Friday, December 14, 2012

Identity Sequence is Released!

This album is the culmination of a little over 5 years of original work by an artist who has impacted my life to the point that I would not be listening to music right now if not for him (thank you zircon). Please check it out; Identity Sequence has been well worth the wait. True to form, it embraces organica electronica in the context of abstract cyberpunk storytelling. I am proud to say I chipped in a few bucks for the wildly successful Kickstarter that's producing some great results.

We will give this album a full review...

It could take a couple years, but it'll happen; hopefully sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Story Shards: Samples of Slash

Nyarlathotep sighed as Cthulhu took him into his arms, his tentacles caressing him. "Shall we visit madness?" breathed the priest softly. Nyarlathotep only howled in response as his idiot flute players played amorous tunes.Hitokages claws grazed Red's stomach, and the boy fought back a scream. Any noise and Green might wake. Red didn't think he's appreciate his lover going behind his back with his own pokémon, but then Green never did seem to appreciate Hitokage for the beautiful creature he was. His scales shone in the dim firelight as Red breathed,
"Hitokage! Oh, Hitokage!"

Bozo looked deep into Superbia's flawless blues eyes. "I should probably clean myself up and-"
"No." The tall man's voice was like music, and Bozo drank it in. "Leave the makeup on."
"Well, if you-" Something in his dressing room mirror caught his eye. A grizzled man twirled a sawed off shotgun in the moonlight just beyond the open door.
"Jacques!" Cried Superbia.
The evening had just begun.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wasn't Something Supposed to Happen?

Well it was... sort of.

If you listened to our first podcast, you probably picked up on the fact that while we're excited for the future of this site, we were also pretty vague. All those changes we talked about, including a regular posting schedule, haven't materialized just yet and I'm here to explain about that... sort of.

It is my understanding that the Meteocrity podcast has been delayed several times now by last minute schedule changes and feeble attempts that aren't worthy of anyone's ears. I do get to hear all the works in progress so rest assured I will breathe down the necks of those doing all the hard work likely to no effect (*sigh*).

The administrators podcast that we also mentioned in the first podcast has been delayed, this time not by me, but it was my fault that we didn't finish all the recording on one day as I didn't really prepare for anything and now only have about 7 or 8 minutes of complete audio. That being said, I'm quite sure this podcast won't run any longer than 40 minutes. In fact, it might end up being more in the 15-20 minute range. Given the current content and the circumstances surrounding the development and production of that podcast, it's probably a good thing it isn't going to be that long.

Finally, about the posting schedule we mentioned in the podcast.

The one where we post once each week.

The one where we maintain a consistent rate of posting.

The one that actually makes things interesting because there is new and better content.


I'm pretty sure that isn't going to go into effect until we're done with the two podcasts we're currently working on as those have come to demand most of the free time we have. Also, I'm under the impression right now that while certain authors could maintain it, others won't be able to. Therefore, I'm holding off on implementing it until the podcasts are released. It might be a while, I'm really hoping it isn't until 2013. Don't get your hopes up, but you'll know it's here when the first post that isn't an announcement shows up.

One last thing.
We now own and control
I can say with almost absolute certainty that nothing will be happening on that site for a while, but we've set it up, it's there, but it isn't really anything. We'll let you know when we plan to do a total transition over, even if it takes 5 years, it'll happen.
Since we now own that domain, we also have custom email addresses now. So, if you wish to contact us, please use the new email addresses (-insert author name if you wish to contact a specific author, and for general questions/submissions/whatever.

That's all for now, just stay tuned for next two podcasts and once those are out, we have no excuse for consistent posting on this site.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

The First Ever Official RPS Podcast Released

It's finally done.

I am proud to announce that our massive project that we've been working on is done. Most of the work got done at the end of 2011 (first review was begun on 9/11/2011) and within the last few months, but it's finally coming to fruition.

Individual track reviews from 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier's album, Espers, will be posted in rapid succession following this post.

This also coincides with our podcast release which clocks in at a daunting 1 hour, 33 minutes, and 49 seconds. The podcast deals with the past, present, and future of A Rather Pleasant Site through means such as discussions, monologues, and interviews. We also comprehensively verbally review Espers, the background surrounding the entire album, and thoughts on the individual tracks as they relate to the detailed posts here. We spent a total of 55 minutes and 34 seconds covering Espers in the podcast, so it's not like we casually brushed over the details.

This is by far the most ambitious revival we've ever attempted. If you want the full details on our attempt at reviving the blog, please check out the podcast. The podcast will closely follow our projects and work here and information given in one will likely be relevant to the other.

Here are the links for the podcast.

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud
Listen to the podcast on Bandcamp
Listen to the podcast on YouTube

Monday, July 02, 2012

Song of the Day 34: 'Sagetellah -The One Who Waits for the Life to Come'

Sagetellah starts out by having low, complex chords play the bass and medium-low notes play the melody. So far the melody is in the warm key of A flat major. At 0:25 the bass notes smooth out into steady eighth notes, and the melody goes up an octave. At 0:36 the melody remains the same, but now a lower octave is added to the treble notes. The bass rhythm quickens into sixteenth notes as well. At 0:50 a sequence of arpeggiated chords are played. They are played in a pattern; the left chord plays, then the right, and so on. Each chord gradually builds up and becomes higher until a high, arpeggiated chord is played at 1:00. After this is heard, the high notes freely go down the scale while the bass fades out. When the notes are back in a medium pitch, there is a brief pause at 1:07. A new section will start at 1:08. What has been heard so far was the introduction to the song; the beginning of the final track of Espers. This semi-cheerful melody at the beginning of the track will actually make a person feel depressed; it is as if the album is saying, "I know that this has been a lot of fun, but all good things must come to an end and this situation is no exception." The new section at 1:08 is a little faster than the last, and it changes into the key of D flat major. It starts with a four-note pattern from the bass clef; before the melody comes in, the pattern plays by itself for two measures. The melody, consisting of very high notes, comes in at 1:15. This section here almost feels like a lullaby; that feeling is especially felt at around 1:24. At 1:35 the bass and treble rhythms drop an octave and become more complex; the bass has added notes and established deeper harmonies while the treble notes turn into chords. This same pattern continues until roughly 1:53 when the last bass note is played and held. After an intentional pause, the melody will come back in and bring back the same four-note pattern from the beginning of this section (1:08). That pattern plays alone for a while until 2:06. Here the pattern will remain the same, but this time around it plays different notes. These new notes play until a new section at 2:18 begins to play. The section just heard (1:08-2:18) is filled with happy, cheery, major notes, but I have to say that it is one of the most depressing sections of the song. Going into this section once the introduction is finished creates a melancholy mood when the notes create the opposite feeling than the type of mood that key usually makes. Speeding up the song and using those happy notes in such a way make the fact that the album is about to end sink deep inside of a person. The new section at 2:18 has the same bass line that has been playing; it is the melody that is different. The melody is a little lower than it was in the last section, and it is a little broader because of its chord complexity. It has a note range similar to that of 1:35. As the melody continues to play, the bass line will change notes to fit with the notes being played; it creates a much deeper and bolder effect on the listener. At 2:33 the melody is emphasized through it being played in very high octaves. At 2:36 the song will purposely slow down, then quickly start up again at 2:39. This part of the section here reminds me of Nick Lammertyn's 'Super Metroid Ending'; it has extended, yet simple, basslines, and a melody without any chords. There are moments in music where simplicity wins. This is one of those moments because not only is it simple and easy to learn (currently I am in the process of learning this entire song by ear), but it gives a complex appearance since it is blended together so nicely. After his part of the section, which was a quicker, simpler version of this section's melody, the bass goes back into that pattern from 1:08 at 3:00. However, in order to transition into the next section, the pattern goes minor. The new section will start at 3:10. This section (2:18-3:10) is one of the warmest sections. A person listening to this could think at this section, "Wow, hearing this album was totally worth it!" This section could lessen a person's depression. This new section at 3:10 goes into a completely different mood. The bass starts out with one notes leading into a jazzy chord. The treble notes play a simple melody followed by small, high runs. This continues, and eventually it will just be the bass with only the quick runs. This section doesn't last long though; a new section starts at 3:37. That section was one of the more unique sections of the song, and the one that is the most out of place. However, I do feel that it is a representation of a person's emotions cooling down; it (the song) seems to feel less emotional and more relaxing with its smooth jazz-like sound. The next section goes back into the similar mood (that wasn't depressing) from 2:18 at 3:37. Here the bass line does a simple, three-notes pattern while the melody plays in the middle octave. There's a slight ritardando at 3:57, but soon afterwards it picks back up again. At 4:07 the climb will halt with a very minor-sounding chord. After this chord there is a brief pause, which concludes that section. The section gives you peace and makes a person want to enjoy the album while it is still playing. The following section at 4:12 is very similar to the last in terms of the notes being played. The melody is exactly the same, but the notes are now bigger, louder, and more complex chords. The same goes for the bass line; instead of the three-note pattern being freely played, all three of those notes are placed together in even chords. This gives this part of the song a more even and intense structure. At 4:32 it slows down dramatically. The same melody and bass continues, but there are two arpeggiated chords added in to conclude the section. I believe that the purpose of this particular section was to emphasize that melody a little more than the last section did. In fact, that melody will make a return later in the song, so watch out for that. It is one of the main parts of the song, that melody is. While it is not one of my favorite sections, it does have a quasi-important role in the song as a whole. The next section of the song is one of my favorite parts of the track, mainly because it is minor. The melody, starting the section off at 4:48 is low and occasionally becomes high. The bass does a cool pattern where it plays an eighth note in the beginning of the measure and plays the other notes during the offbeats. At 5:12 the melody consists now of chords, and the bass plays even eighth notes. At 5:14 the melody goes up really high for a brief moment; I love that part. Starting at 5:24, the bass goes up the scale in eighth notes, and once it gets high enough the melody takes over. This continues to play, getting more free and less "on the beat" each time. Once the last high note is played and held at 5:46, it slowly fades, leading into the next part of the song. I believe that this is the only section with completely minor content. Because of that contrast between 4:48-5:48 and the rest of the song, I find that this section stands out fairly well. Also, I liked where this section was placed; having this minor part in the very middle of the song helped transition the song into the second half while giving something that hadn't been heard yet. This upcoming section will fro from 5:48-6:25. It starts out with two semi-high notes followed by a high note paired with a lower grace note. The same sequence will continue until about 5:58 when it slows down a little bit. At 6:00 the sequence picks up again, but the two high notes become a three-note arpeggiated chord. So far it sounds very happy and cheerful until 6:12. Here the arpeggiated chords turn into regular chords, the sequence changes its rhythm, and it goes minor. This part of the section becomes bolder at 6:18 when everything drops down an octave. At 6:25 the next section will start after a couple rounds of that minor sequence. 5:48-6:25 is the most delicate section in the song. The dynamic levels throughout it worked pretty well, especially when everything became lower. I liked how the minor part had the notes turn into straight chords; it intensified the section a lot more after all of the fluffy, ballerina-like delicateness heard previously. Remember how I said that the melody from 3:37 and 4:12 was going to return? Well here at 6:25 it appears again, this time in the key a A major. There isn't much to say about this section other than the bass plays straight eighth notes, making it different than the other basslines from previous sections with the same melody. The section will transition into the next at 6:55. This relatively short section from 6:25 to 6:55 is mainly used as a transition for what is to come. Bringing back that melody in this calm fashion really helps prepare for similar sections like this in the future. Starting at 6:55, one of the most, if not the most, intense sections of the song occurs. It starts with a crazy buildup; the treble notes go everywhere with sixteenth note runs that eventually turn into outrageously fast thirty-second note runs that lead into the melody. The bass plays a fast, low, octave trill. At 7:01, everything comes together to create the climax point of the song. The melody from 3:37, 4:12, and 6:25 is played again, but this time in loud octaves. The bass is playing fast, sixteenth note runs that go up and down the scale. The key signature remains at A major. While this is going on, I notice that the treble octaves aren't always on the exact place that they should be, even though there are sections during this part that are supposed to be slightly syncopated. Starting at 7:24, the bass makes a slower run up the scale, but instead of going down it continues to get higher and higher until 7:35. This is right before the next section is going to be played. That section (6:55-7:36) is clearly the most intense and the most difficult par of the song to play, and it's actually the only section with a buildup before it was heard. It puts even greater emphasis on that melody than the sections that had previously played that melody. This section through its climatic mesh of notes lets the listener know that it won't be long now until the song and the album are completed. The dynamics and the runs release the song's full potential and glory instead of the other sections that are not quite as dramatic. The next section at 7:36 has a similar, delicate feeling as the section at 5:48. It is the same pattern as 6:18, but it is slower and in a different minor key. At 7:54 it starts to fade out a little bit after a chord is played and held for a while. At 7:56 the song comes back, but it plays a different, higher, and more majorish melody. It plays the same thing a couple times, going down an octave and then up again after each round. After that plays four times, a couple mall, major chords transition into the next section at 8:20. This section brings a person back into that state of mental depression; the listener is suspecting that the album is almost done, which it almost is. They are correct, and they should feel sad about it. However, there is still a little more left to listen to. This next part of the song starting at 8:20 is the beginning of the end. It's warm melody, which has some pretty loud dynamics, let the listener know that this is going to be a bold and obvious conclusion. While the melody is playing, the bass plays even, jazzy chords in quarter note form. Starting at 8:33, the melody simplifies and becomes single notes (instead of chords) playing it. At 8:51 the bass plays the same rhythm as the melody and harmonizes with it until the next section begins at 8:59. This section have a sense of unexplainable nostalgia. Seriously, after listening to the song a couple times I could not find that melody anywhere before 8:20 even though I thought that I had heard it before. The conclusion is upon us now. The next section at 8:59 to 9:27 has the exact same melody filled with nostalgia as 8:20, but it is played differently. This interpretation of that melody is played more freely, and it doesn't have an exact tempo. The bass is also now playing quick runs while the melody (now in simple octaves) plays. The melody is especially interpreted differently at 9:13 when both hands briefly play the melody in triplets. Starting at 9:20, the song will slow down even further and prepares itself for the next and final section of the song. This section was used as a way to get from point A to point B: Point A is the last nine minutes of music that sort of represent a long goodbye, while point B is the last thirty seconds of the song that make the ending of the song official. At 9:27, the end of the song arrives. To finish it, the song brings back the bass pattern all the way back from 1:08. However, it is much slower this time, and it is one octave lower. It brings back some nostalgia of the beginning of the song, which hadn't been heard since then. This slow rhythm will get slower and slower until 9:43. Here one grand, arpeggiated chord is played and held. The song is now complete, and Espers comes to a close.

