Saudi Comic Con was such a huge delight, it was one of those experiences that linger in your mind for weeks and weeks later. I met a lot of brilliants and talented individuals in there, and spending time with each one of them, even if for a couple of minutes, made me overjoyed with happiness.
As I was strolling around in the artist’s walkway of the convention, in the midst of the swarms of happy people checking things out, I noticed a table labeled “Fantasy Stream” with a pretty wonderful artwork made by the incredible Meeda. I approach the guys standing there, with smiles on their faces, having a set of discs arranged at the table, and a preview of their album. I picked up the headphones, and listened to a preview of the first three tracks titled “Sound Of Adventure” “Last Chapter” and “Feelings”. I knew right there at that moment that I was in for something special!
So here I am, writing my thoughts on the album as I finally got the chance to sit down and listen to the entire thing thoroughly. Fantasy Stream is an album made by the talented guys at Unison Aura. It’s an album that is inspired by fantasy music from video games and anime. So let’s not waste anytime and dive right into the track list!.
Sound Of Adventure
An album opener is always a tricky thing, because it’s usually the first thing that any listener would start with. It needs to have an impact, be captivating, and leave a strong first impression. Starting with subtle choirs and strings, and builds up slowly but properly to a very nice melody that actually conveys a sense of adventure, which the title of the track is all about. Once the track fully kicks in, I couldn’t help but think of some beautiful adventures I had with adventure RPG’s such as Dark Cloud 2 and Wild Arms. The strong presence of the bass, complements the already wonderful stream of the other instruments, be it a piano, strings, or drums.
If I had one gripe about the song, it would have been the way it ended. It just felt so abrupt for me, especially since the track had a wonderful start and amazing middle part. But let’s be honest, this doesn’t affect the overall quality of the track one bit, it still is a fantastical ride!
Talking about first impressions, the enigmatic and mysterious synth in the beginning of the track, followed by church organs sets the tone perfectly, and I’m all about setting the tone! I genuinely fell in love with this track immediately, because I really love atmospheric tracks that doesn’t compromise having a good pacing. The transition from the intro of the track, to the entrance of the piano part was also very striking, mainly because of the subtle hints of choir and drums that kicked in. Mid way through the track, it gave me a sense of adventurers reaching their final destination, a journey’s end basically, which is what the track is trying to do I think, and this leads me back to my point about atmosphere and setting the tone. Last Chapter is a track worthy of it’s name, and is a very atmospheric and well paced one. No griped about this one whatsoever, I’m in total love with it!
Feelings and emotions are some of the hardest thing to conceal or hide away, and this track is all about that, it doesn’t hold back with it’s melancholic tone and wondrous sounds. It’s ability to convey intimate affection, striking anger, and sentimental remorse was just blatantly magical to me. When a track manages to get a hold of you emotionally and make you think, then it’s usually a great track, and that was the case with Feelings. But I still thought it ended abruptly, like Sound Of Adventure before it. With a better outro, I think this would have been a perfect track in my book.
Let it all out, and embrace intensity on this one! Level Up is the energetic fuel you look for in any album, but what surprised me the most was it’s synth driven nature! I’m a sucker for synthesizers sounds, and usually the first impression one would get when looking at the album would be mainly fantasy music that sound similar to each other. No the case in here! Fantasy Stream is all about diversity, and this track is a huge sentiment to that, and it just fills me with joy to see such variety in an album that is supposed to be very focused on a specific theme. It had everything I would ever want in a track, proper pacing, striking atmosphere, captivating tunes, and synths!, all kinds of synths! (I can’t help it, I just love synths) I would go as far as to say that this is hands down my favorite track, and I’ve been listening to it extensively, because it’s AWESOMETACULAR!
(Irrelevant side note: If Capcom ever wanted to bring back Mega Man to life, and they didn’t use this track on the reveal trailer, I would be utterly disappointed. Just listen to it and imagine the blue bomber! It fits!!)
Tears Of Eternity
Choirs, sad strings, and melancholy… Give me some gothic fantasy please, just so I can use this track on it. At more than one part, this track made me remember Castlevania, which is one of my favorite games of all time. So if this tracks reminds me of one of my favorite games ever, it just has to be good! It’s a very engaging track, from start to finish, and the use of electric guitar near the final part of the track reverberated my heart! And the outro too! I’m not sure if it was a lute or not, but whatever was used at the end, it was freaking wonderful!. I wish it was used more on the track, because it definitely fits the tone. With that said, someone please call Adi Shakar and tell him to use this track on the upcoming Castlevania TV series. Chop chop! No time to waste, gotta get it to him.
Here’s a more traditional one, a wonderful piano piece that speaks to the soul. The guys at Unison Aura aren’t messing around, they mean business! This is one of those tracks that just showed me how much talented the guys are at making a proper composition, it’s downright mesmerizing, it’s a track that I would love to see played live, because I know that it’ll move everyone and take them to places if they could have never imagined.
A funny story about this track happened to me while I was listening to this track. As I was making a friend listen to it, my brother came by and was just casually overhearing it, and the first thing that popped up to his mind as the piano was being beautifully played was something like Yanni, and he was all like “What’s this? Who’s playing it?”. He loved it so much, that he immediately took the disc away with him! (But that’s okay, I still own the album digitally!)
To make it short, this track is simply a “Masterpiece”
Take me to electronic synths heaven! Because this track is the definition of love, and once again, it’s one of the distinctive ones for it’s different nature from other tracks. You see, this track and Level Up made me realize how much of thin line there is between traditional fantasy music, and synth focused ones. It conveys certain emotions that makes you attached to it’s spontaneity, because that’s what the track felt like it wanted to deliver to me. It’s not over the top, it’s subtle in it’s own way, but it’s also engaging and fun to listen to. Stars is one of the highlights of the album for me, for it’s bold approach, and it’s more experimental pace, that definitely works on it’s side. The track is a genuine stream of so many things, but it’s doesn’t lose it’s core essence, which is subtlety, it sticks to it from beginning till end, making it a profound and sophisticated thrill to listen to.
Determination continues on what the previous tracks managed to deliver so far, without compromising on quality drop. Now here’s where this track truly shines, that striking electric guitar riff! You see, the track for me started kind of underwhelming, but then it picks up strongly, especially in the part after the guitar riff, which I think was the highlight of the track, it’s most powerful part, and just when I got so engaged… It ended! I really wished for more on this track, and I genuinely believe that it would benefit from an extended version, because there’s a huge potential. It’s still an amazing track despite it’s short length.
Voyage Of Life
All journeys come to an end, and Voyage Of Life marks the end of the Fantasy Stream journey. Just as all albums needs a proper beginning, they also need a proper send off, and Voyage Of Life manages to convey that. It’s not an overdone track, but a more concentrated one. It doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, instead, it deliver what it needs to deliver, and it does that wonderfully. Voyage Of Life is a farewell, and while farewells are often bittersweet, this one gives me a sense of joy to have been part of this experience.
Fantasy Stream left a significant mark on me, a good one. It’s an album that know what it wants to be, and it follows through with it all the way. It doesn’t try hard to mimic other things, but it takes inspiration and executes it in explicit sounds that retain it’s identity, and stand strong. If you still didn’t give Fantasy Stream a listen, please do, because it’s a wonderful piece of art. Consider buying it, sharing it, and supporting the people who put their heart, soul, and effort into this.
With his, I bid you farewell! Thanks for reading and listening! Till next time…