Niklas Sjosvard, commonly known under his music handle Zabutom, has been writing chip music for a good number of years, and has finally unveiled his debut album "Zeta Force" for chiptune fans everywhere. The seven-track, demoscene-influenced collection of mixed modules turns out to be a pleasant and melodic trip that is well worth taking.
The release starts off strong with "The Legend of Zeta Force", which sets the stage with a strong main theme and enough variance throughout its three-minute running time to keep things interesting. "Blast Off Into Space" is another gem, and even includes some hard-driving rock instrumentation along with the riveting melody. "Zeta Force (GameBoy Version)" takes the old conceptual theme that I remember from Zabutom's old titular module and revisions it as a solid GameBoy tune, even if it is an interesting change from the other tracks, which are all module chiptunes.
"Final Blast", while a bit long and perhaps not the artist's best effort, closes off the album in style. Overall, Zabutom's debut chip music release is a very solid and well-composed work, with enough oldschool module-tune influences and high production values to make it a worthy purchase.
The mixing is nice, the melodies are enjoyable, and the brief length gets the job done. Niklas makes a very nice return to form with the 8-bit journey through space which comprises "Zeta Force".
SCORE: 8.5 out of 10 - "Great"