Ephixa
Zelda Step


3.5
great

Review

by Jacob Royal STAFF
February 12th, 2012 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's a thin line that Ephixa tread with Zelda Step, but one that ultimately pleases more than disdains.

One trait of people within my age group is that videogames are just as much sown into our pasts as more long-lasting pastimes, and probably even more so. I can easily recall gazing slack-jawed, at my family's Nintendo 64 when I was three or four. I was eagerly demanding entrance into the gaming roster for Ocarina of Time, and bitterly resenting the privileges older brothers seemed to be entitled to receive. However, through the initial bitterness came an utmost respect for the thrill of completing a game, as well as getting lost in the plot of a good tale. Videogames used to be a means of escaping my problems, even throughout high school - instead of stressing over what colleges I would apply to, I would flock to my Xbox and put on some Fallout to get lost in a world that simply wasn't my own. Yes, somehow a post-apocalyptic world was more satisfying to me than my own life, and that's the most intriguing truth regarding the majority of top-tier games flooding the market as of lately. However, as this change occurs it seems to have come naturally for my generation to pay their respects to the games that mattered the most. One can simply take a journey to their local Wal-Mart, Hot Topic, or maybe even Belk and likely be able to find a Zelda shirt available for purchase. It's become almost hip to revere the tales of our childhood, which can certainly be detrimental in some regards but overall is more of a blessing than anything.

While this steady shift has been taking place, the global blossoming of dubstep (or decay as others would deem it) has branched into the realm of videogame music more and more with time.This leads to quite the influx of creativity regarding new directions the loyal Zelda devotees can take to pay their respects to their favorite franchise. The world of electronic music has taken a turn lately that could easily lead to potential success in working with nostalgic works from our favorite videogames. This presents an ample opportunity for either soaring success with the old-time fans like me, or my peers and I shaking our heads in dismay. Undeniably, it's a thin line that Ephixa tread with Zelda Step, but one that ultimately pleases more than disdains.

The canticles of my youth deserve nothing more than to be treated tenderly, with the utmost care. The title itself, Zelda Step, will be quick to frighten many, but fortunately it's not quite representative of what this release is about. There's no capitalizing of the Zelda hooks to be found with obnoxious womps, despite how easy a self-indulgent affair would have been within this context. Every note exists only to further the music, and there's nothing extraneous about what Ephixa reconstruct, which is refreshing. It isn't flawless by any stretch of the imagination, but is still markedly pleasing. One disappointment is the song choices - I don't know of anyone that really likes the Song of Storms, for instance - and there are so many more meaningful tunes from the tides of Zelda history that could have been unearthed much more successfully. The one rousing success is "Lost Woods", the focal point of the album, and while the other tracks are entertaining renditions of songs we are all quite acquainted with, the level of success achieved by this release could have been so much higher, which is quite disappointing but isn't too much of a shocker. Despite the troughs, though, there are many peaks to be had; Zelda Step is a startlingly tasteful take on our childhood, a more modern rendition of our experiences with Link over the years.

Regardless, while I won't be searching the catacombs of Ephixa's discography anytime soon, it was a pleasing discovery to find their take on our collective childhood, something that seems so sacred now that we've all grown up and can't necessarily always afford to get lost in a videogame. The truth of the matter, though, is that very one of us deserves to feel the joy we once felt the first time we beat Ocarina of Time. With this in mind, I urge you to check this out, and maybe to reserve a bit of time this evening for taking your Nintendo 64 out of the attic and making some more memories with it. Go save the princess; those bills can wait.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


10362 Comments


http://ephixa.com/album/zelda-step

And yeah, don't check out the rap bonus tracks; those sadly seem to be garbage.

aok
February 12th 2012


4457 Comments


phrasing's a bit awkward in many places (i think the summary's a run on sentence) and you take too long to get to the actual album imo, but content wise i really like a lot of the points you bring up. put some more polish on it, maybe get an extra pair of eyes on it next time, and you should be good to go

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


10362 Comments


Thanks for the feedback. I really don't think the summary's a run-on, and about talking about the album itself it's hard to talk about four songs too extensively you know? Otherwise I would have put more in about it.

