After successfully wrapping up their THE FELLOWSHIP : BEGINNING OF THE END tour, KQ Entertainment’s eight-member boy group ATEEZ – consisting of members Seonghwa, Hongjoong, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung, and Jongho – are back with their latest mini-album THE WORLD EP. 1 : MOVEMENT. The album, released on July 29, contains seven tracks including the title, “Guerrilla,” and its accompanying music video.
Break the Wall, ATEEZ Are the “Guerrillas”
“Guerrilla” is a loud track containing hip-hop, EDM, and rock inspirations. While ATEEZ’s discography has not branched into these genres before, they executed the concept masterfully. The song opens with an electronic-like beat complete with sirens in the background as rapper Hongjoong executes an energetic rap that finishes off with a chilling scream. While the track has moments that spotlight the vocals of the group, the chorus sounds more like a war cry, with the members shouting that they are guerrillas. “Guerrilla” ends with main vocalist Jongho as he demonstrates his iconic range with a series of runs over the cries of the other members. ATEEZ successfully show off their versatility as they sing about dismantling the walls built by an overbearing government.
The music video easily captures the message of the lyrics. It features the members in various shots as they execute their roles in their revolution, with members like Mingi and Wooyoung tossing flyers out of a racing van, Yeosang running surveillance, and San escaping pursuers. Stunning and ominous vocals of the group easily convey the idea of revolution while the dark colors, eye-catching outfits, and incredibly detailed backgrounds set the mood of the intense title track.
ATEEZ not only maintained their concept with visuals, but they also referenced various dystopian works. Dancing in front of a 2D city identical to that in the introduction of the 1927 film “Metropolis,” showing off zeppelins dropping fliers like the one that dropped millions of dollars in Season 3 of “Money Heist,” and displaying a war-like still shot of the group highly reminiscent of oil paintings depicting various revolutions in history – ATEEZ referenced them all.
Although the title track is unlike anything the group has done so far, it is a song characteristically “ATEEZ” and shows exactly why the group is a force to be reckoned with.
Wake Up, World. Can You Hear ATEEZ?
The album begins with the chilling intro track, “PROPAGANDA.” As the name suggests, it functions as propaganda the members use to spread their agenda throughout their dystopian world. The song has a hacker-like feel to it as the narration begins with “Wake up, World. Are you there? It’s time.” Its lyrics then list a series of flaws linked to the fictional government that its citizens had been blind to. The audio recording had previously been unofficially released when it was airdropped to fans at a music show pre-recording.
Following “PROPAGANDA” is “Sector 1.” Fans immediately recognized the beginning of this song as the same audio teased at the end of the “Answer” music video released over two years prior. With an ominous intro, the song follows the gentle vocals of the group as they sing about going to “Sector 1,” where they will seek out the truth behind the lies fed to them by the government they are trying to dismantle. The chorus eventually breaks out into a loud instrumental characterized by the members shouting “Let’s go” over an electronic-like siren.
Keeping with the theme of the album, the second track “Cyberpunk” talks about wanting to feel alive in a society where everyone is living in false happiness held together by lies. The song feels like a futuristic and punk take on house music, before it transitions into a taunting chorus that makes listeners feel as though they are racing through this oppressed city.
“The Ring” is the album’s fifth track and is characterized as a hip-hop track with haunting harmonies of the group alongside an organ punctuating the chilling chorus. Its pre-chorus sets the dark tone as vocalist Jongho proclaims, “I’m not okay, I’m not okay.” The song discusses the group’s ability and intense desire to protect those who are defenceless, as they have the power to change their bleak world.
“WDIG (Where Do I Go)” is the somber sixth track. Disguised by an upbeat and dramatic instrumental synonymous to that of an action movie’s soundtrack, the electronic song’s lyrics do not necessarily reflect its vibe. The members sing about having doubts in a world where people have lost themselves and cannot sympathize with each other’s pain as the members curiously sing, “Uh-oh, Where do I go? Diving deeper.”
The final track, “New World,” sends off the beginning of THE WORLD series on a much more hopeful note. It concludes that the members were successful in starting to create a hopeful “New World,” where the eyes of the people who were previously blind to the lies they were told are now open. As they sing “Wake up the world with thunder, we are unstoppable like a storm,” the powerful beat builds with an orchestral-like feel, leaving behind a sense of hope that the rest of the album had been missing.
Leaving Their Mark
From a sold out tour to record breaking album sales, it’s no secret that ATEEZ have made an impact on the K-pop industry and show no signs of slowing down. Keep up with ATEEZ as they begin promotions for THE WORLD EP. 1 : MOVEMENT by following them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok!
Interested in more ATEEZ? Check out our coverage of their second world tour announcement here!