Single review: “black bullet” by fripSide

fripSide is a Japanese pop and trance duo signed to Geneon Entertainment. black bullet is their 8th single.

Release date: 14th of May, 2014

Track list:
1. black bullet
2. pico scope -SACLA-
3. black bullet (Instrumental)
4. pico scope -SACLA- (Instrumental)

1. black bullet
The latest A-side from fripSide opens with a dance beat bouncing alongside layers of synth, and within barely a number of seconds, an eruption of Guren no Yumiya-esque chanting suddenly appears, stirring up an ominous, almost menacing atmosphere. The built-up passion is stripped away to reveal a somewhat calm section of the first verse, with Yoshino steadily singing parallel to a beat and a piano melody. Trademark fripSide synths smoothly transition into the established arrangement, and their consistent pulsating are in perfect time with the vocal melody. The verse escalates into the high-spirited chorus, filled to the brim with catchy melodies wonderfully handled by Yoshino, as well as vibrant synths á la sister’s noise and LEVEL5 -judgelight-. This pattern is repeated until the bridge, in which the beginning segment of a dance beat, synths and chanting is intermingled with an electric guitar solo, giving rise to a much welcomed surge of energy. But again, this is taken away in favor of Yoshino’s clear, now insistent vocals, this time accompanied by strings and hi-hats. Soon after, the arrangement is rightfully intensified once again in time for the final chorus, as Yoshino finishes on an extended high note, and the instrumentation comes full circle.

2. pico scope -SACLA-
Tied to an anime short, the accompanying B-side starts off with a palpitating synthesizer, somewhat similar to the kind of sound that would accompany a tense moment in an action/sci-fi movie. As this lone sound thins out, a happycore instrumentation breaks out of the blue, and Yoshino’s higher, juvenile tone emerges to match the mood. Beginning the first verse is the simple combination of the faint sound of the palpitating synthesizer and the ever-present, forceful dance beat. As the arrangement increases in tempo, it is enhanced with a plethora of synths reminiscent to those heard in only my railgun, only much quicker. Oddly, this song doesn’t feature the escalating to a chorus, but rather, the verses almost blend into the chorus, as both sections seem like they are on the same level (intensity and tempo-wise). An entertaining electro/techno breakdown is what characterises the bridge, and just like in black bullet, much energy is present in this section. The track ends with a repetition of the chorus, soon brought to a halt in a similar fashion to the Gokukoku no Brynhildr opening theme.

I have been eagerly anticipating this single for a while now; partly because I’m a fan of fripSide, and also because I heard the TV size of black bullet several times while keeping up with the anime of the same name. Either way, I knew this was going to be good, and the duo did not disappoint. The A-side is basically anison done well, creatively incorporating chanting with the standard fripSide style we know and love. pico scope -SACLA- is probably the fastest I’ve heard from them as of yet, and even though it’s quite short and relatively straightforward, it’s an entertaining tune to hear. Overall, a commendable effort!

Rating: 4/5


On a side note:

The Limit Break review is taking a bit longer than we thought for a few reasons, so I decided to post this in advance :)