Here we go! We’re back with A State of Sugar! This time around Simon aka TheMadhatterbrony, DrakeEmberHeart, GameNotOver, and TheCANderson are going to tackle their newest compilation album “Biscuit”. Find the All-Out-Attack Article down below!
(All-Out-Attack Article continued after the break)
Start of Simon’s Part
Album thoughts and overview
Today we return once more to A State of Sugar, this time with Biscuit! As we’re used to by now, ASOS presents us once again with a colourful assortment of both artists and genres–this album has it all! Looking for some great Orchestral? We’ve got the best on here! Looking for some upbeat EDM to get you jumping? ASOS got you covered! Are you more into the darker, more sinister beats? Look no further! Or maybe you’re a Metalhead, in which case you will love this album, too!
With 55 tracks this album is the biggest A State of Sugar release yet, and it’s filled to the brim with bangers of all genres from both well-known artists and absolute newcomers. For my featured five I’ll show you some of the songs you won’t be able to get out of your head for a while!
Simon’s featured 5
SlightlyAmiss & Sakairi – Days Infernal (feat. Acouste) | Symphonic Metal
As my first song I chose this awesome Metal piece by SlightlyAmiss, Acouste Wholenote, and Sakairi, who is a complete newcomer to the brony music scene. I can already say she’s someone to keep an eye on! This song combines awesome Metal tunes with some stunning opera singing courtesy of Sakairi, but enough of me rambling on about how great this song is–let’s get straight into it! The lyrics of this one tell their very own story about Daybreaker, and as I usually do with songs that have a lot of story in their lyrics I’m gonna discuss those in a separate part.
Now let’s really get into the music! The track starts out with an awesome instrumental part that slowly adds more and more stuff until we get the first glimpse of opera awesomeness. After a short instrumental portion we get the lyrics, and as you might expect the instrumental takes a bit of a backseat at this point. Other than what you would expect it doesn’t really calm down or go quiet; rather it keeps the same feel to it and works more hand in hand with the vocals than should be possible, but Amiss pulls it off! The drums speed up to a break-neck pace giving sort of a permanent fast beat that you can especially hear in the instrumental portion that follows the lyrics and is quickly joined once again by Sakairi’s awesome opera talent. Before we get the next verse we get something special: After a short build up of the drums getting even faster, Sakairi delivers a bone chilling laugh that is accompanied by nothing, and I mean nothing. For just those few seconds the only thing that happens is the evil laugh, and shortly thereafter the lyrics continue once again. The instrumental then picks up where it left off with the awesome guitar and fast drums. After this verse is done the instrumental calms down for the first time in this track, and we get a slower part with only guitar. A bit later Sakairi’s awesome voice intros not only an awesome new verse but also a change in lyrics that I will come to later on. As more of a signal that something has changed we drop the super drums for slower ones. After this verse is done we get an awesome guitar solo by Acouste and the return of the super sonic drums and after that the last instrumental portion with slower drums once again and a last bit of Sakairi’s vocals. We end this one one with one more drawn out, bone chilling creepy evil laugh that, once again, works completely on its own without anything else.
Now that we got all the instrumental stuff covered let’s get to the lyrics! As I mentioned before this song tells it’s very own version of the Daybreaker story. Verse one focuses on what Luna did as Nightmare Moon (“You promised night eternal”), and then verse two is when Celestia realizes that she too has the possibility to rule all on her own (“If you can do it, so can I”). Verse three is where we are confronted with the breaking relationship between Celestia and Luna, and here’s where we first get a bit of screaming vocals that will join the melodic vocals throughout the rest of the song. In verse four Celestia breaks and turns, and in verse five Daybreaker criticises her better half, Celestia, for faking who she is and “forcing a smile” and for the boring life she’s living. Later on she talks about Luna feeling her pain, the pain she felt when Luna turned. After a few repeats of previous verses we get the change in lyrics I mentioned before: Now Daybreaker is talking to her “dear faithful student” Twilight, and here we actually get another side of her when she apologizes to Twilight and later even begs for Twilight’s help to save her from herself. However, her tone then quickly changes and her threatening diction returns as she declares herself the only regent, “for my name is the only name my faithful subjects will adore!” Then, with one last menacing line, we end the lyrics.
As you might have guessed by now this song has a lot of stuff to it and every part is awesome! You definitely don’t have to be a Metalhead to appreciate and enjoy it!
