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Darren1986

Harmony of a Hunter - The Metroid 25th Anniversary album

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This also marks my first Metroid Prime remix to be heard, so... enjoy. :)

And it won't be the last.

*knows something that everyone can probably guess*

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In the Beginning..., by Mercury Adept

Soft, sorrow tones, with a uplifting end, a grand summary of what's to come from the rest of the album. Mercury is a very skilled pianist, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout the song. The song just flows, and works surprisingly well with the other ambient tones in the song. And the star of the show, the piano, sounds perfect. What a way to start the album.

Danger in Old Tourian, by DoctorM64

Thus we come to a remix of Crateria of Super Metroid. A great renaissance to arriving on Planet Zebes, the mix starts of with the very same ambience Super Metroid achieved. After a minute or so, the mix fades out, and in come the Space Pirates. The mix stays very close to the source material instrumentally, yet it's intertwined with lot's of little backdrops of noises, which makes the overall song tense. It might not be a threatening piece, but I never thought of the original song as threatening to begin with (at least, not until Metroid: Zero Mission). It might be slightly receptive, but it almost adds to the feeling that perhaps, Samus might be going a little crazy...

Earthroot, by VikingGuitar

Our first metal mix, and our first VikingGuitar song. I had only heard this guy's work once or twice before, and I was already excited. Let's say, I was not disappointed. In fact, I'd say he managed to blow my expectations away. What we have here is a very solid mix of Red Brinstar. The song is just pure energy. Just when you think you're coming to a slow break, it throws you back into the fray. The song might be pretty traditional in its techniques, and might not be for those who dislike metal. For those who do like Metal, you're in for a treat.

Bioluminescence, by Theophany

A remix of Metroid Fusion? Of Sector 4 AQA Depths? In my opinion, it's one of the most underrated songs in the Metroid series. Right, onto the remix itself: Theophany starts the mix off with a calm, eery undertone. Little drips and creeps constantly sway from side to side, and it certainly leaves an impression. And then the power comes on. The wailing strings and tragic choir continues strong, while the pulse of a steady electronic beat is introduced. Almost as if the listener is on a lifeline. Two very contrasting genres, that work together as one. I wish more songs in life would incorporate this style, and applaud Theophany for doing the original source proud.

Infectious Fear, by The Fishhead

An interesting take on Sector 1, contrasting heavily to the original source. I would only be able to classify the song as a "Fusion Drums 'n' Bass". The tempo changes bring a nice variety to the song, keeping you on your toes. The Fishhead also manages to avoid many of the stereotypical "Drum 'n' Bass" sounds, such as the bit crusher drums. Overall, a satisfying mix, and the first of many to come from The Fishhead.

Desperation, by Mozzaratti

Orchestras, Guitars, Synthesizers, what does this song not have? Seriously, I'm amazed at how often the song changes it up. It almost sounds like something from Metal Gear Solid, and that's a good thing. You can feel the build up, even with the constant energetic pace. And at such a pace, the song is over before you realize it's over. That's not a fault of the length: The song is just very good.

I'll give my thoughts on the rest of the songs later.

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Holy hell. I'm finishing the first disc now and prepared to declare this my favorite fan album since Humans + Gears (for reference, best album evar). Haven't heard a single song that wasn't fantastic, and that includes unfamiliar sources like most of Metroid Fusion. Expecting great things from the Prime half of the album, which will tread even more unheard territory. Sam Dillard also wins the "Most Amazing Musician I've Never Heard Of Until Now" award, with Mercury Adept taking the silver. Congratulations and thank you to all the people who contributed to this!

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Checked out the first half of the album. Loving it! What surprised me is that most of the tributes are more atmospheric.

Makes me wish that the fans could have made the Other M (or a Metroid 5) soundtrack.

But there could be a open door soon enough. =D

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Thanks for all the kind words guys! I also want to further express my thanks to OCR for letting me keep posting stuff here and were flexible with the rules on letting this stay open. We sourced people from a lot of places, not just OCR. In fact, the majority of people I found were from YouTube who just so happened to be members here, so that was a nice surprise.

The album may not be to the strict rules of OCR but I hope the diverse range of genres and talent was welcome by all. The feedback so far is good and I just hope I did enough to help mark the 25th anniversary of my favourite series ever.

