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Face to Faith: Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax (Review)

Face to Faith: Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax (Review)

May 13, 2009 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Face to Faith: Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax (Review)on Twitter

A Sonic vocal album… normally I wouldn’t be thrilled about this one, but after checking out the Sonic and the Black Knight soundtrack, I was willing to give it a shot. While I’ve never been fond of the majority of vocal tracks in Sonic games of the past, as I found them to be way too over-the-top and cheesy for my tastes, this one actually got me.

Why? Well, for starters, I think this album takes itself a lot more seriously than previous efforts. I’ve actually come to like Crush 40, the band who performs Jun Senoue’s vocal compositions here, so I suppose that helps to. So, join Crush 40 and a number of other performers as they take you through the vocal tracks of Sonic and the Black Knight as well as a few unexpected bonuses.

Read our review of Face to Faith: Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax after the jump.

So, you’re likely wondering what’s on this album. There are only ten tracks totaling around 41 minutes of music, so let me give you a breakdown. First of all, you’re going to get the extended full-length versions of the vocal themes heard on the original soundtrack album along with some additional vocal tracks that were in the game but not featured on the soundtrack. The second half is dedicated to some new arrangements that are exclusive to this album, as well as some instrumental versions of the vocal tracks that you’ll likely find yourself skipping.

“Knight of the Wind” starts things off on a high note, and clocks in at a whopping 4:31 as opposed to the original soundtrack’s minute and a half. Like I said before, it sounds almost like a Megadeth track (one of my favorite bands) with Johnny Gioeli’s gruff vocals. The melody is spot on, and the lyrics are also quite effective. “Fight the Knight” comes next, and while it’s short, it sports a similar sound that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The next three tracks were in the game, but were not included on the original soundtrack. “Through the Fire” continues with the heavy metal, but doesn’t offer up anything particularly new or interesting. “With Me” is performed by a different group, credited as “Emma Gelotte & Tinna Karlsdotter from ALL ENDS featuring Marty Friedman.” It kind of crosses that fine line between cool and cheesy with its upbeat approach, but I like the harmonies during the chorus.

The last track from the game soundtrack is “Live Life,” which features Crush 40 once again with Jun Senoue on guitar. It’s not the heavy metal that I’d come to expect, however, as I’d liken the sound more to a Bon Jovi track. It still takes itself seriously, and I think it makes a great addition to the soundtrack. I particularly enjoyed the string accompaniment provided by the Kimiko Nakagawa Strings.

The next two tracks are all-new arrangements. “Seven Rings in Hand ~Fairytales in Trance~” is a surprise remix from Sonic and the Secret Rings, arranged and performed by Bentley Jones. I think they’re trying to pass this off as trance, but it’s mainly poppy with a touch of dreamy electronica with reverberated ethnic guitars and some light synth elements. Lastly, “With Me ~Massive Power Mix~” is another take of the track with Crush 40 and Johnny Gioeli instead of the original performers. I must say that I prefer this heavy metal version over the lighter original. The album closes with instrumental versions of “Knight of the Wind,” “With Me,” and “Live Life” for those who are interested.

Similar to the Tales of Knighthood album, Face to Faith sports some snazzy packaging decked out with artwork and a red color scheme to counter the original soundtrack’s beige/green theme. The booklet features extensive credits in English, which is much appreciated. The disc comes all by its lonesome in a jewel case as it’s intended to be added to the cardboard case from the original soundtrack, as again, some of the vocal tracks on here were not on the original soundtrack, and therefore both CDs go together to complete the soundtrack. A pretty cool idea, I think.

Anyway, I recommend picking this up for the extended versions and some of the additional tracks. Although I miss the synth pop music of the Genesis Sonic games, I think Sonic and the Black Knight and Sonic Unleashed were both steps in the right direction in the music department, regardless of what you think about the games. Feel free to pick up both albums up at CD Japan or Play Asia if you’re interested.

Are you a fan of the vocal tracks that have been featured in previous Sonic titles? Do you think a more serious approach is a step in the right direction?

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