The story behind he album is pretty neat. A group of gamers gets stuck into a Virtual Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, titled 'Tales From Skylar'. Unable to log-out, the group now lives in the game and faces real challenges. The eight songs represent different situations and one of those tracks is the best piece of music I've heard Arka produce. While opener 'It took Forever to Decipher the meaning behind it All' is loyal to the progressive guitar driven sound of Mixtaped Monk, 'We exist in a place Hidden away from the Stars' is a musical chef d'oeuvre. Moody and melancholic, this tune expresses something playful and soothing.
Although the music is slow, Mixtaped Monk comes up with rhythm and repetitive sequences over which he frolics with guitar solos. 'Rock is still Alive but We are not' is a great example of that approach. Driving on a pulsating bass and drums foundation, the guitars whirl and flutter. Here and there Santana comes to mind. Arka is one of those musicians who prefer high notes over droning bass lines and that might set him apart from most post rock acts. Instead of bands like Explosions In The Sky or Godspeed, Mixtaped Monk seems to be inspired by Mike Oldfield and Steven Wilson.
So, if you're looking for decent progressive rock music, I'm quite sure this album will satisfy your needs. I only wonder, as I do so often with one-man acts, what would happen if Arka turns this project into a live band. The songs are great, the atmosphere is spot-on and the overall quality of this release is certainly good enjoy to be enjoyed in a live setting. Perhaps we will never know. All I know is that 'How To Live Inside A VMMORPG' is another excellent set of compositions, destined to be explored and enjoyed by a large group of prog-rock fans.