Newcomer ibeginwiththeendinmind (Chris Ross) hits us with a dark, ambient metal arrangement of Metroid Prime that strikes a good balance between aggressive & atmospheric:
"One of the biggest problems I have with remixing is that I have a hard time finding tracks to remix. The thing is, with the soundtracks I really love, I find that I can't contribute to them in a way that I feel doesn't take away from the arrangement instead of adding to it. So I tried something different: find a tune that I liked, but didn't necessarily love, and play around with it to see what I come up with. And here we are, with one of my most favorite game OSTs ever composed.
I found the tune begged for a harder edge and some bite, so I went in the metal direction with it. However, keeping the guitars only playing the melodies was paramount to not having the track so in-your-face as to be overwhelming, I found; but to fill out the track and keep the density of the original (which I found to be key to its impact), I found myself employing layer after layer of sound texturing via synths, giving it the quasi-industrial feel.
The middle section came about because I couldn't figure out what to do after the reverse cymbal effect where the original track loops back on itself. It needed to be turned up a notch there. So after some experimentation, I gave in and went full guitar - which I couldn't help putting the title melody over."
Nice thought process & an interesting approach... avoiding the restraint/conflict of arranging songs you love too much by focusing on songs you just KINDA like. While I personally have had the most fun arranging themes that I both love AND feel like I can do justice through interpretive arrangement, I can see Chris's approach being liberating for those who get too attached or feel restricted when it comes to their all-time favorites. This is fun, dark, & sinister stuff which has plenty of edge, but also plenty of space, going for a malevolent sort of oscillation between harder rock/metal sections and ambient bridges that keeps you guessing. Judges were unanimous; MindWanderer writes:
"Fantastic arrangement of an unusual source. Absolutely does what it says on the box. I don't really have any criticism; this is just a really well-executed metal interpretation of the Thardus battle music with just a little of the title theme used for flavor."
Agreed; Chris described exactly what his approach was, and the music reflects that description quite accurately. Liontamer adds:
"...a solid rock cover of the theme with some expansive instrumentation touches but retaining the creepy piano to retain that feel from the original. After 2:49, the title theme was integrated with aspects of the main source, which let Chris present some more interpretive ideas along with more wholly original stuff as well. The final shot of the verse at 4:12 could have been a boring retread, but Chris beefed things up thanks to the organ; good addition of energy and tension for that final section before closing it out. Good job!"
Strong, confident, creative debut from ibeginwiththeendinmind, who clearly did. Hope to hear more, whether they're sources Chris loves, likes, or even is only mildly fond of ;)
Sources Arranged (3 Songs)
- Primary Game:
Metroid Prime (Nintendo, 2002, GCN)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I), Koichi Kyuma
- "Samus Appearance Jingle"
- Ambient, Metal
- Aggressive, Dark, Suspenseful
- Electric Guitar, Electronic, Piano
- 7,888,280 bytes
- Size: 7,888,280 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7dc8ea10f280245e615bd1d3a57967a8
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