Fero☆Men return after a long hiatus with OPERA, single that goes outside of the group’s comfort zone. Although a bit overwhelming at times, this is the comeback fans were in need of and a nice change of pace for the talented duo.
Title: OPERA Label: Columbia Release date: 29/11/2017 Genre: J-Pop/Ballad/Industrial rock
Tracklist (A type):
1 - オペラ (Opera) 2 - AnGeL fAlL 3 - オペラ(Instrumental) 4 - AnGeL fAlL(Instrumental)
Track by track analysis:
1 – OPERA
This song will throw the listener off, especially if a fan of their previous work. OPERA is nothing alike Feromen’s trademark sound. OPERA embraces a dark and aggressive vibe. Dirty synths are the core of this instrumental, being complimented by slow paced drums alongside dark strings that make this instrumental standout for its industrial and dramatic vibe. The verses a clean and simple, growing in tension as we approach the chorus, this one being the highlight of the song. It’s during the chorus that the contrast between Suwabe’s low, deep vocals and Toriumi’s higher and smoother ones works best, the buildup and performance in that section are flawless. This approach is certainly fresh but, at times, we got the feeling that the instrumental, although interesting was being too dramatic just for the sake of it, without much content. 4/5
2 – AnGeL fAlL
“AnGeL fAlL” doesn’t disappoint. This ballad glued us to our seat. The piano’s melancholic melody and longing strings were more than enough for us to notice that we were in for a treat with this song. Adding to the piano and strings are acoustic elements, mainly acoustic guitars and a minimalistic bassline and synths as well as bassy, slow paced drums. The instrumental is fairly simple and doesn’t sound crowded, on the contrary, the instrumental is so well crafted that we can easily pinpoint each instrument without more than two listens. The melancholic vibe comes to life with Suwabe and Toriumi’s emotional performances. A gem of a song. 5/5
This is the first time that Fero☆Men have presented us with such a song. We’re so used to their underlining seductive and dramatic tones that “OPERA” completely caught us off guard. Despite “OPERA” being heavily criticized by fans of Dies Irae that claim the title track is “ridiculous” among other not so nice compliments, we found the track to be an interesting and fresh listen. The fact that they went out of their comfort zone with the title track was rather interesting. We can justify this change in tone as an effort from the duo to fit the mood of the anime in which it was featured – “Dies Irae”. If we pay closer attention, OPERA has two different tones on it. A darker, in which Suwabe’s rough and deep vocals fit the best and a brighter or at least, less darker tone, in which Toriumi’s high range actually fits best. That is easily noticeable in each solo section.
“AnGeL fAlL” is the kind of ballad we’d expect from Fero☆Men, emotional and well crafted. The instrumental alone grabbed our attention but what put us glued to our seat was the melancholic performances. This is easily the duo’s best ballad to date. If there’s something we’ve noticed after years of listening to Fero☆Men’s music is that this duo excels in that alluring vibe (that is absent in this release) and ballads. Suwabe and Toriumi’s vocals complement each other perfectly and seem to fit the genre to a T. That is a piece of territory in which the duo sounds comfortable and not at all rushed nor forced.
All in all, the duo put aside their alluring vibe in exchange for a darker and more powerful sound that piqued our interest. It might have not been as well executed as some of their previous releases, but it still is a good entry in their repertoire.
“OPERA” is the release Fero☆Men’s fans were longing for, fresh and original, something that only this seiyuu unit can pull off.
“Opera” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.