Bored, can’t sleep. Perfect for listening to an album and typing up some track-by-track comments. :D
Long Dao has done some cool stuff before, but Tundra of Dwarves has emotional depth that I haven’t heard in other orchestral works by him. It’s a great opening for disc 3. Then again, so could In The Land of Dwarves be. Where Long went for melancholy ilp0 goes for something totally different. I’m having a hard time describing it, it’s a mixture of a lot of different styles and instrumentation. It’s a lot of fun to listen and compare parts, trying to figure out what to call it… and failing.
bLiNd is well represented on this album, Path of Deception being more subdued than Golbez ‘N Goblins but still keeps the beat going. From that we move to something slower, Level 99’s Calcobrena After a Night of Dinner and Dancing. It’s refreshing to hear electric guitars after the tracks so far, and this track serves as something of a breakdown on the album as a whole, as it’s about to pick up again.
Kidd Cabbage brings the metal with Treason, a metal track with a lot of variety in its parts, and kicks the album back into high gear, only to have it brought down in the intro to Until the Tower Falls by Nutritious, OA, Moonlapse, nonsensicalalexis, and audio fidelity. It’s one of those “everything but the kitchen sink” type tracks, with some vocal bits, electric guitar and rock drums, synths, orchestral parts, and violin. I generally prefer tracks that stick to one or two things, but these genre-bender concoctions are epic.
What’s a Final Fantasy album without the prelude, and what better to do with the track than to play it on piano? BogusRed’s rendition is emotional and gracefully brings the vibe back down to Earth after the last track. Appropriately enough, it’s followed by Vampire Hunter Dan’s A Savior Ascends, which after a slow, transitional intro brings the epic back, as something I’d call classical. It sticks to the down-to-Earth vibe, but with a much larger scope.
James George takes us to another world in the next track, The Still Land. Pluck-like synths, an otherworldly atmosphere, and later via a Metroid Prime-like synth part into something more like the other genre-benders, just more in keeping with the established mood, something bLiNd in his Bridge to Eternity turns into something hauntingly epic. Just get to the 2:11 chorus part and you’ll know what I mean.
While on the topic of haunting, DragonAvenger and OA did an excellent job at just that with their Éminence Grise, part one of the album’s finale. While DA’s contribution may only be voice, it’s a significant contribution, completing OA’s already chilling arrangement.
Genesis of Destruction, the second part of the album finale, is huge. While it could be mixed more impactful there’s no denying I get goosebumps from it. Especially the 4:26 choir part. I remember recording my part for that, sitting in below freezing in a summer house next to ours to have a quiet location to record in. While I can’t make out my own voice in there, I know I contributed. Albeit with very little.
audio fidelity and Nutritious are the heroes of this remix, with Cyril the Wolf and lisabela singing leads. It’s an epic concoction at 7:48 long. This one has everything _including_ the kitchen sink… figuratively, and is the largest track on the album (counting CotMM’s 10 and 35 minute bonus tracks as longer, just not bigger).
It is followed by Facing, which Fishy handles well, going from an atmospheric start to a rock finish. The final track is a bossanova-like jazz collab between Abadoss, audio fidelity, bustatunez, and theultravisitor. It was recently posted on ocr, along with its story. It’s a sweet track, perfect to end the album’s official tracklist with… it’s Kind of Green.
No promises I’ll review the bonus tracks as well, three quarters of an hour of CotMM might be too much for me but… we’ll see. ;)