Prompts are a band that has made a name for themselves since 2012 by releasing some of the heaviest and nastiest metalcore within Japan. With their new release ‘Magenta Smile,’ they have not only exceeded all expectations of what fans have come to expect from them but they have also raised the bar for heavy music in general. There is an added layer of experimentation this time around in regards to creepy atmospherics found under some of the songs. The choruses are also done in a much cleaner pop-punk style which is a nice contrast to the onslaught of harsh vocals, heavy riffs, and the progressive nature of the drumming in the verses. These are the main aspects that make them stand out from other bands as the melding of metalcore, djent, deathcore, and pop punk on this release is something that is incredibly unique and cannot be heard elsewhere.
With earlier songs such as ‘Surveillant,’ Prompts had established a very raw yet heavy sound which could be compared to bands such as ‘Void Of Vision’ and ‘Volumes’ mixed in with melodic passages akin to hardcore bands such as ‘The Ghost Inside.’ Even in terms of vocals, there was much more of a hardcore vocal approach compared to their metallic approach on ‘Magenta Smile.’ The pop punk elements weren’t fully formulated yet on their earlier songs but the blueprints for something great could clearly be heard. It wouldn’t be until the release of ‘Magenta Smile,’ that they would fully combine all of these elements into a much more polished and leaner machine ready to decimate everything in their path.
The first song released from ‘Magenta Smile’ entitled ‘Tunnel Effect’ is a song that fully portrays this newfound confidence and polish to their sound, the harsh vocal delivery on this song is delivered by the vocalist ‘PK’ in an almost rap-like fashion in places which only adds to the heaviness. The song itself is a merging of two songs into one, it starts off as a metalcore song before transitioning into a punk pop song after a brief ambient interlude. The influence on the drumming courtesy of ‘Heaven’ and guitar work of Matsuno can clearly be compared to a band such as ‘Reflections’ as it takes a more progressive and groove orientated approach similar to a song like ‘Actius Luna’. The pop punk aspect of the song comes in the form of the vocals from bass player ‘Piguri’ which can be compared to someone like ‘Tom Delonge’ from ‘Blink 182’. Lyrically the song touches on themes of breaking away from social media which influences people to act and behave in a certain way hence losing all sense of individualism.
‘Backlit’ is probably the best song that portrays their unique blend of heavy and melodic styles. It starts off with a metalcore intro before morphing into something that bands like Structures and Volumes would have created on their earlier songs, both in terms of musicality as well as the frantic vocal delivery. The chorus of this song also meshes well against the backdrop of heaviness as it utilizes a much lighter clean sung section that is done in more of a melodic metal style which is much different from the pop punk technique used on their other songs. All of these elements mesh together very well with the lyrics about the importance of being honest in a world of fake people.
‘EVOLVE’ is a song that really amplifies the unique sound this band creates; it has a lot of groove and bounce in terms of how the instruments are used similar to the band ‘Coldrain,’ yet features some really creepy atmospheric sounds underneath quite a large portion of the song. These atmospheric parts are similar to interludes that ‘Slipknot’ or ‘Norma Jean’ use and add another unique layer to their sound. The breakdown in this song is very reminiscent of the song ‘Disobey’ by ‘Crystal Lake,’ when it happens, it hits with the force of an out-of-control freight train. The outro however reminds me of the vocal technique of the song ‘Crossburner’ from ‘The Dillinger Escape Plan.’ The menacing spoken word vocals are backed up by some very creepy atmospheric sounds which sound as if they have come straight from a horror movie which fits the theme of a failed relationship this song focuses on.
The CD version of the album includes a bonus cover of the hit song ‘BOOM’ from ‘P.O.D.’ It respects the original song yet adds a healthy dose of harsh vocals during the chorus which brings an added sense of originality to the song. The breakdown towards the end is also a nice addition and really suits the heavier approach they have used on the cover of this timeless classic.
‘Prompts’ are a band who have successfully taken their inspirations and blended them together in a way that allows the songs they have created to take on a newfound sense of chaos and heaviness whilst still retaining enough melody so that the songs don’t become stale. ‘Prompts’ are revitalizing metal with a newfound sense of urgency and freedom to their compositions and will continue to demolish live venues for many years to come, much like ‘The Mad Capsule Markets’ did before them and much like ‘Paledusk’ are doing right now. The future of metal is very bright and ‘Prompts’ are at the forefront of leading this wave of creativity and will continue to do so for many years to come. Take the ‘Blvck Pill’ and embrace the chaos!