Pros: The sections of this song had something new to offer every single time. Even if there were the same melodies, they were played in different styles. There was a good balance of major and minor content, enough to have the majority of listeners feel satisfied no matter which they prefer. Meteo Xavier presented his conclusion to Espers in such a way that made the listener feel and understand a plethora of emotions. Brilliant.

Cons: There weren't too many problems I had with the piece. I did notice some uncleanliness when it came to those massive chords, especially at the section starting at 4:12. Some of the transitions seemed slightly out of place, like the transition from the section at 3:10 to the one at 3:37 for example. Honestly those were the only negative comments I have about the track.

Overall: This is a fantastic conclusion to Espers. The change of sound to a solo piano piece after the previous tracks creates a great and heartwarming ending. All the content in the song was unique. Michael Huang did a beautiful job playing this, and the song had almost everything that a conclusion to an album should have. Everything worked out perfectly in the end.

Rating: 10/10 (This is the first song that has ever received a perfect score. It deserves it.)

Song of the Day 33: 'Navi Whisperwilde - The Forest Sprite and the Mana Spirit in Eternal Recurrence'

Navi Whisperwilde quietly comes across as being another one of Espers' best tracks. It has a transient quality and doesn't feel as bound by the time signature as many of the other tracks on the album. I would consider it the perfect lead up to the last track of Espers, a solo piano performance.