GrazySmash – See In The Dark (feat. Koa) (MirroredReality Remix) | Big Room House
How do you improve an already awesome Psytrance song? You remix it into a stellar Big Room track, and that’s exactly what MirroredReality has done! This remix takes a lot of the original material and puts it into Big Room in a way that is sure to knock you out of your socks. The track starts out immediately with vocals from Koa, and the powerful instrumental quickly takes over. After another short vocal passage we get straight into the first drop. This first drop is an explosion of all sorts of fun melodies, but before you realize it it’s already over, and it gives way to a short bit where we just get the chant of “Somnambula” while the instrumental in the background builds up once again leading towards our second drop, and this one is even better then the first! It takes the explosion of fun Big Room Melodies and essentially ramps it up to 1000. It’s pure listening pleasure, and it’s gonna make you jump up and down. After that we return once more to the chanting and then go on to the second verse which works with minimal background music–a welcome, calm break after the drop where we can enjoy some more of the awesome singing. Soon we get a slow build up and another awesome drop! This again is very short and is followed up by chanting and the build up to yet another bigger drop. This time said drop is stopped briefly for a few lyrics and then immediately continues as before, and with some more lyrics we end this amazing masterpiece. The melody overall stays true to the original but doesn’t sound like a copy at all; rather it’s what every remix should strive to be: Putting the melody into a different genre and adding your very own touch to it.
Voltex Pixel & Nicolas Dominique – Future of Equestria | Future House
Voltex Pixel and Nicolas Dominique making a song together? Yes, please! The two bring us this awesome Future House track that is sure to make you jump up and down ‘til the neighbours complain, but enough talking–let’s get to the music! The song starts out already fun, with an awesome melody and some of the catchiest drums in existence, after a short time we get a well done build up and then this beast of a drop intro-ed by a Fluttershy vocal chop. The drop switches things up a bit and gets a brand new main melody that pretty much has the feeling of a bronypalooza concert already attached to it. We get some glimpses of the pre-drop melody until both old and new combine to give us some of the greatest House known to ponykind! After the drop the whole thing calms down again and, supported by a transitioning melody, we again get glimpses of the first melody until it sets back in for another awesome build up and a slightly changed drop. This time around the drop melody doesn’t last for long, and it combines very quickly with the first melody and some heavier drums to get us jumping even more! We end on a small outro where the song slowly fades out.
Skyshard – One Last Stand | Orchestral
As my next song I chose this fantastically epic piece by Skyshard. The song starts out with a rather simple beat that is paired with an epic crash you would normally expect from an EDM track. After another crash the song is soon joined by awesome strings and we get a bit of a change when drums are added that sound a lot like we just entered a battle, or to be exact, that we just entered a last stand. After a pretty awesome riser (again, something you normally only see in EDM) we get a change of composition where the song nearly goes completely silent and we only get a little creepy plink. At this point I advise you to listen on your headphones because this sound makes sort of a circular motion around your head in which you always hear it louder in one ear. After a while the sound is accompanied by some dark strings, and soon the entire piece is filled with sound, but this sound is very creepy, as if hope is dwindling. However, it’s joined soon enough by more hopeful strings that make it sound like this final stand was survived, but then, intro-ed by another crash, a darker melody joins in, and it is with melody that the song ends.
Tw3lv3 – One Small Thing (feat. Drummershy, Koa & MC-Arch) (Cloud Motion Remix) | Drum & Bass
Remember back in my “Best of Friends Remix” article when I said that a “thing that bugs me with a lot of remixes [is] that [they] pitch, distort or in some other way alter the vocals”? With this one I have the pleasure of showing you a song where the alteration of the vocals was actually done well. Cloud Motion turned this song that has quickly become a very famous track into a fast and lovely Drum and Bass track, and fast is exactly where the biggest thing I want to talk about comes in, especially MC-Archs’s rap part, which is sped up by quite a bit. Normally I would be rather critical towards something like this, but Cloud Motion managed to give it the perfect speed to make it fit the awesome beat. The beat itself has a lot of variety and absolutely fantastic drops. This one is definitely a great remix and definitely a song worth looking at.
Total Commodity – にロックされ (Locked In), a fun rock piece with some epic chiptune vibes.
MrMehster – WOLFPACK (feat. FaithVelvet) (AnNy Tr3e Remix), awesome original, awesome remix…what else is there to say?
Ice Angel – Heartbreakers, a fun mix of a few genres with a drop as awesome as can be!
