Heard By Many, Known By None: The People Behind Video Game Soundtracks

Video games are usually dismissed by the fans of popular entertainment as a childish and light-minded genre. Actually, the production budgets of high-profile video games can often reach those of successful movies – Rockstar Games’ successful “Grand Theft Auto V” was made on a budget of $265 million, while Activision’s “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3” cost around $250 million to make – and they are the result of years of hard work, ranging from concept art to scoring. There are many video games that have amazing soundtracks (and there have been for years) that are heard by millions all over the world – but they hardly ever spare a thought for the people making them, and they usually don’t even make it in the harsh music industry of our time. So today, let’s take a look at some people who probably won’t ever hold successful concert tours but their music is heard by millions of gamers all over the world.

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Back To School: How Deftones’ ‘White Pony’ changed alternative music forever

The year 2000 was, simply put, one of the most pivotally important ones in modern music history. Several albums released that year are rightfully considered among the most important in the last 20 years of music – Hybrid Theory, Kid A, Relationship Of Command, and Deftones’ White Pony were just a few of the year’s best. White Pony, in particular, is bestowed a certain unquestionable presence in the pantheon of alternative metal, transcending nu-metal completely.

Why is the album so celebrated, though? A multitude of factors come into play here, but White Pony is an important album because of the scene it transcended – it’s a bold departure from their previous work that could have easily flopped.

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TNF Feature: Alex Sepassi (Silver Relics) discusses the enduring influence of Depeche Mode

Fresh off the release of their new album Generic., New York rock newcomers Silver Relics are trying to make a name for themselves in a crowded music scene. However, the album title is certainly one that does not actually fit the bill for the duo, who formed just a couple years ago. Drawing lots of influence from past eras of music as well as the likes of The Cure and Depeche Mode, it’s likely that Silver Relics will make their way into your playlists.

Even better? Silver Relics’ Alex Sepassi, one half of the duo, has stopped by to discuss the enduring influence of Depeche Mode – specifically their Music For The Masses and Violator records. Read the whole thing below, and stream their entire new record as well.

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Looking Through The Glass: Revisiting Stone Sour’s 2006 breakthrough sophomore record, “Come What[ever] May”

Side projects are a difficult thing to analyze indeed, both from a fan perspective as well as a critical one. Traditionally, the reasons for a side project are fairly linear – they tend to place emphasis on different aspects of the musician that won’t fit the main band(s), or a vehicle to explore and mess around with new styles and genres of music. Some of the biggest bands in history started off as side projects – notables ones include Gorillaz (Blur, Jamie Hewlett), Dashboard Confessional (Chris Carrabba, originally in Further Seems Forever), and of course, the ubiquitous solo album (Mike Shinoda, KISS, and entirely too many other musicians). While not all of these projects are commercially or critically successful, that’s not the point. If a side project explores new avenues of music, that always makes a musician more adept at their craft. Perhaps, the term “success” is actually relative in this market, but I digress.

Anyhow, Stone Sour – the side project of Corey Taylor of Slipknot, occupies a unique space in the rock and metal scenes. After all, Stone Sour was Taylor (and former member Jim Root’s) main project before Slipknot were signed in the late 90’s. In 2002, the band unleashed their self-titled debut album, which earned them Grammy nominations for “Get Inside” and “Inhale”, and while that record was a really solid start, it’s the 2006 follow-up Come What[ever] May that cemented Stone Sour as an act all their own.

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