Thursday, January 19, 2017

EVANGELION(8-bit) by megane Album Review

This album, EVANGELION(8bit) by megane, which consists of, as the name would suggest, a variety of 8 bit covers of songs from the Evangelion original soundtrack. I'll start by reviewing the individual tracks. Also, I should mention that I'll probably end up mentioning some spoilers in talking about the tracks, so don't read this review if you don't want the show spoiled. If you haven't seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, definitely watch it- it's probably my favorite show of all time.

1. A Cruel Angel's Thesis/EVANGELION
The opening song to this album is an 8 bit cover of A Cruel Angel's Thesis, the opening theme of Neon Genesis Evangelion. While the harmonies are a little different from the original in some instances, I respect that megane was willing to take some creative risks with this cover. It's always nice to hear some small harmonic reinterpretations in a reiteration of a song that you know well! Where I think this song really takes off, however, is in the third section (Dakedo itsuka kizuku deshou Sono senaka ni wa Haruka mirai mezasu tame no Hane ga aru koto...). While it lacks the upward-moving pad part's effectiveness which was iconic of the original version, what really pushes this version is the sawtooth bassline. Overall, I really liked this track. I think it captures not only the spirit and high energy of the original, but also the emotional aspects of the song too. The triangle wave chords at the beginning also sounded nice

2. Fly Me To the Moon/EVANGELION
I'm honestly surprised at how perfect a transcription this cover is. It's pretty much exactly the original version with 8 bit tones. It absolutely captures the emotional essence of the version from the show off of which it is based. I really like this version. All parts are spot-on, especially the bass and strings. The solo section is also really good. Overall, it effectively recreates the musical material and the emotional effect of the original.

3. Angel Attack/EVANGELION
I wasn't really a huge fan of this kind of song from the OST even when I first watched it. They definitely served their purpose and increased the tension in certain scenes, but they're not really something I'd just listen to on my own. I think it's a good arrangement though.

Another place where megane really nailed this album is on Misato's theme. This is a very cohesive and well-done interpretation of the original. The triangle waves do a very good job of replicating the flute sound of the original, although they could easily be mistaken for sawtooth waves, as there are sawtooth accompaniments underneath. The b section is also really good. Overall, I really like this version. It's a nice callback a few of the more lighthearted episodes from the beginning of the series.

5. A Step Forward Into Terror/EVANGELION
This is a good 8 bit interpretation. The beginning melody is intense, the cadential parts are regal-sounding and valorous like the ending fanfare in Super Mario Bros 2, and the 8 bit synths do a good job of bringing out interesting textures.

6. Decisive Battle/EVANGELION
I think that this is definitely one of the more well-done battle song covers on the album.  I really liked the chippy noise drums at the beginning which go along with the main melody.  The transition into the b section is really good.  It has a nice little triangle wave beep before it goes into the second part, which is backed by really effective triangle wave strings.  This repeats a few times, so you get to hear the buildup of the tension twice!  Overall, I really liked this one.

This song is an insanely accurate arrangement!  It's literally exactly like the original! While I didn't really love the original, I'm really impressed by how accurate this cover was.  I don't have much else to say about this track.

Probably my favorite battle song on this album.  This is a really good cover which perfectly captures the intensity of the original.  I'm pretty sure that this was the song that played when Unit 01 went berserk fighting Zeruel.  It does a good job of recreating the intense brass sounds from the beginning in 8 bit form.

9.  Soul's Refrain/EVANGELION
Before I listened to this cover album, I'd actually never heard this song.  That's because I didn't watch the recap in the first half of Death and Rebirth.  I just skipped to the beginning of the events of EOE.  Since I'm kind of new to this song, I don't have a huge emotional connection to it.  It has a nice melody though, and pleasant chords too!

10.  Return to Primitive Heart/EVANGELION
I've forgotten whether this song was used in Death and Rebirth or the Rebuilds, but either way, it's grouped into the same category of Soul's Refrain.  I liked this song a good amount though, especially the B section.  Both this and Soul's refrain seem a little too late 90s for me though.  They sound more like something out of Gundam Wing than something from Evangelion.

Overall Impressions
All in all, I really liked this album.  It had some really great 8 bit covers of some of my favorite songs from Evangelion.  A lot of the covers were really spot on and did a great job of portraying the many moods in the tracks.  I'll probably end up listening to this album a lot on my phone.  One thing that I would have liked would have been a few more of the more melodic songs, such as the Hedgehog's Dilemma or Rei's theme, but considering the fact that both those were meant for piano, the melodies might have sounded kind of weird in 8 bit.  The Heady Feeling of Freedom or Good, or Don't Be and maybe a few other variations of the main theme could have been cool though, and it would have been awesome to hear an 8 bit version of Thanatos.  Great job to megane on this album! I'll link tracks one and two on youtube and I'll put in an iTunes link too.


No comments:

Post a Comment