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djpretzel

OCR01456 - *YES* Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance 'Behold the Winged Cathedral'

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hello.. I submitted this in July, but djp said I violated site rules.. I'm sure I waited 3 weeks between submissions.. GRRRR.. it's okay!

Yeah anyway, I had written a whole thing about how much I loved this soundtrack. I can't really remember everything I said.. but it was profound and stuff. I'm not going to try to compete with myself since I said it best the first time, however, I no longer have that submission e-mail. So I'll just say, should this song get accepted, it would be great if acknowledgement could be given to Soshiro Hokkai in some way since he wrote the original and NOT Michiru Yamane despite her contributions to the HOD soundtrack. Let's hope this submission e-mail works this time.

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http://www.zophar.net/gsf/hod_gsf.rar - 10 "Chapel of Dissonance"

Ooh, whatever that lead is to start off with, pretty nice. We get some piano at :16 followed by some mangled up SFX at :25 that initially didn't sound like voices. Cooler still from :33-:52; hard concept to get a grip on but that's why it works.

The SFX does a nice job of filling out the arrangement, and I love the beefing up of the percussion at 1:15 for the next iteration of the source melody that begins at 1:07. The whole feel is VERY We Love Katamari style, majestic in some ways, surreal and conflicted in others. Artsy-fartsy articulation of my stream of consciousness or not, plainly-spoken this is memorable stuff.

Good acceleration at 2:15 with the piano and synth runs, the glassy-type sounds, and crazy percussion. Even moreso from 3:06-3:23, which was a little cluttered IMO, but had that same energy to it before going back to the more regal instrumentation from 3:42-4:16. A bit dense, a bit shrill, but nearly all beautiful.

Though I thought the very ending from 4:58-5:22 wasn't the strongest way to end things, good near-ending from 4:33 until the end to cyclically tie things back to the feel of the beginning.

Arrangement is all sorts of bueno, and if you check the source tune, you really see how it fits in Sam's style already. It actually sounds like something he could write if he was a composer for Game Boy Advance material, so this mix was a pleasing upgrade of sounds and extension of the compositional ideas of Hokkai's original. Can't really ask for more than that around here.

YES

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Pretty off the wall, as per Shnab's usual stuff. A very interesting take on the theme. Lots of variation, lots of cool sound design and texture stuff. I love the piano near the end.

Stereo panning all around for the win.

YES

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This is pretty much the style to expect from Shna. I think it's a lot more refined than earlier works I've heard from him, though the intense stereo panning can be a bit painful at times with headphones. I personally wouldn't go and do HARD right or left panning with that in mind, especially with something like a drumloop. My other complaint is that some of the synth sounds are piercing, particularly when they sustain on high notes. I had to turn down my volume to get around that, which was annoying. But these issues are not that major. The mix sounds well-structured and constructed to me, though I think the use of SFX was more on the tacky than the artistic side. Eh.. personal taste. I think this passes our bar.

YES

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Usually not a fan of Shna's stuff. No different to past submissions, this one is quite dissonant. But has a very enjoyable texture on the leads strewn throughout the mix. The pieced vocals were an interesting touch, makes the track sound like something from a science fiction movie based in the year 2450 with robots and flying cars everywhere.

I'm willing to go with zircon in saying that this is a lot more refined than Shna's other stuff. While being weird, it remains to the normal and enjoyable side of weird. Some parts seemed to stray on for a little too long, namely the section from about 2:44 - 3:05, which felt like it was dragging out the same twisted idea instead of moving on.

I'm not a fan of the drums in this, but there's nothing wrong with them quality-wise, and they don't detract from the overall melody and style of the mix too much. Whatever you brought in at 4:17 was most unexpected and very enjoyable, a nice break.

No issues in closing this out with a fourth YES

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