Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Song of the Week 27: 'Malevolent Mansion' by Nekofrog, Sole Signal

Hello, I'm back once again for this week's SotW. So this week's song is from Banjo-Kazooie and is titled 'Malevolent Mansion.' Just to let you know, it's interesting to listen to whether a person would like the song or not. Anyway, if you want the direct mix you can click here.

The first two seconds start off as an introduction for the insanity that is to come. It starts off with a michevious-sounding intro until 0:03. At this next part slow percussion will play, strings will be a simple backup, and the melody will be played by a high synth that pretty much gives the visuals here. What is this, an evil carnival? Seems like it, for the melody really shows the creepiness of everything being played. This continues until 0:24. There's a brief transition here, which leads to a much more upbeat section at 0:25 (it still gives off that "evil carnival" feel though). Here the percussion has sped up rapidly. An electric guitar can also be heard to give the song more of an upbeat rock feeling to the song. The melody is still the same sounding synth as before, but the rhythm has sped up to a much faster pace and rhythm. At about 0:36 the song stays the same, but a few additions arrive. There's now a high synth playing the original melody from 0:03. This continues to play until abou 0:48. With a part of the melody that concludes the section, a new one is created. The main synth is now gone, and a new one has taken its place. This new synth has a medium-low pitch, and plays roughly at the same speed as the melody from 0:25. There seems to be a much calmer atmosphere; instead of the electric guitar sounds there are now strings that play backup. This again continues until 0:58. Here this section is probably more like a transition than a section. The guitar is back to play at every other beat, and the synth is completely going insane (which I have to say is quite awesome). At 1:05 the percussion, as well as everything else, has slowed down back to the speed of what it was at the beginning. The strings and percussion pretty much do the exact same thing as that beginning section, but the melody has changed. Here the melody sounds michevious-sounding again. There's much more flair this time around when the melody puts in a couple trills to spice things up. Also, at 1:16 some electric guitar is added to add more into the track. At 1:27 there's a change in instrumentation. Instead of a synth playing the melody, a xylophone takes over. The strings do back it up somewhat, but the melody was my main focus here. There are numerous rolls here-especially at about 1:34-and does a great job in having some variety in what gets to play the melody. With some electric guitar placed in at 1:36, the song transitions again. At 1:40 it becomes a section that is almost the exact same as the section at 0:25. There are some minor differences though: 1)The melody sounds a little more clearer because it's used with a different synth. 2) This new section has a change in key. This plays more, and At 1:50 I can hear the presence of a small harmony. At 2:01 here's that same transition with the insanely driving synth (the one from 0:58). At 2:13 everything seems to come together. Not only is that one crazy synth being played, but the melody has changed into something slower (and newer) and the upbeat mood is kept at the same time. At 2:23 there's a slight change in atmosphere. With a hit of the electric guitar, everything suddenly becomes much calmer. Bass is added to help maintain a melody, higher strings (they could be synths also) help make this new atmosphere possible, and the percussion continues to play away. At 2:35 very high strings come in to play a rapid four-beat melody. This entire section continues, even adding low strings and xylophone to make plucking effects at 2:48. The original melody, the one from the very beginning (with the same synth also), will return for an encore appearance at 2:59. At 3:08 The guitar acts like a bass, and the melody is now controlled by the strings/xylophone. This continues until 3:21, where that crazy synth will start playing in the background again. This is a much longer transition (yes, I still think it's a transition), as the section won't play until about 3:35. This is now a repeat of the exact same thing from 1:40. The exact same thing. What's great about this is that a person would get to the point of insanity here, but it's so addicting to listen to. There's a small roll from the xylophone at 4:08 (after that entire section was playing of course), and the song goes into a different rhythm from the synth. However, there's now very high electric guitar to act as sort of a counter melody. At 4:19 the melody is now in the hands of the electric guitar, showing off its awesomeness as the crazy synth plays in the background. At 4:31 there is then a quick conclusion, and the song is now over.

Pros: There was great variety in this song, and is probably one of the first songs that I've listened to with that sort of visuals. It did make me go insane, but it was awesome at the same time so it didn't really matter (plus I've had a slight case of insanity these days so it's okay). The xylophone section at 1:27 was really cool, and the changes in atmosphere that appeared occasionally were great. The instrumentation melody-wise was superb also.

Cons: Sometimes I felt that the repetitiveness of the different sections were a little too much for me. Also, the xylophone could've had less rolls at 1:34.

Overall: I had fun listening to this song, and I recommend others listen to it as well. Not only was it fun, there were very few flaws.

Rating: 9.2/10

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