Metroid Metal - Other Album available now

Metroid Metal. Listen to this band to know the definition of those two words. Of course, my favorites on Other Album are the Super Metroid tracks, with "Maridia (SM)" taking a huge lead in my own playlists.

Whenever someone asks me about the best bands creating video game music arrangements, my mind always turns immediately to the math metal stylings of Metroid Metal. Ever since Stemage belted out tunes solo under the guise, I've been enamored with the lovingly rearranged music contorted into headbanging tracks that would have had my teenage metalhead self crying in ecstasy.

Download it on Bandcamp for $6 or grab the digipack for an extra $2.

Stemage - Where Good Marbles Go to Die (Marble Madness) album release

After almost thirty years, doctors have yet to come up with a cure for Marble Madness. Stemage gathers his friends to lament spherical fever in this seven song album. Along with musical geniuses such as xoc, housethegrate, and more, it may truly be, that all great artists have some form of marble madness...

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/)

Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack EP release

Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack
Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack

I am not even sure where to begin with this post. As soon as I fired this album up I was blasted with such incredible energy and fantastic musicianship that it's been a challenge to simply write this article rather than just rock out and air guitar for the entirety of this album. Unfortunately there isn't an onomatopoeia for 'headbang' yet, so I actually have to write about this album with only the vocabulary at hand.

From their humble beginnings Metroid Metal has become an incredible live force to be reckoned with, having played to thousands of fans at the Penny Arcade Expo and MAGFest and releasing one of the best albums of last year. Looks like they aren't satisfied though, as they aim to have the greatest album of this year as well. The group has recently announced the release of six newly recorded tracks from the whole band, and called that release, Expansion Pack.

For those who have not had the chance to see them live at PAX or MAGFest, you have been missing out. I had the good fortune of getting to see them perform earlier this year at PAX East and was simply blown away. It can be difficult for a group without a lead singer to gain traction with folks, but Metroid Metal had a stage presence all their own. You would be hard pressed to turn your attention away from them at any part of their live set. Luckily for the folks who could not travel out to Metroid Metal sanctioned events, the group has taken several songs that they have been performing live, and gone into the studio to create Expansion Pack. This EP is freely available to download via Metroid Metal's bandcamp page. Now don't consider this a mere extra to their amazing debut album though, as we have half an hour of incredible arrangements starting with the highly memorable theme to Metroid Prime to kick this album right into high gear.

This album is definitely more than a simple expansion, boasting six songs and clocking in at half an hour. Leading from the amazing opener, we also hear incredible music from one of my personal favorite games, Super Metroid, with the themes to Brinstar and Criteria. Brinstar's ominous beeps are transformed into full on guitar and the effect is incredible. It's hard to imagine that these songs were ever written any other way. In the same vein, Crateria's fiery depths are also recreated brilliantly by the group. Keeping the same dangerous atmosphere of the original while still creating a head banging wall of music to rock out to.

Expansion Pack also boasts two songs from the NES days with Norfair, a driving, intense, track that builds into an epic boss fighting and destroying end. Then we have the incredible rendition of Tourian/Mother Brain, which pushes forward just as hard as the other tracks. With stomping guitar riffs and spiraling out of control solos. The group took another amazingly ambient Metroid piece and made it feel like it was only ever intended to be an immense metal song.

To close out this amazing EP is a medley of Prime 3 Theme/Bryyo. This track starts out hard, but slowly morphs into an atmospheric rock anthem. This final track alone is incredible and varied enough to leave any Metroid fan happy, not to mention exhausted from all the headbanging that will be done. So grow your hair out and get ready to head bang by downloading Expansion Pack right now.

Yes, Mayhem self titled album release

Yes, Mayhem
Yes, Mayhem

It's not often that I post music that is so far removed from video games, but there are always those few rare instances, of which I believe this is one. Considering that the musicians involved in this album were so heavily influenced by video games in their other endeavors, this site would be doing a disservice to readers and music lovers everywhere to not write about the debut self titled album by Yes, Mayhem.

