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1  Media / The Soundroom / Re: metal docs by sam dunn on: March 02, 2012, 04:16:31 AM
Oh, hell yeah. Derek would have been a GREAT guy to interview, especially given that he draws inspiration from guitarists as well as keyboard players. I remember listening to the commentary track on DT's 5 Years in a Livetime DVD, and hearing Mike Portnoy talk about how Derek cited guys like Zakk Wylde, Eddie Van Halen, and Steve Lukather as influences alongside cats like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman. And it makes even more sense to have him on when you look at his solo output post DT, as well as the stuff he's done in Planet X. Very insanely proggy stuff there. I don't even know that he'd have been interested in doing the Black Country Communion thing if he had never been part of Dream Theater. I think Between the Buried and Me would have been great to have on as well. For the extreme side of things, they certainly would have made more sense than Dillinger Escape Plan.
2  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: March 01, 2012, 08:10:53 AM
Rush - Hemispheres

Not the song, the whole album.
3  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Why do you read Game/Anime soundtrack reviews? on: March 01, 2012, 08:09:32 AM
as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own. Some music reviews get into the technical terms, others speak very metaphorically of the music's "soul," still others will compare this or that song to other artists' works or specific genres of music. And in almost any review, there is always the "informative" bit (information about the composer, artist, source material, etc). In all of these things, I may find an opinion that surprises me, and a way to approach the music as I listen.

In short, music reviews help me get more mileage out of the music. I learn new things and learn how to listen, just a little better. :)

Exactly this. When I review, since I have no technical basis whatsoever, I tend more towards the "well, these are the sounds you hear, and these are the emotions I feel when I hear it. But that's how I listen to music in general and why I think I prefer electronica and VGM in general to more mainstream stuff-- and to stuff with lyrics. I like to FEEL emotion rather than have words tell me the emotion. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to all types of VGM, especially in regards to games that are deemed "bad." I've said it numerous times on the podcast and on the site, but I can slog through a mediocre or even bad game if the music is fantastic. I love this stuff.

And every so often, there comes a reviewer who really does give a damn about the thing that they're reviewing: the music. I've been checking out the soundtracks section for this site for at least thirteen years now, and it's the biggest thing that has kept me coming back to RPGFan. The soundtrack reviewers have been very passionate about reviewing THE MUSIC, and not the bloody game it comes from, and I would not have found so much killer stuff if they had been predisposed to slag off the music based on whether or not they thought the game it came from was shit or not. Here, if I read a review that tells me something is shit, there are some bloody good reasons why they think it's shit, and there are also plenty of reasons given why I should maybe check it out for myself to see if I agree or disagree. I tend to agree a fair bit of the time, but you know, I REALLY like being given the option to figure out for myself why an album sucks based on somebody else's opinion, or why they think it absolutely rules when I can't find a bloody thing to like about it, and they give me enough information to maybe change my mind about it, along with the latitude to allow me to have my own opinion.
I agree, this is what drew me to the reviews here in the first place, and one of the reasons why I love writing here. For as long as there has been intarwabs and as long as there has been RPGFan, the soundtrack reviews here have spoken to me on the level that I understand and appreciate this kind of music from. Even as a young whipper-snapper, I recall saying "I can't stand these reviews on Gamespot! They just aren't looking at this the way RPGFan or RPGamer does; the way I do!" Passion is what I love to see; I saw and see it here, and it's why I write here.

It's also why I love musicians do who it for the love of music, not because playing guitar gets you some hot action. I'm not a huge fan of the kind of music Dincrest is into, but god damn if I don't love and understand his passion for it. Everyone here on the site is here because they love games, and everyone writing soundtrack reviews loves VGM. I know I'm guilty of occasionally not being able to separate my experience with a game from my love of the music, but overall I really love reading the opinions of people who truly love music-- and discussing it, which is why I am really glad you guys got this thread started. I'm a huge proponent of discussion, especially when it comes to music-- and I'm always telling people 'WRITE A SOUNDTRACK REVIEW! IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU DON'T KNOW TERMINOLOGY, IF YOU LOVE MUSIC THEN YOU'LL BE FINE!"

