Act II: The Father Of Death

September 8, 2009 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Release Date: September 8, 2009
  • Label: SoundMachine
  • Copyright: 2009 SoundMachine
  • Total Length: 57:15
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002LW06AO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,848 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Sornson on September 28, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
The Protomen's sophomore entry into their Megaman-inspired Rock Opera is somewhat misleading in its title. Act II: The Father of Death is in fact Act 0-- a prequel to the story told in their self-titled first album, which is destined to be spoken of as Act I from here on out. But closer examination shows the truth in the title: rather than a forward evolution of the story told in Act I, Act II is the evolution of the band itself, and in that department it's a quantum leap.

Pretense aside, just about everything in Act II is a staggering improvement over Act I. The musicianship, writing, storytelling and the raw emotion poured into it exceeds their first effort, which in and of itself was of a far better quality than a video game rock opera has any right to be. Central to this seems to be the musical philosophy of the group itself. In comparison to other VG inspired groups like the Minibosses, Powerglove of the NESkimos, the Protomen do not bind themselves to the music of the games. Not that this would normally be a bad thing; the Megaman series has some of the best VG music this side of Sonic and Castlevania. In Act I, they instead took to sprinkling their songs with accents from the source material-- most notably in the track "The Will of One"--, using it sparingly in concert with their stellar original work to remind the listener just what they're hearing. In Act II, though, a more confident band eschews this approach, and in fact were it not for the supplemental material provided with the album's notes along with the knowledge of their fanbase, it would be easy for Act II to stand alone as a rock opera without its ties to the Megaman franchise.

And originality is key to the success of Act II.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Carbaugh on September 10, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
While the majority of the songs aren't as memorable as those in (what is now being called) Act 1, Act 2 benefits greatly from expert composition and a bit more polish than its predecessor.

Now I had expected the majority of this album to be a kind of slow, irritating love-triangle-cliche, with Light proclaiming his ideals and Wily scheming in the background. The Protomen dispense with this almost immediately, showing the schism between the two as early as "The Good Doctor", the album's second track. Instead, what we get is an intense exploration of the character of Dr. Light; we find out why he does the things he does, and then we watch his reaction as, in the words of love-interest Emily, 'it all goes to hell'. The lyrics are lovingly-rendered poetry, balanced precipitously *just* over the top, without verging into melodrama. The singing varies the full range between sorrowful whispers (growl, in Dr. Light's case) and full-on hair-metal screaming ala Act 1, but at no point ceases to bring a smile of awed joy to my face.

If the singing is good, then the musical composition is great. The CD begins with something akin to a Morricone soundtrack; lots of slow guitar, etc. An organ(synth?) and brass are added for "The Hounds"; a full chorus comes in around "Give Us The Rope". The full orchestra and all the modern trimmings are built up to slowly, so that by the end of the album (when the city has become, I presume, completely robot-i-cized and wily-nated) the sound has completely changed. One could segue straight from "Here Comes The Arm", the album's final track, into the beginning of Act 1 (which I will do probably no less than sixty times in the next week).

So there you have it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Siggelsworth on February 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first saw this band last year live and playing random songs from this album. I thought they were really rockin' good; but it wasn't until we listened to the CD my friend bought at the show that I realized how utterly brilliant it was in its entirety!

On the surface, it is the origin story of two men named Light & Wily spliting ways (before the events of the video game series that I won't name because I'm not sure where the band stands on certain copyright/trademark issues with Capcom). But in execution, this is a powerful and touching rock opera conveying the torments of the mens' shared vision to better the world--but by what means and at what cost? I surely can't do justice through my words (I'm not much of a "critic") to the emotional strength of this album.

To elevate the story to even greater heights, the band devised an elaborate narrative. This narrative, along with the lyrics, are written out in the liner insert of some editions of the album--like the one I first experienced. After reading the narrative it became impossible for me to listen to the album (and I certainly mean "album" because I just can't bring myself to skip around to select tracks) without envisioning in my mind the whole tale as though it were an opera, theatre production, movie, or dream weaving silently throughout the songs, adding layers of depth to the music and lyricism.

And this brings me to my cautionary review title above. This specific form of the product I am reviewing is a made to order CD-R. Of that, I have no problem--it's 2012 and that's a fantastic way to keep costs down AND offer products from lesser known artists. However, the "artwork" that is included in the jewel case is not that of the original release of the album.
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