Saturday, February 05, 2011

Song of the Week 30.5: 'Legend of the Snake' by Reuben Kee (redo)

Alright, so this post was supposed to put up a week ago, but it never happened. Also, this was supposed to be written and finished a week ago, and still it never happened. So, fortunately, I'll post this time. This is another song from the people at OCR, and it's also a redo of Met's SotW 2. This song is by Reuben Kee, who had unfortunately died in a tragic boating accident in 2007. So here's 'Legend of the Snake', part one that is (part two will be coming next week).

The song starts out with the piano playing a simple pattern, going up in pitch with every repeated "wave" in each pattern. There is also some strings heard in the background which plays a very high A. This pretty much continues until around 0:20, and then the strings drop out. So now we're at the point of the song where it's complete solo piano. This solo starts out rather simple; it's just some high keys playing a light melody until a little more of a harmony is added in at around 0:35. It may be simple, but I can see that Reuben Kee was a pretty talented pianist. Sounds pretty good so far. The piano will crescendo a bit at 0:54, but then quiet down again peacefully at 1:01. At about 1:20, a small sequence of chords will play, leading to the end of it's solo at 1:28. What stops the solo is some sort of woodwind instrument, and djpretzel's review says that it's an "ethnic flute". I'll take his word for it and use that phrase to describe this particular sound. There's a short burst of percussion hits that come in after this ethnic flute, and each sound will make a pattern by playing after the other. Oh, and some low strings play in the background also. At 1:58 the drums will play for a couple seconds, and then the main melody will make a grand appearance at 2:00. This is classic Metal Gear Solid stuff right here, I love this melody. It's being played by the flute by the way, with the low strings as bass (and the percussion hits in between). At 2:10-2:11ish, there's something that absolutely bugs the heck out of me though. There must have been some sort of mistake by the one who played the melody, because every time I hear this part, there's always a distant squeak heard. At 2:13, the strings start to act as a harmony to the flute-like instrument, and does a pretty good job at it also. The last note of the melody is played and held for quite some time, until the piano will come back in for a little effect at 2:28. The percussion will also continue to be played as well. Nothing really goes on in this small section; it's only the random percussion hits, the piano playing in the background, and the ethnic flute thing that appears again at 2:38. There's a slight percussion hit soon after, and a brand new section comes in strong. The strings control everything here, which create a great buildup with each sequence that it plays. At 3:01 the strings seem to reach a boiling point, playing triplets with the percussion, and then dies down a bit at 3:07. Here it almost seems like the song is over, but no, it continues. Another brand new section will play at 3:12, which I easily recognize as the intro to the MGS melody played at 2:00. It starts out with the strings playing the intro, and just as I suspected, that melody will appear again (at 3:25). The melody is played by another woodwind instrument, oboe maybe? The piano does play a lot in the background, making this section better than previous sections in my opinion. The percussion had lightened a little bit also, it took me a while to notice that there still was percussion playing. Strings will take over the melody again at 3:32 though, and there's a large increase in volume. There's a great transition leading up to 3:44, and at that time there is a key change. The strings will continue to have the melody during this entire section, which sounds great, and there's even a small amount of bells heard starting at 3:51. With a very, very low chord from the piano, the song cools down a bit and transitions. This new section has the same instrumentation as the very beginning, with the strings in the background and the piano having the melody. This section has a couple of buildups in between it, and with a hit of the drums at 4:38, the strings go back into another melody. I'm pretty sure that this is another melody heard in MGS, but I really wouldn't know because I've only played the game once...on a cell phone. At 4:56 there's something new that comes in that plays. As to what that is, I absolutely have no idea. It sounds rather funky, but what's cool is that this strange instrument starts to play the melody at 5:03. This will create another buildup, as strings will come in to add to this at about 5:10. At 5:23 the melody will play again, this time by another funky-sounding unknown instrument. I'm not really a fan for the sound of it though; it sounds like a flute on drugs...but the harmonies here sound good. There's also another key change at 5:38 also. At 5:54 the melody will repeat the last two notes that it played while the drums and strings do their thing. I can start to hear some piano at around 6:08, and other than that it continues to play until the last note is held.

Pros: Probably the best section of this song was the section starting at 3:25. The instrumentation overall was great, and I thought it was neat how the melody was always played differently each time I heard it. It's definitely one I would recommend listening to.

Cons: I really didn't like the sound of the last melody played, and I also thought that the random outbursts of percussion were a little bit unnecessary. The transition at 5:23 could have been better also...

Overall: This is a great orchestral piece with a few quirks. If you're looking for a unique variety of instrumentation, then this is the song for you. There may have been a few mistakes and flaws, but it didn't effect the song too much.

Rating: 9.3/10

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