Face to Faith: Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax

Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax, Face to Faith:. Передняя обложка . Click to zoom.
Sonic and the Black Knight Vocal Trax, Face to Faith:
Передняя обложка
Published by Wave Master
Catalog number WWCE-31197
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 10 tracks
Release date April 8, 2009
Genres
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Overview

Face to Faith is the stand-alone album containing all the vocal tracks featured from the game Sonic and the Black Knight. Not only has it been a while since we've seen a vocal only album release from a Sonic title, but it also marks a full return by Jun Senoue with his musical direction, as well as teaming up once again with his band mate vocalist Johnny Gioeli, better known together as Crush 40. Alongside new compositions by the band, we also get a few special appearances by celebrity musicians as they lend their talents and contributions with a couple of memorable songs. Is it an album worth purchasing and listening to? Read on.

Body

If it wasn't for the fact that all the songs on "Face to Faith" appears in a game, I would've acknowledged this CD more as a Crush 40 album rather than a Sonic album. It comes with four newly composed songs by the band, as well as one more cover. It has Crush 40 experimenting with different styles so fans of the band will notice the contrast almost instantly. We begin with the first song, "Knight of the Wind", which is the main theme for the game. "Knight of the Wind" is a hard rock tune with a little bit of light heartedness to it. The tempo is much the same as one of their previous songs, "Sonic Heroes", and even has a similar drum performance in a spiritual sense. It starts off with a nice lead guitar and violin mix. This tune that plays at the beginning is the melody that frequently appears all throughout much of the music for the Black Knight soundtrack.

Once the intro settles in, the rhythm guitar begins playing a basic and slightly elaborate set of chords, and keeps it like that for the remainder of the song. Johnny's vocal performance is pretty decent, and I'll admit, his echoing voice, pitch, and choice of lyrics makes this song a very catchy tune, as I've found myself singing along quite a few times. The violins that play in the background, although very faint, does help establish that King Arthur-esque feeling, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, Jun's guitar solo wasn't as memorable as past songs. Every time I hear the solo, I keep expecting it to hit a certain note along the way, but it will always play something that just doesn't leave me with a satisfied end. It's a pretty fast section, but sounds a lot like a bad improvisational moment and not really a solo that was put much thought into. Despite all that, "Knight of the Wind" is a pretty decent song to hear.

"Fight the Knight" and "Through the Fire" are two short Crush 40 songs that bare a lot of similarities between each other. Both songs attempt to be pure hardcore rock. "Through the Fire" is fast paced, a bit grungy, and terribly repetitive with little differences in the rhythm section and no solos at all. "Fight the Knight" is slightly slower in the tempo, and also carries a bit more distinguishable sections within the song, such as moments where Johnny screams out "My will to fight the Knight!", and every syllable he grunts out has the instruments crashing in. After every sentence, everything goes quiet for a split second while a pretty cool guitar riff wails out. Johnny's singing is nothing more than grunting in such a deep voice in an attempt to make the song sound even more hardcore, and every once in a while, will yell out his usual high pitch screams. It sounds as though he tried way too hard in both these songs. And while "Fight the Knight" has its crashing moment, "Through the Fire" progresses a lot more smoothly throughout the entire song, though that isn't really saying much.

Now we come to "With Me". Perhaps what I consider the best song on the album, this song features the appearance of four special music guests. The first is Marty Friedman, who you might recognize as one of the former members of the thrash metal band, Megadeth. The next two guest artists are Tinna and Emma, the vocalists behind the Sweden alternative metal band ALL ENDS. Bobby Jarzombeck, the drummer from bands like Iced Earth, takes the role of the drums once again for this song. "With Me" can be described as hard rock with a hint of heavy metal with Marty's guitar solo dominating the entire track. The solos are fast, frantic, and clean, with no feeling of improvisation here. The ghoulish, eerie, and echoing guitar solo is very satisfying to hear at every moment, as expected from someone who made "Rust in Peace" an influential album by Megadeth. Jun Senoue also makes his appearance with his rhythm guitar and keeping it in control as it progresses throughout the entire song. The sound of the rhythm guitar is slightly reminiscent to a bit of the NU-Metal that was experimented with back in Shadow the Hedgehog. Jun and Marty's guitar combination definitely outshines previous other guitar collaborations from other Sonic albums.

Emma and Tinna provide the vocals for the song. The lyrics to the song indicates that it is told from the Dark Queen's point of view, and because so, it is dark and sinister, and despite such description, Emma sings it with her beautiful, feminine and yet strong voice, with Tinna providing the backup vocals in the same fashion. The voices come together harmonious and wonderful, and while it may contrast a bit with the hardcore guitars, it does not stand out in any bad way at all. It certainly is as bit as satisfying as listening to the guitars themselves.

The last special appearance is by Bobby Jarzombeck, the drummer. I'm not too familiar with Bobby's performances, and unfortunately, the only small gripe I have with this song is the drum performance itself. It sounds too much like Electronic drums, so it lacks that feeling of heavy metal authenticity. Oh sure, it has such fierce drum fills and crashes, complete with intense double bass parts that only bands like Metallica could ever achieve, but even with all of that, it just lacks that extra "umph" that could've greatly improved this song ten-fold. Either way, I still consider "With Me" to be my most favorite Sonic song yet. It totally shoots down the rest of the songs surrounded on "Face to Faith".

