This is a rock-focused vocal album, with absolutely no electronic elements whatsoever! In fact, their website proudly claims 『Ultimate Rock、No Programming』. That’s nice, I guess.

Personally I don’t really care whether or not electronic aids are used when I’m listening to an album. I actually like it when there’s a fair amount of post-processing and synthesizers used, since they add a different touch to the album, and I think these things should be used in addition to traditional instruments. It’s nice to hear some traditional sounds once in a while though, so I don’t mind not having them either.

As for this circle, this would be the first album I’ve heard from them. It’s actually not all that bad, and has some good arrangement by Poppo, as well as some okay-ish vocalists. I don’t like the vocalists nearly as much since they feel kind of weak to me, but this is more of a personal preference thing.

Circle Name: 子猫奪回屋
Album Name: Varelser ~幻想音ノ羽集~

  1. Quiet Boundary
    A rather soothing arrangement of Necrofantasia, which is a nice change from all the high-energy remixes. Quite good as an intro track, though it’s a pity that it’s so short. Probably would have made a fine track on its own if it was longer.
  2. Bloody Rose ~闇と血の華~
    The rock starts here, with lots of electronic guitars and traditional drumming. Normally I don’t comment on how the instruments are played since I review mostly electronic stuff where that doesn’t really matter, but the instruments really do sound rather well-played in this. Drums do a good job of keeping the beat, while the electric guitar solo bits hold up fairly well. This is a duo vocal track, but it’s hard to tell since the the two vocalist Mint & Riryka sound pretty similar. The volume of the vocalists can be quite overpowering and tends to drown out the instruments at certain bits, which is a shame.
  3. フローズン・ファンタジー
    Segues in rather well from the previous track, and has a rather nice feel to it for most of the intro. The vocals by Riryka aren’t as bad in this one, though the volume issues remain. I’m not too fond of the modifications to the melody in this one, they don’t feel too well done and it causes unnatural breaks in the song. Nevertheless, the main portions of it are done relatively well. Drums remain pretty well done, while the guitar feels a bit weaker this time.
  4. 桜花に舞う
    Much better job with the guitar in this track, pulling off a rather nice intro. This is an off-vocal track, so the main focus is really just on the guitar for this song. While the playing certainly does sound impressive, it doesn’t do too good a job of carrying the main melody at most times, probably because it’s been modified far too much once again. The transitions between different portions sound extremely weak, and a simple fade-out ending is used as well, which disappoints me.
  5. 少女の栞
    Mint does the vocals for this track. I’m not really impressed with her, especially since she sounds extremely weak when carrying the main melody. I think it’s more of an issue with the composition of the song though, which feels somewhat off for the entire track. The only parts that feel natural in this are the guitar bits, which is really quite a telling sign that something’s wrong with the arrangement.
  6. Innocent madness
    This is a much better track, with a very soft-sounding arrangement of U.N. Owen. It’s always interesting to hear these types of remixes that run counter to the original song’s feel, since they tend to be either quite good or disastrously bad. Thankfully, this ends up being rather good. Would have liked to have more of this type of track in the album, especially since it seems like Poppo does a good job with this kind of stuff.
  7. answer
    Returns to the high-energy rock for this song, with dual vocals by Mint & Riryka again. Cosmic Mind suits the alternating vocals quite a fair bit, so it feels more natural in this track than in #2. Also seems to be more faithful to the original, with less modifications. This works out well, since whenever Poppo modifies the original significantly it ends up sounding much more sloppy and unnatural. Guitar does an excellent job in this one, and makes the off-vocal bits quite superb.

Apart from the vocals being too loud in most tracks, this is a relatively good album. It feels well-done overall, despite the hiccups present in some tracks. I think that most of those were due to an amateurish job on the arranging, so the parts where the original was followed closely were quite excellent.