Navi Whisperwilde, like many of the tracks on Espers, fades in. The fade in comes with a very nicely designed synth with a lot of texture, functioning as a bass, but also retaining some high range sounds and something of a swirl. Atmospheric effects fade in along with the main synth and come in a variety of forms: what I'm going to term a "shooting effect" (SciFi style to be sure), something of a muted bell, and some light and brief saw stabs (with possible lower stabs being held back by a low-pass filter likely triggered by an LFO or something; or I could just call it a suppression filter :P). These elements are all a part of the fade in (although much less gradual than MLPC) and hold constant until 0:12 when the main synth changes notes (other than this change, the atmosphere remains the same). At 0:24 there's another note change for the main synth (back to the original note) and some atmospheric effects. These effects are an introductory factor and are present in the form of "atmospheric wind", a "hollow swallow effect" (oh dear), and some less noticeable pulses from a high range synth in what I as a former high school percussionist like to call "horse rhythm" (don't ask). These introductory effects lead to a more prevalent atmospheric effect at 0:30-0:32 (and they also add a beautiful layering effect to the main synth). This effect is something of a wavy sine synth (wavy in notes, sine in nature) and comes in the form of a brief test (stab is too emphatic a word to use here). The main synth changes back to its second note at 0:36 with some light atmospheric wind to introduce it (so going by what's revealed so far: about 12 second cycles and a bass synth that alternates between two notes with lots of atmospheric effects all the while). At 0:42-0:44 there's another brief entrance from the wavy sine synth but this time it's up an octave (which adds a nice subtle building touch to the structure of the piece thus far). At 0:46 there's the same high range synth pulses before in the "horse rhythm" this time used to lead up to the change in notes of the main synth at 0:48-0:49. This change is once again introduced by some light wind effects just like before, but now featuring the "hollow swallow" from before (this effect has some nice delay that causes it to "bounce around" a bit, a recurring theme in this track). The biggest change with this cycle, however, is the emerging "mallet synth" (it has a lot cleaner sound than mallet percussion heard previously in Espers) that goes through a series of notes while being gradually faded in and out. The series fades out as the cycle nears its end, leading to the main synth note change this time at 1:01. The note change is hailed by light wind atmosphere as usual (it also seems to have some residual effects on the following atmosphere). The next cycle at 1:13-1:14 is led up to by the high range synth pulses in the "horse rhythm" and the note change itself brings in the "hollow swallow" and wind atmosphere (although as I keep listening, it seems the wind atmosphere is integrated into the track itself and just becomes more noticeable during note changes). 1:19-1:21 brings the sound of the first wavy sine synth first heard at 0:30-0:32. 1:26 is the next cycle and it's led up to by some prevailing wind effects as usual. 1:32-1:34 is the wavy sine synth pitched up an octave now just like 0:42-0:44. 1:38 is introduced by the "hollow swallow" but it seems the high pulse is absent this time. The major change here is that instead of going up a few steps for the next note, the main synth goes the few steps and an octave, coming in with the high range sounds more noticeable. The next cycle at 1:50 sees the main synth jump a few steps higher still, almost a full two octaves above the notes heard thus far. The cycle is introduced by light wind effects, but for the duration there's some soft high range "space effects" (think SciFi again) to add to the atmosphere (they destabilize near the end of the cycle, making for a nice phasing effect). 2:02-2:03 brings in some more "hollow swallow" and also a very high pitched sound that reminds me of turning an old TV on; I'm guessing its an emerging part of something already present as opposed to a new element. At 2:15 the bass synth goes back up, establishing that the octave changes are done for now. 2:18-2:20 has a weird subtle effect going on that adds to the swirling feeling already established (again, sounds very SciFi). 2:22-2:25 has some light brushing sounds for atmospheric effect, another nice touch. 2:27 gives us a "hollow swallow" entrance that drops us back down an octave with the high wavy sine synth heard at 2:33-2:35. There's also an additional atmospheric effect faded in during the wavy sine synth at 2:34 which sounds like another swirly synth and is more present than most of the atmospheric effects heard so far. At around 2:36 it sounds like some filter modulation works with the swirly synth, bringing it into more of the low range spectrum. At 2:40 the higher end of the atmosphere pulls downward, revealing what could be a synth choir with heavy effects surrounding it, there's also the higher octave of the wavy sine synth. 2:49 gives us some more synth pulses leading us into the 2:52 cycle. At 2:55 we hear our first bit of clearly defined piano notes that coincide with the atmosphere and wavy sine synth. The transition to the next cycle isn't as clearly defined, but I love the way the atmosphere gradually pans left at this point. At 3:07 is our next bit of piano, same rhythm, different notes (there's also a delay effect to mesh it better with the atmosphere). For 3:17 there's some more subtle "hollow swallow" that brings in another bout of atmosphere. 3:23 ushers in the wavy sine synth again (lower octave this time). 3:25 plays the same piano notes as 2:55 and brings us to 3:30 where there's a distinctive high range synth that rises up then gradually falls back down, breaking into elements of synth that seem to sputter (artistically I'm thinking fireworks here). The piano elements continue, but the firework synth at 3:38 (it's probably more a meshing of synths) quietly rises up and then spits recurrences of itself out that fall down, continuing the firework theme and again reminding me of the title of the track. 3:41 brings us our first more complex series of piano notes that are rapidly played, letting the effects take over until the next rapid piano series that comes at 3:44 amidst the atmosphere (the second series is higher pitched). The 3:47 piano series is the same as 3:41 as it seems Meteo Xavier is testing the waters with the piano and then brings in a completely new series (similar pitch, but this time different (still similar though) rhythm and notes) at 3:51. There's also the firework synth making occasional, but not dominant reappearances such as at 3:50. Now at 3:53 we get some extra notes that bounce around for a nice effect and are now layered on top of parts of the original series of piano notes that played. 3:56 bring us of what sounds like the beginning of a melody accompanied by a shot from the fireworks synth. The melody (if you can consider it played by the piano) is then a series of rapid piano notes followed by a pauses for effect. At 4:00 the wavy sine synth works with the piano, really adding a lot more flavor to the higher range sounds. At 4:02 we get a full blast of the wavy sine synth, and it seems we're getting all the stops pulled out here as we also get some firework synth action all meshed with the piano and atmosphere. The whole thing is still very subtle and atmospheric, it's really a beautiful thing to hear all the elements pulled in, yet not be overpowered by any of it. At 4:06 there's the pulses from the high range synth, signalling a coming change. The percussive synth now returns to the same series of notes heard at the beginning. At 4:10 there's more firework action (at this point I'm sort of neglecting to mention the constant wavy sine synth, piano, and firework action). At 4:18 is the most distinctive moment in the track. There's some great atmospheric expansion and instead of playing rapid series of notes, the piano seems to actually play a consistent melody as the bass atmosphere synth shifts. This whole section through to 4:30 does play a legit melody and it's really the culmination of some excellently pulled off building. The firework synth is throughout and at 4:31 is the wavy sine synth. At 4:35 an ethnic flute/synth emerges from the atmosphere and plays a bit of a melody that's accompanied by surrounding atmospheric effects (the piano has returned to its background role). At 4:54 the piano takes over with the flute/synth gone. At the five minute mark it seems like we've lost the firework synth and the wavy sine synth, again leaving us with the heavy doses of atmosphere and the piano playing rapid series of notes. At 5:13 the piano comes down with something a bit more melodic like before, the remnants of the culmination. The wavy sine is now back at 5:16 and at 5:13 we also heard the beginning of some part of the fireworks synth, so those elements are back, but not in full force meshing with each other like they were before. There's some piano repeat action throughout the 5:20s section that seems to emphasize that the piano series is being brought to a close. From 5:30 to 5:44 we're left to enjoy the amazing atmospheric elements that've pretty much always been present with some great effects. There's what sounds like subtle remnants of the firework synth and the synth pulse lead in, but played by a different synth than usual. 5:44 is the wavy sine synth that marks a change in the overall atmosphere as the track shifts away from low range sounds in the atmosphere. There are fireworks effects as the now high synth atmosphere bass goes through a more pronounced series. From 5:56 to 6:00 the wavy sine synth combines with the shooting effects of the firework synth to mark the atmospheric bass as it works back down to its usual location. More wavy synth action at 6:03 as the atmospheric bass repeats its work down action. At 6:10 it seems to settle a little more, still in the high range, but now effects are beginning to depart. At 6:15 the piano returns with some brief notes as the track winds down. There's another settle at 6:22 after the atmospheric bass repeat. At 6:30 we get a teaser for another repeat, but instead the atmospheric bass fades a little, but returns on the same note. At 6:33 the atmospheric bass transitions its sound, becoming more choir like. At 6:40 a fade out begins as the choir atmospheric bass now does another work down repeat. The fireworks effects finally begin to cease as the fade begins to convincingly take effect. The final fade out consists of the choir atmospheric bass and the always present fading in and out series of percussive synths. With that, my work doing write ups for Espers is done as the final piano solo track will be tackled by Marim.

Pros: For his last electronic track on the album, Meteo Xavier really throws down the atmosphere, bringing all the subtlety and beauty with it. The lack of percussion and the reliance on the fading in and out percussive synth is one of the highlights of this track is at tends to make things sound a lot more complicated then they probably actually are. The atmospheric bass choir synth thing is wonderfully designed and is probably my favorite synth or blending of synths I hear on the entire album. The smooth transitions and interesting recurrences are sheer brilliance.

Cons: Not much melody here, nor is there supposed to be. Navi Whisperwilde was designed as a background track and it shows, but it's really not a con. I guess I could say that a lot of the synths, styles, and notes are repetitive, but I could just as easily spin that as a pro. It's real hard for me to nitpick this one as it has some of the most beautifully designed and unique atmosphere I've ever heard.

Overall: Navi Whisperwilde gets me because as a background track, it's so easy to just write it off. However, if you closely examine this, it's some of the best constructed stuff around and probably the quiet winner of Espers when it comes to sheer brilliance of design. The abundance of atmospheric effects, synths, and effortless and beautiful transitions is amazing. This track is flat out amazing and it is the perfect lead in to the final track of Espers. It almost exudes a sense that we are almost to the destination, the final track. Again, a very aptly named track.

Overall: 9.8

Song of the Day 32: 'Maria Le Pitruzelluca Celeste XVII - The Sound of God's Love Made Flesh'

Maria Le Pitruzelluca Celeste XVII (which I'll be calling MLPC for the sake of convenience) continues the trend of uniqueness that Espers brings to the table.

