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zircon

OCRA-0040 - Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin

337 posts in this topic

Impresario sounds really really good. But... Maria dies at the end? :c No, I do not like that at all. Sad! So I must demand that a rainbow unicorn be thrown on it for a happily ever after. ^-^ (The unicorn would rescue Maria and could be voiced by St.John. n.n)

Yes... make it so! n_n

Black Genesis and Meditations on an Apocalypse go hand in hand. Bad ass. ^-^

Fanatics is one of my favourites from the ost and I love The Endless Stair. The higher you walk, the scarier it gets. >:3 There's also a great supernatural vibe, culminating with the fight at the top.

Fight scenes are all top notch! ^_^

Train Suplex! :D It has a nimbler, lighter quality than I'm used to hearing with Decisive Battle remixes. And it works! ^_^ The echos (1:10) along with a sort of swinging electronic edge really make this one stand out. The Megiddo Brigade is a good stylistic precursor to Train Suplex. The Megiddo Brigade has a subtle malevolent feel and shares the lighter steps of Train Suplex.

I can easily imagine how Evisceration could bleed (degrade?) into There Will Be Blood. Perfect combo :D

Bad Octopus is still so damn catchy n__n Loopy fights for loopy foes. :3

And Polemos... <3 Polemos gets hearts because combat is bloody! ^-^ So engaging! :) A lengthy battle (or series of battles?) that never loses it's ferocity.

(A question on Polemos... are 5-04 Omen IV: Polemos and 1-05 Polemos the same track? I ask because whenever I listen to compare them, I sort of get lost in the music and forget... n_n')

I greatly appreciate the rockin approach for Demon, Fiend, & Goddess. The faster pace and drive sets it apart from other awesome renditions such as Prancing Dad, Dancing Madly, Black Mages', and even moAbi's. It's refreshing, to be honest. And I think it's the shortest version I've heard (7 1/2 minutes compared to 12-20), which is saying something. It's not a slow walking, grand neo-classical mix. This makes for a greater sense of urgency - like a fight where no one's messing around.

Edited by TillyFun
fixing obnoxious smilies; phrasing (malevolence!)

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Hah, thanks! I know it's probably towards the bottom of the list of tracks people are anticipating, but I hope it still piques the interest of folks.

i heard it on my car on my way back to home, and i enjoyed it too. Very glad to see all those music from the ost who didn't caught our attention being remixed and nicely crafted.

btw the endless stair sound remind me of that BG music played in saint row 3 during the zombies invasion. creepy and ominous, same feeling when i listen to both.

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(A question on Polemos... are 5-04 Omen IV: Polemos and 1-05 Polemos the same track? I ask because whenever I listen to compare them, I sort of get lost in the music and forget... n_n')

Polemos is part IV of the song Omen. The version on disc 5 is the same song as the one on disc 1, only difference is that zircon didn't want to include the entire 40 minute song (for obvious reasons) so he made me cut it into 4 parts, and he made his own cut of the last part (that being Polemos) to use on disc 1. So yeah, the 4 parts of Omen make up ONE song and are intended to be listened to as such.

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Polemos is part IV of the song Omen. The version on disc 5 is the same song as the one on disc 1, only difference is that zircon didn't want to include the entire 40 minute song (for obvious reasons) so he made me cut it into 4 parts, and he made his own cut of the last part (that being Polemos) to use on disc 1. So yeah, the 4 parts of Omen make up ONE song and are intended to be listened to as such.

Gotcha. :) Makes sense. I've kept Omen together.

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Argle, for what it's worth, Endless Stair was on the very top of my vote list during staff voting on the contest tracks. DAT ATMOSPHERE.

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In the end it comes down to the scope, and for an album of this size there's no other way to do it than how B&R did it. The ONLY thing I'd change about this would be the mixing. You can't have a cohesive album if you have a different person mixing every song, the volume levels are all over the place and some songs are just painful to listen to.