Truly, truly appreciate everyones involvement.

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did you keep mine? if you didn't we're not friends.

:<

Yes. I'm listening to Leader's Lair right now. It's like the Metroid version of Voices in the Deep. Always nice to hear someone do cool things with an unexpected source.

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Just a brief mention for anyone who's interested, I've been working on a short CG video intro for one of my songs from the album (Into The Green World). I'd hoped to have it done by the album's release, but time was not on my side unfortunately. I'm nearly finished with it now though, and will put it up on teh youtubez when complete.

Here's some screenshots:

gwintro_prevb.jpg

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I wanted to extend my congratulations to everyone on the project. Mastering the tracks was a joy, because the quality of the work was so high on the album. I dare say it's one of the highest quality remix albums I've heard, which is hard to achieve in such a large scale.

Since I'm quite familiar with all the tracks now, I'd love to review them at some point so everyone has some good feedback. Otherwise, congrats to everyone for a fine result.

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Thanks to all participants for the album! I'm enjoying the album as a whole, and most of the tracks by themselves. Good hit rate! Also the album has a fairly consistent atmosphere from track to track - some of the transitions are very nice. Tracks flow into another, and other times the contrast one another. It's good when you're listening the whole thing through.

--Eino

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Darren, I would never really worry about trying to adhere to OCR "regulations"; after all, this is just one site amongst many on the internet, and what you do have is one kick-ass tribute album that's quite a fitting gift for my favorite franchise and series of them all.

Well done- when I get back from vacation I'll post more comprehensive thoughts- you'd butter believe I'm keeping the whole darn album.

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Darren, I would never really worry about trying to adhere to OCR "regulations"; after all, this is just one site amongst many on the internet, and what you do have is one kick-ass tribute album that's quite a fitting gift for my favorite franchise and series of them all.

Well done- when I get back from vacation I'll post more comprehensive thoughts- you'd butter believe I'm keeping the whole darn album.

First off, let me offer my own congratulations on an album with some stellar tracks!

I did want to clarify the above concerning OCR "regulations" and Harmony of a Hunter - we actually talked about making the album official, I would have loved to have done so, but there were two sticking points.

One was the timing; seeing as there are albums that have been in the works for a long while that are "first in line", it was somewhat problematic to release it in early August, ahead of those projects. The other issue was that some tracks might indeed have needed revisions to pass evaluation... we'll never know for sure, because a truly official evaluation was never done. Darren indicated he didn't want to remove a single track, so based on that we assumed it wouldn't work out. Incidentally, Larry told me some of the tracks he specifically had issues with when he listened prior to its final release DID end up being cut from the album (???), so perhaps that wasn't as much of an issue as we thought...

At any rate, this wasn't a situation where we explicitly said no because the mixes didn't align with our standards, it was more due to timing than anything else, with the additional issue surrounding withdrawal/revisions. I think it's important to point that out, for future reference.

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I'm not denying that timing wasn't a big issue, djp (as I know there have been some albums waiting for quite a long time in their day in the sun), though all the same I am glad you pointed that out for anyone curious.

I am just saying that trying to fit into OCR's schedule/guidelines should never, NEVER stop you from posting/making game mixes, and Darren should be quite happy with the gargantuan amount of work he pulled off for this anniversary.

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:<

Yes. I'm listening to Leader's Lair right now. It's like the Metroid version of Voices in the Deep. Always nice to hear someone do cool things with an unexpected source.

kinda what i was going for. good to know i did it.

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I'm not denying that timing wasn't a big issue, djp (as I know there have been some albums waiting for quite a long time in their day in the sun), though all the same I am glad you pointed that out for anyone curious.

I am just saying that trying to fit into OCR's schedule/guidelines should never, NEVER stop you from posting/making game mixes, and Darren should be quite happy with the gargantuan amount of work he pulled off for this anniversary.

Thanks for the kind words Emperor Charlemagne, it was a pleasure and I hope I did enough for Metroid fans to enjoy and celebrate the 25th anniversary.

A huge thanks to The Orichalcon, without him, this album would not have had anyone to master it, since communication with Aaron was poor throughout the project. In his defense though he was quite busy, I just wish we had better communication throughout.

