Posts Tagged ‘Devin Townsend’
It’s been a strong month for official Rock Band DLC, but the RBN has been keeping pace with an astounding selection of high quality releases. This past week saw a broad slate of metal tracks released for the Xbox 360 alongside this week’s pop-rock recommendation, while Ziltoid the Omniscient has taken over the PlayStation with four tracks from Devin Townshend’s concept album. Delve in, take a listen and see what tickles your eardrums!
Xbox 360: Melissa Otero – Angels and Demons
Amongst the metal onslaught this week resides this 80 MSP gem. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Melissa Otero’s newest single is a track that packs a hell of a punch. Recalling bands like Evanescence and even Lisa Miskovsky’s ‘Still Alive’, written for Mirror’s Edge, Angels and Demons has a fantastic vocal parts alongside a keyboard chart that’s as varied as it is satisfying.
The vocals, complete with understated but thoroughly enjoyable harmonies, are definitely front and center in the mix. The instrumentation is fairly sparse, giving the vocals prominence. An electronic drum beat pounds out the rhythm, deceiving you into expecting a thumping club classic. Once the first chorus hits you’ll realise that it’s a well-produced, catchy tune – the shiver down your spine as the chorus washes over you is what reminded me most of Mirror’s Edge and it’s main theme.
Keys are definitely the other highlight here – there’s enough variety to keep you interested. It’s always good when you can pick out melodies that might otherwise go unnoticed. Drums, bass and guitar shouldn’t be discounted, however – they all present a fairly easy set of note patterns but are well worth playing, if only to hear them boosted in the mix. I was pleasantly surprised with the song – something I’d probably pass over by name alone. However, on listening and playing Angels and Demons is a definite recommendation for those looking for more female-fronted vocals or just good songs in general.
(On the Lisa Miskovsky note, here’s hoping Still Alive makes it on the RBN someday!)
Sounds like: Evanescence, Lisa Miskovsky
Perfect for: Vocalists, keys
PlayStation 3: Devin Townsend – The Greys
There’s no denying it: Ziltoid the Omniscient is one of the wildest, wackiest concept albums out there and having it included, every track, on the Rock Band Network is a stroke of genius. Devin Townsend knows how to write songs that vary in style and content, but that retain a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.
We’ve covered the track Hyperdrive before and The Greys ranks slightly higher on the wackiness scale than that song. Whereas Hyperdrive is easily approachable, thanks to its pop sensibilities, The Greys nudges things slightly towards the weirder end of the scale. Starting out with a heavy riff, the transcendent vocals that enter bring a little of the approachability of Hyperdrive. The occasional screamed phrase gives the song a harder edge but the soaring guitars still lend the song an ethereal quality. A few minor riffs give guitarists some variety amongst the chugging rhythm, while drums sound simple but have the occasional quick fill.
The Greys isn’t the only song to recommend from Ziltoid the Omniscient – all of the others have enough range and difference that there’s bound to be a song to suit your tastes. If you’re looking for variety, the entire album is well worth picking up (especially for the meta-commentary on gaming that’s been exclusively added).
Sounds like: Ethereal pop mixed with prog metal
Perfect for: Vocalists, drummers
Throwback Track: Paul and Storm – Nugget Man
Who would have thought that an ode to the inventory of chicken nuggets (and other reconstituted poultry products) would make such a fantastic RBN song?! Well, with Paul and Storm behind the lyrics and composition, any subject can become a hit! Nugget Man, taken from their 2007 record Gumbo Pants delivers a tribute to Robert C. Baker, complete with a gospel-style ending to really send him off in style.
The main highlight has to be the harmonies – Paul and Storm are well known for the complexity of their vocals as anyone who tried to hold that note in Opening Band will attest. This time they are really hard to nail, with one melody doing significantly different things to the other. By the end, with it’s raucous gospel outro, you’ll be all over the place trying to hit the correct pitch but likely having too much fun to care about the difficulty. The outro also proves to be a game-changer for all of the other instruments. The increased tempo and different rhythm could come as a surprise, especially for drummers and keys players.
From the mid-song snare march to the carefully constructed (yet no less hilarious) lyrics, Nugget Man is a left-field song choice for your RBN library. No other song has harmonies quite like it and that alone makes this one a good choice for inclusion!
Sounds like: Gospel meets chicken
Perfect for: Vocalists, harmonies, keys
We’ll be back next week with more RBN Highlights. There’s a big hitter on the way so keep your ears open and eyes peeled!
Unless otherwise noted, all songs are $1.99.
* Denotes $.99 track pricing.
Unless noted, all songs are 160 MSP ($1.99). Songs not linked below were not available at RockBand.com at time of publishing.
- A Lie to Live By – We Actually Do This Thing Where We Drop the First String *
- Alestorm – Back Through Time
- Anarchy Club – Rise and Shine *
- Brutal Assault – No War
- Claire St. Link – The Panic Range *
- Dance for the Dying – Kitty Fight Song *
- Devin Townsend – Color Your World
- Devin Townsend – Color Your World (2x Bass Pedal)
- Devin Townsend – The Greys
- Engel – Sense the Fire
- The Faceless – XenoChrist (2x Bass Pedal)
- Forbidden – Omega Wave (2x Bass Pedal)
- Giraffes? Giraffes! – I am S/H(im)e[r] as You am S/H(im)e[r] as You are Me and We am I and I are All Our Together *
- Gnostic – Visceral
- Gnostic – Visceral (2x Bass Pedal)
- Left Spine Down – Welcome to the Future *
- Lucy Seven – Liberation
- Mind the Gap – Twitter Twatter *
- Rachel Lynn Sebastian and DJ Jounce – I Gotchu Babe
- Roman Klun – Stairs on the Hill
- Rosemary’s Garden – The Jack
- Strikken – Forever in Lies *
* Denotes 80 MSP ($.99) track.