MLPC fades in with a piano sequence, chimes, and an atmospheric bass synth. The piano sequence is interesting in that it isn't a fulfilling sound, it just builds up and down each sequence, resetting every 4-5 seconds. The chimes are really just an atmospheric addition as they aren't constant, but do frequent in order to add to the atmosphere. The atmospheric bass synth fades through notes, coming in softly and subtly joined by new notes at 0:05. At 0:09 there's a fresh wave of chimes, this time joined by some atmospheric wind effects (this album is wrecking havoc on my ability to name sounds). The wind effects at 0:14 are a different tone, adding to the atmosphere of the atmospheric bass synth that has now grown into a church organ-ish sound holding down a chord. The volume fade in becomes very apparent now as the sound reaches its peak. At 0:19 there's another round of chimes, symbolizing the beginning of another measure and a repeat of the previous sequence sans volume. The volume increase makes the lower range sounds of the atmospheric effects more prevalent in the repeat, adding a nice touch by eliminating the feeling of complete repetition. At 0:28-0:29 the cycle resets once again with the chimes. This sequence (which lasts until 0:38) features less wind atmosphere action, leaning more toward the growing intensity of the atmospheric bass organ synth and its constant chord. At 0:38 the piano sequence becomes subtly more intricate with the addition of some octave coverage of certain notes as well as chords formed by the additional notes. 0:43 adds some light and high bell tones to the mix, forming more layers on top of the ever-present piano repetition which has been cycling since the opening of the track. These bells also go on to serve like the chimes, introducing each new cycle, although they also subdivide the cycle on their own. The wind atmosphere effects also become a little more distinctive in this cycle, in that they start to lean towards a particular sequence of events that's more able to be anticipated than the previous movements. The next cycle opens at 0:48 with the introduction of choir voices. These voices, like the bells, build on top of the repetitive piano sequence through more elongated notes, similar in technique to what has been shown in the rest of the album. The voices themselves drift like the atmosphere of the track, making note changes very subtle and atmospherically. The next cycle goes at 0:57 and mainly serves to continue the changing notes of the voices. There's also some sick atmospheric backwash at 1:03 which is either the addition of new atmospheric elements or the interplay of previous elements with the voices (I believe it's a result of additional instrumentation that's too hard for me to pin down although it could just be additional synth voices). Either way, it has a searing quality to it, adding to the mystery of the piece. This searing quality continues with the next cycle at 1:07 now accompanied by more apparent low register aspects of the atmospheric wind. 1:16-1:17 ushers in the next cycle which is mainly just another loop with atmospheric experimentation. The subtleties of the changes of sound become so increasingly hard to track that I hesitate to say anything definite about what's going on at this point. 1:26 is the next cycle and it's marked by changes in the piano through the addition of certain notes (after going through this a few times, it seems as if just a few notes were altered for the sake of introduction, otherwise the sequence remains the same--this is also apparent at 0:38). The dominating overtones of the atmospheric bass and choir have faded into the background somewhat by this time with the atmospheric wind supplying the most apparent low register sounds (the searing backwash is gone). In general, the 1:20s section appears to let the growing energy of the piece dissipate somewhat before building it back with the following sections. 1:36 is the next cycle and while it fails to contribute anything noticeably new at its conception, a new sweep-up effect comes into play at 1:42, born out of the atmosphere of the choir and bass. The cycle continues with 1:46 and now its apparent that the sweep-up birthed some more orchestra related sounds (strings). This whole piece is awash with sounds now as the choir voice backwash continues for the next cycle at 1:55. This new cycle has the altered piano intro (at least I think so, at this point I could be making stuff up because of all the ambient sounds). This goes until, finally, at 2:04, the sounds burst with a transition roll bringing some definitively new changes (I must say, this section took me by surprise after carefully listening to and trying to find every intricate aspect of the first 2 minutes). However, the changes aren't as sudden as they first appear. While the piano sequence does change notes from 2:04-2:14, a sequence that repeats twice still exists and the notes quickly change to a more familiar setting at the next cycle (2:14). The dominant elements of all aspects have dissolved except for the atmospheric organ bass. The lack of atmosphere is supplemented by a crash (think long attack and release in keeping with the theme) at 2:09. At 2:14 the setting becomes recognizable very quickly with the piano playing the same sequence it started with, albeit at the next lowest octave. This sense of growing familiarity is also helped by the beginnings of the wind atmosphere sequence that became apparent in the previous section. Thankfully, things do develop differently with a more defined role being played by the light bells in the next cycle at 2:24. It seems this time the bells are more affected by the atmosphere of the piece, with a lot of additional overtones being created by the mingling of sounds. The melody of the bells is unique as well and although it takes breaks, doesn't reset with the piano sequence. They cycle at 2:33 doesn't add anything other than growing atmosphere and the continually evolving melody of the bells. One of the most memorable moments of the bells during this section (at least for me) comes in the build up and build down from 2:37-2:43 that seems to parallel what the piano does with different notes and sounds. This might also be a little more memorable because the bells are absent with the sequence at 2:43, leaving the wind and bass atmospheres to dominate. These atmospheres soon fade through the next cycle at 2:53, setting the track up for a bit of a piano solo (I might've also missed some choir voices that showed up in this section without backwash). This solo really only occurs as a result of fade outs that take place in the latter 2:50s. The solo also sets up the reintroduction of certain elements at 3:02. For once the introduction of this cycle is not marked by chimes, rather a lower choir voice that is soon joined by counterparts in a juxtaposition with the piano. The next cycle is also not marked by chimes (now assume all future measures are not marked by chimes until stated otherwise) and begins at 3:11 with a pickup melody by the light bells. Now the atmosphere is mostly gone from the bells and they stand out as a distinctive element playing a melody on top of the piano and voices. At 3:20-3:21 some more atmospheric laced elements of the bells rapidly alternate two notes continuing the "pickup" nature of the bell melody in this section. The cycle at 3:21 leaves out the bells though, with just the piano and choir voices to work until 3:31. 3:31 is distinctive in that the repetitive piano cycle that has been going since the beginning drops down yet another octave, leaving it two full octaves beneath what it was at the start of the track. The choir voices are also either down an octave, or altered slightly with lower register sounds. There's a single note at 3:38 that sounds similar to sounds of what I believed backwash from intensive choir sections earlier in the track (such as the searing at 1:03). There's also some pickup action that happens from 3:39-3:40 in the form of indistinctive non-choir voice. The new cycle at 3:40 is now introduced by chimes (although this is an isolated incident). The new cycle also includes more orchestral elements in the form of strings among other sounds. The indistinctive non-choir voice(s) will continue to be a part of the atmosphere from this point on until 4:08. At 3:50, the cycle repeats more subtly than ever before, continuing with the orchestral string (organ maybe) cycle that echoes the wind atmosphere cycles heard previously (in notes). The cycle beginning at 4:00 initiates a somewhat rapid fade out of all musical elements in play, bringing us to complete silence at 4:08. Ending the track at 4:08 seems a little weird, but not to worry, Meteo Xavier brings music back at 4:10, disregarding many previous established parameters in the track. 4:10 opens with a 4 note bass sequence from a mid-range harp that is quickly joined by an accompanying flute melody (both of these elements are introduced for the first time at this point). It's not a complete change of theme though, despite the new instruments and melody, it radiates with the same "touch" as the first half of the track, slowly building in volume around a central element (instead of the piano it's the harp). However, the harp plays a much more traditional supporting role as opposed to the repeating build up, build down style of the piano. 4:24 is another cycle repeat with nothing significant other than the increasing volume making the sound of the flute melody in particular become more apparent. 4:38 is the next cycle which throws in another flute (at 4:42) to join the main melody on occasional notes (similar to what we saw with the piano earlier) until the end of the cycle (it also seems like the volume reaches its normal level during this time as well). 4:51-4:52 begins the next cycle with nothing significant (although it is nice to just enjoy the 4 key rotation of the harp). It's also important to note that the flute melody never truly repeats until after these first 4 cycles. 5:05-5:06 opens the door with some significant accompaniment being added to the mix. The cycle is kicked off with the chimes, low choir/bass, and bells. The low choir/bass plays the supporting note for the 4 key rotation of the harp and has some wonderful contrast to the rest of the piece, creating a surreal background for the elements in the foreground. The high bells from before are back with some occasional notes that support the main melody and then join in more rapidly starting at 5:12. This also contrasts very well with the surreal quality that seems to rise out of this sudden introduction of instruments. 5:19 is the next cycle as evident by the repeat in the previous cycle/measure. Beyond the repeat (excluding the flute of course) there's not much else going on (although it seems that the chimes will now mark each cycle/measure as seen previously). The cycles at 5:33 and 5:46-5:47 are just more of the same; repeating the flute melody that spanned the first 4 cycles, now with supporting elements. As we'd expect, the cycle at 6:00 is a significant change. It drops the flute melody, chimes, and choir, instead opting for the repeating harp now with piano support (which comes largely in the form of alternating notes of the supporting key for the first two chord sequences and arpeggiating a bit more of the last two chord sequences). The bass now comes in the form of a more orchestral sounding element, sounds like it could be a mix of string instruments and church organ. However, the bass still plays the same role, acting as a support for the chord progression key changes of the harp. All in all, it's still a seamless transition that while noticeable, doesn't significantly change the feel or mood of the piece. The cycle repeats without the chime introduction at 6:14. 6:28 is big though and is the second hardest hitting transition of the piece (the complete fade out and silence from 4:08 to 4:10 is the biggest). Now we're getting blasted by the high range choir (also note the chime introduction) joined by the church organ bass now playing higher notes. This grandiose change is also marked by some additional percussion hits that supplement each key change in the chord progression (with splash hits coming at 6:28, 6:31, 6:34, 6:38). The intensity increases midway through the cycle, with some additional atmosphere. 6:34-6:38 brings a sweep-up atmospheric effect similar to 1:42. It also seems like the church organ is particularly loud at 6:38, adding to the build effect. This cycle is repeated at 6:41-6:42 with the exception of the sweep-up atmospheric effect. 6:55 is the next cycle leaving us in the wake of the full choir and organ. The flute melody that began at 4:10 is back, but now it has some wicked offsetting backwash to go with it (this is a result of atmospheric injection, not reverb from the previous elements). In summary, 6:55 begins to wrap the track up as the only remaining elements are the flute lead, the supporting harp bass and its chord progression, and the "backwash" atmospheric injection that continues to work throughout for needed effect. 7:22 is the beginning of the fade out (marked by a particularly low range wind effect). The track ends on the fade out of the flute's completion of the 4 cycle melody at 7:43.

Pros: Huge abundance of excellently managed atmospheric effects that created beautiful offsetting contrasts really helped this piece. The high bells in particular mingled well with all the elements in play. The surreal atmosphere generated by the majority of elements working together and in contrast was greatly helped by the choice of instrumentation. It was also neat to see the repetition of themes in the "second half" (starting at 4:10) which remind the listener of the first half. The crescendos and decrescendos seemed to play a significant role as well and it was nice to see them work with the instrumentation fairly well, adding to the growing feeling of something surreal and otherworldly.

Cons: The build up, build down piano repetition that happens from the beginning to 4:08 (first half) starts to bother me despite the octave drops (although the drops do help). Despite the presence of some fantastic mystical atmosphere, MLPC often feels too simplistic. This is especially apparent with the continuous repetition of a single element (i.e. piano, chimes, harp). I know that for all intensive purposes, Espers is pretty much founded on the cycle of 4/4 time, but it really shows in this track. The other major thing that bothered me was the complete change at 4:08-4:10. While the repetition in theme is a redeeming quality, it seems that we're listening to an entirely different track by the same composer. It just doesn't seem to fit all that well with the progression of events in the rest of the tracks on Espers.

Overall: MLPC is one of the more simple tracks on Espers in my opinion. Thankfully, it's mystical contrasts and sounds are appealing enough that it doesn't sound like a repeat of Saelmeth without the percussion. The choir is definitely one of this tracks strong points as it adds some much needed support to many areas of the piece. The weakest point is the contrast of repetition and completely changing sounds midway through the track. It sort of degrades the beginning section when the second half sounds so unlike it. MLPC is a standout on Espers due to its change in sound halfway through, but it's still a strong track with good atmosphere and wonderful simultaneous contrasts and feelings.

Rating: 8.4

Song of the Day 31: 'Icidina - Royal Highshiva of the Glacierplains'

We go from one of the harshest sounding tracks of Espers to one of the slickest. Icidina comes across as being one of the stronger tracks of Espers with a solid groove working among an as-always well developed atmosphere.