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Amazing list of tracks, for now I like the second disc more, but I didn't listen to both too much until now. Only thing that bugs me is the changing volumelevels between each song (got the torrent mp3 files so I cannot comment on the flac files). :)

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Ok, here are my reviews for Disc 1. I'll do disk 2 and the bonus tracks another time. I know some of the sources from this album, but I've never played metroid, so the majority of these mixes are fresh to my ears. So let's go!

In the Beginning

As an intro track, I can't really judge it individually. It sets up the whole album the way you'd expect a curtain-show to be set up. Simple, yet enjoyable piano and pads. I think Mercury Adept did exactly the job required for the album opener, and maybe even a bit more. Lovely track. 9/10

Danger in Old Tourian

The calm before the storm, so to speak. I put this track second because it worked well as an intro to Earthroot, and came slightly unexpected after such an uplifting intro. The actualy track is unfortunately, not the most interesting piece to listen to. I think it was made well enough, and works as a mood shifter, but if I was casually listening to music, I'd probably skip this. (Don't get me wrong, I still like it a lot.) 7/10

Earthroot

BAM! There's the guitar. Launching the album proper. Darren originally asked me to remix brinstar red, and I'm so glad I turned it down due to time constraints. VikingGuitar makes one of the most enjoyable tracks on the album come alive with haunting leads, crunchy powerchords, and just the right amount of breaks throughout the track. The acoustic outro is my favourite part of the track, I love how the main melody is dropped an octave to make it sound darker. Definitely a keeper. 9.5/10

Bioluminescence

The first track I'm not really familiar with on this album. Theophany did a wonderful job mastering this. Bio sounds like the sort of thing I'd expect to hear when stumbling across an ice temple, Indianna Jones style. If you want atmosphere, this is the track to listen to. The harp, strings, synths and beats all come together to make an enjoyable track. If I had to fault it, it'd probably be that the beats get repetative and sort of bland as the track lingers on. It almost gets away with it because of the style, but the track probably goes on for just a tad too long to not switch it up. 8.5/10

Infectious Fear

An intense track to listen to. The horn blares got on my nerves the more I listened to it. But the beat keeps bring me back, I love the groove that this one has going on. I picture this as the battle music for an evil mastermind of some kind. I love the speedups and slowdowns. It works out really well. I just don't know if the horn was enough to carry the lead for most of the track. 8.5/10

Desperation

Ah, this track gave me so much trouble during mastering. Mozzaratti, if you read this, you need to sit down and work on your mastering, the track was really quiet in places, and overbearingly loud in others, to the point where it turned into a wall of sound. The actual track is written really well, and sounded terrific when I boosted the EQ a bit. I really recommend working on mastering of your music to make the most of the talent you obviously have when it comes to arrangement. full marks for the arrangement, but I have to express how critical I am of the way the track sounded. 7/10

Into the Green World

Orchestral track, potentially one of the most, if not THE most popular tracks on the album. Sam has a great talent with writing out music. I will admit I had no idea who he was before working on this album, and I was blown away by what I heard. I bow to his superiority in this field and will simply say I enjoyed this track completely. 9/10

Leader's Lair

The whistling lead from this track was probably from the source, I'm not familiar with it after all. But it grates my ears how irritating that whistling is. The actual music underneath it is a gorgeous example of how to properly make ambient music which would fit any post-apocalyptic scene in a FPS. The throat singing in the middle of the track is terrific and I'm curious as to whether or not Prophetik literally recorded himself performing it! If Proph was willing to render a version of this without the whistling lead all over it, I'd jump on that in a heartbeat. 7.5/10

The Caves of Brinstar

The first of four AriesT tracks. The dryness of the intro swell made it very hard to incorporate with other tracks. AriesT appears to know how to write music well, but seems to lack the experience required to add finness to his (her?) tracks. The synths, swells and drums are all very loud, dry and almost overbearing at times. I'd love to have heard this one worked on some more to make it all mix a bit better. Otherwise I'm not a huge fan of the dance-style version of this theme. 6.5/10

