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Seventh Heaven

Kalafina

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Album Review

For an anime credits band, Kalafina stand on their own surprisingly well, with opera-pop that is much heavier on the "pop" part than the "opera" part, but still sounds very enjoyable even without big-eyed visuals to boost the impact. The most evident comparison here is Origa — she of Ghost in the Shell O.S.T. fame: Seventh Heaven has the same kind of dramatic, multi-layered synth pop and dynamic techno beats propping the really powerful (though not exactly opera-level) vocals, delivered, in Kalafina's case, in both solo and chorus performances. The vocals are, in fact, so tight and polished that they sound as artificial as the synthesizers, even though the idea was obviously to contrapose the electronic music and the live singing — but this fits the songs, which are fun precisely due to their otherworldly perfection. The music isn't exactly catchy, but it's not dull, as sometimes happens with vocal-oriented records. Besides, the band goes some length to not lose the listener: "Natsu No Ringo," for instance, uses folk instruments and "Mata Kaze Ga Tsuyokunatta" is a pop-industrial number with a gritty guitar. However, this is not enough to keep the thrill level high throughout the whole album, which clocks in at well over an hour, and so after a while it's possible to discern that Seventh Heaven, for all its epic and noble aspirations, is rooted in the lowly '80s and '90s dance-pop of 2 Unlimited and Erasure, although it is to those bands what a TIE fighter would be to Sputnik 1. Moreover, for all its evolutionary achievements, Seventh Heaven has lost the base animal catchiness of classic techno, and so it's not as memorable as it could be — though it has still a lot of fun to offer.

Customer Reviews

Kalafina's 1st U.S. Release

Japanese composer, Yuki Kajiura's (famous for .hack//SIGN, NOIR, & [MADLAX]) musical project to cover the theme songs for the Kara no Kyoukai (Garden of Sinners) film series. Kalafina consists of female vocalist Wakana Ootaki, Keiko Kubota, Maya, & Hikaru. Those familiar with Kajiura's work will recognize her heavy chorus/chanting/string/etheral/anime/japanese pop hybrid music. For those who don't, it's worth looking into. There's a pretty good musical mix. Though fanatics of anime & ambient music will probably like it better. Oblivious, Fairytale, Aria, and Sprinter are recommended.

Innovative

This group's work is impressively innovative. I first heard of them, like many others, through Anime Boston (I had a friend who went). I was deeply impressed with the mixture of Japanese pop rhythms and effects with operatic choral singing. The music is never overbearing, yet it's oddly touching. I was pretty much instantly a fan. A comment my friend made was how this music would be appropriate as the opening or closing for many different types of animes, and I'm inclined to agree. Kalafina's music is diverse and different from the rest of the J-Pop crowd, and that makes them worth listening to.

It's simply fantastic.

I'm (admittably) an avid J-Pop fan. I will be frank, this album is super awesome. Kalafina remind me a lot of See-Saw except, Kalafina incorporates an ethereal blend of vocals with rock style compositions that just work exceptionally and quite beautifully with each song. I am very pleased with this album and hope others will support Kalafina's fantastic first, complete album. (I just wish the booklet came the album download.)

Biography

Formed: 2007 in Japan

Genre: Anime

Years Active: '00s

The driving force behind Kalafina is anime soundtrack composer Yuki Kajiura, who picked several talented (and beautiful) female singers to perform her dance-pop and operatic pop tunes. Kalafina were initially tied to the anime adaptation of the Kara No Kyoukai novels, with which Kajiura was involved around 2008, when she invited Wakana Ootaki and Keiko Kubota from FictionJunction to sing the themes from the series. The idea caught on, as the debut single "Oblivious" released by Kalafina in 2008 charted...
Full Bio
Seventh Heaven, Kalafina
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: May 12, 2009

Customer Ratings