Foreground Eclipse – A Retrospective: Part 1/5

FRG01

Time for a different kind of post (kinda foreshadowed before).
Most of you already figured out, but I like Foreground Eclipse a lot.
There has never been a band that made a huge impact on me as they did, and while right now I’m not sure I can say they’re the band I like the most, they’re surely one of the most important band I’ve ever listened to.
The band released their last album on December 2013, thus marking their end.
Some says “there are two kinds of musicians: those who die as legends and those who live long enough to become sh*t”.
I think Foreground Eclipse died as a legend.
In terms of music, a lot of people doesn’t know that Foreground Eclipse changed their arranger through their carreer.
The arranger, aka the composer, is the structure of the band.
But people seem to ignore this. Just like those guys who thank the uploader of a subbed video instead of thanking the one who translated everything. F*ck you! (justkiddingofcourse)
The original formation had Merami as the lead singer, Teto as the drummer / scream vocals and Suzuori as the bassist / guitarist.
Most of the arranges are labeled “Foreground Eclipse” on the first albums, but each and every original track has been composed by Suzuori.
So, the first Foreground Eclipse original sounds were Suzuori’s.
But the formation changed on 2011, with Suzuori’s left during the production of Each And Every Word Leaves Me Here Alone.
Let’s start from the Suzuori period from this post.
So, what is this post about?
My opinions (I’m writing this again: MY PERSONAL OPINIONS) on Foreground Eclipse’s song, with comments, stories, ratings and everything.
This is purely subjective and it’s not absolutely a critic to Foreground Eclipse.

——————————

Wishes Hidden in the Foreground Noises

For this first post, I’d like to talk about the first album I’ve listened to rather than the first one they produced (and also this wordpress’ namesake).
You can see at the bottom of this post how I’m going to deal with song rating and posts order.
I can’t remember what year was it when I first listened to this album, but sure was a long time ago.
Should be around the time it came out, around 2010-2011.
I think of this as the best album from the Suzuori period, completely overshadowing the previous and the next one (which I’ll discuss in the next post).
And here’s what I think about the tracks featuring in it.

02. Vermillion Halo
Personal rating: ★★★☆☆
This is the very first Foreground Eclipse’s song I’ve ever listened to, and I found it randomly while looking for arranges of Riverside View.
I clearly remember I’ve listened to it without knowing Foreground Eclipse nor their album, and when I first got to listen to the whole Wishes Hidden in the Foreground Noises, I was very disappointed.
My musical tastes were not the same I have today, and I wasn’t particularly fond of screamo music, so this song was the only song I could have listened to without saying “why the screams, WHY?!”.
What I really liked about this song is the guitar rhythm which is both powerful and very delicate, and I also loved the final segment where the song fades out into that peaceful lalala~. Ohh, Merami.
Nowadays, I don’t listen to this song so much, because Foreground Eclipse has changed a lot, and with them my music tastes have changed too.
It’s still an amazing song and a nice arrange of Riverside View, but the myself of 2015 can’t give it more than 3 stars.
Maybe, some years ago, this would have been a 5/5.

03. Oath of Allegiance
Personal rating: ★★★★
The exact opposite of the previous song.
At first, I hated it with all my heart. I wasn’t into screamo music and couldn’t understand how “those screaming are considered music”.
I can’t clearly remember when I fled from this way of thinking and started to like screamo music.
But still, is a type of music that I still enjoy a lot today, and it’s of course thanks to Foreground Eclipse.
This song is so epic, how can someone dislike it?
First of all, its arrange is brilliant, and the double singing it’s one of the most well done I’ve ever heard.
Plus, the whole song is very aggressive but its lyrics are really soft, and that’s what makes it even more brilliant.
It’s a song that I won’t get tired listening to, no matter what.
Not worth 5 stars, but keep on mind that 4 stars it’s like saying “full marks”, while 5 stars means “full marks and hearts drawn around it with a red pen”.
That’s the most retarded metaphor ever.

