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The Black Mages - The Black Mages CD (album) cover


The Black Mages


Progressive Metal

3.55 | 38 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Well, in the very first place I have to say that I was certainly shocked to see this band included in the archives. As a total, absolute, complete, etc ... Final Fantasy freak, I nearly worship Nobuo Uematsu, who, although being a composer who has focused mostly in videogames, I think he is, in overall terms, a highly worthy musician. This band he has created is a good example of it. In this album, as well as in its follower, Uematsu and his mates give a new and unexpected dimension to the classic and pretty enjoyable Final Fantasy tunes. Basically, they pick up the melodic base of these songs and fill them with a modern and very well elaborated musical background, structured across strong guitars most of the time, although not limiting themselves to that. Take the "Jenova Song", for example. In it, we find the classic midi tune now surrounded with powerful synthesizers and armonious guitars which create a totally new atmosphere for the song. Other excellent example of this new approach are the "Battle Theme" and "Decisive Battle" from FFVI, which, in my opinion, are the strongest tracks from the record, providing our ears with an exciting metal experience. And, if you were not sure of the progressive nature of this record by then, just take a listen to "Dancing Mad", a truly surprising and enchanting epic, full of complicated instrumental movements, revolving around a classicaly progressive instrument: the organ. I also liked "Those who fight further", a song I liked when I first listened to it when I played to FFVII, and which the band has managed to improve giving it a more 'rock band' orientated feeling that makes this track perfect. There are other songs, however, that I still prefer in their original incarnations, like "Force your way", from FFVIII, and "Fight with Seymour", from FFX, probably due to their high quality in the first place (no wonder that the FFVIII and FFX soundtracks are my favourites, along with FFIX's). But still, The Black Mages give them an elegant touch in this record as well. In general terms, out of the two albums The Black Mages have published to date, probably this is the strongest one, but I think most of the progressive rock fans out there would enjoy them both. And if they are also FF fans, this is truly a must.
shyman | 4/5 |


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