Mini-Album Preview: ExistTrace – ROYAL STRAIGHT MAGIC

 

Announced on their website just eight hours ago: ExistTrace is coming out with a new mini-album, titled “ROYAL STRAIGHT MAGIC”, and it’s going to be released next month! The first track, Psychedelic Black Night, is full of hard-hitting guitars and drums, and Jyou really brings her A-game as a vocalist. It feels a lot like ExistTrace circa The Last Daybreak. It could easily have been on the Virgin album, and is a hugely-appreciated return to their previous style of music. The titular Royal Straight Magic is softer, but gives off largely the same vibes. Check that vocal transition at around 0:45. It really feels like an extension of Virgin.

The third track, Shitsuki ke no Hikari (Death Month of Light?) doesn’t really emulate anything that ExistTrace has done in the past, but it’s good. Jyou is one of the best singers in J-Rock, and that’s partially because she can do so many things with her voice (even if we don’t hear gutterals these days.)

Kimi to Ame to Himitsu (“Kimi and the Rain and the Secret”) is somewhat reminiscent of Sora. The chorus isn’t as catchy, and the drums are a bit heavier, but that’s the closest comparison. In any case, it seems to be full of positive energy, but watch the translation of the lyrics prove me to be way, way off on that one. GET BACK stands out as being different from the four tracks before it. It shows a lot less of the style that the band used for Virgin, and a lot more of the style that they used for World Maker. It makes heavy use of repetition and Miko’s backup vocals. It’s… okay. Unless it grows on me a lot though, I’m relegating it to the filler track of the album.

To close things up, SKY is an interesting one. It starts out really soft, but it seems to pick up. Unfortunately, the sample ends before I could get a better feel for it, so this is one I’ll be interested in hearing more of. The album is scheduled to drop on November 16th, and it’s gonna be a day-one snatch for me.

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