SMoD is a solid staple for me too. Good call on the trip-hop too, I definitely love this kinda stuff.
also on a bit of a tangent, last week I was supposed to see Deafheaven, but then i was tired and took a nap instead
but it was cool cause this week I was gonna catch The Protomen but then a snowpocalypse hit so fuck that, but im still kinda bummed about missing both. In any case, Protomen post~
So recently they released this video for "Light up the Night", which is itself a re-imagining of their overarching story, but more on that in a bit. Its pretty cool and it renewed my interest in em
Overall, The Protomen have released ~3 albums so far with the first being a re-imagining of the story of Megaman (30+ year old spoilers to follow lel)
Dr Light makes Protoman who falls in battle with Dr Wily and his robots, Dr Light makes Megaman who goes to fight Dr Wily
with the album ending in a climactic cliffhanger battle. IIRC this started as a school project, the last song on the album was the first they made and you can definitely tell. Its gritty and unpolished and not part of the "story", but its a solid track, the rest of the album itself is a crazy mash of like crazy western movie theme inspired bits with grungy almost Machinae Supremacy style bits and of course super over the top cheesy rock opera vocals with all sorts of other shit tossed in. the atmosphere on this album is well done, you can feel the jaded broken society and struggle of Megaman come out through the music. You can see the movie play out in your mind clearly. Its not too long either, clocking in at like ~40 mins. Definitely worth checking out for any Megaman fan, or if youre just looking for something unique.
Their second album is a prequel to the first and highlights the struggles of Dr Light vs Dr Wily. I'm pretty sure they brought in the producer for some of Meatloaf's albums and you can hear the influence clearly on some of the piano/drum bits, sound like something straight from A Bat Out Of Hell. Conceptually this album sounds differently and you can feel the city change with the times as the story goes on and what starts sounding out fairly "clean" ends up setting up the dirty grimy stage that the first album explores. Very well done on this front. In most regards I'd say that this album is just the band building on and polishing what they started. However, the albums concept doesnt allow it to be as hard/rock-y as the first, kind of a pity. I really enjoy the atmosphere they created with the first and wished they'd explore it more, but~ more on this in a bit. The other weak point are the vocals. I find myself saying this about a lot of bands/songs, so I'll admit part of it is personal preference, but on some of the songs on this album the vocals are just not good. I mean, I get the whole rock opera thing, but theres always those weird songs that should just be dialogue or something but they need to be music so they into this weird limbo of just being a shitty song imo. However, even on those tracks I generally just let em play through as they do (vocals withstanding) add to the overall theme/feel of the album and skipping a track would fuck up the transitions :3. Anyway I've harped on it long enough. Overall I'd also Highly recommend this one, I always find myself playing the two back to back, they just fit so nicely (also fit on one 80 min cd-r[w] if anyone still uses those.....).
Act 2: Father of Death
So after those they haven't released act 3 yet, but they did come out with this album of covers. Apparently its the OST to a movie thats playing in the city that their story takes place in. so its a soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. ok. The rabbit hole goes deeper though. The songs chosen are very clearly telling a story even though its just a bunch of (seemingly) random covers. The prevailing theory is that Dr Wily made a movie to cover up the actual events of Act 2 (the movie title is "The Cover-up" :3) and this album is the soundtrack to that. Kind of a crazy story for an album of covers. Anyway, I'd also definitely recommend giving it a spin if you liked their sound from the "real" albums. They treat each song really well and there wasn't one that I immediately disliked, I was even pleasantly surprised at their take on "Princes of the Universe". I hope I link it properly, cause this one was a bit tricky to nail down, I'm not sure if this playlist even has all the songs, but if you have the time try to listen to it properly (I ended up googling the songlist and listening to them individually).
The Cover Up (offical movie soundtrack)