LaunchSix & WiLD.R – Care, a pop song that’ll give you all the warm fuzzies
Acouste Wholenote – Time Will Tell, a fun, upbeat punk rock track.
SP1TF1RE – Glowpaz Princess VIP, welcome to upbeat bounce central!
Paloris – Moving On, a triplet house track that is awesome in it’s very own unique way
Now, after highlighting all of these remixes and originals, and after introducing you to some awesome non-pony tracks in my recommendations, I’ll hand this over to the newest part of the HMH family. GameNotOver, it’s your turn!
End of Simon’s Part
Start of GameNotOver’s Part
Album thoughts and overview
Thank you, Simon, for that fantastic intro and for highlighting some truly epic tracks from the album. As Simon said, this album truly has something for everyone. A State of Sugar never disappoints in its quest to serve up delicious musical treats in a myriad of flavors and to promote talented artists of the fandom. I feel privileged to share some of my favorite tracks from this flavorful album. So, without further ado, let’s hop right into my featured five!
GameNotOver’s featured 5
Camelia – Fly Me to Dreamland | Trance
Camelia has certainly been making waves on the Brony music scene lately in a variety of electronic genres! This time, with “Fly Me to Dreamland,” she has created an alternately energetic and mystical-feeling trance piece that really lives up to its name of dreamlike flight. The beginning feels like a nostalgic train ride speeding excitedly towards epic fantasy destinations, anticipatory of what’s to come, with a driving rhythm that carries us happily forward into the adventurous unknown. Next, a quieter, dream-like feel is introduced; a pleasant melody fades in, and the drums and other instruments fade out, leaving just the melody backed by some ambient chords. Another transition then reverts to the funky sound design at the start of the piece before quickly jumping into a nostalgic synth sound design and another upbeat melody. That melody begins to slowly fade into the background and becomes more fluid-sounding before rising to a powerful crescendo and final drop. An “airy” sounding melody is introduced later in the drop, adding the gentle dreamland feel from earlier on to the adventurous mix. At one point, the beat retreats with most of the instruments, and for a moment the dream floats in ethereal rest. But, finally, the beat returns one last time, along with the funky instrumentation from the beginning, which persists to the end, signifying the conclusion of the fantastical journey through dreamland that we wish would never end!
Single Purpose – Fond Memories (Canvas Remix) | Future Garage
Fond Memories was one of the earliest tracks released in this community by talented drum and bass artist, Single Purpose. Now, Canvas – a relatively new musician to the scene – revamps SP’s classic DnB tune with a fresh, future garage twist, reflavoring SP’s up-tempo DnB track with a deep-oceanic, atmospheric feel. The piece begins with a similar melody from the original piece in the forefront, backed by deep ambient chords. Faded vocals in the background add light, complimentary melodies. The rhythm pulses throughout, maintaining the ocean theme, ebbing and flowing like watery waves. Although the rhythm falls away in the middle of the track – leaving only the piano and vocals to announce mystical whale cries, crisp winds, and cleansing waves – it soon returns with heavy drums and bass, launching a darker oceanic feel. The darkness doesn’t linger forever, though. Soon, the beat subsides again, treating the listener to gentle piano once more – a fitting end to this beautiful piece that ends with the sound of waves brushing the shoreline.
Heartsong – Sweet Soiree | Orchestral
In this lilting waltz reminiscent of a carousel song, Cadenza Heartsong cordially invites us all to join his “Sweet Soiree,” a formal and fancy evening affair! The piece whisks us into the ballrooms and palatial balconies of Equestria, with gala strings and airy woodwinds that sweep us up into joyfully elegant celebration. This piece is dedicated to Octavia, and the music is certainly a fitting tribute to this inspired musician. Heartsong originally added lyrics to this piece, and while they did not make the final cut, you can still read them on the YouTube upload of this piece on his channel. You’ll feel that this piece was written for another time, transporting you to the days of old when people danced the night away in vibrant, frilly dresses and fancy suits to a live orchestra, truly fitting the Equestrian vibe. So, put on your ballroom dancing shoes, and enjoy this classic waltz from another era!
