“Aspiration” finds the 5-vocal rock band leaning towards electronic rock and ballads, with mixed results.
CARNELIAN BLOOD is a mixed media – voice comics, music, etc – project created by Rejet. EROSION stems from the franchise as its representative group, a rock band with 5 vocals.
EROSION‘s lineup includes Shoya Chiba, leader Ryota Suzuki, Arthur Lounsbery, Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Yuya Hirose.
Title: Aspiration Label: Rejet Release date: 23/09/2020 Genre: Electronic-Rock
1 - (INTRO) Lighthouse 2 - Aspiration 3 - The Oath 4 - Voice Drama “Exciting school life"
Track by track analysis:
1 – Lighthouse
“Lighthouse” is one of those intro/brief songs by EROSION that I actually wish were longer (or, at least, a full-size song).
This song has a stripped-down instrumental for the most part, kicking off with melancholic acoustic guitar riffs, slowly setting the stage for the emotional performance waiting for you.
There is a somber tone going on however, it only is fleshed out as the song transitions from acoustic to electric, bringing in live drums, a slow and deep bassline, and emotional electric guitar riffs.
Feelings go by in a flash, leaving behind a trail of melancholy and, in a way, sadness. There’s definitely some of it underlying this song.
The vocals match those emotions with all members bringing a slightly breathy performance with plenty of vibrato on top.
When it comes the time for the group to work together in the chorus, they more than deliver an impressive performance. While in unison, you can hear their voices loud and clear. It’s something rather different in comparison to some of the songs in EROSION’s repertoire.
2 – Aspiration
EROSION goes a calmer, easier listening route for Aspiration. The track kicks off with a slow-paced beat and intermittent, muffled guitar riffs.
The dynamics change when the song progresses to the 1st verse, introducing a groovy bass line, fast-paced electric guitar riffs, and hi-hat-driven drums, mixing live with samples to enhance some parts of the mix.
Also adding a danceable touch to the track are synths, being pretty big in the intro and the chorus.
On the vocals end, EROSION count with a set of rock-solid solo performances but a frustrating group performance.
Although Shoya Chiba is expected to be the main vocal for the group – as the leader -, this song is easily Toshiyuki Toyonaga’s, completely stealing the spotlight from everyone else in what is a stellar performance.
As a band, EROSION lacked power and resorted to a good old, effortless 2D idol group ensemble type of performance, almost erasing the awesome work that each member did in their solo parts.
All in all, Aspiration is a solid track but way too comfortable and pop-focused and synth-oriented to be called a rock track.
3 – The Oath
Things get darker for The Oath. This song goes the dramatic route, with delicate piano melodies painting the canvas of this emotional song.
Acoustic guitars and strings are pivotal to fleshing out this rock ballad into a powerful piece.
Slow-paced, snare-driven drums and a barely noticeable bass cover the background, adding depth to this The Oath.
Strings soar in the chorus adding a tragic touch to the track and, although this track is not a full-on power ballad, it certainly is a softer take on the genre and done in a pretty tasteful way.
On the vocals end, EROSION count with their best performance in this single.
Yuya Hirose is at the center of this track, leading everyone with his delicate, high-toned, breathy vocals. But let’s not forget the rest of the band as they go for a lyrical performance, suitable for this type of dramatic rock ballad.
When The Oath comes to a close you’ll only want one thing: to hit the replay button.
EROSION‘s Aspiration has its moments of brilliance although the band is sounding more and more like an idol group instead of a rock band, which as some of you may be aware of, is the band’s selling point.
For a band that started out with a considerably heavy sound as their debut song, with each song they have been gradually toning down the aggression.
EROSION has shifted from high-octane rock with some hits and bits of hardcore, to easy-listening pop-rock.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, toning down usually makes the music and the project itself more accessible to those fans of 2D projects – that are on the fence because they are not keen on heavy rock music -, however, this is a frustration of expectations, at least for me, as I expected this band to not sacrifice their “heavier” sound – which is rare in 2D music projects – in order to be more accessible.
Aspiration ends up going the generic route, bringing in electronica, mixing it with rock, and giving birth to a sound that, if you are familiar with 2D music, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve previously heard it somewhere.
There’s no novelty in the sound with nothing new being added to it – not even the vocals -, in order to make it sound fresher or less of an idol group song than it already did.
In the end, it is an entertaining track but already straying a bit away from rock, venturing into alternative territory.
The Oath takes home the prize of the best song in this release.
It is almost like an OSIRIS meets Growth sound (although not matching the vocal prowess of both) and it is all in a grandiose, dark and emotional setting that captured my attention.
Add to it the vocals that had a bit of a lyrical touch to them plus Yuya Hirose‘s outstanding performance as the center for this track and yes, you do have here a really solid rock ballad, the 1st by EROSION.
All in all, EROSION‘s Aspiration is a much softer single than initially expected. A softer rock sound and an emotional ballad shed a different light on the talented 5-vocal band that is still trying to find its middle ground.
Aspiration is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.