Rumbless. is a relatively new band to enter the visual kei scene, despite vocalist Roku being in other projects (Project zero, Re;zero, End;Re and Sith) prior to this one. Debuting with their very first announced live on September 6 2019 you can say that the band isn’t that old just yet. Regardless, Roku, Takaki, Sin and Tva have a very good idea of what they want to achieve. Combining visual kei elements as well as Jpop influence with metal as their core sound they have released a few singles and two mini-albums so far. Let’s have a look at their latest release, “Σ -sigma-“, which is the second part in their two-parts series between “φ-phi-“ and “Σ -sigma-“!
01. Σ -sigma-
04. amber dream
Starting off with an introduction-track, “Σ -sigma-” sets the tone for the album with a combination of high and low tones, giving a illusory theme to the entire start of the album before quickly rolling into the next track.
At the start of “montage” the metal sound at the core comes forward instantly, even though Roku’s vocals sound a lot more friendly than you’d initially expect with the description of the band’s sound. This influence remains through the entire composition, but overall it’s still a very upbeat and friendly song, mainly due to how friendly Roku’s vocals actually sound in combination with the instruments playing behind him.
While the previous song was quite cheerful and upbeat, “déraciné” changes the tone immediately to a much more sinister and darker atmosphere as well adding the other side of Roku’s vocals: the growl and shout variety. Something he -despite his friendly Jpop-style clean voice- is surprisingly good at. This choice alone makes this song the heaviest one you’ll find on this release. Combined with the Egyptian-style influence used this song is definitely worthy of being added to a horror movie soundtrack just for the atmosphere alone.
While the next track starts off on a much lighter note, the heavy style is maintained throughout the song, creating a mixture of both main influences while still remaining on the heavier side, at least instrumentally. Because the main vocals used are the friendly clean ones. Overall, “amber dream” is a very good rock song that dips into the heavy metal sound occasionally to add more power to an already quite powerful song.
Metal, visual kei and Jpop aren’t the only genres the band dabbles in, oh no. If the intro to the album didn’t convince you about the electronic influence already, “reverse” definitely will. “reverse” is fast and very upbeat with mainly electronic influence throughout the entire song, relying completely on Roku’s clean vocals for the main performance, but also being backed up by the other members in the background occasionally. At the very core you’ll still hear the metal influence the band uses as their core sound, but this song definitely focuses on the other genres more.
The last song on the album is slow enough to make it into the ballad category, albeit barely. Since make no mistake, even if the power is turned down a notch, the guys have no intention of going slow on you with this song. Switching between lengthy vocals and normal ones, “終雪 (shu-setsu)” surely shows the diversity of the band as well as the two incredibly distant from each other main influences. These being metal and Jpop, like mentioned earlier.
All in all Rumbless. has something for everyone with this release. Whether you’re a fan of the more heavy style like “déraciné” the calmer style like “終雪 (shu-setsu)”, or even the more electronic/programming style that has been used on “Σ -sigma-“ and “reverse”. It doesn’t matter what your preferred genre is, you are bound to find something that catches your interest with this band.
For me it was unusual to see someone attempt to combine two influences that to me seem like they couldn’t be further apart: heavy metal and Jpop. But for Rumbless. it seems to work out in the best way possible. The result being an overall fast-paced album that shows off the diversity of the band in every style, but also maintains the ability to speak to a wide range of audience with their diverse sound.
Would you like to know more about the band? Next to this review I also got the opportunity to ask the guys some questions about their work. You can read these questions and their answers here.
Final score: 75/100
Release: Σ -sigma- (mini-album)
Release date: February 22, 2020
CD number: RBDC-02/2020