It’s been long awaited. Yukueshirezutsurezure (aka Not Secured, Loose Ends) has spent a lot of time in the studio re-recording songs with the current lineup, leading to BrightDark and DarkBright. But with Paradox Soar, they prove it wasn’t reheating old content for the sake of nostalgia: the unit was being developed under the character of Mei Yui Mei’s leadership, voices were being seasoned and the good stuff was coming.
Paradox Soar, the group’s third full album, has sixteen tracks on its sole edition, which includes all of the members’ solo songs. The twelve songs with the whole group are split equally between their single releases (including B-sides) and 6 new songs. As a whole, the album covers a wide range of territory that Tsurezure hasn’t delved into before.
There was so much to cover that Papermaiden and DAEMON had to join forces to write this review.
Let’s get into it!
The first track of Paradox Soar sets the tone for how Yukueshirezutsurezure has evolved since Mei Yui Mei took on the leadership role. The album is much less reliant on the group’s digital-hardcore-meets-metalcore signature. Instead, composer syva has employed physical instruments much more broadly as well as incorporating genre influences haven’t crept into Tsurezure’s sound before now.
Musically, “Wish/” starts as a deceptively accessible alt-rock number with a catchy chorus and little evidence of the dissonance and hardcore elements that Tsurezure typically incorporate liberally throughout their work. The breezy warmth of the song is completely enveloping by the time the harsh vocals start dropping in the second verse. Even thematically, the song takes a different approach. In a recent interview with Real Sound, Mei said “‘Wish /’ is an important song that left an impression on me through the album. It was a song with straight and positive lyrics that I haven’t seen before…”. Tsurezure typically struggle with the circumstances of loneliness and loss, but here they sing, “Even if you are the only one in the world / I’m your only ally, that’s the truth.”
In many ways, the song and accompanying MV exemplify this current state of the group that has supported each other and grown through many adjustments to this solid foursome. In the same interview, Kotetsu said of “Wish/”, “I thought that the keyword of this work was ‘love’.” This is probably the very first song by Tsurezure of which that can be said.
Musically, “ssixth” is an uncharacteristically upbeat and straightforward, guitar-driven alt-rock number with clean, unfiltered singing and a single harsh vocal drop. Tsurezure, however, can’t help but play with contrasts as the lyrics of the song are about persevering while being hurt and broken. But while the members sing of isolation, the vocals are delivered as a dialogue, so those voicing them are never truly alone.
To go by the MV, loneliness may be preferable to the company of others.
Tsurezure’s further exploration of new genre territory is most evident on “REDERA”. While the lyrics (composed by MilcBoy) are delivered in their signature mix of clean and appropriately harsh vocals, the music is a true up-tempo, genre mash of folk and groove metal with some welcome ska drops. In another departure, MilcBoy’s chorus is also almost entirely in English. The collage of language and styles results in an addictive and somehow buoyantly sullen single.
“illCocytus” is another up-tempo yet snarling tune that plays like vintage Kaqriyo Terror Architect meets The Exploited. There is a surprising amount of punk influence on Paradox Soar, and perhaps no more evident than here. With lyrics like, “It’s clear that the world is nothing more than a tragedy, and I want you to kill me sooner”, the core of the tune is a high-energy, street punk head bopper.
5. unison ash
Tsurezure takes a side trip into progressive metal in “unison ash”, a largely spoken word piece with a soaring clean chorus. Dream Theater and Opeth should take note of this up-tempo track. If they played their 12-minute-long symphonic droners at 3x speed, they might end up with something as appealing as this.
“Veritas” is a dark yet almost joyous piece of melodic hardcore with lyrics courtesy of Mashiro of Zenbu Kimi no Sei da. It is a made-for-the-mosh-pit romp with playful musical details among the doom metal drops that remind you that Tsurezure shows weren’t meant for social distancing.
7. Odd Eye
“Odd Eye” was the first single released with the current line-up soon after the departure of the dearly beloved Futamaruya Shidare. It is also the song on the Paradox Soar that sounds most like it could fit within the tracklist of Tsurezure’s first two albums. The digital dream-pop drops with vocoded vocals expand the musical range somewhat, but the extended death growl call-and-response and clean, catchy chorus are vintage Yukueshirezutsurezure .
8. howling hollow
In Tsurezure’s recent interview with Natalie.mu, the group’s manager shared that “howling hollow” is a song they have wanted Mare A. Komachi to sing for a long time but they were waiting for the other members voices to mature before recording it. For her part, Komachi said that “howling hollow” has been her favorite song since she first heard it.
