Monthly Review: Soma Saito steals the show with “Yin/Yang”, and more

Soma Saito, ZOOL and NSFW arrive to wrap up 2022 in style with mindblowing performances and never-before-tried concepts.

The 12th episode of the new video feature on The Hand That Feeds HQ’s YouTube channel is out!

As the name says, Monthly Review is a monthly feature in which I find yet another excuse to talk about male seiyuu music and 2D groups.

This is a feature in which I get on camera covering the most impressive/buzzworthy releases in any given month – and hidden gems that not many people may end up paying attention to -, counting on your participation as well in all 4 corners:

  • Best of the month (3 best/buzzworthy/gems of every given month as picked by me + 3 suggested by THTFHQ readers
  • Monthly Choice (3 CD suggestions by me – regardless of when the CDs were released – and 3 suggestions by THTFHQ readers)
  • Music in the Horizon (a look at next month’s releases – it mixes my and your comments on upcoming releases by male seiyuu artists, bands, units or 2D groups)
  • Ask Vanessa (ask me anything about male seiyuu or 2D music)

This month’s episode is all about the music released in December 2022.

December was the near-perfect month in 2022.

After a series of cryptic releases all on the “7th” of every month and embracing a concept of “Yin/Yang“, Soma Saito released the most literary and complex EP he’s ever created.

ZOOL showcased its talents with a unique collection of songs with the concept EP “Zenit” and NSFW arrived to close Dear Vocalist’s UNLIMITED CD series in style (as usual).

Let’s talk about the highlights of the month.

ZOOL arrived with a bang with “Zenit“. This is, undoubtedly, the group’s best album release to date.

4 songs, 4 music genres, 4 distinct yet intrinsically cohesive concepts.

If there is something that ZOOL shows with a lot of comfort is how talented their vocal lineup is. Across its songs, all members showcase their versatility in clean singing, R&B riffing, and rapping while covering all vocal ranges and harmonizing with each other.

From funky tunes to shredding rock tunes or even a beautiful R&B song that will make your jaw drop, ZOOL is at its best in “Zenit”.

If you haven’t checked this mini-concept album, I thoroughly welcome you to do so.

Regular edition

Dear Vocalist’s NSFW knows how to put on a show! You know that if this band is wrapping up a CD series in the franchise that you will be presented with mindblowing performances.

And that is exactly what listeners find in “Sora Kara Furu Yume“.

A’ (CV: Ryohei Kimura) seems to be changing and healing further and that has resulted in a collection of songs that… sounds cohesive. This is a first time as NSFW is well known for its disruptive, unpredictable sound – mixing heavy electronica with equally heavy rock and trap music.

But in this CD, listeners get to experience something completely different. Something grounded yet still with a unique level of craziness that makes this release enjoyable to listen to.

And if there is a highlight in this release it is the heavy “THE MIRROR HOUSE”. There is nothing quite like it in the Dear Vocalist franchise. It’s way too good.

Regular

Soma Saito wrapped up 2022 with yet another release in December (as it has been tradition).

Yin/Yang” arrived in a packed year of releases for Soma Saito, bringing to the spotlight a visceral rock sound with a lot of emo-rock going on in there but also a gripping story that will make you stick around for the whole CD to get to know what is the “twist” or how the story truly ends.

Once again, Soma Saito showcased just how brilliant he is as a storyteller, creating an interwoven story that covers not only the main concept “Yin Yang” but also the “human condition”, showcasing what happens to paradise when people go mad in power or what people will do to achieve what they want (at the expense of others).

This is an outstanding – and dark – EP that may end up being rather niche mainly due to how the big “twist” is the hidden track (only available to those that purchased the physical CD) and also how rock-driven it is.

On my end, I’m impressed at what Saito pulled off and I’m certainly looking forward to more (and more).

These and more thoughts/comments can be found in the almost 1-hour-ish episode that just dropped on the channel and that you can find in this article as well.


Please remember that these episodes are much more enjoyable with your insights, so participate when the survey is open on social media. Although only 3 were chosen for each corner (less if there were fewer submissions from you), do know I’ve read them all. I read everything and keep being impressed by your musical sensibility!

THTFHQ’s community is filled with talented individuals, fans of music, and voice acting who geek as hard – or even more – about both things as I do!

Do you want to participate in MONTHLY REVIEW?

This show is a collaborative work between you and me, sharing our love for male seiyuu and 2D music projects so don’t be shy to participate.

And don’t worry about not having perfect English writing or the sort, we all make mistakes and even I am not a native speaker – and typos are really my bread and butter here on the website – so don’t let that stop you from participating, should you want to!

As always, several times during the month, the survey to participate in next month’s episode is shared on THTFHQ’s social media (Facebook and Twitter) and on THTFHQ’s YouTube channel‘s community section (make sure to subscribe to not miss the notification, or lurk if you don’t want to subscribe).

You can participate as many times as you want, I only ask that you avoid submitting the same answers in the various entries you make in this feature.

The goal is to feature as many CDs as possible, not to talk only about 1 or 2 CDs.


If the links are not working, CLICK HERE to check the video.

Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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