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Review: Revangelion Album from Brian Altano

I’m not entirely certain, but I believe this is the first time that we’ll have had music featured on our site. I wouldn’t have brought you just any music though. This music is very deeply rooted in nerd culture and I’m sure a lot of you might be interested in it. I follow Brian Altano on Twitter (yes, IGN’s Brian Altano) and he tweeted out that he had new music.
He has made music for a very long time. Even music for the Weird Heat podcast that he and Max Scoville have done together. That is where I originally found that I was into his music. Well, to make a long story short, he was looking for reviewers, bloggers, vloggers, anyone to review his album. I reached out and he DM’d me early access to his music. I’ve listened to it extensively and now it’s time to talk about it with you all!

Album Concept:

The best way to describe what Brian has done is from his own mouth. This is the original tweet that initially sparked my curiosity.

‘Incredibly proud to announce my brand new instrumental album “Revangelion” out everywhere this Friday! Revangelion is a 21 minute, 7-song long instrumental album produced by Brian Altano and inspired by the classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. Cover art by @AttackPeter

Tracklist:

01  A Cruel Angel’s Thesis

02  NERV

03  A Crystalline Night Sky

04  Rei Ayanami

05  Hedgehog’s Dilemma

06 Tokyo-3

07  Fly Me to the Moon

Pros:

  • Length-The songs are nice and tight. When I saw that he said that there were 7 songs at 21 minutes I thought each song was precisely three minutes on the money. That, thankfully, just isn’t the case. The songs vary in length and in total it’s actually 20 minutes and 32 seconds. So overall, these songs are just the right length for enjoyment without being overkill. Some electronic music and remixes decide to take music into the world of repetitive. There is one minor complaint that I have in the world of length and quantity, but I’ll save that for the cons section. Just know that the length of the tracks is just right.
  • Sound-Okay, so, if you buy the album on SoundCloud you apparently get to choose the quality of the download. So I figured if I was going to review this album, I’d better do it at the best quality download available with my best headphones. I proceeded to download the album in FLAC to make sure I had the closest sound quality to the original master. I didn’t even bother to compare FLAC with the MP3 release.
    The size of the FLAC download was easily four times the size of the MP3 download. Using the transitive property, we can discern that FLAC is better than the MP3 version in this instance. Audiophiles know that FLAC is better, but just in case anyone else had doubt, now you know you’re on the wrong side of history. Anyway, I digress. The quality of the music was so incredibly crisp and the bass sounded so true. While I’m not an expert in these things, Brian clearly is, and you can rest assured that every piece was assembled with clarity. No pops, sizzles, tinny sounds. Everything was mastered beautifully.
  • Original-While this music is a remix of other music, Brian does it in an original way. Something about his take on hip hop and electronic music against the original orchestral scores gives us something fresh and inspiring. You never truly know what you’re going to get when someone online says “Hey, check out my anime remix”. But honestly, I have never regretted anything less than this. He seems to have a full understanding of what he wanted his outcome for this to be from the beginning.
    I almost envision a younger Brian watching Evangelion and after an episode was over, hearing one of the songs of the show over and over in his head. He could hear how and what he would do. Adding little beatboxes as he hummed it to himself. All these years later, when his technical ability was better and he could fine-tune it, we got this. Now, let’s be clear, I’m uncertain if it happened that way. I’m just saying, it almost feels like he’s lived with these songs and ideas for years as the music sounds so confident.
  • Emotion-There are songs on here that make you slow down and just take in the strings and feel the song. Those songs really make you feel immersed and taken over. Then the next song might make you chuckle. I’m referencing, of course, the third track on the album. It’s great how he took a modern hip hop trope of having a loud and booming “HEY” in the background every other beat and turned it on its head. You’ll know what I mean when you hear it. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a comedy album. But you can’t help but smile when you catch on with what Brian did.
  • Longevity-This album never makes you feel like you need to keep listening to it. You can stop at any song and you’ll not need to hear the next one. However, what I find is that it’s such a short album that you can listen to it over and over again. Some might fear getting annoyed by it after hearing the songs literally dozens of times. I think what Brian has here is a short and sweet burst of tunes that never get lackluster. The reasoning for this is because every song is just so unique. Some people that do remixes or dabble in electronic music have a tendency to take a formula and stick with it. Well, I can assure you that Revangelion is anything but formulaic. You will find yourself wanting to come back to it again and again. It’s an album of pure longevity.

Cons:

  • Endings-The first few songs just kind of…end? I truly would’ve preferred a transition into the next song. If that wasn’t possible, then, at the very least maybe something that trailed off at the end of the songs. The latter half of the songs on the album did that, but not the first few songs. One last note that sort of stays with you and echos away for a moment gives you a chance to reflect. The end of a lot of the songs just dropped off and it makes you feel like the song just closed the door on you and is done with you.
  • Tracklist-I want more songs, man. Lots more. I know it’s not much of a con. It’s more of a pro. However, even though the songs are the perfect length, I would’ve preferred more songs to be featured. I feel that with as long as the show went on that we know that there was more music in the show to take from.

Overall Thoughts:

This is the juncture where I concede that I’ve never watched a single episode of Evangelion. I’ve never even accidentally happened upon the show while watching TV at some point across my vast 33 years. Additionally, I’ve never reviewed music before. I’m more familiar with music compared to anime. But despite all of this, I still know that Revangelion absolutely is a great time and its only true downside is that it needs more tracks (fingers crossed for a Revangelion 2).
I listened to it repetitiously ever since he originally sent me the download link. Other new music in my life doesn’t seem to compare to what Brian has done. I understand that some of the credit also goes to the original composers. What’s truly great here is that he’s inspired me to want to watch the show. The show has clearly been enough of a driving factor to inspire him to take time out of his busy life and make music based on its music. I’m willing to bet that if you’ve seen the show you’ll love Brian’s take on the scores even more. This is clearly a warm, heartfelt shoutout to the show. I’ve already been recommending it to friends in my personal life and on social media. I had to share it with our readers!

How to Buy:

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