You might already know this, but if the relative volume levels of tracks within an album bother you, you can run a ReplayGain implementation on it (specifically mp3gain if you're using mp3's) to embed metadata into each track, then set your player to follow its track-gain settings. This will set a consistent average volume level for each track. It's better to use album-gain when the relative volumes within an album are appropriate, especially if you're listening to something with gapless playback like classical or Pink Floyd, but track-gain is good for radio-style individual song playback, car playback, playing songs on shuffle, playing songs from an album with erratic levels, etc.

mp3gain also has a mode that directly modifies the mp3 stream too, but it's mostly a last resort in case you're using a player that doesn't recognize ReplayGain metadata. (It's technically reversible as long as you don't tell it to clip your levels, but it's easy to accidentally lose the information needed to reverse it.)

Then again, you referred specifically to mixing, not mastering...so if your problem is with the dynamic range of different instruments in specific tracks, you're pretty much up a creek unless you want to selectively apply dynamic range compression.

Edited by Mini-Me

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Then again, you referred specifically to mixing, not mastering...so if your problem is with the dynamic range of different instruments in specific tracks, you're pretty much up a creek unless you want to selectively apply dynamic range compression.

I think I can safely say that any manner of compression on a symphonic arrangement is going to be drastically different in application, (especially with ratio and knee) compared to the more electronic focused tracks. That's not to say block o cheese tracks can't sound great, because they can. But the general dynamic range of A Tranquil Rest really could not have been changed at all, without overcompressing and turning the balance of instruments to shit.

I love Tepid's Chocobo track. It sounds fabulous; but there is no way to make it work in a cohesive "EP-style" way without having both songs make compromises in terms of creative direction, style and emotional content. Tha would take away from what is, to me, the single greatest advantage a massive undertaking like this has; honest diversity. I don't mind listening to Xenogears Myth; actually I love listening to it. But I also listen to deftones, to Foy Vance and to the Shenmue orchestral stuff. Those might be on a mix tape together in my personal collection, but they would not come anywhere close to working and making sense like Balance and Ruin does to me.

To each his own, for sure. But I started listening really skeptically, and was pleasantly humbled repeatedly here with the composers and arrangers involved.

The endless stair, electro de Chocobo and Brandon strader's absolutely kickass mogstradamus could only exist on the same album as my songs via a cooperative effort like what Zircon and McVaffe put together. I am amazed how well everything was pulled together.

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So what's up with the "bonus" tracks? I know some of them were entries in the B&R contest and the Snapple/norg/finbeard progwank was a special case, but what about the rest?

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So what's up with the "bonus" tracks? I know some of them were entries in the B&R contest and the Snapple/norg/finbeard progwank was a special case, but what about the rest?

I've been wondering that myself. First off, I would just like to say that I absolutely love this entire album. Hands down the best album OCR has ever put out in terms of quality, consistency, and tone. Everything just works for me personally.

That said, I was extremely surprised by disc 5. I normally have a bad tendency to skip past the bonus tracks, assuming that they were passed over for a specific reason. Which is why, when I listened to the whole thing, I was so flipping surprised. Each track on the bonus disc works absolutely brilliantly; Omen is a four-part opus that was friggin' cool, and every other track made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Special mention needs to be made for The 6th Kingdom. I have always been a fan of Jovette Rivera's work, and hearing this track in the background when OCR originally reannounced the Kickstarter had me all kinds of pumped. This track stuffs all this awesome electronica and guitar and orchestra and so much other stuff that for all intents and purposes should not necessarily fit cohesively... and yet I cannot for the life of me stop rocking out to it. I really hope it makes it onto the website; people need to hear that mix.

I think later on I'll give a full album review, but we shall see. :)

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4 discs and a bonus DVD right... disc 5 bonus songs seems to be non-disc, non-DVD bonus songs.. probably because of length, I thought I saw it was something like 84 minutes long - too much for a disc. They probably just didn't want to squeeze everything somehow into 6 audio CDs and the bonus DVD for the physical print. :-P That would have been epic though, but as it already is, it's a lot to take in.... maybe too much... but that's the essence of huge compilation albums. I still haven't had the time to listen to more than the first disc when it came out early, but I need to make a date for it, maybe light some candles (which will be burned to the base by the time it's over), maybe sip some toilet or box wine, whatever I can afford.

