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OCR01341 - Secret of Mana "On the Day the World Changed..."


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I just have to say that Christian Picaud's work is easily my favorite out of all of the mixers on this site. His Final Fantasy 6 Battle on a New Continent, and now his Secret of Mana song are some of my most listened-to music. Download these and enjoy them! It's not often that you get music of this quality for free (legally).

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Heard this one on VGMix awhile back, and it was quite impressive. I'm not familiar with the music from Secret of Mana, but it must be good if something like this comes out of a prog rock cover of it. :P I really like the build-up at about 1:10, the piano breakdown at about 2:24, and the way the rhythm guitar drops back into the song at 3:51. Definitely epic stuff here. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I think most of the people have covered this one ^_^ When I first saw it around VGMix I literally had my jaw dropped in awe over how the medley came together. Even here it's one of those rarities - a good range of tracks following on from one another, but have all been expanded enough in concept and involvement as well as showing enough roots to the source material to make it accessible for the site. I had a few light thoughts towards how the track would be compressed for the site, but for something like this it shouldn't really be taken in too much of a factor.

Nonetheless, i'll copy my VGMix review and showcase my thoughts back into here.

Production Techniques

The three of them together have managed to put down a progressive rock progression all the way through, which has managed to emphasize well upon the general "journey" which has been portrayed in the original title. Panning has been shown well with some of the guitar textures, and although I was hoping for just as much space emphasis on the other sounds too it has still worked well to show an involving general setup for the listener. The recording quality behind the guitars is at a strong strength; while the sounds themselves aren't necessarily clear they have still been established at a very good quality to further emphasize around the moods of the song itself; the choice of synths are shown to be very strong and unusual too, mind although some of which could break the general mood of the piece (like what was used at 2:02 for example), they have still worked well to emphasize on a strong set of twisted moods throughout. The sound levels are also very clear and precise to match and the EQs chosen - although a bit bass-and-mid-range dependant - have still worked in providing a very strong thought to the general balance all the way through it. So what we have in general is a setup that surpasses various elements from Battle on a New Continent, but ended up falling behind on very few of which. Either way, this is very great stuff from the three of them.

Compositional structure

The track started off with a soothing acoustic guitar intro which in turn showed a rendition of "Into the Thick of It". The truth to the original was there to begin with, and the light forms of ambience have worked well to provide a good thought of detail towards the general progressive start. This in turn was lead into a more twisted bass-dependant part to help emphasize on the incoming theme of the other portions of this area of the melody. While I feel the bass could have been played with just as much expression as the lead guitar, it has still worked well enough to be able to maintain the listener's interest to begin with.

The pace was then kicked up at 1:05 via a rendition of "Meridian Dance". Here, the music has provided a more progressive form throughout, in order to be able to maintain the general thrill of the game's final battle. Even here, the source has been twisted around a lot to show a fair amount of performance technique to be able to match from the general emphasis of the source itself. While the general textures of the piece were felt to be a little bit empty in comparison to some of the other portions of the song, the overall concept is shown to be well done by all means.

2:23 then showed the piano elements coming in for the next part of the track, which shows a rendition of "Mystic Invasion". Here, the moods in comparison to the past area are shown to be a strong drop in comparison to what they were before, and the piano performance skills have worked well to provide a steady chilled background to show as a dynamic contrast all around the mix. The incoming lead guitar later on in the section has also worked to gradually build the moods up in time for the next segment of the piece, and the piano solo has also aided in providing just as much form of grace when shown. If there's something I need to gesture at here I would have asked for some general feel towards the drum portions, but otherwise this is still pretty strong stuff.

And then there came another energetic battle-type progression at 3:50; however I have absolutely no idea what source is covered here. But those thoughts are soon pushed aside through the energetic climax that soon managed to lead its way all the way up towards MAG's solo performance at 4:34. The strengths behind the fast-paced nature of the progression have worked well in providing a more thoughtful and energetic set all around it, and has further emphasized upon the general pace granted behind that part of the piece. While I feel the textures could have been just as broad as the general skill behind the performance and the climax that lead on after it, I still felt that this is a working section that has provided just as much thrills for the listener as some of the previous portions.

Finally there came a sinister sounding portion to round off the piece at 5:09, and the choice of chord progressions have worked well to provide a more haunting gesture to begin with. And just to familiarize the listener that they are indeed listening to a Secret of Mana mix, the melody for "Angels' Fear" made its way through at 5:34, although in a very thoughtful and nostalgic fashion given the amount of performance granted all the way around it. The general emphasis of the opening notes have been used as the foundations for the final closing statuses of the track, which have worked well to grant what I personally thought was a blood curdling experience given the piano emphasis leading all the way through to the end. While some of the audience might have problems with the general menacing statuses of the ending, I see that to be a working trait within Christian's works and for that it has showed a very strong finale as a whole. Excellent.

So yeah, it's fair to say that I flat out enjoyed this. ^^ It took a while to associate with some of the themes (given that I never played the Mana games when I was younger but was able to get really involved with the score as of late), but with the amount of credibility taken towards the piecing together of the individual tracks the audience is sure to be in for a very exciting piece of work from start to finish.

