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OCR01014 - Castlevania III "Prelude to Darkness"


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The intro makes me think I'm watching a film about outer space.

The harps are making me wet with excitement.

Also, the song doesn't feel like it truly begins until around 1:45, but it's amazing.

Whoa, switched gears around 2:27 to a heavy organ.

Ooh, nice use of horns around 3:00

It doesn't feel like the different sections are transitioned into one another, and it feels like someone's mixed a few different songs together without much blending. I really like it, though, and I don't know why.

Another good mix from Russell Cox!

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A very chilling work from Russell. Beautiful arranging and instruments once again. I do have a few criticisms for you though, just a few taste related impressions nothing serious:

Beginning - I like this horn sample everywhere in the piece BUT here. Its attacks aren't very even, at least not even enough for a solo. The first two notes are smooth, while the next two are blared, then back to smooth.

Around 0:30 I'm hearing some noise, I think it's coming from the bass sample. Not too distracting, maybe it's just my ear, but I would have check the levels or EQ'd that out. It seems to return around 1:41 when it hits the low range again.

Wow, great job on the stereo harp =D. So beautiful.

From 1:22 to 1:44 when the chorus comes in, I really like the spooky, wailing feel of the chorus =). I do feel that the effect though is crowding out some of the other things going on. Maybe some hard panning or killing a few overtones would have helped.

The transition at 1:45 is perfect, but perhaps jumps the gun a little.

At 1:54 you've taken a risk and combined an oboe solo with an organ solo. Normally you know as well as I do about the balance problem that would create, but I'd be a hypocrite to say it's a bad idea cuz duh I do stuff like that too :wink: but I did feel the organ was way too loud, it sounded like the oboe was being overpowered.

At 2:02 in the very background of the music I'm hearing some "ghost" tones. I'm not sure who's playing them but they are very dissonant. I'm thinking possibly piano? or organ overtones? Anyway, if they're supposed to be there I'm thinking maybe turn up the volume a notch. Right now they're so quiet it sounds like a mistake trying to be covered up.

At 2:25/6 Right after the organ attack....I really don't know what I'm hearing. At first it sounded like a very quiet recording blip, but the more I listen the less I hear it. Hmm, maybe nothing....Anyway at this section I love the chorus/organ blend, very atmospheric and castlevania-esque. However the effect is so thick, I don't think the notes played by the organ really come through.

Oh I love everything up to 3:23 sounds great! That snare doesn't sound at tight as it should be though, kinda...noisy.

The ending is beautiful and chilling.

So yeah by now I'm sure you're expecting to hear me say, "This piece is great but it sucks!" Nah, I'm nitpicking cuz well...it's so damn hard to find serious fault in Russell's work. Great work!

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Boy, do I love Cox! Er, that didn't come out quite right...

Anyway, this piece really sets a great mood. Right from the start , with those menacing cellos at :30. I love oboes, and they get put to good use as well shortly after. I have minor qualms with the key change at 1:45. It kinda ruins the mood. Also, I find the organ/flute section to be a strange one. The flute sounds like it hits some non-aggreeing notes. Especially with that last one, as the organ plays a sus4 thereby clashing badly with the note played by the flute, being a half step interval. Of course it could just be my ears :)

Very very impressive stuff all around and a great addition to my collection of music the RIAA can't touch! :nicework:

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Russell Cox the mini-deity of game music remix0ring has done it again!

This entire song, from beginning to end is entirely high-grade, top notched, professional sounding,movie score-esque, A+++, grade A, super-dee-duper, absolutely fantabulous! Dynamics, instrumentation,

sample quality, overall, just plain 8O . Russell should be out getting paid all kinds of big money for people to look at him for making songs this good. Lucky for us he'd rather sit at home and dabble at Finale and make remixes for free! (Well, I'm sure he wouldn't mind getting paid, but that just makes him even better to be handing this stuff out for free!)

Words, and reviews can't even do this song justice. Just listen to it yourself. But make sure to have your drool rag near by because this song is nice like whoa.

THIS SONG GETS!!!!!1111:



<3 <3 <3 <3 < : (4.5) HEARTS


:wink: (1) WINK! (For teh ReMix0r/Arranger/Mini-God/Ladies Man)

There's only one more thing I can say about this one...


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Amazing, I absolutely love this, I've never heard this song be remixed before as well, and I do dig it. :D I have to say though that I find the last part of the song (after around 2.48 minutes) better than the first part because that's the part where we see that this is no longer a remake of the song, but a remix. :roll:8):D

Anyway, excellent song to add in my "OCR home mp3" library. :)

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In general this is really great, and it's a really wonderful original too... My only gripe is with the horn in the beginning. I think it would have sounded a lot better to let the whole part just be legato. Maybe it's just a matter of personal preference, but the rearticulations sound, I dunno, kinda cheezy.

Love the clarinet solo! The string/choral part that follows it is incredible, very absorbing :)

Wonderful orchestral work as always.

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I just want to thank you from the deepest recesses of my internal organs.

I have CV3 ranked as the game with the best music I've ever heard, after Final Fantasy 6. It pained my soul that until today, there was only one remix from CV3 on OC Remix.

My only suggestion for you is...make more! :)

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This is definitely one of my favorites of the things you've done. I like your use of different instruments throughout the entire piece - it seems like the melody is constantly on a different instrument, constantly creating interest. The harps are a really nice touch, as well.

