A couple of weeks ago, South Korean boy group ATEEZ surprised fans with the announcement of a comeback with a new EP titled Spin Off: From The Witness. While the EP is set to drop on December 30th, the weeks leading up to the release have been a rollercoaster of mysterious Easter eggs for fans to break down, offering a more profound jump into ATEEZ’s complicated continuous legend that mixes privateer defiance, imaginary worlds and tragic prospects.
Ateez is a South Korean boy band formed by KQ Entertainment. The group consists of eight members: Hongjoong, Seonghwa, Yunho, Yeosang, San, Mingi, Wooyoung and Jongho. They debuted on October 24, 2018, with the (EP) Treasure EP.1: All to Zero.Ateez were named Worldwide Fans’ Choice at the 2019 and 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards, and won the Bonsang (main award) at the 4th The Fact Music Awards, the 30th and 31st Seoul Music Awards.
As of December 2022, Ateez have released nine EPs and one studio album in the Korean language, as well as three EP and two studio albums in the Japanese language. Their records Treasure EP.Fin: All to Action, Treasure Epilogue: Action to Answer, Zero: Fever Part.1, Zero: Fever Part.2, Zero: Fever Epilogue and The World EP.1: Movement each topped the South Korean Gaon Album Chart, with Zero: Fever Part. 1becoming the group’s first to be certified platinum in the country.they sold over four million physical albums worldwide.
Often referred to as “Global Performance Idols” by Korean media and dubbed “4th Generation Leaders” by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the group has also served as official global ambassadors for Korean culture and tourism.
Ateez started off their second world tour of the year “The Fellowship: Break The Wall” with two sold-out concerts in Seoul on October 29 and 30.They then carried on with the North America leg of the tour, comprising eleven shows in Oakland, Anaheim, Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Newark and Toronto.
They finished the 2022 part of this tour with two shows in Chiba, Japan.KQ Fellaz 2, a pre-debut group from the same label as ATEEZ, were the opening act of all the shows except for the one in Canada, presenting to the audience their two pre-debut songs. On November 26, Jongho released the OST “Gravity” for the JTBC drama Reborn Rich.
On November 30, Ateez released their third Japanese EP, The World EP.Paradigm, featuring the lead single “Paradigm”. It ranked first on the Oricon weekly album chart as well as on the Oricon Weekly Combined Album Chart. The album also ranked first on Billboard Japan Top Album Sales with 124,584 physical copies sold in the first week, making it Ateez’ first EP to top these charts.
On December 1, the Europe leg of the “Break The Wall” world tour was announced for February 2023. Ateez are set to perform in Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, London, Madrid, Copenhagen and Paris.On December 7, they released their OST “Like That” for the anime Lookism, adaptation of the eponymous webtoon.On December 22, 2022, the agency released a comeback trailer for their first single album in Korea, Spin Off: From the Witness, which will be released on December 30, 2022
The band dropped the prologue teaser for Spin Off: From The Witness, a treasure-trove of clues, references and visual narration to tie together the group’s ongoing lore. Set mainly in the same abandoned and flooded mall we first saw in the deleted teaser, the new clip sees ATEEZ attempt to save a broken world.
Dressed in black, the members stand out against seas of people cloaked in blue. HALATEEZ are a key part of the storyline as references to past music videos that feature them (2019’s “Hala Hala” performance MV, “Say My Name” and 2020’s “Answer”) flash across the screen. The crowd in blue stand reverently around a scarecrow wearing HALATEEZ’s masked costume, awaiting their return–hinting that HALATEEZ were heroes of a bygone era– while a new incarnation of ATEEZ prepares to take over.
It’s overwhelming to dive into ATEEZ’s cinematic mythology and all the details packed into each new piece of media boggle the mind, but attempting to keep up with the band’s comeback plans is an immensely fun and immersive experience. There’s just eight days to go till the music video for “Halazia” and Spin Off: From The Witness drop, but there’s honestly no telling what ATEEZ will do next to tease the release.