I think a review is, in part, a dialogue with an audience. It's why I liked the idea of and started doing the soundtrack spotlights-- to get people talking about some music, even if it's just five or six comments on Facebook. If even one person goes and listens to drammatica or Fragile Dreams and/or tells a friend "hey, this stuff is really cool!" or "this shit sucks!" then I couldn't be happier. Discuss, talk, perpetuate the love! A longtime friend of mine asked me yesterday "Hey... do you know where I can buy the soundtrack to Sonic Adventure? You really made me want to listen to that," and my heart fluttered. I couldn't hope for anything better than that.

And of course, I love music in general, especially game music, and I love talking about things I love :)

Lastly, Aurian, as everyone else said, thank you for sharing. That was really interesting to hear-- especially regarding your likes and dislikes.

Sorry for the drawn-out post, but seriously-- thanks for this thread, guys. This is the kind of thing I love to see, and definitely enjoy participating in.


Wow. I didn't expect my 3 AM angry, drunken rant to receive any notice at all, so, thank you for that! Incidentally, I've always wanted to do a fan review of a favorite soundtrack here, but my own inferiority complex kind of beat me down a bit (not to mention, the supremely badass Mr. Gann pretty much summed up everything I wanted to say, only far more eloquently and with less fanboy gushing!). I tend to be very passionate about the musical side of games, of any kind, not just RPGs, and I don't really have a filter when it comes to discussing the subject.

Although, since you've opened that door, I might just try my hand at it.

In all seriousness, though, that's really the first thing I notice about any game I play, and it's been that way since I first started playing games way back in the mid 80s. There's a reason that the main theme from Super Mario Bros. sticks in so many peoples' heads: it's a bloody catchy tune! It elicits a very visceral, emotional response, and to me, that's what music is supposed to do, no matter what genre it belongs to, or what medium it's presented in. And again, this brings me back to my bias against "professional" reviewers, because they just come off as a sort of jaded, pretentious prick who won't give the music itself the time of day because they're biased against the game, the composer, the band, etc. I'm the guy who will go straight to the "Sound Test" section of a game if presented with the option to do so, and I'll listen to every single track there. If the music holds up, I'll buy that soundtrack. Might not be getting a great game, but I'll be getting some killer tunes.

Also, Aurian....great bit of posting there! Not being a person with an aural handicap, it's not something I've ever had to really think about, but after reading your posts in this thread, I can honestly say that it's changed that way that I think about and listen to music in general, and I thank you wholeheartedly for that. I like to try to experience things from different perspectives as much as I can, and you've certainly provided me with that. I'm profoundly glad that you are still able to find stuff to enjoy, and I think that a lot of people could take away a great lesson or eight from you. :)
4  Media / The Soundroom / Re: metal docs by sam dunn on: March 01, 2012, 06:58:47 AM
I like your mom's template for rock music, bro, not gonna lie there. :)

Yeah...Leviathan, first prog-concept album of the 2000s?! Absolute BOLLOCKS. Okay, I'll grant that it technically came out in 1999, but the bulk of Scenes From a Memory's rise to prominence came during the Metropolis 2000 tour, when Dream Theater really started playing the entire album live in its entirety. That, to me, is where the whole bit really started. And while I thought it was very cool that there was a dedicated DT segment, the fact that it was pretty much just Portnoy saying, "This is what me, John Petrucci, and John Myung liked when we were at Berklee" was COMPLETELY unacceptable to me. You can get that from just about any interview with those guys. I know for a fact that Jordan Rudess was interviewed for this project, and by Mike Portnoy's own admission, he was the most well-versed in old school prog bands out of the entire DT camp. Why didn't we get any of that footage? I mean, Jordan's a good interviewee, well-spoken and articulate guy. Played with everyone from David Bowie to the Dixie Dregs to Steven Wilson, Juilliard alumnus, insane player....yeah. He'd have been awesome.

Again. Praying for a second season. Too many unanswered questions.
5  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Why do you read Game/Anime soundtrack reviews? on: February 24, 2012, 08:30:15 AM
It really depends on the review I'm reading. As a music fanatic, I'm predisposed to give nearly everything at LEAST the benefit of the doubt: as one of my musical heroes, Frank Zappa, said: "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." And that's the biggest problem I have with most professional reviewers: their minds are NOT open. They review bands, albums, and artists because they have to, and they don't seem to want to open themselves to the emotions that music is capable of stirring within people: it is not, after all, called the "universal language" for nothing.

