ReMix: Doom "Asphyxiated Soul"

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Doom

I'm writing this live from the first ScrewAttack Gaming Convention, which has had an awesome first day - of its first year - that should continue long into the night. Larry and I finally got to meet Rey Jimenez, ex-judge Israfel (and sister), Bladiator, and plenty of other awesome folk in person, in addition to rocking some HDR action. Good times. So, since we're in an upbeat mood, I figured I'd post a calming, soothing, happy-go-lucky ReMix of... Doom. Actually, it's none of those things. Jesse Higginson - alias Kadmium - has a dark, dark debut mix that he's revised and resubbed, polished and honed, into a sinister alchemy that is truly... well, dark. It's dark, okay? If you're feeling positive about life and are in a mood to cuddle with puppies and/or babies in fields of soft, pastel flowers, or other permutations of warm fuzzies, this'll snap you right out of that, toot sweet. Jesse writes:

"Asphyxiated Soul was the first video game remix I ever did, back in 2004, I believe. It was probably my most popular remix and I had the idea recently to re-record it (as the production on the original was so bad I couldn't listen to it.) The choruses are gritty, and while I think the production's decent enough, the guitar sound is intentionally grating and dissonant (although that chord progression was never going to be nice). The overall effect of the song is supposed to be disturbing, consistent with the tone of the game."

Judges had some critical feedback and looked forward to resubmission, which Kadmium sent in and which you now see before you; he sums up the changes:

"What's changed:

  • New guitar sound (still nasty, in a different kind of way)
  • New bass sound
  • Thicker drum sound
  • Thicker vocal sound in second verse
  • Thicker mastering
  • Those silly vocal samples in the intro are gone
  • Intro is more ominous sounding"

With the thickness... Jesse definitely delivers on this laundry list of improvements, and I must say, the sheer atmosphere he creates is so menacing, so oppressive (in a good way), so... thick... that it really does put me in the environment the game's narrative envisions. Andy writes:

"I absolutely love the vibe here. Dark, whispering/speaking/growling vocals that aren't corny?! Awesome! You really pulled that off well. The head-skinning/decapitation thing is over the top, but in a good way (stylistically.) Also, I'm glad you didn't rely on just standard metal instrumentation for this, but skillfully filled out the texture."

Yeah. Check that bolded text, why don't you? Not for the meek - children, people with heart conditions, etc. - you know the drill. When it comes down to it, it's not hard to write lyrics that are disturbing on some level, but to do so in a way that is musically/artistically cohesive is another story entirely. Most of the first minute is spent setting the stage with held choral pads and weather fx. Guitar work breaks that down, but then drops out into the truly sinister spoken word juxtaposition that isn't just shock for shock value, but is truly powerful. I might just be old (okay, fine I *am* old), but I'm not a huge fan of the whole deep-throated screamed vocals - generally speaking. However, they make utter sense here, as this essentially sounds like.... well, music from hell. In Perdito Street Station there's this unforgettable scene that involves human communication with an "Ambassador to Hell" - I won't ruin it for you, you need to read the book, but this song instantly conjures that scene for me: a very visceral, tangible channeling. If you know the book and the scene, that's all I need to say, otherwise read the book, but either way, check this mix out for something very, very different. Dark, thick, and utterly uncompromising, unrepentant evil from Kadmium.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
kadath
on 2010-07-02 17:02:02

wow ! great cover, it reminds me opeth´s "dirge for november" ,

that strong guitar lines are great

Dunther
on 2009-12-05 09:09:58
Aah this remix es great!!! kadmium is a great remixer, can i ask you a favor guys??? can you post the lyrics for this song pleeeease, thanks and greetings from chile...

http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01865/ click on lyrics :)

if you don't find it...

Weight
Salvation doth weigh
'Pon
Thy shoulders, flayed
Endure
This feast of decay
Grive
For the light of day

Sign of evil in this
godforsaken hole
Severed emotion from thy
asphyxiated soul

Daemoni
Dominus
(repeat chorus)
AxeLayeD
on 2009-12-04 19:10:58

Aah this remix es great!!! kadmium is a great remixer, can i ask you a favor guys??? can you post the lyrics for this song pleeeease, thanks and greetings from chile...

ilp0
on 2009-07-24 17:04:47

God damn I like this one!

Desperate/dramatic/emotional music turns me on and this has all of those quantities to the extreme!

This kind of lyrics is surely naïve if you take it literally but I take this kind of music as "art of athmosphere" and this just perfect.

Beautiful stuff!

I remember digging some other Kadmium stuff back in VGM2 and I must say the production is much better (wasn't bad back then). Could be a track in any older Opeth or Anathema record...

*****

Martin Penwald
on 2009-07-23 12:09:49
Oh please, it sounds perfectly fine. :tomatoface: If you had to think of the recording setting for unnatural vocals or sound effects, it'd be a permanent killjoy. But what's in place sounds pretty effective.

I think there's a misunderstanding here. I'm not saying that the spoken parts sound bad because of the quality of the vocals or anything. What I meant is that the lyrics, the content, is so incredibly corny and stupid (IMO, of course), that it killed the mix for me.

Maybe my initial comment wasn't worded very well. I'll edit it.

Liontamer
on 2009-07-23 07:01:07
The way the spoken part sounds has absolutely nothing to do with how dumb the lyrics are or aren't. Just sayin'.

Oh please, it sounds perfectly fine. :tomatoface: If you had to think of the recording setting for unnatural vocals or sound effects, it'd be a permanent killjoy. But what's in place sounds pretty effective.

Martin Penwald
on 2009-07-23 06:55:44
Shaddaps. IF the vocals spoken word stuff were pulled off in a beginnerish way, I could be with you, but when it's pulled off well like this, you're just way off-base.

