Oh, Wagakki Band. You have yet to fail us when it comes to pairing gritty guitars and killer percussion with Japanese folk instruments and Yuuko Suzuhana’s otherworldly voice. And “Strong Fate” is no exception!
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with them, Wagakki Band was formed in 2013 and their first album “Vocalo Zanmai” debuted in April 2014. The lead singer Yuuko Suzuhana is a shigin singer. Shigin is basically traditional Japanese performance poetry. In addition to the typical rock band instruments, 4 of the 8 band members play Japanese folk instruments such as the shamisen (a Japanese lute) and the shakuhachi (a Japanese flute). This unorthodox pairing of sounds in combination with music videos full of fantasy have gained them a worldwide following.
While we’ve expressed our love of the band’s offerings in prior posts, it is this writer’s opinion that both this song and video take them to a whole new level. The first minute of the song is somewhat uncharacteristically sparse sonically compared to some of their other songs, but this actually allows Suzuhana’s voice to take on a shimmering quality in conjunction with the shamisen work and conjures up images of water rippling on an icy lake in the dead of winter along with the sense that a foundation is being laid for something greater to come. If you are looking for something dramatic and intense, this video doesn’t disappoint.
There’s also great news for Wagakki Band fans old and new on the West Coast: between July 12 and July 16, Wagakki Band will be performing four concerts in California on their “衝撃 (shogeki) Deep Impact” tour. You can find more information on dates, times, locations, and tickets here on their website.
For more on Wagakki Band, check out this post on their song “Valkyrie”, the opening to the anime Twin Star Exorcists.
Sources: Wagakki Band, Youtube/Avex, Wikipedia
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