FEST VAINQUEUR’s Passionate LIONHEART

Review

by chi.yow, posted July 30, 2014

FEST VAINQUEUR released their first full album LIONHEART in May, kickstarting the summer with a blazing hot album that presents in full the range of elements this band incorporate into their style. The mixture of heavy rock, jazzy tunes, and lighthearted melodies results in a delightful release that fans are sure to find enjoyment in.

The album opens with the digital “FAINT TIMBRE~prologue~” that serves as a soft intro into the melodic “Selly~Namonai hoshi no uta~” bound to warm listener’s heart with an outpouring of optimism found in HAL’s light vocals. The gentle guitar notes with underlying violin conjure images of a clear starry sky under which anything is possible. Immediately following is the more groovy and bass-heavy “Love Doll” that accelerates the album forward with its winding guitars and ringing vocals. In contrast to the previous song, these lyrics explore a slightly twisted and darker side of human emotion.

Next up, “Tunderella” puts on display FEST VAINQUEUR’s continued willingness to incorporate a variety of genre elements into their ever-developing musical style. The groovy song would not be too out of place in a small jazz bar, featuring highlights in HAL’s smooth vocals and HIRO’s bass solo that leads to an enthusiastic guitar solo with its own merit. “STYLE” is fierce and bold right from the get-go, delivering the powerful message, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t give a damn what others think.” Crashing cymbals and synthetic backtrack provide accents to the tune that is otherwise carried by HAL’s straightforward vocal manner. On a similar note, “FLAG” is a high-spirited and upbeat song that also serves to encourage the listener to continue on despite the difficulties one may face in life.

Much like the title implies, “RUSSIAN ROULETTE” is when FEST VAINQUEUR let loose their wild and risky side with a frantic and unpredictable number that is reliant on crazy guitar work and pounding drums. The rapid recitation of lyrics further adds to the impression of spinning out of control. “Rosario” immediately follows in with a wild double guitar intro and rapid drum work. The rasping whispers underlying HAL’s cries also add a mysterious and slightly sensual element. “God knows” opens on a more solemn note with ringing church bells and violins in combination with sweet vocals. The stately illusion is quickly shattered as guitars and drums power in. Harsh, distorted whispers and yells exacerbate the atmosphere of this somewhat haunting tune.

The sole ballad of the album, “Angel” shines brightly with its tranquil melody and calming vocals. The simplistic intro consists only of violin and piano notes backing the vocal solo. As drums and guitars appear, they add strength to the powerful message, their music fading in and out throughout the duration of the song. Finally, the title track “LIONHEART~lifetime with~” finally makes its appearance, serving as an excellent summary of FEST VAINQUEUR’s current style. Guitar-centric with a catchy rhythm and strong vocal performance, the bold tune brings the album to a solid conclusion. “FAINT TIMBRE~epilogue~” finishes the album with the feeling of a journey completed and the next just beyond the horizon.

LIONHEART is a compilation highlighting the progress that FEST VAINQUEUR have made since their beginning. The band keeps pushing forward with new ideas and passion that can be felt in each track, making LIONHEART landmark release on a path promising a fulfilling journey.

 

Limited Edition 12 track CD + DVD

Tracklist

  1. FAINT TIMBRE~prologue~
  2. Selly~Namonai hoshi no uta~
  3. Love Doll
  4. Tunderella
  5. STYLE
  6. FLAG
  7. RUSSIAN ROULETTE
  8. Rosario
  9. God knows
  10. Angel
  11. LIONHEART~lifetime with~
  12. FAINT TIMBRE~epilogue~

DVD

  1. LIONHEART~lifetime with~ PV+MAKING

Regular Edition 12 track CD

Tracklist

  1. FAINT TIMBRE~prologue~
  2. Selly~Namonai hoshi no uta~
  3. Love Doll
  4. Tunderella
  5. STYLE
  6. FLAG
  7. RUSSIAN ROULETTE
  8. Rosario
  9. God knows
  10. Angel
  11. LIONHEART~lifetime with~
  12. FAINT TIMBRE~epilogue~
Naniwa edition (Kansai area limited cover) 12 track CD

Tracklist

  1. FAINT TIMBRE~prologue~
  2. Selly~Namonai hoshi no uta~
  3. Love Doll
  4. Tunderella
  5. STYLE
  6. FLAG
  7. RUSSIAN ROULETTE
  8. Rosario
  9. God knows
  10. Angel
  11. LIONHEART~lifetime with~
  12. FAINT TIMBRE~epilogue~

Chi’s interest in visual kei stems from her love of art. The unique aesthetics in combination with the wide range of musical styles within the genre have been what has kept her interest in the visual kei scene for over a decade. The main image her friends and classmates have of her is with a camera in hand, face behind the viewfinder or screen. This image is also occasionally combined with memories of running around her to avoid getting into her panorama shots.

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