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Prime Mover
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« on: April 21, 2008, 06:04:59 PM »

At D-Rider's suggestion, I thought I might as well make a new thread just about the Black Mages new album and their work in general.

So, to respond to ZE Grand Master:

I have heard a lot of complaints about BM tunes that are post SNES. In the end, I would say that a good 80% of the tunes are better or equal to their originals. Some of my favorites, however, are ones that drew a lot of negative publicity. Still one of my favorites is the FF6 Battle Theme on the first album, which got a lot of complaints for slowing it down and making it much heavier. Honestly, I think it's completely badass. Instead of just rehashing the original, they really brought it fully into the realm of Dream Theater-esque progmetal (ala "Awake"), complete with brain-bashing guitars and just a slow trudging heaviness. Another from that album that I heard a lot of negative feedback on was the FF8 Boss Battle music: Force Your Way. I think they did a great job making it, primarilly a metal tune, but added the synth lines over top to fill the spaces and give it a lot of depth. The organ and guitar call & response solos were awesome. To finish it out, they had this canonic rendition of the sauring B-Theme to bring the tune to it's peak. One of my favorites.

All in all, though, I like it when they do change things from the original. I'd rather hear additions and even new material.

What I'd really like to hear is a new album of completely original work.
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eelhouse.net
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D-Rider
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 08:22:39 PM »

My two-sentence opinion on each Black Mages album:

Uno:  I thought the whole idea of metalizing FF tunes was a good one from the start, and the concept was executed pretty well.  I enjoy six out of the ten songs, which is a little above average for a musical taste as picky as mine.

Dos:  A huge step backwards; it was obvious from the get-go that the Uemtasu tunes that translated well to a rock format were used up the first time around.  Lackluster song choices, lackluster arrangements, lackluster performances.

Tres:  If the second cd was a step backwards, then this cd flew backwards around the world like Superman, reversing the flow of time like he did in either the first or second movie with Christoper Reeve.  I blame this on the fact that so many songs were from FFIX, which was by and large a fucking horrible musical experience, most certainly Uematsu's worst work to date.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2008, 02:59:00 PM »

Wow, dude. I think that FF9 is one of Uematsu's strongest to date, maybe just short of his two best: FF8 and FF6. FF9 may have the most standout duds (the marsh music, Quina's themes, etc), but the tunes that work, work REALLY WELL, and they are many. It has a few of his strongest themes: Hunter's Chance, Freya's Theme, Dark Messanger, Boss Battle, among others. It's probably the most operatic (Wagnerian) in its makeup, having many concrete melodies that represent various characters and themes. It's probably his most orchestral/non-rock. However, he's surprisingly good at making a lot of his orchestral works very driving and engaging. It's probably his most melodic soundtrack to date.

I'm very surprised to hear you say this, most regard FF9s soundtrack very highly. Each to his own, I guess.

*****

As for the albums, I would say that they have gotten progressively a little weaker, but for different reasons. Actually, I would say that the second had the best lineup of music, but the approach to arranging has gotten weaker over time. The original took a bit more risks/departures from the originals. It rearranged the themes to be more solidly comfortable to a rock/metal band. Keyboard lines often gave way to guitar leads. The synth played about an equal roll with the guitars, often creating nice background textures. As the albums have gone on, the synth has become more and more of the focal point, and the sounds have become less and less sonically interesting. Guitars, on the flipside, have become more and more processed, and more religated to strictly rhythm duty. Organs have become less and less prominant too. Where-as, in the first album, organ, synth, and guitar shared about equal spotlight.

The Extreme was an example of an absolutely butchered arrangement, with guitars processed to unintelligability.
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CDFN
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 10:30:00 AM »

One of my favorite BM songs is from FFIX, vammo'alla flamenco.

What do you guys think about the advent children version of one winged angel? I loved it, it really rocks.
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 05:18:31 AM »

Some of their songs aren't the best, but their remakes for many of the classic FF songs are brilliant! Black Mages III recently came out too!!
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ZE GRAND MASTER
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2008, 03:55:02 PM »

You missed our big discussion on the Recent Musical Purchases thread?
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 10:58:03 PM »

Quote from: "CDFN"
What do you guys think about the advent children version of one winged angel? I loved it, it really rocks.

Jesus Christ, will people just get it into their head that I *HATE* OWA? I thought I bitched and whined long enough about it already!
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 11:50:00 PM »

Notice the question said GUYS, not just YOU.  We get it, you hate the song, but others can share their opinion and it is quite alright.  In fact I LIKE One Winged Angel, honestly it is one of the very few songs from the FFVII OST I did like, though there are very few video game OSTs that I like in general.  In any case, I do agree with him that Advent Children's One Winged Angel was quite good and I enjoy listening to it on occasion...as for The Black Mages, I can't say I've liked any of their songs aside from Premonition though I really didn't like much of the original versions aside from Premonition.
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