It also doesn't help matters that my particular tastes in music tend to run a little askew. I do tend to go out of my way to look for musical reviews that are deemed to be "negative," for the same reason that Dincrest noted in his (her?) post: can it really be THAT bad? I find myself pleasantly surprised a lot of the time that, no, it's NOT really that bad, it's just that there's an agenda behind it: either they don't give a rat's ass about the game they're reviewing, or it's a game that's received a lot of hype that they just don't want to give a decent shot, or it's a decent enough game that they were hoping was going to be super badass, or whatever. I see the same kind of thing with regards to reviews that have nothing to do with video games whatsoever.

And every so often, there comes a reviewer who really does give a damn about the thing that they're reviewing: the music. I've been checking out the soundtracks section for this site for at least thirteen years now, and it's the biggest thing that has kept me coming back to RPGFan. The soundtrack reviewers have been very passionate about reviewing THE MUSIC, and not the bloody game it comes from, and I would not have found so much killer stuff if they had been predisposed to slag off the music based on whether or not they thought the game it came from was shit or not. Here, if I read a review that tells me something is shit, there are some bloody good reasons why they think it's shit, and there are also plenty of reasons given why I should maybe check it out for myself to see if I agree or disagree. I tend to agree a fair bit of the time, but you know, I REALLY like being given the option to figure out for myself why an album sucks based on somebody else's opinion, or why they think it absolutely rules when I can't find a bloody thing to like about it, and they give me enough information to maybe change my mind about it, along with the latitude to allow me to have my own opinion.

Open minds. What a beautiful thing.
6  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: February 24, 2012, 07:28:57 AM
For some inexplicable reason, Arch Enemy's "Dead Eyes See No Future" has been going through my head for a few weeks now.
7  Media / The Soundroom / Re: metal docs by sam dunn on: February 24, 2012, 07:22:18 AM
Whoa.

Your folks were actually around in England to see the rise of bands like Cream, the Yardbirds, the Kinks, Sabbath, and Zeppelin!?

That is SERIOUSLY fucking awesome!!!!!!

I'd love to interview them and pick their brains about that period of music history. I don't know what they'd have to tell me, but it'd be a bloody awesome conversation, methinks. That's another thing that sort of irritates me about things like Metal Evolution and all of these documentaries that have sprung up over the last several years: you see a lot of interviews from people in bands, music journalists, etc about the impact that a lot of these movements have had upon them; you very seldom hear from the fans and the people who were there when it happened. That's a tale I'd love to hear.

Sounds like a bloody good idea for a podcast, actually.....
8  Media / The Soundroom / Re: metal docs by sam dunn on: February 21, 2012, 07:27:23 AM
One other thing, regarding the power metal episode.

Where the hell was Iced Earth? Seriously. I'm not nearly as much of a fan of that band as I used to be say, circa 1998 when the Something Wicked album came out, but that was certainly their peak, and I would count Alive in Athens as one of the greatest live albums of all time, from any band. And they certainly did well with Horror Show and The Glorious Burden. As much as I firmly believe he's an incredible douchebag, it's hard to disprove the claim that Jon Schaffer is an incredible guitar player and, at one time, an incredible musical force.
9  Media / The Soundroom / Re: metal docs by sam dunn on: February 21, 2012, 07:17:55 AM
Actually, yes, Tool WAS featured. The band wasn't present, but the second best person to speak for them was there. I'd have loved to see or hear from a cat like Maynard or Danny Carey or Adam Jones, but I also know that this series has been in the works for a number of years now, and that the guys in Tool aren't the easiest cats to get ahold of.

