Before I attempt a weekend of an International Song Review and a few album reviews, here is one more song review. It is for ATEEZ’s latest title track release (which dropped today), Guerrilla, the lead track off the group’s 9th mini-album The World EP.1: Movement. It is the first Korean release from the group since the re-release of The Real at the end of last year and their 8th mini-album, ZERO: FEVER EPILOGUE.
If I had to pick one word to describe the likes of Guerrilla, it would have to be aggressive. And this aggression is present from the get-go. The new song opens up very crunchy synths and bass before launching right into Hongjoong’s raps. Your typical hip-hop influences are present in this opening verse. There is also brief taste of screamo. For the pre-chorus, the crunchy factor is lost and Guerrilla enters more melodic territories. Though this is short-lived, as Jongho ramps up the energy of the song with his soaring vocals (I will return to Jongho’s vocals in a moment). The chorus returns to aggressive synth territory and is delivered with shouty vocals that feels fitting for the grungy effect that the group is going for. I wished the hook here was a lot stronger, to give this section some much needed attention and oomph. To me, it seemed like the chorus was the weakest sections of Guerrilla. Then the song enters the post-chorus, a sequence that hybrids very punky and powerful techno synths, and grungy head-banging rock. All is very aggressive still, but it spins Guerrilla in a way that was unexpected. Jongho really shines and I found his soaring notes here to be very clean and precise, which shows you his skills and capabilities. We return to hip-hop roots with Mingi’s rapping, before Guerrilla is stripped to give the vocalists a moment to shine and the chorus is repeated. The bridge brings about very intense rock influences before the final chorus changes the dynamic a tinge with screamo vocals in the background. I think it is safe to say that my description at the start stands fairly well for Guerrilla by the time the song wraps up. Also, from what I described and heard from Guerrilla, it sounds like it should be a mismatch of aggressive sounds, given that there was a lot going on. But interestingly, Guerrilla is quite cohesive and nothing felt out of place. I think that is a feat on its own.
ATEEZ leads a rebellion in this video, setting up speakers throughout the city to get their message across. The video is set in a world where emotions and expressions are forced to be contained, as shown in the trailers. The lyrics of Guerrilla describe the world as a numb feeling. ATEEZ turns up the aggression with their song to combat these restrictions, blasting the world with their message to be more emotive and show expression. In the end, it appears that one of the kids being brainwashed to hold their emotions back escapes the confines of the brainwashing facility. The video ends there, and I am sure we will be seeing more of that kid and the Prestige Academy in future videos. Aside from that, I really like the high-end and sophisticated nature of the video, as it seems like a movie. The feature image for this post is my favourite shot in this entire video.
Aggressive is the word I would also use to describe the choreography for this comeback. I was watching it in awe and found it super captivating to watch. The movements were intense, energetic and powerful, all the while the group were also focused on performing the track. In particular, hats off to Jongho who successfully pulled this performance off without a hitch and his high notes were unfazed throughout.
Song – 8.5/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10