Acoustic guitar renditions of classic VGM by Kain White

Acoustic guitar renditions of classic VGM by Kain White

Stirring acoustic arrangements of several classic game themes, including Ace Attorney, a few Final Fantasy titles, Super Mario RPG, all capped off with a few haunting Zelda remixes.

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Lame Genie goes boss rush mode in VG metal album, 'Who's the Boss (Battlles)'

One more battle. 

Man I am dying to have that video game metal podcast. SOMEDAY! Until then, I just have to be content about merely writing articles about incredible VG metal like the latest jams from Lame Genie. Nothing but boss battles from the most intense bosses from the most classic games. FFVI, Super Mario RPG, TMNT, a personal all time favorite Kirby Super Star theme, and more are featured in this 6 track EP all for free download!

Ladies and gentlemen,
We proudly present to you our new EP Who’s the Boss? (Battles). Free for streaming and name your price for download!
Enjoy! (And please share!!)
— Lame Genie

Careless Juja perform Phantom Forest from Final Fantasy VI

New arrangement from upcoming Legend of the Boar Knight album.

Listen to this wonderful rendition of Phantom Forest by Carelss Juja. This track was funded by fans thanks to the groups Kickstarter, which was fully funded about a month ago. Backers are receiving the kickstarted album Professor Layton and the Bay Harbor Butcher. As a surprise announcement, Careless Juja has decided to commit an entire second album of VGM to disc in the sudden follow up story album, Legend of The Boar Knight. 

The artwork above is the finalized disc art for the album, and was created by Kittens Of Industry.

The Returners can't stop rocking in their debut album 'Immune to Silence'

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.

Looking upon a 'World of Ruin' from Year 200X

year-200x-world-ruin-video-game-metal

Album review of the latest heavy metal retrogaming intensity of Y2X.

The opener is "Intro." Fair enough. It gives the album a humble beginning, like the slow rise from the ashes, creating the dawn of a new era.

...and then we're playing mother fuckin' Wizards & Warriors. This song has never sounded better. I love many iterations of the classic theme to Wizards & Warriors, but Year 200X completely rips it apart. That is probably why it gets the long winded title of "Wizards and Warriors (Forest - Wind Elemental - Outside Castle Ironspire)."

At this point I have to admit that I am not only nostalgic about the games that are being covered, but I am actually nostalgic for the last time a Year 200X album came out. It really has been a while, and I am simply elated that this album exists. It feels like a crime that I wasn't alerted to this album a little sooner, since it probably would have forced this site out of dormancy a few months earlier. 

To drive this point home, Year 200X ditches the magic spells and wizard robes, and heads right into the robotic apocalyptic future with an out of control cover of "Mega Man X (Spark Mandrill - Opening Stage)." The song doesn't let up for a moment, not even after the climbing solo midway through. I never even got a moment to form thoughts about the song until well into the next track. It was only halfway through "Twin Cobra (Level 1 - Level 2)" that I realize that I'm already rocking out to the next song instead of thinking about the last one. Twin Cobra has much of the same pedal to the metal action of the previous song. Together they create the driving metal underbelly of the album before the head of this beast is revealed in the final two tracks on World of Ruin.

Perhaps the most revered song by one of the most well regarded composers in video game history. Yasunori Mitsuda's Chrono Cross soundtrack was phenomenal, despite the divided opinions about the actual game. World of Ruin does this song justice by including a variety of guests on this track, including the ever present rocker Amanda Lepre, flute player Lauren Liebowitz and more to create the rich soundscape of "Chrono Cross (Star Stealing Girl)."

As the soft orchestrations finally give way, the song never loses the adventurous and uplifting tone. Guitars soar alongside flutes and keys. A final somber moment before the finale of World of Ruin.

When I began to play this album, I didn't initially look at what songs were on it, I simply hit play. As the last track finally came about, I had already long been thinking about how impressive the closing track to We Are Error was. The six minute Zelda II track was an incredible song, and would be the finale of Year 200X albums for some years. 

As the notes slowly came to me, I realized this was FFVI, and Y2X had chosen this as their grand finale. "Final Fantasy VI (Dancing Mad)" is the perfect descent into the World of Ruin mentioned in the title. 

The album quickly plunges into chaos and darkness over ten minutes of ever growing, deathly ominous chants, double pedals, and wailing guitars. You can hear the madness in every note until near the very end, as the guitars twist into an epic solo that may or may not have been enough to save the world.

Like some bands these days, Year 200X has made their album available to purchase via loudr starting at $5.00, though for $10 you can get the original We Are Error album as well.

Enter 2 Mello's 'The 3-6 Chambers' - Final Fantasy vs Wu-Tang mashup album

The-3-6-chambers-Wu-Tang-Final-Fantasy-mashup-album-2-Mello

Release day review of the free-to-download mashup adventure.

The 2 Mello mashup trilogy comes to a close with The 3-6 Chambers, available to download or stream now over at Scrub Club Records. Seems Mello saved the most intense for last, a 14 track collection of mashups featuring the music from Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy VI soundtrack, remixed and remastered beneath the eclectic flows of classic Wu-Tang Clan.

