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.
Incredible piano arrangements from a variety of games, all rearranged with great care in Brian Cubria's Video Game Piano Arrangements Vol. 1. Little flourishes and references in each song will warrant intense repeated listening for fans of games such as Final Fantasy VII, Shadow of the Colossus, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and personal favorite, the intro stage theme from Mega Man X.
I do have to admit, my favorite track just tends to be the one I'm listening to, since they are all so impressive.
Out of this world metal cover of the Spark Mandrill stage from Mega Man X. This was one of my favorite games back in the SNES days and the music pumps through my veins to this day!
Get pumped and bang your head to this monstrous metal track.