Showtaro Morikubo “Truth” (Review)

Credits: Lantis
Credit: Lantis

It’s been a year since Morikubo last presented us with a single. “TRUTH” is his latest single, a release that is heavier than anything he’s made so far. 

truth showtaro

Single: TRUTH
Label: Lantis 
Release date: 07/12/16 
Genre: J-Rock

Tracklist:

01. TRUTH
02. CANVAS
03. My order

Track by track analysis:

01. TRUTH

TRUTH is a headbanger song through and through. We can tell right from the start that Morikubo aimed for a heavy track with a lot of effort put on the melodies and overall feel of the song. Dirty guitar riffs and strings easily create an eerie mood, all the while the heavy splashy drums set the powerful pace of the track alongside the reverberating bass. Taking a better listen to track we notice that this song actually has two different kinds of moods encapsulated on it. The verses are rather quiet and eerie, on the other hand the chorus goes all out, being as aggressive as you could get. This is a massive single opener and one of the best title tracks he has released so far. 5/5

02. CANVAS

Going for a more melodic and quiet sound, CANVAS is an emotional power ballad that comes to life thanks to the stunning instrumental piece. Heavily rooted in the acoustic guitars and the bass, this track presents us the other side to his trademark sound, that side in which every single element in the song can stand out on its own, for instance, if you pay attention to the bassline going on in the background, it’s impossible not to notice how it completely ties every single element in this song together without most people knowing about it, the bass alone is what is giving massive depth to this track. The acoustic guitar work is incredible in the verses, drawing the listener almost instantly to this track. The same can be said about the electric guitars in the chorus and in the bridge – especially in the bridge and before the second verse – although being mainly playing heavy riffs, those pack a lot of emotion with it, taking this ballad to another level. Vocal wise, this is exactly what you could expect from him: a powerful performance in which nothing is forgotten. As a whole, CANVAS ranks easily as a top track. 5/5

03. My order

My order brings out the synths to add an extra edge to this heavy tune. The industrial rock influences are obvious on this track, mixing the synths (mainly in the intro an in small intermissions) with thunderous guitar riffs and powerful drumming – that has been an overall improvement from previous releases. We can’t forget to mention the bass work on this song – it’s simply a treat for the listener, especially if you’re listening to this song with headphones or in-ears. For those that are fans of heavy rock tracks, this song will be your cup of tea – this is the heaviest track in this release. The chorus might sound a bit weird to some, normal to others or simply out of place in this track – that is open to debate. On our side the chorus seemed like it didn’t fit that well with the overall feel and composition of the song. Other than that, this song is just as exciting as any of the previous tracks, only losing a little bit of edge thanks to that chorus. Morikubo‘s vocals are a bit rougher on this track, adding an extra touch to this track. Overall, My order is an engaging track, filled of aggressive guitar riffs and groovy basslines as well as good vocal performance. Given how powerful the previous tracks were we expecting a little bit more to be delivered by the closing track. 4/5

Final rating:4.5 stars

Edgier and more robust, Morikubo‘s sound has morphed into an industrial blend of rock, metal and electronica, something that he’s been experimenting a lot as of late. We can easily say that TRUTH presents us the perfected formula of his sound after three years of experiments. Regarding the vocals there’s little to nothing to point out – Morikubo‘s vocals were never once in question as he tackled each and every complicated melody almost effortlessly. The instrumentals have been polished to a point in which we barely find anything to criticize. Putting all that fancy electronica that was in previous releases away – for example in FOCUS – was the best decision for him. Morikubo is a powerful singer and also an impressive rhythm guitarist, that alone can already give away that electronica is far from being his element. We saw just how lacking his endeavors with electronica turned out to be. As we all know, FOCUS was a downer in comparison with previous releases like Chain Reaction and 叫~kyo~, alienating or lowering the expectations of some fans for the following releases.

So if he didn’t sound that well with electronica as the backdrop, what about stripping away the electronica parts of its annoying elements and only use some parts as “cosmetic” enhancements for the tracks? Well, that’s just about what industrial rock is all about. Synths play a part in the sub genre (sometimes a big part – depending on the artists’ choices), keeping its original rock/metal roots and adding some touches with dirty synths – most of the times to enhance the guitar or bass parts. Morikubo embraced this sub genre in the best way possible for the title track as well as My order. This time around he brought back his heavy rock from the debut days, polished it to a point in which all we could think of was headbanging along with the beat, and added a little bit of synths either to set a mood for the track or to enhance something in the song. That’s a major reason as to why we only have good words to say about the instrumentals for both of those tracks. On the other hand, CANVAS is one of the most complete power ballads that he has ever released. Morikubo is not too keen to release double title tracks and much less to release ballads of any sort, at least as of late.

Overall, TRUTH is a really solid release, packed with a load of powerful and exciting tracks, a release that is certain to put a smile on the face of all those fans that have been asking for him to go back to his roots.

TRUTH is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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