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Home > Pick up+ > HOLLOWGRAM "ALBUS/RUFUS" Review



A year has already passed since this band was officially announced. It's formed with ex. members of 9GOATS BLACK OUT, GULLET, the studs and Lc5. Such acclaimed musicians have been raising fans' expectations with their activities. Whereas these are the 2nd releases of HOLLOWGRAM up-to-date, they are the 1st ones to be available for overseas listeners. In the following article you have a review of the songs contained in 'Qualia [ALBUS]' and 'Qualia [RUFUS]', including the remastered ones. Enjoy it!

1. adolescent (ALBUS)
No clues are needed to understand the imagine behind 'adolescent'. The melody is somewhat nostalgic and sketches an orange-colored summer day. It goes from the first ray of light at dawn to the last hours of twilight.

2. Rufus (RUFUS)
The title comes from a Latin word which means "rust" and "red." Like the color red it represents "passion"; it's a "declaration of love" in capital letters. At 1st listen it may appear simple but the harmonization shows the contrary. The acoustic guitar on the last verses makes it more gentle and elegant.

3. ideologue (ALBUS/RUFUS)
Impressive beginning. This tune outstands for its lyrical challenge. As usual, these lyrics written by ryo are full of transcendental meaning and deep insight. In this one, there are references to human's nature as well as Aristotle's philosophy.

The mystical melody of the song embrace your senses the very first seconds, it's followed closely by ryo's low voice reciting a mantra, reaching its full bloom when the chorus begins as he growls like a beast. This parade of highs and downs -as well as some suitable music effects- make of this tune one of their most powerful and attractive.

4. Pleasance Liddell (ALBUS/RUFUS)
Electronic vibe to start and finish this danceable piece.
Tales and reality are blended in this up tempo song based on the fantasy world of Lewis Carroll.
The back growls on the chorus become the most animated part, giving path for fans to yell to the rhythm on live performances. Given its catchy feeling, it's surely the one they will consider to play in every venue they step into.

5. Albus (ALBUS)
This title comes from Latin too. It means "white" and "new leaves." The song is full of different sound effects and switches between mid to up tempo. Since it's very experimental and the voice only has a "supporting role", it could be taken as an interlude. It's perfect to hear the five pieces' ensemble, especially the two guitarists. Very rhythmical, probably the type of song you will rather listen with attention than try to sing.

6. Butterfly in her dreams (ALBUS)
Highly appealing and acclaimed by listeners. Easy to identify for anyone who has listened yuki amano's bands. Unlike a lot of ballads, this one is not leaded by a guitar or piano but by his fretless bass, which sets the rhythm to the rest of the instruments that follow suit. "Amazingly beautiful" seems the appropriate description.

shinya's drumming leads the rhythm of this full-of-screaming, thunderous march composed by kazuya. Very pleasant and unexpected surprise but sadly just 2 minutes to fully enjoy it!! Also, as in 'ideologue', ryo has challenged himself trying new ways to sing and fans will surely appreciate the effort.

8. シルエット [Silhouette] (RUFUS)
yumeji's arpeggio sets the sweet and melodic atmosphere of this vivid ballad. The lyrics talk about love, eternal love, showing affection to a person and cherish all the moments they spent together. And while hearing them you can clearly imagine an unclouded, fair sky upon you.

9. Stand the devil's like (ALBUS/RUFUS)
Barely 3 minutes but perfect for the live performance, to encourage to raise fists at unison. The lyrics are short and easy to follow with the song's title being repeated throughout the piece. It intertwines both screaming and whispers turning its taste into fiendish and malicious. Around 1'50'' there is an interlude with bass and guitar solos that uplift even more kazuya's electronic music.

10. Don't cry to the knell (ALBUS/RUFUS)
Another clear music challenge. The molds are broken for something eccentric given the dark nature of the band. The theme is "happiness" and "positivism". More than a "farewell song" it conveys a "see you later." It can lightly remind to L'arc〜en〜Ciel's releases of the late 90's.

11. mistletoe (ALBUS/RUFUS)
"Your wish will come true" With these hopeful words you can certainly picture the bright future that awaits for this band. They show one last time that being talented musicians doesn't equal difficult riffs or overloaded instrumentals, that the detail is in the simplicity and sometimes that's the only you need to emotionally penetrate someone.

In conclusion, the albums contain contrasts that you should try to grasp at one of their concerts, since a lot of songs are aimed for the live performance. It should be noted that the remastering gives a new and refresh sound to the band, let you sense musical nuances that you couldn't hear in the 1st release.

Recommended for fans of Lin Tosite Sigure, BOOM BOOM SATELLITES, and of course, of all the previous bands and related projects HOLLOWGRAM's musicians have like -eS-, TAG or DIMMDIVISION.

Available to purchase overseas on CDJapan.

HOLLOWGRAM Official Site