I am not even sure where to begin with this post. As soon as I fired this album up I was blasted with such incredible energy and fantastic musicianship that it's been a challenge to simply write this article rather than just rock out and air guitar for the entirety of this album. Unfortunately there isn't an onomatopoeia for 'headbang' yet, so I actually have to write about this album with only the vocabulary at hand.
From their humble beginnings Metroid Metal has become an incredible live force to be reckoned with, having played to thousands of fans at the Penny Arcade Expo and MAGFest and releasing one of the best albums of last year. Looks like they aren't satisfied though, as they aim to have the greatest album of this year as well. The group has recently announced the release of six newly recorded tracks from the whole band, and called that release, Expansion Pack.
For those who have not had the chance to see them live at PAX or MAGFest, you have been missing out. I had the good fortune of getting to see them perform earlier this year at PAX East and was simply blown away. It can be difficult for a group without a lead singer to gain traction with folks, but Metroid Metal had a stage presence all their own. You would be hard pressed to turn your attention away from them at any part of their live set. Luckily for the folks who could not travel out to Metroid Metal sanctioned events, the group has taken several songs that they have been performing live, and gone into the studio to create Expansion Pack. This EP is freely available to download via Metroid Metal's bandcamp page. Now don't consider this a mere extra to their amazing debut album though, as we have half an hour of incredible arrangements starting with the highly memorable theme to Metroid Prime to kick this album right into high gear.
This album is definitely more than a simple expansion, boasting six songs and clocking in at half an hour. Leading from the amazing opener, we also hear incredible music from one of my personal favorite games, Super Metroid, with the themes to Brinstar and Criteria. Brinstar's ominous beeps are transformed into full on guitar and the effect is incredible. It's hard to imagine that these songs were ever written any other way. In the same vein, Crateria's fiery depths are also recreated brilliantly by the group. Keeping the same dangerous atmosphere of the original while still creating a head banging wall of music to rock out to.
Expansion Pack also boasts two songs from the NES days with Norfair, a driving, intense, track that builds into an epic boss fighting and destroying end. Then we have the incredible rendition of Tourian/Mother Brain, which pushes forward just as hard as the other tracks. With stomping guitar riffs and spiraling out of control solos. The group took another amazingly ambient Metroid piece and made it feel like it was only ever intended to be an immense metal song.
To close out this amazing EP is a medley of Prime 3 Theme/Bryyo. This track starts out hard, but slowly morphs into an atmospheric rock anthem. This final track alone is incredible and varied enough to leave any Metroid fan happy, not to mention exhausted from all the headbanging that will be done. So grow your hair out and get ready to head bang by downloading Expansion Pack right now.