Mane in Green – Solace | Piano Solo
Musical pieces are often flavored with layers and textures that provide depth and dimension: complex electronic pieces boast a myriad of funky sounds; orchestral music releases a symphony of instruments and choirs; and rock compositions vibe powerfully with guitars and drums. Yet, there is something to be said for simplicity, too. Sometimes a single instrument or voice can create some of the most beautiful, soul-stirring music in existence. Mane in Green has done exactly that with “Solace.” This lovely and passionate piece pays light tribute to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” but blooms with its own originality. It begins quietly, introducing the idea of tranquility and reflective solitude. Soon, it builds and soars, with notes dancing up and down the musical scale like joyful streams that transport the listener to a verdant garden of beauty and enchantment. Every keystroke feels like a revelation of the garden’s secrets: a trio of notes skips up the scale and highlights a vibrant flower unfurling its petals in the sunlight; other notes cascade down the scale like raindrops catching the sun’s golden warmth and casting sparkling diamonds onto the canopy above and below. As I listened, a veritable sun shower of love and a celebration enveloped me from start to finish. However, there is more to this piece than unadulterated joy. While “Solace” may simply offer some quiet relaxation and inspiration, it may also offer a musical refuge for those who need to rest and find comfort when life gets too busy, too loud, or too difficult. No matter what you seek, however, “Solace” is sure to transport you into a garden of beauty and delight!
LoneBronyProductions – Life’s Ocean | Orchestral
With broad brushstrokes of strings, horns, and woodwinds, LBP’s “Life’s Ocean” paints a panoramic landscape of life’s ocean-like ups and downs, highs and lows, blessings and tragedies. The overall mood of the piece is positive and tranquil, skillfully depicting the rhythmic waves of the sea as they swell and subside. This creates a feeling of sailing atop the waves that propel us along a deep ocean of secrets bordered by distant and unknown islands yet to be discovered. The music carries a mix of joy and caution, conveying the lilting rise and fall of the ship, but also a tentative mood of concern about what the future may hold. Occasionally, the tranquil seascape is interrupted by the epic crashing of cymbals depicting waves that lift or assault the boat. The huge wave, however, does not feel harsh or destructive; rather, there’s a hint of adventure and the hidden pearls of change – maybe a new start; a lesson learned; an interruption to the status quo.
LBP describes “Life’s Ocean” as a tribute to the G4 fandom. This fandom, of course, includes many different people from all walks of life, all of whom have their own waves to ride with joy or tackle through struggle. No matter what the nature of the wave, though, many of us have connected with this fandom in a way that helped shape us through the “magic” of friendship, making us part of one great, big, super creative (and sometimes a little crazy), but overall awesome family that I am thankful to be a part of. Recognizing that the fandom has experienced waves of good and bad times, I really appreciate the ability of “Life’s Ocean” to capture this truth so effectively. Its overall positive tone highlights the highs rather than the lows of life, emanating a deep-ocean-like tranquility throughout. “Normalcy” doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is under our own control. Life can’t possibly be like that. It’s an unfathomable ocean that carries us beyond ourselves with little swells, enormous waves, and huge storms that can decimate land and sea; there are also times when not a puff of wind is found, and all is quiet. “Life’s Ocean” suggests that life is not for the faint of heart, but calls to the brave and beckons to the courageous to ride upon rather than sink beneath the events that can either make or break us. So, as you listen to “Life’s Ocean,” join LBP in celebrating the fandom, and remember to fearlessly welcome the waves that may carry you to bravely meet the challenge of adversity and embark on your next happy adventure!
While my featured five are among my favorite tracks from the album, there are still plenty of other amazing pieces I’m happy to recommend!
First up is Paloris. No stranger to upbeat, happy tunes, this time around he’s teamed up with Forsake to create “Wishes,” a bouncy Future Bass tune that kicks off the album with smooth vocals from PegasYs that enhance the happy vibe.
Next, we have “Taste of Kindness,” an amazing track from Burning Gryphon and MC-Arch that features beautiful melodies on the guitar along with uplifting horns. Many of you may know MC-Arch for his powerfully moving lyrics delivered through his emotional rap songs, but did you know that he’s a talented singer? In this piece, his signature emotional lyrics about Fluttershy are delivered in one of the most moving vocal performances I have ever heard. The sheer warm emotion in Arch’s voice, coupled with beautiful melodies from Burning Gryphon, literally brought tears to my eyes and immersed me in a pool of comfort and love.
Next up, I’d like to call attention to Zizkil, one of the most insanely creative musicians I have ever heard. Seriously, every time I listen to one of his tracks, I’m just like, “H-How? How does one even think of something like this???” The funky sound design of “Not Without You” makes it instantly recognizable as one of his quirkily-styled tracks. His style is highly experimental and always worth the listening journey, as the unmatched creative prowess of this amazing producer is simply undeniable.
