Review | “EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN”

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EROSION dramatically wraps up its 2nd CD season with “Dancing on the edge”, a CD that delivers songs that tug at your heartstrings.

Brief introduction

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 SuzukiArthur LounsberyToshiyuki Toyonaga, and Yuya Hirose.

Review

Title: EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN
Label: Rejet
Release date: 27/04/2022
Genre: Rock/Love Metal/Symphonic Rock

Tracklist:

1 - Dancing on the edge (EROSION song)
2 - 白砂 (TOXIN solo track)
3 - 運命―さだめ―
4 - 過去―きおく―
5 - 勘違い?―ときめき―
6 - 不協和音―ノイズ―
7 - 真実―アンサー―

Track by track analysis:

1 – Dancing on the edge

Overdriven guitar riffs hint at a groovy instrumental and what awaits you is, indeed, a groovy rock tune in “Dancing on the edge”.

The instrumental in this song is unlike anything the band had released before. The excitement is there in the intense beat, the bassline is punchy and the guitars are a bundle of fun, mixing standard rock playing and funk-style of playing.

The verses have a loungy edge to them however with an underlying, odd edge brought in from the glitchy synths and strings. These are but a small detail in the soundscape but well worth paying attention to, especially in the way they end up filling in the background, never taking the attention off of both your ears.

As you headbang along to the verses groovy verses with that screaming lead guitar – and bloody awesome lower toned shredding guitar riffs in the background -, you’re suddenly in the chorus.

This one is quite unpredictable and may not click with you when you first listen to it. The instrumental in the chorus glitches from rock to electronica and even has a loungy edge to itself that arrives as completely unexpected.

In my first listen, the chorus didn’t sound that good to me, especially with how much it shifted in tone but on a second listen and already knowing what was going to happen, the chorus seemed to flow well.

All this to say that this song may require more than one listen to actually click with you, especially if you felt like the chorus was weird or off-putting.

On the vocal end, “Dancing on the edge” is a song demanding a solid unison performance and, on the solo side, the tone is completely different from previous songs. 

The focus is on being melodic – to fit the groovy instrumental – and what you get is basically everyone bringing a bit of legato in their performance with some vibrato on top. 

One thing I’d like to point out is how intense Shoya Chiba is in his faux baritone range in this song. He doesn’t go too low but the edge he brings in his voice is enough to snatch your attention from everyone else to himself. 

“Dancing on the edge” is that type of song that demands headbanging but will also take you to the dancefloor.

2 – 白砂

Wrapping up this CD is “Hakusha”, TOXIN’s solo track.

A tragic piano and urgent high-pitched strings paint a wide, beautiful yet suffocating soundscape in the intro. But that doesn’t last for long.

Loud, violent guitars and strings then take you to the decadent verses, these ones tight and close to the listener. 

The air stiffens. And you can feel it by how bassy and low the sound goes with guitars, bassline, and drums all going darker and darker the further you get into the song.

The verses have an interesting duality that is a part of their brief quality. They are short, something you’ll quickly notice (especially in comparison to the choruses).

One thing that easily stood out for me is how dark this song is while staying classy and dramatic at the same time. It gives off a love metal vibe that Shoya Chiba ends up turning it into a tragically beautiful yet heartwrenching song with his faux baritone vocals (with a twinge of musical-style drama on top).

And you and I are not even into the chorus yet.

What awaits you in the chorus is a fantastic display of hard-hitting rock with a perfect balance with orchestral elements. The emotions, that were starting to pour in the verses, finally break away and paint the whole chorus in such a painful and passionate tone that you’ll feel overwhelmed on a first listen.

“Hakusha” has, single-handedly, the best guitar solo in EROSION’s whole repertoire (up until now).

When that first notes in the solo kick in, going loud, bending those strings, and screaming its heart out, it feels like someone bidding goodbye to someone precious, missing them deeply and intensely. It has nostalgia, love, and regret, all in the same place. It is a beautiful guitar solo that only fails in the fact that is rather brief.

The song wraps up with Shoya Chiba slowly being left alone in acappella, gently echoing in the empty soundscape, something that leaves a hauntingly beautiful aftertaste to such a tragic song.

Perfect performance and a well-needed visit to love metal (with some hints of symphonic rock) to wrap this CD series.


Final considerations

EROSION wraps up the EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD CD series with “Dancing on the edge”.

The CD counts with the title track “Dancing on the edge”, performed by EROSION, and “Hakusha”, performed by TOXIN (CV: Shoya Chiba).

“Dancing on the edge” is a bundle of fun in rock form. I was not expecting this song to be as groovy as it is although the title hinted at something like that (but with a dark twist like all other EROSION songs).

Its energy is addictive, and its groove is a welcomed addition to the band’s repertoire. And now you’ll tell me “but EROSION has other songs with a groovy sound!”. They do but none sounding like this one. The groove in the verses doesn’t come from groove metal but from pop, something that gives off slight 80s rock vibes to me. 

However, I felt like a chorus that takes a while to click with the listener or leaves the listener a bit put off – at least on a first listen – detracts a bit from the enjoyment you get from the song, something that explains why I didn’t give it full marks. 

It took me a couple of listens to feel comfortable with the chorus and its unpredictability, so I dare say more people will feel like this when they listen to this song (especially after “OneThing” is perfect on all fronts). In comparison to all other EROSION songs released in this CD series, “Dancing on the edge” is not the best, that’s for sure. 

