|Album Title:||flamma idola|
|Release Date:||May 31, 2017|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, iTunes|
|01. flamma idola||Yousei Teikoku||4:14|
|02. Birodo Papilio||Yousei Teikoku||3:16|
|03. Naikan Uchu Shisha no Yurikago||Yousei Teikoku||3:32|
|04. flamma idola (Instrumental)||Yousei Teikoku||4:14|
|05. Birodo Papilio (Instrumental)||Yousei Teikoku||3:16|
|06. Naikan Uchu Shisha no Yurikago (Instrumental)||Yousei Teikoku||3:32|
Review: Yousei Teikoku’s first opener for Future Diary, titled Kuusou Mesologie, showcased their gothic rock complete with soaring, ominous choruses and shredding electric guitars to fit the anime’s tense, horror vibes. This song gave me a taste for what the band offered. It wasn’t eye-openingly impressive nor did it shake up my playlist, but it was good enough to unseat acts like ALI PROJECT in my eyes.
5 years later and not much has changed. Yousei Teikoku continued to perform songs for anime like Tokyo ESP and Big Order. With 20 years of history under their belts, they’ve released a single, flamma idola, to celebrate. In listening to it, there are no surprises, no innovations. Just the same sort of gothic rock that’s been their mainstay for all these years.
“Flamma idola’s” introduction brings to mind past works like “Astral Dogma,” what with the ominous chants reaching a fevered pitch before the electric guitars and drums charge in with full fury. While the riffs and energy that drive the song is momentous enough to create a spectacle, it’s Yui’s delivery that turns the spectacle into something impressive.
I was enthralled by how deftly Yui navigates the lyrics as she launches into her singing. She moves at such a hectic pace that it’s a marvel that the phrases don’t jumble together. The resulting effect draws you into the zone, leaving you hypnotized by the experience.
As the song continues, there is a bridge that supplies a hideous sound followed by electric guitar shredding accompanied by discombobulated chants to mix things up a bit. But the full force of Yui’s singing is the front and center showcase and “flamma idola” rides that through to end on a very decisive note.
“Flamma idola” follows that up with “Birodo Papilio” a song that strides in menacingly with each step powered by the rhythm guitar amidst a backdrop of screeching electric guitar. Yui’s singing, while dominating in “flamma idola”, takes on a more disembodied, mystical turn that alternates between pleading and outright rage. The song’s bipolar nature creates a dissonance that leaves one uneasy, and the abrupt ending only serves to drive that unsettling feeling home.
Finally, we come to “Naikan Uchuu Shisha no Yurikago” which, after a series of fits and starts, settles into a driving tempo that features stanzas where Yui gets to show off her dextrous delivery. There’s a soaring lilt added here and there as well as some deliberate phrasing, but overall, it’s not as engaging as the other tracks. Absent seductive, hypnotizing effects or oddball chants, and the song becomes a balloon of pure energy that doesn’t get quite the lift it needs to stand out. For Yousei Teikoku, this song is the very definition of “standard fare”.
For a decidedly non-fan of Yousei Teikoku, flamma idola represented an opportunity to shake up my playlist with something outside my usual repertoire. Gothic rock is that and while I’m glad to have sampled them, their type of artistry isn’t enough to keep them on my playlist. This shouldn’t be taken as an indictment, just an acknowledgement that, at the end of the day, gothic rock isn’t up my alleyway.
But if it is, hey, you can catch Yousei Teikoku at Otakon this August.