ReviewsRaise a Suilen - Savage (Bushiroad)

Raise a Suilen – Savage (Bushiroad)

Having featured the Bang Dream act in some previous end of year articles, it seemed the right time to give them a bit more spotlight with the release of their second full-length album, Savage. For those unfamiliar with the Bang Dream/Bandori universe, Raise a Suilen is one of a number of female-led acts within the rather successful mobile game, who merge together elements of frantic metal riffing, heavy doses of synth, and a dual vocal approach (with other members occasionally injecting a few words here and there). The voice actresses sing and perform the music live as a group, outside of the game/anime. Of the groups, Raise a Suilen is by far the most chaotic and adrenaline-inducing.

While Savage serves as more of a compilation of recent singles, it’s a great introduction to anyone who happens to stumble across it. To the uninitiated though, Raise a Suilen is ‘a lot’ to deal with in that they throw everything but the kitchen sink at you. Let’s take a look at a new song, “V.I.P. Monster” as an example. The song zips from a quick electronic intro into some barreling, uptempo rock riffing as Raychell’s vocals sit playfully atop some incredibly melodic guitar leads. Then DJ Risa Tsumugi injects some rap-influenced beats atop her high-pitched rapid-fire vocals and some drum battery before a more melodic yet driving chorus settles in. Guitar hero riffing and lead work dominates the track through the verses, and comes across as incredibly hook-y. To add more fuel to the fire, the song delivers a full breakdown later on while Tsumugi chants said words. While there’s nothing as utterly insane on Savage as “Hell! or Hell?” it’s a solid representation of what the band has come to be known for.

Raise a Suilen are at their best when they are going out with full-energy, furious tracks. This scribe was first introduced to them with “Sacred World” (the opening to Assault Lily Bouquet), a song that blends some frantic synth and turntable injections alongside stadium rock-level melodies and some punishing groove-riffs. “Battle Cry” is a raging anthem, merging some soaring gang vocals, thrashing riffs, electrifying synths, bashing drumwork, and some impressive vocal work from Raychell as she does her best to aim as high any power metal vocalist worth their salt. Later song “Repaint” rolls together melodies that wouldn’t feel out of place on a melodeath track with copious amounts of rock attitude and rave-esque synthwork. That said, the group does know how to slow things down with some haunting atmosphere, and “EXIST” has been one of their best songs for years with it’s dark riffing and enticing Japanese melodies combining perfectly with Raychell’s enchanting vocal work.

Ultimately, with the intense turntable work and Tsumugi’s love-it-or-hate-it higher pitched rap bursts (which do pair quite well as a foil for Raychell’s deeper voice), Raise a Suilen aren’t for everyone. But if you want a group that can effectively take you on an unrelenting journey through frantic soundscapes that blur the metal/rock/electronic line, you won’t find a more compelling sound than Raise a Suilen.

Raise a Suilen official website