The Black Mages - Vol. II:The Skies Above CD (album) cover


The Black Mages


Progressive Metal

3.39 | 20 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Nobuo Uematsu and The Black Mages are back with 'The Skies Above'. Once again we are treated to more rock versions of Final Fantasy songs, and as before, they do not disappoint.

For those who aren't familiar with The Black Mages, Nobuo Uematsu is the composer of the music found on the Final Fantasy video games. Here he is accompanied by a band of musicians playing rock versions of these songs.

The first Black Mages album is easily one of my favourites, so it's no surprise that this album doesn't quite reach the same high standard. Whilst there are no bad tracks here, there just isn't that youthful fun that can be heard on 'The Black Mages'. That's not to say that 'The Skies Above' doesn't have its moments, there's still plenty of video game madness on this record.

The major difference between the two records is that there are two songs with vocals here. They're great songs, but I think any fan of this band will agree that they definitely do better in the instrumental department. And speaking of instrumentals... these guys are amazing, easily the Japanese equivalent of DreamTheater.

This is a great album which covers a lot of different styles of music, so there is a nice mixture to keep things fresh and unique. If it's your first experience with the band, try to get their self- titled debut album, however failing that, this album should do nicely.

Valarius | 4/5 |


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