Posted 2024-05-08, evaluated by the judges panel

minusworld and his merry band of misfits bring Periphery-esque prog metal pain & power to virt's Shovel Knight soundtrack!

When Brandon's dialed into his music, he unquestionably brings it (at one point gaining the record for most OC ReMixes), including his varied vocals for this ReMix juggling screamo and clean presentations, both of which are pulled off and produced exceptionally well. For arranger minusworld, his stylistic tribute to Periphery was the culmination of a level-up year of participation in Dwelling of Duels:

"This was my Dwelling of Duels submission for December 2022, MAGFest Month. I participated in DoD for the first time in January 2022, not knowing what I was getting into. After seeing the enthusiastic (and constructive) response to my submissions, I got hooked and committed to do a full year of DoD to practice recording, arranging, and production. This track was the culmination of that year.

I wanted to take everything I had learned submitting to DoD in 2022 and crank it up to 11. I thought the Mole Knight boss theme would make for a good djent cover, so, putting the arrangement chops I gained over the year, this is the result. It's heavy, it's prog, it's got vocals, it's got guitar solos, it's even got a violin solo!

The opening of Mole Knight's Boss theme reminded me of the intro to "Make Total Destroy" by Periphery, so I adapted it into a similarly fretboard-spanning octave tapping riff and went from there. I knew I wanted alternating growled and clean vocals, and Brandon Strader delivered 110%. Development of Avoid did the solo at 2:23. This track was perfect for his style. The solo is weird and alien, but also strangely memorable. I added the bridge really late in the month, and Shea's Violin came on board for a short violin solo and killed it.

The main source used is Mole Knight's boss theme, "Claws of Fate". Mole Knight's stage, "An Underlying Problem", is used in a few places, and the Specter of Torment version of the stage, "Facing the Task", is lightly used.

Main source: Shovel Knight - "Claws of Fate"

Other references:
* Shovel Knight - "An Underlying Problem" - melody from source at 0:00 adapted at 0:49 in this cover; bassline from source at 2:14 adapted into breakdown at 1:23 in this cover
* Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment - "Facing the Task" - chord progression and melody from source at 0:44 adapted in the bridge at 1:57 of this cover

The lyrics are mostly a generic "down with the system" deal, but with some mole- and shovel-related imagery. I did take some inspiration from current events at the time... namely a certain head-of-state warmonger and a certain owner of a bird-themed company."

HA! I appreciate that last bit. :-) I don't wear hats, but a tip of the hat to that AND for doing an amazing job taking the genre inspiration from Periphery and adapting virt's themes into something more melodious and catchy than "Make Total Destroy", which to me was a best-of-both-worlds situation, the style pulled off with more hooks. Screamo's not for me personally, but let's not question how well Strader's vocals have been done throughout, including the transition to the clean chorus from 1:56-2:10, deftly shifting into the pair of excellent back-to-back solos by Shea's Violin (unexpected violin, and it works!) and newcomer Development of Avoid from 2:10-2:56. In summary, this is an incredible representation of the personal growth Dwelling of Duels regularly brings about for artists diving into its monthly contest format. minusworld capped off his first year in DoD with this ambitious concept of three Shovel Knight themes effortlessly combined, emboldened and refined by effective collaboration. Everything's firing on all cylinders -- stylish, messy metal -- so GET OUT OF THE WAY!



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-05-12 10:28:50

Pretty heavy stuff, and while I admit screamo isn't my cup of tea and sometimes the music was louder than the vocals, altogether this felt like a solid ReMix. Really liked the violin for the time it was there.

on 2024-05-10 17:00:01

What can I say about our scene's chaos agent, Brandon Strader? Welcome back. :-) I have my own special "appreciation", a carefully chosen word, for my interactions with Brandon, and I sincerely meant "chaos agent" as a term of endearment. As much as he went about it in the wrong way, we did have the formation of our Game Music Initiative 501c3 non-profit organization hustled along due to Brandon's complaints, so there's the genuine positivity of that outcome (in hindsight, of course). Strader's extremely talented, and hopefully not as prone to conspiratorial confrontation these days. He did a great job here, the vocals were really on point!

on 2024-05-08 02:11:46
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (3 Songs)

Primary Game:
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games , 2014, WIIU)
Music by Jake Kaufman,Manami Matsumae
"An Underlying Problem (The Lost City)"
"Facing the Task (Lost City)"
"The Claws of Fate (Mole Knight Battle)"

Tags (8)

Screaming,Vocals: Male,Vocals: Metal
Lyrics > Language: English
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Competition > Dwelling of Duels
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information

7,048,041 bytes

[Verse 1]
We are beneath you
We make the ground quake under your feet
Collapse the system
Bring it down to earth

You are beneath us
You think your status makes you our savior
Demon in disguise
Fallen angel

Walking all over us again
Can't take much more, we are at our wits' end
Look at this world you left for us
Covered in rust, and dust, and lust

Fire and smoke reach toward the sky
Brandishing claws, revolt sparks in our eyes
Through with the lies you're shoveling
Disgust, distrust, combust
Yeah, bring it down

[Verse 2]
For all your worth, you are worthless
A blight on our kind
Your cultists have disowned you
True colors, red stripes, blood

Shining brightly
As we unite! We
will strike the ground
Move this mountain on our own
And you'll be left all alone
All alone

Influence overthrown
Name no more known
Monuments overgrown

[Down Bridge]
The future's shining brightly
As we unite! We
will strike the ground
Move this mountain on our own
And you'll be left all alone

Rise up
Break through the fallow ground
Sharpen your claws
New world inbound

Walking all over us again (Walking all over us again)
Can't take much more we are at our wits' end (Can't take much more we are at our wits' end)
Fire and smoke reach toward the sky (Fire and smoke reach toward the sky)
Brandishing claws, revolt sparks in our eyes (Brandishing claws, revolt sparks in our eyes)


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