Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Ashley Winchester Nov 2, 2014

My friend told me Wayne Static died yesterday, three days before his 49th birthday.

No cause of death has been released... but (unsurprisingly) most people are assuming it's drug related.

He released his last solo album back in 2011 and I was really hoping for some new material at some point since it had some of his strongest material on it IMO.

jb Jan 21, 2015 (edited Jan 21, 2015)

The new Above & Beyond album is absolutely stellar but short of that I really have nothing positive to say about the EDM scene at all right now.  It's production, values and overall quality is absolute dog shit and has been since this swell of American "Festival" EDM artists started breaking into the "scene".  DJs and producers are just throwing out shitty pop vocals over a breakbeat/dub for club mixes and festivals or creating a quick 8 second drop for commercials.  It's embarrassing for the state of electronic music as a whole.  I hate to say it but I think that playlist highlights much of what's wrong with the EDM scene right now, except for Tiesto, Arty and Above & Beyond.   We can do better than this.

I'm really looking forward to the new Prodigy album in March and hoping that opens peoples minds up and breaks people from this terrible, terrible mold they're in.

Ashley Winchester Jan 21, 2015

I've actually been digging into my Sonata Arctica CDs lately since I've been trying to fill the gaps in my collection. I pretty much have them all now or on their way in the mail. I picked up the Japanese pressing of Pariah's Child and damn it, the bonus track "No Pain" was freaking great! Usually bonus tracks end up being big disappointments since they don't use AAA material for them (thank goodness!) but every once in a while there's a good one. That one track makes a good album even better...

Additionally, I made a point to get the band's live albums which I had years ago and unceremoniously dumped. I realize now that was pretty hasty of me and the live albums are pretty good.

Lastly, I was able to track down some of the harder to find singles through Discogs. Has anyone else used this site? I'm finding it pretty useful as when I order from people I know exactly what print of a given album I am going to get as this is kind of important with some the albums I'm looking for. For example Sonata's 2001 EP Successor has eleven prints but there are four variations with different tracks. As you'd expect that is kind of annoying.

GoldfishX Jan 22, 2015

Discogs is great, especially for rare artists. You can sort by genre, format, record label, anything really.

Went through the four recent Iron Maiden albums again and surprised my first impressions have pretty much held up: General hints of the trademark Maiden sounds, but a lot of stuff that's long for the sake of being long. I appreciate how Bruce's voice has mellowed out a bit compared to the 80's, but it feels like sometimes he's just doing spoken words overtop (and disjointed from) the guitars.

That said, A Matter of Life and Death was probably the one album that moved up a few notches. Brave New World is my favorite of the four and can easily hang with the 80's stuff. Montsegur, Dance of Death and Rainmaker are all great tracks off "Dance of Death" (whole album is generally solid, although the longer and less interesting stuff is crammed at the end). And Final Frontier was entertaining until the second half of the album, where it sound like a crappy wannabe prog-metal band starts laying down 7-9 minute tracks...And then "Wild Wind Blows" comes on and it's like, "Just kidding on those last 3 tracks...here's the good stuff!"

I hope they do one more album before they hang it up for good. Can't believe it has been 4 years since I last listened to Final Frontier...

Ashley Winchester Feb 8, 2015

I recently reacquired Stratovarius' debut album Fright Night. I had this in the past at one point but it was incomplete. The funny thing about this one is when I went to buy it both times all ever find is Japanese pressing... which doesn't bother me... but that rendition is kind of pricey.

Anyway, like many of the bands I got into in the 2000's Strat was putting out great music prior to hitting it big. In fact, I kind of like the older material before that point more. I can't help but think the Kotipelto era stuff (and Kotipelto himself) is kind of overrated when it comes to power metal.

XISMZERO Feb 9, 2015

I buy too much jazz-fusion, especially remastered re-issues from Japan whenever I put together a 3+ more order on CDJ. One that's really stuck with me for months is "Streamlines" by drummer Lenny White. The album is fantastic space-aged fusion from the 70's -- not that run-of-the-mill fusion but touches on progressive, rock, funk and of course, pure fusion with some vocals and instrumentals mixed. I typically seek out music that sounds game-like, much prog-fusion from the 70's generally sounds like it.

