ReMix: Metal Gear 'Snake's Revenge'
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Many of you with PS3s (or friends with PS3s) are no doubt busy enjoying the epicality that is Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, so what better time to post this ReMix of the original Metal Gear from newcomer musicalman, aka Pascal Lamarche. This arrangement won DoD's MAGFest 6 free month back in January, so you know it's awesome, and Pascal's cleaned it up a little bit since then. Judges basically had some reservations about the treble ratio, specifically the volume of the cymbals in the original mix:
"Aw, hell. This thing just kicks ass all around town. High quality sounds used in awesome ways. Epic intro, excellent performances, and some really cool detours. I could have listened to another minute of this easily. It'd be incredibly hard to say NO to this and yet...
...Larry's dead on about the cymbals. This song is already pretty loud, and the cymbals are really loud. I feel like I can't play this at the volume I want to because the high end just gets overpowering. If you can tone it down a little, this is a no-brainer pass."
Well, this version can go to 11 (and BEYOND...) since Pascal toned 'em down a bit, so brain is no longer required, making judges happy. There's a sci-fi/horror flick-style operatic vocal to intro things, as a brief orchestral prelude starts us on our journey. I love how right out of the gate the arrangement shows such depth of character, freely mixing musical genres & inspirations. Rock/metal starts at 0'22" after a quick radio-static effect transition. Pascal's not afraid to blend textures, and rather than keep things pure guitar/bass/drums, adds some synths and vocal timbres in as well. Transitions here are brilliant and effortless thanks not only to intelligent arranging but also refined production and willingness to experiment; 0'58" is a brief but fantastic segue into more exposed lead territory at 1'05" that - while continuing to rock out - is actually rather beautiful at the same time. 1'25" employs the same static effect as before to transition into a softer section where the cross-delayed attacks of muted guitar and bass percolate under a swirling exchange of ensemble and solo choral passages and brass hits. 1'53" changes the demeanor from ethereal to downright demonic, with a heavy 'One-Winged Angel' style section that transitions to more soloing. An ingame "Snake... Hurry" sample prefaces a final push of the main melodic motif before a bombastic ending fitting the grandeur of the overall arrangement.
This is fantastic work that's a textbook lesson in the perfect ReMixing trifecta:
- Creative, interpretive arrangement that takes risks but still respects the source material.
- Slick, professional production that sounds absolutely gorgeous.
- Amazing performance technique and musicianship.
Certain genres don't really allow for the third element as much, and as a pretty mediocre musician myself, I certainly focus more on the first two, which are more core to what OCR's all about, but it's amazing when someone can put something together that so clearly encompasses all three so completely. Pascal would probably still be able to make a badass mix if he wasn't as skillful a guitar player - I personally feel that composition and production can be excelled at without comparable mastery of performance - but then this specific mix wouldn't have been made, or would have necessitated collaboration. Instead, we've got a relatively short piece that nevertheless displays a truly formidable arsenal of musical weapons wielded by a single dude... not unlike Snake himself.
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