[Review] GE+IM – ステロイド (Steroid)

geim-steroid

CD Playlist:

01 – Strawberry[Coma]
02 – 罪と罰のステロイド (Tsumitobachi no suteroido)
03 – 死二躰サドマゾ症候群 (Shi ni karada sadomazo shoukougun)
04 – Medi-Go-Round
05 – 解剖イデオロギー (Kaibou ideorogi)
06 – 暗殺病棟 (Ansatsu byoutou)
07 – 結合症オーバードーズ (Ketsugou-shou oubaudouzu)
08 – Calling
09 – Undermine
10 – 致死量パラドックス (Chishi-ryou paradokkusu)
11 – XとYの後遺症 (X to Y no kouishou)
12 – 「右手にメス」を「左手に絶望」を (「Migite ni mesu」 o 「hidarite ni zetsubou」 o)

– Strawberry[Coma]
Strawberry[Coma] opens with a slow but heavy melody combined with electronic influences. Once vocalist Naoki joins in it blends very nicely with the music already present and feels like a whole rather than different elements doing their own thing. Naoki’s voice is naturally a bit deeper than most other vocalists on the scene today which makes him quite hard to compare to others, but he is capable of making this song sound interesting and melodic at the same time. A slow opening that gives a pleasant intro for this album.

– 罪と罰のステロイド (Tsumitobachi no suteroido)
Even though this song had been revealed not too long before the release date as the music video for this album, I am still not disappointed. It opens with a fast-paced electronic voice before slowing down to a melodic verse that almost sounds like a confession of some sort before the song picks up briefly and then returns to the same melodic type of verse as before. Once it picks up again it’s like two different voices of the same person are speaking to each other, like the angel and devil on one’s shoulder. There is a feeling of despair, regret and panic in this song, but at the same time there’s also a feeling of accomplishment. Much like the aforementioned angel and devil on one’s shoulder.
The intro sequence of the song contains the word ‘judgement’ in Naoki’s deeper voice, so one could say that there is a feeling of despair for the judgement being passed down upon the one that’s desperately trying to apologize and get out of their sentenced punishment for their deeds.

– 死二躰サドマゾ症候群 (Shi ni karada sadomazo shoukougun)
Instantly picks up on a more cheerful note with a rhythmic electronic beat that sets the beat for the vocalist’s words. The song is fairly fast-paced and gives me a bit of a 90’s feeling but with a modern twist. Almost like an Egyptian-influenced dance is being performed in front of me, but with shifting speeds.

– Medi-Go-Round
Starts off with a blues/jazzy style and electronic effects resembling a merry go round shortly after. It’s a very club-like song (as weird as this might sound!) with a cheerful tone despite the deeper vocals provided by Naoki. It’s a great follow up to the previous song and lifts the mood of the album even more.

– 解剖イデオロギー (Kaibou ideorogi)
The ones familiar with GE+IM’s career would know this song had already been distributed at live shows last year, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit this album. It starts off with a fast-paced rhythm and is followed by electronically enhanced growls by Naoki. The speed and sound of the song paint the suggestion of a hospital bed being rushed through the corridors to the surgery room for an emergency surgery while orders are given left and right in a controlled manner. The song keeps it fast pace until the very end before instantly rolling into the next song.

– 暗殺病棟 (Ansatsu byoutou)
Starts off a bit heavier than the previous song, and a bit slower. But there’s still the feeling of rush and orders being barked around in a less controlled way than the song before. About half way the tone of the vocals picks up and a more cheerful influence returns opposed to the panic from before.
Overall the song has a heavier bass and drum influence than the ones going before this one, giving this song a darker sound immediately despite the occasionally returning cheerful-ish vocals.

– 結合症オーバードーズ (Ketsugou-shou oubaudouzu)
Starting with an alarming programmed tune the feeling of despair is the first thing that comes to mind. The vocals are fast and rather melodic, but there’s that familiar part of electronic influenced growls that give a different background to the entire song. Sooner than later the song starts like a whirlwind of different styles that still mix surprisingly well despite the chaos versus calmer aspects. The electronic influence is more present in this song than in most other songs until now, but it’s not a bad choice in the slightest.

– Calling
Another live distributed song from last year. It pulls down the speed of the album slightly by being a more melodic song with longer, “stretched” vocals that linger with more piano influences than electronic influences.
While not being in the same style as the rest of the album so far, it’s still a very nice faster melodic type of song that fits the speed of the album as a whole.

– Undermine
The final “familiar” song listed on the album, as yet again, live distributed last year. The song starts off with faster electronic programming and a heavier guitar, bass and drum style added to it, along with Naoki’s deeper vocals and occasional hoarse growls in the background. It somewhat reminds me of a male verson of VOCALOID’s Megurine Luka, but only very slightly.
Just like Calling, Undermine has stretched vocals as well that slow down the song with a more melodic voice, yet the instrumentals remain in their slower, heavier style. It creates a sound only a vocalist with a naturally deeper voice can create. A sense of peace while still having the powerful sound.

– 致死量パラドックス (Chishi-ryou paradokkusu)
A very robotic voice greets you at the start of this song before a harsh electronic programming sound is added to the mix. Again the song is a fast-paced one with pretty much all of Naoki’s vocal styles being showcased throughout the song. Long, stretched melodic lines, robotic lines, upbeat fast paced vocals and of course his background growls that sound like they’re coming from an intercom system to your ears rather than from his own mouth directly.
Styles are switched often and only briefly before switching again. I’m not entirely sure what purpose this song has on this album, but it’s still a nice song on it’s own.

– XとYの後遺症 (X to Y no kouishou)
I’m clearly running out of ideas how songs start without repeating myself, but yet again we’re greeted with a fast paced song mainly dominated by the guitar and electronic influences. The instrumentals are faster than Naoki’s vocals in this song and it almost has a dance-like feeling despite the heavier style of the song. I would describe this as a familiar song from Naoki based on the style alone, as it reminds me a lot of one of his previous projects. And that is not a bad thing, it’s an unique identity that fits only one person after all.

– 「右手にメス」を「左手に絶望」を (「Migite ni mesu」 wo 「hidarite ni zetsubou」 wo)
The final song of the album is yet again one to finish off on the same pace as the rest of the album. It starts off with a faster, heavy melody and is soon accompanied by heavier vocals that have a clear metal influence. The piano also makes a return in this song, but the overall feeling is a heavier style of music dominated by the instrumentals. Mainly because Naoki’s vocals aren’t present in a big part of the song, and when they are they have a darker feel to them opposed to the vocals on the rest of the album, even when he’s singing instead of spitting out growls.

Conclusion: If you like an overall fast-paced album with heavier instrumental and vocal styles and electronic influences, this certainly is a recommendation. Based on the earlier songs created by GE+IM I didn’t expect this many styles to show up on this album, and I had a blast listening to it. The only “sad” moment is that the only live distributed release not included in this album was my personal favorite of the live distributed releases (I’m talking about ドラスティック-STU- (Dorasutikku-STU-)), but it’s still a very solid album that combines several styles and elements without destroying one another while doing so.

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