People always complaining... :lol:

The way the spoken part sounds has absolutely nothing to do with how dumb the lyrics are or aren't. Just sayin'.

Liontamer
on 2009-07-23 06:42:56
As far as musical arrangement is concerned, this is a very competent remix. The vocals, however, put me off greatly. I'm not a fan of growling, but that part was actually better than the rest. The spoken part is corny as all hell; it sounds like something a 15-year old who thinks that watching horror movies makes him mature and that having the nickname "psycho" is the coolest thing on earth would write in his little black notebook when he's bored at school. The latin words make it even worse, turing the whole remix into a joke.

Sorry, but the vocals and lyrics absolutely kill this one for me. Instrumental version would've been much better IMO.

Shaddaps. IF the vocals spoken word stuff were pulled off in a beginner-ish way, I could be with you, but when it's pulled off well like this, you're just way off-base.

People always complaining... :lol:

Martin Penwald
on 2009-07-23 06:29:24

As far as musical arrangement is concerned, this is a very competent remix. The vocals, however, put me off greatly. I'm not a fan of growling, but that part was actually better than the rest. The spoken part is corny as all hell; the lyrics seem like something a 15-year old who thinks that watching horror movies makes him mature and that having the nickname "psycho" is the coolest thing on earth would write in his little black notebook when he's bored at school. The latin words make it even worse, turing the whole remix into a joke.

Sorry, but the vocals and lyrics absolutely kill this one for me. Instrumental version would've been much better IMO.

ponulian
on 2009-07-17 16:40:10

Sorry people. I've just been goin through some tough times lately so any little thing kinda ticks me off. I'll tone it down

Emunator
on 2009-07-17 15:31:48

Your guitar/bass sounds work great here. I wasn't a fan of the spoken word stuff particularly but I can see how it works here; I just thought the cutoff before the spoken part came in was a bit too abrupt. The growling vocals are intense and well-performed, you should be proud of that! :D

This is a very cohesive package that fits together wonderfully and creates an ambient, dark song that I won't soon forget.

He11 Marine
on 2009-07-14 01:45:41

Ponulian should change his name to Ponulion so that Liontamer can actually fit surprisingly well there. hahaha

But yeah man I was just saying because that's what I found out years ago when I first heard the original asphyxiated soul version. That it was also in a song by The Black Dahlia Murder. It's not exactly the same. But they are both from the same context.

Take a chill pill man I did nothing to insult you. Don't get all buck wild for no reason. haha

Besides I don't know completely everything about anything.

I mean c'mon dude I was merely stating my opinion. and putting up some references for other people who might be as interested as I was.

The church of euthanasia is some freaky stuff it seems. apparently they put up some post on their website about how to kill yourself using asphyxia and helium and a 54 year old woman died from it.. hahaha so they took it off. Wiki it.

Anyways yeah. You + Chill = Alright. =]

Liontamer
on 2009-07-13 20:02:05
This isn't a battle to see who knows the most references to the mantra, or to see who knows completely everything about it. So quit being full of yourself.

Seems like you're being way too "serious business". He wasn't going for oneupsmanship, so dial it down. :lol:

ponulian
on 2009-07-13 19:56:21

This isn't a battle to see who knows the most references to the mantra, or to see who knows completely everything about it. So quit being full of yourself.

He11 Marine
on 2009-07-12 23:51:29

Kadmium my man!

This is truly something I didn't expect. I remember when I looked at the reviews for this remix when in it's old form and saw it was rejected I was truly very disappointed.

The new version is fantastic. I love the raw vocals and no more distortion. And the tone of your guitar playing has improved dramatically.

I can hear a lot more of that opeth influence you were talking about.

And I can understand the decapitation dialogue.

I haven't had so many chills from a song in forever.

congratulations. This might be my new favorite remix ever.

=]

I love the lyrics in the first verse.

They sound hopeless. Imagine being in the darkest of mindsets and lost forever to it. never to feel, never to wake and ever smothered. They sound to me like scripts or thoughts of one lost for hope and will never be saved from it.

Completely and entirely alone in the abyss.

that is what hell is after all.

Word spoken with such outstanding simplicity, yet with a great poetic flair.

Shakespeare represent. haha

Uber Props Kadmium.

For any who were wondering the decapitation procedures, also stated in a song by The Black Dahlia Murder called "Apex" from the 2003 album "Unhallowed", are quoted from a writing by one Bob Arson from The Church of Euthanasia called Butchering the Human Carcass for Human Consumption.

Quoted Directly, "When the bleeding slows, preparation for decapitation can be started. Continue the cut to the throat around the entire neck, from the jawline to the back of the skull. Once muscle and ligament have been sliced away, the head can be cleanly removed by gripping it on either side and twisting it off, separation occurring where the spinal cord meets the skull. This is indicative of the method to be used for dividing other bones or joints, in that the meat should generally be cut through first with a knife, and the exposed bone then separated with a saw or cleaver. The merits of keeping the skull as a trophy are debatable for two principal reasons. First, a human skull may call suspicious attention to the new owner. Secondly, thorough cleaning is difficult due to the large brain mass, which is hard to remove without opening the skull. The brain is not good to eat. Removing the tongue and eyes, skinning the head, and placing it outside in a wire cage may be effective. The cage allows small scavengers such as ants and maggots to cleanse the flesh from the bones, while preventing it being carried off by larger scavengers, such as dogs and children. After a sufficient period of time, you may retrieve the skull and boil it in a dilute bleach solution to sterilize it and wash away any remaining tissue. Skinning: After removing the head, wash the rest of the body down. Because there is no major market for human hides, particular care in removing the skin in a single piece is not necessary, and makes the task much easier."

Nice little addition. =]