Posted 2005-04-12, evaluated by the judges panel

A 21-gun salute goes out to Christian Pacaud, whose birthday of the same quantity was today. And what better way to celebrate than with mix postage, conveniently timed since he had a panel-approved collaboration with newcomers ktriton and MAG (Kunal Majmudar and Marc-Andre Gingras, on synths and guitars, respectively) queued up and simply begging to be posted. It's good times for Seiken Densetsu fans, with OverCoat's SD3 mix last night and now this epic prog-rock Mana medley. The ReMixer writes:

"After two months of intense work, sweat and tears, we humbly bring you this (freaking long) Secret of Mana medley, symphonic prog-rock style. Limbs were lost, blisters had (on the remaining limbs/fingers), strings broken, minds shattered, what have you... Anyway, seriously, this mix is comprised of five separate parts, each with their own different ambience, based on different songs / combination of songs from the soundtrack, with quite a lot of original material interspersed throughout the piece. Every instrument has an opportunity to shine through at some point. You get the solos, you get the synths, you get the length, even the name is "prog" ! OMG !!!11!! (The original title for the song was to be Journey Into Gaia's Navel On The Day The World Changed - Part I, but that seemed kinda long.)"

I want to personally thank Mr. Pacaud for his truncated, much more manageable title - it made our database much happier. Whether limbs were lost metaphorically or in actuality, it'd have been at least partially worth it, as what you've got here is seven minutes of jam, with shimmering piano, rockin' guitar, a variety of synth elements, and more sequencing than you can shake a stick at. Believe me, I tried, and it just wouldn't shake. Fans of Dream Theater, Rush, that sort of gig will be right at home - hard music to make, with lots of moving parts, intricacies, mucho technique but none of it superfluous, a dozen different tempos/tones/feels, jazz voicings, rock riffs, heavier metal riffs - one of the staples of prog rock is that very little is off-limits, and that nothing remains static for usually more than a couple bars. If you're looking for something you can tap your feet to, without having to changeup every fifteen seconds or so and look like you're having a spasm, etc., look elsewhere, as - true to form - this'll challenge your inner metronome. Larry gratuitously works in the word "pimp" with his closing statements:

"The conception here was lofty, but the execution was up for the challenge. Do your videogame music-hating friends a favor and pimp this their way."

The only possible beefs I could see myself pondering would be a slightly sub-pristine recording and some questionable transitions. Not being an audiophile myself and preferring emotive recordings to disinfected studio perfection, I was fine with the recording (though at seven minutes the encoding becomes an issue for some portions), but I could see some of the transitions, esp. from piece to piece, having been meshed together a little more tightly. We have a term for extreme examples of medleys that exhibit hasty transitions, etc. - "medleyitis" - but I don't really think it applies here, plus (lucky!) jarring, sudden changes are second-nature to prog-rock and a definite part of that ballgame (see already mentioned acts or Emerson, Lake and Palmer for plentiful examples). Great, epic, challenging work from these three fellas, which really shows the compositional maturity that can be applied to game arrangements. You do have to have a certain appreciation for prog-rock to get deep into it, but don't fear if you don't, or have never been exposed, and check it out regardless. I'm doubtful you'll regret it.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2022-01-18 20:01:54

Ooh this is nice. Heard it on rainwave. 100% would recommend. Actually way beyond its time to be from 2005.

on 2019-09-11 14:40:02

Groovy, wandering, meandering, a sonic adventure. Kinna makes sense this popped up today on the rainwave station, in a way too although thematically it doesn't really fit the day beyond the title. One of those 'early' mixes I thought I must've commented on at some point, and then am surprised to find I never did. Wish Pacaud put out more stuff on OCR these days...

on 2016-09-26 10:50:10

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

on 2011-08-06 08:59:53

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.

on 2010-06-17 05:21:59

I have been listening to this for quite some time and I still stop and wonder what Rush song this is before realizing it is a remix. Epic prog!

on 2010-06-03 20:03:01

I do really like this, despite not being at all familiar with the source material. It goes with a scene in an original fic I'm working on, so it holds a special place in my head. :-)

on 2010-04-26 18:30:43

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. :-)

on 2009-12-04 13:32:48


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.

on 2007-12-11 05:12:32

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.


on 2006-10-29 20:12:13

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)

on 2006-04-22 09:21:54

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.

Hope to see you all there!

on 2006-04-14 13:33:36

I think I have listened to this before, 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 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.

on 2006-01-05 00:01:24

Thanks guys.

And yeah, the soundtrack is awesome, so it's not like we should get too much credit or anything :P

Marc-André has created a MySpace webpage with three complete songs from his album available to be streamed, so for those who liked his guitar playing, check it out!

Stalwart Jester
on 2005-09-21 10:54:37

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: )

on 2005-09-11 14:28:33

I am a HUGE fan of progressive rock, and this is the only remix of its type I've seen so far. Great work guys!

Sources Arranged (5 Songs)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"Fear of the Heavens"
"Into the Thick of It"
"Meridian Dance"
"Mystic Invasion"

Tags (7)

Jazz,Progressive Rock,Rock
Electric Guitar,Piano
Origin > Collaboration
Time > Duration: Long

File Information

8,820,097 bytes


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