So I'm sitting here alone in my house. It's dark, and I'm all alone, and I'm listening to this double CD set called the Dark Side of Phobos. Just like I used to be when I played DOOM. Holy sh!t. This suite rocks, you guys. Here's my track by track analysis, but before I begin, I can't remember the last time a piece of music has so grabbed my soul and slammed it into proverbial hellfire the same way Darkness Dawning did; AWESOME work, Larsec (and Elsa, who's voice I assume was on the track). 0. Welcome to Hell -- The glockenspiel (sp?) and voices sound very Thief-esque (and System Shock-esque), but I guess there's a reason why scary, terrifying ambience seems to take the same form in so many incarnations: it works! (I don't mean to say that you guys ripped off the effect, either, just that it's recognizable.) The compilation works right from the beginning. 1. The amazing thing about Hangarmageddon is that it still manages to be new and exciting even though it's still in the same speed metal genre as almost every other remix of the song. Hangarmageddon manages to play with the classic melody enough to tear some amazing new riffs out of it and present them in showstopping fashion. Now that my guts are laying on the floor, let's listen to track 2. 2. Interesting move moving the tracks out of order. In my opinion, this is the primary ingredient to making this suite a success; the interpretations of the music are yours, and you let me know that by presenting it to me in an order different from what I'm used to. This isn't a cover, this is fresh off the fire in every way. While I'm at it, I also have some comments on the track. The Red Moon is very well done. It transitions quietly from the song before, but quickly steps up the pace to a more controlled level that I think set the tone for most songs across the rest of the compilation (until Darkness Dawning). The guitar/synth (can't tell) that plays the theme is reminiscent of that very listenable and enjoyable guitar from Unreal Tournament. It also sounds like some elements of the original song were mixed in in true OCR style, but with a quality and complexity above the common remix, from beginning to end. I'd listen to it again, but I have 20 more tracks to write up, so... 3. The use of a deep choral drone in this song shows how this suite of remixes takes the atmosphere of the game and extrapolates it into a sleek, stylized interpretation. If this song were a visual experience, it would have glassy environment bump mapping all over it -- Industrial Strength indeed. The chorus is almost like Halo, but this is more evil than lonely. Four tracks into this compilation and it's still completely fresh. By this time, most compilations -- heck, most commercial albums have let me down. My only complaint is that I can't quite pick out the bass melody I'm used to hearing in the original. I guess it's cleverly woven into the fabric of those squeeling synths, because subconsciously the song doesn't bother me and seems to fit right in there. Hmm, wait a sec... Yes, the bass is there. Damn, this is good. (And yes, I'm listening to the album through (for the third or fourth time) as I write this, thus the stream of consciousness). I want more of this song, but it's time for track 4. 4. The bass at the opening of Mystery Meat almost gives this song away, but not quite. My impression of the guitar in this song is that it echoes from above onto you, then crushes on you at the end like the sky is falling. Then around 3:32 it becomes pure evil. Clever bridges and variations on the theme. 5. Had the first 5 tracks not been so amazing, I might have let the beginning of The Leaning Tower of Babel fool me into thinking I was in for another cover. This was one of my least favorite tunes from the original Doom sountrack. I've tried to love it over the years, and this version gives it a hard enough edge to help me in that quest. I especially like the sudden transition at 3:36. While this is one of the simpler and straightforward remixes in the suite, it still sounds fresh. I suppose every remix set needs a few roots back to the original, and this (along with Hangarmageddon, so far) serve that purpose in the Phobos set. A welcome change after three very severe remixes, I suppose. Let's see what's up next... 6. Reprocessed sounds like it needs some distilling. I'm not sure how that repetative, tearing synth keeps from getting annoying, but it still sounds good after a few listens. Those are some groovin' variations of the theme. Very heavy, yet clean. 7. There are those glocks/chimes again. The chorus gives Ghosts of Mars away. I have to wait a little long to get to the main theme, but it's rewarding enough to hear it played on the glock. The long wait was a little anooying to listen through, but it works if you imagine the Space Marine drammatically walking down some sort of hallway with Lost Souls appearing from the walls in bursts of flame with every choral "ah!" in the same fashion the Cacodemons appeared from the walls in Level 8 of Doom II. This song lacks a climax, but that's fine. In that sense it's almost like a lead in to what's going to happen next. Let's see what we walk to at the end of the hallway... 8. Heh, The Chemical Imps starts out with drum-like footsteps. Even though the song tries to start innocently and quietly, I can tell it's headed for chaos. Is the sound really supposed to be that distorted? The effect is interesting, and rewarding now that I've forced myself to listen to it a few times. This'll be a difficult track for newbies to the VG and remix scenes to handle, but it's a welcomed style to me and, I woudl assume, other veteran ReMix listeners out there. 