Listen to classic Year 200X metal Legend of Zelda medley "Zelda II (Title - Battle - Fairy - Palace)"

Digging through some classic tunes lately, and can not pass up the chance to spread the gospel of my personal favorite Year 200X track. 

Little did I know that the prolific Year 200X would go dormant in the studio for some time. As the final track on the album, this soundscape traversing medley did a lot to have Year 200X go out with a bang, echoing through the years until the eventual release (which was earlier this year!) of their sophomore album.

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.

MAGFest announces full band roster for MAGFest 9 this January

Recently, the biggest convention of VG music fans and musicians in America, MAGFest, has announced their highly anticipated list of performing acts for next year. There isn't much to add to this, so just look below in awe at all the incredible talent performing. Not only brand new never before seen at MAGFest bands, but also the standard amazing acts, as well as several who haven't performed since MAGFests long since passed. Check out the bands below, and then head over to magfest.org and grab your tickets now!

Featured Game Music Bands: The Protomen (http://www.protomen.com/) The Minibosses (http://www.minibosses.com/) The OneUps (http://www.theoneups.com/) Metroid Metal (http://metroidmetal.com/) Armcannon (http://armcannon.com/) Bit Brigade (http://www.bitbrigade.com/) The Megas (http://themegas.com/) Year 200X (http://year200xband.com/) X-Hunters (http://www.myspace.com/thexhunters) Entertainment System (http://www.myspace.com/entertainmentsystem) This Place Is Haunted (http://thisplaceishaunted.com/)

Not only will these acts be performing every night of this fest, but the floors will also be home to a cavalcade of video game composers and special guests. Check out the still growing line up over at this link! Rare Candy (http://www.rarecandyband.com/)

Bit Gen Gamer Fest announced for August 14, 2010

Looks like those rowdy VG rockers over on the east coast are at it again. And it appears that the sequel to the 8,16,32, and 64-Bit Genocides are announced and bigger than ever. The folks have done away with such trivialities as amounts of bits, announcing Bit Gen Gamer Fest!

The folks behind the show have already announced a whopping ten bands who will be throwing down this year. Folks coming out to this epic event will be hearing from Armadillo Tank, Rare Candy, The X-Hunters, The Ultraball, This Place Is Haunted, The OneUps, Year 200X, The Megas, Entertainment System, and Powerglove. If that isn't enough, we also have word that Youtube sensation BrentalFloss will be MCing the entire event.

This is all happening August 14th in Baltimore, MD. You can check out more of the event at their official site bitgengamerfest.com or via their Facebook and Myspace pages.

64 Bit Genocide in one month! August 22nd in Baltimore, MD

So we have experienced genocide from 8 Bit to 32 Bit, but once again the powers that be have doubled and we are now on the edge of a massive 64 Bit Genocide. Ten bands, several amazing video game influenced artists. Just unbelievable. If you are anywhere near Baltimore then you have no excuse to miss out on what is arguably one of the biggest and best showcases of video game inspired music and art anywhere.

With endless amounts of amazing bands including The Protomen, Entertainment System, Rare Candy, Year 200X, This Place is Haunted (who have a new album coming out soon) Cheap Dinosaurs, X Hunters, Armadillo Tank, The Ultraball, and all the way from across the country The Megas. Not only this but word has it that Entertainment System and The Megas are working on an amazing album project together titled Megatainment which is all set to be debuted at this show. If you are on the east coast of the US you have absolutely no reason to miss what is arguably one of the most epic nights in VGrock anywhere!

Show details are below.
Ottobar
2549 Howard Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Doors for the show will open at
5 o'clock, and the show will end at around 1 o'clock.
Tickets are $17 dollars, and are available
now through this link.

New Year 200X shirts for sale now!

East coast rockers Year 200X has recently released some epic metal shirts to help with their release of We Are Error, their debut album. The shirts, designed by Leo Camacho sport both that VG and Metal flavors you love, and in three colors no less. So those of you who prefer to step out in all black can have yours, while those who like a bit of color (like me) can hit the town in a spiffy red or beige number (I picked the red one by the way). Check out the designs below, and be sure to order one from the Year 200X myspace page or their latest blog!

(click on the images for higher resolution)

Year 200X - We Are Error album release


How many times has Ducktales melted your face off with it's extreme metal? If your answer is less than 100, then it's because you haven't listened to the new Year 200X album 100 times like I did! The album, We Are Error, is available now on their myspace page for only ten bucks! As stated before I have been listening to it a ton, and it is more than worth the purchase. Also the album has awesome special guests Alex Atchley and Housethegrate, two other very fine musicians. Well hurry up and order the album! Classy track listing is below.

