Sins of Hyrule by Rozen
“Meet me in battle, and the thread that binds us will be soaked crimson with your blood!”
The Ancient Battle
Dive into the darkness of a kingdom in despair this week with Sins of Hyrule by Rozen. Pressed on heavyweight black vinyl by Materia Collective, Sins of Hyrule is a musical journey that chronicles some of the darkest passages this beloved game series has to offer. Rozen and his team of incredible musicians will take you on a symphonic and electrical choir-filled journey through the Kingdom of Hyrule’s most perilous and beautiful adventure yet!
Sins of Hyrule is the second album in this explorative foray by the talented and illustrious, award-winning composer Daniel Jimenez-Wall (Rozen). Based out of Los Angeles, California, Rozen has become a force to be reckoned with in the video game music cover scene. Breathing a new life and tenacity into the songs that have scored universes, Rozen has teamed up with Materia Collective to work his greatest magic yet with the Legend of Zelda franchise. Chronicling an epic journey across multiple musical landscapes laid out before him, Rozen meticulously and deliberately peels back the tapestry of Hyrule to unveil the shadow that surrounds the kingdom and all its inhabitants. Unrelentlessly and ceremoniously shrouding the once bright kingdom is a veil of darkness that vies to swallow the listener whole in its many grooves. Striking an obvious and stark contrast to its predecessor Ballads of Hyrule (read my review here), Sins of Hyrule makes it very apparent that you can’t have light without the dark.
Opening with a chime to signal Hyrule’s creation, Rozen and his army of instruments takes no reprieve in sinking its dark roots into your turntable. The discordant tones of “The Ancient Battle” fly through the air in disarray as the haunting yet thrilling voice of Laura Intravia pierces through the symphony like a Hookshot in the dark. Sins of Hyrule swallows everything in its path, breeding in the shadows of the room it fills, feeding and growing as it spins and spins. Forceful and triumphant passages lead to dreadful and eerie corridors of sound; electronic musings playfully creep towards the listeners eardrums while a somber piano cascades across this ebony mural of evil, painting a grim and discordant view of of what has and will come to pass.
The music on this album, while wholly familiar, takes on a new form of tonality and force behind it, bringing a completely fresh and unique aura to the music Zelda fans have come to love. Filling the twilight of symphonic sounds with an essence of tranquility, the vocals on display here is definitely the album’s most poignant and unique aspect. They create a feeling of the album being almost greater than life itself, and adds to the already adventurous nature of the music it inhabits. There are moments where this album becomes so broodingly dark -- during these moments, the symphonic elements crescendo to a momentous peak before being utterly shattered and ascending into a bright and ethereal sanctuary, all before dragging you ever deeper into the depths of this haunting and retrospective exploration. The musical adventure that is hidden amongst these black discs are well worth a listen, and something I highly recommend to anyone who is even remotely intrigued by it’s siren’s call.
Materia Collective have solidified themself as one of the biggest forces in the video game music world. Their tenacity to help artists and creators bring their work to life is one of the main reasons they received the VGM WAX Award for “Record Company of the Year” in 2018, and why they continue to be a lasting beacon with many great projects coming in 2019. This release is amongst their best yet and should be a mainstay in any video game vinyl collector’s library. The album art was crafted by talented Alderion-Al, featuring a gorgeous rendition of Princess Zelda, aptly gothic in design! The matte material of the gatefold allows for the colors and splash of gold here to really pop on the package. The design of this release is absolutely stunning and carried out by Diego Jimenez. The layout of the album’s tracklist is sectioned into acts, and contains iconic quotes from the games they come from, as well as explanations of their origin or meaning by Rozen himself. Artist credits and lore for this release is quite meticulous, sprawling both the inner gatefold and the reverse side of the jacket. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing, it acts as a roadmap to help illustrate the journey the listener is about to take. Mastering on this album by Jett Galindo from The Bakery in Los Angeles is so crisp and clean that I often forgot I was listening to a vinyl at all. The rich and warm tones add so much to this grim score, all while having little surface noise. There is a wide and lush noise floor that gives much room for the album’s dynamics to breathe and carry their accents to a broad and potent finish. All around, this is a superb release that will have a lasting impression on anyone who nuzzles their needle into its cryptic grooves.
Children of Termina
As of the writing of this review, pre-orders for Rozen’s next entry into his Zelda explorations Children of Termina are up and will be coming soon to vinyl in regular and limited variants. The album is officially released and is available to purchase digitally as well as on CD. The album is quite good and I can’t wait for it to finally be home on vinyl. Keep locked into the grooves here at VGM WAX for my review when those start shipping!
Where to Buy?
This album, while sold out in the color presented in this article, is still available in the form of a gold re-press on Materia Collective & Rozen’s Bandcamp. Purchases of this album includes unlimited streaming as well high-quality downloads in MP3, FLAC and more. This is a gorgeous album, and I am so glad that Materia Collective and Rozen decided to re-press this release. The fact that this album can be owned by many more fans is an incredible gift and one you should not miss out on!