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Audio File Friday 'Shinesparkers'

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Oh, hey guys.

I don't know if you noticed but Audio File Friday has been a bit MIA. The blame falls entirely in my lap and I fully own up to it. Was watching Nyancat videos if you must know. But not to worry audiophiles, I'm not dead and most certainly haven't forgotten about your gaming music needs.

After seven long weeks, Audio File Friday is officially back in action. To make up for lost time there will be a new Audio File Friday every day this week, until we get back onto our usual weekly schedule.

Now right around the time Audio File Friday went into hiding the Metroid series happened to be celebrating a 25th anniversary. While Samus' 25th may have been forgotten by Nintendo, it was far from forgotten by fans. Fans like the Shinesparkers
who brought together a veritable legion of fellow Metroid enthusiasts to give the girl one awesome birthday present.

The story of Shinesparkers is one fraught with obstacles.

They began as a group of four friends, Darren Kerwin, Conor Godfrey, Ben Stewart, and Owen Chapman, who all shared a love for Metroid and general Nintendo gaming. In 2009 they came together to create a Metroid-centric podcast where they could share their thoughts on the franchise. However as the trials and tribulations of operating a regular podcast proved too hectic for the group sounds familiar... they transitioned from podcast to community forum.

When that didn't turn out too well the forum was then transitioned into a standard website with its own host. However when disputes arose and interest was lacking the site ultimately suffered the same fate as the forum. But hope was not lost! The remnants of the Shinesparkers community took refuge with The Joypads until things settled.

While everyone took some time to catch their breath, Darren began re-imagining Shinesparkers from the ground up. He brought together a team of fans, old and new, and in 2010 brought the community back to life. Today, Shinesparkers is one of the premiere Metroid fan communities and is home to exclusive interviews, up to date news, and special features sure to satisfy any Samus fanboy.

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To celebrate Samus' 25th birthday this past summer the group pulled together every musically inclined Metroid-nut they could find in order to create Harmony of a Hunter, a Metroid tribute album covering every game in the series and almost every genre of music.

Zircon's grimy Ashes to Ashes dub is a personal favorite of mine.

Now when I say every musically inclined Metroid-nut , I mean every. Here's a list of every artist featured on the two disc album, some of whom you may recognize from Audio File Friday and some you'll be seeing in the coming weeks.

From the Official Harmony of a Hunter Website:

AriesT C-GPO Chernabogue Christopher "Mozzaratti" Keith Chunkstyle Darkesword Derris-Kharlan DoctorM64 George R. Powell Kristin Bjorkeback Mazedude Mercury Adept Mesmonium Omni-Psyence prophetik Pyro Paper Planes Sam Dillard Sebastian Martensson Stemage The Fishhead Theophany Video Game Music Choir VikingGuitar (Erik Peabody) zircon

With so many names, there's something here for everyone.

If you like Piano Ballads and Metroid Prime 3, then this re-imagining of Melting Sun is for you! Prepare to be moved.

Or maybe you're after something more upbeat? Maybe a little electronic for your workout? Look no further than this Caves of Brinstar remix.

If you're a fan of gaming music re-orchestrated symphony style, then this Ending Suite, a medley of the first four games in the series' ending themes, should wet your whistle!

And if you remember Stemage and Metroid Metal from a while back, well they made sure to make an appearance on this album as well, as head-bangingly rad as ever:

With Audio File Friday I always try to explore as wide array of music as possible, and Harmony of a Hunter offers up top notch quality for every genre you could think of. Except for maybe country.

Metroid may not be known for having a ton of instantly recognizable jingles like Mario or Final Fantasy, but the series makes a powerful case for consistency. The remixes here follow suit; there isn't a single remix, cover, or re-imagining in this collection that feels like a misstep or a weak point.

Shinesparkers have really given this album their all, and even got Nate "FoxxDragon" Horsfall to create the original album artwork, album insert, disc art, and this gorgeous bonus poster:

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Whether you're a Metroid fan, a music fan, or just want to be one of the cool kids, you really don't have a choice: Go get this album. You can download it for free from the official website, or if you're like me and are dying to get your hands on a physical copy of this puppy well...you're in luck. Shinesparkers have heard the fans and are currently deciding how to go about releasing limited edition physical copies of the album.

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To get the details and make sure you are one of the lucky few who gets a physical copy, you'll have to keep up with Shinesparkers by checking out their official website, following them on twitter, and liking them on facebook. oh it's been so long since I've said that.

Whatever you're into, Harmony of a Hunter is guaranteed to satisfy you. And if not well what is wrong with you? well not to worry, I've got even more great gaming music coming your way. So catch me right here this time next week tomorrow!


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2 Comments

JTSpender said:

Yay! Welcome back! :)

"Love means not ever having to say you're sorry." ~ Erich Segal

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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Kamilah Cittadini on Audio File Friday 'Shinesparkers': "Love means not ever having to say you're sorry." ~ Erich Segal...

JTSpender on Audio File Friday 'Shinesparkers': Yay! Welcome back! :)...

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