se review

Apples and Failures

Here I am with the weekly time-travel in “Throwback Thursday”! Today’s subject is the first full album by the visual metal band Scapegoat, entitled「Dekisokonai」no「Ringo」(Apple of failure) and released on 1st April 2015. It can be surely considered a musical introduction for them, because this release exalts the most important traits of their concept, which are the introspection and dark feelings, driven by their peculiar sound. And now… let’s review!

-SE: the album starts up with a short SE, where a melodious piano opens the melody, followed up by creepier and more macabre tones, with electronic effects and a distorted atmosphere, making quite clear to understand what will be this album’s style.

-Akai Bathroom (Red bathroom) [obsessing love]: the lead track of their tenth single is started by Haru’s obscure vocals, leading up to a powerful and disquieting metal sound, greatly helped by screamo and distorted guitar riffs; a decent song. —> 8.5/10

-Scrap Girl [dead feelings]: the main track of this album is driven by a strong rhythm, with macabre tones and Haru’s harsh vocals, all developed in a fast and quite enjoyable metal sound. —> 8.5/10

-Samishigariya no bindume shoujo (A young and lonely girl in a bottle) [a love which closes the way for the world]: exclusively featured in the regular edition of the album, this song is introduced by a creepy guitar, for a fast dark metal theme, where Haru sings in the most bizarre tones; note for the interesting bass an drum interlude, which makes this song more interesting. —> 9/10

-Count D[a]wn [there’s a reason for living, if it is painful?]: released on the eighth single, this song creates a different reaction, since it is opened by Haru’s warm vocals, accompained by a suadent guitar, evolving in an energetic and strong sound, where the voice suits immediately to the same; a song which goes live in this album, especially for the guitar solo. —> 9/10

-Tsubomi (Bud) [damned existence]: but the real exception is represented by this track, opened by a guitar which alternates soft and strong moments perfectly, for a more calming and compelling melody, where Haru’s voice, powerful and suggestive, is the best element of this overwhelming song. —> 9.5/10

-Kokyuu (Respiration) [anxiety for the death]: a balanced drumming opens another slow-paced rock theme, with a more nostalgical vibe this time, where tender vocals and a melodious guitar build a really good song. —> 9/10

-Youjo A -Hide and Seek- (Baby-girl A -Hide and Seek-) [child abuse]: an extreme guitar playing opens this song, turning back to an heavier and more macabre sound, with an aggressive rhythm and creepy vocals completing the whole thing, maintaining good the level of the album. —> 9/10

-Psycho na bansan (Psycho dinner) [madness and psychological delirium]: coming up from the eleventh single, this song features a stronger electronic component, in fast metal sound, with grotesque vibes; here Haru goes to sensual notes to clearer ones, exalting his own talent as singer; another good track by them. —> 9/10

-Rinne hajimemashita (I started playing in circle) [life which repeats in itself]: some breaths open the song, in an heavy and rapid metal theme, with piercing screamed parts, alternated with retrò interludes and brighter notes, for an unpredictable track, with a bit messy structure. —> 8/10

-Nemurenai boku no shumi (My sleepy habit) [night fears]: the lead track of the twelfth single is introduced by Haru’s electronic vocals, with a dark and well rhythmed sound; the vocal interpretation balances pretty well between aggressive and clear tones, for an enjoyable song. —> 8.5/10

- -666- [making our voice louder in a corrupted world]: the album ends up with an energetic and rhythmical rock track, featuring some electronic effects and more calming vocals by Haru, for a decent ending for this good release. —> 9/10

Final Vote —> 9/10

Scapegoat has been distinctive since the debut, occurred on 2009, with a creepy and shocking image, helped by a strong and unpredictable music and a psychological component, crucial for enjoying their songs more. In their first album, all the typical elements come out, from the heavy tones to the aggressive vocals, changing even in something softer and nostalgical in some cases, where the vocalist Haru shows an hint of what will be his maturation, seen in the following releases, surrounded even by a certain instrumental experience, provided by the other members. Now, after two years, this band grew more and more and they can surely prove it with their latest work, the single Boku to Kimi, no Shiawase (Me and you, happiness), released on 18th January 2017. An album for who needs to know better this obscure and engaging band, with all their unique shades.

