[Double Review] ASURABALBALTA + Dracula – T1419

It is time to do some catching up and review a new release from earlier in the week. Killing two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. T1419 made their debut on Monday with ASURABALBALTA. Those who don’t know who T1419, they are a nine-member male group from MLD Entertainment. Because they come from MLD Entertainment, the group is being marketed as the younger-sibling group of MOMOLAND, who also hails from the same company. Fun fact, the name T1419 is based on the current age range of the members (i.e. 14 to 19 years of age). The group also pre-released a single prior to their debut, Dracula, which is the second song in this review today.

While this is a double review, I will be focusing on ASURABALBALTA as that is their debut track. ASURABALBALTA is clearly an attempt of trying to fit into the industry with the dark and serious sound trend that male groups have been going for, particularly in 2020. I do like prefer this style of music from male groups. But T1419’s debut track fails to really captivate and capture my attention. ASURABALBALTA features a powerful instrumental that is undermined by the group’s delivery. The vocals and rapping don’t feature that same level of impact and hence weakens the integrity of the song quite a bit. And even while I describe the instrumental as powerful, I will admit that its content is very unimaginative. I wish there was more to every element. Let the instrumental have that spark it need to make it even more explosive. Let the vocals and rapping have a bit angst behind them to really make the song more captivating. I will give them a second chance when they next comeback rolls around. But ASURABALBALTA is just a listen once song for me.

Dracula was released back before Halloween 2020. I personally don’t remember what I initially thought about Dracula when it was first released. But post-ASURABALBALTA, Dracula has a bit more indivudality, even though it does have a plainness vibe to it. It, too, is an attempt to fit in with the darker sound of male idol groups in the KPOP industry. But there are acoustic guitars and flute work that is mixed into a bass-heavy and squeaky synth instrumentation. I also like the suspenseful bridge of the song, which works with the time period they released the song in. It isn’t exactly a fresh sound, but it definitely has its perks. Dracula also manages to put a bit of ‘life’ into the rapping, which I think is much better than the debut song’s rapping (even though, it is heavily deepened to give off a ‘possessed’ type of aura). The vocals don’t really scream out at me in Dracula, which felt more dried and dulled than ever. I just wished the instrumental (and vocals) had more oomph and energy, which would have Dracula a much more successful debut track than the former song.

ASURABALBALTA‘s music video was pretty one-dimensional. I wanted more to it, as it just opted for the basic choreography and closeup formula. At least, MLD Entertainment could have made the closeups a little more captivating. Aesthetic-wise, the colour palette works extremely well and the edgy vibes are well translated. But that is the best comments I can give for their debut music video. As for Dracula‘s music video, it was a smart video. It is relatively simple music video, featuring just choreography shots. But it taps into that Halloween pretty well. The setting that was chosen for the music video served its purposes for this concept. I really like the bats and chuckled at the randomness of the wolves. But the winning element, without a doubt, has to be the faces of the members. Scary, yes. Mysterious, yes. Creepy, yes. And going back to that ‘smart’ comment, Dracula also serves its purpose of being a teaser to the group, leaving us guessing and asking questions about the members.

T1419’s strongest point has to the choreography and performance. Both ASURABALBALTA and Dracula were strong performances. ASURABALBALTA showcased their syncness and energy quite well. I just wished the song was something more along the lines of the intro, which would have really showed us more of their performance skills. Dracula could have used some more flair, but it was still a decent routine that worked well with the rest of the music video.

ASURABALBALTA
Song – 5.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 6.2/10

Dracula
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7/10

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