Fun, yes. Headbang-ready, yes. The best, nope. 

“Hakusha” arrives as a pleasant surprise, kicking things off quite violently, not with aggression but with regret and bottled passion.

This is a loud metal song with a romantic tone on top reminiscent of visual-kei rock (that that takes inspiration from tragic romance stories) or even nordic love metal (a mix of gothic aesthetics, metal sound, and romantic lyrics with tragedy on top is clearly noticeable in this song). 

I’ve already written plenty about this song is bloody awesome but let me add that the drums and guitar work on this track are insane. The drums cover the entire kit, the bass drum is relentless, being there from start to finish to add a “heart” to the performance. And the guitars are, easily, the reason why this song packs the massive emotional punch it gives you.

But more impressive than the song itself is Shoya Chiba’s performance. Not only is he performing in a faux baritone range – lowering his tone as TOXIN – but he’s also adding a musical-style flavor to his performance, adding drama to this song. 

Not only that but he performs a beautiful outro, almost in acappella that is haunting, is insanely consistent in tone and emotions throughout the performance, and goes wild on his technique bringing in a lot of vibrato and legato to accentuate the drama and tragedy in this song.

The way he goes for those crescendo parts in the chorus – mind you, doing so in faux baritone, which is a really difficult technique to master – is quite impressive.

While his performance may seem easy to replicate it actually isn’t. The technicality level in his performance demands a singer with versatility both in their vocal range but also skillset. And bringing musical-style of singing, which is something so visual-kei-inspired, is not easy to pull off.

Once again, while “Hakusha” as a song is hauntingly beautiful and impressive, Shoya Chiba’s performance is, easily, the highlight. Chiba shows fantastic growth as a singer, packing a punch in his performance, adding a lot of emotion while showcasing unreal control and effortlessly mastery of faux baritone range.

I love how much the franchise and its composers have pushed towards EROSION moving away from its hard rock with electronica sound towards heavier or even groovier, poppier sounds. The range that EROSION has shown in this CD series alone is well worth putting all eyes and ears on it. 

This type of versatility to the band’s sound has been done in a really interesting way, not shoving aside the band’s identity just for the sake of changing their sound. More than changing their sound, I feel like EROSION was constantly morphing its sound, showing different shades of what is their core identity as a band. 

And if there is something you can take from all band songs in this series is that passion is there but so is a tragedy. Those two emotions are the driving force for this band, taking shape in songs that range from hard-hitting rock to metal, ballads, or even R&B, rap-rock, and trap music.

As the EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD CD series wraps up, fans are left with an eclectic collection of songs featuring some of the best rock tracks released by 2D groups and, easily, some of the best songs released so far in 2022.

“Dancing on the edge” is the icing on the cake of what is one of the best CD series by a 2D franchise.

One that was cohesive from start to finish. One that perfectly showcased the talents of each of their vocals. One that put equal care into the instrumentals as it put into the vocals.

This is a near-flawless entry in a memorable CD series.


EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support EROSION by streaming via official outlets.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Dancing on the edge
白砂

SUMMARY

EROSION wraps up the EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD CD series with one of the most brutal and violent entries. TOXIN (CV: Shoya Chiba) leads the way for this release and what is achieved in "Hakusha" (the solo track) is single-handedly one of the most impressive things in terms of composition and performance together. Love metal took centerstage and Shoya Chiba got up there, grabbed the microphone, and delivered a mesmerizing performance completely in faux baritone style with clear influences of visual-kei and musical style. As you go through the story in "Hakusha", you're left empty and emotionally drained. The song is a goodbye. A pained goodbye to someone TOXIN felt intensely passionate about, and if everything about the instrumental and performance weren't enough up until then, wrapping up in acappella will really send chills down your spine. This is one of those rare performances that leave a mark as dark and dramatic as those are. And EROSION's new band song "Dancing on the edge" balances things up by bringing in a groovy rock sound with a playful tone. While not the band's best song to date, this is a rock-solid entry in its repertoire. All in all, "EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN" is a perfect closer to what is one of the most impressive CD collections by a 2D music project/group. Masterful.
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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Review | "EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN"EROSION wraps up the EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD CD series with one of the most brutal and violent entries. TOXIN (CV: Shoya Chiba) leads the way for this release and what is achieved in "Hakusha" (the solo track) is single-handedly one of the most impressive things in terms of composition and performance together. Love metal took centerstage and Shoya Chiba got up there, grabbed the microphone, and delivered a mesmerizing performance completely in faux baritone style with clear influences of visual-kei and musical style. As you go through the story in "Hakusha", you're left empty and emotionally drained. The song is a goodbye. A pained goodbye to someone TOXIN felt intensely passionate about, and if everything about the instrumental and performance weren't enough up until then, wrapping up in acappella will really send chills down your spine. This is one of those rare performances that leave a mark as dark and dramatic as those are. And EROSION's new band song "Dancing on the edge" balances things up by bringing in a groovy rock sound with a playful tone. While not the band's best song to date, this is a rock-solid entry in its repertoire. All in all, "EROSION with YOU from CARNELIAN BLOOD Vol.5 TOXIN" is a perfect closer to what is one of the most impressive CD collections by a 2D music project/group. Masterful.