Review | SHIFTYz “ENLIGHTRIBE side.SHIFTYz -The beginning-”

With a liberating brand of pop-rock and flashy jazz-funk in “ENLIGHTRIBE side.SHIFTYz -The beginning-“, SHIFTYz make a good 1st impression.

Brief introduction

ENLIGHTRIBE is being marketed as a full-scale rock x character project.

At the moment there are no details on how big a scale it will be or if it will be a mixed media project like ARGONAVIS from BanG Dream is.

However, what is known is that the bands will work just like on DIG-ROCK which is to say that, out of the whole cast, only the seiyuu voicing the vocals will sing for their respective bands, whereas the other members will participate in drama tracks.

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

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


Title: ENLIGHTRIBE side.SHIFTYz -The beginning-
Release date: 26/03/2021
Label: Movic
Genre: Pop-Rock / Jazz-Funk


1 - ダイヤモンドボイス 
2 - エンプティネス
3 - drama track side.SHIFTYz #1
4 - ダイヤモンドボイス -Instrumental-
5 - エンプティネス -Instrumental-

Track by track analysis:

1 – ダイヤモンドボイス

Exciting guitar riffs and bright piano melodies lead the way in “Diamond Voice”.

The intro to this song is intense but that changes slightly in the verses, with the shredding guitars being put on the side to give way to a groovy bass-driven sound that paints the background.

The chorus has an inspiring and liberating vibe going on, which comes as something refreshing within all music released in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise so far.

It’s almost as being one with the wind and enjoying the ride, as Shunichi Toki breathes life into this already solid pop-rock tune.

2 – エンプティネス

The tone in this CD changes for “Emptiness”, song that brings to the spotlight funky guitar riffs, a fat bassline – leading the way for this song –, laidback piano melodies with a jazz-influences as well as classy strings, these only being particularly noticeable in the chorus although they are well in the far back in the verses.

The transitions between verses and chorus are smooth. I find it particularly interesting that, despite not having a highly noticeable change in tone or key between both sections, there are small details that tell you are listening to the chorus.

Those are, namely, a fancy drum fill in the pre-chorus, as well as the difference in tension on Toki’s vocals.

Expect a guitar solo but instead of it being brought forward, it has a lot of reverb and was put in the background, enriching the instrumental. At the same time, it never let go of the tension carrying over up until that part.

Final considerations

SHIFTYz makes a cool debut in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise with “ENLIGHTRIBE Side.SHIFTYz -The beginning- “.

Their sound has a good balance between pop-rock and jazz, being at times youthful and at others quite mature in its vibe. This duality makes their sound unique in this franchise and opens up opportunities for Shunichi Toki to showcase his vocal range.

Diamond Voice” is the kind of song that you’d associate with the words “youth” and “freedom”. You’ll find yourself feeling that in the instrumental.

Emptiness” is a nice change of pacing for the band, bringing to the table jazz and funk, creating an enjoyable loungy track in which Toki’s vocals shine.

A constant in the first set of CDs in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise is the massive basslines. If you love your rock music with fat or punchy basslines, this franchise certainly knows how to deliver.

For SHIFTYz bass is the core and spotlight in all songs, as a result, their sound is robust and groovy, at times even catchy.

SHIFTYz has as their frontman Shunichi Toki, seiyuu best known for his insane control and versatility. He’s got quite a lot of experience performing jazz and lyrical music but the occasions in which he’s performed rock music have been few up until now.

As a rock singer, Toki displays a lot of control and performs exuding an ear-catching charisma. His singing in this CD lies on robust mid-tones with his delivery being full of power.

All in all, SHIFTYz make a strong case for themselves and could if they continue to explore jazz-rock/pop-rock, turn into quite the exciting outfit in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise.

ENLIGHTRIBE side.SHIFTYz -The beginning- is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


SHIFTYz make a strong case for themselves with "ENLIGHTRIBE side.SHIFTYz -The beginning-", exploring a "freeing" brand of pop-rock and flashy jazz-funk. Massive basslines lead the way in this release - something is starting to become a staple of the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise - and the vocals by Shunichi Toki are powerful throughout, breathing a lot of life to all songs in this CD. If the band continues to explore jazz-rock/pop-rock, they will turn into quite the exciting outfit in the ENLIGHTRIBE franchise.


Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).





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