ReMix: Half-Life: Opposing Force "With Indifference"
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We finish out the week with some dark & cinematic symphonic metal in the form of a more orthodox Half-Life: Opposing Force arrangement from the often avant-garde Redg (Brent Wollman):
"My first ever submission edited and remastered. Two of the best pieces from Half-Life for sheer \m/. Source enters at :15. "Nova Prospekt's" gnashing pulse eventually transitions into classic "Alien Forces.""
From the very beginning, Brent's done some awesome work paying homage to the music of the Half-Life franchise. I do wonder when the good folks at Valve will get around to providing a third main entry to inspire him :) While many of Redg's pieces have an experimental aesthetic that's hit-or-miss for some (tangent: apparently in England this is referred to as being "marmite," for the product of the same name!), this piece is more accessibly presented & structured as a symphonic metal mix with cinematic leanings, or vice versa, depending on your perspective. In just over three minutes, there's a good amount of textural variety - epic film score drums, thrashing metal drums, death chugs, sweet violins, and a nice cleaner/processed guitar tone towards the fadeout ending. While this arsenal borders on chaos at time, clouding the soundscape a bit, it's quite the cauldron, conjuring up some aggression, malice, & FORCE; Sir NutS writes:
"Great textures, The drums feel great and hit pretty hard too, and the sequencing is interesting. When the song relaxes a bit and less elements are interacting it does feels very clear and sharp.
The arrangement makes use of both sources well, and I liked the whole direction of it. Very dark, industrial/metal sounding arrangement. Overdrive is used in a creative way around 1:01, not just for guitar chugs, and there are other little ideas and details sparse throughout the track. The high-pitched violin really cuts through and gives the arrangement a touch of anxiety. However, not a fan of the fadeout ending."
Palpable concurs on the ending, but also the overall approval:
"I'm so used to weird stuff from Brent that this qualifies as positively normal! I liked the mood, heavy vibe and the dynamic shifts that the song goes through. I still thought the fadeout ending could have been stronger - it came just as a new section was starting, it seemed - but it was a strong arrangement, with good production."
For all the independent processing going on and the layered part-writing, I think it blends pretty durn nicely. I tend to agree with Mike & Vinnie on the fadeout - could have been stronger - but it was far from a deal-breaker, and the whole package is still assertive, sinister, epic, and brutal. Great stuff from Brent!