ELEKITER ROUND 0 are back after a one year break from their double releases in the first quarter of 2014. With a brand new image and sound ER0 are showing us that they can keep up with the other seiyuu units out there.
RE:QUIEM is the long awaited ELEKITER ROUND 0‘s seventh mini-album. Were those expectations worth anything? Is this any better than their 2014’s double release? These and more questions solved in our newest review.
Mini-album: RE:QUIEM Label: Marine Entertainment Release date: 08/04/15 Genre: J-Pop/Rock
千年恋歌 / ELEKITER ROUND 0
Conflict / ELEKITER ROUND 0
Reincarnation / ELEKITER ROUND 0
ひかり / ELEKITER ROUND 0
千年恋歌 (日野ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 日野聡
千年恋歌 (立花ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 立花慎之介
Conflict (日野ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 日野聡
Conflict (立花ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 立花慎之介
Reincarnation (日野ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 日野聡
Reincarnation (立花ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 立花慎之介
ひかり (日野ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 日野聡
ひかり (立花ver.) [BONUS TRACK] / 立花慎之介
Track by track analysis (solo versions of the tracks won’t be reviewed):
1 – 千年恋歌
千年恋歌 (A thousand years love song) kicks off this mini-album. A mid-tempo rock track that has everything that was missing in the last two releases. Melodic guitars, minimal synths, power bass and unstoppable drums lead the way in this track. All in all this is a melodic rock track with plenty of time to let both Satoshi and Tachibana shine. It’s not an overwhelming song in terms of having heavy guitars or fast, piercing vocals – it keeps things simple and tight. With lyrics written by Shinnosuke Tachibana we know from previous experience that we’re in for a great story that, alongside the harmony in the vocal performance and the simple rock instrumental, show that ELEKITER ROUND 0 sound at their best when they keep things simple or close to their root music genre. Rock and ELEKITER ROUND 0 ? Yes, please. 5/5
2 – Conflict
Reminding us of “Maria” era, Conflict kicks off with heavy drums and aggressive guitar riffs – what a beginning to this track! – but keeps things nice after that explosive intro. With a powerful intro as well as an explosive chorus and guitar solo, this track brings back everything that makes the “classic ELEKITER ROUND 0” sound – the dirty guitar riffs, the reverberating punk-rock bass and the strong drums with no synths to distract you. Putting all that aside it’s also easy to notice that this track has Hino Satoshi‘s penning the lyrics as things tend to get less “sugar coated” in comparison with Tachibana‘s lyrics. Vocal performances are on top of their game. ELEKITER ROUND 0‘s old-school sound is sounding better than ever and aged well alongside the unit. 5/5
3 – Reincarnation
To sum this track up: who would’ve thought that the bassline would make a great greeting card? “Reincarnation” is neither penned by Satoshi or Tachibana but the lyrics sound great and the instrumental is one of the their best so far. With melodic guitar riffs, mid-tempo drums and the main dish – that fabulous funky bass on the spotlight from start to finish – makes this track an appealing five star show. Vocal wise the unit is stronger, keeping up nicely with the instrumental’s sound and speed – with no inconsistent parts in the vocal performance. As a whole this track is definitely one of the best on this mini-album. Captivating from start to finish. 5/5
4 – ひかり
“Hikari” is the beautiful ballad that completes this mini-album. The slow paced drums, the reverberating bass, melodic guitars, the tender piano and the strings make this one of the most powerful ballads the unit has on their repertoire – on par with “Summer Snow“, “キセキ” (Kiseki) and “白い雪の花“. This track is the perfect showcase for the unit’s vocal skills – we’re talking about Satoshi‘s mid toned, lower notes and Tachibana‘s higher notes that, in this specific song blend incredibly well, overwhelming us with their gentleness and emotion – all these ingredients needed for this track to be a hit. 5/5
How much did we miss ELEKITER ROUND o‘s rock sound? Immensely. This unit has been growing and growing for the past two years trying everything to make their formula the best one available. It’s safe to say that a little detour was made with the last two releases that started to experiment with a more pop sound than anything ELEKITER ROUND 0 had experimented before. It’s was fun and all but it lacked consistency, this “new” sound, this rock with hits and bits of pop in the lyrics is what made ELEKITER ROUND 0 get noticed in the first place (aside for the members’ fame as seiyuu). And besides it being their trademark sound it has evolved and aged with the unit – if you haven’t noticed the unit is now 5 years old – and many things changed about their sound throughout the years. They’ve tried heavy rock, commercial rock, pop-rock, pop and jazz and now, on their seventh mini-album release (still waiting for the day this unit releases a full album) the unit picks the best elements out of all their endeavors and makes this one of a kind piece in their repertoire. It’s a memorable release, easily on par with 2013’s “Forbidden Lover“. With this we’re showering ELEKITER ROUND 0 with praises but this time they completely deserve them.
It’s official, ELEKITER ROUND 0 are back to reclaim their throne as best seiyuu unit.
RE:QUIEM is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.