Review | ESMERALDA “THE BRILLIANCE”

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ESMERALDA

Dark, emotional, and violent, ESMERALDA’s “THE BRILLIANCE” is a highlight in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise.

Brief introduction

ENLIGHTRIBE is a full-scale rock x character project by movic (Tsukipro, Tsukiuta, VAZZROCK, etc.).

ENLIGHTRIBE counts with 3 bands in its lineup: FAM, SHIFTYZ, and ESMERALDA.

For more details on this project, make sure to check this guide.

Review

Title: ENLIGHTRIBE side.ESMERALDA -THE BRILLIANCE-
Release date: 08/10/2021
Label: Movic
Genre: Rock / Alternative metal / Punk-rock

Tracklist:

1 - El Dorado
2 - Radiance
3 - drama track side.ESMERALDA #2
4 - drama track side.ESMERALDA #3
5 - El Dorado -Instrumental-
6 - Radiance -Instrumental-

Track by track analysis:

1 – El Dorado

Overdriven shredding guitar riffs go loud for the opening of “El Dorado”. However, the verses, or at least the first part of the 1st chorus slows down, sounding dramatic and emotional.

The song has an intense, dirty pre-chorus that brings ESMERALDA’s full lineup to the vocals to tackle a fast-paced vocal part.

But fear not, Yusuke Nagano, Kento Hama, and Shohei Komatsu only join in for the pre-chorus and the big chants, other than that, you have Junta Terashima delivering a consistently powerful and emotional performance.

The song goes ballistic in the chorus, exploding in emotion and going as hard as possible on the drums, with guitars shredding their way through. This is the kind of song made to headbang along. It goes hard, it sounds incredibly melodic and the vocals are perfect and yes, there are chants.

And yes, those hit the 10-second mark (3 repetitions) and contrary to what happened on FAM’s CD, these chants actually sound natural, this song genuinely needs those to balance the aggressive tone of the instrumental, adding it an epic twist.

2 – Radiance

Radiance” follows the same vibe however, it goes darker.

The song kicks off with distant chants and slowly develops into an emotional prog-rock song, leaving those distant guitars in the background, adding slow-paced drums with a solemn beat marching towards the chorus. The bassline leads the way, complementing the vocals while adding depth to the drums.

Adding a bit of variety, the second verse goes all out with chamber instruments, with strings fleshing out the underlying somber instrumental.

The build-up in the bridge will make chills run down your spine. The chants go loud and high, drums increasing their speed, hitting harder and harder while leaving guitars on the edge of their seat. When it all drops into the chorus, you’re hit by an explosion of emotions.

And Junta Terashima goes for outstanding performance. If he already impressed everyone with his consistency and emotion in the verses, when it comes to the chorus, you’ll be caught off guard.

The vocal direction for that part required him to go for 2 long, dramatic crescendos with legato in quick succession. Each chorus has 4 of those parts and he even goes fancy and adds vibrato in one of those crescendo + legato sections. That’s impressive.

The best song by ESMERALDA is here. And the best song in the 2nd batch of CDs in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise.


Final considerations

ESMERALDA solidifies its stance as the best band in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise with “THE BRILLIANCE”.

The CD includes a set of dark, emotional, and violent rock tunes with outstanding compositions by Yuyoyuppe. There is beauty in decadence and both “El Dorado” and “Radiance” showcase that, making chills run down your spine as quickly as they make you headbang along.

“Radiance” is simultaneously one of the best songs released by 2D groups in 2021 and the best rock song by a 2D rock band to grace us this year. This is the type of song that will get under your skin, having you screaming along to the lyrics, feel those emotional vocals by Junta Terashima.

And speaking of Junta Terashima, he absolutely owned the stage.

That he is a consistent singer with a lot of power is something that I was already aware of, however, to pull off such a tricky song and even add an extra bit to his performance, flaunting his singing skills put a smile on my face.

Yes, Junta Terashima is incredibly underrated as a singer but hell if he doesn’t know how to put on a show and make your jaw drop in awe!

As it is, ESMERALDA’s “THE BRILLIANCE” is the best entry in the 2nd round of CDs in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise. It has the perfect balance between vocalist and backing vocals, the instrumentals are emotional and intense without being exaggerated and Junta Terashima showed everyone what he’s made of.


ENLIGHTRIBE side.ESMERALDA -THE BRILLIANCE- is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


ENLIGHTRIBE side.ESMERALDA -THE BRILLIANCE- is available for streaming on Spotify.


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

REVIEW OVERVIEW

El Dorado
Radiance

SUMMARY

ESMERALDA’s “THE BRILLIANCE” is the best entry in the 2nd round of CDs in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise. It has the perfect balance between vocalist and backing vocals, the instrumentals are emotional and intense without being exaggerated and Junta Terashima showed everyone what he’s made of. If you're into intense, dark, and aggressive rock, then this is a perfect pickup.
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 | ESMERALDA "THE BRILLIANCE"ESMERALDA’s “THE BRILLIANCE” is the best entry in the 2nd round of CDs in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise. It has the perfect balance between vocalist and backing vocals, the instrumentals are emotional and intense without being exaggerated and Junta Terashima showed everyone what he’s made of. If you're into intense, dark, and aggressive rock, then this is a perfect pickup.