Kirito - Hakudou

review - 14.06.2008 22:00

The many sides of Kirito emerge in his latest single.

Kirito is perhaps best known as the vocalist for PIERROT, but as a solo artist, what is his musical style really like now? His latest single, Hakudou, seems to indicate that the talented artist's sound is still developing and could go in many different directions, but he will undoubtedly create impressive music with whatever styles he may embrace.

The title track opens quietly and eerily with mysterious chime-like notes and foreboding, stormy moans. Moments of hostile growling invade Kirito's singing until the mood shifts during the lead-in of the refrain, where the vocals follow the soft climbing piano into a higher register. Guitars are added and build aggressively, but the chorus lightens up. Emotional and inspiring, it provides a soothing response to the preceding verse.

This is followed by a less engaging instrumental bridge that makes no attempt to display any fancy skills, but its dark, moody atmosphere contrasts with the refrain beautifully. Although the song's pace is slow, the melody in the refrain is touching and will easily get stuck in your head. The piano notes adorning the chorus are the icing on the cake, heightening the emotion in the song. The piece concludes by returning to the mystical chime melody and haunting wind sounds. Although Hakudou has its slow moments, overall it's an incredibly creative track and produces both dark and light atmospheres that flow seamlessly together.

While the sound in Hakudou is rooted in classical music, Torque is all rock. Opening aggressively with a heavier guitar motif and a conventional rock beat, Kirito's vocals are combative and threatening. Following his lead, the guitars after the verse drip with dark, stylish attitude. The pace speeds up during the lighter refrain, and the vocals climb higher along with the guitar. Though the refrain is fairly catchy, it isn't nearly as impacting as Hakudou's. As the song progresses, the drum beats change up and the guitars become bolder, varying in their melody lines. The selling point for this song is its overall attitude, produced by the combination of rebellious vocals and ominous guitars.

As a whole, the single highlights the impressive well roundedness of Kirito's music. While one song leans towards the classical side with an epic chorus but lackluster instrumental bridge, the other is a rock number with engaging guitars and catchier rhythms. Kirito's sound is unlimited in terms of its influences and strengths, and it seems there will be many more surprises awaiting his fans in future releases. This single probably won't be enough to tell you exactly what Kirito is all about, but it will give you a brief glimpse at a much broader and very promising body of work.
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