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In this case maybe "Bonus" was not the right word to use, originally I think I had wanted it to just be "Disc 5" and not say "Bonus" at all. Those tracks are every bit as amazing as those on the first 4 discs. We just didn't really have room for all that music on the first 4 and in most cases we felt it was weird to have two arrangements of the same theme in close proximity (with a few exceptions, like Chocobo, Blackjack, and the opera.)

So why did we have duplicates? There were some cases where an artist had claimed a track and backed out, so we would fill their spot with another ReMixer. Then, the original artist came through after all, leaving us with multiple takes to pick from. A number of the ReMixes are also from the contests (with LOTS of takes on the same themes), as has been noted. In short...

Don't skip disc 5! The music is absolutely as good as the first 4 discs! We just separated it for space + flow reasons!

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Don't skip disc 5! The music is absolutely as good as the first 4 discs! We just separated it for space + flow reasons!

the whole omen part indeed is a must listen, the other songs complete pretty well the album by giving another interpretation.

i usually end up with favorite when two theme are remixed but some are both equally enjoyable.

ok just a little preference for savage dance, for me the veldt feeling is there.

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Special mention needs to be made for The 6th Kingdom. I have always been a fan of Jovette Rivera's work, and hearing this track in the background when OCR originally reannounced the Kickstarter had me all kinds of pumped. This track stuffs all this awesome electronica and guitar and orchestra and so much other stuff that for all intents and purposes should not necessarily fit cohesively... and yet I cannot for the life of me stop rocking out to it. I really hope it makes it onto the website; people need to hear that mix.

Thanks HitoriJaNai, I appreciate the kind words.

I really had to find a way to top FFVII's The Crossroads, and I'm happy with the result. (Without vocals none-the-less!!)

I did request a front page release so......yeah David and Andrew are aware, and hopefully that's coming soon <wink wink>

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Finally ended my second listen of B&R and here are my thoughts:

DISC 1

1. Prologue: Awesome intro. bustatunez's orch work is top, and makes my own orch mixes sound like crap (LOL). Great way to introduce the album

2. Now is the Winter: Very "fresh" and cool. Love the jazzy/mystrious vibe.

3. Remeber: Same as above, less the jazzy side, but still a very peaceful arrangement.

4. Smoke and Clouds: Doesn't work for me, I skipped it after 1 minute. Laura Intravia's voice is great, but the arrangement sounds too random for me (not used to that style), sorry. Perhaps the weakest track of the whole project (sorry if I sound rude, prod is still top).

5. Polemos (and the whole prog medley): Yeah, baby, that's proggy and rockin'. Loving the different solos and the way to arrange the track. Nice perf from 3 rockin' dudes.

6. Tastes Like Victory: Woah, genius track. I love the vocals here and the arrangement. Very cool to listen to.

7. Castles in the Sand: There's a bit of Hans Zimmer here. Nice orchestra arrangement, epic wthout too much "embellishment".

8. Ascension of a Madman: Epic. I was wishing for an orch Kefka mix, and this is VERY good, especially the "mad" part in the middle.

9. La Montaña: Very intresting way to remix the source, samples and performance are top notch. Vamos a ballar!

10. On the Run: Very nice, but not as much as the Fanfare mix. Still fresh and cool.

11. Fistful of Nickels: I love the arrangement. Great perf, great prod. Mr. Morricone would be proud.

12. Camp Kefka: Yes, nice blend of metal, orch, and ethnic stuff. Sounds a bit like MGS music, so it's good!

13. Stone Drum: Not bad, the lo-fi aspect of the track is a bit strange. Cool instruments.

14. Toxic: Not bad too, chip + dubstep/bass thing is interesting, not much to say.

15. De Nuit: David Bergeaud? This track sounds like Ratchet&Clank's soundtrack. I like it!

16. Gobble, Snarf, Snap: Hahaha, I like this arrangement, very interesting take on the source. XPRT seems to know his stuff.

