As promised, track by track review!!!!!
1. "Master of the Blades" by pu_freak: Alright, great way to kick off the album, a piano solo by a very talented pianist, pu_freak. I love the source for this piece, and hearing it as a piano solo was new, and exciting. The bells were cool, the piano playing was elite h4x0r, and the whole piece is kick ass and soothing at the same time. I love the dynamic contrast present through out the mix. It starts calm, then OMG FORTE AHHHH, then calm again, it's just superb. Great way to start an awesome album.
2. "The Curse of Yamato" by RoeTaKa: As you may know, I love orchestral pieces, and this one is proof as to why orchestra pieces are awesome. The percussion near the beginning is so in your face and almost catches you off guard. The synths that show up as the track progresses are fitting and add to the epicosity of the piece. The low end synths back up the higher-strings nicely. The quality of how the instruments sound is amazing. The mix builds itself up and the theme is present through out and heard evenly. Once it gets quiet you're like "uh wut" then it picks up again which I thought was pretty swell. haha. The violins in the background to the main violins fit in nicely. Nice mix.
3. "Routine of War" by The Dual Dragons: Ok, the first metal mix of the album, and a good one at that. This mix doesn't mess around, it jumps right into it. Once I heard that first guitar chord, I was like "yes." haha. The rhythm guitar backs the melody guitar up nicely. One thing that bothers me about the mix is that the quality of the guitars is a little low, I think the guitar could have sounded a little cleaner and would have sounded better with a better recording, but that's just a small gripe. The synths compliment the guitar playing nicely, and fit the theme appropriately. A good metal mix.
4. "Duel of the Apes" by Big Giant Circles: This mix just punches you in the face right when its starts haha. The guitar and other various instruments are a very nice combo. The guitar playing is very smooth and memorable. The strings in the background are very well placed and add to the epicosity of the mix. The choirs are an interesting touch, but a cool one nonetheless. Really cool part is where the synth takes lead as a rhythm guitar backs it up. This mix does a great job of not getting repetitive and keeps the listener's attention through out the song. This is my favorite remix from the album. Great mix!
5. "To Slay a Butcher" by Arcana: Ok, another orchestral mix with synthy touches here and there. The drums were very cool sounding, and made the mix sound almost like a song armies would play before going into battle. The guitar playing wasn't very complicated, but added nicely to the established formula the mix had at that point. The computerey sounding harmonies were a nice touch. The horns that play the main melody were very strong and confident and were fun to listen to. The mix seemed to drag on and not really go anywhere, and it seems like it could have ended a bit sooner without sounding boring by the end, but overall a good mix.
6. "Lights Out" by Lashmush: MOAR M3TAL!!! Quality of the guitar recordings is good, and the playing is executed nicely. One gripe I have is that the lead guitar is a bit weak. The harmony and rhythm guitars seem to overpower the lead, and the background guitars can actually be distracting. Other than that, the mix is cool. I also didn't care for the screamo bits, but thankfully there was only one small bit. The lead may have been drowned out at times, but that didn't stop it from being totally awesome. It was played very skillfully, and was fun to listen to.
7. "All Existence Denied" by SKummel Maske, LuIzA, and pu_freak: The structure of this track reminds me of "Master of the Blades" in that it starts off very calm, then picks up rather abruptly. The guitar playing is excellent, and the track as a whole reminds me of the Black Mages, and that is a very good thing . The vocal parts are creepy as anything, but they seem to fit the part nicely. The guitar playing is very clean, and mixes nicely with the soft bits in the background. The percussion was done nicely and accompanied the rest of the piece greatly (is that a word?) Very nice mix.
8. "A Daring Escape" by Jago: You can't have too much orchestral in an album, and this track proves it. The name "A Daring Escape" is fitting, as the whole piece is rather frantic, and it could have been used as an escape scene track very nicely. It's very structured and defined, and those horns are backed up nicely by the very excited percussion, and that ending was cool as hell. It was really building up and up and then, BAM. It's over. The dynamic contrast as the piece began to end was just superb, nicely done. This is one of those tracks that hearing live by an orchestra would be reaaalllyy cool. Very, VERY nice mix.
9. "The Belmont Revolution" by Chernabogue and NintenJoe 64: This album seems to alternate between metal and orchestral and that is awesome, because I love both genres. This track starts off metal, and transitions to orchestral, and just goes back and forth, which is not easy to do. I found myself enjoying the orchestral bits more, but that doesn't mean that the metal was bad, on the contrary it was very good. The two seem to compliment each other nicely, and it's always cool when a track incorporates more than one genre, and this track does it with styyyyle. The production is very clean, which is probably why the two styles sound so nicely together. I couldn't imagine this track as one genre or the other, this mix is just awesome. Needless to say, nice mix.
