Foreground Eclipse was a self-proclaimed “emo/screamo” Touhou arrangement band that eventually would go on to become a “post-hardcore/metalcore” band. At the time of the band’s formation, no other circles were doing this blend of punk and screamo, and the production values were relatively high on their full albums, so Foreground Eclipse’s fanbase steadily grew through the years before their dissolution at the end of 2013. Their 4 years of activity can be broken into 2 clean segments: during and post-Suzuori’s activities as a member.
Foreground Eclipse formed from connections made during ななふれっと’s activities. Suzuori was main arranger/lyricist and played guitar/bass, Teto provided drums, screams, and worked on audio engineering, and Merami performed lead vocals. Together, these 3 sounded a lot like early Coheed & Cambria: capable of crafting catchy punk choruses and emotionally charged verses. Comparisons could also be drawn to AFI, Underoath, At the Drive-In, The Fall of Troy, and Fall Out Boy, but the band collectively (and especially Teto) were also taking influences from the then-budding metalcore scene (and bands like Bullet For My Valentine and The Devil Wears Prada).
Of note here are how good each member was at their particular roles. Suzuori, while never going so far as to “shred” his guitar, was able to craft simple-sounding guitar melodies (some of which are actually relatively challenging to play) and structures that while for the most part were basic, often times would throw the listener for a loop whether they understood what they were listening to or not. Teto is certainly a skilled drummer; in the first two albums you can clearly feel his energy, and the patterns are never simply “snare on the 2 and 4.” Vocally, the band is impressive: Teto’s raspy screams complementing Merami’s soaring lead vocals.
The band released 5 Demo discs, 1 EP, and 2 albums during this period. Demos aside, both full albums are worth listening to if punk/screamo are in your general interests.
Songs (Top 5 +1?):
Calm Eyes Fixed On Me, Screaming
Oath of Allegiance
Dancing With Happiness and Sadness
In A Night When Her Sorrow Resounds Around
Fall of Tears
Perchance to Dream: Ay, There’s the Rub
Here is a playlist I made for these songs:
At this point, we can talk about Suzuori’s leaving of Foreground Eclipse, and what that meant for the group. On “Wishes…” and “Tears…,” Teto had arranged 2 songs himself, those being “I’m the Seeker,” both “Secret Lyrics,” and “Perchance to Dream.” There is a clear difference in style between these songs and the rest on those albums, and while they are different, they still fit within those albums and the albums are more varied (and better) because of them. We can also hear (in “Secret Lyrics,” “Perchance to Dream,” and the “Tears…” intro track Teto’s inclination towards synths and electronic melodies. When Suzuori left, leaving Teto as sole arranger, Teto was free to explore this territory.
“Post-Suzuori” Foreground Eclipse can be categorized as “post-hardcore/metalcore” along the lines of Attack Attack!, Dance Gavin Dance, Woe, Is Me, Fear, and Loathing In Las Vegas, and Memphis May Fire (post-“The Hollow”). The guitar tones are “heavier,” the drums “punchier,” and in general the music is bigger and louder. Teto and Merami’s vocals are as strong as ever, and support member Siym’s guitar playing is at a technically higher level, allowing Teto to arrange fast, sweeping guitar melodies. Teto’s drumming is still frantic, and his audio engineering abilities continue to improve (in particular his use of enhanced drum samples, which is not a bad thing when considering the style of music).
Foreground Eclipse released another 5 Demo discs (2 being singles), a split album with fellow metalcore producer ゆよゆっぺ (Draw the Emotional), and another 2 albums before their dissolution. The albums are well produced, and if you’re a fan of metalcore it’s well worth your time to check at least Stories That Last Through the Sleepless Nights.
Songs (Top 5):
You May Not Want to Hear This But
Dear, Are You Getting Sober
Last Liar Standing
Things What Fowls Can’t See Confuse Us
Obstruction! Color It All Out
I want to mention that Suzuori and Teto did write a handful of original songs within their discography, and that they sound like… Foreground Eclipse. Music is music, so if you liked their arrangements, you’ll enjoy their few original songs as well.
I’m not going to go into a deep discussion about which era of Foreground Eclipse was better, because that’s stupid. Foreground Eclipse was a really good band, and one of my favorites in general (and not limited to Touhou). I didn’t get into them until “Each and Every Word…” came out (or Touhou arrangement in general) but I will say I prefer their first two albums over the last two. Fortunately, music is permanent, and the existence of the later albums doesn’t erase the existence of the first albums. And the dissolution of a great band doesn’t mean the music just goes away.
Foreground Eclipse was
Foreground Eclipse’s CDs are mostly out of print. You might be able to import a CD of “Stories…” through the usual shops at this time, but supplies are low.