That’s all folks! See you on the next post, which should have been the first part of January’s themed week, in “Lyrical Love”!

Thanks for the reading!

*Sorry for the delay*

Among the Stars - Resbang 2015

I am delighted to post my 2015 Resbang entry “Among the Stars” and share it with you!

Summary: Maka is in trouble again, but instead of the usual, it’s with pirates. When a ship crashes outside her in and she inherits a treasure map, Maka joins the unsavory crew of the Shibusen and falls under the supervision of the ship’s cook, Medusa. But a mutiny soon forces Maka to race to the treasure first. Treasure Planet AU

Pairing: gen (minor Stein/Marie)

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: canon compliant deaths, long-lasting injuries, fantasy danger, mild swearing

ffn / ao3 (coming soon)

I also STRONGLY urge you to check out the amazing art done for me by @tinycatsandfruitsnacks that can be found here!

I hope you enjoy!

MARY SAYS STUFF ABOUT :

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass book #5)

This is not a review per se, more like your truly’s thoughts and feelings about this book. This is SPOILER FREE - up until the last section, which I will put under a read more tab :)

You can find the Goodreads summary here.

Goodreads rating: 4.63

What even is life what am I going to do with myself for a year (!!!!!!) until the next (and last *cue all the sobs in the world*) book comes out?!? After that ending… holy baby Jesus. That was metal as fuck. The last fifty pages were an action packed punch in the gut. I can’t function. But let’s take it one thing at a time, shall we?

This was a fantastic set-up for the last book in the series. All of Sarah’s plot lines have converged together and arranged in a way that guarantees I will not survive next year, at least not without copious amounts of chocolate. Empire of Storms feels like a filler book in a way (which is somewhat normal, paving the way for the grand finale), but it carries enough weight to still matter. It delivers some amazing plot twists and I found myself gaping at the pages several times and even going back, rereading to see if what I had just read actually happened. I loved the nods given to the novellas and earlier books, and it really does show the greater picture that Sarah has woven since the beginning of the series. 

I found myself, once again, attached to the amazing female characters. Lysandra was epic from start to finish. I never would have anticipated such an amazing character arc for her and I am in awe of how wonderful, badass and kickass she is. I just have no words. Elide was another really pleasant surprise. I fell for her even more than I did in Queen of Shadows and, seeing how resourceful and smart and cunning she is, I absolutely adored her. Manon was a queen, as always, and she remains my favourite character in the story. I loved how Sarah was able to juggle so many different plots and character arcs and I think she did it masterfully. I never felt bored and I was honestly interested in all of them, which is quite a feat. And everything converged in the end in a way that made sense. The ending killed me. I had chills down my arms, which hasn’t happened to me in a while. I was staring in wonder and horror at the pages and just kept whispering “what is this no pls stop my heart why”.

The writing felt a bit choppy at times. It was fluid enough, though, that it didn’t affect my overall enjoyment, but I did notice quite a few repetitions of certain phrases (usually “male” related) that were a bit annoying. It wasn’t Sarah’s best written book, but it holds its own. The pace was a bit off for me - it started well enough for the first 200 pages and Manon’s chapters were out of this world good, but it seemed to lose momentum after a while. It picked up close to the ending, though, which has become, imo, Sarah’s trademark - emotional destruction packed up in the last few pages. (I’m still not over that ending)

Overall, it’s a good addition to the series and I urge you guys to pick it up as soon as possible. 

Favourite quotes:

“The world will be saved and remade by the dreamers.”

“Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will always love you.”

“You will find, Rolfe, that one does not deal with Celaena Sardothien. One survives her.”

★★★★

Now onto the spoiler part and why I gave it only 4 stars out of 5:

Keep reading