IBUKI - Rise / We are No.1

review - 03.23.2018 20:01

Singer-songwriter IBUKI keeps us guessing with her debut solo release.

It’s often hard not to be impressed by the tenacity of some Japanese metal musicians, and singer-songwriter IBUKI has been more tenacious than most. Having spent almost a decade moving from band to band, with plenty of session work in between, in July last year, she finally decided to try her luck solo. Her debut double A-side single Rise / We are No.1 dropped in November.

Rise opens in a remarkably similar fashion to concentration, the hard-to-find 2014 album by IBUKI’s previous band Around the Nation. Musically, the song is an unrelenting blitzkrieg of racing synths and scorching guitar lines, with the latter being played by Kaz of Vorchaos. The only sin it commits is the anticlimactic outro, as it fades out just as Kaz is embarking on another solo.

By contrast, We are No.1 is far more reflective of IBUKI’s work with Disqualia. Although there are still synthesizers in abundance, and Kaz’s riff work is less flashy, the track is much more guitar-driven. As such, any headbangers will be at a far reduced risk of giving themselves whiplash trying to keep pace. Furthermore, IBUKI has the good grace not to cut to give the song a proper ending.

With her full-length album ExMyself set for release in June this year, it remains to be seen whether the synth-laced melodic rock of Around the Nation or the chugging heavy metal of Disqualia will be a greater influence on IBUKI’s solo output. Then again, she might do what she’s done before and go in another direction entirely. Still, whichever route she takes, fans can be assured the music will always be underpinned by the same earthy voice.

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