There are two things about the prog metal episode that REALLY pissed me off, despite the fact that I deeply love both bands. First, the excessive amount of coverage on Rush. I saw Beyond the Lighted Stage, I'm a big fan of that flick, and to be perfectly honest, I do not labor under the delusion that very many people who AREN'T familiar with Sam Dunn's earlier works were tuning in to this series. There should not have been as much Rush coverage as there was. And, given the metric fuckton of killer prog metal bands that exist out there, there CERTAINLY should not have been as much Mastodon coverage as there was. Opeth, for example, is certainly one of the most important prog-metal bands of the last 20 years; in fact, you see Sam Dunn wearing an Opeth shirt when he's getting ready to interview the guys from Queensryche. Where the hell were they? Where the fuck was Steven Wilson or Porcupine Tree? How about System of a Down? Sure, they might not bear the traditional prog-metal hallmarks, but when you consider the type of music they were creating, and the fact that they came to prominence in the middle of the nu-metal movement....I'll be honest, I always felt like they were Rage Against the Machine with more melody.

Hell, Rage themselves could have been in the Prog episode. I defy most people to find a more interesting or diverse guitar player than Tom Morello for the time he came to prominence. And the fact that Fates Warning was never even touched upon, between Queensryche and Dream Theater? Fucking CRIMINAL!

I, personally, am praying for a second season of this show, because there was SO much left untouched, even in the genres featured.
10  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: February 21, 2012, 06:55:46 AM
Hi people. Sorry about my last, pathetic, emo laden message....obviously, I was VERY drunk and having a VERY fucking bad night. Doing MUCH better now.

Although that being said, I SWEAR TO FUCKING CROM that George Lucas is trying to get me to kill myself.
11  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: January 27, 2012, 06:21:22 AM
There exists a girl who is barely tolerant of my existence. And, knowing me like she does....and if most people knew me the way she does....who the fuck could blame her. I'm a horrible excuse for a human being.

Probably the least of all the reasons why I'm a horrible human being is the fact that I am drunk off my ass right now. Drunkenness is something that I'm more or less used to, which is why you're not seeing very many typos....my fingers know better than my brain what I'm doing right now. There's WAY more reasons than I could count here why I'm a piece of shit, most of which woudl take.....well, mostly fucking SOBRIETY....to illustrate. Most of those reasons have to do with a sense of angry, violent, brooding misanthropy that I've been dealing with since my teenage years, that I probably should have long since shed given my age, but then again, getting the ever loving hell beaten out of you for a year and a half over a fucking COAT and other peoples' very conspicuous predjudices tends to affect your overall world view. So do the things you use to cope with said year and a half. Like, say, for instancve....heavy metal, copious amounts of alcohol, and a generally violent hatred and distrust for your species at large.

According to Anthony Bourdain, this is the kind of thing that can easily create the sort of messed up outcast that works its way into my current profession, which has NOTHING to do with any kind of love for food or cuisine, and nearly everything to do with the fact that I'm very much a fucked up, outcast member of society that gravitated towards a profession that asked no questions and only REALLY cares about whether or not I can do the job that I was hired to do....crank out a metric fuckton of really good food at a high level without going completely insane.

Blarg.

Okay. Done with drunken whining. Sorry to have bored you all with by bullshit, please return to your regularly scheduled programming and feel free to ignore the shit out of this emo-laden post.
12  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: January 27, 2012, 05:50:40 AM
Ya know, Dice, you might have just uttered the sentence that would make me want to see that movie. Because I fucking LOVE Dead Poets' Society.

And 50/50 was a GREAT movie. Easily cemented Joseph Gordon-Levitt as my favorite actor of the last decade (Hesher helped in that regard).
13  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: How long do you play/? on: January 27, 2012, 05:44:48 AM
It depends on the game. If I'm with the right group of people, I will play Rock Band for anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. A D&D game with the right group of friends will last however long as it needs to (the record for one of my D&D gaming sessions is about 36 hours....and no, I'm not kidding).

Sitting in front of a TV or computer screen? Christ. I'm lucky if I last three hours these days. And it has nothing to do with the quality of the game. Mostly, I think it has to do with the fact that I'm 30, and I have other things I'm interested in doing. If you'd have asked this question a decade ago, you'd have gotten a far different answer.
14  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: January 26, 2012, 02:07:37 AM
Sonata Arctica is a GREAT band....although I'm not really that hip with their cover of Fade to Black.

Anyway, back to the thread....SOTM: Joy Division - Atrocity Exhibition
15  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: January 25, 2012, 03:21:40 AM
Porcupine Tree - Way Out of Here
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