Then, of course, the organ. The organ fits so well and is so beautiful! When it's at the choir and organ part, I was seriously blown away. Absoluetely gorgeous.

And the strings at 2:56! Ahhh, there's really too much to comment on. Russell, you've outdone yourself again.

EDIT: Agh! I forgot to mention that your use of piano is also superb. When I usually hear piano stuff in symphonic arrangements, it's just not right, but you more than pulled it off. I'll be waiting for your next arrangement!

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If I tried to say enough good things about this work, I would fail dismally and probably end up being insulting through obscene understatement. EXTREMELY well done from beginning to end, shifting through beautiful and haunting rifts and compositions of familiar melodies from the game and doing it all so seamlessly that it's easy to completely lose yourself to it in a good way. A MUST for any Castlevania fan, or for anyone with any sort of appreciation for genuinely wonderful work.

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Looks like it's up to me to dish out some constructive criticism ;D

My main complaint is that this song is very "busy", something I personally am against ;) My suggestions for change reflect that.

One thing that I noticed throughout all the song is that in a lot of areas a little playing around with volume, even on individual notes, could do a lot.

At around 1:25 some ensembles kick in which sound indistinct and muddled, especially when put together with (I think I'm hearing) a choir in the background. I'd play around a bit with the volumes of these ensembles and see if I could tweak em to not sound quite so slurred together. The choir itself here and throughout the song though are without complaint.

Around 1:45 the melody and the brass going "BA! BA! BA! BA! ba! ba! ba! ba!" don't meld right. I think this is because the supporting brass is much more distinct than the melody of the strings. I would personally tone the bells at about 2:05 as they are fairly piercing.

At 2:30 these organs sound a lot like bagpipes the way they are played - I just thought I'd mention that; I personally like it. From here onward is when the song sounds the most Castlevanish. At the 3:13 though, the aggressive stabs seem a bit out of place with the melodrama on either side. The woodwind ending is perfect. Also, I think the snares would be well complemented by a subdued bass drum or timpani of some sort, but that's me. Something to consider.

Stuff that is so perfect I will never forgive you if it's changed:

0:40 - the harp or whatever it is

1:00 - woodwind here especially that one sharp note.

2:56 - church/tubular bell and strings

3:25 - harp and woodwind again, and a piano this time

x:xx - any of the choir

EDIT: Another thing I'd like to note is that this seems to deviate from your usual style? Experimentation is always something to be complemented :)

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Russell, once again you have demonstrated an outstanding mastery of your craft. This type of orchestral is truly my favorite type of arrangement. It's really awesome.

It didn't sound like FF: Spirits Within so much as Super Mario World's castle or fortress music (especially around the softer arpeggios).

Overall, I really enjoyed this piece. It is a wonderful arrangement. Kudos!

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I was actually thinking of trying my hand at an orchestral-esque remix of this very song, but since Russell did it, I don't know that I should attempt it. It is very good, although some of the transitions between instruments are a bit iffy, although mostly due to the original switching that way. And the discordance around 2:03 is nasty. But otherwise pretty slick.

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  • 3 months later...

Oh...I like, I like. As a big fan of Orchestrated music, and of French Horn, I like this song quite alot. But as an even bigger fan of Castlevania and the Prologue to CVIII, this song RULES!

I'm glad you used the prologue song from Castlevania. I'm a VERY big fan of Castlevania music and that has always been one of my favorite songs in the series. Now I have an orchestra-type arrangement of it, with a very good middle piece to it.

Oh yeah, and I'm getting the rest of your stuff to sample it.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 10 months later...


I got much more than I was expecting for this piece. Empyreal! after I heard this I got a total feeling of awe. I've also notice the Final Fantasy-like style at the middle part and I say it's simply great! I used to imagine how the castlevania's songs would sound if they were performed by a real orchestra because those songs have an imminent orchestral air, in spite of the weird synthesized NES sound . Now My dream become true thanks to Russel Cox. How the hell I didn't find this web site before? :D

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  • 3 months later...

Pretty bitchin'

The last 40sec especially are captivating. The Castlevania theme that we all know and love, done really well. I don't know if it's my speakers or what, but I DID notice a little grainyness to it, but not enough to distract from the piece at all.

It shifts gears really fast, which is nice.

It's one of those pieces you can close your eyes to and kind of follow in your head. The flute especially at the very end... your mind just dances with it.

Well done.

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First off, I love just about any metal/rockin' remix of Castlevania music (rock on goat and Minibosses!), but after hearing this, it reminded me that Castlevania music should work great in orchestral also. In fact, I would love to hear some more orchestral versions of CV music, that would be lovely.

Great work RC, I hope you do more like this for CV.

Edit: Abadoss makes a good point, parts of this really reminds me of the Fortress levles from Super Mario World, not to say that is a bad thing, but almost a deviation from the source material. Ahh, what do I know? All I know is that more orchestral remixes for CV (and other should be made).

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  • 1 month later...

I wondered what the Prelude song for Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse would sound like if it was remixed, and I think this is a good rendition of it, so the part I mostly like about this song is when it comes into the organ part, I mean what Castlevania would be without an organ in the music, it would be almost wrong if it didnt, so you did it justice, good job!

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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR01014 - Castlevania III "Prelude to Darkness"

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