This review has been cross-posted with Okay! Musume Time, where a far lengthier version is available to read.
Release Date: June 12th, 2019
- phantasmagoria cosmos
- the festival
- CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT
- LAMENT CONFIGURATION
Exploring themes of trauma, entropy and conquest in their latest EP, Ultradark Japanese idol group NECRONOMIDOL are set to drop scions of the blasted heath, their latest in music as well as the first release featuring newest members, Kunogi Kenbishi and Michelle, who joined the group in January of this year. The EP will include 5 new songs, four of which have been composed by returning favourites, as well as a track composed by Marianne Shinonome of Kinoco Hotel.
In true NECRONOMIDOL fashion, scions of the blasted heath opens with an appropriately eerie track in the form of SALEM, an unmistakable composition by NECROMA regular, Kei Toriki. Dark and erratic in sound, SALEM will feel familiar to seasoned listeners of the group thanks to its undeniable psychopomp vibes and otherworldly nature. A rather safe introductory song to the EP, SALEM may be a it or miss for many. For newer fans it will serve as a gateway into what NECRONOMIDOL is all about, but for older fans this track may come off as tired. Regardless, it will most likely be a great track to listen to when performed live.
phantasmagoria cosmos follows with a fresh and delightful sound thanks to the skill of Marianne Shinonome, who captures a delightfully appealing style of sound for this dream-scape themed song. A little more saccharine than expected, phantasmagoria cosmos is an irresistibly catchy track that will please a lot of NECRONOMIDOL’s fans old and new alike, and maybe even become a crowd favourite in the near future. This is a pleasant song in sound but a little darker in nature, creating a nice contrast between the music and the lyrics that somehow balances the song out beautifully.
Coming in third is the festival, which opens with a lonely, rolling drum beat before being accompanied by another instrument, mimicking a Carnival theme of sorts. The song eventually rises into a more fervent beat that feels uplifting and energetic, but ever so slightly mysterious and erratic in nature. The vocals here are absolutely beautiful, with the chorus feeling even more unified than usual and the overlapping vocals creating a chant-like effect throughout the festival. This is certainly one of the calmer songs vocally, but it is one of the more interesting. This is a track to look out for.
Following suit is CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, a fervent track filled with themes of conquest, vengeance and destruction. Sung completely in English, NECRONOMIDOL once again impress with their high energy and jovial vocals as they sing about throwing all that was loved into the flames and being the last ones remaining. Once again the vocals during the chorus are great, especially when you envision NECRONOMIDOL as a gleeful choir of girls hell-bent on revenge and bloodshed. CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT is quite possible one of the best songs this EP has to offer, and will no doubt become a favourite for live shows thanks to its energy, impact and fun-factor.
Ending on a high note, LAMENT CONFIGURATION comes in as the most idol-influenced, 80’s styled track of them all. A masterpiece of cuteness, this track hails from STARRY WISDOM (Dawnslayer, 2017) composer Okayan, and there is no doubt that LAMENT CONFIGURATION will become an immediate favourite for many. Unique against the other four tracks, it is undeniable how pleasing this song is, especially when you imagine the members gleefully singing the dark lyrics in chipper, sweet tones. Another track that contrasts its sound and lyrics, LAMENT CONFIGURATION will certainly appeal to many people, but how it will sound on stage is still debatable.
To conclude, this is a fun and varied EP from NECRONOMIDOL. Though SALEM may feel familiar, the tracks that follow prove to add some freshness and energy to the groups ever-growing song collection. With tracks like phantasmagoria cosmos, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT and LAMENT CONFIGURATION included in scions of the blasted heath, there is sure to be something within the EP that will please both NECRONOMIDOL’s long time listeners, as well as their newer fans.