Icidina begins with a very awesome sounding sweepdown effect that sort of glides/flies in. Notes solidify and set the stage for what sounds like one of the coolest tracks on Espers. At 0:06 we get our first taste of the percussion. Icidina has some of the less exotic percussion sounds seen in Espers; instead, it features a little more conventional styles and sounds in the form of what I'd call something of a rim hit (with a bit of a low end to it) and then a hi-hat (I'm way out of my league as far as naming samples and synths go so please bear with me). Anyway, 0:06 marks the first rim hit followed by three hi-hats for the quarter notes. One of the other aspects I think I can really appreciate about Icidina is solid construction. Meteo Xavier doesn't try to attack us with everything at once, rather very carefully manipulating elements to make basic stuff sound complex. The simple 4 beat percussion cycles in about 3 seconds. The atmosphere in this track is very solid and not as "washy" as any of the previous tracks. It hovers fairly certainly around a few notes and is a great backdrop for the percussion which repeats twice after 0:06 before the next element is introduced. At 0:13 the harmony appears and it is by far one of the sickest I've heard in a long time. Once again I'm at loss as to what to call it so we'll just go with "wavy synth". The wavy synth glides through all its note changes and flows very smoothly in the certainty and business-like manner of Icidina. At 0:20-0:25 some more atmosphere emerges via sound effects (this time it sounds like birds). At 0:26 a bass enters and goes through a single note sequence rhythm that's clearly defined, yet not too abrupt. The entering bass is joined by additions to the percussion section in the form of a bass drum on 1 and 3 and a hi-hat snare thing going on 2 and 4. Either this replaces the previous percussion or is stacked on top of it (I'm inclined to believe the former). This basic beat will continue for quite a while and contributes to the very methodical sound of the track as opposed to the others on Espers. At 0:40 a new significant element is added in the form of a low flute. This plays a non repetitive drifting yet defined melody until 1:06 when it drops out in favor of a less drawn-out "ethnic bell" part that plays a repetitive harmony sequence. Also at 1:06, the percussion section gains a tambourine with some definite reverb to assist on beats 2 and 4. At 1:20 there's some very neat atmospheric synths that play unique supporting notes that mesh very well with the atmosphere. This continues until 1:33 when what appears to be an orchestra begins to make itself known. This starts with the drawn out strings and then the horns emerge at 1:40. The melody itself seems to continue in the non repetitive drifting yet defined style first seen with the low flute at 0:40. There's also something like a soft high sine synth that works within the orchestra (either that or a flute or something in the orchestra). At 1:56-1:58 there's a bit of a "wind swell" which is basically some low atmosphere injection. This appears again at 2:10-2:12 and leads us to 2:14 where the orchestra parts quickly fade out and a bass atmosphere injection quickly fades in but decays steadily until its single note is renewed at 2:20. At 2:23 things begin to get a little weirder (although the stacked elements that have been progressing since the beginning help the majority of the track to still fill familiar). A medium high sort of trilling sample enters and begins to mesh with the background. This raises the dramatic element a little bit and to assist, at 2:26 it's joined with a new higher harmonic reinforcement synth to back up the "ethnic bell" which originally entered at 1:06. The trilling sample steadily decays and modulates with the atmosphere, with the single note being out by 2:36. At 2:36-2:37 another trilling note appears and repeats the process, but this time the note is also triggered at 2:40 as well. At 2:41 we begin to hear the lower end accompaniment of the trill in the form of a choir type sound that simply drops out and down underneath us in a very creepy, cool, and slick fashion (this is especially noticeable from 2:46-2:50). The trill works with the choir type sound, slowly getting slightly lower before fading out in order to highlight the sick dropout of the choir. At 2:50 the choir type sound does something even more creepy by building back up the scale of notes, sliding as the trill spits out brief sounds at 2:50, 2:51, 2:53, etc. (basically on the beat). As the low choir type sound builds back, there's an airy atmospheric effect at 2:54 that sort of swallows the sound of the build back. The airy atmospheric effect lingers in the form of subsequent atmospheric effects (i.e. at 2:57 there's a lower end effect that is basically the "wind swell" previously heard at 1:56-1:58), but it also makes another appearance at 2:59. Prior to 3:06 there's a subtle build up as higher end sounds begin to buzz their way into the mix, readying us for the entrance of a new synth. At 3:06 a new saw string type synth makes a rhythm out of a single note, with the sequence ending in a higher note adding to the "groove" feel. A more mid range saw type synth also appears at 3:06 with just a single note bouncing around the atmospheric effects applied to the synth. Also at 3:06 it appears the melodic reinforcement that first entered at 2:26 is now gone in order to make room for the dominating sounds of the saw type synths. During the time since the choir type sound disappeared, the "wind swell" mid range effect has dramatically increased and it now makes its rounds like a frequent part of the track. At 3:30 another choir type trilling sound happens and then at 3:33 the mid range saw type synth that's been bouncing around is given a more distinctive note to mesh with the atmosphere and the high saw string rhythmic synth is now gone. The track continues like this with the choir type sound making some resurgences along the way that seem more integrated with the "wind swells" occurring in the atmosphere. At 3:56 we also see a fainter version of the trill spitting out brief sounds that was previously seen at 2:50 (this continues until 4:03). There's a brief fadeout of multiple elements leading to 4:00. The "wavy synth" that's been persisting since 0:13 is gone as is any harmonic support it once had. All that's left is the remnants of the mid range saw synth that was intensified at 3:33 (it will soon disappear, but it just takes longer due to all the delay and release effects), the basic percussion first heard at the beginning of the track, and the bass that entered at 0:26 (although now it has a bass drum driving its rhythm and I'm not quite sure when it entered; this bass drum also works very well in tandem with the simple beat established in the percussion at the beginning of the track). This rapid deconstruction from all the slick elements that've been working all this time leaves us with a very cool bassline and working with remarkably simple percussion. This is also interesting because the atmosphere that existed in the very beginning is gone and there's not much else to dwell on other than the awesome bassline and percussion. At 4:13 the low flute at 0:40 reappears and plays the same melody, although this time its much softer to account for fewer instruments. At 4:36 the low flute is gone but now the percussion from before is also gone and is replaced by a faint high hi-hat that plays on 2 and 4. This really lets us enjoy the bassline. There's a low "wind swell" at 4:43-4:45 but the bass persists on its own until the atmosphere is slowly faded in with a mid-high range "wind swell" beginning at 4:50. At 5:03 the original percussion is back (the cycle the track started with) as is the orchestral elements from 1:33. However, the original percussion is now joined by a bass drum on the 3rd beat. These elements play their original melodies now more prevalent without the extra sections from before. This sequence runs until 5:43 at which time a new distinctive harmony-like repetitive sequence enters. This sequence also works very well with the overall groove of the track and the "wind swells" that go with it. The sequence repeats at 5:50 at which time the "wavy synth" reenters, completing the slick groove that dominates the moods and feelings of Icidina. At 6:04 the tambourine once again becomes a part of the percussion for beats 2 and 4. At 6:13 the trill again starts spitting out notes per beat and doesn't cease until 6:26. At 6:30 we're left hanging on the first note of the sequence started at 5:43. At this time all elements disappear from the track, leaving only the atmospheric sweepdown that the track started with. At 6:37 the bird sound effects from the beginning of the track emerge among the atmosphere although they are softer and fade out this time as the atmosphere deconstructs. In the end (7:04) we're left with silence as the last note of the atmosphere that began the track has faded out.

Pros: Icidina is methodical and throws down some very simple, yet slick grooves. The atmospheric sweepdown that began the track is one of the coolest I've heard and the overall atmosphere was more of a airy synth then the washy and exotic sounds of the rest of the album. The percussion wasn't significantly exotic, but it was definitely unique. The methodical construction and deconstruction of elements also made for some cool moments, especially when all the elements were scaled back to just the bassline and basic percussion. It's hard to ignore how simplicity is a winning formula for Icidina.

Cons: It's also hard to ignore how simplicity prevents a track from being near perfect. Icidina is good, but it lacks the overall atmosphere of the other tracks on Espers as well as the complexity. The fading and meshing sounds of the orchestra were sort of a strange addition to the track as they really didn't jive with the rest of the 4/4 in some cases. Then again, I guess you have to start somewhere.

Overall: Icidina is quite possibly my favorite track on Espers because it follows (what is in my book) the winning formula of simplicity. Staying in strict 4/4 for most of the track, Icidina features basic percussion rhythms and melds that with a cool bassline. The simplicity of the track is also what helps it sound very business-like and slick as the melodies are very methodical series' of notes. That being said, I can agree with Meteo Xavier when he calls this track a bit "bare". I'm curious to hear what a redo of this track would sound like. Overall, Icidina is a great track to have as the 5th out of 8 as it shows Meteo Xavier is still capable of bringing fresh and different material to the table late into the album. Just as you thought you had the style of Espers pinned down, this happens. In the end, very solid track and very enjoyable to listen to.

Rating: 9.3

Song of the Day 30: 'Saelmeth - The Rusted Voice of a Forgotten Godwraith'

This is another one of the more background-ish pieces of Espers with probably some of the harshest sounds in the album.

