Review | Anthos “Message”

Anthos

Anthos continue to breathe a breath of fresh air in the 2D idol industry with their new CD, Message.

Hana-Doll* is an idol project created by movic (TSUKIPRO, VAZZROCK, Tsukiuta, etc). 6 idols are part of Anthos, group signed to the fictional talent agency Amagiri Production.

Anthos is comprised of Daiki Hamano, Kento Ito, Wataru Komada, Toshiki Masuda, Shunichi Toki and Seiichiro Yamashita.

Anthos message
Message
Title: Hana Doll*1st season~Flowering~ Volume 4 Message
Label: Movic 
Release date: 20/03/2020 
Genre: Minimal/Chill-out

Tracklist:

1 - Project Archive1-16
2 - Project Archive1-17
3 - Project Archive1-18
4 - Project Archive1-19
5 - Project Archive1-20
6 - Me Against Myself
7 - Silent Message

Track by track analysis:

6 –  Me Against Myself

Anthos bring with them a tropical touch. A simple marimba-driven melody and atmospheric synths create a dreamy soundscape, evolving into a full out chill take on tropical house by the time we get to the chorus.

Although tropical elements are at the core of this song, its 2 verses are completely distinct in vibe.

The first verse slowly hypes up the listener, building up a smooth entrance in the chorus. The 2nd verse however, takes on a completely different approach. The verse is longer and paired up with a dramatic, piano-driven break, with tropical elements taking the back seat, only returning in full force in the pre-chorus.

It is noteworthy the addictive calypso percussion rocking side by side to base sampled beat, while synths hits and a gentle, seamless build up to the last chorus start to flourish. The last minute of the track is really pleasing to the ears.

Vocal wise, Me Against Myself has a good spotlight distribution. The mapping of the vocal tracks was made in a way that every member can have their time to shine, with no more than two people singing at the same time during the chorus. Also, there are plenty of clean solo parts – singing and or rapping – for each member.

Vocal quality is something that Anthos has impressed us since the beginning. Whether through clean singing, rapping, group harmonies, not to mention sustained notes (kudos to Kento Ito for nailing those), Anthos made sure to deliver a rock solid performance to match the aesthetic sound enveloping them. 

7 – Silent Message

This single wraps up with Silent Message, track that mellows out this release by fusing space disco with tropical house.

A classy synth melody leads the way in a wide, empty soundscape. Slowly, spacy atmospheric synths add start to shape this track. A minimal, slow paced beat sets the tempo for this track however it is soon complemented by a tropical-driven beat, adding color and life to this soundscape.

The pre-chorus perfectly builds up the tension for the chorus, blooming into a summery, danceable and relaxing tune. It is in the chorus that we can finally fully enjoy the dreamy and ethereal, late summer evening vibe that is painted in Silent Message. This is a part in which pulsing and washy synths lead the way, a place in which you can put your worries aside and simply let yourself be taken over by its addictive sound and alluring soundscape.

On the vocal end, Anthos show all their cards.

Shunichi Toki goes for his sweet R&B riffing, Toshiki Masuda hits those gentle vibrato notes, Kento Ito smooths out all performances with a gentle, mid-toned performance and crystal clear high notes.

Wataru Komada impresses with his falsetto, Seiichiro Yamashita is everywhere, delivering an all rounded performance that includes singing and rapping.

And last but not least, Daiki Hamano goes for those sweet low notes and alluring rap, completely what is a masterful performance by Anthos. 

Final considerations

Anthos continue to impress with their aesthetic, simple sound. With each release they breathe a breath of fresh air in the 2D idol industry.

As it has been a trademark of theirs, Anthos’ sound is simple and minimalistic. The focus is put on creating an ethereal, dreamy experience and they achieve it time and time again, although through completely different compositions. Message adds two new songs to their repertoire but even these songs sound nothing alike previous releases of theirs. This fresh take on their sound and the ability to create dreamy, pleasing soundscapes that are unique in both their repertoire and even among other 2D projects, is something that stands out as the group’s main appeal.

At the same time, Anthos is a vocal group, a fantastic one to boot. Daiki Hamano, Kento Ito, Wataru Komada, Toshiki Masuda, Shunichi Toki and Seiichiro Yamashita work incredibly well as a unit, their vocal tones creating a unique group sound that encompasses each of their tones. With highly skilled singers in the lineup covering a wide vocal range and with a versatility to cover even more, a good vocal direction, top tier aesthetically pleasing instruments and cool concepts, this group has every thing to rise on the popularity ladder.

Now, a quick look over each track.

Me Against Myself takes simplicity to a whole other level, mixing a music genre that many are already fed up with – tropical house has been a trend for over 3 years – with the appealing minimalist electronica that has been a trademark of theirs. The result is a soothing minimalistic track that you’ll want more of it.

At the same time Silent Message is insanely addictive. First off, I am a massive fan of space disco music. Space disco is known for being the top of aesthetic electronica. It is a genre that has been picking up some heat in the last couple of years but had yet to make its big entrance in the 2D idol industry. It is here in its full glory.

Would have been interesting if this song went more the purist way, getting slightly darker and more alluring, but what we got was a pretty good show of space disco. In contrast, tropical music is something that, as mentioned above, many already are sick off, however Anthos have been able to incorporate it in their music and to great results. Toning it down and fusing the genre with their minimalist sound have made the genre bearable and, surprisingly, entertaining.

All in all, Message is a release you can’t pass on. Anthos brought all their aces for this release. Vocal wise they are astounding and when it comes to instrumentals, they know how to create tasteful, dreamy soundscapes that make you want to escape into.

Hana Doll*1st season~Flowering~ Volume 4 Message is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Message is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support this project by streaming via official outlets.

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