Next up, we have “Need You Now,” an amazing big-room house track from Dropper Vampire. Dropper may be relatively new to the Brony music community, but he’s actually been producing for quite some time, and his finely-honed talent is clearly shown in this track with its energizing sound design, stellar vocals, and uplifting melodies. If you love super clean, epic, professional-sounding tracks and have a penchant for Big Room, be sure to check Dropper Vampire out!
Nearing the end of my recommendations list, we have RiffMusicPony with “This Is My Destiny.” Energetic piano and vocals combined with an upbeat melody really make for a fun, bouncy track here. I had thought RiffMusicPony to be a new artist, but he’s actually been producing for a little while. As of the time of my writing this, however, he doesn’t seem to be very well known, so seriously check out this and other tracks of his, and go show him some love!
Finally, last but certainly not least, we have Cynifree’s latest funky creation, “Dream,” featuring some very unique sound design that combines flavors of the far east with deep bass and melodies somewhat reminiscent of old-timey, 8-bit video games.
Well, that’s it for me! It’s been an honor to work on this awesome project with all my new friends here at HMH! Although I’ve reached the end of my own part in this project, there are still plenty more amazing tracks on this album to discover. So, without further ado, I’m now passing the baton to my talented fellow writer, DrakeEmberHeart. Take it away, Drake!
End of GameNotOver’s Part
Start of Drake’s Part
Thanks for that GameNotOver! As I listened to this album, there was one thing that stood out for me. For the past 3 ASOS Albums, it’s been a proving ground for musicians to try new things and styles! It has drawn brony music veterans like PegasYs and Cyril the Wolf to contribute to their first appearances on ASOS. As you listen to this album, you hear many of these talents stepping up their games or helping newbies like Sakairi kick the door down to let listeners know they have arrived! It is also the case that talents expand on their skill sets and let you know of a softer and more emotional side to their music-making, treating you to a more diverse side of their abilities, or adding a bit of a wild side to their sound! If there is one thing that stands out in Biscuit, it’s the encouragement from Violin Melody to bring new flavors to the table, and the five songs I decided to cover will show you that. But enough talking–let’s have a look!
In my chats with Night Blaze, I’ve been impressed with the sheer amount of lore that forms the backbone of his scores. Folklore about the many centuries before the time of Equestria, even before the founding of the three tribes!
This score is about when the Everfree Forest was the center of all harmony in the land. The source of the peace? The Changelings. When Queen Chrysalis and her people were Fae ponies, before angry spirits of disharmony cursed her and her people with a magical sickness that would transform them into the twisted, love-sucking horde that we know them as now. As you listen to it, this score tells of when the Changelings had a large empire within the Everfree Forest. The music makes you feel inspired, no? As you listen, I would like you to picture the changelings as tricksters that are spreading harmony. They are allied with the griffins and dragons to help keep the peace and drive out evil in the Everfree Forest. Every creature that comes into the woods is enchanted and inspired. According to Night Blaze, this music makes you feel that energy as you walk through their home. The love and warmness of meeting Chrysalis and feeling why her people are such strong sources of peace and harmony. She even found a king through the feat of getting a spirit of disharmony to change its heart! Now the forest is wild and dark because for many moons the changelings were the one thing that kept the balance within Everfree. Then they were cursed and Chrissy was transformed against her will, and insanity took hold of her. Everfree fell to chaos for centuries. Everything the changelings had built was lost. But this song is intended to remind everyone of what once was and of honesty, the foundation of true friendship!
Slightly Amiss – Flying Into Nothing (feat. Agatan) | Hard rock
(This song is loosely tied in with the pony named Eroge in the defunct NSFW MLP dating sim game “Friendship with Benefits” and StealingShad3z song “Pretty Penny Betting Her Last Dime“)
If anyone on this album has really “flexed” their musical talents on this album it’s Slightly Amiss, who has, without question, been upping his musical game. For a track that he told me was intended to be a meme, I would wager that you’ll agree with me that it’s better than that! The catchy and uplifting lyrics, along with rad punk and hard rock guitars and drums, pack a punch. It is not surprising that we look into this scene and find that Princess Luna and the newest wonderbolt stand-in Eroge are inside a nightmare of Rainbow Dash of her failing as a Wonderbolt and are trying to rid her of doubts. Slightly Amiss’ singing packs a much-needed adrenaline punch in the lyrics as Eroge’s voice! But the story doesn’t end there. As in the games, a human player looks on. Agatan steps in as the voice of the human, or maybe as the voice of many bronies, trying to lift Dashie’s spirits. I admit that I dig Agatan’s motivational singing style as it adds so many positively charged feels! I highly suggest listening to the other tracks Amiss is in, my fellow bronies. Great track!