Saelmeth, unlike most of the other Espers tracks, doesn't fade in gradually. It immediately starts with percussion in the form of a bass drum that isn't a straight four on the floor and has some closed hi-hat action going on in between. The percussion also intermingles with some of the sound effects that appear throughout, one of which sort of sounds like it could've come from the Chozo Ruins of Metroid Prime. These sound effects complete the overtones that drive most of the track. These overtones are immediately present and dissonant sounding in the beginning, going through something of a harsh and blended melody. At 0:10, some more dominant sound effects come in and there appear to be some notes that support the overtone-ish melody more distinctly. At 0:20 there's a bit of a sweep effect in the background and some more atmosphere is added by single notes that mesh well with the rest of the soundscape. At 0:24 there's some sort of obscure sounding voice clip that probably fits the title of the track more than anything else, blending with the soundscape. At 0:42-0:44 there's a building noise out of the atmosphere that fades out soon after. At 0:48-0:52 another new atmospheric element plays around with delay and pan in the same sort of theme as the rest of the track. At 1:02 there's another strange voice clip that's the same as 0:24. At 1:08 one of the more distinctive and permanent elements of the track is added in the form of a "washable yet harsh saw wave" that bounces around with the sound in a delay effect. At 1:20-1:24 there's the same building noise from 0:42-0:44 that adds to the continuance of atmosphere and sound effects. At 1:31 there's the same voice clip heard twice previously. At 1:36 another sort of harsh blended overtone melody is added to the sequences that've been occurring since the beginning. At 1:45 there's yet another interesting sound effect that reappears later on. The overtone-ish melody finally lets up at about 1:48. The departure from the same overtones that've been dominating from the beginning allows the track to move forward. Driven by atmosphere and sound effects washing together for transition, the track continues more distinctively at 1:55 with a less harsh and more straightforward melody. The melodic cycle resets at about 2:05, giving us a more clear picture of a cycle that lasts about 9-10 seconds. At 2:07-2:12 there's a panned left saw wave that rises up via filter and then back down again. This is just a sample of one of the more noticeable sound effects (to clarify, I'm missing a lot of sound effects in this writeup simply because they're all over the place and mostly blend with the general atmosphere). At 2:14 the original overtone-ish melody from the very beginning takes over once again, eliminating the melody introduced at 1:55. At 2:22-2:26 there's another building noise previously heard. At 2:28-2:29 there's the same voice clip that's also been heard previously (notice the build leads up to the voice clip several seconds later). At 2:33 the percussion drops out for the first time since the track started, leaving us with the overtone of the melody and some atmospheric sound effects. At 2:36 the overtone melody has been absorbed by the atmosphere and sound effects. Of these sound effects, the most apparent at this point appears to be the Chozo Ruins Metroid Prime-ish one. At 2:40 a new sound effect appears that sounds very much like a muted (think more in a diminished volume type way) old car horn. At 2:48 the sound first heard at 1:08 described as a "washable yet harsh saw wave" reemerges to dominate the transition, replacing the car horn sound. At 2:53 there's a knocking/tapping like sound effect reminiscent of what we heard in Dear Death by The Opensky. This effect is followed a few seconds later by Metroid Prime again. At 2:57, a high synth note solidifies and we begin to hear a new voice clip emerge that sounds equally as obscure and exotic as the first few although this time it is more continuous and discernible. At 3:02, while the voice clip continues, a new note from the same synth as 2:57 solidifies. Then at 3:03, we begin to hear the resurgence of the overtone melody from the beginning. The overtone melody now works with the "wash harsh synth", the voice clips, and the solidified single notes along with the knocking/tapping sound and the other atmospheric effects. The voice clip dies down a little bit by 3:20, but doesn't disappear until the build at 3:30 (that's the same as heard before). At 3:33 the percussion starts up back again and runs with the track similar to the beginning with the overtone and atmospheric elements. The build that's appeared multiple times in the past appears once again at 4:17-4:21. At 4:21 there also appears to be a faint voice clip that appears to be new and from a different speaker than seen previously (although since the clips are very atmospheric in nature, speaker doesn't matter in the sense of words; in fact, it feels wrong to call them clips as they are very well mixed with the overall atmosphere). At 4:31 the addition from 1:36 comes back (that is, an additional "blended overtone-ish melody"). At 4:40 there seems to be a significant change as for the first time the percussion continues in a new pattern and both overtone melodies drop out gradually. However, their spirit still seems present in the all-to-familiar build heard at 4:43-4:47. This build is now assisted by the left pan saw rise previously heard at 2:07-2:12. At 4:50 there appears for the first time some bells that have a bit of a pan delay attached (although these only last a few seconds). At 4:53-4:57 the left pan saw rise is integrated again as atmosphere. At 5:00 more sound effects are added that interplay with the percussion. At 5:09-5:10 the track is once again dominated by a melody previously heard, this one being at 1:55 (the less harsh and more straightforward one) and the percussion is also returned to its normal state as heard at the beginning. At 5:19 the bells from 4:50 reappear for some brief notes and this again happens at 5:28 and 5:38. At 5:47, the percussion drops out and the same overtonish sounds from the beginning are once again the melody although this time it takes a slightly different path with a less harsh sound. At this time there's also the Metroid Prime atmosphere adding its effects, but this is soon phased out in favor of a more subtle approach. An atmospheric element that might've existed previously (and I ignored it because it was subtle and blended with the rest) emerges that sound like waves. This begins at 5:48 and continues as the last noticeable element to disappear when the track ends. Although it occurs infrequently initially, the wave effect is worked off of by other "pulsing" atmospheric elements that continue to appear in and out as the track nears its conclusion. However, another atmospheric element dominates the track until the waves. This is the old car horn heard at 2:40 and it continues from 6:07-6:14. The car horn effect also signals the end of the overtone melody and the departure of the effect leaves just the waves and intermittent "washing/rumbling/wind" effects. These effects continue until the final wave as the track ends at 6:29.

Pros: There was so much atmosphere in this piece that I sort of ignored the comprehensive approach in favor of the more distinctive elements and overtones. There is a fantastic mesh of atmosphere in a variety of forms ranging from voice clips, old car horns, waving, washing, rumbling, Metroid Prime Chozo Ruins, or just noise. The percussion rhythm is also interesting and the clearly defined overtones at 1:55 and 5:09-5:10 come across as stronger as do the overtone blends that usually precede a change in the track. Although the beginning wasn't particularly strong in my opinion, the end was very well done.

Cons: Way too much repetitiveness along with the abundance of atmosphere makes the previous track sound like a roller coaster in comparison. To make it worse, the majority of overtones are harsh and unappealing and there isn't any real noticeable melody to be spoken of. The percussion is also extremely repetitive and while the rhythm is initially interesting, it quickly becomes very irritating.

Overall: To be honest, this is my least favorite track on Espers and I usually listen to it while distracted by something else. It's harsh enough sounding to keep me well awake, but it's so atmosphere based that it's very hard to intently listen to. It also probably didn't help that I wrote this review at close to 3 in the morning. However, I can find a lot of value in the variety of effects that went into making something such as this and the idea of all overtone based melodies was interesting. Unfortunately, I just found it too repetitive to truly enjoy. Title once again matches the track.

Rating: 8.0

Song of the Day 29: 'Amenemhetopelzai - Ancient King Lost In Memories'

Meteo Xavier breaks out a little more of the exotic sounding stuff for the third track in his album, Espers. Keeping in line with the rest of the album, there's a lot of soundscaping going on with a variety of sounds. Let's get down to it.

