Review | EROSION “From a Spicy Peak”

EROSION

EROSION make a bang with their debut single, From a Spicy Peak.

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 leader Shoya Chiba, Ryota Suzuki, Arthur Lounsbery, Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Yuya Hirose.


EROSION From a Spicy Peak
Title: From a Spicy Peak
Label: Rejet
Release date: 22/07/2020
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

0 - (INTRO) Vigilante
1 - From a Spicy Peak
2 - Underdogs
3 - Voice Drama “Dangerous Brothers"

Track by track analysis:

1 – From a Spicy Peak

The band kicks off this single with the hard-hitting rock track, From a Spicy Peak.

Overdriven guitar riffs, hard hitting drums and a thunderous bass line shape this track into one of the hardest hitting rock songs released this year by a 2D group.

The verses have a bit of that characteristically D’espairs Ray sound, something that I really enjoy. It’s that distortion in the guitars plus those mute notes give a gritty and eerie vibe to this track which I thoroughly enjoy. There are obvious nods to industrial-rock in From a Spicy Peak, although the song doesn’t end up fully embracing that in the end.

The chorus is an absolute banger.

It is pretty impressive how EROSION managed to go this deep and dark with their sound while they are harmonizing in the chorus – that contrast with the song’s vibe is actually pretty cool.

At the same time, the fact that the song is insanely slow paced and hard hitting makes every beat and hit sink in much deeper into you which, in my books, is something that I enjoy in rock music. Also, props for that mad guitar riff in the bridge.

Vocals-wise, EROSION was all in to deliver an impressive performance both as a group as well as in their individual parts. They pretty much threw it out of the park with a powerful performance.


2 – Underdogs

Wrapping up this release is Underdogs, song that gives off those nostalgic 90s and 00s nu-metal vibes by bringing turntablism to the table. Although this isn’t a full-time feature – only being used in the verses, it gives a unique flair to this rock track emulating, in a way, Linkin Park.

The tone for this track is less gritty and darker but the sound is more intense in contrast. The verses deliver high-octane guitar riffs, screamo courtesy of Shoya Chiba, and a bit of glitchy synths into the mix.

The verses flow well but I feel like, after such intense verses, the chorus is lackluster, sounding pretty generic, pretty close to sounding like an idol song.

As far as vocals go, EROSION brought their aces to this track, with all members having equal distribution of lines, being able to showcase their talents and quality. Solid performance but clearly weaker in comparison with From a Spicy Peak.


Final considerations

EROSION don’t shy away from a darker, heavier approach to their sound, which I love. I feel like rock bands in 2D music projects seldom get courageous enough to embrace a heavier sound because they feel like regular 2D music fans will certainly avoid it at all costs.

So, it is a breath of fresh air to find EROSION doing their thing and being cool about their rock sound and, at the same time, really comfortable while performing it.

The highlight in this release is, undoubtedly, From a Spicy Peak.

So far, this is the heaviest rock song by a 2D music project that I have listened to this year. And it is so, so good.

As a massive rock fan, this is the sound for me. Slow, dark, gritty, imposing and powerful at the same time. Not overdone and with matching intense vocals on top of it.

There is nothing new about this approach but since it is so rare for 2D music projects to actually venture through rock music – and not follow the boring pop-rock or punk-pop route -, it sounds pretty fresh to me.

Underdogs was, interestingly enough, the song I was most excited for yet the one that disappointed me in the end.

I am a big fan of Shinnosuke’s compositions but this time around it didn’t work all that well. I feel like it’s not necessarily due to his composition but more how the chorus was structured in terms of progression in the vocals / lyrics.

The chorus is absolutely generic which, after those intense verses, was incredibly lackluster. Still a good song but not one that I will be replaying any sooner because it felt more like an idol group performing it rather than a rock band.

EROSION have a balanced lineup with a lot of quality. This is something that quickly stood out as I was listening to their songs. They really have a lot of quality in their group and all vocals fit well with each other.

Sometimes 2D groups focus way too much on adding “popular” names into the cast and then forget that those voices are, in no way, compatible, at least when it comes to EROSION, I didn’t feel that at all.

They work pretty well as a unit – noticeable in the choruses for the 2 songs -, harmonizing with a lot of flair in the mix.

When it comes to the individual parts you will notice that every single member is giving their all but also, at the same time, are pretty comfortable performing rock songs with the power of From a Spicy Peak but can also do something more intense like Underdogs.

It is hard to point out just one member that impressed the most because everyone was on top of their game however, I want to give props to Shoya Chiba for tackling screamo parts.

Last time I heard screamo this good in a rock track – in a 2D project – was in MEDICODE’s self-titled mini-album back in 2015 (with Soma Saito on vocals). GYROAXIA (in 2020) and Osiris (2018) also had great takes on the technique. And aside from OLDCODEX’ Ta_2, no seiyuu dare go for a screamo performance because it is a hard technique to master especially when you want to avoid injuring your vocal cords.

In the case of seiyuu, I can understand why they want to avoid screamo at all costs. That’s why it is noteworthy and commendable that not only Chiba tackled such a daring technique for seiyuu, but he also sounded pretty comfortable while doing it.

Last thing I wanted to hear was a strained screamo section – that would seriously injure his vocal cords – or a half-assed screamo section (that wouldn’t add anything to the song) just for the sake of sounding “edgy”. So, his performance felt right and the screamo parts melded well with the whole vibe of the song.

All in all, it will be interesting to follow this band in their future endeavors but for now I can say that I am positively impressed with both their sound and performances in From a Spicy Peak. Top quality here and if you still haven’t checked their music, please do, this is a rock band like no other currently active in the 2D music industry.


From a Spicy Peak is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


REVIEW OVERVIEW
From a Spicy Peak
Underdogs
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. A year later, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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