Mega Man 3 (intro by Alex Atchley) - Title Theme
Ducktales - The Moon
Life Force - Level 1 - Level 6 - Boss Music - Level 3
Bad Dudes - Level 2
Ghosts N Goblins - Intro - Level 1
Journey to Silius (feat. housethegrate) - Title Theme - Level 1 - Level 2
Metal Gear - Jungle Theme
Castlevania III - The Beginning
Ninja Gaiden II - Intro
Contra - Jungle - Base - Waterfall - Snowfield - Alien's Lair
River City Ransom - Boss Theme
Mega Man 2 - Title Theme
Zelda II - Title Theme - Battle - Fairy Theme (A Link to the Past) - Palace

32 Bit Genocide - August 16th in Baltimore, MD


OK, so 32 Bit Genocide is coming upon us very quickly. You may have noticed the flyer I have had on the site for the last few months, but if you never took the time to click on it, for shame! Bit Genocide is one of the biggest concerts around for the VG Rock community, and this year is no exception. Did you read the flyer above you? Those bands are all playing, it's not just a list of awesome bands that should play together, they ARE playing together. Six of the finest bands in the VGIM community are getting together to throw one epic show. Even The Megas from LA, California are flying out to be part of the insanity.

For more info be sure to check out the official 32 Bit Genocide myspace page! And if you have any expendable money at all, be there! It's going to be one amazing night for VG rock fans!

Interview with Tim from Year 200X

Here's a short article I recently wrote for a project at university, and I thought some of you guys might find it interesting so I've thrown it up on here. And look out for Year 200X's new album some time soon!

Most people would recognise the Super Mario Bros. theme tune instantly, but how about if it was played by a full rock band, complete with drums, bass and guitars?

“I first got the idea after stumbling across a few Minibosses songs around 2000 or 2001. I immediately loved the concept of playing video game music on conventional instruments, but I wanted to mix in the genre that I liked the most, metal.” says Tim Lydon, guitarist of popular video game cover band, Year 200X.

“Fast forward a few years, to when a buddy of mine recorded a cover of the Ninja Gaiden II title music. We decided to make a page on MySpace for our increasing interest in recording VG covers. We didn't even think of forming a real band until a couple other friends of ours heard what we had, and told us that if we ever wanted to start playing out live, they were in.”

An additional two guitarists, bassist and drummer complete the Year 200X line-up, their name a reference to the Mega Man series of games. Based in Lansing, Michigan, the band is currently recording a full-length album and is set to play at the '32-bit Genocide' festival this summer.

Tim explains how the crowd typically respond at live events: “The reactions are usually one of two types: we either get a blank stare, indicating that they either don't really understand what we do, or that they think it's the dumbest thing they've ever heard. The other reaction is positive, and usually comes from gamers.”

And it is gamers who make up the majority of a cover band's fan base. Having grown up listening to the music of their favourite games, hearing these tunes fleshed out by a full rock band is quite appealing.

Many bands focus on older video game tunes – those from the 80s and early 90s. This is probably because bands and their fans both grew up with this era of video games, and so these songs create a feeling of nostalgia that newer video game music may not. Also, as contemporary video game music has become very high quality and impressive in its own right, converting the 'bleepy bloopy' sounds of past decades is quite a novel concept. “I owned a NES when it was new,” says Tim, “and that's where my love for games and game music started. So that's really what we wanted to pay tribute to.”

Paying tribute involves playing the original material accurately, although this can sometimes be a difficult task, as the music was never intended to be played on traditional instruments. However, one technical aspect of old video game music does lend itself to a rock band setting: “the NES soundchip basically produced four tracks, and they were often utilized as two 'lead' tracks, a 'bass' track, and a 'noise' track that was usually used for percussion or sound effects. It's almost a no-brainer that these would translate well to two guitars, a bass guitar, and drums”.

Whilst fun and enjoyment is often the focus, with some bands not taking themselves seriously at all, Tim believes there is something more to video game music than novelty and nostalgia. “I think that the word is spreading that there are people out there doing this kind of thing. And as more and more people find out about VGM artists, it is inspiring more and more people to try their own hand at video game covers, chiptunes, and other forms of VGM and video game inspired music. Plus, people are starting to realize that video game music is a very valid, expressive, and important form of music.”

