Dan Johansen – Depths Of Oblivion
It is finally here! My first review for this new site. It was a tough call to choose between what album to write about first. It was between the above album and the next post. Ultimately I went with this one because I wanted to start out in some territory that I am familiar with and that is Metal and guitars.
For those of you who do not know who Dan Johansen is; he is a guitar player from Norway who releases awesome and funny videos on his YouTube channel Gods Immortal Gauntlet (aka The G.I.G.). The videos range from reviews of games, opinion pieces, and of course guitar playing that makes me pretty damn jealous.
My best description of him is that of a Pepsi-drinking, hyena-madman who is completely hooked on video games, Pepsi (of course), and playing guitar. He has been involved on remixed version of various video game soundtracks and songs on Overclocked Remix with his brother Frank as The Dual Dragons, and has released independent albums through iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, CDbaby, Bandcamp.
Depths Of Oblivion is the sixth release from Dan’s discography and pretty much my first purchase of his albums. I have heard a good portion of the music from the videos that he has made on his YouTube channel but I really wanted to sit down and listen to the album as a whole. The music is a good mix of instrumental Progressive Metal, shred guitar, melodic rock.
The album kind of reminded me of some of the Shrapnel Records artists that I have in my collection. It was like listening to a solid mix of Tony MacAlpine’s Maximum Security and Joey Tafolla’s Out Of The Sun with maybe a mix of some Spastic Ink. There is probably more that I could pick out but after a while I preferred to just enjoy the album.
One thing I really enjoyed about this album is that although it is a guitar heavy album it does allow the keyboards/piano to shine in various spots. I like that the guitars actually blend in with the other instruments rather than completely dominate the mix by being louder than everything else. I even enjoyed the piano/harpsichord laden Time Magic.
I also enjoyed the Ron Jarzombek inspired Blood Revolution. An awesome pummeling song!
The only song I didn’t like was the title track Depths Of Oblivion. I enjoyed the music but I just couldn’t dig the vocals.
My impression of Depths Of Oblivion is if you are ever playing a Castlevania/Metroid type of game and the music is underwhelming the gameplay you can either disable the music or mute everything and put this album on and it fits perfectly. It could also fit in as a soundtrack for a really cool Sci-Fi show or movie.
Favorite Tracks: Time Magic, Bloody Revolution, Giants Kingdom, and Fortress In Chains.
If I ever get the chance and time permits I would like to open a review section and interview Dan for Neural Fatigue.
For now here is a taste from the album.
You can grab the album from any of the following links.
CDbaby: Depths Of Oblivion
iTunes: Depths Of Oblivion
Amazon: Depths Of Oblivion
Upcoming Review: A Tribute To Jochen Hippel