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OCR01317 - Castlevania II "Cursed Bloodline"

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Excellent work here...for the most part. The 'minor' complaint the judges had regarding the vocals is not so 'minor'. The vocals are ridiculously quiet. Sure, metal puts more focus on the thrashing guitars and what have you, but I've NEVER heard a metal song where the vocals are this low. It just doesn't happen. Can't hardly tell he's there half the time. Sad thing is, it would've taken two seconds to fix it.

This mix came so close to being incredible, but this one little thing is holding it back.

*sigh*

You've never listened to early Emperor have you? Their vocals are quietly in the back though still very raspy and shierky.

Thanks for the tip, I'll avoid 'em.

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I'm not exactly a fan of death metal persay, but I like how this mix was done. I think the lyrics are posted on the VGMix page for this track if no one else notified the reviewers here. This track screams with quality and angst. There's alot of feeling. I'm not good with describing guitar-ish type mixes, but I believe Dennis is a master of what he does.

Good job, fellow Winnipeger and welcome to OCR. Here's a cookie. :)

EDIT: Never mind...no need to waste time looking for lyrics. Thanks Liontamer.

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Being a pretty big fan of metal, I am very happy to see some more metal mixes and by Dennis no less. While the sound can be overpowering at times I thought overall that it was bearable because of all the energy that flows from the intense guitar playing. I commend Dennis for putting out an awesome mix and hope that he puts out some more similar to this one.

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This is clearly the most extreme metal-style I've heard on this site, and for this I appriciate it ;)

I've always felt metal should be the soundtrack of games... especially the more violent, hell-ish and dark/gothic games.

Also this is really nicely played..

I'm still waiting on an insanely-violent game with a goregrind soundtrack.. ;)

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As a large fan of metal (although I have drifted towards Hardcore more and more), I greatly appreciate this mix.

I have a few nuances, though... firstly, the drums. I am a drummer myself, and these drums just don't carry enough... how do I say this?... force. Specifically, the bass drums. Sure, the double bass rolls are excellent and create a lot of power in the song, but I just feel they don't have enough force or power. Also, the cymbols don't have enough "oomph" either (especially the crash).

Again, on the point of drums, I give kudos for the variation. Too many bands I have listened to have just a full on blast beat coupled with small fills and double bass rolls. The tempo variations keep the mix interesting, and I could appreciate more fills, and much more cymbol work.

The guitars sound excellent for the most part. But the bass? Where, oh where is the bass? I do like the shredding, and the dual guitar approach (sounds like The Black Dahlia Murder, but we all know they are At The Gates in disguise).

I, personally, like the tone change. It makes this song interesting, and I like the sound of the entire part very much. It gives the song a hint of Black Metal, without compromising the Death Metal (maybe more of a Melodic Death Metal) sound.

I like the lyrics. The vocal approach is very fitting. After turning the mix up a bit, the way the lyrics are delivered fits my idea of the context of the game. While not a traditional growl/guttoral approach, or pitch-shifted (like Last Days of Humanity or other similar Goregrind bands), I find this vocal approach to be very effective. Although, it would be interesting to hear it delivered in the raspy style of Black Metal, or even pitch-shifted vocals of Grindcore and Goregrind (mind you, the growling associated with Death Metal came from Grindcore).

All in all, I'm pleasantly pleased with this.

And, as a note to the one who said they would avoid Emperor. You're missing out, severly. Emperor is one of the best metal bands, in any genre, period. Check out In The Nightside Eclipse, or Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk by them.

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This came up on my list after a long chain of Thrash, Death, and melodic metal, and immediately thought, "This doesn't sound like something I have.." consider I added the torrent from 1250 - 1500 to my playlist recently. My immediate thought, considering the distortion effect used on the vocals that it really sounded like In Flames (pre Colony or Clayman), though yes, I noted the lyrics were a bit quiet in comparison to the rest, but still I was impressed. It made me look at the title.

I'm glad that something strongly metal like this was added to OCR's lineup, and really dig this mix.

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I'm glad that something strongly metal like this was added to OCR's lineup, and really dig this mix.

Thank God. Not that no one has said they liked it (far from it), but there were enough genre haters in the ReView thread to the point where I'm certainly glad someone really really enjoyed the mix, and that fact that it's here.

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Holy.......

CRAP!!!

This is, by far, my favorite remix now.

Not that I am the biggest fan of Death-metal, but I am a fan of -HEAVY FUCKING METAL-, and that is exactly was this is.

Guitar playing = amazing.

Drum track = very death metal.

Vox = brillant.