Created by Dan 'Chunkstyle' Taylor and boasting all stars of VG Rock such as XoC, Danimal of Armcannon, Ryan8Bit, Stemage of Metroid Metal and several more, Yes, Mayhem definitely has it's roots firmly planted in the VG music culture. The album sounds like a love letter to the 90's rock radio that played during those sessions of Donkey Kong Country and Sonic The Hedgehog. Yes, Mayhem displays a mood of grunge metal rock stylings that tread across classic styles, borrowing the best of each in the process. Yes, Mayhem is a great listen for anyone that grew up listening to the music of that era like these folks and I did. That's not to say that the album doesn't cross new ground though, as Chunkstyle and friends incoporate synths, samples, and interesting lyrics to keep things fresh throughout.

Through out the album your ears will be assaulted by a ton of various genres and styles, starting with the slow heavy mood of Release, on through the laid back calm of Take 2. Not to mention pieces like the accordion tinged rock of Whore Shoes, with it's aged guitars and chanting vocals. I believe my favorite track on the album though, is the hard rocking synth infused sounds of Fevered Egos. This track kicks off hard, and only gets harder from there, throwing down an awesome to the point of almost absurd keyboard solo just to start the song. Not to mention the funky bass lines weaving into the song add a nice groove to the intense rocking.

As I have kept repeating through this short write up, this album is a fantastic debut, and I hope to hear more from Chunkstyle and friends in this vein in the future. I am sure you will as well once you grab the album, which is available to download free or for donation over at yesmayhem.com and I highly recommend giving it a listen. It may not be the VG music you know and love, but it comes from some of the most talented folks in the VG inspired music community, and will definitely satisfy that urge for a great new rock album.

First set of bands announced for MAGFest 9

As the sun sets on PAX and an event filled summer, the days grow shorter and it is time to look longingly into the wintery world of MAGFest. This is quite easy to do, now that the MAGFest crew has announced a few of the many bands that will be performing at the upcoming festival. Groups include newcomers The X Hunters, and personal favorites Bit Brigade. Not to mention the return of amazing bands Metroid Metal, Entertainment System, and Rare Candy. On top of that, there will even be DJs cutting things up VG style with DJ Cutman and DJ AWESOME so you can dance it off all night long.

This is just the first of many upcoming announcements for MAGFest, so keep checking their site for the latest news, and I will see you there in January!

Josh Whelchel announces Songs for the Cure '10 - charity album for cancer research

Songs for the Cure '10 from Josh Whelchel on Vimeo.

Like the past couple years, Josh Whelchel has been hard at work organizing compilations among the video game composer, chiptune, and VG remix communities and more for a noble cause. That cause is the Songs for the Cure 2010 compilation. The goal of the album is to raise money for the Relay for Life event held specifically at the University of Cincinnati and the American Cancer Society through music. The goal is to raise 10,000 dollars for cancer research by April 23rd, 2010. As of the time of this writing they are at exactly $3,194...No wait. $3,198 dollars. With your help the goal of 10,000 can be reached, and hopefully even surpassed over the next two months!

RIght now until March 1st (which is only a few days away!) the album is available with a donation right now. Head over to cancerdrive.org and send $10 to this great cause and you will receive a digital copy of the album in both MP3 and FLAC audio formats. If you want to really help though, a donation of $25 will net you a fancy free hard copy (and no S&H either). These prices only last until March 1st though, so be sure to place your orders right away!

What do you get on this album you might be asking though. Well you will be getting amazing music from the following list of performers, which include some of the best and brightest from VG Rock, VG Remixes, chiptunes, VGM, and independent music.

