[Review] Revangelion by Brian Altano

Written by Derek Wright
  • Artist: Brian Altano
  • Album: Revangelion
  • Label: Weird Heat
  • Release: 22/11/2019
  • Total Runtime: 20:33
  • Available from Spotify, YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud & Amazon
  • Review code provided by Brian Altano
  • Album Art by Attack Peter

An Unfamiliar Ceiling

Upon finding out that Brian Altano was making an Evangelion remix album, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew next to nothing about the source material other than it was a rather popular mech anime. The only right thing to do was to check it out. After watching the first three episodes to get a taste, I get why it is so fondly remembered almost 25 years later.

With this aside, the real question is, how does this album stand on it’s own merits? I listened to it multiple times before watching any of the anime, and then a few more times afterwards. What follows is my brief take on this seven song remix album.

Track 1 – A Cruel Angel’s Thesis

It starts with a lone haunting voice, that is sliced and sampled with some heavy bass notes. It’s a darker take on the series title theme and fits the overall feel of the show. At the 1:56 marker, the track is elevated to the next level with some strings, which ultimately serves as the climax.

Track 2 – Nerv

I feel this song is a bit of a low moment on the album, not that it is a bad song, but it my least favorite of the seven. The drum mixing in the first half of the track feels a bit heavy compared to the rest of the pieces. The track redeems itself when a new synth lead takes over around the 2 minute mark. At this point in the track, everything feels fuller and I wish the rest of the track had this feeling to it.

Track 3 – A Crystalline Night Sky

From the first second of this song, I was hooked. It felt like a dark and grimy song that could have been straight from Chrono Trigger or a GBA Castlevania. This was an unexpected favorite of mine, but I love the lo-fi chill-hop sound.

Track 4 – Rei Ayanami

Similar to track 3, I felt this song could have been straight from any Castlevania game or gothic adventure. These dark chill hop songs seem to be a strong suit for Altano, and I just want more. Half-way through the track, the drums fade out and a harp is mixed in. This adds such a layer of depth and makes the track that much more special.

Track 5 – Hedgehog’s Dilemma

Track five offers an odd mix of sadness and hope. It starts soft with a vocal sample, and the mix is bright, hence the feeling of hope. But the piano and the drums add in a layer of sadness or despair. Perfect for a song titled the Hedgehog’s Dilemma.

Track 6 – Tokyo-3

The beginning feels tranquil, a peacefulness that becomes somewhat interrupted with the drums. They make the track feel more jazzy and light. When the violin comes in, the piece feels whole, and shortly after the drums slow down and tranquility returns.

Track 7 – Fly Me to the Moon

The orchestrated melody brings with it a sense of nostalgia. This is another great example of Altano’s lo-fi remixes. Some of the laser/synths feel a bit out of place in this tune, but its not a deterrent. Sadly, this song feels like it ends too soon, and it could have easily extended it’s stay. A foreboding ending filled with groans and destruction, followed by cicadas, draws the album to a close. It’s rather eerie, but a fantastic touch.

Final Takeaway

Revangelion is a fantastic remix album that will surely resonate with fans of the Evangelion anime, but for those of us that do not have any ties to the show, it should not be ignored. While short, this album is filled with seven chill beats that brim with passion. The attention to detail that went into this remix album shows and if you enjoy lo-fi beats, this is must.

Does it jam?

Yes, it jams! But don’t just believe me, go listen to it now!

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