Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

February 12, 2010

Jim Cook ~ The Legend of Zelda Metal Soundtrack

(No official website)
Style: progressive, power metal, video game rock, instrumental, British
Label: self-release
Year: 2008
Home: England

Members: Jim Cook ~ all instruments

This is one of those albums that isn't something I'd listen to multiple times but this particular genre of music is something that seems to have some underground popularity & it's uniqueness, let alone mere existance, interests me. I'm talking about video game rock! You might have come across this music that covers or sound likes video game music/sound fx. In his first solo effort Jim Cook does a metal version of the Legend Of Zelda Soundtrack, aka the sound effects used in the video game, something I'm sure every musician has considered covering alongside Megadeth & AC/DC. I'm being crass, but I do understand the temptation of this music. Every musician wants to play the music they grew up with & if you listen to more music via video games than elsewhere it only makes sense to want to play around with it. But, I remember playing Donkey Kong with a neighbor on his Atari growing up in Maine & then being wowed by Nintendo, back when home computers were a rarity, required knowledge of DOS & a collection of flobby disks, so I'm a bit befuddled by this new musical genre. Befuddled in the sense that I have trouble grasping it. If someone covers a Beatles tune it's immediate whether the cover is as good as the original as the original is a classic, but name a classic tune of video games on par with 'Hey Jude' or at least 'Get Back'. Let alone, how do I examine a cover of music that was originally made as background music? Further, how do you rate an album which is so different, with it's blazing guitars, from the original electronic bleep-bleep soundtrack that is nearly it's own entity except for a basic melody line? It almost has to be listened to like a jazz album, where improvisation rules, but that's not how one listens to a metal album which is about feeling & power. Speaking of feeling, this albums suffers from the problem I've found with other video game music - both the source material & the copy lack feeling. It's just technical foreplay that never gets rockin'. Albeit, technical skill is a must with this style & Cook has the chops. The fact that he's only 18, been playing guitar for two years & created this really says a lot about him personally & as a musician. This may not be the greatest debut release, but that has more to do with the source material than the effort. Connecting himself to video game music is almost a degradation of his skills, which could really be something down the road. This is not a great debut, but it shines of promise.

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