10. "Astaroth's Awakening" by The Dual Dragons: Sweet another track by the Dual Dragons. The intro to this reminds me of traditional Japanese music for some reason. Once again, the Dual Dragons deliver in the guitar department. The vocals in the back are kinda cool, but I'm kinda glad they stayed there, and left the track for the guitar. My favorite part is the solo near the middle, it's just so damn cool. The arrangement is very good, and never gets too repetitive and stays focused on the melody at hand. The rhythm guitar accompanies the lead nicely, and does its job of staying in the back very nicely. Awesome mix.
11. "Real American Hero" by Nutritious: Ok, another orchestra/metal hybrid. I like it. As with "The Belmont Revolution", the metal does a nice job of accompanying the orchestra. Neither one tries to outdo the other, and I love it for that. The arrangement is solid, and is structured nicely. This mix seems like it'd be appropriate in the final part of a war movie, as the troops finally push through enemy lines and are just wrecking the other side. Epic on many levels, and that ending is just so freaking awesome. Nice, nice mix.
12. "Dragonfood" by Rozovian: This mix creates a very cool atmosphere with it's very heavy chiptune-ish environment. The effects of the mix are pretty cool, especially the ones where there's no bass, then all of a sudden boom, there's bass. It's pretty cool. The percussion just blends in so flawlessly with the melody, just like a perfectly blended strawberry smoothie. Yeah. The drum breakdowns about halfway through were pretty nice, then again with the boom, back to the melody. The crunching synths are pretty freaking sweet, and as said, add to the epic atmosphere. Very cool mix.
13. "Saren's Prayer" by Mazedude: First off, VERY cool intro. The drums, although pretty simple, just pull you into the music, and really set the mood. The melody is very humble, in that it presents itself, but doesn't seem to want to make a big deal about it. It kinda just lets the drums and harmonies do their thing. The mix doesn't seem to develop, kinda just straight forward. There aren't too many mixes like this one on the album, and that's a good thing, a change a pace can be refreshing. Production was pretty clean. Overall, a pretty solid mix.
14. "Dreams of Death" by Brandon Strader: ahhhhh. Screamo. I don't like it. But, I'll do my best to remain unbiased. The heavy guitar and bass are pretty cool and create a pretty sweet atmosphere. The string vibration about halfway through was unique and pretty cool. The guitar playing was pretty solid, and production was clean. The drums are pretty cool, and pretty fun to listen to. As stated the only grip with this mix is the screamo. Which is most of the mix. I understand that there are people who like screamo, and I am not one of them. Besides the screaming vocals, it was a good mix.
15. "The Shredder" by Sixto Sounds: The intro is very cool, with the guitar chords and the quote. Then that synth kicks in and you're just like "O YAAA". The lead guitar reminds me of classic rock, something like Guns N' Roses or ACDC. The guitar is just so kickass, and that crazy synth in the background is just so epic. The solo towards the end is just facemelting epicosity. Then everything stops you're like whaa, then more, and thhhhheeeeeennnnn finale! Just very solid arrangment and structure, and the production is very clean and that helps the guitar sound as badass as it can. Very excellent mix.
16. "BadAzz" by PrototypRaptor: Sephiroth. One of the most famous villains in video game history and his theme is equally as famous. This mix does it justice. The synths are just so overwhelmingly epic, and the crunchy chiptuney harmonies are just so cool, it makes you want to go kick some ass. That bass is just so clean and amazing, it's awesome. I like how "Sephiroth" is said throughout the piece, just like the original. The cool effects with the vocals saying something in Latin (I think) are just so trippy it's awesome. The structure is pretty well designed, I like how it'll play the main melody, go off on a tangent and then return to the melody. Very nice mix.
17. "The Sound of a Thousand Voices Screaming in Unison" by Kidd Cabbage: The guitar playing has a weird tone to it, and the intro part of the guitar playing gets a bit repetitive, but the drums and bass are pretty cool. The arrangement is well written, and the background guitar adds a pretty cool tone to the overall piece. The piano that comes in is a pretty cool change of pace, and fits the theme nicely. I like the effects that are going on around the piano. The guitar that comes back in after the piano is a bit better than the earlier part, but both are cool, just like I said, the tone is kinda weird. But that doesn't stop this from being a cool mix.
18. "The Last Dance" by The Joker: Cool synthy effect and bell type instruments in the intro. Pretty calm mix compared to the rest of the album, but I like it. The album starts and ends the same way, a calm and soothing track. The harmonies are pretty damn relaxing, and the bells remind me of like a crytsal-y type environment. It's just a very chill piece, and I like it. The mix doesn't seem to go anywhere, but when it's this mellow, who cares? haha. The strings in the background help make the bells really take the melody and just chill it down. An awesome way to end an awesome album. Very nice mix.