Crush 40 jumps in again with "Live Life". To my knowledge, it is Crush 40's very first ballad. It is way slower than any other song they have played before and even has a piano playing a nice tune alongside the song. The intro begins with a nice violin playing the same melody as the intro of the song "Knight of the Wind", while a soft lead guitar plays along. Once the melody clears, the drums begin to play a nice quiet beat, along with a clearer and softer sounding rhythm guitar. The full use of the violins keeps the song heartwarming, as does Johnny's decent singing. The vocals no longer sound forced at all, since Johnny takes it slow this time around. In fact, I think it sounds more as if he's singing it in his natural pitch during low key moments. It's not too bad when compared to the rest of the songs on this album. For a track that takes it slow, "Live Life" has an elaborate approach not just on the instruments, but also having unique sections during various parts. The violins have its moments of fillers, and the only repetitive natures of the song are the drums and a little bit of the guitars as well. Strangely enough, all that's missing is Jun Senoue's usual guitar solo, but overall, "Live Life" is a well executed ending theme song. It lacks a lot of elements that we've come to know from Crush 40, but at least it manages to feel as though we really accomplished something here.

Bentley Jones, previously known as Lee Brotherton of the famed Remix Factory, returns once again with a cover performance of the main theme song from Sonic and the Secret Rings, entitled "Seven Rings in Hand - Fairytales in Trance". I found it pretty odd for this song to appear on this soundtrack, as it really doesn't fit anywhere in terms of its theme, other than the fact that it's a song that belonged in the "prequel", which was set in the Arabian Night. The song itself is a very beautiful, tranquil, and peaceful trance. It combines the sounds of the soothing sitar and a nice melody from the piano. Bentley Jones himself has a very clear and beautiful voice that blends wonderfully well with the smooth sitar.

The synthesizer in the background plays a long chord that sounds like the vocalization of a long chant. And as the song reaches the chorus, everything goes quiet for a moment, then the drums crash in, the synthesizer plays a higher chord, while Jones sings the familiar lyrics, "Seven rings in hand, speed through night with feet in sand". A well executed climax. Although this is a cover performance, I could not find anything in the song that sounded the same from its original version. The sitar, piano, drums, and synthesizer play a completely new tune. Only the lyrics remain equally the same. Between this song and its original version, I have to say this one is far superior. It sounds more "Arabian" then the original counterpart, and even the majority of Secret Rings' soundtrack, and that's saying something. Kind of wish this one actually did appear in the original title, but nonetheless, it's another great song on this CD. Bentley Jones has yet to disappoint.

The last Crush 40 track is a cover performance of the song "With Me", or as they call it, "With Me ~Massive Power Mix~". I absolutely despise Crush 40 doing covers, because they never do a good job making sure the song lives up to its original performance, and this one is no different. It's an average cover, but I do find this song ironic since the original "With Me" actually had the supporting group of both Johnny and Jun, so I thought this would have the same exact feeling as the original. That's not the case here. I really hoped that Jun would actually follow in Marty Friedman's footsteps by swinging a guitar solo of his own while the rhythm guitar flows across, but that isn't the case here either, which is a shame, since he's done such great solo fillers like his guitar remix for the song "Dreams of an Absolution" as heard in "Several Wills".

Speaking about the rhythm guitar, Jun decided to go for a grungier and deeper approach. This would be fine and all, but the notes that Jun plays sound a bit off-key. Very strange, since he did the rhythm guitar for the original song as well. Johnny's vocal performance is absolutely terrible. Rather than attempting to match the pitch as previously laid down by Emma, he decided to go low on his octaves for whatever reason I don't know, and the end result is a song that just desperately makes you want to listen to the original version, and I wouldn't blame you at all for that. As much as I love Crush 40, I'd rather see them try something new than just taking someone else's material and ruining it even further.

The rest of the album contains instrumentals for the songs "Knight of the Wind", "Live Life", and "With Me". Not much I can say about these that hasn't already been said before, other than the fact that these songs are pure instrumentals, unlike previous albums, where the backup vocals stayed intact. I will say that listeners who didn't quite like Johnny's singing may well feel much more connected with Crush 40's instrumentals, and I would also like to encourage listeners to take a gander at the "With Me" instrumental version so you can really see for yourself just how awesome Marty Friedman really is.

Summary

I'm a Crush 40 fan all the way through, but aside from two sole wonders on this album, I'd have to say that I was greatly disappointed with what the band tried to do. "Knight of the Wind" and "Live Life" are the only decent tracks to come from these guys, and the rest, quite frankly, bombed hard. The rest of the songs provided by different musicians outshine everything else, especially my new favorite song, "With Me". I would not mind seeing Marty Friedman again, just as long as Crush 40 can give it a rest already. And since Crush 40 is a band that people love to hate and vice versa, this spells out as even worse news for people who hate the band to begin with. The only reason I'd want people to buy this soundtrack is so they can hear "With Me", the best song on this album, but the cost of buying one whole album just for one little song may not be worth it. I hate to say it, but avoid this album at all costs.



Album
5/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Rafael Orantes

Performed by Crush 40, Emma Gelotte, Tinna Karlsdotter, Marty Friedman, Bobby Jarzombek
Album was composed by and was released on April 8, 2009. Soundtrack consists of 10 tracks tracks with duration over . Album was released by Wave Master.

CD 1

1
Knight of the Wind
2
Through the Fire
3
Fight the Knight
4
With Me
5
Live Life
6
Seven Rings in Hand (Bentley Jones Version)
7
With Me (Crush 40 Version)
8
Knight of the Wind (Instrumental Version)
9
With Me (Instrumental Version)
10
Live Life (Instrumental Version)
30.04.12
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