ReMix:Final Doom "River Styx" 4:27

By The Orichalcon

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Agony Rhapsody", "Horizon"

Primary Game: Final Doom (GT Interactive , 1996, DOS), music by Jonathan El-Bizri, Josh Martel, L.A. Sieben, Tom Mustaine

Posted 2005-10-04, evaluated by the judges panel

Following Redlight's diversion from FD, TO (a.k.a "The Other Final Doom ReMixer") gets back on message with a nice, piano-driven piece that sounds sorta like the backing track from a Fiona Apple song - and I mean that in a good way, in case there's any ambiguity. You've got the heavy, full, verbed piano and layered hip-hop style breaks - just add Fiona, singing unhappily about something Final Doom-related (the Hell Knight that did her wrong, etc.), and you're there. When the breaks get more layered, there's a snare or something that sounds almost exactly like the default Windows XP sound effect for clicking a folder or hyperlink, so things were a little confusing on my end for a bit. Figured it out and moved on - this is actually less electronic than much of TO's work, and also strikes me as more melodic/instrumental than groove-oriented or pattern-based. The ReMixer writes:

"This isn't a remix of the music in the level "River Styx" in Final Doom, but I liked the name of that level anyway. I actually remixed two scarcer sounding pieces together into one. Level 6 and level 17 in final doom. Mainly piano and glockenspiel, with acoustic guitar coming in later. Strings, Bass Synth, a little bit of mandolin plucking and some rhodes as backing."

Gray and Larry worked together a bit in looking at the arrangement; Oji writes:

"Thanks a lot to Lee for providing the sources and spelling things out on the arrangement side, along with Gray for helping as well. This was a tricky one to get a grasp on, and won't please anyone looking for a conservative sounding take on the theme. Nonetheless, the "message" theme was indeed worked into a swing time form and used as the melodic base of the mix, so the crux of the arrangement was covered right there. Good stuff using the piano at :17-:24 to do the same, before moving onto some more liberal but noticeable arrangement, basing things off of the chords you mentioned."

With Gray adding:

"Larry asked for my help and opinion on this mix as he had trouble picking it out at first. I think the problem with a lot of Doom type source materials is how minimal there is a material to work with, so anything that expands on it has a great danger of sounding very liberal. In this case, I think this bears repeated listenings for some people, because there's a lot of subtlety and lack of overtness that might not make itself apparent at first. Some people will get this, some won't. In this case I think it's a very nicely combined mix of two materials into one cohesive arrangement."

I digged it regardless, not being overly intimate with the source material; in particular, the glock and really the mandolin strike me as creative instrumentation decisions. As an instrumental, it doesn't always have as much going on in the foreground as I'd like, which probably prompted my comment about a vocal - I'd love to see this type of effort paired up with an appropriate original lyric + vocalist, as it seems very open and uncluttered. Ms. Apple probably isn't available, but there are others who'd most likely be up to the task. Even without a vocal, however, due largely to the significant melodic yardage gained by the tasteful acoustic guitar, this is good stuff. I'll end this already quote-heavy writeup with Sir John of Burnett:

"I really like this. It feels like really odd dark new-age genre, which I find intriguing. Production is solid, reverb debates notwithstanding. There's development, dynamics, even a quick little soliloqy [sic] for a guitar solo of sorts. I applaud you on making a Doom remix that, while dark, isn't garishly gothic."



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2010-05-29 16:57:17

Good, smooth beat. Nice accoustic guitar sounds. Kind've atmospheric. I'm gonna have to listen to this one more often!

on 2010-04-05 18:31:56

What's pretty cool about this track is that it convey's it's own atmosphere, not a super evil, super scary, or overly cliche thing, but still has a bit of a sinister overtone. I like that it's unique in that. Overall the sounds are very good, and this one was a nice chill out with a bit of hip hop attached. Nicely done.

on 2008-02-12 11:26:04

I guess I might as well get my "I hated Doom music in-game but TO makes it sound awesome" comment out of the way immediately, or maybe just add it out of tradition. I even have my final doom disk still, so maybe I could find this track and compare, but that sure is a lot of work. I love the piano in this and the long reverb on it. I thought the snare was a little overpowering when it came in, but the rest of the percussion works well.

The piece definitely has a sinister undertone to it, and the textured glock and piano weave together very well. I really get the feeling of going through corridors and darkened hallways with slivers of light shining through while listening to this; It's very creative throughout and keeps the atmosphere throughout while managing to keep evolving. My one complaint is the ending wasn't terribly smooth. I think even a fade out would have worked better, but it's a minor complaint up against an excellent track.


on 2006-01-25 00:21:28
Technically, a very pleasant soundscape. Emotively, where is DOOM? Don't get me wrong; I enjoy it and it's staying on the playlist. It's just not DOOM.

It's not meant to be "DOOM", it's a remix.

And on that note, not everyone is going to agree with you on what "DOOM" is.

Final Doom's soundtrack was not done by Bobby Prince; it has an altogether different feel to it. You want Doom, listen to remixes from Doom.

Martin Penwald
on 2005-10-13 08:45:22

I never played Doom, and I probably never will, because it just doesn't interest me.

