Monday, April 03, 2017

CD Review :: GRANRODEO - Karma to Labyrinth

CD

CD + DVD

1) Blue Pandora Box
2) silence
3) Hengenjizai no Magical Star
4) Volcano
5) DARK SHAME
6) baby bad boy
7) The Other self
8) Sakurairo Dai 2 Botan
9) Henai no Rondo
10) Zetchou Poison
11) Pink Phantom
12) wonder color
13) DAWN GATE

Karma to Labyrinth is GRANRODEO's 6th album & it was released 3 years ago on 24th Sept .

4 singles & 3 B-sides are included in Karma to Labyrinth .

1 video was made for both Blue Pandora Box + silence together in which the video shares the same name as the album title .

It was a wise choice for GRANRODEO to make a video for Blue Pandora Box + silence together as both songs are in synch with each other , melody wise .

On its own , the opening album track Blue Pandora Box is a short yet gothic haunting theme which frankly should have been much longer but it flows very well when it jumps straight to silence which's a no nonsense straight up upbeat song .

Hengenjizai no Magical Star is GRANRODEO's 21st single & it was used as the opening theme song for the Kuroko's Basketball anime .

Song wise , I only find Hengenjizai no Magical Star ok for my liking but the video amps up the amusing quirky side of things .

Volcano is the 3rd album track & this's 1 of my favourite songs in Karma to Labyrinth as it's an extremely addictive song .

Also , Volcano left an impression on me when I went to see GRANRODEO performed at BREAKERZ 10 Shunen 10ban Shoubu -VS- in January as back then , I wasn't familiar with the album tracks from Karma to Labyrinth & the live take of the song was something I really enjoyed a lot .

DARK SHAME is GRANRODEO's 18th single & this was used as the opening theme song for the Code:Breaker anime .

When I was listening to the duo's singles discography , DARK SHAME was a song that really caught my attention as it's an aggressive track that has a really cool synch beat to boot .

baby bad boy was originally included as the 1st B-side in GRANRODEO's 20th single The Other self (used as the opening theme song for the Kuroko's Basketball anime) & this was used as the opening theme song for Playstation 3 Super Robot Taisen OG INFINITE BATTLE game .

Also , it just so happens that The Other self follows suit after that in the album tracklist as well .

Both songs are very different as The Other self is a fun jovial song which's actually the 1st GRANRODEO song title I know/listened while baby bad boy is a rather moody dark track .

Sakurairo Dai 2 Botan was originally included as the 2nd B-side in GRANRODEO's 19th single Henai no Rondo (used as the opening theme song for the Karneval anime) & just like the previous 2 songs , Henai no Rondo is the next track .

Just like The Other self & baby bad boy , Henai no Rondo & Sakurairo Dai 2 Botan contrast each other well .

Henai no Rondo has an interesting circus burlesque type of theme melody wise while Sakurairo Dai 2 Botan is a mid tempo song & compared with the rest of the tracks in Karma to Labyrinth , this's the closest no. that can be considered a ballad in the album .

Zetchou Poison was originally included as the 1st B-side in GRANRODEO's 21st single Hengenjizai no Magical Star .

Just like Volcano , Zetchou Poison left a rather big impression on me as GRANRODEO performed these 2 tracks in BREAKERZ 10 Shunen 10ban Shoubu -VS- .

On whole , Zetchou Poison is a really wild song that has dynamic great guitar riffs & the melody is through the roof which makes things so fun to boot .

Pink Phantom & wonder color are the next 2 album tracks and they're also the slightly weak links in Karma to Labyrinth as they took me quite a considerable amount of time to remember .

In this case , Pink Phantom is a rather straightforward upbeat song while for wonder color , it has quite an old school melody . Both are still worthy of a listen or 2 but they're quite overshadowed by the other album tracks in Karma to Labyrinth .

DAWN GATE is the final album track in Karma to Labyrinth & this was originally included as the 2nd B-side in GRANRODEO's 20th single The Other self .

In The Other self , it's tagged as DAWN GATE "Unfinished" & it's 5:15 mins long . In the album , it's 9:50 mins long ie. nearly twice as long & also the longest track in Karma to Labyrinth .

When I saw just how long DAWN GATE was in the tracklist , I was dumbfounded initially but this's 1 song that takes time to appreciate as it's 1/2 haunting orchestra driven & 1/2 full out rock and I feel it's a fitting way to conclude the album .

Overall , GRANRODEO's Karma to Labyrinth on whole is a record I enjoy substantially . Compared with the duo's latest album Pierrot Dancin' , their last album is a lot more darker , moody & complex .

Between both albums , Karma to Labyrinth strengths is that it has great long opening & closing songs and despite the length , I don't feel bored in listening to Blue Pandora Box + silence and DAWN GATE as the melodies for the 3 songs are good .

Also because I didn't listened to the duo's singles' B-sides (but I did with their latest single Glorious days) , I wasn't particular nit pick on the fact that 3 B-sides are included in the album as the ones that made the cut , I like them especially Zetchou Poison & DAWN GATE .

On the other hand , the weakness that Karma to Labyrinth has is the sound consistency as 1 moment the mood is dark while the next it's happy go lucky . I would have preferred if the songs were categorised more properly because it does somehow break the momentum in trying to like the album a lot more .

Other than that , I feel that both Karma to Labyrinth & Pierrot Dancin' are equally good albums which gives off very different vibes . Each has its own strengths/weakness but all in all , I might consider to listen to GRANRODEO's past albums in the near future .

It took me quite a long time to get onboard GRANRODEO's music seeing that they've been in the business for so long but I guess it's better to be late than never .



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Karen Pang

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# My music blog consists of JPop/Rock singles & albums reviews that I put my heart , efforts & soul into writing them as I'm disgusted with the way that JPop/Rock music is being treated/written/reviewed in Singapore so to the local media (yes you TEENS , Teenage Magazine & The Strait Times) , screw you all . I basically can write better JPop/Rock reviews , period

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