Setting stages alight with their melodic brand of metal since forming in 2011 comes the new album from Bridear. Over the course of their career they have experimented with a variety of sounds such as the full-on heavy metal and power metal assault of ‘Overturn The Doom,’ the metalcore influenced EP ‘Helix’ and the incredibly experimental and progressive ‘Expose Your Emotions.’
With this new album ‘Bloody Bride,’ Bridear have fully embraced their melodic side without straying from their heavy metal and power metal roots. There have been some new elements added into their arsenal this time around which weren’t so prominent on previous releases. Minor electronic influences, BGM snippets, and even a harpsichord appear on this album. These elements have been layered underneath the songs themselves although in a more sporadic way, so the listener doesn’t become overburdened with a complete change in sound.
Bridear have always taken a unique approach to their songwriting and this is due to the fact that instrumentally they would be most comparable to the German metal bands ‘Kreator’ and ‘Helloween’ with a sprinkling of the melody found in songs from ‘Iron Maiden.’ However, they add enough variations throughout the structure of the songs themselves that the songs really take on a life of their own.
Vocally, Kimi doesn’t sound like any other singer you will have heard before. The way she sings is done in such a way that the words fizz and bubble with unrestrained energy as she manages to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the music itself. Using Japanese with a few English words scattered here and there also enables Kimi to always keep the listener on the edge of their seat as you never know what is coming next.
Thematically this album covers a lot of different topics yet it is the topics based in horror and fantasy which really makes this new release stand in a completely different realm from the rest of their peers.
‘Bloody Bride’ is one of the songs that has been written completely in English for this album which is another first for Bridear. Despite performing a full song for the first time in a language different from their native tongue, Kimi nails the feeling of the song and the message it portrays perfectly. Kimi’s tone is a lot more neutral than that of someone like ‘Asami’ from ‘Lovebites’ yet it really suits the galloping nature of the song. The song itself is about a woman who becomes entranced by the devil which makes the creepy laughing heard halfway through the song even more chilling. In fact, this laughter reminds me of the dark tone a band like ‘6ft.down’ utilized when ‘Nao’ was the vocalist. Instrumentally the song is very much inspired by 80’s power metal and also possesses a dark atmosphere much like something ‘Reasterisk’ made when they were together.
‘Keshin’ is another song with a horror-based theme, this time based upon the poem ‘The Divine Comedy’ written by ‘Dante Alighieri’ which concerns a man’s journey from hell to heaven and the emotions they feel as they rise from the inferno to paradise. Musically the song kicks off with a groove in guitarwork from Misaki and Ayumi that could fit on a record from ‘Hellyeah’ or ‘Pantera.’ The vocals on this song from Kimi are done in a much more aggressive style and feel a lot colder too which matches the ever-changing nature of the journey this song takes the listener on. Harsh vocals courtesy of bassist HARU also appears for the first time on this album which makes the song even heavier and adds a sprinkling of metalcore on top of an already incredibly memorable experience.
‘Dream Eater’ is a song that conveys a very dreamlike atmosphere in its melodic approach and is about a creature that eats people’s dreams which adds an element of fantasy to the album. The chorus is sorrowful and mournful especially with the usage of English being a focal point. A harpsichord utilized at the beginning of the song allows the song to almost feel like it might fit within a video game such as the world found in the video game ‘Nights Into Dreams.’
There are also songs that deviate from horror and fantastical themes such as the insanely aggressive pairing of the songs ‘Glitter’ and ‘Boy.’ The former of which is full of punk-like energy giving the song a similar feeling to ‘RIP’ and ‘I’m Dead’ from the band Mary’s Blood. The song itself was created for allowing the listener to feel the same energy that Kimi feels when she sees her favorite artists in a live venue and you can truly feel the excitement of the song even while listening to it alone.
‘Boy’ on the other hand is a monster of a track and features some insanely nasty-sounding harsh vocals from HARU which sounds like a female version of the harsh vocals ‘Jesse Leach’ from ‘Killswitch Engage’ uses. There is also an incredibly unique guitar part in this song which sounds like a speeding truck honking its horn as it passes by at blinding speed. The drumming on this song courtesy of Natsumi is also of the highest quality and bounces all over the place which matches the theme of the ups and downs of a relationship gone sour.
Bridear have really invested an incredibly large amount of time and effort in creating this melodic monster of an album. The fact that so many different layers exist underneath the music as well as in the lyrics themselves ensures that repeated listens are akin to peeling back the skin of the most delicious fruit you could ever imagine. The songs despite containing some very dark subject matter are all bursting with enough energy and hope that you will want to continue listening to this amazing album until the ‘Daybreak’ comes.