Epic, amazing stuff from VV3; this 7+ minute prog rock/metal Super Castlevania IV opus from Jorito, with instrumental assistance from Tuberz McGee & Furilas, is a dramatic beast of an arrangement. Album director Chernabogue writes:
"Deforestation" is a remix I love from OCR, and topping it is a hard task. Jorrith came up with some really nice ideas in terms of arrangement. At 7+ minutes, I was afraid the arrangement could be repetitive, but he managed to create enough variation in the different sections of the remix to keep it interesting - that's what progressive rock/metal does (plus some nice cinematic influences). I can definitively hear some "Forest of Jigramunt" influence (from Castlevania: Curse of Darkness) here and there as well, which is one of my favorite soundtracks, so that's a good thing. Big thumbs up for my frequent collaborators, Tuberz and Furilas, who provided live instruments for this track - it's actually weird not to see my name with theirs, haha!"
Jorito (Jorrith Schaap) lays it all out for us:
"I stumbled upon the Vampire Variations III recruitment topic on the OCR forums, but all the tracks that I actually knew were already taken. Since I never played Super Castlevania 4, I'm not familiar with the soundtrack. However, "Forest of Monsters" was still available and inspired me.
I thought a harpsichord and some light orchestral elements would work nicely for this track, so I started out with a harpsichord arp. Essentially, the entire track created itself from there in a bout of inspiration. The end result is this 7+-minute-long monster of prog rock with orchestral instruments, rocking guitars, choir chants, guitar/synth solos, and lots of sound effects to create the setting of a dark forest. Hence the title "Selva Oscura," which translates to "dark forest" and is actually one of the places in Dante's Inferno.
Since the only instrument I play is my DAW, I obviously needed some real instrumentalists to replace my MIDI guitar parts and really bring the track to life. Fortunately, both Furilas (bass guitar) and Tuberz McGee (rhythm and lead guitar) offered their help and, after a few back and forths, it was done. Their performances really bring the track to the next level.
When asked for comments about the mix, Furilas kept it short and to the point: "I was just happy to be playing. This was a pleasure." I hope that the listeners feel this pleasure too. Personally, I had a blast making this remix and I think it fits the theme of the album and the game nicely."
Tuberz McGee (Callum Kennedy) adds:
"Man, Jorito brings the prog. I love this arrangement. I love it so much, I actually learned to play the solo (which was initially far too difficult for me [probably still is (ah, the magic of editing)]). Seriously though, what an amazingly fun track to work on. The riffage is real here, folks. <3"
And Furilas (Mac Hunter) actually had a BIT more to say:
"It was the most fun I've had working for vampires since VV2!"
Judges were split, essentially due to production issues since everyone agreed the arrangement is pretty damn dope. While there's some mud here & there and some improvements I could suggest as well, nothing prohibited me from enjoying the strength of the concept & execution, since it's a very imaginative & evocative take on some GREAT VGM. SCIV bias? ME? Perhaps... but I tend to agree with DaMonz:
"Mechanical harpsichord don't bother me, because I personally think that's how the instrument is meant to be played most of the time. The violin is the most noticeable one, and could have used more ex
pression in the sequencing, but the writing is great. Also, the drums didn't bother me. The kick and snare could have a tad more presence, but are definitely easily audible even in the busy sections.
I don't think those issues are dealbreakers, especially with such an awesome arrangement. The progression is excellent, and the source is handled very skillfully. No hesitation from me even with the aforementioned issues."
Agreed on harpsichord; it tends to work quite well in a fully-quantized setting, since it already has a clockwork-precision feel to it. I know I've certainly used it that way :) Also agreed on sample quality and mixdown issues not being dealbreakers; I was feeling this enough to not be too bothered, and there are plenty of bits that come off quite strong, especially the searing guitar solo & the dynamic, gritty bass. Great, ambitious stuff from Jorito which delivers on its concept and breathes new life into the source material; enjoy!
Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Super Castlevania IV (Konami, 1991, SNES)
Music by Masanori Adachi, Taro Kudo
- "Forest of Evil Spirits (Stage 2 BGM)"
- Additional Game:
Castlevania (Konami, 1986, NES)
Music by Kinuyo Yamashita, Satoe Terashima
- "Wicked Child (Outdoors BGM)"
- Cinematic, Metal, Progressive Rock
- Aggressive, Dark
- Choir, Electric Guitar, Harpsichord, Organ, Sound FX, Violin
- Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments
- 13,501,709 bytes
- Size: 13,501,709 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: de1ff9d2a4b1df183980710c5ce508ac
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