Gaku Oguro “hematite” (Review)

The 11th entry in VAZZROCK‘s bi-color series brought passionate performances and a fancy blend of rock and acoustic, all in order to impress the listener.

Title: 大黒 岳-hematite- 
Label: Tsukipro/Movic
Release date: 28/12/2018
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1 - DRAMA「勝手知ったる、俺とお前」
2 - DRAMA「予言者の騙し討ち」
3 - DRAMA「あの日握った掌の熱を、今でもずっと覚えてる」
4 - BREAKING THE WORLD!!
5 - アルカナの旅路 
6 - BREAKING THE WORLD!! -off vocal-
7 - アルカナの旅路 -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

4 – BREAKING THE WORLD!!

We kick off this release with BREAKING THE WORLD!!. Dirty guitar riffs, heavy drums and a reverberating bass line are at the heart of this high-throttle song. Verses are fast paced and with focus on in its rawness. Behind Issa‘s solo release, this is one of the heaviest songs in this first season of the bi-color series. There are some grunge and industrial rock influences in this instrumental, namely the distant, effect-heavy guitar licks in the bridge. The song as a whole flows extremely well, making the best out of its power while taking it to the next level without being heavy just for the sake of being. or sounding over simplistic. On the vocal end, Masumoto gave his best performance so far in the VAZZROCK franchise. His mid-to-low vocals do enough to impact the listener. He’s got good control over his tone and is able to add a lot of emotion and energy o this song. Fantastic way to kick off this release. 5/5

5 – アルカナの旅路

For the first time in this franchise, we welcome baroque pop. Arcana no tabiji has a unique, picturesque soundscape that envelops the listener right from the start. The pacing is slow, perfect to make acoustic guitars and wind instruments shine. What unfolds before our ears is something tasteful.

On the vocal end, Takuya Masumoto and Keisuke Koumoto show off their chemistry. Both vocals are on the same range but they still complement each other. Masumoto dives a bit on his lower register whereas Koumoto brings to the table a simpler, mid register that sounds delicate yet with a bit of power in it. This song is an interesting addition to this franchise and a complete surprise in this bi-color series. Stunning work. 5/5

Final rating:

The 11th entry in the bi-color series – hematite – brings to the table exciting things, some of those new to itself.

BREAKING THE WORLD!! brought back the fast paced, gritty rock that we’ve found, early on, in some of the entries in the series but with a darker, yet simpler twist to it. Arcana no tabiji introduced baroque pop to this franchise. Although the genre is fairly commonly used on Tsukipro’s works, this is the first time we find it in the VAZZROCK franchise. After such a powerful song, it was a tasteful change of pace that added depth to this release as well as to this franchise.

Vocally we can’t stress enough how great Masumoto sounds. His vocals are among the best in ROCK DOWN and he continues showing his cards with each performance. In Arcana no tabiji his vocals flew naturally throughout the song. Koumoto also impressed with a solid performance-.

hematite is, undoubtedly, ranked as one of the best releases in the bi-color series. These two opposite songs in both sorority and theme, plus the solid vocals and fancy instrumentals make this release well worth your while.

大黒 岳-hematite- is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

"VAZZROCK" bi-color Series / Gaku Oguro (Takuya Masumoto) & Ruka Nazumi (Keisuke Komoto)
Gaku Oguro (Takuya Masumoto) & Ruka Nazumi (Keisuke Komoto)

 

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Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Currently based in Macau SAR. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely dedicate herself to writing about male seiyuu music.