Posted 2005-02-28, evaluated by the judges panel

With apologies in advance to Reuben Kee, who seems like an amicable bloke who won't take too much offense, I've gotta cover the Oscars a bit. Some people get behind football teams, some basketball or baseball teams. Some people get behind political candidates or newspaper columnists or the open-source movement. Actually, I fall into most of those categories myself, but I also get behind my Oscar picks. Vehemently. Film is perhaps the one artistic medium where I feel like awards shows can really work, for a confluence of reasons, and this year in particular, again for many reasons, I was behind Million Dollar Baby. Big time. Won't go into the whys, but it's one of my favorite films, period, so yesterday was like Christmas for me. Not grown-up Christmas, when no one has lists anymore and you actually LIKE getting socks because you need 'em, but Christmas back in its prime, when you're five or six. So I busted out the single barrel Jack for the occassion. Just one of those things - you probably won't get the same thing out of MDB that I do, but I still felt like mentioning it. Now that that's out of the way, let's see what Mr. Kee's got going on with his latest ReMix, which combines the main themes from Metal Gear Solids one through three, and like his last FF7 mix, expands beyond solo piano into more elaborate instrumentation, while still emphasizing the ivories. The ReMixer writes:

"This was an experiment to try and emulate roughly a mix of orchestral and digital beat arrangements as well as incorporate elements of both western new age and oriental new age together. Something new to me but what I've always admired in Harry Gregson William's arrangements. Really had fun with some of my new drums XD."

Like Larry commented in his decision, I hear more of MGS2 than Snake's other motifs, but there ain't nothing wrong with that. Things begin with piano and strings, very deliberate, specific pacing on the melody, until at 1'29" an ethnic flute comes in with a flare that is the harbinger to some emphatic taiko-style percussion stylings making a forceful entry and ushering in the familiar MGS2 theme, which is really one of the more recent classic melodies of game composition, in my book. There's a lot of varied instrumentation here but drums, piano, the flute, and strings are the principals, and there's a beautiful break from the drums - which at times can get a little overwhelming - from 4'07" to 4'36". At 6'26", this is a long mix, and Reu keeps it fresh in the latter minutes by bringing in some additional ethnic plucked Asian instrumentation. Both the bends on this Koto-like bit and the flares and vibrato on the flute are luscious; specifically with the flute, I'm interested in what was used, as it's very expressive, no doubt equally accreditable to Mr. Kee's sequencing. Daniel Baranowsky writes:

"Listen to Invertebrate Retreat once a day for fresh, clean breath and a bright smile!"

Actually, he didn't write that. But I'm sure he feels that way. More to the point, he offered:

"The first thing I notice about this track is the atmosphere. It's got mood, it's got direction. It knows what it's doing. It's got a full, developed orchestration, and constantly moves into new sonic territory. The percussion is decently arranged, although it does sound somewhat mechanical. However, this is but one nitpick among a very well done track."

Epic stuff from Reuben, who's making great strides in widening his compositional toolbox, which pays elaborate and dramatic homage to three incarnations of Solid Snake via cinematic scoring that, even when it borders on excess, is compelling, well-produced, and impressive.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2020-04-27 20:42:30

15 Years later, and this amazing work is still on my go-to playlist, basically a pivotal piece in the soundtrack of my life. I remember the day the news broke of the boating incident, when we were all crushed, that served as a constant reminder that each day is to be lived to the fullest. Now, my children enjoy these amazing tracks with me and boy, do I have stories to tell them of the way these games were embedded in the lessons I've learned, and how different the times were when my generation grew up compared to what we are going through because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Needless to say, they are enjoying (most of) these games in the same way too. Cheers.

on 2011-07-05 02:19:30

Beautiful. Definitely worthy of a writeup from my blog.

on 2010-12-25 18:39:14

Reuben's contributions will be sorely missed. One only wonders what he could've gone on to do.

on 2010-06-16 00:54:27

This is amazing! Rueben Kee was truly gifted R.I.P. I actually like this first version better than his second stab

on 2009-12-04 11:37:34

A very emotive opening with piano and panflutes + massive drums, that leads into the main Metal Gear Solid melody, and then all kinds of great stuff happens. Tempo changes, all kinds of orchestral and ethnic instruments, and spectacular string builds. This piece is both exciting and dramatic, and intimate and personal. I'd love to know what samplebank all these great ethnic instrument winds are from, they sound fantastic. Finish it off with a solid ending, and it's a very strong piece that goes even better when paired with it's sister work, "Part 2".


on 2008-08-06 01:10:28

Three years later this is still among my all time favorites among any series.

God took you too soon R.K. May this never be forgotten.

on 2007-11-25 00:45:47

Another incredible arrangement by Kee.

Thin Crust
on 2007-04-10 12:03:38

Simpilly incredible. Nothing like it ever before. This is now officially my favorite piece on this site. And that includes 'metal gear may cry', your other piece, 'ascention to cosmo canyon', 'fire cross', and 'walk on water' And that makes you my new favorite mixer. I have no way to express how much I appreciate how good you have made your music. Thank you.

Hum4n After All
on 2007-02-08 21:31:52

It just hit me right now. I never payed attention to the artist on this remix. But I recognized That Japanese sounding wind instrument from 'Ascension to Cosmo Canyon'. That beautiful wind instrument from Reuben Kee. So yeah just great. Wanna hear more like it!

on 2006-05-16 23:10:27

Very well done, one of my favorite mixes on the site. It really has that Metal Gear feel to it.

on 2006-05-15 03:53:30

I simply want to congratulate Reuben Kee for his work:

I am a hardcore MGS fan and have absolutely everything that has to do with MGS in my collection.

THIS remix is finely crafted and heroic like the originals but with this oriantal touch I relive it a in a whole new way.

Thanks for your great masterpiece,


on 2006-04-24 15:12:47

Beautiful piano rendition of the opening opera score!

on 2006-02-05 06:07:02

when heard the original theme the first in the xbox game mgs2 subst.,

i thought, that this is unremixable, cause it was so excelently composed by Harry Gregson-Williams.

so i was wrong. you gave 'em more "gear".

this track is really worth to stant for the one and only

solid snake, the son of big boss 8)

on 2006-01-23 15:43:05

wow kick ass mix. Some tight stuff! Well done Rueben! (nice name by the way) :wink:

on 2005-08-03 12:28:47

this song is absolutely wonderful in all aspects, i give MAJOR props to rueben

Sources Arranged (3 Songs, 3 Games)

Primary Game:
Metal Gear Solid (Konami , 1998, PS1)
Music by Gigi Meroni,Hiroyuki Togo,Jeon Myung Lee,Kazuki Muraoka,Rika Muranaka,Takanari Ishiyama,Tappy Iwase
"Metal Gear Solid Main Theme"
Additional Game:
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Konami , 2001, PS2)
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams,Norihiko Hibino,Rika Muranaka,Tappy Iwase
""Metal Gear Solid" Main Theme"
Additional Game:
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami , 2004, PS2)
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams,Nobuko Toda,Norihiko Hibino,Rika Muranaka,Shuichi Kobori
"'METAL GEAR SOLID' Main Theme (METAL GEAR SOLID 3 version)"

Tags (7)

Regional > World
Time > Duration: Long

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