For that, it's shown to be another job well done for both Christian Pacaud and Marc-Andre Gingras, and a wel deserved entrance to the site for ktriton too. I want to see some more work from either of the three artists in the future, or better still, any possible collaborative efforts again :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
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  • 2 weeks later...

Uhm. Wow.

I love this. This is easily one of my favorite mixes on OCR, seriously. It might be partially because I'm a Secret of Mana whore, :roll: but let's ignore that fact.

This song puts together every song I grew to love in that game, and in a perfect, like, progressive rock theme.

The only mix I like better'n this, in the SoM catagory, is probably Dragon Song.

That's it. Congrats on making a very interesting compiliation of some of the game's best songs... (though they were all awesomely stunning to begin with, weren't they? :wink: )

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  • 3 months later...
  • 3 months later...

I think I have listened to this before, but.......it doesn't make sense. Why didn't I download it? I am not worthy listening to this, I'm gonna sit in my dark and cold corner now.

*1 hour later*

Ok, I'm back. The remix, or more correctly medley, began very smooth with the bass and the electric guitar, it was a nice intro for the real deal. The real deal, was powerful..no...dynamic..no..kickass...there we go. The drumrolls flew across the air everywhere and the guitars just kept on rocking. When the piano showed up the adrenaline level went down a bit, it was relaxing but also jamming, since the prescense of an electric guitar came a little later. Then....MORE AWESOME GUITARPLAY. It was however a little more chaotic this time, but the energy, ohohohohoh, it had energy. Theeeen it went down a little (again), and the piano finished off with a rough guitar in the back. And then fade out.

My head got jiggy with it all the way, you can't sit still when listening to this one. Tremendous collab guys. Now I have downloaded it, but i won't feel safe until it's inside my mp3.

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Just a heads up, folks: This piece will be played live by Christian, Anthony "Miller" Lofton, Tim "TYarbreaux" Yarbrough, and I at the OneUps Live event in May. This'll probably be the only time to hear it played live and the concert will feature hits from plenty of other arrangers.

With ticket prices now at $20, this should be an easier sell than the $30 tickets were.

http://www.theoneupslive.com/

Hope to see you all there!

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  • 6 months later...

Some musical choices just seemed annoying, like near the end. But overall nice work. Secret of Mana++!! Some of the overall feeling reminded me of

Bangkok & Fire Garden Suite - Bull Whip, Pusa RD., Angel Food, Taurus Bulba -- by Steve Vai (more prog rock stuff)

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  • 1 year later...

Very, very, very good. Very good. Very, very, very, very, very good.

To my ears the guitarist goes a bit over the edge with guitar bends a couple of times, case in point: 00:15, and then again at the beginning. These seriously jump out from such a streamlined, excellent and well-produced effort.. although no-one else has mentioned them, so it might just be me.

I think the transitions are ok. "Sudden" works sometimes, maybe they could have been done better but it's fine as it is.

--Eino

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  • 1 year later...

Meh...

I don't really care for the guitars hear, especially in the intro; they just seem off.

This mix also changes A LOT, which normally I encourage to make a track interesting to listen to, but its switches feel too random and make it seem schizophrenic. At any given time it could be a mellowed jazzy stretch before hitting a wildly energetic rock stretch, which throws off the mood. It's not bad, but it just never seems to make up its mind, never reaches any closure. On the flip side, with a title like "On the Day the World Changed..." I can understand the confused turbulence throughout the mix representing catastrophic world changing emotions too.

In the end, I don't particularly care for it though.

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  • 4 months later...

Though the transitions aren't seamless, there is a ton of great things in this mix, and some very high caliber musicianship. If any song would be better served with a higher quality encoding, it'd be this one.

Excellent work guys, this one deserves some more attention. :-)

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  • 1 month later...
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  • 1 year later...

I'm going to repeat what most other people have said; it really could have used a conceptual backbone bringing this out of "best-of medley" territory. It does sound like a sampler of sorts, which is distracting and doesn't really serve the music at all.

But since the music is what really counts, it's pretty easy to ignore the segmentation of the mix. Each segment is a knock out and represents an authentic appreciation for a wide range of prog rock. Lots of complex guitar work and infused jazz. That's kinda my thing, and I got a real kick out of the extensive showcase of both homage and freshness that was put into each individual track.

As a collective, I have issues with the presentation. It's not where it needs to be as a fully realised medley. Instead its a sequence of ridiculously good, well-produced, well-performed rock tracks. And that's more than enough to satisfy me. Well done.

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  • 5 years later...

A must listen for prog-rock lovers!  Personally, I have no problem with the transitions, as I've heard plenty such transitions in various other prog-rock.  If you view this from a medley perspective first, the transitions could use some work.  If you view this from a prog-rock perspective first, the transitions fit right in and a medley seems only natural for its source.  There are plenty of prog-rock songs with jarring transitions and also plenty with very smooth and continuous transitions between musical ideas.  YMMV on which you prefer.  (both :-D)

Fans of Guitar Hero III may remember this one: Impulse - An Endless Sporadic

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  • Liontamer changed the title to OCR01341 - Secret of Mana "On the Day the World Changed..."

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