Named after the Nintendo robot-hand gaming accessory, Powerglove plays power-metal covers of classic video-game songs. The band released its debut EP, Total Pwnage, in 2005, covering, among other songs, the Tetris theme and the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers theme. The band continued to develop its “Nintendo-core” sound with a full-length in 2007, entitled Metal Kombat for the Mortal Man.
With a new album based on Saturday-morning cartoons on the way (Saturday Morning Apocalypse, 9/28, E1 Music), Powerglove caught up with ALARM to share a few of its all-time favorite video-game covers.
Nick Avila (bass)
Armcannon: “Zeal” from Chrono Trigger
Buffalo’s video-game metal band Armcannon delivers an explosion of nostalgia with this song from the best RPG ever made. Their lead guitarist pulls off some very tasteful Satriani-esque solos, which is due to the fact that he is a very talented player, and also because he looks disturbingly similar to Joe Satriani. Listening to this song inspired me to begin working on a Chrono Trigger song for Powerglove, and it will definitely inspire you to dig out your SNES or ZSNES and give the game another run-through.
The OneUps: “Bossa De Link” from the Legend of Zelda
This is the OneUps take on a classic Legend of Zelda track. As you can tell from the title, they arrange it into a bossa-nova-style tune, which is a nice break from your typical rock or metal version. However, if this was playing in the background while Link was trying to kick Gannon’s ass, he’d probably forget about Zelda all together and head down to one of the deep caves to enjoy a blunt and a Snack Pack.
Chris Marchiel (guitar)
Saitama Saisyu Heiki (SSH): “The Decisive Battle” from Final Fantasy VI
For those who don’t know, SSH is a Japanese remix artist who made some amazing synth-metal versions of classic video-game themes, and he is easily the best at what he does. It sounds like a computer rocking out with divine power and exquisite perfection. I worshiped this guy back in the day more than anyone when it came to video-game remixes.
When I joined Powerglove six years ago, “The Decisive Battle” from Final Fantasy VI was the first remix we attempted with me in the band. My entire goal at that point was to sound like SSH, but with real instruments, and to sound as awesome as this song. Man, we tried, but we were too young as a band to tackle it at the time. The SSH version is still the champion, and it always will be.
Toshiyuki Mori (Piano Collections Final Fantasy IV): “Theme of Love” from Final Fantasy IV
This song is just the perfect, wistful piano lounge song, performed and arranged amazingly. To properly appreciate this one, you would need a tuxedo, a glass of some type of alcohol too expensive for me to have even heard of, and some impossibly epic computer-generated view of the moon…and a balcony of some kind. Then the mood would be set.
Alex Berkson (guitar)
Virt: “Clockwork (Once Upon a Time in Transylvania)” from Castlevania 3
“Clockwork” is my favorite theme of all time, and Virt’s shred-metal reinterpretation is my favorite remix, hands down. It was done around 2003 or 2004, and in all the time since, I have yet to hear any video-game cover come close to it. I would love to hear it with real drums, but the recording is really good for what it is.
More importantly, the arrangement of intertwining harmonies and slick, over-the-top but never over-the-line shredding are what makes this song so strong. If there was an entire album done like this, I would buy it in a second. The guitar work is amazing ,and the Castlevania melodies translate seamlessly into flamenco and neoclassical shredding, so it is a must-have for any guitarist who appreciates those styles.