Posted 2023-10-11, evaluated by the judges panel

It's Orwell and good, as BKM returns with another Half-Life 2 arrangement, working in some Alyx as well & collaborating with Manuel Hirner on lead guitar for an aggressive, metal foray into darkness. Dystopia Never Sounded So Good!™ The artist writes:

"This is my submission of "Orwellian", a metal remix/medley of "You're Not Supposed to Be Here" (YNSTBH) from Half-Life 2 (2004) and "Anti-Citizen" (AC) from Half-Life: Alyx (2020). Wasn't really able to make "Anti-Citizen" work on its own since it's fairly simple. It's just one riff more or less. But I noticed that it's in D minor which is also the key of several tracks from HL2. "You're Not Supposed to Be Here" seemed to gel most nicely. Given that both tracks are in D minor, I thought it would be nice to bridge the decades and generations of Half-Life games in that way. I haven't actually played HL: Alyx due to the somewhat prohibitive nature of VR and only enjoyed it vicariously on YouTube. Nevertheless, I'm super excited that we got another entry in a series that had been abandoned for so long that even the memes surrounding the lack of any sequels had become rather antiquated themselves.

Both of the original tracks have fairly linear song structures; they're continuous progressions/builds that are employed during battle encounters to build tension. I therefore picked out certain motifs that felt good to play on guitar and sounded kinda "metal", and rearranged them into a completely new sequence with a more classic song structure. Turns out, the original tracks blend very nicely - for example, the intro of this remix uses the atmospheric background melodies and bass line from "YNSTBH" with the main guitar riff from "AC" layered on top. Overall, I kept the speed and dark atmosphere - Half-Life tells a story about government oppression after all - of "YNSTBH" (160 bpm) and peppered in motifs from "AC" to mix things up.

Also, with regards to the linear song structure of the originals, I was a craving a moment of resolution. I therefore wrote an original, chorus-like section that I was able to build to over the first half of the track and end the remix on. The chorus also modulates from D minor to A minor, which allowed me to drop down a fifth on my downtuned 7-string guitar during these sections for an extra push of low end and heaviness.

Finally, my good friend and bandmate in Remember Your Scars, Manuel Hirner, delivered a fantastic solo that elevates the final (double-)chorus. His solo really ends this remix on a yearning, melancholic note that makes me want to walk into the sunset with a crowbar in my hand and the longing for freedom in my heart.

Thank you for your time and for considering my submission. I hope my track is up to standards, I'd love to make another contribution to OCR! GabeN has my number, he can call any time. :-P"

Someday, someday, that Half-Life 3 action is finally gonna drop, and I'll get up out of my rocking chair, grab a new pair of adult diapers, and make ready my aged mind and body. I was always more of a "believer" in the Aldous Huxley "dystopia of the willing" as presented in Brave New World, as opposed to Orwell's more explicit authoritarianism. Too much effort! Or something like Wall-E, where everyone's just far too comfortable to NOT dystopia most of the day away; feels more likely. At any rate, great bleak, dark, yet still aggressive energy here, with mean distortion on the main shreds, more clarity on the almost-post-rock lead, and some appropriately regulatory loudspeaker lady-instructions to complete the ambiance. Judge DarkSim writes:

"Wow, that pulsing intro note instantly takes me back to booting up HL1 (and 2) and seeing the man with the Valve in his eye. The atmosphere here is absolutely dripping in flavour, and I can't make out that speech over the crackly PA system, but I can imagine it's welcoming us to City 17: A Safe City! Guitar is chunky, bass has huge presence without being overpowering, and drums are mixed cleanly. Great job on picking out the identifiable riffs and elements from the sources and fleshing them out into a track that is unmistakably Half-Life."

What he said! Also what Emunator said:

"There is such an abundance of texture and body to this track, it's truly incredible how rich you've made this sound. Although we get a lot of metal submissions, not a single thing about this sounds generic, and the layers of ambiance you've added through choir and sound effects only help distinguish this from its peers. Really killer work all-around."

Agreed; more creative & intelligent arrangement and production from BKM, with a great lead guit assist from Manuel; enjoy!



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2023-10-13 00:34:42

Thanks for having me once more! It's an honor!

Hy Bound
on 2023-10-12 23:44:44

This is rad as hell. Really good mixing and mastering. Really heavy but definitely (for as sparse as the music is in Half-Life 2), a good interpretation of the original. Definitely a fan!

on 2023-10-11 10:40:19
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)

Primary Game:
Half-Life 2 (Valve , 2004, WIN)
Music by Kelly Bailey
"You're Not Supposed to Be Here"
Additional Game:
Half-Life: Alyx (Valve , 2020, WIN)
Music by Mike Morasky

Tags (8)

Electric Guitar,In-game FX
Effects > Distortion
Origin > Collaboration
Production > Live Instruments

File Information

6,537,500 bytes


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