ReMix: Final Fantasy IV 'Fighting for Tomorrow'

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Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of RedemptionFinal Fantasy IV

Ladies and gentlemen, and even men who try to be gentle but can't seem to ever get it right, I am extremely proud to present OC ReMix's 14th album, Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption!

I've been waiting quite awhile myself to hear the finished product the whole way through, and I have to say OA & company have come up with an awesome, inspired, multi-faceted behemoth of an album. There's something here for everyone, from trance to metal, jazz to classical, and the variety is matched only by the consistency: massive congratulations to everyone involved! We had a badass time yesterday at Otakon, unveiling Echoes to the world through the 110% perfect debut trailer Jose put together; I asked him if he could do something like a week ago or something crazy like that, and I had no idea he'd find enough time to knock it out of the park like he did. That's the tip of the iceberg, though, as this album contains dozens of fantastic tracks I'm still fully exploring and getting into; there's some stuff that kicks your ass the second you hear it, and other more subtle arrangements that grow on you, and my impression thus far is that it's an excellent selection of tracks that fully embraces the idea of experimentation, exploration, and expression.

But, honestly now, enough of what I have to say - Andrew's got some words:

"After a year of relentless work, I'm very proud to present OverClocked ReMix's fourteenth album, Final Fantasy IV: Echoes of Betrayal, Light of Redemption. It is a 46 track, 3 act album that closely follows the story arc of the game, from the onset to the final credits, but transforms it into a rock opera of epic proportions.

This was a project contributed by not only the 36 mixers who arranged, produced, and performed on the album, but all of the countless people who assisted with administration, mirror servers, getting the word out, and moral support. It wouldn't have been nearly as smooth without everyone's help, so thanks to all the supporters. Extra thanks and heartfelt appreciation to my Assistant Directors, Jay, Justin, Deia, and Shaun. This project literally would not have been completed without your hundreds of hours put in.

The album itself started as a much more modest project of about 24 tracks, but due to people being exceptionally passionate about the project, we managed to complete the entire soundtrack, without sacrificing quality. The group definitely went above and beyond any expectations I may have set up for us. I couldn't have asked for a better team. Let's make the next project a little smaller, ok? ;-)"

Awesome. The massive amount of work that goes into an album like this is truly inspiring in its own right, but amplified by the non-commercial focus; album staff and artists poured their heart and souls into this, it shows, and the end result is available for free to everyone - by fans, for fans, and at no charge to fans. I always hope that people treat each posted mix as a new work of art and avoid too much comparison to other tracks, but I guess it's somewhat inevitable that Echoes will be considered relative to that other Final Fantasy album project by that other Andrew; for my money, each are breathtaking and amazing albums in their own right. It's similar in many ways to comparing the games themselves, or their respective soundtracks: each game has a different feel, a different story to tell, and Nobuo Uematsu has more than enough genius in him to ensure that each soundtrack he composes is tailored to a unique world, a unique story. I'll confess that, on first listen, I myself was still thinking in terms too relative, trying to listen to Echoes while coming from a Voices perspective; I think that's a mistake. The more I've listened, the more I've loved - there are tons of amazing tracks on this album, and truly impressive musical depth. We'll be driving up to Jill & Andy's wedding next weekend, which will take about five hours, and damn am I looking forward to listening to the whole thing over again.

Now on to the debut mix! Andrew writes:

"It took months to try to plan out how I wanted to do this style of music, and to my surprise, actually turned out exactly how I envisioned it. The lyrics allude to the Fabulian monks' philosophy, and I managed to get get a friend to translate them into Latin for me. Yeah, Fabul itself is based on the Chinese culture, and not Latin, but I don't have any friends who know Cantonese. Maybe next time, hehe..I wrote a lot of new riffs for this track that I thought expanded the scope, so I was extra careful to include source in every section in some shape or form.

Extra thanks to Hemophiliac who wrote up lyric charts for the singers and made pronunciation guides for the choir, Audio Fidelity for the Koto sample and a bit of bass for the middle, and of course my badass choir homies, led by Malcos and BardicKnowledge. These guys all really made the mix awesome."

