Ok, something completely different for y’all with this one. As many of you know, I have love for video games just as big as my love for metal, with a special soft spot for the NES/SNES heyday of gaming glory. I have an even softer spot for Mega Man. Between the rock solid running, jumping, and shooting, beautiful art style and character design, and outstanding music, the only old school series that I herald higher than Mega Man is The Legend of Zelda. So, ya, I love me some Mega Man. Unfortunately, those bastards at Capcom teased me with a full on retro Mega Man revival with the kick ass Mega Man 9 and 10 they released some years ago and then pulled out from making more since they are bastards (the games sold wonderfully too, don’t know wtf they were thinking).
Anyhoo, before I get ahead of myself, a couple of months ago a game called Shovel Knight was released on PC, 3DS, and WiiU. It’s basically an homage to the glory days of retro-gaming with a lot of modern twists and pulls a lot of inspiration from the Mega Man series, especially in character design, graphical aesthetic, and above all the music. Mega Man pretty much has some of the best tunes of any game out there with their chip tune power metal punch. So, given the love Shovel Knight for the Mega Man series, to be a respectable homage to the Blue Bomber, the dev. team would have to find someone to craft one hell of a soundtrack. They found Jake Kaufman, and let me tell you he went above and beyond the call of duty. When a chip tune soundtrack is just as good out of game than in, you got yourself something special. This soundtrack ranks up there with the all time greats including The Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, and Super Mario Bros. Tons of catchy melodies, driving rhythms, and cheesy 8-bit goodness.
If you happen to be one of the few other people out there that actually enjoy some good chip tune music, this is a must have record. Even cooler, Jake did a second record with reinterpretations of the scores that is just as good. So, go play Shovel Knight (which is riding high as my Game of the Year so far) and download the soundtrack and reinterpretation album. Both are pay what you want, but tossing the artist the change between your cushions for their work instead of taking the record for free would be a cool thing to do. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!
This interesting tidbit was sent to us some weeks ago and while not the most ‘metal’ thing in the world, maybe some of you out there will get a kick out of it, I know I did. Basically it’s a trilogy of E.P.s by an instrumental band called Robot Monkey Arm which pay homage to great film scores like the ones you would hear in a Spaghetti Western, ’70s Exploitation Flick, or cheesy Sci-Fi movie. The band doesn’t do exact covers, but instead uses the atmospheres of the scores to create some cool atmospheres in their original scores. In the music you get an eclectic mix of metal, funk, prog, surf rock, chiptune, and jazz, and it’s all a damn good time on each tune. My favorite of the bunch is a tune called “Cinema Vomitif” where there is this whole ‘James Bond does Mortal Kombat in Hell after ingesting a couple tabs of blotter acid’ feel to it.
So, if you dig movie scores, especially those of the ’60s and ’70s, and experimental music, do give this E.P. Trilogy a listen. And as always, if you dig it pass the good word onto your buddies and stuff. Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!
A lot of times when I would rock out to some Dream Theater in the car with my friends that weren’t familiar with the band, or prog in general, they would often say that DT sounded like video game music. IMO, they couldn’t be more wrong and I was always quick to elaborate my opinion on that. But that did make me wonder, what if DT actually did make music for video games (the 8/16-bit ones), what would it sound like? Well, I think I found my answer to that question on Bandcamp.
Chiptune artist C-jeff has created himself quite the masterpiece in Preschtale. Taking heavy influences from the aforementioned Dream Theater as well as Pink Floyd this album creates some wonderful spacy soundscapes that flow between the chill and groovy to the heavy and hard-hitting to dark and foreboding. Seriously, if Nintendo ever gets around to finally making a quality Metroid game again they need to hire this guy to write the music. It doesn’t take long for the record to kick into full gear and you will quickly forget that the majority of this music was made using old video game systems and a computer. If you’re in the mood for something different and very ‘proggy’ do check this record out and grab yourself a copy (it’s ‘pay what you want’). Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!