Ashes to Ashes

Andy's first track on the album. I'm glad he had time to spend on making some music for this album, as the themes from Metroid seem to really suit his style. If you love your WUBWUBWUB, you'll love this track, because it's done to perfection. Andy utilises all his knowledge to ensure there are no boring moments in this epic track. From drums to synths, stutters to bells, this is a contender for best track on the album. I bestow upon it the first 10/10

Kraid's Campfire Ballad

When I received this one for mastering, it was inexplicably rendered in surround sound. When asked, Sebastian said he had no idea how it ended up that way. Either way, I had to mix it down to stereo for an mp3 release. This is a really pretty remix which I'll admit I probably EQ'd a bit heavy on the bass (Anyone else find it too sub-heavy?) Either way, the piano, accoustic guitar, pads and percussion make for an almost inevitably pristine version of this track. 9/10

Cave Dweller

A memorable track for its weird and funky twists and turns. It does become repetative unfortunately. Still, I love this one. It manages to sound heavy and light at the same time. Grunge-style chords and drums dominate the bottom of the mix, the light synths and bells providing most of the melody. A really unique and interesting track. Don't skip past it! 8/10

The Mission's Briefing

Same as AriesT's last track, this one is written well, but sounds like it needs more finness in the way it's mixed and mastered as it tends to stay one-level-loud throughout the mix. It's an all right track, but nothing to write home about. 6.5/10

Metroid Legacy

Another enjoyable heavy-set mix. Powerful toms carry most of the mix. The lead instrument that pops in on occasion (sounds like a heavily mixed pan-flute?) makes this mix sound almost tribal at times. Only a short track, this one does its job well. The scratchy scribbly noises in the background are a little strange though. 8/10

MQ2

And we arrive at my favourite track of the album. Stemage & Chunkstyle tear it up with a wickedly evil boss mix for the Metroid Queen (I'm assuming that's what MQ stands for.) Offset chords start the mix by gradually speeding up into the main beat and tempo for the remainder of the journey. The little break at 0:34 gives you a few seconds to get your shit together so you can have it ruined by the awesomeness of what comes. Epic powerchords, stunning leads, corpulant drums (I'm running out of adjectives.) Just sit back and enjoy the majority of the mix as this duo work their magic. But get ready for the best part at 3:02 when that accousticly mixed guitar comes in, followed by the most awesome shredding at about 3:25. I can't describe how amazed I am by this track. It's so dysfunctionally awesome. The only bad thing about it is that it had to end at all! 10/10

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Hey guys, thanks so much for the positive feedback. Being my first multi-track recording I was a little worried but I'm glad that people are enjoying it :)

The album is pretty damn awesome. I'm super stoked to be a part of it. I'm going to put an effort in and get some more work out there.

You're a legend Darren ;)

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I really dig this. At first I had a preconceived notion that it can't be better than Relics of the Chozo. Now that I'm listening through it, the obvious is...well...obvious. Conceptually, they're two totally different albums.

I particularly appreciate the seamless tracks; love it when albums are like that.

So - yay for Harmony! :)

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Listening to "Mission Complete: Ending Suite"... is it just me, or does it sound like something played at Disney World? Yes, I'm being serious. It just feels like something that would be played during the fireworks, one of the parades, or even something as simple as Main Street.

Amazing list of tracks, for now I like the second disc more, but I didn't listen to both too much until now. Only thing that bugs me is the changing volumelevels between each song (got the torrent mp3 files so I cannot comment on the flac files). :)

I personally prefer the first disc. I prefer the metal, ambient, and bonus mixes on disc one; the artists who contributed to both discs tended to have stronger mixes; and the "off the wall" songs are more interesting for me. The biggest loss for me would be Darkesword's Path of Ruin. No Metroid album is complete without Darkesword.

Of course, seeing how both my contributions are on the second disc, I might be slightly biased. I suppose my songs could be considered "off the wall".

Please note, I still love songs on both discs. The album would not be complete without that second disc.

...

I think I agree with most of your points. I wish I could have talked to you more when recording my pieces, as I've had little experience in producing piano solos. I know for a fact that I probably applied too much reverb, but the pieces just sounded... wimpy without that additional microphone. Maybe it was a fault in microphone positioning, or even a lack in my compositional ability. Then again, as someone mastering the album, you might have been able to "fix" the weak hits.

