Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Song of the Week 18: 'Super Metroid Ending' by Nick Lammertyn/Darkpearl

Met is unable to do Song of the Week again, so I'm going solo this week. This review is going to be a little bit different, for pretty much two reasons: 1) This is not from Protagonist Records or OCR. 2) This song has one instrument, and one instrument only: the piano. Unfortunately reviewing this is much harder than the other tracks I have been reviewing. I had so many more sounds to state my opinion about, but this time I have to focus on just one instrument. It's not a bad thing at all; piano pieces can be quite nice to listen to. Anyway, this is a song that I got off of a website (the song was chosen by Met, by the way) that has to do with solo piano pieces from Super Metroid. Not only can you download the mp3 versions of the songs, you may also download a pdf file for the sheet music in case anyone wants to learn it. You may find this website here. This particular track is based off of the end theme of Super Metroid, and is simply called Metroid Ending by the artist Darkpearl. As soon as I learned this was going to be a solo piano piece, I knew that this review was going to be difficult as well as interesting. The main problem I'm having with reviewing this is the fact that I can't see how far the song is, or how long it is. So I'm probably going to have a problem with times. Sorry about this everyone, but this probably going to be a bad review. Alright, now for the actual review. The beginning starts out high and sweet, and just from that I knew I was going to like this. The first couple notes then repeat themselves an octave lower, giving me the idea that the short melody will be heard from throughout the song. When more of the left-hand bass clef notes come in right after that, it gave it more "beef" I guess. The more support a light melody has, the better. The harmonies during this part is absolutely awesome; it gives me chills to hear treble and the bass notes merge together. The treble clef notes have a short and simple solo, then here comes the part of the song that makes me want to melt. Low notes are being played smoothly, and beautifully. The way it flows is absolutely incredible. With more harmonies being added, this makes the song even more beautiful. As soon as I heard this sequence for the first time, I pretty much shut my eyes and let the world disappear. The melody at this time makes the world feel at peace. I love it. Later in that section higher notes come back in, playing that same melody portrayed in the beginning of the song. This part gives me the impression that something more is coming; something that I think I will like. The notes go back to their low pitch after that, this time going into more of a minor key. It does turn back into a more major tune, but beautiful just the same. It switches off and on between major and minor, but somehow the blend all works out. It continuously flows; I can't detect a single bit of choppiness. I can hear some triplets in the bass part, but it works so well with the melody that it makes it all the more awesome. The bass part does an absolutely amazing job in this section, since most of it is bass. The treble is more of the background though, but it does have an occasional melody to go along with it. There is a section after this where the bass is pretty much in solo mode, using triplets in an astonishingly cool way. When hearing this, it almost sounds like a sad melody, but usually it's the sad and depressing melodies that move me most of all. This section dies down after a while, but then transitions into something completely new and familiar, one of the main themes from Super Metroid. It's even a theme played in the game Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This is a great melody, especially on the piano. The bass harmonies add more emotion to the song as well, which continues to make the song more amazing. That melody dies down eventually, introducing the next and final melody. This melody is different than the last, with it being simple and minor. It gives off more of a creepy feeling rather than the last melody sequence. The final notes is that melody with a retardando, then ending with a major chord. The major chord is only thing I would have a problem with; the song might have ended better if the chord was minor.

Pros: Flawless, relaxing, and it continuously flows. There is beautiful melodies. The entire thing made me speechless, and the song is absolutely amazing.

Cons: Like I said earlier, it was just the one major chord that bothered me. That is all I have to say about that.

Overall: I think this is going to be a song that I'm going to be listening to for a long time. I've listened to it already numerous times in a row, and yet it hasn't gotten old. I love this song, there's no doubt about that.

Rating: 9.9

I want to start by saying this is the most listened to song in my music library. I do love electronic music, but solo piano is good stuff as well and I have to say that Nick Lammertyn really has something special here. It's ironic that the Super Metroid theme Mr. Lammertyn is "remixing" (rearranging is more correct in my opinion) is something of a heroic march type piece. He managed to turn it into something powerful and moving with some real depth and feeling. I can't really critique the logistics here, and this will be an odd review for me, but I'd like to have a crack at it.

The beginning is very soft and I immediately think Metroid when I here it. Things are lead in very smoothly and now we've got a song of real character. The flowing depth of the bass really builds things along and is the primary catalyst throughout the song for the intense movement and feeling conveyed. It's very dreamy and the only melody that seems to interrupt this feeling is the Metroid theme that jumps up pretty high on the piano. We've got some good uncertain minor sounding chords and then it drops down and starts adding some real feeling and power. This is absolutely moving, haunting, and powerful. The music's mood is striving very hard to resolve something and it sounds as if the resolution must be reached. The build up is essential, it maintains the tension and then drops it back down again with seething power. This is where music truly strikes you down. Now we're building back up to the higher end of the piano with a transition into the rearranged theme. It's oddly calm, a big difference from the source tune. It projects certainty "The Galaxy is at Peace" (the last Metroid is in captivity). There's some good expansion on the theme with the bass and some odd sounding, but solid movement downwards. The awkward most part is emphasized in contrast with the moving part from before as if to say "What are you talking about, tension? The Galaxy is at peace!" Now we've got the moving part at the end that's clearly recognizable as Metroid. It ends with a strong major chord; excellent resolution. I didn't include time signs in this writeup because I was a little caught up in listening to the track. It's not something you can really pause and restart at a certain part; it's mesmerizing.

Pros: Intense, powerful, deep, moving, borderline spiritual transformations; this is absolutely solid, conveying profound emotions and feelings that we must resolve, yet keeping an ending where we have peace. I say it almost works as a message of "Resolve your disputes, we must make peace, we must be willing to die for what we believe, but we must have peace."

Cons: What cons? There is something, however, that I'd like to mention. This song just missed being a 10 by .1, an obviously slim margin. What would've made this perfect is... if it wasn't a rearrangement. I almost feel like the Super Metroid theme and source tune is holding Nick Lammertyn back from creating something of limitless potential.

Overall: Wow. Awesome.

Rating: 9.9/10


Reogan said...

This was a grand song, certainly. You're both right, as always.

Marim? Self-depreciation is the only flaw in your review.

Met said...

I found him!
Why didn't I do this before? Seriously, this guy deserves some more attention for his amazing music.