Video

Year 200X AT NewAge Arcade - Mega Man 2

Links

Year 200X MySpace page

Gamewave Megacast #1

The Gamewave Podcast and VGM Megacast have joined forces to bring the internet the Gamewave Megacast #1! This show is a must-listen for all fans of video game music, combining the "best in original video game style music" with "only the most awesome video game covers". Join Joe, Mike, Tim and Tony as they discuss UK and American culture and play music from artists such as Anamanaguchi, The Advantage, Ozma, Metroid Metal, Spheres of Chaos and Year 200X. Check out the VGM Megacast site and feed or betamodradio.com.

MEGA038 - Return of Mega Twerp Compilation

The awesome netlabel Mega Twerp has just released their first compilation featuring 17 tracks covering many of the sounds and styles within the VGM scene. Artists include Year 200X, Disasterpeace, Temp Sound Solutions and goto80.

MEGA038 - Return of Mega Twerp Compilation

"That's right, it's offical. We are back, and we are rocking harder than ever. Spanning the many different styles that make up the video game style music scene, this compilation contains 17 tracks that are proper atari and essential to your music collection. And this is just the tip of the Iceberg of what's to come here at the new Mega Twerp! *urp* ohok bye!"

Video Armageddon III goes down tonight!

The final Video Armageddon is happening this very night in State College, PA. The show will be kicking off with Temp Sound Solutions, followed by Armcannon, Picnic Casket, Entertainment System, and finally Year 200X. The show is five bucks, and if you aren't there, you might as well not be alive ever.

Year 200X "Get these guys to VA3!" Sale

I think it's best to just let the folks from Year 200X talk about their fantastic sale.

"For a limited time, we're putting our merch on sale to help finance our trip to Pennsylvania for Video Armageddon 3. If you haven't gotten any merch yet, now's the time! Right now our Mega Man T-shirts are only $10 (inside US), which includes shipping, a free sticker, and a free DEMO. Demos by themselves are only $3, shipping and all.

For more info, or to order, check out our myspace page! Help us get to PA, and help us get into the studio and record our debut full length!

Take care all.
-Tim and Y2KX

PS, thanks so much to everyone who's bought merch so far. It really helps, we appreciate the support!"

To get in on this fantastic sale, and look as good as the fine lady pictured above, head on over to myspace.com/year200x!

Music EXP Compilation Update 3

Three new, amazing bands have been added to the compilation! First up, is the amazing chiptune and circuit bending musician Acrodot. The next two are both hard rocking VGM cover bands. Year 200X are contributing their guitar shredding prowess to the compilation. Fantastic group The Game Genies are lending their lauded musical skills to Music EXP as well. Looks like this compilation is just getting more and more exciting!

Now to the band list!

Band count so far:
8 Bit Bandit
Acrodot
Alex Mauer
Dot.AY
Elfonso
The Game Genies
The Lost Levels
Lutin
Player Two
Select Start
Spheres of Chaos
Super Nintechno
Temp Sound Solutions
Year 200X

As always, stay tuned for even more exciting updates for Music EXP!
(For older Music EXP news click here)

PS. That's a lot of exclamation points!

xepher.geo EPs, Spheres of Chaos album, MPFM, Akumu’s NSF Archive, VA2, Protomen, The Kode, and Year 200X concerts

Chiptune artist xepher.geo has released two free EP’s for download on his site. Afraid of the Dark is described as “droney, spacey idm breaks and noise” while the second EP titled DOS Recollection is “dirty lofi beats, chirpy chips and such madness!” They are free, so give them a listen.
Good pal’s Spheres of Chaos (interview here) are releasing their debut album on Friday the 13th of October. They also have an upcoming show on October 19th, check out their site for more details.
Just wanted to mention a new band I have come across this past week and let you folks in on it. I’ll try mentioning new and upcoming artists every week. Today I want to mention the band My Parent’s Favorite Music. Really amazing stuff.
Another interesting place to check out is Akumu’s NSF Archive. For those not in the know, NSF’s are the sound files from NES games. You can find out more information as well as programs to listen to NSF sound files at Akumu’s site.
Coming up soon, but just not soon enough is Video Armageddon 2. I just wanted to remind you all about it’s impending awesomeness on October 28th and also to post another amazing flyer for the event. This flyer coming from the good folks from This Place Is Haunted.

More upcoming concerts this week. Year 200X is playing a concert in Lansing, Michigan on the 11th. The Dr. Wily hating rock group The Protomen have two shows this week in Los Angeles this 11th and 12th. Also this Friday the 13th, Boston based pals The Kode are playing Hamdon, CT.