17. Savage Triumph: Some very good part, some were a bit boring. I like the high energy in this track.

DISC 2

1. Wild Child Ballad: Great samples/perf. A very fresh track to begin the second album.

2. river of snie waves: Piano + chip? Worked at some times, but some parts were not sounding very good IMO.

3. Idle City Street: Ah, so calm, so nice. Great and emotional performance here. Perfect mix.

4. Courage, Failure, Rosebud: Mix was a bit generic, but still cool to listen to. Not a big fan of all the effects on the voice, but it worked quite well.

5. Bad Octopus: Awesome arrangement, and great mix of hard rock and various instruments (loving the winds here!)

6. Train Suplex: Very nice mix, very aggressive synths, but drums were lacking a bit of energy IMO. Still cool!

7. The Will Be Blood: Not a big fan of the electro style, but I guess it fits the source.

8. Terra's Resolve: The real orchestra sounds soooo good. I love the take on the over-remixed source, well done!

9. A Simple Flip: Cool guitar performance, I like the inclusion of other instruments at the end + voices. Very cool mix.

10. Electro de Chocobo: Some parts were a bit out of place, but the prod is excellent.

11. Reverie: Quite like the first tracks of the album, I like the atmospheric ambience. Very calm and cool.

12. Slam Davis: Coooooool brass, the rest was interesting but sometimes not working and a bit out of place IMO.

13. Fiddlesticks Rag: Haha, yes, very good take on the source! I like it and the perf was great!

14. The Nightmare Oath: Excellent arrangement and performance! I like it. Perfect intro for...

15. The Impresario: the best track of the project. Excellent on all aspects, loving the Queen tribute, those 9 minutes are never boring. This track is excellent.

16. Till We Meet Again: Very good end for the Opera part. A good opportunity to breathe after 2/3 tracks with high energy.

17. Full Speed Ahead: Excellent production and mix, solos are crazy! Excellent way to end the album.

DISC 3

1. Flava de Chocobo: I love J. Morse's ethnic/jazz arrangements. This one is very cool.

2. Johnny's Funk: Perhaps a tiny bit too glitchy for me, but all that funk is awesome. Great track.

3. Ghestalhian Sonata: Great piano solo. Very calm and fresh.

4. The Megiddo Brigade: Haha, yes! I love the source. djp, you're awesome. I love ths mix. The 1'30 part is awesome.

5. Nothing like Flying: Mix missed a bit of bass. Classic chip remix, not much to say here.

6. Aggressive Blue Magic: Like above, nice! A bit too much glitchy at some points.

7. Mogstradamus: WTF lol (but still great). Still has a good prod!

8. Pure Essence: I like José's works, and this track was interesting too. Percussion is a bit repetitive however.

9. Illusionary: Nice blend of orch + electro, without too much embellishment. Nice.

10. Black Genesis: Not bad, but sometimes things went a bit awry. Still a nice track.

11. Meditations: Loving the electro + orch/ethnic blend. Sounds awesome!

12. Evisceration: Energy!! Nice mix, some effects were a bit out of place, but I liked it overall.

13. A Tranquil Rest: Awesome take on the short track. I love the feeling of the track. Great job and performance.

14. Elegy: Great orch arrangement, without too much embellishment - simple but great. Derek and Jeremy never disappoint!

15. Event Horizon: I liked the track overall. Very "OCR sounding" :D

16. Blackjack: OMG this track is great! The ambiance and style are genius. Awesome disc end!

DISC 4

1. A Glimmer of Hope: Fresh track. Has a very cool (and epic - especially at the end) feeling and great to listen to.

2. Go-go Gadget: Gogo! I like the take on this one too! I wish it had more instruments but sounds cool!

3. Katabasis: Same than for the Game Over mix. Awesome track.

4. 13th Floor: Quite the same than for Evisceration, both track have a great energy and are good!