Amenemhetopelzai fades in with some soundscape background and ethnic percussion. From 0:08 to 0:13 an ethnic flute fades in and disappears on a single note. The percussion here definitely has some variety among the hits, contributing to the track's unique feel. The background ambiance and percussion build up to 0:16 where we have a bit of a trilling oboe-ish sound that helps introduce a melody as well as additional instruments: the harp harmony, and more pronounced percussion hits that keep with the melody (sounds like good mallet percussion). These elements are introduced through fades after the opening trill and they follow along with the oboe-ish melody line that plays until 0:32 (which never really repeats). At 0:32 there's some sweeping light pads and soundscapes that fill the gap of melody with overtones of sounds and notes, leaving the mallet percussion to actually play a consistent, repeating series of notes. At 0:40, the soundscaping continues, but adds a little more to the high register sounds. At 0:48, the cycle resets once more until 1:04. These two cycles of "soundscaping" really sets up the listener by keeping the mallet percussion going that will persist throughout the song. It's a nice break to become acquainted with some of the harder to hear on first listen elements and it lets the mysteriousness of the opening melody lines sink in. At 1:04 there's a definite melody fading in (which seems to be played by a variety of parts or a single dominating part), but it feels laid back and natural rolling out of the soundscape. This cycles again at 1:12, at 1:20, and again at 1:28. At 1:36, the main melodyish part drops out and leaves the mallet percussion to play a new harmony/bass/percussive role alongside another ethnic flute which plays a new mysterious melody straight out of the old one. These parts intertwine very well with the ethnic flute fading out at 1:48. At 1:52 there's some more ethnic instrumentation to replace the flute in the form of that "weird guitar thing that I can't remember the name for right now" (yes I just said that). This fills the void of melody with more atmosphere to go along with the consistent mallet percussion. At 2:00 there's a strange conglomeration of instruments that come in with melody; the "weird guitar thing" from before and the ethnic flute with multiple parts. It gives this cycle (which as you've probably guessed are 8 seconds about, give or take a few milliseconds) a particularly eerie feeling, especially with the flute part that rises out at 2:06. This is another great transition to 2:08 where the melody once again leans on overtones and slow notes. Sweeping, ethereal synth pads immerse the listener in exotic, but calm sounds with the ethnic percussion continuing through it's unique rhythm and sound. The cycle repeats at 2:24 and then changes at 2:40 to something that ought to sound familiar. At 2:40 the ethnic flute from the beginning of the track shows up with a slightly different melody. This melody has some additional background beyond the usual mallet percussion, ethnic percussion, and the harp harmony (which is another similarity with the beginning). At 2:50-2:51 there's a subtle exotic low fluteish sound on a single note which kicks into some flute stabs or something of the like (percussion type sound). At 2:56 the tone changes once again with a more of a soundscaping period taking over. This brief section keeps the consistent mallet percussion with the rest of the atmospheric overtones that's been going on for most of the track, now with some occasional atmospheric strums from the "weird guitar thing" (shame on me for not remembering what it's called). At 3:04-3:28 the atmospheric section continues, but now with the high register atmospheric synth fading and building up, adding the needed variety to transition to the next section of the melody. This melody (which starts at 3:28) is pretty much the same thing heard at 1:04 and just like it did previously, it builds until a certain point (4:00 in this case). At 4:00 the wash of previous sounds fades out with a new section coming in featuring the "weird guitar thing" in tandem with the mallet and ethnic percussion. 4:08 ushers in one of the ethnic flute sounds that we've become accustomed to by now. This flute plays a melody on top of the tandem established earlier and now adds in some occasional atmospheric "weird guitar thing" strums. The melody works in its 8 second cycle, avoids a reset at 4:24 by changing direction, and continues to 4:31-4:32 where a single high ethnic flute note is held and the atmospheric strumming of the "weird guitar thing" intensifies. The flute note has faded out by 4:36, but the instrument is back for the next cycle at 4:40 with a pickup transition that leads into an octave-reinforced melody. The soundscape also greatly intensifies at 4:40 with greater intensity on the percussion and more ambient noises and overtones. At 5:00 there's some noticeable strumming (from... you guessed it, the "weird guitar thing") leading into tinkling. This additional atmosphere sort of signifies that the end of the current section is near, and it does so correctly with the heavy atmosphere being lightened up to the transition at 5:08. A lot of elements are removed for this section, leaving the mallet percussion to again pick a unique series of notes to play on set cycles of about 4 seconds. The mallet percussion is supported by only some very light atmosphere (which drifts between supporting background notes) and a very light percussion hit to signify the beginning of each measure (this light percussion hit persists from this section on until much later in the track). The most noticeable change here is that the percussion (non mallet) is completely removed except for the light hit every 4 seconds (once again we're running at about 60 bpm it seems). The mallet percussion cycle takes on a more melodic role at 5:24 while still maintaining it's background characteristics. The supporting background noises/light atmosphere also add the melody section, creating the same melody with instruments with very different rates of attack and release all while maintaining the same background established at the transition at 5:08. At 5:40, the melodic elements of the atmosphere and mallet percussion are dropped in favor of the light ethnic flute playing the melody first heard at 1:04. This melody now has some accompanied flavor in the form of some light bells. The bells play their own supporting harmony sporadically, again contrasting the rate of attack and release. After two cycles, at 5:56, the melody from 1:04 changes by going high first and gradually changing the timing as well as the actual notes. At 6:00, the new melody is joined by close octave support as the melody descends in three slow notes before going high again. The next change comes at 6:08 where the two ethnic flute parts are easily distinguished by octave and chord notes. The flute plays its last cycle and fades out completely at around 6:12-6:14. At 6:12, the mallet percussion resumes the melodic elements it possessed from 5:24-5:40 and the melodic elements seen at the same time frame with the atmosphere begin to resume as well. Since the light bells entered the picture at 5:40 they've been growing in frequency and prominence as they supported the ethnic flute melody. Without the flute melody to support, the bells begin to play consistently and frequently, keeping time with the existing mallet percussion (which I think is a marimba). However, the bells only last until 6:20 (they're faded out). 6:20-6:28 sounds very much like 5:24-5:40 with the mallet percussion and light atmosphere providing both the low notes and the melodic notes to sustain the piece. At 6:28, the ethnic flute is back with the melody, bringing the atmospheric "weird guitar thing" with it for the occasional strum. The cycle from 6:28 to 6:36 also sees the departure of the mallet percussion in a very gradual fade out. This leaves us only with the persistent light percussion hit from 5:08, some light atmosphere, occasional atmosphere from the "weird guitar thing", and the ethnic flute playing the melody. At 6:52 the mallet percussion sequence revisits in a fade in lasting until the full strength is reached at 7:00. The ethnic flute lead is also gone at 7:00, its last note being held on a fade out from 6:52 to 6:56. At 7:00 the mallet percussion resumes its melodic portion along with the light atmosphere doing the same (again like the 5:24-5:40 section). This continues until these elements (including the persistent light percussion hit from 5:08) begin a fade out at 7:16. This fade out is the conclusion of the track with the total runtime standing at 7 minutes and 43 seconds.

Pros: Meteo Xavier once again nails some really unique atmosphere with unusual sounds. The builds are long and gradual and the transitions are so seamless I had to listen over a lot more than usual to catch what exactly happened when the cycle ended. The use of ethnic and mallet percussion really adds to the foreign feel of the track and the harmonies and melodies employed create an overall feeling of mystery.

Cons: The sounds are unique (particularly the percussion section) so it's not what I'm used to. This, combined with the repetitive nature of sectional transitions among the percussion section, add to a building sense of "this isn't particularly interesting". This is a great piece of music, yet because of the perceived repetitiveness, it falls under the category of "music that is a background to itself".

Overall: Not really as much atmosphere as the previous two tracks and a feeling of repetitiveness among the unique sounds sort of drag this down from being an immediate standout track. However, there are plenty of things to appreciate here: the ethnic flute melodies, the overtones, and the atmosphere in general. The percussion section was uniquely used and I'm not sure what I think of the result. In the end, Amenemhetopelzai lives up to its name as it seems to wash over us like a memory. In a way, living up to the name sort of provides an explanation for why it "isn't particularly interesting". This is still a fantastic track of Espers and I'm glad that Meteo Xavier didn't throw us an attention grabber at this point in the album as it needed some of the unique atmosphere to supplement previously established opinions of the album.

Rating: 8.9

Song of the Day 28: 'Ornamekias - A Slight Wave From the Hill Above' by Meteo Xavier

Out of all the tracks on Espers, by far I am the most familliar with this one. This is because it was avilable for free download upon release at Protagonist Records. After listening to it, I immeadiately made a note to myself to pick up Espers; sorry it took so long. Anyway, this is a fantastic piece of music which I will finally explain in full detail...

0:00 to 0:08 sets us up with a single atmospheric synth trading off measures of a single note. This cycle repeats once more until more elements enter at 0:16. What's added here is a something like a basic "tapping" synth (please excuse my laymen terminology) with some nice heavy modulation and panning going on. This sound gets swallowed in an envelope for a really nice effect. At 0:24 our next elements come in (yes these are 8 second cycles, so assuming each cycle is one measure this would put the track at a convenient 120 bpm). This high synth element added at 0:24 falls in a bit more noticeably with the unique melody sequence. You've also got a four on the floor bass drum working now as well as a more consistent melody in a soft bell synth tone that's certainly not as noticeable as the higher synth element that falls in. Finally, there's also a very subtle atmospheric synth occasionally injecting ambiance into the piece. What may seem like another new element is just the modulating "tapping" synth running through its envelope progressions. At 0:40 there's definitely a more noticeable atmospheric injection via a very similar sounding synth to the first ambient one. This ends up being more than atmosphere as it follows a chord progression and really tends to dominate the undercurrents and feelings of the piece as a whole up until its affects are noticeably decreased and eventually removed at 1:13. At 1:29 the high synth element that fell in at 0:24 is replaced in favor of a more ethnic flute synth (although more synth than anything else) that drifts through melody. There's also a brief addition with this melody that comes at 1:31 and 1:35 (although there's a single delay effect on it that causes it to repeat itself in more of an echo after each initial prod). The same atmospheric synth at 0:40 is also back, giving us more of an undercurrent to go with the melody. The melody cycles through twice until 1:45 at which time the high falling synth comes back in and the ethnic flute synth is replaced by a massive pad sweep that really effects the atmosphere and feel of the track to this point. The pad sweep goes through a chord progression of 4 notes with accumulated effects shimmering down each sound. This section here has a lot of good undercurrent going for it, pulling us along with feelings and emotions all while burying us in layers of intricate sound. This section lasts until 2:18 at which time the bass drum and atmosphere is peeled away to reveal the original single atmospheric synth from the beginning going through its two note chord progression as well as the high falling synth which now has more of a familiar feel to the listener (although this is taken out after the 8 seconds). At 2:26 (another 8 seconds) the "tapping" modulation synth comes in (the effects make it sound like its zeroing in on something) adding a very cool effect. This, coupled with the enveloped pad sweep makes for some amazing atmosphere. Now the soft bell synth tone from the beginning is running its melody at 2:34 without interference from the high fall synth. This laid back feel works very well with the swells in atmosphere created by the modulating synth and the atmospheric injections. It's also a perfect setup for the reentering four on the floor bass drum at 2:42. This continues for a bit; there's also somewhat of an added pad sweep at the 3 minute mark to keep things interesting in a subtle way. At 3:07-3:09 there also seems to be some interesting background percussion that's barely audible and goes through 3 hits that syncopate with the 4 on the floor beat before jumping back into more added atmosphere. At 3:17 there's another subtle atmospheric injection that sounds almost like a high electric guitar note (more of a syncing way than searing). At 3:25 there's also the same barely audible percussion hit that was previously seen at 3:07. By no means am I even covering all the atmospheric elements in this section, I'm just trying to cover the ones that sort of stand out (to be honest this is the first time I've ever noticed them). Atmosphere reigns supreme in this section; awesome feeling. At 3:47 we're back in familiar territory with the high falling synth and the ethnic flute synth now working together with the already existing elements. This goes through 2 cycles until the significant undercurrent atmosphere is pulled out at 4:04 along with the ethnic flute synth, flushing out the bass drum, the "tapping" zeroing in synth, and the more subtle elements of the atmosphere. At 4:20 there's a definite and significant change to the direction of the track. There's a key change that the high fall synth follows along with the zeroing in synth. This change also is felt through the mood of the atmosphere (which is touched off by a single note for the new key). At 4:24 there's another single note that touches off the new chord progression (affirming the fact that we're no longer relying on the two notes in the chord progression from the beginning, but rather on the same sequence with different notes). This single note keeps going to signify the chord progression until it is established. At 4:36 there's a definite pad sweep progression going, reminiscent of the one first seen at 1:45. At 4:53 a high synth enters and fades through a sort of atmospheric melody that is more felt in the undercurrent than through actual notes. This is just stunning, but it gets better. At 5:25 everything is removed except for some atmosphere and the high fall synth, but it is no longer "falling" per se; it's developed its own melody. At 5:33 the ethnic flute synth is back (subtly replacing the atmosphere that was left from earlier) with a melody that's no longer abstract or mysterious, but something that's near heartwarming intimate. At 5:49 we're taken up an octave with the flute synth as it continues in tandem with the high synth. At 6:21-6:25 that ethnic flute synth is slowly faded out, leaving only the high synth from the beginning which begins to fade out at 6:39 to the end of the track (6:52).

