Sel'm - Roido

review - 23.05.2008 22:00

The latest single from Sel'm proves they aren't just another visual kei band.

Roido is Sel'm's latest single, though they've released a mini-album and an album in the year since this release. If you have your doubts about Sel'm - whether they're just another mediocre visual kei band - this single should answer your question: Sel'm has got "it."

As soon as it starts, Roido will ensnare you with its catchy beat and Tsubaki's guitar riff. There are some interesting rhythm changes before Tora launches into the first verse with hostile, angsty vocals that never lose their melodic smoothness. The refrain itself is the jewel of the album, and it’s where Tora establishes himself as exceptionally talented and utterly entertaining. His vocals are stronger and higher in the refrain, giving the feeling that his voice is gliding through the sky. This is followed by some darkly stylish guitars, and from this point on it seems MANJ''s drumming changes constantly, but his parts are consistently engaging. When the song ends after four and a half minutes, you'll probably be wishing they'd included another round of that stunning refrain.

The second track, gibberish, opens with a heavy sound which is broken up by a softer moment that highlights some light jazzy bass from Takuma. The lead-in to the bridge shows a dramatic change in vocals for Tora, whose singing previously was softer during the verses. Here both the vocals and guitar shift in perfect time, becoming suddenly dark and ominous. In contrast, the chorus is surprisingly light and beautiful, the vocals soaring in an uplifting way, occasionally going into falsetto. The real treat of the song is a brief moment before the lead-in to the second chorus, when Tora turns his sung note into a scream just as the instruments drop out.

As the song progresses, MANJ''s drumming becomes an attention grabber, especially towards the end. All in all, gibberish has that trademark schizophrenia style that seems popular among younger visual kei bands lately, switching from light to ominous to jazzy to angry. The constantly shifting style may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it could grow on you; the individual parts are all well executed, and Tora's vocals create a welcoming dream world you won't want to leave. For that reason, this song really is worth the time it might take to adjust to the mood changes throughout it.

If the two songs on this single are anything to go by, Sel'm has got it all: their sound is original, complex, catchy and moving. The appeal of the album and of Sel'm’s sound in general may be mainly attributed to their vocalist. Even when singing violently, his voice, like a graceful predator, never loses its melodic smoothness. In that sense, it seems no other name than "tora," which means "tiger," could be more suitable for him. Combining those powerful, agile vocals to the different areas in the songs that spotlight the guitar and bass, plus consistently interesting drum play from MANJ', this single will have you hooked on the band as soon as you hear it.
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