Are there any places specifically where the phrasing sounds most awkward to you? I read through all of it, but I'm curious to see what I could alter to make it flow more naturally.

aok
February 12th 2012


4457 Comments


of people within my age group is that it seems as if


However, through the initial bitterness came an utmost respect for the thrill of the game, the arduous process of completing a game, as well as simply letting yourself get lost in the plot of a good tale


it's probly cause i like shorter more straightforward sentences in general, and i appreciate when writing gets to the point sooner than later. but this is really good through and through -- those could very well just be personal things (i posd btw). keep writing mang

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


16789 Comments


Descriptions are great, sentence structuring could use some work. Try to cut down on the wordiness next time and just say what you mean without all the extra frills, it comes across as trying too hard (I know because I do it from time to time).

Pos'd though because portions of this review are as great as any. Keep at it kid.

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

BallsToTheWall
February 12th 2012


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

YESSSSS

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


10362 Comments


Thanks for the pos's, guys, and thanks so much for the feedback. It can be easy to get lose in your own writing and forget that other peoples' minds don't always work the same way as yours.

I made quite a few changes - do you guys approve of the review more now? I feel like it flows much more naturally.

And BallstotheWall, is your dig Cliff Martinez from the Chili Peppers?

Acanthus
February 12th 2012


9545 Comments


Dubstep + Zelda = something already done by Ry Legit.

Nintendo and bass lines have yet to gain my respect.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


10362 Comments


Do you have a link for this, Acanthus? I'd like to hear.

Acanthus
February 12th 2012


9545 Comments


Opps wrong band, half to see if I can find the right guy (if so I'll link it).

BallsToTheWall
February 12th 2012


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Drive soundtrack.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


10362 Comments


Ohh, ok. It's odd, there was a guy named Cliff Martinez in the Chili Peppers at one point..

SCREAM!
February 12th 2012


10341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Imo song of storms is the best thing on here. Good review and EP

aok
February 12th 2012


4457 Comments


yea what sowing said. he's just a bit more articulate about it than i am, which makes sense, given experience / time spent writing on the site, etc etc

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 12th 2012


10362 Comments


Interesting to hear the differing opinion, Scream. I'd probably appreciate the song more if I spent more time in those levels of the game.

I gotcha Aokuneff. Have you read it over yet?

aok
February 13th 2012


4457 Comments


reads a lil cleaner yea. good stuff

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2012


10362 Comments


:]

Lol what, Potato?!

SCREAM!
February 13th 2012


10341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was never huge on Zelda as a kid so I don't think it has anything to do with the game itself. I just find it works better with the dubstep influences than the others.
Lost Woods is lots of fun but sounds kind of like a traditional "brostep" song done to a zelda melody.
Gerudo Valley is probably my second fave. It's really well done but doesn't sound quite as "focused" (for lack of a better word) as SoS
Dragon Roost is cool but sounds like he re-used the same idea from Gerudo Valley and slowed it down.
Song Of Storms imo is wonderfully done. It's starts off nice and slow and kind of crescendos into the heavier parts but while maintaining a nice groovy rhythm throughout. It's got a nice balance of sounding really fun but while also being great to just chill to all at the same time

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2012


10362 Comments


It's hilarious to me that my opinion on Song of Storms contrasts so starkly with that of everyone else's - I talked with a friend of mine who's heard this before, and he told me it was his favorite too. So you aren't crazy :]

Lost Woods is definitely my favorite here, but I don't have a doubt that my strong affinity for the song itself has to do with that. It's always been my favorite, and so it made me all types of happy to hear it on here. However, Gerudo Valley is another favorite of mine; I definitely feel like they balanced it well, and preserved the song's atmosphere when translating it into this form.

One qualm that I do have with this release is that they don't alter the Zelda tracks at all. It's respectable to a degree to leave it the same and add other elements to it, but at the same time the end product could have been more impressive if they had manipulated the tunes at least a little bit.

SCREAM!
February 13th 2012


10341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Problem is, if he had done that i'm sure people would've bitched about it. People don't like to see classic altered too much especially when it is something so rooted in nostalgia



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