Awsome addition to the OCRemix archive, in my opinion ^_^.

\m/ **headbangs** \m/

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F-ing WOW, this remix is like, absolutley mind blowing, I'm a fan of death/thrash metal, and this beats all... it's like one of my favourite genres, mixed with one of my favourite games, y'think they'll be more remix like this? :?:

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Yes yes yes, one of my absolute favorites on the site.

A few have pointed out that it sounds very At The Gate, but actually I think it sounds more like another great swedish "Gothenburg-metal"-band; In Flames.

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There have been people who've said that they disagree with the standards and all that jazz, but I'd like to talk about the judgment of a specific remix not because I disagree with the standards, but because I truly feel that this judgment call was completely flawed. It COULD be that I missed something, and if so, I hope a judge will point that out to me so that my heart can rest. Because to be honest, I get kind of restless when I think about this. Hahaha. So here it comes...

I'm talking Cursed Bloodline. Please don't get me wrong. I totally love this song. The judges always battle with the balance of production and arrangement in remixes. If one is lacking but the other makes up for it, then it seems like they'll pass it. Well, ALL of the judges who participated in the vote on Cursed Bloodline said that this remix had high quality arrangement AND production. I think anyone who listens to it will agree with the production call, but what about the arrangement. I get the feeling that everyone was too blown away by the artist's energy or genre or production that they just assumed that since they can hear the source in the mix, it must be a good arrangement. So here's where I'd like to be told, "I think you missed [insert whatever I missed here]." Because I'm about to go out on a limb and say that there is hardly any arrangement of the source in this remix."

Hopefully I'm missing it, but if I'm not mistaken the ONLY TWO occurrences of the source material, if you don't count all the repeats, and those are the intro riff and the guitar solo at 2:14. The intro riff plays the intro of the original and the guitar solo plays the main part of the original and EVERYTHING ELSE, if I'm not mistaken, is original material. I'd really like to have one of those play-by-play analyses by LionTamer that proves me wrong, cause right now all I hear is:

Intro-Verse-Chorus-Intro-Verse-Chorus-Intro-

7/4riff-solo-7/4riff-solo-7/4riff-Chorus-Intro

With the exception of the solos, EVERYTHING in this remix is played 2, 3, or even 4 times which makes it extremely repetitive in my opinion. And the main occurrence of the source is the intro riff which, on top of being played 4 times, consists of the same riff being repeated FOUR times. Yeah, they put a cool harmony part on top of the third time, but in essence we're talking about the biggest connection to the source being just a 4 second riff that gets repeated a total of 16 times. It must be the whole "pop factor" thing which I've never really understood, but all the voters praised this remix for having great structure for some reason. I just don't get it.

I'm not trying to say the judges don't do their job well, OR say that this is an inferior mix, because I actually love this song. But what about that crazy OCR bar that we've all heard so much about? So I end this initial post by restating the purpose of this thread: Someone please, either set me straight, or tell me that I'm right.

I look forward to the response.

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0:00 to 0:08 = Riff from source, slightly modified

0:08 to 0:13 = Same riff w/ added harmony (variation good)

0:13 to 0:17 = Harmonies removed

0:17 to 0:34 = Chord progression is right from the original (i, VII, VI, V-VII) except the thirds are generally removed. Some shredding over them within each chord, which is acceptable.

0:34 to 0:51 = More of the same chord progression, presented a bit differently each time.

0:52 to 1:08 or so = Like the intro, though when he adds the harmonies on the first repeat of the source riff the chords are voiced a bit differently

1:10 and on = Again, going off the chord progression of the original.

1:42 = Source riffs more

1:59 = original material

2:15 = Straight from the source, with added harmony and some melodic variation too

So yeah, you get the idea. I don't think you were picking up on the chord progression from the original, and you weren't giving Dennis enough credit for the variations therein.

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I'd also think that adding original lyrics does a lot for interpretation, provided the song is not a MIDI rip of the original. I don't recall the submission standards saying that remixes must only have melodic or rhythmic interpretation. Perhaps this is something that might need to be clarified more though?

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So yeah, you get the idea. I don't think you were picking up on the chord progression from the original, and you weren't giving Dennis enough credit for the variations therein.

Ok. You're right. I didn't notice the chord progression from the original (It might've helped if I HAD the original. Hahaha.) nor did I mention the variations within, but I still think this thing is WAY too repetitive to be considered such a great arrangement I am still withholding my props on the structure. Anyway, thanks for that. ^_^

I'd also think that adding original lyrics does a lot for interpretation, provided the song is not a MIDI rip of the original. I don't recall the submission standards saying that remixes must only have melodic or rhythmic interpretation. Perhaps this is something that might need to be clarified more though?

