Posted 2013-11-04, evaluated by djpretzel
There's a new VGM cover band out there called Critical Hit, managed by Michael Gluck, headed by World of Warcraft composer Jason Hayes & featuring an amazing & formidable arsenal of talented musicians, that's been making some waves lately...
While many VGM bands to date have risen up from the fan community, Critical Hit offer something different in the form of a group that's been assembled from established studio musicians & composers in their own right. Like the various arms, legs, and torso of Voltron being summoned & forming a complete whole, Critical Hit brings together more talent that you can shake a stick at. But is there chemistry - does everything come together, and is the whole greater than the sum of its parts? To answer that very question, we've got a pretty damn badass rock/instrumental SMW arrangement from their debut album, Critical Hit: Volume One - here's the roster for this specific track:
- Tina Guo - Cello
- Taylor Davis - Violin
- Nita Strauss - Guitar
- Salome Scheidegger - Piano
- Pedro Eustache - World Woodwinds
- Joel Taylor - Drums
- Carlitos del Puerto - Bass
- Adam Gubman - Arranger
- Gustavo Borner - Mixing/Mastering
- Jason Hayes - Producer
- Michael Gluck - General Manager
...my two cents? Sounds fantastic, and a smart arrangement makes excellent use of the group's instrumental diversity, especially the solo violin & cello parts. It's really cool to see Jason Hayes paying homage to VGM, being the composer for some of Blizzard's most popular & groundbreaking games himself. He writes:
"I'm very happy to share this track with OCR! There's such talent and passion in this community, and I know that you guys can relate to the enthusiasm that inspired this project."
Definitely appreciate the shout out from Jason; I know OC ReMix staff, mixers, & visitors alike have spent countless hours (and lost quite a bit of productivity!!) listening to Hayes' music while playing WoW, Diablo, & StarCraft, and it's awesome to see him with a posted mix as part of a VGM mega-group. Band manager & mastermind Michael Gluck adds:
"When I was active with the Piano Squall show and released my debut album GAME, OCR played a huge role in helping me spread the word. Our interview is still available on OCR. I later met David Lloyd in person at an anime convention, as well as Andrew Aversa and Jillian Aversa at a Final Fantasy music concert in Chicago. The support of OCR was instrumental in helping me launch my first album, and now that Critical Hit has hit the scene, I wanted OCR to be the first place to get their hands on this exclusive track, "Bowser's Castle." I hope you will enjoy it!"
Glad we can help out, Michael! Mr. Gluck is truly a class act, and it's a funny coincidence, because only a few months ago Larry & I were wondering what he was up to these days - now we know the answer! Larry wrote up some thoughts on this track & the band in general:
"Super Mario World's "Sub Castle" theme brings the nostalgia each & every time and presents a lot of unique arrangement opportunities. I love Adam's arrangement approach here, which included a healthy dose of instrument trade-offs, great original writing additions & solos, and a huge sense of style and energy throughout.
Critical Hit boasts a large rotating roster of musicians, so you should definitely check out the full album in order to hear everything they bring to the table. I'm mainly familiar with Tina Guo (and her DEEP résumé) due to her awe-inspiring collaborations on Austin Wintory's Journey soundtrack & Jillian Aversa's upcoming Atlantis Awakening album, as well as Taylor "ViolinTay" Davis for her love of modern music arrangements & well-deserved following on YouTube. It's great to have them represented on the site alongside Nita, Salome, Pedro, Joel, and Carlitos, who all performed "Bowser's Castle" to perfection.
When you watch the group's Angry Birds music video, they're having a ton of fun and their respect for the versatility of game music is obvious. On the mellow side of the album, "Zelda's Lullaby" (Zelda: Ocarina of Time) and "Streets of Whiterun" (Skyrim) were relaxing highlights for me, and there's nothing but love for all of Volume One's worldly and upbeat pieces."
The album features a very diverse setlist that strikes a good balance between old & new, and as Larry mentions, they're clearly having fun in addition to making some great music. Having arrangements that truly necessitate & capitalize on such a large team of diverse musicians is key, and I think this SMW ReMix does a great job of doing exactly that - there's plenty of variety, exposed passages where individual players get to shine, and the overall piece is polished, dark, energetic, & even a little playful. From the bass highlight at 1'42" (love that little trill) to the dynamic percussion throughout, this is far from a cookie-cutter arrangement, and it really does bring the musicians together for a cohesive performance. Excellent stuff; can't wait to catch these guys & gals live, and in the meantime you should strongly consider picking up their album & showing your support!
on 2013-12-09 16:10:22
If you liked Taylor Davis's violin parts. Check out her YouTube page, where she has over 50 videos covering video games and movie music.
If you feel like directly supporting Taylor's awesome music videos of her violin covers, like her cover of the Song of Storms from Zelda OOT. http://www.patreon.com/taylordavis
Go to her Patreon site. http://www.patreon.com/taylordavis
on 2013-11-21 11:30:34
I could visualize the enthusiasm of everyone involved while listening to this. Everything is beyond well done. This one goes to 11 .
on 2013-11-08 01:47:58
The Google+ changes have rendered me incapable of commenting in Youtube, so I have no choice but to come here to say:
Squeeeeeee Taylor Davis has an OCR! And it's FANTASTIC! Really smooth work from the whole team.
on 2013-11-05 09:40:53
Oooh, yeah! Totally loving this! I've always thought that the Castle themes in SMW were a nice mix of elegance and evil in their melodies, and Critical Hit fleshed the hell out of that idea with the violin, cello, piano and guitar here. Man, cool ReMix. You folks are awesome!
on 2013-11-05 02:40:47
Pretty awesome song! I loved the violin and the piano parts in particular. Highly recommended.
on 2013-11-04 23:12:43
WHOO! That bass leading section was awesome, I agree. 3
SUPER SOLID, SUPER BADASS.
on 2013-11-04 17:34:43
The md5 sum on this mp3 file is a miss match to what is specified on the download page.
Checksum on download page: 1245eb767f843c8d10f85e27f4b235d2
Real checksum: 38f6778460315196b84370c3b1786656
Is the file corrupted?
on 2013-11-04 17:22:46
on 2013-11-04 16:36:25
Wow! Wicked good. So glad they shared this with the community.
on 2013-11-04 16:08:44
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Cello, Electric Guitar, Piano, Violin
- Production > Live Ensemble
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 7,157,240 bytes
- Size: 7,157,240 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 925b2cf338061fb16ba98b9f458d65da
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