Awesome choir, guys - very dramatic! The opening gong & progression is mysterious, then the choir enters with Koto riffs in between... it's a really cool blend of Latin vocals and Asian instrumentation, sort of like a meeting/blending of two ancient cultures. Things proceed to rock out with an acoustic kit, bell synth, bass, and guitars, but the choir remains a central element with hits/phrases, then we get a spiralling synth solo at 2'53" - I love how this just sneaks in as part of the ending to the previous passage, then becomes the focus. Nice reprise of the intro choral motif towards the end, wrapping everything up. Great way to kick things off as the intro mix to an album that you'll be seeing a LOT of here on OCR; a fantastic vision with a sweeping scope that was executed well by all involved - that applies to this mix in particular, and the entire album as well. Check it out, then check out http://ff4.ocremix.org and grab the torrent!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Mirby
on 2011-12-26 02:31:17
I chose this song to review last mainly because of the title. Slaying Final OA by reviewing a song called "Fighting for Tomorrow" seems fitting, doesn't it?
As for the mix itself, it's a nice take. The chanting really adds a nice touch to the track, and gives it a nice feeling. Everything comes together seamlessly, it works extremely well. Fantastic work from all involved! :3
Final OA... vanquished
Lint
on 2010-10-04 18:53:50
Great Mix, the Choir work is absolutely fabulous. The rest of the mix just brings it together and makes it so goddamned epic.
That being said, I don't like it very much. Maybe it's a bad day for epic music, I don't know. It's a loud piece that gets the blood pumping and provokes throwing up the horns. I guess I feel like it works in a precarious position between areas of music. On one hand I could do with a little bit more metal, or more electronic, or even more men's choir. The current balance is a great fusion but I would just love a bit different feel.
Also, in general I don't like very much Chant fusion (that's not a real genre, but I think it communicates the style accurately). I hate one-winged angel, I hated most all of the chant-style pieces in Final Fantasy games. Really, the Chant adds enough intensity of feeling to a situation without fusing it to make it more epic. This isn't a religious thing, I don't think that soul music is a corruption of gospel - I just don't find it pleasing to my ears.
TL;DR - NO ME GUSTA "Track Title".
Crulex
on 2010-06-14 15:34:33
Checklist for epic fighting theme: Latin Men's Choir, check. Grand opening, check. Amazing speed up that leads to driving rock sounds mixed with natural sounding asian instruments, check. Cool middle break, check. Strong finish, check. I think you got it all, guys! Damn near perfect ReMix to me!
Emunator
on 2009-12-22 00:11:18
While I don't like this one as much as some of the other megacollabs on FFIV, it's purely for personal reasons and has nothing to do with the merit put forward by OA or Nutritious. The concept was wonderful and I honestly didn't think a virtual choir could be executed this wonderfully! Really a monumental track and I can see why everyone's enjoying this so much, it's just not my cup-o-tea, personally :?
Objectively speaking, though, one of the best-conceived and well-executed songs on the album!
Lunaqua
on 2009-12-13 18:11:15
This has to be one of my favorites from the FFIV album because of how chant-like it is.
My only question is... what are the lyrics to it? I'd love to sing along. (This soprano is secretly a bass.)
EDIT: Found the Lyrics tab about a minute later.
Also, I believe the first line is translated as "we", not "I". Minor detail, but still beautiful.
Sir_Downunder
on 2009-12-03 23:50:20
MAN CHOIR!!!!
*Ahem* Sorry about that...
This song is easily my favorite track from the album. Not just from the sheer amount of ReMixers on the track alone, but the production of this is outstanding. The male choir really adds another level of depth and emotion and gives the feeling of well... Fighting for tomorrow :tomatoface:
Nutritious and OA (as well the Fabul's Men Choir) really went above and beyond and it paid off big time.
Nutritious
on 2009-08-18 15:22:23
I've been meaning to review this, but keep putting it off. This is easily in the top 3 of my favorite songs from the album. OA really did a stellar job on it.
I remember this song had an especially long development time as I think he has having nailing down exactly what he was hearing in his head. If I remember right, the initial version wasn't much more than just the (non-kit) drum patterns. OA did show me a bunch of versions of this song as it progressed.