Jodo Kast Apr 12, 2015

I've been listening to Yajuh-Ohkoku lately, in particular, the album Peace. I'd have to guess that many people that listen to game music aren't too keen on Yajuh-Ohkoku, other than their full album dedicated to Suikoden. In addition to Yajuh-Ohkoku, I've been checking out other Hiroyuki Namba albums, as well as prog-rock in general. I've bought some Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes albums. When I was growing up I listened to a lot of 70s music, but I never knew at the time that what I preferred was called "prog-rock". This fact explains my natural inclination towards Motoi Sakuraba's albums, especially Shining the Holy Ark.

XISMZERO Apr 13, 2015

Jodo Kast wrote:

I've been listening to Yajuh-Ohkoku lately...

I've loved their sound for years now; a great mix of jazz, rock and prog in a melodic style -- heavy on the guitar and crisp band sound. "Candy" was probably the first I've heard of them (around the time it came out). Make sure you check out his other project Exhivision, another short-lived project at that, particularly their second album Overexposure.

I was actually disappointed J-O disappeared after Peace, not having done a newer album after the success they've had over the years. That's the way it works in the jazz/fusion realm, artists interlope almost constantly with groups that don't last too long (but will often create similar groups with other artists).

Ramza Apr 13, 2015

A young lady sings and plays harp simultaneously. Her live band includes a multi-instrumental percussionist (who can also play flute, sing BGV, and do some bass/guitar), cello player, and trap-set drummer. Her recording group has all manner of insanity.

Her name is Timbre Cierpke, her musical act just goes by "Timbre." I saw her perform this weekend and hooooly crap. Yeah. This is good.

https://timbre.bandcamp.com/album/sun-moon

student41269 Apr 14, 2015

Jodo Kast wrote:

When I was growing up I listened to a lot of 70s music, but I never knew at the time that what I preferred was called "prog-rock". This fact explains my natural inclination towards Motoi Sakuraba's albums, especially Shining the Holy Ark.

Interesting. Outside of video game music, I listen pretty much exclusively to '70s progressive rock/electronica/jazz fusion, and I hear a lot of influence from the latter in the former, particularly with Japanese composers. I know Yasunori Mitsuda is a huge fan of Mike Oldfield, and has cited Hergest Ridge as his favourite album at one point. Unfortunately I think that generation of VGM composers is now entering its twilight years, and the newer generation clearly have mostly metal in their blood.

I hope you enjoy your journey with Yes, ELP and the like. I recommend checking out Genesis, King Crimson, Camel, and the aforementioned Oldfield too.

Despite initial scepticism I've recently become a believer in DSD and have been collecting SACD reissues of Tangerine Dream and Van Der Graaf Generator albums. In almost every case they've become my favourite versions of those albums.

GoldfishX Apr 15, 2015

I'm a believer in DSD, just not what's currently available in DSD. The overall selection is...lacking, for lack of a better term.

I finally came face to face with my Laura Branigan fanboy-ism and I've concluded Self Control and Hold Me are two of my all-time favorite albums. Both of these came out in the mid-80's and are essentially carbon copies of each other in terms of style, but I'll never understand how Self Control was a smash hit and Hold Me bombed out hard (the CD is rare and expensive). I think she has a tendency to over-dramaticize her songs, but that works out well with her voice and I think that is what keeps me coming back to even the filler tracks. There's definitely more to her than Gloria. RIP

jayavictory Apr 16, 2015 (edited Apr 16, 2015)

I've been listening to a ton of Miles Davis as I've dug through this currently running album by album thread over on the Steve Hoffman forums.. I LOVE his second quartet work as epitomized on Nefertiti. The album's ballad, 'Fall', is really incredible. Also, Bill Evan's discography has been a regular revisit for me lately.. Waltz for Debby on SACD... wow. Incredibly relaxing.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/t … 23/page-33

Ashley Winchester Apr 30, 2015

I've been meaning to get around to posting this, but I picked up the new Nightwish album at the end of March and... I just don't care anymore : (

Initially I was worried about the new singer and all but that's not the problem... I think Nightwish has finally hit the wall creatively. I think they maxed out the experience with the last two albums.

