Eye-Q provides an epic rap soundtrack to Attack on Titan with Vol.1, Walls of Maria.
Nerdcore is all about expressing fandoms via the medium of Hip-Hop, some do it better than others. Orlando, Fl, rapper, Eye-Q, steps up with a little help from his friends for an eight track tribute to the beginnings of the hugely popular Japanese Manga/Anime/Feature Film Attack on Titan with his recent release Walls of Maria.
As a concept release it helps if you know the source material, that said, if you don’t there’s still plenty to enjoy as the narrative is told in dramatic fashion over rousing, cinematic beats. Telling the tale of what’s left of the human race living within vast walls to repel invasion Attack on Titan imagines a world that has become one belonging to huge human-like creatures, seemingly indestructible, who reek havoc on the human race, literally devouring those unfortunate enough to fall into their grasp.
Throughout eight tracks Eye-Q plays on many aspects found in the inspiration for the album. Themes that include the complacence of the human race, presuming to be safe behind the great walls where many of its inhabitants are ignorant to the fact that they are caged and living in anything but freedom. The fear through the eyes main character Erin, who yearns for freedom beyond the walls. The desperation of the situation, the loss of loved ones and the burning desire to conquer the Titans.
Each track progresses the story with subtle changes in the tone and mood that reflect the emotions and situation of the characters. The beats, which sample parts of the Attack on Titan Original Soundtrack, act almost as incidental music in some respects, reflecting the delivery of the lyrics with calm orchestral themes or introducing a sense of urgent defiance wherever suited. The end result is a body of work presented on a grand scale with a fine ensemble of guest vocalists, each performing with precision. Mega Ran, 1UP, Kadesh Flow, SkyBlew and Richie Branson are all notable names on the Nerdcore Hip-Hop scene who feature on Walls of Maria.
Whilst obvious attention to the production values, delivery and grandeur of the release are all positive reasons to encourage you to download Walls of Maria, one criticism would be that the overall feel of the release doesn’t vary significantly. The tempo may change, the tone may reflect this too, but the sound remains constant throughout which left me zoning out a little upon multiple listens. I also wish the same level of care found in the music was applied to the cover art which, in my opinion, isn’t the best advertisement for what you’ll hear when you download.
Overall, a strong release and a must have for fans of Attack on Titan.
Attack on Titan: Walls of Maria Vol.1 is available to stream or download as a ‘name your price’ release via bandcamp now.