At last our long awaited review is here. MIKOTO returns with stunning visuals and music in what is his comeback after two years of hiatus. Although “Akatsuki no Karma” has its fair share of good moments, it fails to top his best release to date.
Title: 暁のカルマ (Akatsuki no Karma) Label: 5pb records Release date: 16/11/2016 Genre: J-Rock
1 暁のカルマ 2 Aria -壊れそうな唄が奏でる世界- 3 暁のカルマ off vocal 4 Aria -壊れそうな唄が奏でる世界- off vocal
Track by track analysis:
1 – 暁のカルマ
The ethereal intro gives way to a full throttle rock song in which the slap bass is king. Verse after verse, MIKOTO raises the tension for the carefully put out instrumental piece we’re presented with. Strings mix with minimal synth pads and his trademark guitar and drums work. The build up for the chorus adds a lot of drama into the vocal performance, but the highlight is far from being that part. During the last chorus, the way he raises the bar with his vocals impressed us beyond words. The bridge is yet again a highlight, with a powerful speedy guitar solo leading to a quiet synth driven part, ending to the ending of this song in fancy fashion. Akatsuki no Karma managed to keep us entirely focused on it such is the excitement and richness of the song. 5/5
2 – Aria -壊れそうな唄が奏でる世界-
A melancholic piano melody leads the way to this emotional ballad. MIKOTO carefully performs this song adding some vibrato to give an extra bit of flavor to the song. Despite its almost acappella intro and first verse, the song quickly adds acoustic guitars, soulful bass, minimal snary drums and strings, all of this to enhance the listeners’ experience. If you pay enough attention you’ll notice brass just before the second chorus – it’s there in the background but adds a nice touch. Dramatic and grand in scale, this ballad is certainly one that will make an impact. If the instrumental and vocal performance weren’t enough, the melodic guitar solo in the bridge will certainly take a bit of your attention. On our end this song only lacks a bit of punch in the climax of the song to really render the listeners to a bigger emotional attachment to the song, other than that, it’s a top quality track from him. 4/5
Outside of his work with Rejet (Diabolik Lovers franchise, Scared Rider Xechs, Marginal #4, Lagrange Point and Unicorn Jr.), MIKOTO is a stunning and even more impressive composer. His songs might have some similarities between them since his debut (or even previous work) but he never fails to impress with new rhythms, new guitar solos, new takes on mixing instruments to add to his already trademarked sound. That’s what makes it easier for someone to spot his work.
“Akatsuki no Karma” marks his return to the music business after a long time absence. We couldn’t be more excited about this release as we are right now. In comparison with previous releases he has toned down a bit with the hardrock for both tracks, having endeavored through ballad territory with a certain depth. Aria -壊れそうな唄が奏でる世界- was a close to perfect power ballad, if only he had played a little bit with the listeners’ emotions it would have been perfect.
This single, although not his best to date, is still an interesting with a lot of good moments for his fans.
Akatsuki no Karma is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.