Two Seconds Away, Stemage, David DiMuzio, Alec & Eileen Holowka, Josh Whelchel, Jay Tholen, Big Giant Circles, Jessi Bair, Inez S. deDeugd-McComas, Morgen La Civita, Michael Huang, David Saulesco, Renee Winter, Tara Morrow, Helen Austin, Chiwawa, Inverse Phase, Michael Tanenbaum, Average Joe Crane, Roth Herrlinger, Melinda Hershey, Rich Brilli, Midnight Prophet, Bradley Burr, Rob Westwood, Terry Whitehead, Fever Pitch, FFMusicDJ & Postgoodism, Battlecake, Craig Stern, Danny Clay, T.R. Beery, Martha Mingle, Zen Albatross, 5 of 6, Barry van Oudtshoorn, J.W. Hendricks, 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier, Poolside, Gonçalo Lourenço, and more!

And to give you a taste of some of these amazing tracks, Josh Whelchel has sent me a demo for you to check out or download below. And remember, donate now at cancerdrive.org! [gplayer href="http://gamemusic4all.com/audio/Songs%20for%20the%20Cure%20%2710%20Preview.mp3"]Songs for the Cure 2010 preview featuring Stemage - The Challenger; Tara Morrow - Your Name; Battlecake - Time Scar (Chrono Cross Arr.); and Josh Whelchel - Sing Gloria (feat. Tara Morrow, Melinda Hershey, Rich Brilli)[/gplayer] Download Songs for the Cure 2010 Preview

PAX 2009 DVD with Metroid Metal, MC Frontalot, Anamanaguchi and more, available now

For those who, like me, have not had the chance to attend PAX in person, or those who are attending the brand new East coast iteration (like me also) and want to do the proper research before diving in. Good news. Penny Arcade brings us an insanely sized six disc behemoth of PAX 2009. The package is available for $39.99 over at the proper PA merch page, and recorded fully and lovingly by the folks behind REFORMAT THE PLANET and other VG inspired music endeavors, 2 Player Productions.

The album not only covers the several days and tons of events at PAX, but also includes plenty of behind the scenes footage. Not to mention more 2 Player Productions produced material like the pilot episodes of Penny Arcade: The Series, and two fully made documentaries Omegathon 2009 and The PAX Experience. Most importantly to folks who read this site I imagine though, is the amazing recordings of the nightly concerts by incredible performers such as Metroid Metal, MC Frontalot, Anamanaguchi, and more!

Check out a preview of the footage from the DVD below.

MAGFest VIII announces final bands; all out of gum


At only a month and a half away, MAGFest 8 is right around the corner, and with that the MAGFest dissemination campaign is a go! If you watched the video above you know about one of the special guests who will be there, but word from Nick at the MAGFest camp has given word about some more guests including famed game developer Sid Meier.

Alongside the new guests, the final four bands have been added to the all star roster of VG influenced performances. Let's just do the list thing here, featuring the 100% full roster of amazing artists. It should be noted that none of the bands will have any gum either, which we hope is indicative of something or other.

Final bands added
The OneUps
Select Start
Entertainment System
The Megas

Previously announced bands
Armcannon
Metroid Metal
Temp Sound Solutions
Rare Candy
A_Rival
The Smash Brothers
Armadillo Tank
This Place is Haunted

So if you are on the East Coast, nay, on Earth, head over to magfest.org and sign up for the fest right now. Unless of course you want The Duke ripping off your head, and..er..just go to MAGFest.

First MAGFest VIII bands announced!


We recently mentioned that MAGFest VIII was announced and registration is now open. But how about what those tickets get you? Well MAGFest crew member Nick 'The Newbie' Marinelli has let slip two of the sure to be many bands performing at this upcoming MAGFest! Read on to get the scoop right from Nick himself!

Good news MAGFans, we're revealing our first two musical guests that will be playing at MAGFest 8, January 1-4, 2010, in Alexandria, VA. They're both veteran bands to us, so they're well versed in the art of rocking out.

Metroid Metal: Originally a solo project by Grant Henry at metroidmetal.com, this metal tribute to Nintendo's Metroid series made its full live band debut at last year's MAGFest, and is playing at PAX 2009 in seattle. They just released their new album "Varia Suite" and you can get it through their website. They'll be returning this year to attach to your head and drain all your energy. Get your ice beam ready!

