Takuma Terashima “Scarlet Sign” (review)

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“First words of advice: brace yourselves to immerse on a completely different take on Takuma Terashima’s music. (…) This completely raw sound, more believable, more “eye catchy” and bold is what will attract and grab you from the very beginning (…)”

Takuma Terashima is back with the follow up to 2013’s “Star Tail“. This is the 3rd single by the talented 30 year old seiyuu. Coming back stronger and more aggressive than ever but still with a tender side, Terashima shows us a sound that will blow our minds from start to finish. “Scarlet Sign” is available in two different editions: regular and limited (CD+DVD).

More information regarding the single:

LACM-14188

Single: Scarlet Sign
Release date: 12/03/2014
Label: Lantis
Genre: Pop-rock

Tracklist:

1- Scarlet Sign
2- colors of love 
3- a blank map 
4- Scarlet Sign (instrumental)
5- colors of love (instrumental)
6- a blank map  (instrumental)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Scarlet Sign

Scarlet sign” is big, loud, aggressive, more hardrock than any of Terashii’s previous releases. This completely raw sound, more believable, more “eye catchy” and bold is what will attract and grab you from the very beginning of the song. Going through a breakdown of the instruments we have to underline that the bassline is so strong and noticeable that even the most oblivious and untrained ears will notice it. Going with the imposing bass together with the aggressive guitar riffs instead of the good ol’ synths, we have the strings doing their incredible job blending well with the tendentially aggressiveness given by the rest of of the instruments. The pre-chorus demands extra work for Terashima that, without any problems, delivers verse after verse with a fierce and powerful demeanor. The chorus takes a different turn from all that aggressiveness and showcases us a pop-rock strings-driven melody giving a certain aura of “grandiosity” to it. Only thing lacking on such a powerful track is a guitar or bass solo but we get neither so that is kind of a downside to the track. But all in all we have all the ingredients to build a great track. 4.5/5

2 – colors of love

Going towards a completely different direction regarding the previous track goes “colors of love“. A simplistic track resorting to the pianos and the slightly usage of synths intended to fully focus on the vocal performance delivered flawlessly. While this might seem like a slow track all the way until the end, it breaks the pace once again and builds itself in the chorus where the synthetic drums and the synths gain their spotlight. This along with all the other tracks, have Terashima showing off his writing skills and “colors of love” comes off as a incredibly solid track both lyrically and instrumentally (taking into account all that simplicity behind the instrumental track). A sweet and overall beautiful track. 4.5/5

3 – a blank map

Taking a more pop-rock approach “a blank map” shows off a rich instrumental resorting to trumpets, live drums, guitar, bass and some piano parts throughout the track. The vocal deliverance is amazing in this track with Terashima once again showing us why he’s one of the best seiyuu in terms of singing. His highs are solid, his lows are even more rock solid and overall he manages to deliver a good performance without any kind of problems. Regarding the track in itself we have a highly noticeable bassline, impressive work behind the drums with a solo part in the outro and we get that funky twist delivered by none other than the guitars. A solid track that only loses in the matter of novelty and innovation provided by the title track or even regarding the unusually quiet “colors of love“. 4/5

Final rating: 4.5/5

First words of advice: brace yourselves to immerse on a completely different take on Takuma Terashima’s music. The single “Scarlet sign” is big, loud, aggressive, more hardrock than any of Terashii’s previous releases, going on a completely new direction in comparison with the previous single “Star Tail”  more pop-oriented and relying much more on the electronica elements. This completely raw sound, more believable, more “eye catchy” and bold is what will attract and grab you from the very beginning of the track. With all that rawness we still manage to find some incredibly sweet and beautiful melodies like on “colors of love“, that at a first look it might sound like a weird track to put together with such an aggressive track as “Scarlet Sign”, but in the end it turned out to be a very strong, mellow yet still unusual track in Terashima’s repertoire. It’s also good to see once again Takuma Terashima taking the wheel regarding the writing, penning the lyrics for all three tracks. All in all we have a strong single release with three incredibly completely different, yet good tracks, that will make a lot of jaws drop in awe.

Scarlet Sign” is already available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. After 6 months in Macau SAR, I am back to being based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely dedicate myself to writing about male seiyuu music.

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