ECLIPSE – with Makoto Furukawa on vocals – presents a robust rock sound that was close to becoming epic in “Guilty Cross“.
Title: ギルティ†クロス Label: Aniplex+ Release date: 10/07/2021 Genre: Rock
1 - ギルティ†クロス
1 – ギルティ†クロス
A dramatic piano melody paints a solemn soundscape to ECLIPSE‘s (1st generation) “GUILTY CROSS”.
The 1st verse has a double format, starting slow-paced, introspective however that dynamic changes across the various iterations of the verse.
I love especially how the chorus and 2nd verse are connected with those low, somber piano notes sinking in.
You have a dual solo, with a piano taking the spotlight for a bit, giving way for a shredding guitar solo to completely grab your attention.
The 2nd one is more intense, with guitars powering their way through, drums pounding and a subtle bassline going on while the synths take a big chunk of the spotlight to themselves.
The intensity cranks up with each line.
Taking into account how this is ELEMENTS GARDEN composing the songs, I’m not even surprised that they wanted to focus – yet again – on synths. Those take up the spotlight more so than the piano theme – that beautiful melody in the intro – does and you’d think that would be what would end up powering the song forward.
No. With ELEMENTS GARDEN it’s always the synths, even if they create beautiful piano melodies they throw them to the background. That’s a quirk in their music that I really can’t understand.
I was expecting the song would continue to follow the dramatic tone in the intro and, later on, in the vocals but with the synths being a constant, overbearing presence in the chorus, it watered down what could be a song with an “epic” sound and instead rendered it… good but nothing beyond that.
The urgency in “GUILTY CROSS” is weakened by how long it drags on and the drama doesn’t even click with the listener given how big of a focus there is on the synths.
On vocals is Makoto Furukawa, going for a deep and powerful performance that leaves a mark.
As a singer with a natural powerful vibrato, he was a perfect choice for this appetizer into the VISUAL PRISON franchise. He only needed to crank up the drama in his performance and he’d do a decent job pulling off the concept for this track. That’s essentially what happens.
If you’re not that big of a fan of overly dramatic performances, this may not be your cup of tea. I do love Furukawa’s powerful vibrato and I do love a good dramatic performance from time to time. As a singer, he’s extremely expressive and emotional – good assets for a singer – something that adds a lot of quality to this track.
All in all, “GUILTY CROSS” started on a beautiful note, carried itself pretty well until the 2nd chorus but things don’t get interesting past that point. It’s a good rock song, don’t get me wrong, but far from being remarkable.
The excessive focus on synths in a song that could have had those – however in the background accentuating certain parts – undermined the drama going on in the vocals, making the song as a whole come across as an “attempt” at the visual-kei style instead of the real deal.
“Guilty Cross” is an exclusively digital release. You can find it on Apple Music and iTunes store.