mandag 31. januar 2011

Ólafur Arnalds - .....and they have escaped the weight of darkness


Genres: Ambient, Post-rock, Classical, Neo-classical
Olafur Arnalds Myspace 


1. Þú Ert Sólin - (3:25)
2. Þú Ert Jörðin - (4:34)
3. Tunglið - (4:27)
4. Loftið Verður Skyndilega Kalt - (5:48)
5. Kjurrt - (4:44)
6. Gleypa Okkur - (5:48)
7. Hægt, Kemur Ljósið - (5:33)
8. Undan Hulu - (5:08)
9. Þau Hafa Sloppið Undan þunga Myrkursins - (4:01)

I sometimes start thinking, what makes it possible for Iceland to produce so many quality artists and bands while having such a low population? I certainly do not have an answer for that, maybe it is so cold during the winter months that all they can do is to make beautiful music. Sigur Ros, Mum, Bjork should be some familiar names, and adding to that collection you also have Ólafur Arnalds. For many Ólafur Arnalds probably isn't a very familiar name for most people. Up to now, he's released 2 albums and 3 EPs, the one I'm recommending now is the latest one relased in 2010.

His musical style could best be described as a mixture of ambient, post-rock, classical and neo-classical. The best advice I could give is to just give it a listen. He's certainly one to look out for as he's only 24 years old, and I will also feature another one of his albums on this blog at a later point.

As I'm at loss for words, so I will end this post with an official video of my favorite song of the album, enjoy.

Flower (Original Soundtrack)

Genres: Easy Listening, Ambient, Instrumental
Composer: Vincent Diamante 
  1. "Life as a Flower" - (5:42)
  2. "Splash of Color" - (9:15)
  3. "Sailing on the Wind" - (7:30)
  4. "Nighttime Excursion" - (5:35)
  5. "Solitary Wasteland" - (11:39
  6. "Purifcation of the City" - (12:20)
  7. "Peaceful Repose" - (9:23)
  8. "Lazy Daydream" - (3:06)

Some say videogames cannot be art. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I do not think the team behind the videogame Flower will be able to agree with this statement. It is a very beautiful game where yo take the role as the wind, creating life to flowers over different levels. It is incredibly relaxing, and visually appealing to the eye. Ill let you judge for yourself, here's a video of the game itself (note song in trailer is not on the soundtrack or in the game):

Of course, what is important here is the soundtrack itself. The soundtrack to Flower is simply a joy to the ear. Each song represents one level of the game, which each level has a distinct theme, and each song portrays it to perfection. And this is where I think Vincent Diamante has done a superb job, each song while not only great in itself, it is also perfect for the mood. What is also worth noting, this isn't typical video game music. In other video game soundtracks you can easily recognize, yeah this is most likely from a video game. If I hadn't played Flower before I don't think I'd have guessed it was from a video game. As a standalone soundtrack, it is a great listen. If you add it to the atmosphere of the game, it is an almost unbeatable combination.

If you enjoy relaxing music, this is the album for you. Even if you despise video games, I still would easily recommend this to anyone who likes this type of music. Give it a try!

søndag 30. januar 2011

Castlevania Judgement (Original Soundtack)

Genres: Video Game Music, Rock
Composed by: Yasushi Asada, Michiru Yamane, Kinyuo Yamashia, Kenichi Matsubara


1. "Darkness of Fear" - (1:33)
2. "Title Screen" - (1:49)
3. "Character Select" - (1:46)
4. "Vampire Killer - Simon" - (3:11)
5. "Bloody Tears - Carmilla" - (3:24)
6. "Beginning - Trevor" - (3:58)
7. "Mad Forest - Sypha" - (3:27)
8. "Clockwork - Grant" - (3:15)
9. "The Tower of Dolls - Golem" - (3:41)
10. "The Wolf Revealed - Cornell" - (3:40)
11. "Dracula's Castle - Alucard" - (3:19)
12. "Slash - Maria" - (3:14)
13. "Iron Blue Intention - Eric" - (3:23)
14. "Evil's Symphonic Poem (Death's Theme) - Death" - (3:45)
15. "Dance of Illusions - Dracula" - (4:01)
16. "An Empty Tome - Shanoa" - (3:36)
17. "Darkness of Fear - Aeon" - (3:23)
18. "Castle" - (1:55)
19. "Gallery" - (1:56)
20. "Accessories" - (2:01)
21. "Elemental Tactician" - (3:39)
22. "Win" - (0:12)
23. "Lose" - (0:13)
24. "Game Over" - (0:10)
25. "Crucial Moment - Time Reaper" - (3:19)
26. "Credits" - (2:47)

For videogames enthusiastics the "Castlevania" franchise is quite familiar. While it is mostly known for its 2d action platformers on various consoles, "Castlevania Judgment" belongs to a different genre. "Castlevania Judgment is unique in the Castlevania entry as this is a 3d fighting video game and vastly different from its other entries.

The question is then, how does it make its transition from a 2d platformer to a 3d fighter? If I were to say in all honesty its actually a pretty terrible game. While it can be enjoyable at times, its flaws outweighs its cons. So now you might be asking why on earth am I wasting my time posting about one of the worst Castlevanias in history?

