KAZU - Life!!

review - 10.22.2017 20:01

KAZU's solo debut proves you can indeed stuff a decade's worth of influences into one song.

Ex-LIGHT BRINGER guitarist KAZU has become something of a musical nomad since leaving the band in 2011. His first move was to form melodic metal band Art of Gradation along with fellow LIGHT BRINGER alumni Seiya and Satoru. A year later, the trio went on to co-found pop-rock outfit Scrambled Soul Circus with TEARS OF TRAGEDY frontwoman HARUKA, and when that group paused activities last summer, KAZU began working with Japanese classical crossover acts like shakuhachist Fukuhara Hyakutaku. He made his surprise solo debut on April 12th this year with the digital single Life!!.

At first listen, the light and breezy piano solo Life!! opens with, as played by Octaviagrace keyboardist Reanne, could easily be mistaken for the theme song to some syrupy NHK daytime serial. Mercifully, KAZU is quick to staunch fears he's ditched rock for good when his guitar cuts in, swiftly followed by the shakuhachi of Ooyama Kizen. By the end of the intro, it’s become quite clear this song won’t be in just one of the styles he’s experimented with over the last six years, but will be an amalgam of them all.

While KAZU’s songwriting skills have never exactly been in doubt – his work with LIGHT BRINGER speaks for itself – it has to be said that Life!! flows impressively well. Despite the constant shifts between three different genres, his intricate arrangement ensures the song never once loses its way. The question now is, can KAZU repeat the feat with his next release?

Assuming he doesn’t go and start another band in the meantime.

Life!! is available worldwide via Amazon and iTunes.
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