ReMix: God of War II 'Born of Ashes, Baptized in Blood'
10,400,719 bytes, 5:25, 254kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
Alright, time to get back on track with a more regular posting schedule. Up next we've got two album tracks from Heroes and Threshold; Mr. Strader starts us off with his epic heavy metal God of War II homage. The entire GoW series really does have fantastic music, and I was glad to see that reflected by its inclusion on Heroes vs. Villains. When I think of these games, and their music, I think one thing: BIG. Huge, vast, battles of previously unseen scale, with music that matches the intensity and proportion blow for blow. Sepulchral choral work, gargantuan strings, and a leviathan of brass, all working in concert to set the stage for Kratos' conflicts. Brandon writes:
"I signed on for Heroes vs. Villains, and the God of War source in particular, because I was up for a challenge. For the longest time, I didn't think I could do it. The original idea was for metal with heavy backing orchestration. I wanted to make something that sounded like it should have been on the God of War Blood and Metal EP. Whereas that EP was more of a collection of random songs by metal bands, this is much more true to the game's feel I think. This remix changed the way I approach remixing as a whole. I used youtube as a reference to hear my source, and I worked a tiny bit at a time with each instrument until I was able to comprehend the source and put it in a metal context. Long story short, it was hard, and it took a really long time. I usually work with songs I'm familiar with, and do most of the work from memory. I couldn't do that this time.
The "solo section" starts at 3:50 and is the Zeus' Wrath Divine source. The rest is from the Main Theme."
Mission accomplished, I'd say; this mix transitions the source themes into metal without losing the scale & atmosphere of the originals. Intro acoustic guitar holds our hand & sets the stage before electric shreds in and starts chugging away, and the transitions are natural enough to allow the arrangement to change things up quite a few times, include a little bass solo, and tag-team the motifs of the game's epic score in a 5+ minute fiesta of carnage. Sounds like Brandon modified his process quite a bit for this mix, but it was worth it & has provided us with a memorable, intuitively aggressive metal arrangement of one of the classic modern VGM scores.
- Bahamut on December 15, 2011
Given the dynamic nature of the God of War score I can see how a rock/orchestra fuction would function within the context, though I'm in the similar camp to the acoustic guitar usage, though I was actually more won over with the neat piano writing here; simple, but it works within the context of building the track up. I thought the progressive rhythm guitar section was pretty neat following it, not to mention the neat bass solo at 2:45; it to me felt like a more matured way of seeing Brandon's nature with guitar backing, and to take a few listens to understand the proper timing for the rhythm guitar section in particular was definitely one of those awesome moments for me.
Handling the rest of the main theme source throughout was still very tasteful; a little on the safe side, but so much with the instrument detail had been done to make it cohesive and quite enjoyable. It took me a while too to even get my head around that strange echoed sliding guitar at 3:50, but it was something that managed to pique interest due to sheer experimentation; it may not be an entirely working concept, but it's unique, it adds mystery, and I dig it.
But the major qualims I had with rhythm guitar compression on the first listen still seem to be there. I'm one for seeing him come out and express himself with the guitar performances, and I know he's probably not quite the most flexible performer in the world, but surely something could be done to try and give them more body in future works. Luckily, since his Skyrim submission they're starting to pay off, so I trust that he'd be able to keep upping his game.
A similar thing can be said about the orchestration too - the percussion instruments (even the drum kit), I thought they sounded really well done and manipulated throughout to give some form of excitement. Albeit, to me the strings and brass - while great sample choices - feel as if they weren't expressed enough, which can be seen as a recurring problem on some of his attempts at traditional orchestration too. I'm pretty sure that over the next year at least he may learn a few things in regards to manipulating the symphonic sounds to the point that they could be mistaken for real performers; he's on the right direction with real-time input, but now all he needs to work on is the tailends for them. :wink:
I may have shown my critical tendancies throughout the track, but to me the sum of the parts came together to provide a solid experience for the Heroes vs. Villains album and a great representation for such an over-the-top score like God of War. Nice work Brandon, and let's see you keep pushing yourself for 2012 :D
- Rexy on December 15, 2011
- Crulex on December 8, 2011
- Cash and Change on November 8, 2011
- DjMystix on August 7, 2011
- Mazedude on July 20, 2011
I know for a fact Blood and Metal wasn't just random music by metal bands, it was previously unreleased music by these bands. Dream Theater, Opeth, and Killswitch Engage's songs were all new. I have all of each of these band's albums. Whether or not they recorded the songs specifically for the game with the game in mind or whatever, I do not know.
Anyways, the song is pretty cool. The intro sounded kind of like the Throat of Winter from the Blood and Metal album.
- SuperTrey09 on July 19, 2011
Really enjoyable and one of the first tracks I think about when thinking about epic metal or metal-orchestral fusion.
Excellent remix, I hoped it would be posted here one day ;)
- SJM on July 19, 2011
- djpretzel on July 19, 2011