VGMetal doesn't get classier than this.
As I've mentioned before, The holidays present a cavalcade of new VGM into my ears and mind, so it pains me sorely to not get to dig into this album deeper at the moment. Perhaps The Returners would be kind enough to do an interview sometime next year...
The debut release by The Returners, Immune to Silence, is wonderful in it's entirety. Today I am going to key in on a block of songs placed in the center of the album. Tracks 4-6 are absolutely ripe, and have quickly dug themselves into my heart. The group of songs begins with a stirring Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past medley "The Master Sword Awaits." The Returners put on their pegasus boots and sprint through several classic themes from Link to the Past. The defining moment of the track for me, the first strains of the Kakariko Village theme that emerge on piano. As the other instruments drop in, the warmth of the music easily shines through. It's easy to imagine all the highlights of Link's journey through Hyrule and the dark world as each portion plays.
As evidenced by many of the things about me as a person, I love the Zelda series, so clearly this arrangement was exactly my jam. Shockingly though, my favorite track on Immune to Silence is not Zelda, but the a track I have no nostalgia for at all. I've never played the game that track five is based on. Despite that obvious handicap, Ecco The Tides of Time tribute "Songs of Strange Creatures in the Sea" is just so damn enthralling. The track opens with the darkness of the deep ocean, as a spiraling flute and crashing drum march over a deathly slow beat.
As an aside, it's about time I got a new Ecco II track to listen to, in a quick search, turns out This Place is Haunted's moody 13 minute ode to Ecco is over five years old at the time of The Returners' album release. I'm not sure if any other bands have performed music from Ecco II in the interim, but I would certainly like to know.
As for The Returners' Ecco The Tides of Time medley, the music shifts into some adventurous metal and synth work and funky riffs. This medley spans the darkest to the most fun (at least until some cartoons play) moments on the album in the span of five minutes.
The final piece of this juicy block of music, and perhaps the crown jewel of the album is "The Best is Yet to Come." Any Metal Gear Solid fans will be damn near moved to tears with this arrangement.
The rest of the album contains a variety of other one of a kind arrangements and medleys paying tribute to Final Fantasy VI, StarCraft, Lufia, Phantasy Star, Star Ocean, and even a saturday morning cartoon medley.
Though this is The Returners' first studio album, the group has been around the VGM scene for a few years now, and it is great to see their potential so fully realized in their debut.
Grab the debut album for $10 download, or go the classy physical CD route for $15 on the Immune to Silence Bandcamp page.