[Kwon’s Music Corner] Balalaika / バラライカ – この門をくぐる者、一切の希望を捨てよ Review
03. If I fail, then all is death
The 3rd Birthday may be in the past, but it didn’t mean that L (vocals) and Tomoya (a.k.a. Otonashi Futaba – bass) would stand still. Of course, Balalaika (バラライカ) is the next step in their musical course and they’re being accompanied by Saitou Yuudai on the guitars and Katase Kei who stands proudly behind the drum kit (both of them used to be support members of The 3rd Birthday). The moment of truth has arrived and I have to admit that I prefer them to The 3rd Birthday, a band I really enjoy, but Balalaika’s more massive sound and tighter production that strengthens the walls of sound throughout their outbursts are more tempting to my ears! Their first EP is titled “この門をくぐる者、一切の希望を捨てよ” (“Kono Mon wo Kuguru Mono Issai no Kibou wo Suteyo”) and it opens the door to a dimension where melody and aggression join a nocturnal dance. The EP consists of two pairs of “twin” songs that complement one another and an outro that deescalates all the accumulated tension making you eagerly wait for the band’s next attempt. “インフェルノ第1奏” and “罪状Greed” form the first pair and you have to love L’s grunting vocals with the slight yet necessary echo effect that adds more abysmal depth as the riffs and the guitar melodies swirl endlessly around them. The groovy and often tectonic rhythm section completes the scenery of a more than welcome destruction and the clean vocal lines never fail to enrich all these vibes of ominous melody that adorn the compositions. The second pair of “twin” songs invades our ears with “If I fail, then all is death” which darkens the overall ambiance even more with its ever-expanding sense of menacing agony, but also with its more upbeat parts that reach a sickening climax leading us to “被験体ガナード” that keeps the listener’s interest at high levels. You certainly find yourself somewhere between outbursts and a more concrete form of melody with all the boiling magma in between. “この門をくぐる者、一切の希望を捨てよ” is a grand declaration of inspiration and, hopefully, a taste of the shape of things to come on Balalaika’s behalf!