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The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Zelos

Location: Germany

Joined: Jan 31 2008

Finally, on March 19th "The Black Mages" are going to release their new album "Darkness and Starlight".
If there's anyone who doesn't know them: The Black Mages were formed by Nobuo Uematsu (FF-Composer) in 2003. They mainly cover Uematsu's songs in a rock style (One Winged Angel even with an additional orchestra), and so it's no wonder that most of the songs don't feature any vocals (only 2 songs got vocals, and a third one got 4 words: "Maybe I'm a lion" ;)).

With their third album it seems they already ran out of the most popular songs, since they already covered all the songs anyone should know, but I'm pretty sure it will rock anyway.
Here's the track listing...

1. "Opening ~ Bombing Mission" (from Final Fantasy VII)
2. "Neo Exdeath" (from Final Fantasy V)
3. "The Extreme" (from Final Fantasy VIII)
4. "Assault of the Silver Dragons" (from Final Fantasy IX)
5. "Cloud of Darkness" (from Final Fantasy III)
6. "Distant Worlds" (from Final Fantasy XI)
7. "Premonition" (from Final Fantasy VIII)
8. "Grand Cross" (Final Battle theme from Final Fantasy IX)
9. "Darkness and Starlight" (extended arrangement of the opera "The Dream Oath: Maria and Draco" from Final Fantasy VI)
10. "Life ~ In Memory of Keiten ~" (original composition)[4]

(Copied from Wikipedia)

There are already some short previews out for some songs:
1. "Opening ~ Bombing Mission": http://youtube.com/watch?v=jL8qtvdKn7w
2. "Neo Exdeath" (from Final Fantasy V): http://youtube.com/watch?v=MrRuZOLdeWE
4. "Assault of the Silver Dragons" (from Final Fantasy IX): http://youtube.com/watch?v=53pagE4K2ZY
7. "Premonition" (from Final Fantasy VIII): http://youtube.com/watch?v=42ZDGAq_iqc

And here's some kind of a making of with some more previews: http://youtube.com/watch?v=2dy_3LbyNbs

So, what do you think about them?

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Alastor

Joined: Mar 09 2008

I heard about this a few days ago. Glad to see them coming back. I don't think they just go after popular songs though, they pick a bit of everything. Unfortunately, there's almost nothing from the NES area this time around. Anyway, the bass line that s the intro for Bombing Mission is sweet. Neo ExDeath and Premonition are awesome, and Distant Worlds has a nice ring to it. I'm glad they used something from FFXI.

Anyway, as said before, they're aiming at large varieties of songs. Except, the first time around, what they did was what they were primarily meant to do; they made these awesome rock versions, basically out of various battle songs. The second time around, they strayed away from that a bit, and used other themes like Matoya's Cave or Vamo' Alla Flamenco. This third album seems to have a maximum of four battle themes.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to hear them, but to be honest I think they're kind of forgetting what they're there to do. It seems there's way too much keyboard/synth/organ involved in the music. As a rock competition, guitars and bass seem like the standard.

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Stamen47

no0bzOrG

Joined: Jun 16 2007

Ooh, bombing mission, I love that one. They seem to focus on the more "rock-ish" ff tunes, which I do like, but to be honest, I usually like less than other tunes.

Nonetheless, black mages ftw!

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Is this the end of zombie Shakespeare?

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

L10N

I am the user, Lybaerd

Joined: Feb 10 2008

I don't like their version of Otherworld.
The voc's killed it.

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I am the user, Lybaerd.

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

archard

Joined: Jan 11 2007

Isn't Nobuo Uematsu the keyboardist for the black mages?

I love the opening bombing mission song as well.

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DANG

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Zelos

Location: Germany

Joined: Jan 31 2008

"archard" posted:

Isn't Nobuo Uematsu the keyboardist for the black mages?

I love the opening bombing mission song as well.

Yep, he is. But he's mainly there for the synths and got another guy for the standard keyboard-sounds.
It's really obvious that his work is outstanding as ever. :)

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Zelos

Location: Germany

Joined: Jan 31 2008

Ok, so I got it yesterday...
Seems to be the same as with the other albums: You know the songs are great, but you need some time to get into them.
I'll see in a week or so...

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

kyoden

Joined: Mar 15 2008

i have the torrent file for the album, i dont know if i can post it here

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Zelos

Location: Germany

Joined: Jan 31 2008

It's nice that you want to help, but we're no Warez-forum, sorry. ;)

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Snails

Can't fly

Location: Florida

Joined: Jun 30 2008

I love Darkness and Starlight (the track). 14 minutes of epic FFVI rock opera goodness

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

Mellotronremix

Joined: Jun 22 2008

So the concensus is that this album is basically nothing new? Meaning the first and last third of each song are fantastic arrangements of the original songs with tasteless, overblown, and noodling guitar solos (or sections that just don't work in context with the themes of the given song) thrown in that overstay their welcome? I've listened to the first two albums too many times to be accused of them not "clicking" with me or being unable to appreciate the brilliance of the sloppy improv sections (nevermind their jagged transitions back into the main theme).

I like the keyboard solos though. This gives me the impression Uematsu leaves the guitar entirely up to the discerning ears of the other band members.

edit: Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I think the worst offender of the two records is Matoya's Cave. The first time I heard that song, I could almost hear a natural progression from the acoustic beginning to the electric section to something great...but what came was pointless lead guitar heralded by a somewhat distracting backing synth (Hammond organ, I think).

Re: The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

huntercc

Hyppönen

Location: Nalbina Dungeon, Finland

Joined: Feb 07 2009

My favorite is Grand Cross. Great song! I remember good feelings after I beat Necron.

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