[Review] HALAZIA – ATEEZ

ATEEZ is nominated for Best Male Group, Best Stage Presence, Best Ballad (for Turbulence) and Best Electronic Song (for Guerrilla) in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support ATEEZ along with your other favourite artists, songs and performances by clicking here to vote today. Be quick, as voting closes tomorrow night!

The final major comeback of 2022 belonged to ATEEZ, which dropped two days prior to the new year. Whilst everyone was busy preparing for the new year celebrations, ATEEZ is sliding us new music. The new single is titled HALAZIA and forms part of the group’s first Korean single album, Spin Off: From the Witness. This is also the group’s first musical release since Guerrilla in July 2022 and their third Japanese single, Paradigm, in November 2022 (which has yet to be reviewed).

HALAZIA is another one of those songs that I would describe as ‘interesting’. For the most part, the track does sound very ATEEZ-like, with its intense dance style. We are given a solid display of vocals in the first verse and more rhythmic and upbeat rapping in the second verse. The group goes full steam ahead towards the chorus with a strong pre-chorus, with a great stomping incline and church organs that builds suspense towards the main centrepiece of the song. The interesting aspect of HALAZIA comes via the chorus, which I am not exactly sure of. I love the concept of the breathy cult-like chants and instrumental that kicks it off. It stilled HALAZIA in a way that felt aesthetic and unique. But when you consider the pre-chorus was built up towards what felt like could have been a powerful and intense chorus, what we got felt like a loss of momentum and just didn’t live up to expectations. The second half of the chorus brought forward a completely different atmosphere, with a rapid intense rush of electronic element driving the song forward. Personally, I felt the two halves of the chorus did not cohesively come together and the mad rush of the second half felt like the producers was trying to make up for the lost momentum of the first half. However, I did think both halves had charm in their own way. The most impressive part of HALAZIA comes during the bridge, in the form of rapping from both Hongjoong and Mingi. I really liked the impact and force they brought to their parts in the bridge. This then led to the final sequence of HALAZIA, which was a blast of EDM and a shouty delivery that reminded me of Guerrilla‘s chorus. Overall, HALAZIA had great promise and almost got there. I just think the song needed to be better focused and cohesive in its central sequence to be more effective.

What really gets me with these music videos of a shared universe that spans over multiple videos is the amount of planning that must have already occurred to ensure the full story is told once the plot wraps up. And factoring in music, a unique concept that enables the storyline to be told, these comebacks must be planned many months (even a year) in advance. I applaud the people behind this, as this is something I cannot even imagine in my mind. Anyhow, the music video for HALAZIA connects to the world that was introduced as part of Guerrilla, where the emotions were stolen from the people (which really made them all creepy and I quite liked this chilling aesthetic). But the trailer to this comeback tells us that the world population was awaiting the return of ATEEZ (in the form of the infamous black hats they donned during their early days/concepts) to give them hope. But instead of that form of ATEEZ, a new version of ATEEZ has popped up instead. We are unsure this new form of ATEEZ brings, but they rally up the population to take back gravity (one of the other things they lost). What this all means, I have no clue whatsoever. And that ending with the ball dropping onto San like that is very suspenseful and mysterious. Hopefully, we will find out more in the next video.

ATEEZ once again impresses with the choreography. The intensity and power the members channel through was just so riveting to watch. In addition to that, the pre-chorus routine felt so sleek, while the cult-like profile of the first half of the chorus came through the choreography in a very captivating fashion. A routine I highly recommend you watch!

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.5/10

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