GRANRODEO “BEASTFUL” (Review)

GRANRODEO have mastered the art of entertaining their listeners with every single release of theirs, and “BEASTFUL“, single that caters to both their metal and funk-rock fans, isn’t an exception.

Regular edition

Title: BEASTFUL
Release date: 11/07/2018
Label: Lantis 
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1. BEASTFUL
2. アサメシマエのヤサシイセカイ
3. BEASTFUL (OFF VOCAL)
4. アサメシマエのヤサシイセカイ (OFF VOCAL)

Track by track analysis:

1. BEASTFUL

GRANRODEO change gears from their hardrock/synth-rock in “Deadly Drive” by bringing heavier instrumentalization to the table. “BEASTFUL” covers all bases with groovy double-bassed drums, aggressive guitar riffs, with an alternative metal touch, and an exciting bass line. From its very start, “BEASTFUL” shows that it is a top tier song by GRANRODEO. The intro immediately catches the listener’s attention with its dark melody and slow paced guitar licks introducing a eerie and airy dimension to this tune. However, the instrumental doesn’t say as ethereal and quiet as the first part of the intro hints at. There are plenty of tempo changes, all essential to make this song all the more exciting and dynamic. The intro has a mix of slow to a bustling fast paces whereas the verses are slow and melodic, perfect for KISHOW‘s vocals to take the spotlight. Then we find the explosive chorus in which exciting guitar riffs and fast paced drums lead the way, perfect to make the listener headbang along to it. Lastly, e-ZUKA‘s full throttle guitar solo that raises the tension, taking the song to whole other level.

Vocally, KISHOW sounds as best as ever, breathing emotion to the track through his vibrato-ed mid-tones and powerful falsetto. “BEASTFUL” gets more interesting and exciting with each listen. 5/5

2. アサメシマエのヤサシイセカイ

Asameshi mae no yasashii sekai” feels as a continuation to that playful mix of traditional and rock music of “move on! Ibara michi” (released in 2017). Safe to say that gears have changed for this tune as we’re presented with funky guitar licks, splashy mid-tempo drums and more noticeable bass work. Although GRANRODEO excel in making hit hardrock tunes, it’s with their incursions to jazz and funk (or at least the insertion of elements from both genres in their music) that we get to see a different dimension to the band’s sound. Toned down, groovier rock tunes by GRANRODEO are always a fun listen, filled of little details and interesting melodies.

Auto-tune seldom improves one’s performance and sounds too unnatural. Thankfully, for this song, there’s very little of it, or it would have hindered the overall flow of the song. How KISHOW smoothly goes higher on the his vocal scale makes his performance incredibly tasteful, bringing not only those flawless high notes of his but also his delicate falsetto into the mix. Listen to this instrumental and let yourself be embraced by this laidback, fun summer-y rock tune. 5/5

Final rating:

BEASTFUL” is a return to GRANRODEO‘s hardrock fueled music. As with everything GRANRODEO releases, this single is filled with exciting guitar riffs, powerful and technical drumming (this time around bringing the goodness of double-bass into the mix), and their groovy bass lines that are always a treat.

BEASTFUL” embraces alternative metal, with this being especially noticeable in the guitar work by e-ZUKA, channeling a bit of Metallica with each riff and lick. The fact that this track is devoid of synths makes it sound rawer and grittier than most the songs on the last two releases which isn’t an improvement but a change of pace. Why do I mention that that’s not an improvement? Because GRANRODEO have mastered the art of entertaining their listeners with every single release of theirs, and it doesn’t matter the music genre they play.

The coupling song, “Asameshi mae no yasashii sekai” could have been part of the tracklist for “move on! Ibara michi” and people wouldn’t have notice anything strange about it. There are some parallels between both songs, especially when you get that characteristical traditional vibe from the instrumental that was a trademark in “move on! Ibara michi“. Parallels aside, “Asameshi mae no yasashii sekai” is a polar opposite of “BEASTFUL“, sounding softer, more melodic, ultimately being a simple entertaining tune to brighten up your day. For some, having “BEASTFUL” and “Asameshi mae no yasashii sekai” in the same release will sound odd, for us though, it sounds like a natural transition, this clash of vibes, one heavier and the other more laidback, is something in which GRANRODEO excels – making contrasting songs work well together.

Vocally, KISHOW keeps performing with outstanding quality and consistency. One minute he’s bringing all power and aggression to a song, the other he’s impressing you with his technicality, mainly through the use of vibrato and falsetto. There’s nothing much we can add to the long list of compliments we’ve been giving him year after year. He’s a stunning vocalist and a powerful frontman, that is a given.

It seems that lately – basically in the past year – GRANRODEO have been exploring jazz and funk, incorporating elements of it in their compositions, as we can ascertain by listening to “move on! Ibara michi“, “Deadly Drive“, “Glorious Days“, and now “BEASTFUL“. Ballads have disappeared from their singles, replaced by jazz or funk-rock tunes, all of those embracing blues or funk influences, contrasting with the usual hardrock title tracks. This opened the doors for more creativity from the band, as ballads tend to follow the same formula and jazz or funk are more improvisational and open to craftier melodies.

As a whole, “BEASTFUL” is an ecletic release that caters at both hardrockers and casual fans in the same amounts. It’s entertaining and fun, another flawless entry in GRANRODEO‘s repertoire.

BEASTFUL” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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