All I can say is this bittersweet, post-punk ballad was well worth the wait. While the lyrics traverse familiar territory of lamented love and loneliness (“I’ll keep crying for an uglier tomorrow / A world where you can’t find the crushed you”) the soaring grunge guitar solo following the harsh vocal bridge is entirely new, welcome and altogether beautiful. (And since I make a point of never disagreeing with Komachi, it is now my favorite song as well.)
9. Dear Sorrow
For all of it’s urgent brooding, after a signature syva intro, “Dear Sorrow” sounds as close to traditional J-rock as Tserezure has ever come before. With the extreme high pitch of the vocals combined with the underlying electric piano, the song is, at times, reminiscent of darker vocaloid tunes like those of Okame-P. This is new territory for Tsurezure and is indicative of their continuing willingness on Paradox Soar to explore a wider landscape of genres.
“memento” expands into further new territory as an uptempo, folk-influenced post punk composition like a J-rock Against Me! The lyrics of the tune are by Megumi Kisaragi of Zenbu Kimi no Sei da and serve as a showcase for the power of the member’s clean vocals. The song reaches an emotionally effective climax even without a single shout or growl.
11. Grotesque promise and I really hate me
“Grotesque promise” is a hopeful, melancholic song in tone. The title, which is almost a full sentence, was mentioned in one of Komachi’s tweets, where (if my memory serves me right) she said something along the lines of “yes, it’s a long title, but it is really what this song is about”.
Despite the gnarliness of the title, the song itself has an almost anisong vibe. I’m not able to pinpoint exactly which anime it evokes for me, but it’s a mix of LiSA’s lyrical prowess and the likes of groups in Key animes, like Girls Dead Monsters (featured in Angel Beats, which is Mei Yui Mei’s favorite anime) or How-Low-Hello (feature in Charlotte).
The song feels very healing. It’s definitely the most pop of their entire catalogue, but I really like signature heartfelt vocals. It was one of my favorites upon hearing the album at first. I think it really fits the current lineup softer voices and is very appreciable when you contrast it with the harder songs of the group.
Around 2:45, the song really picks up and will be amazing to see live footage of when movement and mosh and screams will once again be allowed, as I really wonder what the calls will look like.
12. Still roaring
This track is, of course, the spiritual successor to Tsurezure’s classic song “Six Fall Roar”. It is next to impossible to top the original, which is basically the signature song of the Shidare-led era, but syva brought back Kazuki Mizutani (“Six Fall”‘s composer) to contribute piano to the attempt. But this is Mei Yui Mei’s Tsurezure, and she is here to prove that the group is just as beautiful, strong and ferocious as ever. “Still Roaring”, indeed.
This is Takari Takara’s solo song. The mischievous girl was described in their latest buppan as “She is GAHAHA”. They definitely do not play up the young woman’s contagious laugh in this song. I would say the mood is somewhat closer to a Shidare song, if I have to make a comparison to previous members? She really progressed with low growls, and I love their presence in this song and the little breaks in her voice.
14. Mezzo Forte
What an appropriate title for a Kotetsu solo song. It is really in her image, as it feels really touching and cute, but that girl has a real impressive strength in her screams. Said screams are unfortunately not at all present in this song. It has more mature, elegant touch rather than cutesy and Kotetsu’s warm and soft voice really brings a nice contrast to the occasional aggressive guitar and drumming in the instrumental
15. Existence Metaphysical
Komachi’s member song has been remastered and re-recorded from its previous release on ExFallen’s limited edition. I feel like saying this version is a bit more atmospheric, with the voice less distinct from the instruments themselves. It fits with her increasing focus on dancing, and I love getting lost in the song as if the voice was simply another instrument, it’s quite ethereal.
This song is really interesting on Paradox Soar. When compared with the other songs on this album, you really get to feel Mei Yui Mei’s influence as the new leader of Tsurezure, and the warmth you can in feel this song (also originally released on ExFallen’s limited edition and also re-recorded) is present throughout the album. It is a personal favorite and I’m glad it was part of a standard release so fans who support the artist through streaming services also get to hear it.
Paradox Soar is evolutionary step forward for Yukueshirezutsurezure. Long term fans may be surprised by the shift away from metalcore and electronic hardcore and a surprising flirtation with J-rock, melodic hardcore and post punk genres. Of all of Codomomental’s idol units, Tsurezure, with it’s tendencies for dissonance, difficult themes and harsh vocals, has always had the highest barrier for entry. Paradox Soar is, by far, the most cohesive and accessible of the group’s three albums and would be an excellent entry point for new listeners. For those of us who have been on board for a while, it is a very rewarding listen as the group explores new themes and musical styles with stronger voices than ever. The members’ have matured under Mei Yui Mei into a beautifully fierce foursome, and Paradox Soar reflects that well.