With 2020’s Reply, ATEEZ established a precedent for releasing wonderful materials underneath the guise of an “epilogue” (or in right now’s case, a “spin-off”). This December has been severely missing in notable Ok-pop comebacks, so I’m excited to have a big-name monitor like this pushing us into the brand new yr. With that mentioned, my ardour for ATEEZ’s music has drastically waned over the previous two years. Past a stellar b-side or two, I’ve discovered myself a bit of exhausted with their total sound.
For a lot of Halazia, I’m satisfied that is the tune to show issues round. It’s full of most of the musical hallmarks I adored of their 2018-19 materials. It’s darkish and bombastic with out resorting to shouted chants and posturing. There are correct builds and distinctive thrives all through, resulting in a juggernaut finale that leaves me wanting extra. Nonetheless — and sadly, it is a fairly large “nevertheless” – the tune’s refrain is every kind of irritating. It seems like ATEEZ have given us a three-and-a-half minute tease. An “Atease,” if you’ll. I’m unsure the payoff is there when it must be.
Even ATEEZ’s strongest music places pre-chorus entrance and middle, typically exhausting itself earlier than pulling again to ship a sparse hook. Halazia is a definitive instance of this construction, bringing the theatrics for its anthemic pre-chorus. The vocals hit with full energy. There are even church organs. Then, we’re yanked right into a uninteresting (and oddly muted) hook earlier than the tune ramps up once more for a rapid-pace chorus. I really like these large, ballsy moments. However, I want that they had been organized in a method that took higher benefit of their momentum. It’s not that I need the tune to be extra easy. Bizarre is sweet in ATEEZ’s musical world. It simply seems like there’s some necessary centerpieces lacking right here.
This disconnect prevents Halazia from being an instantaneous standout for me, however I nonetheless assume it’s the group’s strongest title monitor in a fairly awhile. I may see it rising way more simply than the chant-heavy Guerrilla and I recognize its highlight on vocals. Plus, the accompanying single album delivers an attention-grabbing remix of the always-incredible Take Me Residence. So all in all, it is a spin-off price making.