Nevermourn & Whirly Tail – Celestia’s Zoo For Horses | Trance
It’s pretty dang cool seeing two of my buddies creating a song such as this. Most of you know that Nevermorn is known for D&B., and Whirly is known for his unique brand of insane happy hardcore. But as Monty Python would say, “Now for something completely different!” The two have taken their strengths and used a High/Low approach to make a trance track that has them both going full tilt simultaneously for the whole track! The track’s name is fitting; Princess Celestia has opened a zoo for her ponies. You can hear animals call out as this track goes on. The variety within this track symbolizes the differences in every member of the animal kingdom. You can hear Nevermourn’s touches with all the bass effects and elements that very much fuse with Whirly’s bright and colorful harmonies and baseline. The track really tells a story as most Trance music does. You travel the zoo learning about each animal and its nature as this track changes! A unique take on Trance. My friends outdid themselves! One of my favorites on the album for really full favor!
Burning Gryphon – Touch of Kindness (feat. MC-Arch) | Rock Ballad
If you are one of those fans of Fluttershy that truly loves her character, and she inspires you and makes you feel warm, then I believe you will fall in love with this track. Burning Gryphon, he honesty always surprises me, as does the depth of his musical talents. I say this because the soft and classic rock ballad guitar and drums will make you rock back and forth in your chair; the melodies match Fluttershy’s energy, and you feel it in your heart. I was impressed with BG’s performance. Then there is MC-Arch, who I can honestly say is the perfect person to sing this song. Not only does his love for Fluttershy come through here, but his singing is so sweet and full of warmth that it embodies Fluttershy’s element of harmony. The lyrics are perfect and full of love, kindness, and compassion. Honestly, it is one of the most adorable and genuine songs about Fluttershy and is a highlight of this album! Check out Burning Gryphon’s other track “Last Stand” if you fancy his electronic music as well!
Tw3Lv3 & Doodled – Drivin’ | Hip-Hop/Trap
You gotta hand it to Tw3Lv3 for knowing just how to make a collab shine, or in this case, make a melody that fits so well with someone’s vocal style that it is downright scary! So scary and terrifyingly good with this dark, gritty sounding lo-fi trap that matches the mood of what Doodled told me about the story behind the lyrics. He would be heading home from college classes at night blasting brony music from his car and not a soul around him. You notice as this song goes along, Doodle’s rhymes get more crazy and manic until he starts channeling Jonathan Davis of Korn kinds of crazy with his vocals. The giant crack in his windshield would cause him to sound just like the final stretch of this track. He would be laughing in a manic episode and saying some wild and insane things as the lyrics suggest! Tw3Lv3 continually amps up the mood with an increasingly psychedelic delivery to match Doodled’s insanity, and it all just sounds wild, dark, and so well composed! Doodled quickly shows why he is still one of the best and most creative rappers in the fandom! One of my favorites on Biscuit! Insanely good collab!
Yokai – Oni – My buddy Yokai has made a track that mixes happy hardcore and dubstep; he dubs the genre “happy hardstep”, and it’s his finest work to date. I strongly recommend that you give it a listen!
Cynifree – Dream – Cynifree tries his hand at tech house, and it certainly does not disappoint. The careful composition of this track about Princess Luna really shines a light on his diversity as a producer.
Dropper Vampire – Need You Now – A big room house track with a personal story! This track almost did not happen! It’s so good that you would never know that Dropper made this track three days before the submission deadline. He owes a lot to a special friend for not letting him quit on this track!
Eniix – Until the End – One heck of a prog house track inspired by Twilight’s feelings of loneliness in her fight against Starlight Glimmer in the season 5 finale. This song is inspired by her determination to never quit and find a way to win! Heck of a track to close a fantastic album on a killer high note!
BlueBrony – What Lies Beneath – A dark ambient track that caught me off guard with BlueBrony’s skills. This spine-chilling exploration of underground Equestria should not be missed.
Violin Melody – Hope (Nicolas-Dominiques-Liquid-Remix) – A Liquid D&B remix of Vio’s super positive track about hope and kindness! Yes, please! ND is on point with this remix!
When you listened to my features and recommendations, I hope that you heard for yourself what I speak of. However, I must now pass this to my dude theCANderson who always has something charming to say about music! As always, this Qilin asks you to judge for yourself. Chris, the floor is yours, my dude!
