Hello all! Today I’ll be reviewing the first of my anticipated Comiket 92 metal releases, annyahoo’s DISORDER. To my surprise and delight, annyahoo released this album on Booth the weekend of Comiket. As a result, I’ve been sitting on this one for a while before reviewing it, partially because there’s been a lot of other great music keeping me distracted, but those aren’t Vocaloid so I’ll spare you the details. There’s more awesome stuff coming up, so let me get these thoughts in before I dive back into the fray!
Generally, annyahoo’s releases can be divided into two categories. The first includes his Enmei Ningen e.p. and his first full album Megami no Akuma Suuhai, which are both no-fluff thrash metal featuring harsh vocals by Maiko. The second is his work released under his BLATOPHOBIA circle, which started with APOCALYPSE and now continues with DISORDER. While I do enjoy APOCALYPSE, and it has some awesome tracks, I was a bit disappointed that this new project was mostly leaving behind his harder, faster style.
In spite of that, DISORDER has reawakened my love of annyahoo’s music in general, rather than just his deathy, thrashy aesthetic. This album, like the last, incorporates a variety of styles and influences, but what’s important is that they’re all balanced well: the breakdowns are hard-hitting but don’t monopolize the songs, the electronics accent the verses and choruses while allowing the primary instruments to carry the music. I’ve always thought of annyahoo as a great songwriter because his songs have their own character, and I think that’s true with the tracks on DISORDER as well – even if they aren’t all the very best, they’ve each got a certain distinctive quality to them that I find engaging and lovable.
I also can’t stress enough how glad I am that he is continuing to use flower so extensively. She’s not an extremely common Vocaloid to see, but annyahoo has been using her in most of his music for quite some time, bar his Maiko-only releases (no complaints about that either). Maiko actually makes good company for flower in these songs, filling in the low growls where flower usually can’t. Miku also makes a couple appearances, but I think he uses her for a different effect than her typical higher-pitch sound, which is refreshing . While he may not have the smoothest tuning, I think the style of annyahoo’s vocals and flairs, as seen on this album, contribute to the character of his songs.
A few song comments:
Track 3, “Rakka” (“落下”) is reminiscent to me of annyahoo’s older songs (before he started releasing albums) in the play with the guitar and electronics and the tuning of Miku’s voice.
Track 5, “FUJIYAMA” changes paces and sounds quite a bit. Flower’s voice hits the high end of her range in the chorus, but I find it really catchy and the song still comes together fittingly for me. I also like the vocal embellishments in the choruses.
Track 7, “Hito is Tsutsu” (“人 is 筒”) is an excellent use of Miku’s lower register.
Track 8, “801”: I SWEAR the main keyboard part in this song is a callback to one of annyahoo’s early songs but I can’t find it for the life of me.
Track 12, “Grave of Comrade”: I’m not a fan of slower ballad songs, but this one has definitely grown on me over time, especially the chorus progression and the breakdown.
Track 13, Bonus Track: A remix/rearrange of “Gendai Hades.” The original is a classic that’s great on its own, but this redux is also really awesome, and just goes to show how annyahoo has developed.
My Least Favorite Tracks: Visage (lighter tone, pop-y, not really a fan), Riba (beginning sounds like it could’ve been a light prog song, but the vocals didn’t really work for me).
Overall, I rate this album at least a solid 8 out of 10.. There’s a lot of good tracks to get off of this album, and it has had a high re-listen value for me. After replaying it so much, I had to go back over my catalog of annyahoo songs and rekindle my love for them. I’d recommend it to any Vocaloid metal fan, or maybe just anyone.
You can buy this album and listen to the crossfade on Booth here.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to share your opinion and recommendations!