Pros: Amazing, simply amazing. Again I have to quote "atmosphere, ambiance, and awesomeness". This is somehow a calming track that still has some consistent beats and percussive elements. The shift in keys felt amazingly intimate from the previous sections and the undercurrents really pulled the listener around the world.

Cons: There are no issues I see here. The tempo lines up, transitions are seamless. Only issue might be how the initial high synth sounds exotic, it might disrupt the full sense of calm this track brings. Very hard to find stuff to complain about here.

Overall: Top notch. The atmospheric undercurrents are simply astounding; I could listen to sections of this track for minutes on repeat without getting bored at all, there's just so much to explore. I'm amazed at the sound design and layer as well as the consistent modulation that went into this piece of music. Meteo Xavier knocked this one out of the ballpark.

Rating: 9.9

Song of the Day 27: 'Tritochiark - Vestigial Dreamcatcher for the Heavenly Integer' by Meteo Xavier

Ironically this is my very first crack at Song of the Day, not that it means anything seeing as it's just conveniently named to convey the difference with Song of the Week. Tritochiark is the first track on Meteo Xavier's album, Espers, which I will be covering over the next few days. If you want my comments on Espers as a whole, see the prelude post. I think Tritochiark does a fantastic job of setting the stage for the rest of the album as a whole, moving through soundscapes and transitioning among feelings.

The first few seconds establish the soundscape feel right away with some atmospheric synths getting involved right away. At 0:07 the drum beat comes down accented to clearly introduce the elements that were just added (chimes and more atmospheric synth work). At this point it's pretty clear that we're looking at some not-so-normal sounds and the overall feel and texture of the soundscape created is alien and beautiful. The boarderline tribal drum continues to play quarter notes at different volume. At 0:14 some of the textures in the synths come out more and small touches like this that really just establish atmosphere really help the track overall. Ethnic flute comes in at 0:17 to play a quick exotic melody before dropping out. There's some great slow expansion starting at 0:21 as atmospheric elements make their presence known as they echo across the soundscape. Some choir like noises (reviewing this track makes me wish I actually had the experience to name the sounds proper) fade in at 0:24 to add to the feel. One of the awesome things about this type of music is the fact that chord progressions are so subtly established via atmosphere. The chimes make another appearance at 0:43 with a barely audible ethnic flute playing a low melody to go with it. The drum gets in two hits at 0:50 which begins to establish a more clearly definable role for the percussion other than just quarter notes. There's just so much wonderful ambient soundscaping going on here that I really can't touch on all of the details (why do I get the feeling I'll be saying that at least once for nearly all the tracks on this album). 1:04 is definitely noticeable as another ethnic instrument drops in briefly for some trails of melody working in contrast with the vast soundscape going on around it. If the soundscape is the planet, we're getting an abbreviated version of the planet's history with all trails of melody/memory echoing through the overall feeling. However, the melody and instrument at 1:04 is more important as it only drops out for a few seconds before reappearing, completing its melody and then repeating starting at 1:18. The tempos seem to contrast but not in a harsh way. Overall this is a fantastic section the comes to a close at 1:33 with a transition roll. It seems like silence for a few seconds until something new fades in at about 1:40. This low bell-like synth plays an establishing melody that serves to set up the coming sections. At 1:47 the bass enters, establishing what I would interpret as a laid back feel if it weren't for the earlier sections of the track. Instead it comes across as establishing a comforting feel reminding us that the rest of the track won't be like the fast forwarded semi-chaotic history of the first minute or so. There's also an atmospheric synth that diverges from the bass at 1:51. The bass and other elements go through a chord progression until 2:01 at which time more elements are added on top of what has already been established. At 2:02 there's a high string synth added as well as some prominent bubbling atmosphere that keeps making brief appearances during each chord. The high synth begins its own additions to the feel serving as the lead for a brief time. At 2:08 the beat subtly reappears in the shape of a more standard bass drum and tambourine. The tambourine only comes in on the downbeat with a very light drum sample filling the gap. 2:16 signals the beginning of another cycle of progression. The first noticeable thing is obviously now the high synth bell lead working on top of all the other elements that have been established. The other thing is that high conga-like drum is now playing the equivalent of snare in the percussion setup with beats on 2 and 4 except the 4 has some extra pop (reverb and/or pan and/or delay added? wish I could explain it better). The cycle repeats at 2:30 with the high lead being the most obvious. At 2:44-2:45 there's transition roll with some chimes that eliminates the high lead in the next cycle and flushes out one of the other high synths that plays with the chord progressions. There's another repeat cycle at 3:00 and some chimes at 3:06 that continue until 3:09. The cycle again repeats at 3:13 with a transition roll and chimes except now the high synth bell lead is back. This continues until 3:41-3:42 transitions to a new section with chimes and a roll. Now we've just got high atmosphere chord progression going with the new element which is a harp type sound. This goes through its melody with string plucks as bass. There's a nice subtle build sweep from 3:53-3:55 that I quite enjoyed (small things like that separate the good tracks from the great ones in my opinion). The build sweep leads up to the added melody elements at 3:57 that does some great interplay with the harp-like stuff. At 4:10 a new synth comes out on top with the added melody elements from 3:57 now gone; this is probably the first real synthy sounding synth (yes, synthy) in the entire track. This acts as lead as it now has the most distinctive sound. This plays on top of the harp (which is no longer getting some string plucks as supporting bass). Once again the interplay is pretty awesome and the synth has a pretty cool melody going for it. There are some subtle atmospheric builds that lead up to the moment at 4:39 where there is a big transition with lots of new elements/elements brought to prominence. The harp-like sound has now become less harp-like and more acoustic guitar like. There's also now some beats going on although they don't take up a big part of the track. There's also some exotic atmosphere injected here and there that sounds like it was brought forward in time from the beginning of the track. At 4:53 there's a cycle transition that opens with a high atmospheric drop (bird noise almost). There's no more "synthy" synth and overall it's a relaxing transition that lets us enjoy the other elements and ambient noises all around. The exotic element is also there, making brief appearances frequently. This works until 5:07-5:08 when the percussion and some atmosphere drops out. Now we've got the "acoustic guitar like previously harp like" sound doing its thing with the exotic flute synth lasting a little while longer before disappearing. At 5:22 more/another element(s) are back in, but this time it sounds more orchestral in nature while keeping with the same melodic and harmonic themes (the new thing sounds like an oboe). The cycle repeats at 5:36 with some variations in the melody from the oboe. Bass reenters with the next cycle at 5:50-5:51 as just an establishing factor as it doesn't change notes. At 5:58 there's also some choir type samples back in the mix for atmosphere and as a sort of lead. This continues for a while with subtle changes made to keep things interesting (translation: this is a long song with a lot of very well done things that make it exhausting to cover in every detail). The "acoustic guitar like previously harp like" now reduces in volume slowly to flush out the choir a bit more. It fades out and then fades back in at 6:43 transformed into the original low bell synth from 1:40 comes in with the same melody from before (the transition here is extremely well done). The high note from the choir is left hanging and now we're back to a deja vu moment straight from 1:40. The bass enters at 6:55 just like before with the same thing happening as did last time except now at 7:09-7:10 we've got a flute joining the low bell synth melody. This builds then diminishes until 7:38 which again leaves us with the low bell synth and a very small injection of atmosphere. The last cycle begins at 7:56 as we're left with just the low bell synth as it fades into the distance. Hmmmm.

Pros: Atmosphere, ambiance, and awesomeness. This is flat out some of the best ambient type ethnic whatever you want to call it I've ever heard. Tritochiark as well of the rest of Espers stands apart for this reason. Tons of amazing subtle things happen that really pull this track together. I'm flat out blown away at how well executed this is.

Cons: The tempos and rhythms seemed a little disjointed at times, but it would've been worse if it were otherwise as this is important in maintaining the exotic feeling conveyed throughout the atmosphere. I listened to this track in as much detail as I could muster and I cannot find a single credible thing to complain about.

Overall: It's not hard for me to imagine having an out of body experience while writing music like this (See this link for explanation). This is flat out amazing stuff that does all sorts of things that I either don't hear done well in most music, or I don't hear at all.

Rating: 9.7

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Back Up and Running is back up and running again. Our podcast releases in a few hours, stay tuned to any of our sites for more information. Our currently planned release platforms are SoundCloud, Bandcamp, YouTube, and iTunes. This site is suddenly about to become a lot more active.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oops... Sorry...

I just broke our email address. is no longer available.

If you still wish to contact us, send us a PM over twitter or message Met through the blogger messaging system.


Saturday, June 02, 2012

Shameless Plug

Depending on how you look at it, this is either overdue or not due at all.

Shameless Plug

In other news the podcast is coming along rather well and right now I'd say we're looking at a length of at least an hour. It's too early to estimate a release date, but this should be out by the end of July and it will be accompanied by a gradual posting of all of our previously written reviews of 12 Followers/Meteo Xavier's albums Espers and Meteocrity.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


New album out from the artist who hooked me on electronic music. Unearthed by zircon is sitting on Bandcamp for an insanely good price (especially for physical copies). I'm leaving for a few weeks tomorrow so I'm very glad this came out before I left. Check it out. Trust me, it's worth the money.

Maybe we'll review some tracks from this album.

After Espers...

After Meteocrity...

After projects that have been planned for some time that aren't known to the public yet...


We'll let you know when we get there :(