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The Black Mages - The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight CD (album) cover


The Black Mages


Progressive Metal

3.09 | 30 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Black Mages - 'Darkness and Starlight' 3.7 stars

Another solid and best (so far) effort from these gamers.

Nobuo Uematsu and his team came back very strong after being quite for nearly 4 years. They seem to have decided to span the tracks from across the vast timeline that is Final Fantasy; grabbing a little bit from here and there.

The musicianship is again, a top notch performance. The main difference in all of the Black Mages albums is the choice of songs, in my opinion, and I feel like they chose some great tracks and kept it varied very much.

The disc starts out quite strong with the classic bombing mission song from Final Fantasy VII. It is by far one of their best renditions of the original work, capturing the original feel to turning it into a very good track to appeal to the masses. There were two tracks that I despised quite a bit on this album which are 'Neo-EXDEATH' and 'KURAYAMINOKUMO'. Neo is the kind of video game song that cannot be redone in a modern setting; it is way too dull and cannot be taken outside its original form. The latter I mentioned just didn't really go anywhere, I found myself to be really bored listening to that track.

Other than that, all the tracks worked out well. I'll have a little section for the two intense tracks that really separate this work from the previous two outputs. 'Grand Gross' turned the last boss battle in FFIX into a ridiculous fully blown out prog-metal masterpiece. The track was all over the place on the guitars, but the keyboard kept the melody flowing. I was extremely impressed by the musicianship on that track. The title track is the other track that is great. I might be subjective here since this track might take a real big Final Fantasy fan to appreciate. Basically, the track is a rendition of an 'opera' featured in one of the games. Except, this version is a 15 and a half minute blow out version of it. It still features some of the opera vocals and some by the band, which can also be a turn off since it is in Japanese. The solos carry the music beautifully; it is really the first solos on any Black Mages albums to be a soft, melancholic and ultimately beautiful solo.

All in all..a great effort by this band. Recommended to fans of their music and any newcomers willing to try should check this one out first.

ProgBagel | 3/5 |


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