Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Song of the Week 23: 'The Dark Side of Phobos' by Daniel Baranowsky

Alright, here's Song of the Week 23, and were looking at a song from the people at OCR once again. The song is called "The Dark Side of Phobos" and is from the game "Doom". For the direct link, you can click here once again. I really need to find a better way to introduce these reviews. If anyone has an idea, just tell me. Anyway, I better get started.

The song starts out with an extremely low and pulsing pitch of sound. It's probably some low string instruments (or something of the sort). This entire beginning sounds completely eerie, and at 0:17, some violin is added into the background to make the song sound even creepier. At 0:24 there is a transition to a string-dominating melody. The notes that the strings make from 0:27 to about 0:36 adds a ton of suspense to the song, as the pitches gradually get higher. At 0:37 it transitions again into a different melody from the strings, as well as some percussion that occasionally comes in to add emphasis. The suspended symbol at 0:44 is a nice touch also. The string section has different parts to it, and you can clearly hear a difference from 0:50 to 1:03. At 1:04 a lot more percussion is played here, and, like the other added effects in this song, really add suspense. The percussion here gradually gets louder and even draws my attention more than the melody the strings are playing. This continues until 1:17, where there's a percussion solo lasting until 1:23. This solo transitions to a section similar to the one at 0:37, this time with some piano in the background. The bass in this section is great, and the piano does a great job to keep the suspense in the song. The piano can be louder though, especially since there isn't very much playing other than that. Everything decrescendos at 1:52, but then suddenly transitions into exactly what it was before at 1:56. The piano here does get louder and louder until 2:10, where the strings once again take over. Once again the strings here split into separate sections (depending on the sound they make respectively), and create a harmony which can easily be heard at 2:15. At 2:26 things really start to die down. At 2:29 it transitions into a dark tone equipped with low instrumentation, and low percussion. However, at 2:41 the mood calms down a little bit. At 2:48 the piano takes over everything. This entire piano section lasting from 2:48 all the way to 3:50 is awesome. The notes would switch from major to minor keys without making it sound to transitional. Everything seemed to flow here, and the strings starting at 3:00 that harmonized the melody worked out perfectly to add to the calmer mood of the song. The dynamics are also perfect; people can definitely tell the volume difference when listening to this solo, especially at around 2:59. At 3:32 the piano could have been much louder. The interlude still goes on, so the piano should finish the job by having the listener actually hear the piano being played. At 3:50, some loud percussion comes in to create the last beat of the song. It may be the end, but it completely disintegrated that calm mood with some loud percussion that nearly made me jump when it came out of no where. Then everything is quiet, and the song comes to an end.

Pros: There was a great feeling of suspense in this song, and the instrumentation was amazing. I'm glad it wasn't just strings and percussion dominating when the huge piano section kicked in at 2:48, but none the less, the strings and percussion were pretty awesome. Everything flowed perfectly, and none of the transitions were choppy. This is really a job well done.

Cons: Okay, there were unfortunately a couple of cons to go with this song. The piano could have been much louder during numerous sections, mainly at 0:37 and at 3:32 during that piano section near the ending. The ending at 3:50 I didn't like at all. That really was a bad way to end the song, especially when everything was so calm from 2:48 to 3:49. That really could have gone better.

Overall: This piece is impressive, but it could be better. For example, the ending. Beside those details though, this is definitely a piece worth listening to if a person is in the mood for something suspenseful and dark.

Rating: 9.4/10

Hello, my lycanthropic arthropods and otherwise inextricable pseudonyms. I, Reogan, have arrived to give a more Reogan-y review, as no one else here is as capable of being Reogan as I am. Odd.

A stirring from deep within the earth brushes the edge of human consciousness. Again it pulses, and a faint energy, neither electric nor chemical, grips the soul. Again it surges, stronger than before, and now a grating of the opening hell-gate begins. As infernal power ebbs and flows, the heartbeat of Man begins to speed, and the skies turn grey with terror. Across the world, not a star shines, and the sun and moon have both fled. A horrible Power, long dead, long sleeping, long damned, swells with strength, straining at Its decaying fetters.

With a terrible roar, the chains snap free from the rock, and He is free. Up from the Pit It flies, accompanied by the winged forms of creatures neither Angelic nor Human. The tunnel is long, and lit by a thousand guardian angels, whose swords glint for a moment before a fire beyond their ken quenches them. The bodies are consumed by the hoard, and only a few feathers drift, forgotten, to the ground. Above, the earth waits becalmed, unable to do anything. A faint scream grows louder as a hope never recognized fades.

Then all Hell breaks loose. The ground shatters and Legion leads his legions across the earth. Beelzebub and Asmodeus emerge nearly at once to herald the way of their Lord and Master. And then He is come. For a second, everything falls to silence, all beings immobilized by His presence. Then, with a roar beyond comprehension, he flaps his tattered wings and takes to the sky. Chaos flows from Him, and Nature herself dies. The weapons of man fail as spirits fly through their defenses and devour their souls.

A light builds beyond the clouds. Slowly, it gains strength and a single beam pierces the veil. Out of the sky stream the Host of a Lord long blasphemed by those he comes to save. Man is helpless to do aught but watch as light meets darkness above. The Lord of Shadow watches as His minions fall in hordes, while the angels lose but a handful. Above him, the two blessed generals of their Lords army direct the battle.

Suddenly, their light falls to nothing as He grabs them both from the air and devours them. A wave of Darkness floats out from him, and each angel turns black and withers beneath its oppression. He strides through the land, knocking them all from the sky, leaving his minions to devour them. The land shatters beneath his step, and nation after nation falls. Families die and their souls are snatched by darkness before salvation can be.

An arrow of silver pierces the brow of the Prince. He looks on, and out of the darkness rides a King with a blazing sword. Steel meets claw and lightning flies as the two Titans battle for the last time. First one claw-gouge, then another appears on the Savior's face, and his Foe throws him outward into the Swarm. The cloud closes about its victim, and from between the writhing bodies flows light. It grows and dims, pulsing for a minute. Mankind holds his breath.

The Light dies, and a new, maniacal fear, a hopelessness beyond thought ensnares the world. Some run screaming, others pray vainly, but their spirit is one, prostrated in the mud. Most of the demons are perished, like the Host, and the Fiend cares little for prolonging his work. All are undone by night. And the long-silent clouds above rain their tears down in mourning for their Creator. A wind blows through the broken limbs of trees, and leaves fall onto the blasted ground where Hope died.

Then, from their place of hiding, the Two chosen by the First to rebuild rise. They look about in sorrow, at what has become of their world. A glow builds behind them, and they turn to face their fate.


Marim said...

Reogan?! What the heck? Your review makes mine sound...terrible. :( Thanks, thanks a lot.

Reogan said...

You're welcome.

I like your review, though. Our two bits aren't comparable at all, as yours is about the music whereas mine is about the evocation therefrom.

I must disagree with your ending critique. I liked it.

Awesome song choice, whoever picked it.

The best way to introduce something you don't know how to introduce is to not draw attention to the fact that you don't know how. Look at mine.