I'm back with another C86 album review!
Perpetual Devotion is the first of two albums that ENS has released during C86, featuring some arrangements from the latest Touhou game, Double Dealing Character.
ENS has been around the doujin scene for a while and quite frankly, their music style hasn't changed too much over the past few years. A few months ago during Reitaisai 11, they only released a "Best Of" album and a instrumental version of their C885 album. So there wasn't any new content from them during the last event. However, they are now back with two new albums in Comiket 86.
01 Libido-Catastrophe - The typical "ENS" sound. Most people who have been following ENS will know what I mean. Overall, a mediocre arrangement.
02 twilight - A guest arrangement of Romantic Fall by cYsmix. He's a young Norwegian arranger who has released a couple of albums on Bandcamp and occasionally works with Amateras Records. If you're into House music, do check out Haunted House, which a pretty good Touhou album. Anyways... onto the track itself: Great intro with good instrumentals, but I didn't like the vocals by Anna Hanasaki here.
03 You're the love of my life... - My favorite track of the album. A nice trance arrangement of a Double Dealing Character theme, Inchlings of the Shining Needle ~ Little Princess, Great build up, impactful drop, fitting vocals and instrumentals. What more could I ask for?
04 over the wind - Another typical problem that I find with ENS: the lyrics/vocals just don't match up with the instrumentals. While the instrumentals are playing the Wind God Girl melody, the vocalist just seems to be doing something else.
05 Lunicode - An okay track. There's not much to complain about, but nothing to praise either.
06 Original Color - A good track featuring Yuduki Tsubaki, a very young vocalist and one of my favorites. She still has that loli voice, but it's not as cute as it used to be. The track is a very subtle arrangement of Emotional Skyscraper, which is mainly heard in Tsubaki's voice.
07 ストレンジムーン - A decent arrangement, with Tsubaki once again. However her voice sounds much more mature in this track compared to the last. It's actually kind of hard to believe how different she can sound.
08 さくらのみち - I really enjoyed the intro to this arrangement. However when the vocals came on, it was the typical ENS case of not matching the lyrics with the instrumentals. It did improve near the middle of the track though.
09 lovesickness - The intro to this arrangement felt a bit abrupt and I feel like it didn't make much use of the Fall of Falls theme aside from the intro and the end. It sounds like a typical ENS track otherwise.
10 select - Another mediocre track from ENS. I've heard better vocals from Miko before.
11 偶像 - A fairly boring track. The arrangement doesn't really develop into much, Side note: for a really good arrangement of Illusionary Joururi, check out Shishimai Brothers' arrangement of it from track 6 their C85 album, 白々明.
Whenever I hear something from EastNewSound, I usually think "Ahh, that's an ENS arrangement". Some may say that ENS's arrangements are very stylistic and easily recognizable but I think they're honestly just repetitive after having listened to all their albums since the beginning. The thing that bothers me the most about ENS is the way they they combine their vocals and instrumentals. It just doesn't make sense or sound good.
I wasn't familiar with the Double Dealing Characters themes aside from Illusionary joururi but Perpetual Devotion's arrangements didn't do any good with introducing them to me either.
If you're going to listen to this album, I hope you're a ENS fan. Otherwise don't bother wasting your time except for maybe just tracks 3, 6, and 7. Two of those three tracks were arranged by guest arrangers from Amateras Records and the other by Kirin (ENS). It's quite disappointing to end up only liking one track that's ACTUALLY by EastNewSound.
3.0/5 - Mediocre. Probably not worth your time.
EastNewSound also has a second Comiket 86 album, which consists of original compositions but I'm not too hopeful for it. I'll listen to it anyways but I won't give it a full review if I don't like it.
Looking back at my library, the only tracks that I've ever really liked from ENS's older works are by Crouka, who is no longer part of ENS. It's such a shame that he left, because he probably had the most interesting and unique arrangements out of the circle. He is still active in the Touhou scene however, occasionally appearing as a guest arranger for Halozy and DiGiTAL WiNG's albums.
My favorite older ENS tracks, by Crouka, are as following:
07 Future Megalopolis Kyoto from Scattered Destiny
03 風導星歌、黎明ノ景 from Lucent Wish
03 Lucid Dream from Sacred Factor
04 花は幻想の果てに from Felsic Mirage
10 Subterranean Emotion from Split Theory
10 コモレビ・デイドリーム from Definite Energy (by MiYAMO)
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is a full time otaku & audiophile who enjoys listening to Touhou music, playing doujin games, and reading visual novels. For more information, visit the About page.