Year 4, Day 7: Wagakki Band – Yasouemaki
- Sen -ikusa-
- Perfect Blue
- Kou -HAGANE-
- Fuurin no Utautai
- Kyoushuu no Sora
- Akatsuki no Ito
- Nadeshiko Sakura
- Hangeki no Ha
- Hana Furumai
- Chikyuu Saigo no Kokuhaku wo
About the Album
Yasouemaki is the second studio album from J-Rock band, Wagakki Band. The album was released September 2nd 2015 through the record label Avex Trax. Sen -ikusa- was featured in Koei-Tecmo‘s Samurai Warriors 4-II and Hangeki no Ha was the theme for the live action series of the anime, Attack on Titan.
Thoughts on the Album
Where to begin, where to begin with today’s album. When I originally heard the track Sen -ikusa- in Koei-Tecmo‘s Samurai Warriors 4-II, I knew I needed to hear more. And it led me to this album, Yasouemaki. The album’s musicianship and production is clean, tight, and over-the-top.
I feel like a little background info on the band couldn’t hurt here. Wagakki Band is an eight piece band that fuses VOCALOID music with what is called wagakki, or traditional Japanese musical instruments and western rock and roll.
That bit of info out of the way, back to the album. The album opens with Sen -ikusa- a track that hits hard, fast, and loud. It’s imbued with a delirious energy that doesn’t stop until the last second. The bassist’s riffs and composition fuse a perfect sense of balance between the traditional sounds and modern influences.
Of course, Sen –ikusa- isn’t the track on the album that has this balance. Hoshizukiyo, Hanabi, and Hana Furumai all strike this balance between traditional and modern. To a lesser extent, Hangeki no Ha has this balance. Showing great promise early in the track, it never quite lives up to its fullest potential. The chorus changes gear and devolves into a standard rock formula. But, what saves this track is the guitar solo. Holy crap does it kick it into sixth gear fast and saves the track from being a complete loss. But, however, the guitar solo can’t save the track from living up to it’s potential. It’s still one of my favorite tunes off the album though despite this.
Yasouemaki takes over where Wagakki Band‘s previous album left off, but builds on it by adding diversity. The former was pure rock with an occasional ballad, this album has tracks that have a softer edge to them.
I’ve never really been into J-Rock and I’m still not. But Wagakki Band is the lone exception, because of this album. This album has almost everything: hard rockers, fast paced, uptempo tracks, and slower midtempo tracks that balance out the album. The album is a perfect balance between traditional Japanese musical elements and Western rock.