Posted 2002-12-18, evaluated by the judges panel
I think the best adjective to describe what I like about this Brinstar Metroid ReMix from Avien (Chris Powell) is "open" - the whole arrangement feels very clear, spacious, and defined - not muddy, murky, overly layered, or excessively ornate. It's a symphonic arrangement but on a smaller scale, never reaching the full-on lushness of combined ensemble sections, instead sounding like a concert band that happened to invite some strings along for the ride - but this is an advantage, in that each instrument has presence and character and doesn't get lost in too many intertwined counter-harmonies or noodling - a rolling snare keeps tempo as mixed brass, a cornucopia of woodwinds, strings, cymbals, and a few other players form what sounds, as one judge noted, like a competent high school concert band playing an arrangement highly optimized for such a context. Hopefully, you won't have a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase "high-school concert band", because believe me, having been in one myself, the level of quality at the highest tier at large, competitve schools can be very impressive (memories of blasting - tastefully - the end of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture come to mind ^^). Pragmatic Protricity did note that substantial pieces follow the original verbatim, with band instruments where once were the NES' saw and square waves, but I think enough's been added and the overall tone enhanced / altered that Avien can call this an interpretation, and a good one at that. Check it out for a different twist on Brinstar, especially if you were ever a band geek . . err . . member.
on 2011-03-20 23:50:03
Ahh yes. This and 'MindoftheMotherBrain' are perhaps the best Metroid mixes in my book. The source is already incredible especially when compared to other soundtracks of the time. Avien has orchestrated it to something quite spectacular especially considering it was crafted in 2002. The proper instruments get exposed at the proper times, and at 1:30 we get a fleeting progression complete with french horns. Then, a nice transition to the 'Brinstar' theme. We get one complete verse and then end on a classy repeat of the chord structure. If you have any appreciation of orchestral video game rearrangements or the Metroid franchise, download this now!
on 2010-12-13 05:05:43
I liked the sound of the title part a lot, even if it sounded a bit dated. The Brinstar part suffered from low-quality samples much more, and sounded pretty bare for the most part. Still, the first half was very atmospheric!
on 2009-04-04 09:12:39
I've been playing through Metroid lately, and the soundtrack is one of the things I like most about it. I honestly think the Brinstar theme sounds best out of the NES chip, possibly because it is ingrained in me. And while the theme sticks out in comparison to pretty much every other Metroid tune, I still think it is one of the best.
Mix wise, it is hard. I don't think the Brinstar tune is fertile enough. I was just listening to an actual orchestra play this (on the Smash Bros. Melee Smashing... Live! album) and I don't even think that represented it 100%. It's a weird, upbeat tune designed to be looped, so I can understand the difficulty.
However, Avien manages quite swimmingly. I like the stereo aspects of the mix; it does immerse you into the whole "highschool orchestra" experience. Arrangement was close to the originals, transition left quite a bit to be desired. Both tunes are hard nuts to crack I think because they are irrespective of what Metroid was to become. Avien did a standup job. It sounds good, and I enjoyed it enough.
on 2008-04-04 11:57:55
The samples are not terribly strong, but the treatment of this makes the source songs a lot more exciting and listenable. The cymbals are a little too much, and the ending was too abrupt, but everything else worked really nicely, and though it basically just fills out the arrangement, it's a marked improvement over the original.
on 2007-01-26 08:45:26
While it kinda sounds cool with orchestral instruments, it's like someone took a MIDI and just spiced it up here and there. Where's the actual creativity in changing the melody and giving parts to different instruments? And just hear how abruptly the piece ends. Just "phoomp." No cadence? No nothing?
MIDI straight out of the game with assigned instruments, that's what it is...
Better luck next time...
on 2004-11-05 19:53:08
Avien... DIED?!? Man... His remix sounded good though... Too short, as are many of the good remixes. And that's the only flaw. Rest in peace, Avien.This mix is very good. It's really calm and upbringing to hear. Overall, I like this very much. 10/10
And R.I.P Avien (Chris Powell). You will be truly missed.
on 2004-10-15 23:49:31
This mix is very good. It's really calm and upbringing to hear. Overall, I like this very much. 10/10
And R.I.P Avien (Chris Powell). You will be truly missed.
on 2003-01-13 00:33:52
I really enjoyed this...my biggest gripes with the metroid sequels is that they butcher (or don't fully play) the title music that's in the original. Super Metroid's music was too ambient, whereas the original had nice hooky memorable melodies. I thought this was a great interpretation and that it kept it simple....my only gripe was the bass(oboe-sounding thing) at 1:17 hits the 2 instead of the root which threw me off the groove (the original prolly hits the root or 3 (or if it hits the 2 masks it better)). You brought out the best of the title/brinstar themes which is all I could ask for, thanks.
on 2002-12-28 21:28:43
Being on christmas break, and recently having our christmas concert this piece has taken me right back to band. sure, we don't play as great music as this, but, as DJPretzel said, it's exactly like being in a high school band!
Keep up the good--
I also love this because I play the bells!
on 2002-12-27 22:42:02
I'm sorry, man, but I got to say this: While this is a good remix, this theme (title screen) has been cheesed up way too much. DiscoDan mentioned the limit of instruments that was imposed on all NES games' music. And of all the themes that would sound soo much better with a little more instrumentation, I don't think the title screen is one of them. Just think of it - this game is set in space with a dark and empty feel, plus the title screen is sort of plain, and yet this empty theme still manages to be one of the best tunes on the NES. I don't think I'd appreciate it near as much if it wasn't empty-souding. It's just something that I feel shouldn't be layered and produced over because the feel that I get from the tune will never be done justice.
However, this is still a well arranged remix. It's encoded a little quiet, though.
on 2002-12-27 22:24:45
A well defined, no-nonsense remix.
Very likeable, but it doesn't shoot for the stars as it sounds like what a remix should: adding a few notes to the old ones. So in terms of creativity, this remix scores very low.... Besides, I also liked the original theme MUCH better as it sounded more gothic and dark. This remix should please anybody looking for an upbeat Metroid theme fix.
on 2002-12-22 14:10:26
I heard this before, I think. But it must've been long ago, or in the WIP forum or something. I think then I encouraged seeing a full version done (the Brinstar part had not been added, if I remember right). So I like this arrangement, although some of the samples, mainly the horns, kinda bothered me. Also, I just felt there could've been more of a prominent bass instrument during the Brinstar part, instead of just at the end.
All in all, a good piece, though.
on 2002-12-19 10:58:45
While it may be true that this sticks to the original pieces almost exactly, I don't think that's a bad thing AT ALL. I simply love the great transition from the title theme to the Brinstar theme at 1:52-1:56. Very nice use of offsetting the snare from the one piece into the next. I LOVE that kinda thing.
I will agree with SuperGreenX about the cymbal samples, though. They don't fit very well with the rest of the quality samples in this mix.
on 2002-12-18 21:12:55
I KNEW this belonged here. Fantastic stuff.
on 2002-12-18 14:39:10
Avien shows some great skillz! Awesome orchestration (mostly band, instruments, however), and great instrument samples! There's a lot of good stuff to say about this and people have already said it, so I'll comment on what could be improved. The ending climax is done well, except for the drum samples used. The crash sound is pretty weak, and the final crash at the end is REALLY weak and kinda sounds out of place. Also the final "stinger" note at the end of the piece does not have enough attack. The ending seemed a little less climatic than it could have been. Awesome work on everything else, however!
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