End of Drake’s Part
Start of theCANderson’s Part
Oh, man, now I have to be charming. Thanks a lot, Drake. Ha ha ha! No, but in all seriousness, thank you for that warm introduction, and thank you to all of the musicians that worked so hard to put out this fantastic album! The quality and variety is fantastic, and it’s a wonderful musical journey from start to finish! It’s always a challenge to pick which tracks to cover for these things, but I’ll do my best to cover a few that really stood out to me. Let’s dive in!
TheCANderson’s featured 5
SlightlyAmiss & StealingShad3z – In The Tar (feat. CyrilTheWolf) | Metal
Amiss and Shadez (with some able assistance from Cyril) set out to “crank out as much edge as possible” with this track, and they picked the perfect subject matter for it! Drawing from the epic Season 7 two-part finale, “Shadow Play”, this song definitely brings it! It follows the story of Stygian’s failure to gain recognition and help from the legendary Pillars of Old Equestria and his subsequent descent into darkness. A haunting guitar riff, spare and skittery percussion, and distant vocals open the song perfectly as we join Stygian already in the grips of darkness and despair. Then the full arrangement kicks in and reinforces Stygian’s desperate circumstance, trapped in limbo by Starswirl’s spell. The top shelf vocal work and instrumentation really drive the story home as the song flips between the dark, vengeful voice of The Pony of Shadows (the amplification of Stygian’s rage (CYRIL!!!)) and Stygian’s own voice since he (as Twilight and Starlight discover) is trapped inside the Pony of Shadows. There’s a really sick guitar solo between the last two verses as Twilight and Starlight work to convince him that there is still a chance to save him through the magic of friendship and love, revealing in the process to The Pillars and the rest of the Mane Six the truth of Stygian’s actions, at which point they all work together to free him. As the full arrangement returns to close the song, Stygian is pulled from his prison, the darkness is banished, and hope and love are triumphant. This song is such a wonderful tribute to this fantastic story, and the rocking team behind it should be proud for pulling together this fantastic rock track! What a collaboration!
Violin Melody – Morning Tea | Progressive House / Chillout
Imagine you’re Rarity, and you’re taking a moment to yourself in the morning, enjoying a cup of tea, and watching specs of dust swirl through the sunlight coming through the window. You will soon resume your quest to conquer the world of fashion, but for now the boutique is quiet, and you are free to gather your thoughts or simply drift through the sweet steam from the tea. It’s a moment of calm before your busy day begins, and this bit of solitude helps you focus and gather positive energy. This was the wonderful inspiration behind this exuberant track! The song drifts in with a gentle melody, but soon the energizing percussion begins and builds, setting a clean and classy pace for the synths. The synths drift in and out, dancing with each other with a lovely motion that mimics the specs dancing through the sunlight, as the melody morphs from buzzy to muted to chimy. There’s a really nice shift in the middle of the song where the melodic pulsations ramp up before mostly subsiding, giving way to a stripped down version of the melody and percussion before filing back in, and each iteration of the melody dances in and out before the song reverberates to a close. A classy song from the mistress of class, Miss Rarity!
Skron – So Be It | Dubstep
It’s the season 6 two-part finale, “To Where and Back Again”, and reformed villain Starlight Glimmer must try to overcome Queen Chrysalis and the changelings with few allies and no magic. Cornered by Chrysalis, Starlight realizes that the key to saving Equestria is love and friendship. She tries to convince Chrysalis to change her leadership style and improve the lives of the changelings by celebrating their uniqueness rather than forcing conformity on them, a lesson which she herself had learned earlier. Chrysalis, of course, is not interested in Starlight’s message, and is ultimately defeated, but even with victory in hoof Starlight still offers her a chance to change her life through friendship. Skron draws on this confrontation as inspiration for “So Be It”, which opens with a gentle melody and vocal from Skron as Starlight relates her personal experience as a leader to Chrysalis. The percussion and additional synths quickly kick in and give this track a cool eurobeat vibe, nicely capturing the adrenaline of the moment juxtaposed against the gentle message. The arrangement then mellows out as Chrysalis faces Starlight’s ultimatum, but then it picks back up as she refuses her offer of friendship and redemption. The dubstep highlights the dynamics of this adversarial relationship really well, and Skron’s blend of genres and effects (including some cool vocal distortion parts that help form the melody) creates a really engaging, catchy, and high energy portrayal of this pivotal MLP moment.