04. I’m The Seeker (Maybe Each Your Word Calls For It)
Personal rating: ★★☆☆☆
Warning! 2 stars doesn’t mean I don’t like it! Only 1-star songs are “bad” scored.
This song is pretty brutal too, but I never actually got really into it.
Of course I like it, but there are lots of things about it that I can’t really stand.
First of all, the rhythm is cool but hard to listen because of its complex tempo, I can’t simply relax listening to this!
Second, the english sections.
Okay, I should be forgiving on japanese people singing in english (and I am, expecially if we’re talking about Merami), but while on other songs by them is pretty hard to understand the english section, in this one they’re pretty clear.
So, wrong pronunciations are pretty clear too.
There are FgE’s songs that I didn’t know were in english at first!
Also, the japanese section of this song is really good, and it’s a shame it’s so short.
I think they should have keep that type of sound for this song.
Still, this song builds up a clear picture of what its lyrics are talking about. And that can’t be negative at all.

05. Dancing With Happiness And Sadness
Personal rating: ★★☆☆☆
Pretty much the same things I said about the previous one can fit into this.
With the exception that this song isn’t brutal at all.
I’d say this song is not foreground-eclipseish (??) at all.
It’s still a nice song, but are we really sure Foreground Eclipse are behind it?
Nothing particular, but well executed.
Can’t give it 1 star because I don’t think it’s a bad arrange, but it isn’t that outstanding too.
If I didn’t know this song was on their CD, I would have guessed it was a different circle, like Draw the Emotional. That’s exactly why I can’t take this song as a FgE’s one.

06. In A Night When Her Sorrow Resounds Around
Personal rating: ★★★☆☆
When I finally got into screamo music, this one was probably my favourite track of the whole CD, at the beginning.
While I still think of it as an amazing arrange with nice lyrics / vocals, I can’t say that it stands out that much as I thought before.
That’s because its rhythm (which I like a lot, of course) lacks of something.
The drum section is marvelous and the guitar is really good, but I can’t say the same about the piano / chorus vocals and sometimes the normal vocals too.
It’s not like they’re bad, they’re just not-so-fitting sometimes.
To me, it sounds like the whole song lacks of something in some parts.
As if it’s filled with empty moments that should have been filled in some way or another.
And now it looks like I’m criticizing this song, but I’m not.
This song meant a lot to me back on those days, and I still love it as I did before.
Also, this song randomly shouts “Senses Fail” at a certain point.
And googling, lots of years ago, I found out it was a band. So, I’ve listened to “Bite to Break Skin” by them and…
They’re still one of my favourite band nowadays.
It’s amazing how things that happen randomly lead you into find something new and special.
And I could have never find out about them if it wasn’t for Foreground Eclipse!
I’m thankful to them in each and every possible way.

07. Truths, Ironies, The Secret Lyrics
Personal rating: ★★★☆☆
By far the most brutal out of the album, I swear it could have love it even more if its lyrics weren’t like that!
But that’s also what makes the song special.
Foreground Eclipse are actually one of the most succesful band on the touhou doujin panorama, and when this album came out, they weren’t yet popular.
So, I always symphatized with the lines on this song where they wish they were as popular as other touhou-music circles.
By now, the gained even more fame than most of them, and I couldn’t be happier.
Also, I remember I was pretty shocked reading its lyrics.
They were, indeed, “Secret”.
The arrange, by the way, isn’t half bad.
Everyone not paying attention to the lyrics could mistake it for a proper song with proper lyrics, because its structure suggests so.
I think this song shines more for its bizzarre lyrics rather than its actual musical contents.
That’s why I can’t give it more than 3 stars. It’s a good song after all.

08. Forget Me Not
Personal rating: ★★★★★
There we go, the first 5 stars!
I’m saying this on this first post and it can easily apply to every other post: Foreground Eclipse is a great musical circle and their touhou arranges are really good, but the songs where they shine the most are those that doesn’t involve Touhou project.
But we’ll talk again about it on other posts, expecially when we’ll come in contact with certain songs.
For now, let’s focus on Forget Me Not.
This song is outstanding.
No screams, and there’s actually no need for them, a simple and smooth guitar track that one can’t get away from his/her mind, a calming and intense bass line and an energetic yet somehow really appropriate drum beat that, along with one of the most beautiful lyrics from the Suzuori-era, makes the first original Foreground Eclipse song to shine brighter than the other tracks on the same CD.
I think of this song as the best original track from the first era of Foreground Eclipse, but it also made me realize something about the next era.
But… we’ll talk about it once we reach the third post.
Anyway, this song has everything a masterpiece requires.
The best track of the album in my opinion, and, still in my opinion, a little bit overshadowed my other tracks that aren’t as great as it is.
And it means a lot to me. Let’s not forget everything’s just part of my opinions.

