-OZ- - Spiral

review - 10.09.2008 08:00

-OZ- continues to assert themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the visual scene with their explosive single Spiral.

Much like their previous single Bulk, released only a month before Spiral, the opening song is a phenomenal piece - perfect for lives and for CD release, with melodies that pull on your heart strings, demonic death vocals and malevolent guitar pieces. But the added treat is the second track, which is every bit as phenomenal as the first, though in a different way.

The first song, CLOVER, is above all a catchy and nostalgic song of longing. It is upbeat throughout with some soulful drum beats from Zukki in the beginning and end. Natsuki's soaring, romantic melody line supplies the emotion, and the playful guitars and fast beat provide the fun. Interspersed are segments of death vocals and harder guitar lines, which the song probably could have done without, but they certainly don't hurt. It seems -OZ- has fallen into a pattern where they're almost obligated to balance the melodious with a heavy segment, maybe in an attempt to stick to their original concept of coupling beauty and degeneracy. The pattern has certainly worked thus far for them, but their songs could stand on their own even without the heavy fillers.

MirroR breaks the mold a bit more, starting with a psychedelic, fuzzy intro. The melody of the verses themselves are particularly gorgeous, with the guitars framing the vocals like an ornamentation. The drum is used to maximum effect in this piece: dropping out, speeding up, all in accordance with and accentuating the mood shifts narrated in the song. The chorus melody is especially surprising and creates an epic air. Natsuki's notes are long and even, all in a high register, and driven by a sprinting beat below. Aside from a mighty scream at the beginning, there's not much death voice in this one. Evidently, the guys realized that even though it's one of Natsuki's fortes, they really don't need the growls and screams in order to make a good song. -OZ- also included some technical tricks, like a fade in during the final chorus where the sound seems to zoom in, plus the fuzzy psychedelic intro and ending. As usual, it's evident they devoted a lot of attention to detail, and overall this track seems to have more freedom in it. If anything, it may even surpass Clover.

-OZ- has once again demonstrated their technical creativity and artistic sensibility, not to mention delighted fans with a two consecutive single releases (Bulk and Spiral). Their quality seems to be getting increasingly more refined and impressive, and fans should fully anticipate this band to get even hotter from here.
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