No no. I gotta disagree with that, Kanthos. I mean, think about it. Lyrics, ESPECIALLY lyrics sung with death vocals, while might seem to have relevance to the game or the source tune itself, really can't logically have any at all because music is music and words are words and those are two completely different things. You gotta remember that the melody that some lyrics are sung in can be considered music, but the fact that they are words and that those words have meaning just makes it poetry or "good writing" or something like that, not music. Of course in this case, you can say that they can sort of be attributed to the music by adding to the texture. Can't see any other logical aspect than that. But they do kick ass, none the less!

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Lyrics/vocals constitute original addition, which is perfectly fine and encouraged. It is unlikely a mix will pass where that is the ONLY addition, though. For example, if you simply took a source tune, MIDI ripped it, and added vocals on top, you'd have a hard time passing.

As for this mix being too repetitive, I don't think so. Given the genre there is a bit more stylistic leeway. The source is definitely explored and expanded. We've let on more repetitive electronic mixes, for sure.

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No no. I gotta disagree with that, Kanthos. I mean, think about it. Lyrics, ESPECIALLY lyrics sung with death vocals, while might seem to have relevance to the game or the source tune itself, really can't logically have any at all because music is music and words are words and those are two completely different things. You gotta remember that the melody that some lyrics are sung in can be considered music, but the fact that they are words and that those words have meaning just makes it poetry or "good writing" or something like that, not music.

I completely disagree. The human voice is nothing more than an instrument for producing sound, just like a guitar or snare. Therefore vocals are inherently musical. Any additional meaning that you as a listener attach to the sounds created by the human voice can only add to the musicality and impact of the song. I've used the example before but if words were "not music" then I think that many people would find it hard to enjoy songs with lyrics in languages that they don't understand, like Jill's Prayer, or Star Salzman's Pillar of Salt. For that matter, if lyrics only added to the song in a poetic sense, I think death metal would be even less popular than it is now :wink:

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I completely disagree. The human voice is nothing more than an instrument for producing sound, just like a guitar or snare. Therefore vocals are inherently musical. Any additional meaning that you as a listener attach to the sounds created by the human voice can only add to the musicality and impact of the song. I've used the example before but if words were "not music" then I think that many people would find it hard to enjoy songs with lyrics in languages that they don't understand, like Jill's Prayer, or Star Salzman's Pillar of Salt. For that matter, if lyrics only added to the song in a poetic sense, I think death metal would be even less popular than it is now :wink:

Harmony totally nailed it and is now my idol.

The voice is like any other instrument except a million times more advanced in how you can shape the sound. It's the best synth out there and it has as many oscillators as there is people. Too bad some are real hard to tune. Like my voice :)

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Before going any farther, keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective of a listener who doesn't know much about music. I almost never care for metal in any form, but this is probably my favorite Bloody Tears mix. First off, the repetition you referred to is part and parcel of the metal genre. Metal is about presence, force and power, and not so much development of melodies and the like. So it's not uncommon to hear one kickass melody carried through a whole song from beginning to end. Thats not across the board, but if you listen to Dragonforce, for example, you'll hear the same set of riffs repeated several times, up to 8 and 9 minutes.

Second, the arrangement. All of Bloody Tears is featured in this mix, with a different chord progression coming in for the verses. The chorus is, I think, the most amazing mixup of that bit of little bit of music ever. It's raw power and it just kicks ass. But the point is that every bit of Bloody Tears is there, all be it not necessarily in the expected places.

Finally, the lyrics. Metal without screaming is not metal. I have never ever heard metal without screaming. I hate screaming. Except in this song, because I read the lyrics and they're intelligent and amazing and perfectly tell the story of Castlevania. I have to give huge props to anyone who can use the line 'frivolous time serene' in a song and have it make sense.

Overall, from a listener standpoint, I think this is one of the better Castlevania mixes on the site, and perhaps the best Bloody Tears mix, although Bloody Hell is right up there. It's good metal. It eats your soul and pounds your ears and doesn't apologize. Mikey likes it.