SeriousDamir – Set Me Free (feat. Witch Of Despair) | Future Bass
A spiritual successor to the fantastic track “Glimmer’s Hope”, “Set Me Free” was inspired by Starlight Glimmer’s journey through the show from villain to hero and her need to confront her doubts and fears about reverting to her villainous ways. Each verse, subsequent drop, and associated lyrics are meant to illustrate different parts of this journey. The song opens with some simple percussion, a soft synth melody, and gentle vocals courtesy of Witch Of Despair (actually SeriousDamir altering their voice!). The protagonist is coming to terms with a difficult past and their self-doubt and realizes that they need help overcoming their history. The arrangement switches to a simple guitar riff that builds into the future bass drop through a chirpy synth line and snappy percussion as they make their plea. The drop is pleasingly melodic and immersive as a couple of melodies play off of each other, and there are some nice effects dabbed in here and there to keep things lively. When the drop subsides, the verse goes through a very subdued progression where the arrangement fades out and everything takes on a very ethereal vibe supported by spaced out percussion. The protagonist asks why someone is putting their faith in them despite what they have done, and the following chill drop symbolises the protagonist reaching a point of neutrality, no longer in complete despair but also not fully convinced that they can move forward. Then a really nice, upbeat piano melody begins that is accompanied by the arrangement from the first verse as the protagonist is reassured that they can overcome their past and the crucial message that they control their own fate and can solve their own problems if they have the will and keep working to do so. The following more aggressive drop symbolises the acceptance of this message and the resolve to move forward positively. Big thanks to SeriousDamir for sharing the story behind this track and for this wonderful portrayal of the importance of asking for help, helping others, and believing in yourself!
Jyc Row – Ayzat, High-Priestess of Aqasha (feat. Celica Soldream) | Epic Orchestral
Jyc Row is one of the premier orchestral composers in the fandom, and this epic offering from the “Infinite Eclipse’s Prequel” series (awesome story summaries here in a handy Google Doc, which I strongly recommend reading along with Jyc Row’s YouTube video description, which has translated lyrics) is another fine example of the composer’s cinematic storytelling capabilities. Featuring the wonderful vocals of Celica Soldream, the track focuses on Ayzat, the ridiculously powerful and dangerous high priestess of the goddess Aqasha (seriously, read the Google Doc). The track opens with subdued but menacing percussion and melody, steps up the arrangement slightly, and then launches into a full arrangement complete with electric guitar and soaring vocals. The arrangement subsides as Ayzat begins to regale the listener her single-minded support of her goddess and her devastatingly destructive conflict with the opposing goddess, Nerath. You can practically feel the earth being ripped apart and the sorrow of her enemies. Please listen and see why the YouTube comments section is flooded with people begging for this song to be animated!
Evdog – Drinking Through A Straw (feat. NeuKatalyst) – A fun and funky jam that recalls Spitfire’s cautionary and very subtly delivered message to Scootaloo about the perils of being a reckless daredevil in the Season 8 Episode 20 tale “The Washouts”.
GrazySmash – Destination – Dark, vibrant, and well balanced in intensity, this shorter but effective track has a pleasing cinematic feel.
limbosystem – Earthbound – A sweet song of yearning for a lost love with a really great Americana vibe.
Sakuraboi – Waiting For The Moon – Awesome combination of traditional instrumentation and electronic goodness creates a great “work with this on in the background” track.
Jackie Lombardi – Sugar High – Aptly named, this joyful track is chock full of vocal chops and good vibes with a touching tenderness.
CRUVOD – Wonder – Rushes out of the gate with thumping, positive energy and keeps the pedal to the floor until a surprising cinematic breakdown in the middle (almost like flying around the curves of a cliffside road and then reaching a long stretch of scenic overlook) before careening to the end.
As you can see, we’re not joking when we say that this album has everything! I hope that you enjoy your trip through these fantastic tracks as much as I did and maybe even learned a few life lessons along the way! Thank you so much again to everyone made this album possible and to the rest of the HMH crew. I’ll turn it over to Simon for the finish! All the best to all of you!
End of theCANderson’s Part
Well, that wraps things up for our collaboration article! Hopefully you enjoyed what we brought you from the biscuit tin, and we all implore you to get the album for yourself. I gotta thank all my friends who worked really hard to bring you this fantastic music. Please consider making a little donation while getting the album to help support the artists. This crazy Pegasus and his best buddies hope that you get the album and judge for yourself!