Ever heard of Crush 40? This band is probably best known for their work on the soundtracks for various games in the Sonic the Hedgehog game franchise. In my opinion, there is no better band in the gaming industry than Crush 40.
Crush 40 first came into being under the name of Sons of Angels in 1998 when Sega composer Jun Senoue when he was working on the soundtrack for Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast. He contacted Hardline/Axel Rudi Pell singer Johnny Gioeli to record the main theme for the game, "Open Your Heart." This hard rocking song with phenomenal guitar work from Jun Senoue and amazing vocals from Johnny Gioeli set me on a path to become the metalhead that I am today.
Since recording that song, Crush 40 has gone on to perform songs for a significant portion of Sonic games and well as NASCAR Arcade, released in 2000. But what makes this band so special?
For one thing, Crush 40 has given us some of the most beloved songs in video games. In addition to "Open Your Heart" the band is responsible for such amazing songs as "Live and Learn" from Sonic Adventure 2, "What I'm Made Of" from the Sonic Heroes, "I Am... All of Me" from Shadow the Hedgehog, and many others.
But writing these songs alone is not what makes Crush 40 so great. It's the amazing and unique musicianship that sets them apart from the rest, and we're not just talking about bands that so songs for video games. Crush 40 is just as good as countless big names in the rock and metal world.
Jun Senoue has a signature guitar style that I have never heard anywhere else before. As soon as you hear his riffs kick in you know it's him. Much like many legendary guitarists such as Adrian Smith and Dave Murry of Iron Maiden, or Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King from Slayer, or Jimmi Hendrix. All of these amazing guitarists have a sound that you instantly associate with them, and Jun Senoue has it too.
And then you have Johnny Gioeli whose vocals are just so amazing. I cannot even begin to describe how amazing his voice is. He is easily one of my favorite singers. He just has such tremendous power and he sounds unlike anyone else.
Beyond the musicianship, there is the fact that Crush 40 can play a vast range of styles. From straight up metal like "Open Your Heart," to the alternative metal stylings of "I Am... All of Me," to the melodic rock of "Live and Learn," this band has it all covered and they do it well.
This is why Crush 40 is not just the best band in video games, but one of the most awesome bands around. They definitely deserve their place alongside the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Nirvana, Led Zepplin, Iron Maiden, and countless others in the music library of any fan of rock or metal.
As always, Metal Monday concludes with a playlist relevant to the topic, so let your ears bask in the glory of some songs from Crush 40.
"Open Your Heart" from Sonic Adventure
"Live and Learn" from Sonic Adventure 2
"I Am... All of Me" from Shadow the Hedgehog
"What I'm Made Of" from Sonic Heroes
"Revvin' Up" from NASCAR Arcade
Metal Monday is a weekly column by DisturbedShadow on TAY that discusses all things metal. Every Monday morning, we will discuss something metal related and leave you with a playlist to listen to. If it has to do with gaming you'll find it on TAY and if not you can find it over on TAYClassic.