Monday, 7 October 2013

255 Battles With a Cursed Shield by Epic Game Music: A Lost in the Music Review

I have been doing Lost in the Music for almost 2 years and in that time I have evolved from making top 5 lists of my favourite songs on an album to reviewing albums of both official music and covers. As much as I enjoy the new stuff I come across, every once in a while I like to dial it back a bit and take a listen to some new artist and see how they fare.

So today on Lost in the Music, I take a listen to Epic Game Music’s debut album 255 Battles With a Cursed Shield. I have to give props to James Ronald (aka Epic Game Music) for the title as it references one of the more annoying sidequests in Final Fantasy VI.

Going through the album I had a mixed opinion. I enjoyed what Epic Game Music had done, but at the same time, I got bored with the music. Aside from a few tracks, nothing seemed new to me. Sadly, he fell into the same trap that most artist do during their debut album and relied on covers of classic tracks.

Now there is nothing wrong with that on the surface, but overtime the artists start to blur together, and that is where the problems arise. I can understand that a new artist wants to make a name for himself, but by relying on covering Megaman, Mario, Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda, it doesn’t really showcase their creativity.

In my opinion, the best song on the album would have to be his cover of the classic DuckTales track The Moon accompanied by violin virtuoso Chris Amaterasu. What makes this song great is the violin backing Epic Game Music’s guitar work. Both musicians bring that feeling of exploration. However this time there is a sense of melancholy in the music. Although this is a song from the past, it signifies that it is just that, the past. Yet it also encourages us to look towards the future.

Epic Game Music’s guitar work is pretty good. He obviously enjoys his music and his love of classic Video Game tracks reflects on his covers. However this is also his weakness as for most of the songs he does not take any real risks. He relies on the classics such as Megaman, Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda to cover and while there is a rich history of music within these series, it seems they have already been covered by other artists.

Honestly, I would love to see Epic Game Music cover more obscure tracks. In covering music from Ghosts and Goblins, SaGa III, Earthbound amongst others, Epic Game Music showcases that he has the talent to turn classic, tracks into something memorable. His cover of the Anamanaguchi track Another Winter from the Scott Pilgrim vs The World game is quite good. Epic Game Music is quite talented and I want to hear more from him.

In the end, 255 Battles is a good debut album for the rocker from Toronto. There is nothing too groundbreaking here, however this is just the start for Epic Game Music. You can find 255 Battles with a Cursed Shield on bandcamp.

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

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