SolidS are back with the follow up to this year’s “Red“. “Black” is the second instalment of their color inspired series of releases (ending with White to be released on a later date), is finally out and once again the group managed to not only improve their sound but also upgrade their vocals. Takuya Eguchi, Soma Saito, Natsuki Hanae and Yuuichiro Umehara are ready to show us why they are a rising group with their two new tracks.
Let’s kick off this review off.
Single: BLACK Label: Tsukino-Pro Release date: 27/05/16 Genre: J-Rock
01. Judas(SolidS) 02. BLACK HEAVEN(Soma Saito & Natsuki Hanae) 03. Judas -off vocal- 04. BLACK HEAVEN -off vocal- 05. 黒を纏う君 06. そりらじ特別ミニミニ編(ver.BLACK) [MINI DRAMA]
Track by track analysis:
SolidS are back with their melodic rock sound this time taking visual-kei influences to it, kind of giving a SID (visual-kei in their early days, now more on the alternative rock side) and Alice Nine vibes in their early days. Melodic guitar riffs, fast, hi-hat driven drums, addictive bassline and powerful guitar solos complete this simple lineup. But what impressed us was not the instrumental piece – as good as it sounds – but the vocal performances. The vocals performances are polished to a point where it’s impossible to point out flaws. Umehara‘s low tones, Eguchi and Saito‘s distinct mid-tonesand Hanae‘s power high notes are at their best form ever. The emotion and power each one of them manages to add to this track is insane despite the fact that the isn’t that aggressive or fast at all. “Judas” certainly impresses on a first listen be it instrumental or vocal wise. 5/5
02. BLACK HEAVEN
This time around two opposites in terms of voice color pair up for the b-side track. Saito with a smooth mid-toned registry and on the other side Hanae, the angelic vibrato high note hitter pair up for what is one hell of a mesmerizing track. With crying guitars as the greeting card, SolidS make their way into what is a full throttle rock gem. Despite the melodic, slow paced intro the track soon explodes into a full out bass driven instrumental deploying an incredible amount of energy to its listeners. The fast paced, aggressive instrumental is easily joined by the explosive drums and power riffs courtesy of the guitars, only slowing down a bit in the bridge, setting the stage for the stunning vocal performances that follow it. Vocally what can we say? The pairing was done right. Hanae‘s high notes and vibrato sound on top of their game, dazzling us in the first chorus while Saito‘s solid, rich mid-tones make their way into the verses. The back and forth between their lines made them blend perfectly to a point when you can’t tell them apart. Two different colors, power delivery in a track that could have easily be a disaster if they weren’t this talented. 5/5
Something has really struck SolidS this year. “Black“, the second single of their “color” series is a stunning release. SolidS‘ sound is more than ever centered around the bass, making not only the instrumentals funkier, but also enriching the background sound, making it feel whole and powerful. It’s a nice change of pace to find their instrumentals getting funkier by the day, embracing the visual-kei rock scene. Taking the jazzy, laidback guitar riffs from SID, and mixing it up with the fast hi-hat drums and bass driven influences from Alice Nine, the group really managed to retain the best elements, or better said, trademarks and make them their own in a blend that really grabs your attention. With this improvement made to their sound what is left for us to check is the vocal performances. As a group with the track “Judas“, every member managed to blend perfectly with the track’s tempo and key, performing at a level that surpases that of their last release. In the pair track “BLACK HEAVEN” Saito and Hanae showed us that an unlikely pair can really outdo themselves and deliver something as addictive as that track. In the end we can only praise this release and hope that “White” will be as good as this one to lock this concept with a golden key.
“Black” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.