(Picture of my brother & I out in Kyoto, Japan with some Cherry Blossoms. Yes, we can take serious photos, but most of the time, it comes out like this)
If you don't know me personally, then you may not be aware that my goof of a brother doesn't just have the title of being my sibling, but he's also a very talented musician, and now producer! Alex is his name, Evil Cake Studios is his game. You can find him on YouTube making goofy videos and doing some other musically inclined stuff.
To give you a bit of an introduction to the album I am about to cover in this post, check out this music video created using the "Open The Gate" single! The music video is performed & directed by Alex & his crew in Evil Cake Studios. I had the pleasure of filming the video for them, and my husband got his hands in this project as well with the video editing! Take a look!
The album "Event Horizon" is inspired by the Steins;Gate series, and truly brings a fun listen for those that are a fan of the series. Even if you aren't a fan or don't know about the series, there are some songs in my opinion that you can happily enjoy! More details on which down further in this post.
With the release of my brother's new album, I wanted to give a pretty detailed review of it to give people insight on it and to also be one of the firsts to write a full-fledged review on it :) So without further delay, here's what I've got to say!
(someone please stop my rhymes they are ruining me)
You can find the album on iTunes & Amazon!
1. Shift (Intro)
As described in its title, this is the first thing you hear when listening to the album at full length. When I first listened to the song, I definitely could feel the mood that Alex was creating for the overall tone of the album. After listening to the whole album, I can say that it truly does introduce you to an album full of detail & for dramatic turns. The song is instrumental, and is so beautifully paired with climactic tones from everything you hear. From the piano, to the guitar, and my favorite, the little snippets of electrical tones, this song truly brings you in for the full ride.
2. Open The Gate
The single of the album & the song used to create a music video to promote everything, it's a song that truly showcases the energy Alex & his friends, Bryce and Adam, worked so hard to bring to the table over the years. "Open The Gate" tells the story of Steins;Gate's main character's struggle as he discovers what the world has yet to truly understand. With the song being sung by both Alex & Bryce, it helps paint a picture of the whole "shoulder angel" and "shoulder devil" aspect of the character. On one shoulder, he is on the edge of a science breakthrough, but on the other, it comes with very harsh consequences. Having two different singers really helps develop this mental image, and the instrumentals truly drum up the antics of it all in perfect harmony.
3. The Lab
Oh girl, this is my personal favorite from this album. I am forever enamored with unsettling things, and this song starts with a music box tone. It may be a little unsettling at first, but as it goes on, it lulls you into the composition further in that leads you to a completely theatrical piece. Throughout the song, we are exploring the madness of the main character. The overall melody throughout this tune continues to evolve but still keeping the same tone. Everything about "The Lab" reminds me of something you would hear from the band Muse. The theatrics, the amount of sheer detail, every little bit of it. What I love most about this song is that even if you have never watched Steins;Gate and/or don't plan to, it is such a joy to listen to as a song illustrating a story. You know, the kind of work the band Queen would do. If you take anything from this review, it should be to listen to this song.
4. The Assistant
This song takes the album for a brighter turn. It is quite enjoyable, especially if you are familiar with the Steins;Gate song. But if you are not, you can still enjoy the lovely voice of Rebecca Anderson. Rebecca truly knocks it out of the park to portray the main character's love interest. Her voice greatly resembles the english voice actor, which makes this song that much more of a treat to listen to if you've watched the series. Her voice paired with the various instruments used throughout the song are just so well combined.
5. A Time Machine
Regardless if you know the story or not, this amusing song is one that can get stuck in your head very easily! You have been warned. Listening to this song personally took me back to a time when I was a kid and would listen to lively songs that really jump at you while in the backseat of a car with friends. So I guess in a way, this song is actually a time machine! "A Time Machine" truly captures the joy of the main character as they have finally stumbled through their breakthrough they have so longingly waited for. Give it a listen, and see if you are or are not humming the words "a time machine" during a random part of your day. All of the different guitar accents truly bring this song character, along with the vocal work by Bryce.
Now that we've had our fun, we are now getting into a more melodramatic territory. The vocals of Alex in this song truly stand out to me the most between him and Bryce. There's so much emotion behind Alex's singing that it truly makes the song. Pair that along with the guitar work that has an overall tense overtone throughout the song, and you have yourself a song that makes me think back to a band called My American Heart. They weren't too big, but this song reminds me so much of their style of music that I listened to as a teen, and still enjoy.
7. To Save Her
"To Save Her" starts to glaze over everything you've heard so far & ramping the story up that is starting to spiral out of the main character's hands. The way the vocals were written for this song truly help illustrate the disruption they are experiencing. It's something I truly love listening to, as it is an experience & the way it was written is very unique to anything I have heard as of lately. This is probably another one of my top favorite songs because it truly has such a thrilling & tragic tone to it.
This song is so perfectly done for the where the story has arrived. In "Desperate" we hear the character that has been suffering for too long. The voice of Danielle Taggart paired with the instrumentals, including the cello work done by Emily Anderson, create resonance. This song, in my opinion, was written perfectly & Alex truly paid attention to detail on how to describe this character's emotions through music. Though it may be slower than other songs, if you continue to listen, you'll be rewarded with a build-up that exerts itself into the piece beautifully. As it ends, you can find Alex bringing the story along into the next song as he acts as the main character to piece together what went wrong for this girl.
As our main character struggles to find the happy medium for all and get back to where we were at the beginning of the album, this song translates their inner conflicts. The main character is going through all that has transpired thus far, and "Rewrite" instrumentally embellishes that tone so well. The lyrics won't make too much sense if you have not watched Steins;Gate, but they still bring a story full of an inner clashing within the main character into view.
10. An Impossible Choice
The title of this song accurately captures the message being conveyed. Alex creates a vision of the possible effects to come depending on what the main character chooses to do. The instrumentals in this song are simple at first, but develop into something more as the main character starts to affirm their next actions to take, even though it may be impossible to choose. This may be another one of my top favorites as it was just written so articulately.
The longest track of the entire album coming in nearly 8 minutes long, and it is full of detailed & well written lyrics and instrumentals. It strolls you along a melody that is constantly growing in sensational significance of the main character's current headspace. I remember Alex constantly telling me about this song and how he kept changing it because he continually added more and more to this song until he was completely satisfied with it. His efforts were definitely not in vain!
Probably my second personal favorite of the "Event Horizon" album. This song, in my opinion, truly encapsulates everything we have been through with the main character throughout all of the songs. It just perfectly ties everything together. I also feel this song doesn't need much context of the actual story that is being referenced to enjoy. The theme of this piece continually expands into our main character's conclusion, through the vocals, lyrics, and instruments altogether in impeccable vigor. We also get a rewind to previous melodies that were introduced to us earlier in the album. How Alex tied this all together seriously impresses me. Not just as his sister, but just as a fellow listener to all that is to be experienced from this album.
13. Final Line
This instrumental outro of a song truly highlights all that this album has to offer. If you need any song to convince you to give this album a chance to give you an experience, it's this song. Another one of my personal favorites, and if you listen to it, you'll easily understand why, guaranteed.
If you're curious at all about giving the album a listen, you can find it on iTunes & Amazon! There's also an instrumental album in case you don't like listening to people in your music. Which honestly, the instrumentals in each song deserve their own platform. Hope I piqued your interest at least by a little bit!