HEAVENS are back with a new single, “不滅のインフェルノ” (Fumetsu no inferno) brings back the group’s energetic and theatrical performances that fans have been so excited about since their debut.
Title: 不滅のインフェルノ Release date: 28/12/2016 Label: Broccoli Genre: J-Pop
1 - 不滅のインフェルノ 2 - HE★VENLY PARADE
Track by track analysis:
1 – 不滅のインフェルノ
Fumetsu no inferno is a rather peculiar track, something that doesn’t have a match in the Utapri universe. It is dark, edgy, and rather slow in comparison with their previous tracks or any of the Utapri units’ tracks for this season. This is something that the other units don’t even dare to touch or try. Fumetsu no Inferno is dark to the core, all thanks to the dirty synths, dubstep percussion and eerie piano melody and some strings to complete the instrumentalization. And while the instrumental piece might give off a mighty aura, the vocal performance sadly doesn’t come close to that (not that it’s bad in any way, it just lacks in feeling). This track demands a dramatic performance, its instrumental piece was already hinting that way and knowing the group, that was exactly what everyone was expecting – some over-the-top, dramatic performance. We got that in some way, as we all know, HEAVENS are a pretty big group and opportunities to shine, plus showcase individual talents are scarce. Overall the track only lacked in the vocal execution. 4.5/5
2 – HE★VENLY PARADE
Bright synths lead the way in this mid-tempo tune, a track that has a similar structure to “Heavens Gate” (especially in the chorus). Keeping things simple, this tracks’ instrumental still has a load of synths leading the way, the only difference in their overall power they bring to the overall feel of the instrumental track. The instrumental aims to be ethereal in some way – thing it achieves in the bridge -, other than that it’s just a textbook bubblegum pop track that could have been easily sang by STARISH. Vocally it’s impossible to point out anyone that has standout in any way. The singing isn’t good nor it’s bad, it just doesn’t impress in any way. 3.5/5
The chemistry between members is still a bit awkward. The vocal parts are often weird sounding, especially when it comes to the pairing of members throughout the song. HEAVENS, although initially a powerful group, rooted on heavy synth-oriented melodies and groovy takes on the lyrics has somewhat morphed into a generic pop group, even more generic when we talk about them in the UtaPri universe. We know that they are indeed theatrical, but we seldom ever listen to their successful attempts at using that to their advantage. When there’s no theatricality around the unit completely falls into the “bland pop” pit, that spot in which everyone sounds the same.
Vocally the unit still has some rough spots to polish – mainly due to Hikaru Midorikawa’s exquisite vocal tone that doesn’t mix well with anyone else; Daisuke Ono’s excessive nasalization – something he doesn’t do that often on his solo work-, and Tsubasa Yonaga’s overly high pitched vocals that make some parts of the song a bit hard to digest. Other than that, this unit has potential to grow and perform on a better and more consistent level, especially on a vocal level.
With that being said, this unit needs a major revamp (and we don’t mean another lineup change) and start to work on their strengths and improve their weaknesses in order to sound even remotely impressive. That is, if ELEMENTS GARDEN is interested in making this unit sound any good in the future.
“Fumetsu no inferno” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.