Monday, 6 May 2013

Transfiguration by The Altered Beasts: A Lost in the Music Review

Summer is around the corner and if you live in an area where the temperature hovers around 28 degree's (about 82 degree's to Americans) and to cool off you probably swim in the pool or take comfort in the shade. During these relaxing moments, the sort of music you would like to accompany you would be more relaxing and calming. That is where Transfiguration by Altered Beast truly shines. Instead of a hard-rock or metal cover, the music is far more Adult Contemporary or smooth light Jazz. It is Music you can relax to.

The team behind the album did a great job taking some well known and not so well known music and turned it into a great summer album. Taking songs from Super Mario, Final Fantasy, and Gitaroo Man, The Altered Beast team have truly crafted a wonderful experience. Normally I would be more harsh on a band that relies on the same tried and tested tracks, but what makes Transfiguration different is that they took different tracks from the more common games. Unless you are going through OCReMix, you would not find a cover of Final Fantasy X's To Zanarkand theme or the menu theme from Metroid Prime.

I do concede that there are some of the more common covered songs such as Dire Dire Docks. Green Hill Zone and Zelda's Lullaby, but these songs are easily outnumbered by the other remixes. That is what makes this album great, aside from the music choice, they took untouched songs from common games and gave them exposure. It is rare to hear a cover of the Overworld theme from Super Mario 2 and like the cartridge itself, any remixes from Earthbound is a rarity.

One of the best examples of this is there cover of Fisherman's Horizon. Now I make it no secret that, aside from a few songs on the album, I cannot stand the music from Final Fantasy VIII. It's bland, uninspired and plainly, just ill fitting for a Final Fantasy game, much like how Final Fantasy VIII itself is compared to the rest of the series. However, The Altered Beast team turned the original track from a bland experience into one that invokes imagery of summertime fun.

When it comes to albums, I have gotten to the point where seeing the same song remixed is kind of a downer. I do enjoy Chrono Trigger music, but one can only get excited for a new re-arrangement of To Far Away Times or Zeal Island. I believe The Altered Beasts realized that, so they took extra care in choosing their music for the album. They have a Mario track, but instead of the classic theme, they took a rather obscure track and remade it to fit their album. Same with Metroid and Final Fantasy. They could have easily chosen a popular track and be done with it. But instead they decided to pick the more obscure tracks. It's a great idea and I hope more bands follow suit.

When you need something soft and peaceful, Transfiguration is the best album to listen to. With summer around the corner, this is the kind of music you want to listen to while sitting in a gazebo reading the news or dozing off. This music is one that is more relaxing then stimulating and for those hot summer days where you simply want to sit back and relax and imagine yourself on a hammock on a beach somewhere, sipping a cold drink while reading your favourite book.

This is a great way to start summer and you can find the album on their homepage at

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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