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A lot of my reviews are for heavy hitters that are massive in scale and aggressive with the musical approach. We all have another side to us, and today I would like to introduce you to some seasoned veterans in the Tokyo music scene with “the knowlus—a little-known band that deserves a heck of a lot more recognition given their 10 years of grinding in the bustling and crowded city.

Discovery Age is a short and sweet album that is incredibly consistent. You don’t always get such a tight sound with smaller bands but the experience really bleeds through here.

Discovery Age opens on a somewhat hopeful-sounding note with Bokura ga Shinen wo Nitsumeru Toki, a song title that can be translated into “when we stare into the abyss”. Melodious guitar riffs, tight bass, and drums tie it all together just right. Vocalist Souta really nails it here putting his signature vocals on display with just the right mix of strain and effortlessly gentle lines. The overall performance perfectly reflects the song title. Luckily, the album’s release was marked with the debut of the song’s music video.

Moving down the setlist we hit Dystopia wa Nemuranai. This track has a few more vocal flourishes than the previous one but keeps pace with beautifully arranged instrumentals. The song gives a weightless feeling that matches the idea of a dystopia perfectly with a title that can be translated to mean “dystopia never sleeps”.

The trio picks up the pace when they get Archimedes no Rasen or the translation of “Archimedes Spiral”—a track with stellar bass work, harsher vocals, and a feeling of endless revolutions. I like the dichotomy of the feeling of rapidly accelerating around a central point with a simultaneous flood of chill vibes. This is somewhat of a mainstay for the band in my experience. Everything just feels good and calm.

Despite the previous ramp-up, the next track heads more in a slow melodic direction in the form of Kagakusha to Tetsugakumono—a slower track than before but one that gets you lost in thought, an unbroken focus pondering what’s next. Perhaps one of my favorite parts of this album is how the tracks’ titles can reflect their sound so well with the translation here being “scientists and philosophers”.

Just past the halfway point of the album comes Chronos. Chronos was my introduction to the knowlus, in a sense. There is more of a story there but the hard-hitting opening and the shifting directions throughout the track really hook you. What shines the most here are the distorted guitar work and the amazing bass work that accompanies the vocals in phrases with drummer Taro’s precision drum work. The song does a great job displaying one of my favorite parts of the band as no single part outshines the other and it all comes together in harmony letting each aspect have just a moment of spotlight before transitioning back into full form. This track is hands down my favorite in no small part due to the awesome bassline crafted by bassist Shintaro.

Hakobune no Yure Kata is definitely cut from the same cloth as Chronos. The song gives a lot of the same vibes and follows a harsher sound the same way as its predecessor does, unlike the other tracks of the album. What sets it apart is the addition of a few piano phrases that blend in perfectly as an accent to all the other parts. Highs and lows come and go with an exciting energy pushing the album along to its parting track.

Discovery Age ends on the note of Tatoe Owaru Sekai Demoagain, another perfectly placed and titled track. The song hits all the right lows of a bitter-sweet goodbye. Excellent guitar work, amplified by beautiful basslines and drum work that wraps everything into a beautiful package, serves as a parallel to the album itself.

If nothing else, Discovery Age is an incredibly consistent album. Rather than an absolute roller-coaster of ideas and feelings, the knowlus displays a firmly planted idea of what they want to do and how they want to sound. Good vibes all around, change-ups when you need them, and no unnecessary frills or flourishes. They’re definitely a treat when you get to see them live, and while you won’t be crawling out battered and beaten you will likely feel refreshed and ready for what’s next. Here’s to more!

  1. Bokura ga Shinen wo Nitsumeru Toki


  2. Dystopia wa Nemuranai


  3. Archimedes no Rasen


  4. Kagakusha to Tetsugakumono


  5. Chronos


  6. Hakobune no Yure Kata


  7. Tatoe Owaru Sekai Demo


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- A word from our sposor -

the knowlus marks 10 years with album “Discovery Age”