5. The Narshemellow: Very cool to listen to, interesting take on the original. As always, samples and performance are perfect! XPRT wins!

6. The Endless Stair: Wow, I like this. Quite particular, but reminds me of the Shinra remix from VotL which was great too.

7. Trauermarsch: Another very good orch suite from Derek/Jeremy. Perfect to build the tension before the end!

8. Demon, FIend, Goddess: Everyone was waiting to see how/who would take on Dancing Mad, and it's a very interesting take, more swingy/funky than expected. Bravo to Sixto and zircon for this interesting and very good arrangement!

9. Ending Suite: Wow, long, long, long, but gooooooood! Minimalist but very nice suite for the end. Amazing performances!

10. Prelude: Nice ending track that concludes perfectly the whole project! I liked it, even if it was a bit long IMO.

DISC 5

1-4. Omen: See above.

5. Following Forgotten: Nice atmosphere. I wish it had more melody in it, or at least some other instruments. Still nice to listen to!

6. Royal Blood: Wow, that arrangment is great. Loving the calm/peaceful feeling, and the other instruments (besides the piano) are well included.

7. Bass of the Returners: The intro was looong, but it was worth waiting. I like the energy in this, bLiNd doesn't disappoint!

8. Dark Blue Substance: Quite similar to the previous track, it was a bit glitchier. Fun lil' track.

9. Savage Dance: Aw yeah, ethnic arrangment. Loving it. Some synths were out of place though IMO.

10. The 6th Kingdom: Yeah, rockin', dude! Blending so much genres is crazy, but it works somehow! I like it, nice energy!

11. Slam Shuffle: Not a fan of the genre, but the source is so funky that the remix sounds very interesting. A bit repetitive in the end.

12. Jidooran Rhapsody: Very nice performance, a lot of emotion. Not too much to say, the music speaks by itself.

13. Strange World: Like McVaffe's track, but the blend of the ethnic perc + synths is more okay here. Nice mix.

14. Umaro's New Groove: I like the minimalist approach! It seems Archangel had a lot of fun here! I really enjoyed it!

Edited by Chernabogue

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what? no love for disc 5?

40' of Snappleman, Norg, Finbeard? how not to love that? that's an incredible way to close an album. And the other songs are amazing too. Surprised of Jovette Rivera, superb track.

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I've listened to the whole several times now but it's realllly hard to listen to the whole thing because every time I get to The Nightmare Oath I keep clicking back at the end of it to hear it again. "Just one more time, then I'll continue."

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I loved this work, but the Dancing Mad version is not bad... just is not a "dancing mad" thing. It is so happy, and "pink" that it not fitted on dancing mad as the one avaliable on this amazing collection.

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hi. I'm working overtime and I am trying to get this from my phone but I won't have the time to go back and fix any errors of my mouth of using speech to text. It's too hard using the cell phone because the forms, maybe that's something I can change in the future. I don't know. But it in right, I'm going to try my best. Can see what I'm saying at all. MacBreak lunch break lunch break break. Okay that doesn't work....... The real honor to be involved with this album good I like making mugs for Donna's. I think the people will hate dubstep just because it's dubstep, but I didn't really set out to make dubstep. I actually was just making with the chicken ninety type thing but it came out dubstep because I did the wobble bass. Why not everyone likes wobble bass. As for black Genesis, that was also a ton of fun to make and Ricky made a really wonderful arrangements for that song. I think it to the head Moreland and maybe been a bit more one instead of how crisp it sounds right now, and if we had more time I could have fixed it, but we don't have more time. And its a good song anyway, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. As for the album itself, I'm a bit disappointed to build how badly is being taken in other communities. I guess I found to happen, everyone is very picky about Santa rangements especially when it comes to Final Fantasy 6. Not much you can really do about that. I'm really happy with how things turned out and things will just be better in the future as we go along. It will be a good process. Everything is a learning experience. Really enjoy the entire experience here, and I thank you for the opportunity. And I hope you're like my songs.

