Showtaro Morikubo “TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜” (Review)

showtaroTRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜 is a breath of fresh air in Showtaro’s repertoire and an excellent attempt to bring out a more dirtier industrial rock sound to his music.

Showtaro Morikubo brings us his newest release, the mini-album TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜 , a mini-album that takes the main focus out of the guitars and brings out the synths in their stead. It’s aggressive, dirty, sometimes even a bit milder but the formula isn’t bad at all. Now let’s get the details regarding this release straight:

TRIBALISM

Mini-album: TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜
Release date: 28/05/2014 
Label: Lantis
Genre: J-Rock

The tracklist is the following:

01.TRIBAL
02.臆病者 Я
03.Power Я
04.Rainy day Я
05.One more thing

Track by track analysis:

01.TRIBAL

A superb way of kicking off a new chapter in Showtaro’s music, TRIBAL is a fierce track right from the very beginning. Aggressive guitar riffs with heavy dark synths giving that ominous edge to the track enveloping each and every verse in a strong, bold melody. TRIBAL doesn’t fall short when in comparison with Showtaro’s previous single releases. The vocal track is performed with the right amount of aggressiveness without resorting to screamo parts. His sharpness singing this track really brings out the best out of it. 5/5

02.臆病者 Я

Kicking off in a eerie way with the synths, 臆病者 Я is a slightly quieter track in this release. Showtaro starts off pretty quietly but as precise as ever, delivering verse after verse flawlessly: if he wants to get rougher with his singing, he can do it, if he chooses to sing more melodic, quieter part, he also excels in it. This track mixes both that sinister vibe it gives off in the beginning of the track, together with the aggressiveness drawn from the piercing vocals in the chorus together with those strong guitar riffs, and, in the end, it doesn’t sound bad at all. It’s not your typical Showtaro track but it still manages to impress. 4/5

03.Power Я

Dark, dirty synths lead the way to another session of heavy riffs. The bass takes a bit of the spotlight being the support and base in this track’s sound together with the synths. A track where Showtaro has opted to rap instead of sing but it still makes up for a great mix and overall addition to this mini-album. The vocals are full of rawness giving the extra edge to a track that exudes aggressiveness from its very core. Interesting mix between this industrial rock sound with the rap vocal parts. 4/5

04.Rainy day Я

This is a track that I’d easily label as being from the early 90’s industrial rock trend. More synths reverberating from the very beginning of the track, a slightly mild pre-chorus leading to slow paced, strong chorus. It’s not a speedy track, welcoming of headbanging like the first one but it still makes you move along with it. The outro is completely different from anything Showtaro has done in the past: there’s no insane guitar solos, on this one you simply sit back and let the synths do your work alongside the intense guitar riffs. Showtaro shows us a renewed side to his singing, sounding sharper and even more precise in the rougher parts in this track, matching up perfectly with the instrumental piece. Solid track but nothing really out of the ordinary. 4/5

05.One more thing

Soothing synth pads are the main engine in this track. Showtaro’s vocals softly make their way through the verses while, bit by bit, the rest of the instruments join the track. It’s a great intro to one of the strongest tracks in this mini-album. One more thing is a power ballad right from the early 90’s. The guitars are not that aggressive but manage to draw the necessary emotion and energy in this track. In the outro we have the guitar taking the lead with a melodic solo, totally befitting this track. The formula is simple: taking the best elements from power ballads, add some synths and deliver everything with one of the best vocals in Japan’s rock scene. 5/5

Final rating: 4/5

Showtaro always manages to live up to the expectations, even more when those expectations are pretty high after a massive release last year with CHAIN REACTION. He’s a rocker and loves his music, there’s no doubt about it, and we know it well for the passion felt in his music. We hear the revival of industrial rock in Showtaro Morikubo’s new mini-album TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜. Dark, heavy synths lead the sound in this mini-album that takes the main focus out of the trashing, fierce guitars  that we’re so used to listen to in Showtaro’s releases, but don’t think that the guitars take the background spot all the times, they’re around and still make their statements here and there throughout the mini-album. TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜  is a breath of fresh air in Showtaro’s repertoire and an excellent attempt to bring out a more dirtier industrial rock sound to his music.

In the end Showtaro opted to make a few changes in his sound and those really turned out pretty good, especially the introduction of synths, without overwhelming the track, and the melodic vocal parts that were missing in some of the previous releases. The mini-album doesn’t get a perfect score but it still is a relevant release, not falling short in comparison with Showtaro’s previous material.

TRIBALISM 〜sunrise side〜” is available for preorder on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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