But this ReMix is really great. I like pianos a lot, because they can add so much to the atmosphere, and this track _has_ some atmosphere, oh yes. My favorite part is when the music slowly fades out, but then suddenly starts again (at 3:11).

on 2005-10-13 01:47:15

I dont care what the other say but I really enjoyed this mix because it was so different. After the doom remix project I was really happy to hear a different take on the same theme.

This is a great mix thats welcome to my Ipod.

Joshua Morse
on 2005-10-06 23:55:03
Technically, a very pleasant soundscape. Emotively, where is DOOM? Don't get me wrong; I enjoy it and it's staying on the playlist. It's just not DOOM.

It's not meant to be "DOOM", it's a remix.

And on that note, not everyone is going to agree with you on what "DOOM" is.

Not meant to be DOOM? So much for tribute, I guess.

The Orichalcon
on 2005-10-06 21:04:46
Technically, a very pleasant soundscape. Emotively, where is DOOM? Don't get me wrong; I enjoy it and it's staying on the playlist. It's just not DOOM.

It's not meant to be "DOOM", it's a remix.

And on that note, not everyone is going to agree with you on what "DOOM" is.

on 2005-10-06 20:52:54

The piano sounds great; kinda flat and muted. Perfect for a creepy track. Then the drums came in and kinda ruined it! Now it's just new-age bullshit. Technically, a very pleasant soundscape. Emotively, where is DOOM? Don't get me wrong; I enjoy it and it's staying on the playlist. It's just not DOOM.

RimFrost the Tourianist
on 2005-10-06 15:01:44

My thoughts somehow wanders off to Turok 2 - level 4 (Lair of the Blind Ones) for the beginning of this's so similar in the piano tune mostly.

Anyway ,this thing is well composed. Well composed indeed :o

TO, you have an uncanny knack for making quality Doom songs. Keep up yer great work cause we surely want more of this :P

on 2005-10-06 05:38:09

I like it for the most part. It's a great song that seems to make you forget about type-casting it and defining it's style into one group or another. It keeps you interested throughout, because you don't know completely what to expect. This can be a problem though, because it seems like the conductor didn't know exactly where he was going with it also. It's one of those songs where a person either gets it or they don't, and I got it. 4/5.

on 2005-10-05 12:12:42

I really enjoyed this mix, and after listening to it on repeat over the course of the afternoon, I'm amazed at how TO uses the glockenspiel and piano together. I also like the delayed glockenspiel solo at 2.48. I really like the way the acoustic guitar dances over the beautifully chilled beats, and similarly the distortion elements that undertone them. Also the nice airy strings underneath are great, and help to weave light and dark into the track. After listening to TO's work a few times you start to hear the little things that make you think to yourself "that's really cool".

Overall this piece has an almost chillout quality about it which i really love. The originality of this mix is what makes it stand out for me. Great work TO, keep it up! =)

on 2005-10-05 01:01:18

I wanted to like this, I really did. It started out great: it had all the right elements to an entertaining, creepy, understated remix. I was prepared to give it my 90% rating graphic, perhaps even with my "reviewer's choice" medal alongside.

But the rest of the song didn't deliver for me. I was a little surprised by the percussion when it was first introduced, and saddened once the full range of percussion began. Suddenly the remix no longer felt haunting: instead it repeatedly sounded like we were listening to a hobbyist plunk on the keyboard to the beat of a drum loop. Which... is pretty much what was being done: but noticing that is rarely a good thing.

The samples, for the most part, were good: the piano was a little subpar. I only noticed it once the other instruments began to play; otherwise the lower quality sample sounded fine to my ears.

Personally, once the beat started, I would have liked to hear some lower notes from the piano. I heard a lot of treble, but very little bass. The left side of the keyboard needs some attention, too! It's feeling lonely.

Finally, like so many remixes, the ending just doesn't do it for me. I was wanting a crescendo of beat, not just the finale of the drum loop. Start pounding on the keys, adding some more beat - something to cover up the sudden stop of the drum loop.

Now, perhaps you didn't use a drum loop; and I apologize for accusing you if I'm incorrect. And I'm not saying there is anything wrong with using a drum loop: it's just that I don't feel much life or energy from drum loops. Most of them end up sounding rather dull to my ear.

Overall, this is a passable remix, but not going in my playlist. The first quarter of the remix proves promising, but the rest doesn't satisfy.


on 2005-10-05 00:26:57

I really love this...I always swoon over piano.

First off, the production quality is really nice, everything is crisp and clean to me...Sounds great...Hmm what else...Okay, at first the piano sounds really flat, but with all of the other instruments complimenting it, as soon as I heard them come in, I realized that there was a broad spectrum of sound pretty well blended together. Every time a new instrument came in, the sound was enhanced. Nice builds too. I also agree that your instruments/samples were well chosen as well.

My only qualm would have been for the piano to have felt a little heavier sounding towards the end, but that is just my personal preference. Good one, TO...

Oh yeah, p.s. I enjoy the chord change at 2:27, I was waiting for that for most of the song.

on 2005-10-05 00:06:38

This is the TO shit that works. Very atmospheric while still maintaining the groove thang. Heard it all over DSoP and we hear it again here.

Good stuff.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Final Doom (GT Interactive , 1996, DOS)
Music by Jonathan El-Bizri,Josh Martel,L.A. Sieben,Tom Mustaine
"Agony Rhapsody"

Tags (4)

Hip Hop
Acoustic Guitar,Piano

File Information

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