Disqualia - Over the Destruction

review - 22.04.2016 01:01

IBUKI makes her belated entrance into 'girls' metal' with a formidable new band.

With the explosion in the number of female vocalists active in Japanese metal over the last decade, it’s understandable that most have yet to receive the recognition they deserve. Less understandable is the case of IBUKI. Despite having recorded with CROSS VEIN and Rie a.k.a. Suzaku as well as fronting her own band Around the Nation, she’s yet to attain anything close to the global renown enjoyed by the likes of FUKI and Her Highness Yui. Disqualia, a band IBUKI formed in August 2015 with two ex-DESTROSE members, may be the project to finally change that.

Over the Destruction’s title track makes a good first impression, hitting the ground running with a meaty opening riff from co-lead guitarists Narumi and Hazuki. IBUKI’s first appearance is less reassuring, however, due to the heavy use of some robotic vocal effects. Consequently, it can be hard to make out what she’s singing, even though both verses are in English. Momentarily, it looks as though the whole song may be a misfire, but such fears are soundly dispelled by an excellent chorus. Switching the vocoder off, IBUKI gives full vent to her natural earthy timbre. The robotic vocals resume for the second verse, but the mellow bridge and a succession of surprisingly equalitarian solos come to the rescue.

Like all good B-sides, Engrave succeeds in complementing Over the Destruction without overshadowing it. As a much more formulaic piece of power metal, the song’s chorus lacks the impact of the A-side’s, but thanks to the absence of IBUKI’s robotic vocal effects, it doesn’t need such a superb piece of songwriting to redeem it.

You can never make too many assumptions about a band’s prospects based solely on a debut single, but vocal effects aside, Over the Destruction gives great cause for optimism regarding Disqualia’s future. It remains to be seen if the band will be run along the same lines as Around the Nation, for whom IBUKI wrote all music and lyrics as she did here, or whether her bandmates will also have creative input. The inclusion of Narumi’s composition Eutopia in Disqualia’s live set lists may point to the latter.

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