If anyone's curious as to how the title of the song came about, it came to the point where OA was really starting to bring the song together and incorporate the choir. I kept bugging him to share updates of the song and he'd always promise that he'd bounce a new version tomorrow. Many tomorrows later, the update would come through. Jokingly, I told him that he had to name it "Tomorrow", but Avaris came up with a much better play on it: "Fighting for Tomorrow".
Anyway, it really was a pleasure getting a chance to collaborate on orchestra. I can't remember if OA asked me to or if I heard some parts in the song and offered to do it. I went for a heavy brass emphasis, which I hope fit well with the mood of the song.
Overall, OA really did an excellent job seamlessly incorporating so many different elements (especially the choir!) into a single, cohesive mix. It's an excellent track that's only made better by how unique it is in its approach.
Mtlbro
on 2009-08-12 02:02:57
I love the feeling of a full orch plus choir. . Gives an (pardon the cliche) epic feel to this mix in partifcular. Kickass mixing of Asian instruments and synth :)))
OA
on 2009-08-07 10:39:15
I'm really proud of the Fabul Men's Choir on this one.
Keep an eye out guys, OCR hasn't seen the last of us! :-D
Final Hero
on 2009-08-01 21:11:22
Definitely one of my top-five favorites on the album. Awesome work guys!
relyanCe
on 2009-08-01 18:46:26
absolutely stunning. excellent production and the choir did a bangup job. However, I have a few critiques for the choir.
The beginning was solid for the most part, though it seems that there are some conflicting annunciations of the latin, but that may just be my ears. Everything from 1:19 to 4:34 is absolutely awesome, the hits are great, and the parts, though basic, work astonishingly well. When going back to the "stemus familia..." part at 4:34, I heard some sliding in the tenor section that seemed... well... out of place in a latin chant. Then again, the song had a definite dosage of eastern sound themes, so it might have been intentional, and who am I to argue there?
All in all, this is an entire Chocolate Factory's worth of ear-candy, and is easily my most favored track of this album! Hoping the Fabul Men's Choir convenes again for more awesomeness, which I hope to be a part of next time (ordering a new mic soon!)
jintoreedwine
on 2009-07-29 07:10:32
Awesome mix! The vocals really help this mix stand out :) . Well done!
K.B.
on 2009-07-27 03:26:28
+100% volume at 1:45. +50% more at 3:45. Every time.
I never paid mind to the source, but man this reworking kicks ass. The choir is the lynchpin: the passion carried in the voices capture the resolute determination of Yang and company. Honor and right must prevail. The recurring koto, handling the most recognizable section of the source, is a fitting touch; and the crunchy guitar work coupled with the choir chants later in the song truly personifies the strife. The diverse instrumentation (I heard that brass!) and overall incredibly creative re-envisioning make this a gem. Awesome work, all.
DragonAvenger
on 2009-07-23 10:27:04
I stand by my opinion that this is the best track on the album. OA did such an amazing job not only adding to the source, but keeping the original in mind AND bringing elements to the game into the mix. The choir is fantastic and really adds wonderful depth and emotion to the piece.
Nutritious really helped make this song stand out especially through his use of brass. The opening, and the hits you hear later on really flesh out and add to the overall.
Congratulations to OA, Nutritious, and of course to the Fabul Men's Choir for this fantastic piece!
Lucentas
on 2009-07-21 22:39:46
I'm gonna go ahead and use this opportunity to lavish praise on everyone who participated in this album.
FFIV: EoB, LoD (there is no good way to abbreviate that, argh) is a masterwork, honestly. Everyone did an absolutely stellar job. I've always felt that the FFIV soundtrack has been vastly underappreciated and undervalued as a source of...source, but this album almost completely remedies this. I was able to hear new takes on the tracks I know and love, and in some cases was completely blown away as I was able to hear the source in a way very close to how I've always thought it could be if used to its full potential.
Brilliant job here, many kudos to all involved in this project.
Okay, now on to the track at hand. This was marvelous, and yes I am a total sucker for Latin chorus and intense orchestration (I blame Derek Oren and Jeremy Robson for that). You've taken the source and blown it up to massive, epic proportions. Just awesome.