I have a loose understanding of the story of Final Fantasy. I use the word loose here in the same sense of a droplet of water having a loose understanding of being the ocean. The sum of my knowledge of the series can be put on the back of a matchbook with enough room left over to draw stick figures.
“Teenagers using the power of friendship to kill God”
Wiki in hand I will advance with caution.
The Pilgrimage is the new release from Canadian progressive metallers NO HOPE FOR THE LOST. The release is inspired by events of Final Fantasy X, which from browsing the synopsis is about the development of some kind of religion. The defeat of Sin, the origin of Fayth, a pilgrimage and I’m led to believe some chap called Sephiroth is involved in at least one installment so my theory is airtight.
Here’s a very basic run down of the plot of the game.
Ten years prior to the events of the game, a man by the name of Braska defeats a monstrous entity known as ‘Sin’. That gets him this comfy job of High Summoner and some rather fancy robes. Sin was summoned to help kingdom A defend themselves from kingdom B and eventually it was discovered that Sin was a bit of a nuisance and they wanted to get rid of it. Eventually one guy pierces the beast’s armour and it dies.
Once Sin was dead, a thing called Yu Yevon was created and became part of the person that killed him. The first of these special people called Aeons was created by Lady Yunalesca when she killed her husband. She did this to become an Aeon and kill Sin. And right about now my head hurts. We’re almost there.
“No. All praise to Ye Yevon. A self-righteous manifestation. The origin of all infections. Using the lose of an old war to breed contempt. Now sacrifice yourself to maintain the cycle, or cast all aside and leave here in shambles. As blind faith takes control, takes the reins from your grasp. Left here to repeat the cycle, The future becomes the past. Lost in the confusion, blinded by your fear. Break from the confusion, or remain stranded”
This album ends on Jecht. Who is a part-time evil doer and father of the protagonist of the main character, Tidus. Braska turns him into an Aeon and his son has to defeat him with a little help from his friends. While dying he and Tidus make peace and Jecht goes into the underworld.
“Oh, and falling deeper still. The ink seeps through my veins. Swaying through this vacant portrait, in which we fall away. Yet we all stray away. Falling deep into the portraits that we paint.”
Ok… I really hope I’m somewhere near the mark there.
The EP is designed to be listened to as one continuous track and roughly follows the plot I’ve just described. If this sounds remotely interesting to you I’d recommend this EP. If it doesn’t it has elements of GOJIRA, DEVIN TOWNSEND and MESHUGGAH.
The guitar work exists in a sort of djent space without being overwhelming, knowing when to take breaks and go for it. A good example of this is part three which acts as an interlude. The instrumentation here is actually really clever with the feeling of space being very apparent. For a brief moment the calmness takes over.
All in all it’s a good release but I can only really recommend it for fans of the source material. I’ve experienced things like this before with my love of Dark Souls. A hook, something that I’m already interested in will make me more likely to engage on an emotional level with the music. To be clear, the music isn’t at fault here but the focus on this particular property may alienate some listeners.
Words: Jacob McCrone
The Pilgrimage will be released 9th April 2021.
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