2 Mello's story-based mashups (as well as other artists like Tovarisch) have forced me to find a new term for this combination of videogame based hip hop storytelling. Henceforth, albums of this caliber will be known as mashup adventure albums. This term means that the album not only collects a variety of catchy tunes and hot vocals, but that attention is also payed to the original meaning of the source material, and becomes remixed and mashed up to convey the heart and mind of the original artists.

Mello sums up the idea of a mashup adventure album well in his own liner notes

The Wu-Tang Clan, the legendary kings of rap, espers buried deep within their 36th chamber of skill, come forth into a land on the brink of destruction. The evil magic-abusing warlord Kefka holds legions of rappers and producers under his iron grip, using his Slave Crowns to make us work for him. The Wu-Tang are able to free me, but I still have to prove my skills in remixing if I am to join them in battle.

This attention to storytelling is something I love in video games and hip hop, and evidently I also crave in my video game hip hop, no matter the source material. 

As a hip hop head, living in Southern California put me at quite the disadvantage in hearing much Wu-Tang in my youth. This means I'm not nostalgic for classic Wu-Tang in quite the same way as when I heard Jay-Z and Nas, both of whom were featured in Mello's previous mashup collections. This means I not only get the chance to hear a brand new collection of head bobbing Mello mashups, but can also up my hip hop game by getting more familiar with the Wu. 

The album dropped this morning, and I am giving it my first listen as I type up these words, so instead of a full review, for now I'll give my initial impressions. On first play through, the album is surprisingly laid back, likely due to the beat choices, which juxtaposes the playful, endless grassy field imagery of classic RPGs with the big city New York rap style of Wu Tang.

On first play through, stand out tracks are currently the opening and closing tracks, "Magic Ruins Everything Around Me", and "The Crew is Back" respectively. Of course there is plenty of meat sandwiched in between.

I have to admit I didn't give the album a straight play through as planned, thanks to "Got Your Treasure" a mixture of ODB and The Veldt (Wild West). I had to hit rewind quite a few times, and really take in the mood of Final Fantasy within the lyrical context of Dirt McGirt. The song takes on the mood of a cocky adventurer busting into caves and dungeons and getting that money.

Catchiest track award has to go to "Da Mystery of Shadow-Boxin'" for the beautiful fusion of the somber Shadow's theme with Da Mystery of Chessboxin.' Headbanger award definitely goes to "Battle Pit." which combines the hard hitting sounds of Gravel Pit with FFVI's main battle theme. It's the FFVI equivalent to Team Teamwork's classic FFVII mashup of M.O.P.

I hope to have a fuller collection of thoughts on the album sometime in the future. I now live in a world in which a mashup album could be one of the most layered and deep albums of the year for me. Isn't that something? Enter The 3-6 Chambers for free via the Scrub Club Records album page. You can also follow 2 Mello's Twitter

Some day, there will be an RPG in which the battles really will have rap music about fighting. That is my dream. A hip hop Persona, or urban Earthbound...

Listen to Final Fantasy VI: Born with the Gift of Magic by The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra performs music from Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy VI, orchestrated as a symphonic poem called Born with the Gift of Magic (arr Roger Wanamo). Conductor Andreas Hanson. Recorded June 2014.

Video of the performance on the RSPO website:
http://rspoplay.com/#DcYk7tk9fdSiKvNw...

Official website of Final Symphony (of which this is a part):
http://www.spielemusikkonzerte.de/en/...

Listen to The Crew Is Back (Wu-Tang and Final Fantasy VI Mashup) by 2 Mello

First Single from upcoming album The 3/6 Chambers.

Get a good taste of this mashup of Wu Tang and Nobuo Uematsu's classic Final Fantasy VI soundtrack. This album will mark the finale in the 2 Mello mashup saga that began with Chrono Jigga, then Nastlevania. The finale drops in only one week, October 20th.

I'll be rocking this song, and eventualy the full album as I drop everyone in 1v1 online in Super Smash Bros for 3DS over the next few weeks.

Check out the simple but effective single art, and the ful track list to the upcoming album below.

Listen to this Final Fantasy VI medley from videogame cover band The Returners' upcoming album

Listen to the first single from The Returners upcoming album, Immune to SIlence. Set for release October 20th, but you can hear the opening track right now. By the time this incredible six minute FFVI medley is finished, you should be dropping the $10-15 for the pre-order package of your choice. Check out the albums official page for more details.

Watch the official teaser trailer for upcoming 2 Mello mashup project Final Fantasy: The 3/6 Chambers

Official teaser video and audio for my upcoming mashup, Final Fantasy: The 3/6 Chambers, featuring the lyrical talents of the Wu-Tang Clan and the beautiful music of Final Fantasy 6, composed by Nobuo Uematsu. I hope you enjoy it. Release date is October 20, 2014 on www.2mello.com.

This is as real as it gets! 

Hip Hop heads who hate that radio BS, and 16-Bit RPG die hards who wouldn't touch a polygon with a ten foot pole have had it coming for some time now. It's the grand finale of the 2 Mello trilogy, and it happens October 20th. This means that this album comes just in time to be my alternate soundtrack to the upcoming Mario Kart 8 updates in mid November.