9. Demon Con Gusto? Interesting title. Very well done accompaniment in this song. The accompanying instrumentals are so good, in fact, that I find it a shame the way the melody just sits on top of everything without even attempting to blend in with the rest of the music. It's one of those tracks that's easier to root back to the original sountrack, and it's still of the same quality as the rest of the suite. It's certainly a style I haven't heard in this suite so far, and that helps keep things fresh. Now that I've gotten over my expectation of how the melody should sound, I really like it. Well done. I wonder what analoq would have done with this song if he was forced to thread the melody tightly in with the accompaniment. This song wins on multiple fronts: I like listening to it, and I want to hear more of it. 10. This Can't Be Good is, in this incarnation, reminiscent of a harp theme from Duke Nukem 3D and some of the quieter music from levels liek Facing Worlds in Unreal Tournament. I suppose after the musical idea of the song was (probably unconsciously) ripped off twice, it returns to its original owner in the Doom soundtrack. I wasn't expecting this song to be fast, but it works surprisingly well. Putting a quieter song near the end of the first album in a two disc compilation is something I like to do. It's like telling me I'm near the end, and keeping a low profile to account for the wear of constantly harsh music. 11. Here's a loud, in-your-face song that's remixed softly. If it didn't have an edgy undercurrent and a vein of evil running through every note, Jade Spawn would be a good song to listen to while I drift off to sleep. I'm at the end of album one and I'm hanging on every note for the next album to begin. 12. This has got to be a joke. There'd better be a very good explanation somewhere as to why I have carnival music breaking up my pleasantly disquieting Phobos experience. This is akin to playing In Flames music as the intermission for a Broadway production of Showboat. 13. The second album in the suite creeps in with a slow but steady guitar riff. After getting my insides ripped out and thrown around the room by angry demons for the last hour or so, this is the best way to go. Halfway through Infiltrator, it's back to the amazing play-on-melodies that Phobos has so far presented. I especially like what seem to be record scratches in this song. It adds a very nice feel to the ambience and reminds me that all of these songs are different. No matter how similar in style some of them may seem, I can easily place them all in separate genres. 14. Infected Lab has a really nice groove. Nice synth accompaniments, but it feels a bit simpler than the rest of the tracks in this suite. That's to knock it -- it fits right in there and helps keep this album feeling fresh even though I've been listening to it for over an hour. 15. At first this sounded like a moody, ambient track, but it cleverly resolved into a fascinating twist on the Hiding the Secrets theme. The last several tracks have been tame in comparison to the beginning of the suite. A nice effect, since those initial tracks wore me out a bit. This track gives me a feeling of false security; the Space Marine isn't in immediate danger, but the demons are waiting in the wings with baited breath. Expertly done. I really wasn't expecting a remix like this. What a pleasant surprise to have delivered! 16. The Glass Moon, from the onset of the chorus with tenuous electric bass in the background, sounded like it was going to pump some adrenaline back into the second album. The guitar seems to summon licks of flame with every note. Then, sure enough, I'm back into a hard hitting beat. The waves of bass sound so thickly textured that the melody melts into it. This song makes very good use of the laughing effect. The guitar sounds so live that it'd be a shame to think that the same riff was copied and pasted throughout the track, instead of being played for each individual repitition of the theme. I can't tell if it was or not. I'll have to listen to it more. To my ear now, it sounds live, and gets my stamp of approval. 17. Ocean Pollen is the last name I'd expect to see on a Doom soundtrack, but in some twisted sense I can imagine some demonic nautical scene. This song manipulates the theme very well, moreso than any song has for about half an hour. 18. I'm almost fooled into relaxing to Aria of the Damned when it starts with a truly heavenly sound. The orchestration in the song is outstanding. The only problem is that it doesn't last long enough. Even though I've been listening to this suite for a while, I still yearn for more of this good stuff, especially something that's as new to my ear as a Doom theme redone as a beautiful yet sinister aria. I'd like Hemophiliac and pixeltricks to do an extended version of this track. 19. The variations on the theme in Iron Cathedral are excellent. It packs its entire message into a concise musical expression. It's a shame this song isn't longer. I expected it to have a slightly harder edge in following the example of The Glass Moon, but it works very well as is near the close of the second album. 20. The finale is upon me, and I finally get to the title track; what an excellent way to sum up the Phobos experience. The music is tenuous, but without climax, and then resolves into a beautiful piano piece. It's almost as if the Space Marine has finally destroyed the ultimate evil. That surprise ending is just amazing. 21. Holy sh!t. 22. Whoa, let me try to write about the 21st track again... 21. What better way to sum up an experience of true evil than to have an ominous theme with a beautiful voice above it. The vocal echoes and vocal accompaniment give the voice a perfect evil edge. Then it's all sucked to hell as the devil's true nature is revealed and you're brought in. Darkness Dawning indeed! This track is pure genius and disturbingly captivating. It's scary how well the true essence of evil is embodied in this song. Very well done! 22. True to the Doom theme of a gruesome yet hilarious ending, ElectroCute Bunny seems like the sountrack for a short scene that's played after the credits finish rolling in a movie. It's complex enough to earn its place among the other wonderfully mixed interpretations in this suite. All of the tracks in this suite are amazing. I expected some to be different, and suggest changes here and there in the spirit of remixing, but every single track is a work of genius. An equal work of genius is that they combine to form a cohesive set, not a mishmosh of disjoint tracks. The planning and execution of the Phobos project turned out perfectly in the end. I couldn't have asked for a better ReMix; different, perhaps -- but that's the spirit that inspired this ReMix, and in that same vein, will hopefully inspire many more!