09. THE DISTANT JOURNEY TO YOU
Personal rating: ★★★★
Well, this song too, like Vermillion Halo or In a Night When her Sorrow Resounds Around, used to be one of those who I couldn’t stop listening to.
Like other screamo tracks, I completely ignored this one at the beginning, only to discover, later, that it was indeed an awesome track.
I also named my previous (failure-filled) wordpress after this track, and I think there’s actually a western touhou music circle that uses it as their name.
The song isn’t an original not either a Touhou arrange, it’s a remake of a previous song sung by Merami by the circle SUPER POWER.
This song is, in my opinion, one of the most important Foreground Eclipse’s song, but to explain it better we need to wait post #4 and #5.
So, keep it on mind for now!
I don’t listen to this song that much nowadays because it marked a certain period of my life, and I want it to stay as it is.
So… yeah, I love this song but I can’t say I listen to it that often as I did before!

About this post

I decided to start with their second album because it’s the first one I’ve listened to, and, in my opinion, the best and most important album from the first Foreground Eclipse’s period.
The next post will be about Missing, Loving… and Suffering and Tears Will Become Melodies Tonight, which are, in my opinion, far from this album’s sounds, in a general way (and the two albums I dislike the most…).
You can check the rating system down below, as well as the posts order.
Hope you enjoyed reading all of this, and I hope everyone asking me opinions about Foreground Eclipse will be satisfied!
Next post coming… maybe not so soon, but coming for sure.

Rating system:
☆☆☆☆ – Poor
★★☆☆☆ – Nice
★★★☆☆ – Good
★★★★☆ – Very Good
★★★★★ – Excellent

Retrospective parts:

Part 1: Wishes Hidden in the Foreground Noises
Part 2: Missing, Loving… and Suffering + Tears Will Become Melodies Tonight
Part 3: Each And Every Word Leaves Me Here Alone
Part 4: Stories That Last Through The Sleepless Nights
Part 5: Extra, Bonus tracks, Seated with Liquor

See you next post!
PS: check this post’s category.

Advertisements

About foregroundnoises

I'm a 23 y.o. italian guy, I have a degree in japanese language & culture and I'm currently advancing in my studies. I love music but I'm too self-destructive to attempt to produce it myself. Sometimes I gaze at my shoes and think it's a nice genre. Mainly translating japanese music lyrics (Touhou / doujin / indie / etc) and Gaki no Tsukai clips (worked with Team Gaki too). 宜しくお願いしマスタースパーク。
This entry was posted in Useless Opinions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Foreground Eclipse – A Retrospective: Part 1/5

  1. alv (@GWAlv) says:

    Time to reminisce! This was also the first album by them I heard, and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like heavy music (and especially scream vocals) as much as I do now if someone hadn’t recommended them. They also caused me to expand my horizons when the only thing I used to hear was IOSYS, Innocent Key, etc. From the beginning I’ve liked THE DISTANT JOURNEY TO YOU over the other songs in this one; dunno why, but it’s always been a perfect mix of melodic and harsh vocals to me (especially in the final chorus). If I had to choose two other songs, they’d be Forget Me Not and Vermillion Halo; the former is, as you said, really good and doesn’t need screams, and the latter grew on me more than any other because of how amazing it sounded (and also no screams. As for the other songs, I pretty much liked all of them but didn’t listen to some as much as others (pretty certain I felt the same way about I’m The Seeker and Dancing With). And Truths and Ironies is a pretty cool song too. Will wait to see your thoughts on the other two albums of the Suzuori era! (… sorry if this is ridiculously long and ramble-y)

    • I’m glad to read we share a similar opinion!
      Even on that IOSYS thing, I use to think IOSYS and the other mainstream circles (Silver Forest, Innocent Key etc.) were the only circles that made touhou-arranges, and only knew songs by them.
      Foreground Eclipse came into my life so suddenly I can’t clearly remember, but thanks to them I must say I learned and started to apreciate lots of things.
      Hope I’m not going to criticize songs you like on the next posts! hahah
      I

  2. Pingback: Foreground Eclipse – A Retrospective: Part 2/5 | Wishes Hidden in the Foreground Noises

  3. Pingback: Foreground Eclipse – A Retrospective: Part 3/5 | Wishes Hidden in the Foreground Noises

  4. Pingback: Foreground Eclipse – A Retrospective: Part 5/5 [final] | Wishes Hidden in the Foreground Noises

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s