The Megas, Push Start, The Kode, Play!, 1337 Geek Beat shows, Year 200X/8-bit Artist Collaboration

This Saturday The Megas and Push Start are performing in Los Angeles, so check that out. The Kode are traveling out to New York for two shows on the 29th and 30th in Syracuse and Rochester respectively. Play! A Videogame Symphony is playing up in Toronto, Canada on September 30th. Also on the 30th, Texas based group 1337 Geek Beat are playing in Dallas, TX.
Year 200X and 8-bit Artist have collaborated to release a song and art piece together. The collaboration? Zelda II Adventures of Link. Check out and download the song on Year 200X’s site, and check out the artwork below and on 8-bit Artist’s site.

Gamers Uplink, Video Games Live, Year 200X, Horse the Band

We are glad to announce a great new affiliate today by the name of Gamers Uplink which was established in 2000 and has done many great things for the gaming community at large. We are glad to have them as an affiliate.
VGL tomorrow, be there! Other shows this weekend include Year 200X on the 23rd in Lansing, MI for 7 bucks. Also performing is Horse The Band in Detroit, MI on the 23rd. Check out those shows if you are in the area!

Year 200X Interview, Year 200X, The Advantage, Horse The Band tour dates, Video Games Live @ the Hollywood Bowl

Sorry about the lack of updates, but here’s a good one. New interview up with heavy metal gamers Year 200X. Check it out along with all our other interviews in the interview section. They also have some upcoming shows on the 16th and 23rd of this month, check out their official site or our events section for more info. Horse the Band and The Advantage are both on tour and playing several shows each this weekend as well. so check that out too.

Another big event on the horizon will be Video Games Live which is coming back to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California September 21st. There are still tickets ranging from as low as $7 to some prime seats going for about $60 still available through Ticketmaster. So if you are anywhere near LA definitely do not miss this event! Everyone from GM4A should be in attendance, so if you want to hang out or say hi to Jake, Corey and I (Anthony) then feel free to do so. Also it will be our writer/photographer Corey’s birthday on the day of the concert, so make sure to tell her happy birthday! Bring her a present even. Since I am assuming some (most) of you may not even know what we look like, I uploaded some pictures on the contact page. We hope to see you there!

Grassnose, Temp Sound Solutions, The Advantage, Air Fortress, Parasprinter, PAX, Video Armageddon 2, Spheres of Chaos

Betamod has recently released the newest album on their label. This one coming out thanks to Grassnose. The EP, titled Tamalian, includes four tracks. The tracks are...

1. Slender Approach
2. Waiting for Mom
3. Pedro
4. Purr Blazed

As the above flyer illustrates. Shawn Phase AKA Temp Sound Solutions will be playing at The Talking Head in Baltimore, MD this Thursday, August 24th. Other upcoming shows include The Advantage tonight in Boston, MA and tomorrow in Providence, RI. Also three shows going down on Friday. Air Fortress is at the K Street Cafe and Theatre in Portland, OR. The Advantage and Parasprinter have a show together at the American Legion Hall in Wallingford, CT. And finally, the big kick off of the much anticipated Penny Arcade Expo which lasts until Sunday.

News coming from our friends Year 200X that the date and the location for Video Armageddon 2 has been set. The concert, which includes the likes of This Place is Haunted, Year 200X, Powerglove, and Shawn Phase is set to go down on October 28th. All the latest information can be found at the Video Armageddon 2 myspace site. Also to be found on the site is an exclusive track by Year 200X named Life Force.
Great friends Spheres of Chaos have a new website. You can check it out at spheresofchaos.co.uk. They are also recording a brand new album which has a tentative street date of October. Joe Allen, Spheres of Chaos drummer, and co-host of Gamewave Podcast, guarantees ten tracks of great video game metal.

ANAMANAGUCHI, NESMETAL, YEAR 200X, EGM COVERS VGM

Chiptune group Anamanaguchi have announced that their newest EP, Helix Nebula will be coming out this August care of 8bitpeoples. The EP will span seven tracks and clock in at approximately 20 minutes.
NESMETAL have released a new song. Track 12 - “Star Stealing Girl” (from Chrono Cross) is the song. Head on over and have a listen.
Sadly, Year 200X has had their myspace page erased for absolutely no reason (sort of rings a bell over here at GM4A). Well head on over to their new page and add them if you haven’t they have a bit of catching up to do. As incentive they have posted a new demo of Metal Gear that they are currently working on.
Electronic Gaming Monthly have covered several VGM bands in their August issue, which should be hitting news racks soon. In the article EGM covers six bands, Totally Radd!!, The Protomen, Final Fantasy, 14 Year Old Girls, Futuristic Sex Robotz, and Cinemechanica. Thanks to the internet, you can also check out the article on EGM’s official site egm.1up.com.