Ironically, one of the worst games in the series has actually the best soundtrack of them all. Judgment brings familiar music from earlier entries and remasters them into great versions with a much higher sound quality than its original songs. Playing Castlevania III and listening to "Beginning" is great, but when you listen to the same song in Castlevania Judgment it is a completely different experience.

If you enjoyed the Castlevania series and its music, you owe it to yourself to give it a listen.

Matthew Ryan & Hammock - Like New Year's Day (EP)

Genres: Ambient, Post-rock, Songwriter
Myspace - Matthew Ryan

  1. "Like New Year's Day" (Matthew Ryan Mix) – 7:15
  2. "Like New Year's Day (Hammock mix)" – 7:15
  3. "Like New Year's Day)" – 5:36

"Like New Year's Day" was one of the very first albums released in 2011, as it was released on January the 1st. It combines the efforts of songwriter Matthew Ryan, who brings the exceptional vocals that very much compliments Hammocks sound. Hammock brings their well familiar music which is a mixture of ambient and post-rock.

As it shows the tracklist shows three songs with the same name, and to be honest there is hardly a difference between any of them. Track number 3 cuts out the instrumental part which is in the first two songs. Track number 1 and 2 is pretty much identical though I can hardly hear the difference. Regardless of this it is beautiful song.

2011 could be shaping up to be a good year, and this is the album that started it for me.

Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here (Highly recommended)

  1. "Thin Air" – 5:59
  2. "Summernight Horizon" – 4:12
  3. "Dreaming Light" – 5:47
  4. "Everything" – 5:05
  5. "Angels Walk Among Us" – 5:17
  6. "Presence" – 2:58
  7. "A Simple Mistake" – 8:14
  8. "Get Off, Get Out" – 5:01
  9. "Universal" – 7:19
  10. "Hindsight" – 8:10

I'll admit I've never been a big fan of Anathema before. Sure I've enjoyed some of their works to some extent but I've never really sat with a feeling after listening to any of their albums which left me greatly satisfied. That is before I listening to We're here Because We're here. I honestly don't think words can explain how beautiful this album actually is. Released in 2010 this is easily the best album of last year. Its rare to be able to listen to an album and actually like every single track, but that is the case of this album. Every track sounds like it has put in a great deal of effort to produce. The end product is some of the most inspiring music I've ever heard.

It is hardly any easy task to recommend any favorite tracks on this album, but Dreaming Light is definently one of the albums strongest tracks.

If you compare this album to many of Anathema's earlier albums you  will notice that it is quite a different style from what they used to play. Regardless of that it is still Anathema, its a great album not only for the fans of the band. But it is also an album which I believe people who originally weren't fans of Anathema will be able to enjoy.

If you want some quality prog-rock, give it a listen.  You will not regret it.

Moving Mountains - Pneuma

  1. "Aphelion" – 2:29
  2. "Cover The Roots, Lower The Stems" – 5:03
  3. "Alastika" – 5:17
  4. "Fourth" – 1:22
  5. "8105" – 8:31
  6. "Bottom Feeder" – 2:23
  7. "Sol Solis" – 4:15
  8. "Grow On, Grow Up, Grow Out" – 6:25
  9. "The Earth And The Sun" – 3:54
  10. "Ode We Will Bury Ourselves" – 7:54
Starting of, my very first recommendation will be this little gem from the band Moving Mountains, their debut album Pneuma released in 2007 (If one doesn't take into consideration the demo Moving Mountains) . Moving Mountains stands out for me as for now one of the very few bands that produces a music which should fit in the genre post-rock, while utilizing vocals as well. And let me tell you, they are pretty solid as well. This is easily one of the best albums I've heard in the last 5 years, and every track has its distinct sound making the album all around a great listen. If I'd point out a few tracks to start of with 8105, Alastika and Ode We Will Bury Ourselves are great starting points.

If you care to take a listen you can do listen to quite a few of their tracks at their Myspace page:

This is my first recommendation as you can see, please do leave a comment on how you think I could improve upon this, as I want the quality to have as high standard as possible. What could I change, if anything should be added or any tips just in general as I'm very much fresh to blogging.

So leave your comments, how to improve and if you've heard the album? Tell me what did you think about it?

Welcome to my blog!

First of all welcome to my blog, and hope some might even bother frequenting it over time. First of all I'd like to clarify what the contents of this blog will be. I have a great passion for music, and spend way too much time listening and enjoying the works of others. (unfortunatenly I do not possess this talent myself) So I decided, why not share the love?

So in short, this blog will mostly concern itself with my personal recommendations, both familiar works and some more a bit unknown releases. Mainly ill dwell into my personal favorite genres which are: Ambient, Post-rock, Shoegaze and Electronica and the many of its subgenres. Once in a while I might post some Video game soundtracks, New Age, Classical and likely much more.

If you enjoy this type of music, maybe you'll find something you'll like and maybe you have something to share with me as well!

And thats about it, and I'm hoping shortly to get one or two personal recommendations down.