The Wild, the latest release from Ro Panuganti — aka SwigglesRP — combines two of my favorite things when it comes to music, progressive rock/metal and Zelda music. This five track EP is comprised of prog rock and prog metal covers of songs from this year’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it sounds so good. These arrangements are well composed and full of the technicality you’d expect from progressive music, while still capturing the essence of the Breath of the Wild soundtrack.
The EP opens up with “Awaken,” a short take on the main theme of Breath of the Wild that serves as a great intro track. Right away it reminded me of something that could be written by Plini or Periphery, most notably with the sound of the lead guitars. I’d say it’s the most simple track on the album, but it works for what it is. The blend of piano and guitar really sets the tone for what can be expected on the rest of the EP.
Next up is “Guardian,” a cover of the Guardian battle theme. This cover is packed full of djent style riffs that remind me a lot of Periphery’s first album. This track also features a saxophone solo performed by insaneintherainmusic, and it blends in really nicely. It caught me by surprise on my first listen, but it was a good surprise. The track closes out by transitioning to clean and acoustic guitar over the sound of wind that captures the vibe of the wild, there’s also a little noto to the Twilight Princess Hyrule Field theme at the very end.
“Zora,” a cover of the Zora’s Domain theme is my personal favorite on the EP, it takes the mostly piano original and blends in some amazing lead and rhythm guitars into the mix. I really love the way guest David Russell’s piano playing plays together with Ro’s guitarwork; it reminds me a lot of some of Plini’s more piano driven songs. This tune also features a guest guitar solo from AHmusic.
“Hinox,” a take on the Hinox battle theme is another heavy number. This cover still captures the primal vibe of the original with parts featuring the same tribal drum beat and flute. It’s cool how this song alternates between that tribal sound and heavy guitar riffs and shredding.
The final track is “Rito,” a cover of the Rito Village theme, which is itself a callback to the Dragon Roost Island theme from Wind Waker. This is the longest track on the EP, and is an epic way to wrap it up. There is some amazing guitar playing on this track, plus more Piano from David Russell. It alternates between soft and heavy, and is constantly throwing new things at the listener as prog tends to do.
Overall, The Wild is a fantastic listen from start to finish. The one complaint I have is that it’s so short! I would love a full album of this music. The prog sound definitely suits the Breath of the Wild soundtrack. There is not a single boring moment on this EP. If you like Zelda and/or progressive music, definitely give this a listen. You can find The Wild on pretty much any major online music provider right now!