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hi. I'm working overtime and I am trying to get this from my phone but I won't have the time to go back and fix any errors of my mouth of using speech to text. It's too hard using the cell phone because the forms, maybe that's something I can change in the future. I don't know. But it in right, I'm going to try my best. Can see what I'm saying at all. MacBreak lunch break lunch break break. Okay that doesn't work....... The real honor to be involved with this album good I like making mugs for Donna's. I think the people will hate dubstep just because it's dubstep, but I didn't really set out to make dubstep. I actually was just making with the chicken ninety type thing but it came out dubstep because I did the wobble bass. Why not everyone likes wobble bass. As for black Genesis, that was also a ton of fun to make and Ricky made a really wonderful arrangements for that song. I think it to the head Moreland and maybe been a bit more one instead of how crisp it sounds right now, and if we had more time I could have fixed it, but we don't have more time. And its a good song anyway, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. As for the album itself, I'm a bit disappointed to build how badly is being taken in other communities. I guess I found to happen, everyone is very picky about Santa rangements especially when it comes to Final Fantasy 6. Not much you can really do about that. I'm really happy with how things turned out and things will just be better in the future as we go along. It will be a good process. Everything is a learning experience. Really enjoy the entire experience here, and I thank you for the opportunity. And I hope you're like my songs.

I think you need to either slow down or take the burger out of your mouth, or just wait a bit later to post because damn.

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That was obviously his robotic clone, Botdon Strader.

And a poorly-programmed robotic clone at that cause, wow. I've seen actual spambots post more coherently than that.

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hi. I'm working overtime and I am trying to get this from my phone but I won't have the time to go back and fix any errors of my mouth of using speech to text. It's too hard using the cell phone because the forms, maybe that's something I can change in the future. I don't know. But it in right, I'm going to try my best. Can see what I'm saying at all. MacBreak lunch break lunch break break. Okay that doesn't work....... The real honor to be involved with this album good I like making mugs for Donna's. I think the people will hate dubstep just because it's dubstep, but I didn't really set out to make dubstep. I actually was just making with the chicken ninety type thing but it came out dubstep because I did the wobble bass. Why not everyone likes wobble bass. As for black Genesis, that was also a ton of fun to make and Ricky made a really wonderful arrangements for that song. I think it to the head Moreland and maybe been a bit more one instead of how crisp it sounds right now, and if we had more time I could have fixed it, but we don't have more time. And its a good song anyway, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. As for the album itself, I'm a bit disappointed to build how badly is being taken in other communities. I guess I found to happen, everyone is very picky about Santa rangements especially when it comes to Final Fantasy 6. Not much you can really do about that. I'm really happy with how things turned out and things will just be better in the future as we go along. It will be a good process. Everything is a learning experience. Really enjoy the entire experience here, and I thank you for the opportunity. And I hope you're like my songs.

I don't think I could ever type like that, even if I tried. Clearly, sir, there is nothing in this world that you cannot do.

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This album...

One is actually rendered speechless, but I will try anyway. I have heard individually excellent tracks on OCRemix before: some deserving of high praise, to be sure. As a professional musician, I have turned a critical eye (or ear) on each album produced, and each album produced has had its gems.

But without wishing to take away from anything that has gone before, this album is like nothing OCRemix has ever produced. Indeed, I would go so far as to say--having been a ravenous devourer of remixes since I had to import them from Japan back in the 90s--that I struggle to think of an album of such quality in any sphere, professional or 'amateur'.

These are not merely individually excellent tracks. The composers involved have produced a work of true brilliance--not mere competence, but stunning, jaw-dropping exceptionalism.

Balance and Ruin ought to go down in history as the highest accomplishment of the genre. If anyone ever points to game music remixing's 'Abbey Road' moment, this must surely be it.

Well done.

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what? no love for disc 5?

LOL give me a break :lol:

I liked the bonus tracks (and the SnappleMan collab tracks were included in my review).

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