Review Summary: A nice debut CD from a very promising band.
The album itself opens with "Dandeiga", which begins with drums laying out the rhythm, and from there the guitars come in building up upon the drum into. The song then changes form as the guitars change from the more metal influenced style into a slightly softer progression, still building up on the general concept before the song changes erratically into an harmonically minor flavored atmosphere. Tama's voice comes in and adds an almost Arabic/eastern style, the guitars, drums, bass help paint the atmosphere of traveling across a desert with the sun beating down over you, drawing you into the song. This song itself is damn good opener for this album showing an excellent example of whats to come.
Roach strives on blending and mixing their various styles. Unlike other bands of various genres they can be compared to. Roach uses just the right mixture of everything and doesn't over saturate or play any particular favorite towards any. They don't follow the usual cookie cutter cuts outs of the usual metalcore crap that you find everywhere. And while Tama does scream and utilizes it quite often through out the various tracks on "Mind Of The Sun". His screams blend into the music, and act as an after thought of sorts, showing an assortment of different moods and adding to the different sounds that his band mates also add to the plate. Tama's voice for the most part is a big strong point for this band. His singing for the most part is ranges between a very upbeat song(Concrete) to a more gloomier song such as Nijuu To Ni. His flexibility and wide ranges offers a great deal of possibilities for their songs such and Dandeiga to more pop/punk style songs such as "Feel Your Pain"
Both guitarists, Kubocchi and (Other guitarist whom left before I could find his name prior to writing this review), also provide some rather interesting guitar work through out the album. Songs such as Aoi Sora, Nijuu To Nii, Momoiro No Kaze, Concrete, Hagane No Ishi, Taiyou, Ware Ima Koko Ni, Haru To Yume, are all great examples of how flexible they are. Both guitarists paint an aural canvas filled with dreamy delays, harmonics, cleanly picked passages, as well as heavy riffing that would be right at home in various metal and metalcore style releases. Their flexibility keeps the album from seeming repetitive and keeps each song sounding unique when compared to the previous one.
Dai-chan's drum work is equally impressive. While nothing too flashy or anything that makes him stand out when compared to other similar sounding bands. His drumming adds to the music fairly well and his approach doesn't drown out or suffocate the music at all only complementing his band mates by laying back with the groove or standing out when its time for him to show his stuff yet still keep things from sounding stale or excessive overdone. Katsuya's bass lines also add quite a bit to the each song. While often times his bass can get lost in the mix, when it does jump out and shows his time to shine he does so with some interesting grooves.
What "Mind Of The Sun" strives on that makes it such a strong release is the various changes and moods presented in the album. Songs range from anywhere between upbeat to very gloomy. Often times switching between more aggressive parts to very calm an almost soothing passages. Songs such as "Momoiro No Kaze", "Aoi Sora", "Haru To Yume", "Nijuu To Ni" show some of their more erratic changes in moods. Momoiro, for example, begins with volume swelled guitar harmonics while, Tama sings the chorus slowly over the guitars. From their the Dai-chan kicks cymbals as the song changes gears into a more metalcore style song with Tama screaming the first verse before the song changes again drastically to yet another change leaving the listener wondering what the hell just happened, as the song becomes upbeat once again. Stuff like this happens at various parts through out the album and the transitions through the album are well done and perfectly executed.
Overall "Mind Of The Sun" is an excellent debut CD from a very promising band from Japan. Their first CD has me anticipating their next debut release and leaves me wondering what kind of direction they will take their sound this time.
*Excellent Guitar Work
*Interesting changes and transitions
*Wide range of style's with something to interest just about everybody
*Drum works keeps things interesting
*Screams may agitate some individuals
*The band sings primarily in Japanese and this may hinder some listeners. Particularly those that mostly listen to bands that sing in English.
*Bass occasionally gets lost in the mix at times