Saturday, March 05, 2011

Song of the Week 34.5: 'Above Reason' by zircon, tefnek (redo)

I'm back doing Song of the Week again, sorry for my brief absence. So, this song was mentioned back in Song of the Week 9. Titled 'Above Reason', this is one of the shorter tracks that I've reviewed (it's only about three minutes long). Anyway, this song was created by tefnek and zircon who are, as Met states in SotW 9, very good electronic artists. So yeah, let's get this review started.

The song starts out with the bass playing a simple one-note melody, while a synth can be heard playing in the background. That synth starts to get louder at about 0:04, and at 0:08 it will overpower everything. The percussion starts up as well, hitting hard on every beat. The bass continues what it was playing before. At 0:16 the melody comes in which is a medium pitched synth. Everything that was playing just a couple seconds ago are still playing, so nothing has been taken out of the song yet. The percussion is a bit louder also. There's also a decent harmony heard by another synth in the background as well. What's good about the percussion is that despite the fact that it's quite loud and noticeable, it's not completely "in your face". It's a good balance right there. At 0:32 there's a brief transition. This is a short solo from an electric guitar-like synth. At 0:36 the song just explodes. There is a massive amount of synth work being done here, and the melody is played by one of the craziest synths that I've ever heard. The melody is rather catchy as well, and the speed for this entire thing is just right. At 0:53 that synth heard back at the very beginning plays at a new section, with some other awesome synths placed in there for harmony, effect, etc. This lasts until 1:09, for the synth back at 0:16 returns and plays a different melody. Again, this is just crazy synth work throughout this section and this entire piece. At 1:25 there's a brief section consisting of many different percussion instruments. At 1:33 the synths return, with perhaps some electric guitar mixed in there. However, at 1:41 some piano is introduced and now plays the melody. The synths now really act like the "background singers" here, because they play the melody only at certain times. There's a quick pause at 1:58, and at 2:00 the song keeps on moving along. This is probably the best part of the song because of the massive complexity of rhythms between each synth. First we have the obvious synth which plays a rather high melody and leads the song with its rhythm. Then we have one that isn't heard very well: it's a counter-melody played much lower; it's also the melody that was playing way back at 0:36. Then we just have everything else in the background for effect. The percussion is still driving along without getting too fast. At 2:17 that counter-melody just mentioned gets way louder, and pretty much switches positions with the other melody previously playing. The song starts to calm down more at 2:33 (the percussion doesn't though), and the only synths playing at the moment are the ones that have been in the background all this time. At 2:41 though, the regular melody kicks back in although the synth playing it isn't as crazy as the previous ones. It doesn't repeat the melody this time around, for at 2:49 the piano will return for the last time. The piano here plays a repeating rhythm, while everything else just backs off. There are two low synths backing it up however, which, after a couple seconds, ends the song.

Pros: The bass is awesome. The synths, all of them, are crazy, amazing, and completely out of this world. The percussion has a non-stop driving rhythm being played throughout this entire piece, and yet it never becomes too quiet or too overpowering. The complexity of everything was great, and there was always something new with each section. I love it.

Cons: Somehow, I think this song could be longer. I have to admit though that some of the synths were a little too crazy, so the constant changes in the synths for the melody were somewhat necessary. Otherwise I would have lost my mind.

Overall: This is three minutes of complete madness when it comes to music dominated by synths. With an unstoppable beat and catchy melodies, this song almost defines the greatness of electronic music. It's one of the craziest and overall one of the most electronic video game-based songs that I've ever heard. Awesome.

Rating: 9.4/10

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