Synth Album Review: "Fantastic Tales of A Future Lost" by Victor Roy
Fantastic Tales of a Future Lost is a synth-driven album that offers up beautiful moments of crystalline shimmer, energetically driving beats and songs that are infused with a deep feeling of fantasy and exploration. Victor Roy has combined strong melodic writing and synths that are deployed as sonic paintbrushes with a powerful atmospheric component to take listeners on a wide-ranging journey through the world he creates on the album.
On Fantastic Tales of a Future Lost, Victor Roy has chosen synths that fit in with the feeling of fantasy that imbues the overall sound of the entire album. Sometimes everything is glowing and lambent, shining and shimmering. There are also synthscapes that feel majestic and triumphant when that’s called for. There are a few moments where the synths have a strong orchestral feeling, specifically like a string section. I found that particularly satisfying to my ears.
As a whole, this is an album that generates a deep, characterful atmosphere. I feel like this album's a canvas on which Victor Roy is painting with sound. I feel a sense of exploration and adventure running through each track. Each musical element is like a brush stroke that produces a harmonious whole and contributes to the feeling that a magical world is being revealed.
While Fantastic Tales of a Future Lost gels as a cohesive whole, it’s also a very diverse album. It explores everything from driving speed and energy to gently gliding segments that have a real warmth and ease to them. I was engaged by this dynamic quality as it held my interest well.
Another factor that I couldn’t help but feel was present was an influence from video game music. I thought there were moments that felt like a classic Konami or Capcom space shooter and other moments in which strong ‘90s JRPG elements came through. For me, this only added to the feeling of being taken on an adventure through worlds of fantasy.
Production-wise, Fantastic Tales of a Future Lost has a rich, full feeling. There’s a lot of clarity to all the sounds and nothing is muddy or dull. I particularly like how Victor Roy has layered the sounds to balance them, making sure that no one element dominates. When he needs airy flow, he creates it and when a denser, more intense feeling is needed he can create that too. It furthers the cause of creating strong sonic imagery on the tracks.
As usual, I’ll break down the tracks on the album that I feel most captured my ears and discuss my reasons for being compelled by and drawn to those particular tracks on the recording.
“Crystals and Fireflies” is full of densely packed glow and shine. There’s such positive energy to the lead synth sound and the delicate melody that it plays. The long sweep of deep synth below higher floating and chiming synths does have a crystalline feeling to it. The steady pulse of the beat anchors those lighter elements.
I also enjoyed the segments of the track that glided along in silken smoothness.
On “Deep Within (Paradise)” we start with a winding, twisting minor key melody along with shiny arps and a pulsing rough-edged synth that moves in an angular fashion accompanied by a fast, throbbing beat that relentlessly pushes forward. As the track progresses, there’s a “B” section melody that has a triumphant and climbing quality to it. It resolves back to the “A” section as the track closes.
“Path To Glory III” is full of majestic sweeps of synth and arps that flash quickly under them. The lead melody of this track is triumphant and there’s an orchestral feeling to the chords that drift under it, feeling a little tragic but still full of strength. It does create sensations that match well with the title of the track.
I felt like “Stage Two” was channeling the great space shooter soundtracks created for the SNES/Super Famicom by Konami and Capcom in the ‘90s. The track has a driving beat and a deep, funky synth bass along with the speeding drums. The lead synth rocks its way through the track, flying along, infused with energy. All of the different elements of this track generated a sense of progress and relentless forward motion. I could picture a fantasy spacecraft battling it out among the stars.
“Dungeons Of The Mind” has those great synth sounds that evoke an orchestral string section in it. There are dark synths that slide into the track, contrasting with the higher and brighter segments. Those more shadowed synths create a mysterious sensation in the track. The beat is dynamic and the melody evokes the idea of exploring ancient dungeons as it has a devious quality. I actually got a bit of a Castlevania vibe off of this track and I enjoy that fact.
Fantastic Tales of a Future Lost is an album of adventure for me. All of the musical elements of it come together to take the listener on a fun, energetic and sometimes very beautiful journey. I am constantly blown away by all of the different directions that synth-based music is taking lately. Victor Roy is one more artist who is exploring another facet of this tremendous synth scene in a unique, entertaining way.