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


The Black Mages


Progressive Metal

3.56 | 39 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars The debut album of Nobuo Uematsu's "sideproject". Being roughly a rock arrangement of Final Fantasy series themes, this record may be boring for a large majority of you - but if you liked the games, you'll definetely like it.

The biggest flaw here is the tracklist. The choice is far from a "best-of FF", except for some hits like tracks 7, 8 and 9. These ones are pure classics from the games series, but the other ones are just either unknown, or barely remembered. That's a shame, giving the fact the series provided a whole lot of excellent fighting themes throughout the years. For example, what would a last boss fighting theme like The Extreme (FF VIII) sound, arranged and played by TBM? Let me tell you : AWESOME. Anyway, here's just a really (to me) uneven choice of themes.

The other really bad thing is that Sekito/Okamiya's guitar parts were merely sampled then played through computer softwares during the mixing of the album, and therefore sound nowhere near true guitar work. The second effort of the band featured real guitar parts, and guess what, that alone makes The Skies Above a better record.

Nevertheless, The Black Mages still shows some really decent pieces, and among them what might be the pure masterpiece of the band, Dancing Mad. Already a fans fave since FF VI OST release, this one really stands out on the album. Far better than anything else here. The ending guitar solo is amazing, the chords are divine, and the memories of pure bliss it brings back are solid gold.

Overall, it is still a poor album for the average prog listener, used to Ayreon, Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery, Opeth or whatever. For FF/Uematsu fans only. 2/5

ValhallFR | 2/5 |


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