Aldious - Female Warrior / Nostalgic / fragile

review - 03.01.2017 19:01

Aldious's latest single offers a succinct musical overview of the band's recent career.

Aldious today are a markedly different band from the quintet who opened the doors of commercial success for Japan’s all-female metal bands back in 2010. Forced into a change of frontwoman back in 2012, the band's sound has since shifted from rough-edged melodic power metal to a kind of middle ground straddling metal, rock and pop. Their recent triple A-side single Female Warrior / Nostalgic / fragile provides a remarkably succinct synopsis of Re:NO's tenure thus far.

Despite having once been the standard bearers of the “girls’ metal” movement, it's fair to say Aldious haven't exactly churned out much metal of late. In fact, just over half the tracks on 2015 album Radiant A were of a metallic nature. Such thoughts may’ve been on guitarist Yoshi’s mind while writing Female Warrior, because it’s the heaviest song the band have recorded since RAMI left. With its scorching intro and liberal lashing of shred, this fiery number is a potent reminder that Aldious are still a very capable metal outfit.

Where Female Warrior stands for the heady days of Re:NO’s debut on District Zero, Nostalgic represents the sometimes-awkward mingling of metal with other influences that characterized 2014’s Dazed and Delight. With her background in pop and rock, Re:NO has never been predisposed to singing in the kind of sonorous register broadly favored by metal vocalists, and to their credit, her bandmates never seem to have pushed her to. The downside of this is songs like Nostalgic, where Yoshi and Toki’s heavy riffing never quite meshes with their frontwoman’s smooth vocal delivery.

fragile, by contrast, is one of a handful of Aldious songs where Re:NO feels truly in her element. Usually written by the woman herself, these songs mostly fall outside the realms of metal. In this case, Re:NO and co-composer ShinYMG took a stab at creating Aldious’ first true power ballad. Boasting cello-drenched choruses and howling guitar lines, there’s more than a whiff of Diane Warren’s work about it, and should help to redeem Re:NO’s songwriting cred among fans who still feel sore over die for you.

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