ReMix: Doom "Army Worthy of Phobos"

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Doom

If the mix title didn't give it away, HeavenWraith (Antanas Palaitis) brings us an epic symphonic Doom ReMix inspired by the iconic music that Howard Shore composed for the Lord of the Rings films:

"So, about three months ago, I bought additional 8GB of RAM (now combined to a total of 16GB), and, to celebrate that, I decided to load a whole orchestra and write a remix. EWQL's reverb levels were quite intimidating at first, but with some stereo/EQ magic it ended up being serviceable.

It's probably very evident that the track is mostly inspired by Howard Shore, specifically his work on Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. It was quite challenging to pull off, as it is easier for me to make elaborate melodies/harmonies rather than menacing beats and creeping dissonant orchestra sections. However, while difficult, it was an interesting experience and very good practice."

I personally feel the ReMixer did a great job with contrasting dynamics and instrumentation that successfully apply Shore's LotR aesthetic to Prince's Doom source - you could guess the concept of the piece without any clues other than the audio itself. Judges varied on the arrangement being too liberal and the production actually having too MUCH contrast; the former criticism I can understand, the latter not as much. Gario kinda summed up my thoughts:

"I'm hearing a lot of dissent over the dynamic range from my fellow judges, but I must wholeheartedly disagree that this is a problem. This range of dynamics is quite normal for orchestral pieces of music that isn't written expressly as a soundtrack - without adjusting one's volume levels, go listen to some Mahler, Brahms, etc., and note just how quiet or how loud the music gets."

As an aside, Anna & I often use the title's LotR quote in completely random circumstances, e.g. "Build me a burrito bowl WORTHY of MORDOR!!!"... so I always smile a bit whenever I see it ;) DaMonz offers a helpful source breakdown and concurs on the dynamics:

  • 0:23-1:20 melody on the harp and strings
  • 1:27-1:32 melody on the brass
  • 1:46-2:30 melody on the brass again
  • 2:30-2:38 melody on the strings
  • 3:00-3:20 evocative chords, but don't add to the count IMO
  • 3:48-4:11 melody
  • 4:55-5:24 melody (a bit drawn out)

"...I think the volume contrasts are appropriate, and don't seem like an issue to me. I think this is a very expressive package that tells an engaging story. The Howard Shore influences are definitely present, and I think it was a great idea that you executed quite well. I also think the low-end should have been toned down, and the reverb is arguably slightly too much, but they're not enough to bring this below the bar, in my humble opinion."

I think HeavenWraith gets a lot of mileage out of the EWQL library, here - I was actually surprised at the overall quality & blend, and while some of the brass parts might stick out a bit, nothing was pronounced enough to impact my enjoyment of the arrangement. Good use of anvils, horn rips, choral backing, too. Powerful, epic stuff that executes a good concept very effectively!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 4 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
dfcentre
on 2016-12-01 10:53:28

Being a bit of a soundtrack lover even with a few LotR tracks in the rotation I was really digging the intro and all the transitions. Its such a dynamic track. The use of the classic, pain-infused Doom music was great.

Part way through though, quite early in the piece I thought the anvils (I think they are anvils, im not an expert sorry) were just being a tad overworked. it was dragging the piece down too early. For me I feel like you could have dropped them at 2:33ish except they continue 3:00ish. Part of me thinks there's something else that can be done to the beat to make it imposing, not an expert but different drums. Horns like those used in the final battle in Mario Galaxy created an urgent quality that could work here too. I suppose depending on what emotion you are trying to bring out here prrcisely and what is inkeeping with LotR I do think it can be improved.

Later in the piece at 4:35 the anvils are possibly ok but by then I'm sick of them : ( and I found them to be loud and overpowering the other great work you are doing with other instruments.

Honestly I would love to add this to my rotation but I just can't yet... so close though. There is real skill here and I'm going to have to check your other mixes if you have others.

DimeTower
on 2016-10-17 00:14:49

YES. YES. 1000x YES. I love Doom and I love LotR, and let me tell you, I was skeptical heading into this piece - I couldn't imagine doing justice to either, much less coming up with something that built on both and created a single sound. I stated being swayed in the first minute; by the time we hit 1:30, I was fully on board. I hear the varied range but think it's directly in line with the source material and style; in this case, I count it as a plus, not a minus. REALLY impressive, right down from the initial vision (how in the world did the remixer even conceive of this as an idea?!) to the execution right into the finish (4:55+ is epic in its own right!!).

Unique? Check. Sweeping? Check. Grand? Check. Memorable? Check. Congratulations; you've done both sources proud.

eggsngaming
on 2016-10-10 15:36:56

I can just imagine sweeping shots of thousands of imps and pinkys being created underground, orc-style with all that slimy gook and everything. The anvil is used quite a bit, but it fits everywhere it's being used.

I feel like one could cut some slack for being too liberal to the source, considering all the instruments being used, and most of them seem to play the main melody at least once anyway. The key change in the second half makes the atmosphere even darker than the first half!:blink:

Liontamer
on 2016-10-07 12:38:16

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.