sound to it. I'm not complaining, it still sounds fresh. "TITLE IS MYSELF" goes back to the sound of the second track with prominent bass and wandering guitar notes. The vocals show a few flaws in the high notes, but it doesn't take away from the song. "WE SHOULD COME BACK" closes out the mini-album with a more aggressive sound without going overboard and trying to sound like other heavier bands. It kinda sounds like Rage Against the Machine in the drumming section, but it quickly detours a different direction.
VII-Sense - Silent Assassin (2012, Japan) Rating: 4/5
Favorite Tracks: Silent Assassin, Yuki no Kiseki...
If you haven't read before, I really enjoy "Silent Assassin". It takes a different direction both musically and vocally. Shaura sounds less like a Kamijo clone and the music doesn't make me think of Dio leftovers either. The transitions are very unexpected, but it keeps you even more interested in the song, especially the guitaring. "Blind Resentment" begins a bit cheesy with Victorian era sounds and dramatics. It's a big downgrade from the sounds of the previous track, especially with the opera vocals. "Yuki no Kiseki..." brings back all the hope I had from the beginning of this single and a little more. It is a beautiful track and really shows off the band's progress. It's sad to know now that this young band is breaking up this year, but I'm crossing my fingers that someone can save it from disbanding or something. Either way, this single is amazing and I'm very proud of them.
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