I suppose we'll never know. I'm still curious what edits you did to my files. I wish I could have mixed my piano to sound a little more like Mercury's... oh well.

Good luck! Loved your piano stuff on the album, very refreshing.

Thank you. :)

Edit: I suppose I should name some of my favourite songs from Harmony of a Hunter.

Disc 1

In the Beginning - Great introduction to the album.

Earthroot - A solid metal mix.

Bioluminescence - A little repetitive, but beautifully atmospheric and hypnotic.

Desperation - I have a love-hate thing with this song. It's frantic, and hits all the musical notes for me. I don't know... I think it's the drum loop that's annoying me. Still, I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, and include it here.

Into the Green World - First of Sam's epic orchestrated pieces. I prefer the other songs by him on the album... the fact that I'm still putting this on my favourite list says it all.

Leader's Lair - Cool track. I could totally see this song in a new Metroid game.

Ashes to Ashes - I think this has to be my favourite dubstep track of all time. It essentially fixes all my gripes with the genre: It's layered with so many intriguing soundscapes.

Kraid's Campfire Ballad - Beautifully simple.

Metroid Legacy - Well done overall.

MQ2 - It's Metroid Metal. And it still blew me away. **** yeah.

Bonus - Mission Complete: Ending Suite - It's like I'm in Disney World again. Beautifully done. I'm in awe. Definitely one of Sam's best pieces.

Bonus - Metroid Medley - I LOVE this. Even the original tracks that were all ready 8-Bit entertained me in this mix. Epically long too.

Disc 2

Parasite X - One of the most underrated tracks on the album, in my opinion. It's horrifyingly funky. It's like the child of Yoshi's Story, Earthbound, and Paper Mario. Very unique too.

Frozen Utopia - I enjoy the mix. I think it should have delved a little more from the source though.

Lore Hunter - I can hear all the simple instruments, yet Darkesword can really make a mix of them. My only complaint is that some of the instruments sound a little too MIDI at times.

Solitude - I don't mean to toot my own horn, but Melting Sun fades perfectly into this song. And it really grows too.

Path of Ruin - That saxophone works so well with the rest of the song. My criticism is the same as Lore Hunter - Some of the instruments are too MIDI. Especially the drums. I don't know what it is, as it usually doesn't bother me to the extent that it does here. I almost enjoy that "MIDI" type of sound... I think it has to be that "drum solo" at 1:56. Everything else in this song is so perfect that I still consider it one of my favourites of the album. If you changed those things, I think it could be compared to "Just a Little More". That's saying something... especially seeing how I really don't care for the original Chozo Ruins track.

Omega Cannon - I prefer VikingGuitar's work in Earthroot, but this is still a solid effort. The effects are good too.

In the End... - Beautiful end to the album. I have no idea how close this is to the original piece, as I try not to remember Metroid: Other M. In the End shows that perhaps, there was a good track in that game, once or twice.

Bonus - The Crimson Depths - It's a Sam track. 'Nuff said.

Bonus - What's Past is Prologue - Oh crap. I totally copied this song in a composition I wrote a year ago without realizing it. Or at least, the first two notes... moving on: Great last track. Makes me question why this song wasn't in Other M. Or, why the soundtrack didn't live up to this song.

The rest of the album is great too. Danger in Old Tourian is perfect for a quiet track. The Mission's Briefing almost sounds like something from Mass Effect (just needed a few changes to be part of my favourites).

On a side note, it's somewhat humorous how many people used the Metroid Theme/Super Metroid Theme as cameo tracks. If I had known so many people were going to use them, I would have picked a different track (I did have a little wave to Phendrana Drifts with Melting Sun...).

So, here's a question people: If you could wish for a track to show up in Harmony of a Hunter (that wasn't arranged), what would it be?

Personally, I find it tragic that Maridia I didn't make it... especially as that was the first track I signed up for... Avien filled that gap for me though. Otherwise, the only tracks I miss would have to be "Samus vs. Mother Brain" (which is an awkward song to arrange to begin with), "Samus vs. Dark Samus" (which was originally part of the "Hostile Shadows" suite), and finally "Galactic Warrior" (I'm amazed this didn't show up once in any of the songs).

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