Review | Raise “HIGHLIGHT”

RAISE

Raise‘s “HIGHLIGHT” has plenty of interesting ideas however composition issues dragged it back.

Raise "HIGHLIGHT"
Title: HIGHLIGHT
Label: GAMDOL Project
Release date: 25/05/2022
Genre: Pop/EDM

Tracklist:

1 - HIGHLIGHT
2 - Drama Track
3 - Drama Track
4 - Raised in pain
5 - HIGHLIGHT(inst)
6 - Raised in pain(inst)

Track by track analysis:

1 – HIGHLIGHT

Synth stabs and screaming guitar riffs create a dreamy soundscape for the intro. The verses focus on those elements but shift those around in a way that the vocals perform on top of the quieter, atmospheric parts, leaving the intensity to the pre-chorus and chorus.

That intensity comes from the dubstep-ish rolled synths, the fast triplets, and, in some way, the drum & bass-inspired hard-hitting beat.

The chorus is quite explosive, with the synths, guitar, and beat working nicely together, creating an energetic and strong sound that serves as the stage for the vocals awaiting you.

In this section, you have a unison that leaves a lot of space available for each vocal to be easily picked from the mix and easily understood. 

The energy is yet again addictive and keeps the music going, grabbing the listener’s attention.

Individually and as a group, RAISE showcases solid chemistry. Komatsu leads the way with his raspy mid-tones, Dojima brings a bit of an edge with a versatile skillset as a baritone. And Sumiya goes for those crystal clear higher notes – in comparison with the rest of the group – being the perfect contrast in a lineup that is mostly composed of baritones.

Rock-solid debut track by the group.

4 – Raised in pain

Wrapping up this release is “Raised in Pain“, a song that explores a darker and dreamy sound.

The intro is eerie, the vocals are muffled in the intro before bringing in regal drama into the mix.

Dramatic legato strings, piano runs on a high key and electric guitar riffs battle it out in the verses, giving way to a grandiose instrumental.

And while the verses sound really cool, the chorus ends up being quite weak in comparison. The beat joins in and it is as generic of a snare + bass kick combo as you can get. The dynamic in the instrumental changes but does not necessarily highlight a particular element. With an instrumental that was already pretty emotional and complex, the chorus really does pale in comparison.

That beat carries over to the 2nd verse and with it brings the banal sound that ends up plaguing this song.

Vocally, “Raised in Pain” brings a couple of new things to the spotlight.

The chorus is all about unison whereas the verses bring out a couple of interesting things from RAISE’s members. There is a lot of emotion going on powering its way through vibrato, raises in tone, and raspy parts. 

The mix of clean baritones and a tenor shines particularly in the verses. 

All in all, a promising song that ends up tripping over itself due to odd choices on the composition end.


Final considerations

Raise is a 3-member idol group counting with vocals by Ichiru Sumeragi (CV: Shohei Komatsu), Rei Kisaki (CV: Tetsuei Sumiya), and Kazuomi Mifuda (CV: Hayato Dojima). 

It joined the GAMDOL franchise at a time in which the project is still taking shape in terms of sound and thus, the sound the group brings is vastly different from that of Gambét.

HIGHLIGHT” stands out in this debut single and, like the name says, is the highlight of this release. 

The dreamy twist to the group’s sound blended with those guitars and a hard-hitting drum & bass-inspired beat, creating an exciting yet distant sound for the group.

I’m my opinion, this type of sound seems to fit best the group’s vocals, not to mention that it adds a layer of mystery to them, something that clearly sets the group apart from Gambét.

Raised in Pain” is one of those songs that you really can’t understand how it ended up being this forgettable. As I am writing this section of the review, the only thing I recall from it is how good the verses were but what did the verses have in there? It is a blur. 

That first chorus ended up undoing a lot of good work in instrumental, taking an interesting and rather complex song through banal territory with an uninspired beat that ends up dragging itself throughout the song.

When it comes to the vocals, RAISE has a balanced lineup that doesn’t raise any worries for me. 

Shohei Komatsu has shown countless times how reliable he is. 

Tetsuei Sumiya keeps on impressing me with his tenor vocal range and technique whereas Hayato Dojima ended up being a pleasant surprise for me but more than justified to be part of this group.

I’m quite curious to see what the group will do next because vocally, they have a genuinely interesting lineup with the door open for a versatile display of technique.

As it is, RAISE’s “HIGHLIGHT” is a release with a couple of interesting things up its sleeve. While it tried to go all in, midway there were some composition issues that left me wondering where this single would be had they never happened. 

With a strong lineup and plenty of excitement going on in their sound, RAISE presents itself as a group worth checking out and anticipating more from.

What is GAMDOL?

GAMDOL is an original mixed-media project that puts in the same stage idols and gambling. The project follows the idol group Gambét through voice dramas + music releases.

Character illustrations are by CHIMOTA, script is by Hanan Koi (ARGONAVIS from BanG Dream, FAIRY TAIL, PSYCHO-PASS), and the world-building is by Yanio Nakamura.

Gambét (read: Gambit) is a 5-member idol group led by Sho Mikado (CV: Junta Terashima). The group’s lineup includes as well Hibiki Tougo (CV: Shoya Chiba), LUKE (CV: Yuki Sakakihara), Yuusei Kannagi (CV: Jin Ogasawara), and Rihito Kise (CV: Taito Ban).

Raise is a 3-member idol group counting with vocals by Ichiru Sumeragi (CV: Shohei Komatsu), Rei Kisaki (CV: Tetsuei Sumiya), and Kazuomi Mifuda (CV: Hayato Dojima).

If you want to know more about this project, make sure to check THTFHQ’s GAMDOL extended feature.


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 OVERVIEW

HIGHLIGHT
Raised in Pain

SUMMARY

RAISE's "HIGHLIGHT" is a release with a couple of interesting things up its sleeve. While it tried to go all in, midway there were some composition issues that left me wondering where this single would be had they never happened.  With a strong lineup and plenty of excitement going on in their sound, RAISE presents itself as a group worth checking out and anticipating more from.

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RAISE's "HIGHLIGHT" is a release with a couple of interesting things up its sleeve. While it tried to go all in, midway there were some composition issues that left me wondering where this single would be had they never happened.  With a strong lineup and plenty of excitement going on in their sound, RAISE presents itself as a group worth checking out and anticipating more from.Review | Raise "HIGHLIGHT"