There's something very "samey" with this album... I swear some of the riffs are taken verbatim from previous tracks. I really feel there's a "Nightwish riff" anymore.

However, all is not lost. I kind of got a hankering to listen to 2007's Dark Passion Play again and I really think it'll be the kind of album that'll really shine when played on a turntable. There isn't a bad track on it and it's one of those albums that you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping anything.

I wish I could say that about Sonata Arctica's "The Days of Grays." Man, I remember loving that album... now it's just a damn chore to listen to anymore.

jb Apr 30, 2015

The new Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice) solo album, Carry the Fire, is really good.  Been rocking that a lot lately.

Zane May 6, 2015

jb wrote:

The new Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice) solo album, Carry the Fire, is really good.  Been rocking that a lot lately.

Totally, man - it's more refined than Please Come Home. Of Crows and Crowns gets me everytime. :'(

jb May 7, 2015

I just like that it has a lot more musical style and influences in this one compared to Please Come Home, for sure.

Ashley Winchester May 11, 2015

Checked out Helloween's two new songs... apparently they like plugging away at the same overdone thing they've done for the last ten years. Yes, I know this is ironic thing to say about Power Metal.

However, I'm in love with Luca Turilli's new song "Rosenkreuz (The Rose and the Cross)."

I'd post a link to the YouTube video... but I can't remember if we're allowed to post YouTube links or not.

Ashley Winchester May 18, 2015

Got a few LPs in the mail today:

Steppenwolf: 16 Greatest Hits
Royal Hunt: Paradox
Anthrax: State of Euphoria

Every track on the Steppenwolf was as good as I remembered (I didn't remember the names of the songs since it's been a long time since I listened to the tape I have of this) but overall a solid compilation.

Royal Hunt's Paradox is a little overrated... but it's probably their best album. Only 350 copies of the vinyl exist

Anthrax: State of Euphoria is an album I've been wanting to reacquire for a while. My late cousin turned me on to this album back in the late 80's/early 90's so it's kind of special in that regard.

Ashley Winchester May 21, 2015

New Records:

Def Leppard: On Through the Night
This album kind of makes me dislike Def Leppard because they've come out and said that they don't consider this their debut... but it's a good freaking record. Yeah, it's not really as poppy as stuff like Hysteria but I really do like this one.

Midnight Oil: Diesel and Dust
While it's famous for the hit "Beds or Burning" the whole album is damn fine.

The Doors: Greatest Hits
Easily one of the best GH compliations ever concocted.

Pink Floyd: A Collection of Great Dance Songs
This compilation gets a lot of flack because some tracks are edited and some are re-recorded due to rights issues... but these six tracks really do form a impressive whole IMO.

Kotipelto: Waiting for the Dawn
2002 solo album from the Stratovarius singer, this is straightforward power metal with a loose Egyptian narrative/theme to back it up. Probably won't blow anyone away but it's decent enough.

Ashley Winchester Jun 8, 2015

As hilarious as it probably is... I've been revisiting the soundtracks for TMNT and TMNT II: The Secret of Ooze.

These soundtracks are just... so... damn... lame... that they're awesome.

It's really fun to see how wack the 90's was at the beginning when it didn't know what the hell it wanted to be.

However, I think my favorite tracks have to be the non-lyrical pieces that John Du Prez wrote for the first movie... the three pieces that make up "Shredder's Suite" are just damn awesome. "Crime Wave" and "Tatsu Attack" are still great after all these years.

Unfortunately, the second soundtrack for Ooze is much weaker than the first one IMO.

Riotengine Jun 11, 2015

The new Intrada 2-CD set of Jerry Goldsmith's score to Ghost And The Darkness

The recent Intrada CD of Jerry Goldsmith's score to Our Man Flint/In Like Flint

The Intrada CD of Richard Band's score to the film, Ghost Warrior

Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon.

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