Arm Cannon: An internationally renowned 5 piece band from Buffalo NY, these guys have made their mark remixing video game classics. They skillfully reincarnate these classic melodies of yore into a progressive-metal triumph of nostalgia. An Armcannon show will reawaken your inner child with the unmatchable power of rock. They've been with MAGFest since our 5th fest in 2007, and are glad to return this year. They also just released their second, and you can get it at armcannon.com [ed. I also reviewed their new album READ IT!]

For fresh new videos of Metroid Metal with terrific remastered audio, and other great videos of bands and happenings from past MAGFests, check out our youtube channel at youtube.com/magfest

This is just the beginning, folks! We'll have plenty more bands and guests to announce in the coming weeks. Make sure to pre-register now to save $5, and get admission to our New Years Eve party! magfest.org/prereg

Also, MAGFest will be sponsoring the music at the upcoming GameX Industry Summit in Philadelphia this coming October. GameX is a national game consumer show designed to draw from national, regional and local audiences of game players, film and TV fans, comic book buffs and tech enthusiasts. High-value consumer content is being provided by exhibitors and sponsors, including major media and entertainment companies seeking to build their brands with the core games audience. MAGFest will be in charge of the music, so some see bands including The One-Ups and Arm Cannon. More info at gamexpo.us

Metroid Metal upcoming album release Varia Suite


When you think of lonely and hostile alien planets teaming with evil monstrous creatures and long forgotten ruined civilizations, what else do you think of? If you guessed metal you are damned right! Lucky for you too, as Metroid Metal, number one in hostile alien parasite metal, has announced an all new studio album known as Varia Suite and featuring the crew of Metroid Metal Live! Also that album is available for pre-order right now! The album is available for pre-order in two packages, $8 for just the CD, or you can go all out and get the album, plus an amazing MM shirt and sticker for a cool $20.

The album is set to feature all new recordings and rearrangements of classic Metroid tracks spanning a good chunk of the series and will be released September 8th (so suck it all you 09/09/09 release dates!). For aural proof of the amazingness that is this album, just watch the preview video below. Also, if you are in the Seattle, Washington area, be sure to see the band at the Penny Arcade Expo for a sure to be incredible performance Friday, September 4th!

New Metroid Metal track posted

Stemage of Metroid cover project, Metroid Metal has just posted up a new track - a massive, swirling cover of Downed Frigate from Metroid Prime. Go check it out over at the Metroid Metal MySpace page or through metroidmetal.com.


In fact, while you're over at metroidmetal.com, grab yourself a cut-price t-shirt, and a seriously sweet ZIP of live Metroid Metal tracks, recorded at Magfest earlier this year. Also, stay tuned for a "huge announcment" coming soon from Stemage...

Metroid Metal LIVE - and a new track up!


Some cool things happening on the Metroid Metal front right now:

Hi everyone,

Metroid Metal live is happening - believe it or not. Since March, I've been working with a pile of sick musicians to help take the Metroid Metal project to the stage. It's now official! At MAGfest of next year (Jan 1-4, 2009 in Alexandria, VA), Metroid Metal live will be taking the main stage with a great list of bands.
Check out metroidmetal.com for details.

Also, NEW SONG! It's Torvus Bog from Metroid Prime 2. Hope you enjoy! I use the Korg DS10 game for DS on this track.
Why not right? :)

Best,

Grant

And if you've never checked out some MM before, now's your chance. Check out the new track on the MySpace page, and there's a load of mp3s on his site (Kraid's Theme is one of my faves).

Return of the VGM Megacast

After a two month break the VGM Megacast returns to bring you once again only the most awesome video game cover music. This show's featured artist is Entertainment System but Tim and Tony also spin tracks from Metroid Metal, The Kode Secret, Vomitron, Shawn Phase and Alex Mauer, This Place Is Haunted, MegaDriver and Powerglove!

Check out the website over at www.vgmmegacast.com or subscribe to the feed - feeds.feedburner.com/vgmmegacast