I originally discovered Chilean artist Pokérus about a year ago when I discovered some impressive remixes via the PokérusVGM youtube. Shortly afterward this website went into decay, keeping me from properly keeping up with the heavy metal sounds of Pokerus. Now, with this brand new album release, I am finally able to share a fuller range of thoughts about the music of Pokérus.
The album starts off with PS2 cult classic RPG Tales of the Abyss, and surprisingly, starts off incredibly somber thanks to the vocals of guest singer Mari. Little did I know that "Tears of the Abyss Pt. 1" isn't simply an odd intro for a metal album, but fantastic foreshadowing of the breadth of styles this album actually encompasses. The intro track melds perfectly into the hard hitting metal you are here to hear in "Necromancer Approaching," a cover of music from long running PC game Ragnarok Online.
At this point I have to commend Pokerus on the niche games he decided to include in this album, which is best represented in this cover of music from the best fighting game series ever (absolutely no hyperbole). The intro song to Rival Schools United by Fate is given a blodd pumping, heavy metal facelift, Besides the grand musical arrangement, "Atsui Kodou" also benefits greatly from the vocal work of featured singer Iris.
After a kick in the face with so much hard rocking, things get relaxed for a moment with the acoustic vibe of "Wood Wheels," a lovely, guitar driven rearrangement of the Rainbow Road theme from Mario Kart 64. Sticking with the Nintendo train, the following track sets us right on that metal path with a fusion of music, sound effects, and banging instruments in "Dungeons to Explore", a remix of my beloved dungeon music from Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past.
An engrossing Chrono Trigger cover follows, with a long, windtorn piece. This is followed up with the freflowing mixture of violin and guitar in the oft overlooked Final Fantasy IV. Also included on the album are covers of Phoenix Wright, Sonic The Hedgehog, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, and Pokemon Emerald. Each one just as good as the few I had the chance to cover.
I wish I had the time to take on each track one by one, but time is limited since I want to get this review up and spread the word on this album (not to mention my most verbose reviews can reach well over 2K words, which is something I am trying to avoid these days). I hope to do in the future as one off posts, so keep following GM4A for future Pokérus
I would be completely in the wrong though if I failed to mention the closing track on this album, the fifteen minute medley paying tribute to the Masahiro Sakurai directed Kirby Super Star for the SNES. The track starts with a slow burn, but it is worth the wait as ir morphs into a dark rendition of the already dark "Marx' theme". The medley slowly morphs into a slowed down jazz rendition of music from Gourmet Race before switching things up again with a panoply of drums that swings us right back to the boss battle theme we started with. From there the song further breaks down into an incredible mess of Kirby tracks and the foreboding voice of Marx himself as he is taken down by the spherical pink hero. This song absolutely encapsulates the sheer threat of Marx on the world of Popstar, as well as my own fear of him from back when I fought him as a kid.
Download the album free over on the Pokérus bandcamp album page. Also be sure to check out the impressive full album artwork by Mikoto-Chan.