I also COMPLETELY agree with harmony. I actually prefer listening to music in other languages. It allows you to hear the voice as part of the music, as an instrument. Listening to English lyrics over music is like listening to 2 conversations at once for me. Your mind is trained so that the left brain, which controls speech, logic, and analysis, almost ALWAYS takes dominance over the right, which controls imagery, melody, and pretty much anything artistic. If there are lyrics in the song in your language, the left brain will automatically dominate the right to understand what those lyrics are saying and interpret meaning. We're hard wired like that. If you listen to vocals in a language you can't understand, or simply listen to instrumental music, your left brain has no idea how to interpret it. So the analytical, coldly logical part of your brain sends the music over to the artistic, emotional side of your brain, and you're now listening to music with the half of your brain that was designed to hear it and enjoy it. So you fall into the music. That's the reason instrumental new age music and chanting is used in certain therapies, because it can turn off the side of your brain causing all the stress for awhile. This is scientific folks. No shit.

Note that screaming doesn't do that. It hurts my ears. At some volume level both sides of your brain are going HOLY SHIT TOO MUCH TURN IT DOWN!!! That's what metal does. I was just making a scientific point about the voice as an instrument.

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This remix is simply stunning!

First of all it's refreshing with a song in this genre. There are a lot of electronic and orchestral tracks here(I'm not hating, I love them as well!), so it's nice to hear some kick ass metal!

The production is great. The quitars are awesome, and I love the drums. I've read some users around on this site commenting that it's very repetetive. First of all this is not an orchestral piece guys, it's metal. Song construction works different in different genres. I used to be an avid metal listener(mostly norwegian black metal and I still listen to it, but not exclusively) and I must say that this track sounds extremely professional and that the song arrangement and construction is really on par with big names in the industry.

Also, this song has kick ass vox and lyrics. That's not something we see everyday on OCremix, so it's a very commendable feat, especially when done so well. This fact also helps the song work beyond nostalgia, this track reaches an audience beyond Castlevania fans and the OCremix community because of its lyrics and the great production IMHO.

\m/___\m/

I completely agree with Harmony.

Also, this is one of my favourite remixes here on OCremix.

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Harmony, Another Soundscape, I gotta turn around and disagree AGAIN. Hahaha. Of course lyrics make us like the music and the human voice IS definitely an instrument used for producing sound and music, but my statement about "lyrics" not being music is all about being able to separate the "lyrics" from the "vocals." Most people don't think about it that way because they do go extremely hand in hand. So yeah, the vocal melody, the timbre of the voice, and even the sound that results from the different mouth shapes that happen to form words all definitely count as lyrics. HOWEVER! (LOL) the fact that those vocals create words which have meaning isn't music. He could have sung completely different lyrics in the same way and aside from the difference in the sound resulting from different mouth shapes, we could say that it's otherwise exactly the same thing. Of course if he WERE saying something about pink bunnies and cotton candy, we'd all think it was stupid and unrelated to the music because it would be. Hahaha. But that's just verbal communication which is a completely different thing from music. I doubt I'm ever gonna get anyone who's not linguistics teacher to agree with me on this, ESPECIALLY musicians, but there's my argument anyway. ^_^

As for Shadowwolf and anyone else who says that repetition is a staple of the Metal genre, I'm gonna say that just because 1000 people jump off a building, it doesn't mean they're all correct. Yeah lots of famous and popular bands have tons of repetition in their songs, but that doesn't mean they're doing something that's good. If it really has become considered a staple of the genre, then I don't think it's a very good one, and it should be replaced. I've written a ton of metal songs and I don't think even the VERY first one that I wrote was A B C A B C Solo C. I can't get into that kind of thing. I'm in an Arch Enemy cover band and we're playing Ravenous this Saturday and the same riff keeps coming back over and over, and while it's freaking fun to PLAY it's so boring to listen to, for me. I recommend Blind Guardian's newer stuff if you want to hear songs with good structure. I think that has just the right amount of repetition. There is a lack of smiley faces in this post which might lead some to believe that I'm an angry person. To dispel that, here's a big fat smiley just to say, "I ain't mad at ya."

^____________________________________________________________^

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Before going any farther, keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective of a listener who doesn't know much about music. I almost never care for metal in any form, but this is probably my favorite Bloody Tears mix. First off, the repetition you referred to is part and parcel of the metal genre. Metal is about presence, force and power, and not so much development of melodies and the like. So it's not uncommon to hear one kickass melody carried through a whole song from beginning to end. Thats not across the board, but if you listen to Dragonforce, for example, you'll hear the same set of riffs repeated several times, up to 8 and 9 minutes.

Finally, the lyrics. Metal without screaming is not metal. I have never ever heard metal without screaming. I hate screaming. Except in this song, ....

No. Hell, do you even hear screaming in Dragonforce, the only band you mentioned? While occasionally what you said might be true, the majority of the time you're way off.

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