Today’s Halloween Special features a review of IZ*ONE‘s ‘Vampire’, their third Japanese single, which has a dark and spooky concept that is perfect for the season. While its corresponding music video was released on September 12, the single album was released on September 25.

The music video starts off with bats in a dark forest, flying toward a spooky castle. The sound of bats flying, lightning, thunder, and eerie background noises all combine to create a chilly atmosphere. The appearance of the full moon in the sky and the cat at the beginning implies that vampire is about to make its appearance. The plot begins when the mortals, who are the members dressed in white, are wandering around the castle. They are slowly approached by vampires, who are depicted by the members dressed in black. The turning point in the plot seems take place at 2:52, when Yuri’s nails swiftly grow longer, signalling that she has transformed into a vampire. Following this, all mortals begin to have fangs and eventually become vampires.

The music video is well-produced, and it has both dark and elegant concepts. The production, styling, outfit, makeup, plot, and choreography is excellent, which contributes to the aesthetic of this MV. Colors such as black, red, and white are dominant. The presence of vampires is conveyed by use of black and red. Black symbolizes darkness, while red symbolizes blood. White symbolizes purity and, in this case, it is used to symbolize pure-bloods or mortals. The choreography is on-point, and the use of hand movements is suitable for dark magic and spells.

However, the song itself doesn’t seem to match the quality of the MV. While the chorus is catchy, it could have been better if the vocals are showcased more. All of the members sing in unison in the chorus, but the vocals are a little weak and don’t blend well with melody. It would be better if their different vocals were showcased more because singing in unison, in this case, doesn’t seem harmonious – this song doesn’t do them justice, as it is not a good song to display their vocal talent. While the melody is decent, it could have been better if it’s enhanced with instrumentals (bass, violin, etc). Generally speaking, the melody throughout the song seems to be quiet and not in-tune. The chorus is the best part in the song as they have catchy and memorable tunes.

Just like their previous Japanese single ‘Buenos Aires‘, the audio mixing in ‘Vampire‘ isn’t that great. IZ*ONE has a different producer who produces their Japanese songs, which could be why they are badly mixed compared to their Korean releases. While ‘Buenos Aires‘ doesn’t have good audio-mixing, it still has stronger beats and drops compared to ‘Vampire‘. My favorite Japanese release from them is still ‘Suki to Iwasetai‘ which has a pleasant melody, excellent vocals, and much better audio quality. Coming from ‘Suki to Iwasetai‘ to ‘Buenos Aires‘ to ‘Vampire‘ was a bit of a disappointment.

Overall, I recommend checking out ‘Vampire’ for its beautiful music video. The concept is good, and it is a nice change from their debut single ‘La Vie en Rose‘, which has a powerful and classy concept, and ‘Violeta‘ & ‘Suki to Iwasetai‘, which have bright and chic concept. As for the song, everybody’s tastes are different and ‘Vampire‘ has a catchy chorus which can potentially grow on you after few listens.

Music Video: 9/10
Vocal Quality: 6/10
Music: 6/10