Quell “Believer -Inori-” (Review)

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From left to right: Koutaro Nishiyama, Sho Nogami, Shugo Nakamura and Shunsuke Takeuchi

The recently debuted Tsukipro unit, QUELL released the long awaited single “Believer -Inori-“. Ready to sweep everything, QUELL showed us exactly what means making a first good impression.

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Single: Believer -Inori-
Label: Tsukino-Pro
Release date: 28/10/2016 
Genre: Electronic rock

Tracklist:

1.ドラマ「冷たい雨が降る夜に」
2.ドラマ「重なる波紋」
3.ドラマ「東京へ」
4.ドラマ「堀宮英知です!」
5.ドラマ「そして、始まる日々」
6.ドラマ「QUELL」
7.BELIEVER~祈り~
8.時を越えて
9.HIKARI

Track by track analysis (the drama tracks weren’t reviewed):

7.BELIEVER~祈り~

Kicking off with what we consider to be one of the best debut songs among Tsukipro units, QUELL deliver us Believer -Inori- , a strong electronic rock song rooted in smooth synth melodies, powerful drums and heavy guitar riffs. In this exciting and rich instrumental piece, we find a unit with some power vocals and diverse tones. Shunsuke Takeuchi consumes the whole vocal track – we’re not joking on this -, his low vocals standout effortlessly in the song. The rest of the group delivers each verse with hints of vibrato here and there, enriching the song – props to Nakamura and Nogami that were in charge of most of those little details in the background. As a whole this song just proves that Tsukipro knows what is doing when they debut a new unit. Pure gold. 5/5

8.時を越えて

Another hit song right here. This instrumental is yet another winner for us. Alone, this mid-tempo piece that puts aside the heavy guitars and fast drums, delivers something so fresh to us that we just can’t help but to put it on repeat. A delicate piano melody in the background leads us into a song in which everything is frail, delicate – thanks to the harp and strings in the background -, mix it with soothing synth pads and simple bass drum driven drums and what you get is this, an ethereal, emotionally powerful song. Vocally there’s so many amazing things going on that we simply can’t keep our mouths closed. Takeuchi‘s low emotional notes and mesmerizing high notes (we weren’t expecting those at all), Nishiyama‘s technical vibrato that makes everything sound even more frail, Nakamura and Nogami‘s high notes and falsetto that rendered us speechless, everything, we mean, everything is perfect.  Breathtakingly beautiful ballad. 5/5

9.HIKARI

To complete this fantastic release we’re presented with “Hikari“, another slow tempo ballad. With a simple melody consisting of strings, acoustic guitar, basic drums and a slow, slap bass in the background, we have the basics prepared for an off the book ballad. But what takes this simple instrumental to the next level is clearly the vocal performance. The chorus, the chorus, the chorus! The emotion and tension on this chorus is insane. Just listen to this song with good headphones/in ears and prepare to be rendered speechless. The low notes hit us instantly, the higher notes leave us in awe. The harmonization is once again the reason as to why it’s impossible to criticize this unit. Everyone displays total control over their tone and comfort in making good use of it, even bringing some wild cards into the mix with falsetto and vibrato. When singing the chorus, everyone comes together to make a perfect unison. In the end, if you grab both the instrumental and vocal tracks and put them together, the result is this overwhelming ballad. A sweet ballad with even sweeter vocals. 5/5

Final rating:5 stars

It’s time to ask: is there something this unit really lacks?

QUELL are yet another strong unit coming from Tsukipro. Mixing rock with electronica provided us with a group that shifts well between heavy riffs and addictive, danceable synth melodies. Among all major Tsukipro units, QUELL packs the biggest vocal punch – with an incredibly good low note heavy hitter in the mix, one fantastic vibrato user and two excellent high note slayers.

The major highlight in this lineup goes to QUELL‘s leader, Shunsuke Takeuchi. What a power vocal he is! With a solid lower register, Takeuchi is able to always be in the spotlight, even when he goes for higher notes. The group is mainly comprised of mid to higher toned singers so him, showcasing such an unique tone, naturally takes the front seat at the most unexpected places. Displaying total control over his tone, he’s even able to put some vibrato onto it to enrich his performance – a bit like Takuya Sato used to do in the past.

On the other side we have the polished mid-tones and vibrato delivered by Nishiyama and the versatile tones provided by other two surprises on our side: Shugo Nakamura and Sho Nogami. Nakamura and Nogami did an excellent job in all songs, impressing us with their technique – displaying something we weren’t really expecting. If Takeuchi rendered us speechless with his low notes and Nishiyama confirmed his talent with each note he delivered, Nakamura and Nogami‘s high notes and falsetto were the cherry on top of the cake, the ones that in the end made us conclude that this unit is going to be threat to every single unit out there. If their instrumentals continue to be as high quality as these ones and their vocals keep improving, it will be easy to overcome all of Tsukipro‘s units and maybe, just maybe, go head to head with both Rejet and Elements Garden‘s powerhouse seiyuu units.

The birth of a great seiyuu unit is here for everyone to read/listen. A strong contender for best single in the second half of 2016 (poll will open in December).

Believer -Inori-” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Solids Series Quell "Believer -Inori-" / Drama CD (Shunsuke Takeuchi, Kotaro Nishiyama, Shugo Nakamura, Sho Nogami)
Drama CD (Shunsuke Takeuchi, Kotaro Nishiyama, Shugo Nakamura, Sho Nogami)

 

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