Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jenlayn - Suicide Children & Finale reviews


Suicide ChildrenWith a painfully beautiful ballad that moves your soul, Jenlayn’s February release “Suicide Children” does anything but disappoint. Hauntingly beautiful lyrics, stunning arrangement, and entrancing melody; from start to finish, “Suicide Children” draws you into its story, full of darkness and pain with only a glimmer of hope.

As the piece begins, a melodic, soft rhythm washes over you as the delicate harmony between Obi’s bass and both guitars takes a hold of you. With each second, you feel as though you are trapped; lost and alone in a melancholy dream. This feeling slowly builds as Yura’s vocals enters at 00:20, his smooth vocals pull you in further as their story begins.

Throughout the ballad, you can feel emotions full of darkness, hope, and desire as if stuck in a battle of self-perpetuating pain of two lost souls. As the song progresses, these two lost souls’ stories intertwine--coming alive the most during the chorus when Yura is calling out “It won’t stop, but don’t give up.” With these words, it feels like he is reaching out and shedding a ray of hope while dealing with his own battle.

In fact, one of my favorite moments in this piece is at 5:06-5:40, when Yura sings the chorus as you hear the light drumming of Jere in the background. With each drum beat, it felt as though a heart was beating straight from Yura’s chest. This intensity began to build only slightly before the delicate touches of the piano released him from agony. This piano part was brilliantly played by Chido, who was featured in this song.

One of the most captivating and moving aspects of this emotional journey is the amazing flow of the arrangement. The harmony between all of the instruments mold together perfectly; performing as one throughout this entire piece. This melodic harmony still remains, as the energy begins to pick up nearly halfway through the ballad before lightly receding at the very end. Leading into this middle section is one of my favorite parts in the form of Red’s guitar solo at 2:37-2:53. There is an uplifting feeling to this solo that just pushes you out of the darkness.

For their first ballad, Jenlayn’s “Suicide Children” is a masterpiece that stirs deep emotion in your heart. With its powerful message, this ballad is definitely worth a listen. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.



FinaleThis time last year was very monumental for Finnish visual band, Jenlayn; it saw some major changes to the band in a new line-up, including Jae's switch from vocalist to guitarist, Red switching to lead guitarist and the addition of Yura as the new vocalist. Since then, the past year has seen a number of releases from this band, each one better than the last. For this reason, it's highly fitting that their latest release is titled 'Finale' as it wraps up this great year for the band.

'Finale' starts off on a great note, making use of split stereo tracks with the guitar on the left side and the drums on the right. The intro to 'Finale' has a haunting sound that pleasantly echoes their earlier release 'Seven Steps'. Afterward, however, all similarities disappear. The intro continues with a unity between the instruments playing a heavy jam that make this song easy to rock out to. Surprisingly, at 00:28 when the verses begin, Yura isn't singing - he's rapping. While this approach is quite different, it's executed in a way that still leaves the listener entertained and wrapped in the lyrics.

While fans might have been apprehensive about the rapping, Yura does sing a rather catchy refrain which he ends with a nice growl before Jere, Obi, Red and Jae take over with another instrumental section. The rapping picks back up at 1:14, and when the verse ends, rather than continue with a refrain, you’re led right into the chorus. After the chorus comes my favorite part of most songs; the solo. The best way for me to really describe this solo is an explosion of the GazettE meeting X; which makes perfect sense when you look at the band's inspirations. Out of all of Jenlayn's solos, this one is my favorite.

After the stunning solo, the song jumps right back into the refrain, however this time it's to wind down the song. Luckily, there is still some excitement left in store. After the riveting refrain and instrumental section, there is a slight change in the guitar leading into a short bridge, followed by a chorus being repeated twice. While all the lyrics in this song are meaningful, I particularly like the chorus, especially when you consider the bridge. The meaning is pretty deep; however, I'll leave it up to the reader and listener to determine the meaning. After the chorus is repeated for the second time, it ends with a nice growl from Yura before one last hurrah from Obi, Red, Jae, and Jere.

Truly this song is a piece of art, and probably one of Jenlayn's catchier releases. Therefore, I happily award 'Finale' a 9.5/10 and I certainly hope we won't be seeing Jenlayn's grand finale anytime soon.



Find out more about Jenlayn: OHP Official Facebook | Soundcloud


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-"Suicide Children" review Rita Nokkaew (Ayva Trance)

- "Finale" review written by Michelle Gaynor (tenten)

Edited by Alicia Thomas


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