ReMix: Metroid 'Cranial Syphon [Kay-raid]'

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Mr. Danimal, who Larry informs me recently celebrated a birthday, writes:

"This song is the first song Armcannon ever arranged as a whole band. Dan and Chris used to play around with this particular theme when jamming with each other before the actual inception of the band. Since it was the first track we ever collaborated on, it has a special place in our hearts and appears as the first song on our first album entitled Legvacuum. The backwards piano section at the end was a random idea that Chris recorded and ended up getting stuck on the end of the song because we liked it so much. We have been performing this song live since 2006 and can be seen being performed on youtube"

So, who the hell says video game "cover" bands can't arrange?

Certainly no one in their right mind who's heard this frenetic, electric/orchestral/chamber music public service announcement from your thoughtful friends at Armcannon. Sure, this rocks out in familiar ways that you'd expect (and love), but it's also got an ominous orchestral intro, plenty of calmer piano bits, and - most importantly - a metric ton of variation to the arrangement. There are enough arrangement ideas here to make two or three mixes that would stand on their own, and all of them are fresh and work quite well with the Kraid theme. Definitely a solid decision to keep the backwards piano bits, too; the overall production for the track is a little schizophrenic in terms of EQ/DSP/whatever, but rather than trying to compensate somehow, this unorthodox ending seems to embrace inconsistency, and stylistically this seems like a great decision to me. This isn't just a quality mix, it's a memorable mix; you get the sense that it has the "special place" Dan mentions in his submission email in the hearts and minds of those performing/arranging it. I can see how this track could be a catalyst for the formation of what eventually became Armcannon, and they should be proud to have it be so integral a part of their history. Great track.


Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Proven Paradox
on 2009-09-29 11:27:21
This sounds to me like two excellent pieces that fell down the stairs at the same time and were so mixed up when they finally landed that no one could untangle them. I think in this case, its less than the sum of its parts. Its a heavy metal mix entangled with a mellow orchestral/piano driven arrangement mixed in, and they clash with each other. The transitions are jarring and the inconsistent mood is not endearing to me. Genre mixing can be done well, but I think this one misses the mark.

That said, its not -bad-. It wouldve been better as two (maybe three even) more cohesive tracks, but the individual components here done incredibly well. This ones going on my playlist, and I look forward to more. I just wish it werent the mash-up it is now.
on 2009-07-15 13:22:51
Armcannon is one of the best VGM bands ever. Great mixin of the songs, great performance on keybord, guitars, bass, drums, everythin. GREAT band!
Lasercat I
on 2008-04-28 20:59:39
Nice addition to the site!
Its very reminiscent of Stemages Metroid Metal.
Anyways, I love it (especially the section with the concert snare)!
Martin Penwald
on 2008-04-12 16:10:20
Great mix of metal and piano. The little breakdown from 3:36 on is particulary awesome.
on 2008-04-10 08:23:18

If I had money to spend on CDs Id eat up their shit so fast...great mix btw. The ending is top tier.
on 2008-03-19 02:02:43
The ending does seem to be a bit out of place and tacked on. However, it makes up for it with sheer awesomeness. Ive probably played the last 30 seconds twenty times.
on 2008-03-18 15:42:43
So this is basically an all-around awesome piece of work--from the hyper aggressive string bass in the beginning, to the facemelting guitar solo. The source is also incredibly juicy. The only thing I didnt like on first listen.

So I listened again. And again. Like many things I find off-putting at first, I consider this ending to be one of the best endings on the site. wowowowowowow
on 2008-03-18 11:02:46
Killer work; super varied and great use of sounds. The texture is always changing, but cohesive enough that the listener doesnt get lost. Even more props for making me like a Metroid song, especially one that I recognize and previously was meh with. :-)

I love how the basses at the beginning sound so agressive, and the clean guitar playing throughout. Very deft touch, and tasteful phrasing as well. Piano used throughout was great, as were the synths, and the rock was sufficiently heavy. The reverse playing at the end was a great surprise, and overall its pretty hard to pick nits on this one. I was rockin.

Awesome work gentlemen.
on 2008-03-16 04:37:54
Haha, awesome! I would have liked the drums to play on the toms a little more, and the snare sounded a little weak for my taste, but the arrangement is really nice and so is the performance. The outro is wonderful.
on 2008-03-16 04:28:11
The awesomeness of this song keeps my anus from performing properly, hence I shat. Multiple times over.
on 2008-03-15 00:23:30
Totally. Freakin. AWESOME. Kraids Hideout theme has been my favorite Metroid song for a long time, and this remix DEFINITELY does it justice. And then some. I love how everything blends together. Its also a good compliment to Ailseans Metaltroid, which takes Kraids song and gives it a fresh, new, scarred, tatooed, pierced, and angry face. I can see it now: On a dark night, somewhere around midnight, Ailsean finishes that song and the lead guitarist kicks the amp. Twice. Then smashes his guitar into the amp and breaks it into a million pieces and throws some of them into the audience.... Yeahhh.... That would be worth more than the ticket price alone....

Anyway! Great mix. Great talent. Now Im going to put their CD at the top of my "Next Music to Buy" list.
on 2008-03-13 23:12:08
As mentioned in the writeup, this track is off of Arm Cannons album [url=]Leg Vacuum[/url].

I have to say, this is the most creative rock/metal arrangement of Kraid I have yet to hear. How it seamlessly switches modes and instruments, like sliding right from a thrashin synth & guitar combo into sublime piano, is just great to hear in action.

Also, the names on Leg Vacuum are simply hilarious. If you think Cranial Syphon by itself is amusing, just wait until you see it and [u]Super[/u] Cranial Syphon on the same CD. These guys have a great sense of humor. ^^
on 2008-03-13 21:48:13
prime stuff8)
on 2008-03-13 13:28:58
Arrangement-wise this is really cool. Youve got excellent control of contrasts in terms of dynamics and interpretation of the theme. Although the transition was a little sudden on the first listen through, the section starting at 1:43 was kickass. Nice job!
on 2008-03-13 09:49:43
The best Kraid remix, hands down. Its one thing to make a nice-sounding remix, but its another thing to surprise and impress a listener who has heard the theme 1,000 times before.