Stellar has come back as a quintet with mystery and elegance. Not only has the lineup changed, but the group has tackled a new concept. Though the group has received mixed reviews in the past due to their risque choices, “Archangels of The Sephiroth” has unleashed Stellar’s true potential. The group could have easily kept their provocative image but decided to experiment with the addition of member Soyoung. Stellar is telling a story with this concept, which I always find insightful when done with music. Every little detail is thought out and should be highlighted.
It’s best to understand the basis of what “Archangels of The Sephiroth” is about and how Stellar portrays this message. It’s essentially about the concept of the Tree of Life, illustrating how God, the Creator, expresses his creative energy throughout the universe, through angels, and onto human beings. Each angel represents a different energy, some good and some bad. In the end, it’s all about how everything connects to the Tree of Life.
The teaser photos tell the first step of this story. Stellar’s previous teasers left little to the imagination, as the members displayed revealing outfits. This time around, the members were styled in intricate lace dresses. Stellar represents the angels that express the concept of creative energy throughout the story. Each angel has a different type of energy, and the group’s concept seemingly implies that people can develop a closer spiritual bond with God. Now, although the title track wasn't revealed until the release of the teaser video, people were already comparing the members to goddesses.
The Music Video
The story is fully portrayed in the music video for “Archangels of The Sephiroth.” In the music video, it is clear that each member incorporates an individual persona/energy. Originally, there are ten archangels, but Stellar only has five members. Fans like to debate which members represent which angels, so it’s all based on personal opinion. What is distinctive are the depicted bright and dark sides of each member, which I found interesting. For example, Minhee wears a bright dress and has an innocent voice, while Jeonhyul is in all black, having a deep voice. It seems that each member of Stellar is using her own individual features to emphasize the angel she is portraying. This is a smart move, as it not only highlights each member, but also adds to the story. As the music video continues, it takes a dark turn for newest member Soyoung. It seems she is lured by the two bright angels (Minhee and Hyoeun) into a trap. Soon, the dark archangels (Jeonhyul and Gayoung) sacrifice Soyoung (to someone who could potentially be God, though it is not clarified). Though you may not have noticed while viewing the video, a secret QR code was also featured. This QR code brings you to Stellar’s official website, leading you to a prologue video. There is no dialogue in the video, but it is basically a visual summary of the story for “Archangels of The Sephiroth.” It wasn't until a week later that Stellar released the choreography video for their title track. Of course, the choreography doesn’t add to the original story, but it does have a symbolic feel to it. There is one part of the dance where the members seemingly represent the Tree of Life, with Gayoung being the tree along with the members potentially being the roots. It’s little moments like this that capture the essence of the story.
The Song and Lyrics
“Archangels of The Sephiroth” is a powerful, bold, and risky song (especially during the summer period). It has an Arabian-influenced sound to it, filled with charisma and energy. As stated before, the different tones of the members are showcased through the abilities of their angels. The track has a variety of high and low tones, with them coming together during the chorus. It’s a great way to distinguish the members while simultaneously appreciating their versatility. When it comes to the lyrics, “Archangels of The Sephiroth” has deep messages throughout. It’s thought provoking, with lyrics such as “consciousness and unconsciousness, the line between those two are meaningless.”
Following along with the originally story, the archangels express their creative energy to humans. During the chorus, the lyrics go “give me your love,” which could possibly be the angels talking to the humans. The lyrics are also quite demanding and stubborn, so it could be taken as the angels wanting to connect with humans. Additionally, this part can also be interpreted as the members speaking to Soyoung. Soyoung is sacrificed during the music video, which can be perceived by many as being a punishment. Again, this is all merely speculation.
Stellar has outdone themselves with “Archangels of The Sephiroth,” allowing them to experiment with a new and detailed concept. It’s refreshing to see a group take a risk and not follow the usual trends of summer. It’s evident that a lot of thought and time went into the entire production of the title track, which should definitely be recognized. This is a concept that will keep people talking and hopefully bring confidence to Stellar. It is only now after “Marionette” that Stellar is finally gaining recognition by the public. The group could possibly try to continue on with this story, or maybe simply experiment with another. In the end, Stellar seems to be getting better with each comeback and, with the addition of Soyoung, waiting to see what’s next for the group is exciting.