Feryl is a name you may have heard a few times through the years. He’s been writing chiptune since 2008, mainly using the Modplug Tracker and Famitracker to create lo-fi no-frills chiptune with frequent thematic nods to love. Last year’s release ‘How to Heal a Broken Heart’ was a tour de force of emotion and subtlety, and 2011’s ‘Aware’ used soft tones and warm melodies to seduce. So, with high hopes I explored Feryl’s most recent output, ‘Crossing’.
The themes of loss and love are still evidently present in some of the track titles; however, his previous emotional export is this time not. Where Feryl’s previous outings excelled, ‘Crossing’ fails. Tracks like ‘Static Feelings’ lack melodic strength, instead dipping into moments of unbearable dissonance and bouts of uninterrupted repetition. The harmonies in the first half of ‘Back and Forth/ Moving On’ are drab and lifeless, sputtering in an incoherent mess, whilst ‘I Doubted Myself’ is just plain boring, 4 minutes of Castlevania meets my-first-tracker-song.
There are some gems in the dirt however. ‘She Never Wrote Me Back’ has an ingenious introduction and the second half of ‘Back and Forth/Moving On’ makes great use of countermelodies and harmonies to create a rare glimpse of emotion. However these highlights only serve to emphasise the flaws elsewhere.
Overall, large portions of ‘Crossing’ sound messy and incomplete. The lack of consistent countermelodies throughout the release leaves tracks sounding limp, and a portion of the melodies that do remain are awkward and samey. A more worthwhile pursuit would be to discover the excellent ‘Aware’ and ‘How to Heal a Broken Heart’, before you attempt to delve into the quite frankly inferior ‘Crossing’.
Favourite Track: She Never Wrote Me Back
Get the whole release here.
1. Static Feelings
2. Back and Forth/ Moving On
3. She Never Wrote Me Back
4. I Doubted Myself