girugamesh – gravitation

review - 01.11.2014 11:01

girugamesh continue to perfect the style formulated on 2013's Monster.

Shortly after their European tour and the release of the compilation LIVE BEST, girugamesh were back in the studio to record the brand new mini-album gravitation.

The first song Go ahead starts with a slow intro-like arrangement with a light electronic framework and Satoshi's calm voice. Then, Nii slowly adds some rather tranquil guitar chords, but the song quickly develops into a hard rock tune. There are also digital elements, kept mostly in the background, only breaking through at breaks between verses. Growls and shouts interrupt the melody at will during the verses, but let up for the catchy chorus. The track's pace changes constantly; calm sections mix freely with rocking guitar riffs, electronic effects and Satoshi's sometimes clear, sometimes violent vocals. It’s as if girugamesh wanted to present the full range of its abilities into just one song.

After Go ahead's smooth outro, title track gravitation opens with Ryo's vigorous drumming, accompanied by a clear rock arrangement. Then, the appearance of Satoshi's voice takes the song up a gear, mixing strong shouts with clean vocals in typical girugamesh fashion. Ryo drives the song forward constantly, with Nii and Shuu providing a solid and rocking framework, while Satoshi's voice still has room to shine. He uses much of his range, reaching high notes, then shouting with a powerful vibe. All in all, gravitation is a typically melodious girugamesh song that will be absolutely great for lives - perfect for dancing, singing and jumping along to. It also resembles some of the band’s older works, because of the limited space given to the digital elements in the song.

Third track Not Found quickly became my favorite on this mini-album. Clearly in the style of Monster, the song starts out powerful, then eases off a bit, picking up the pace once more during the first verse and bridge. Eventually, it breaks into powerful shouts that lead into a catchy chorus, making the listener want to shout along. Distinctive guitar riffs interact with electronic tunes, while clear vocals do battle with deep shouts. Halfway through, the song seems to develop into a more aggressive piece, but suddenly takes off in a whole different direction. For a few seconds, Satoshi's voice and the keyboards are all that can be heard, before the catchy chorus drops back in. Not Found is definitely an interesting listen.

reflection begins powerfully with guitars, followed by a short rap intermixed with deep growls. The song then proceeds in a more melodic direction, only disrupted by short shouts here and there. Changing the tempo yet again after the chorus, girugamesh make sure the listener won’t get bored. This song is a perfect snapshot of the band's present style and abilities, blending a hard rock base with electronic tunes that’ve become a prominent feature of their recent work. The general feeling of reflection is vigorous and somewhat dark, but not to the point of depressive, and is sure to have fans head-banging at lives.

Speaking of head-banging at concerts, Vortex seems to be the perfect choice for this. Again its a powerful track again, sweeping the listener away with aggressive guitars and drums right from the start, using more shouts than all the previous songs. Satoshi also sings in a more distinctive way throughout, making sure to keep it dynamic all the time. But for a very short pause around the midway point, when the aggressive melody make way for a calm interlude, the listener is allowed no time to pause for breath. Surely, this powerful metal tune will be another great choice for lives to make girugamesh's fans go wild.

In conclusion, this release is most distinctive by its changes in style and pace. Even if played on a loop for a long period, it doesn’t get boring. With every run-through, the listener is able to discover more and more details in the five songs, all of them boasting a rich variety of sounds. Picking up where 2013‘s Monster left off, gravitation is a great record that shows girugamesh continuing to perfect their current favorite style.

gravitation was released on September 24th.
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