Doujin, Game Music, Reviews

Chozo Legacy (Review)

November 18, 2015 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Chozo Legacy (Review)on Twitter

Chozo Legacy

Chozo Legacy is the latest release by music producer and game remixer bLiNd, released through record label GameChops. It’s a 10-track album featuring music from the SNES game Super Metroid remixed in a variety of electronic house, trance, and techno music styles. The album sets out to be more than just an assortment of remixed tracks though, and it achieves this goal quite well. If you’re a fan of the Metroid series or EDM, read on to learn more.

Chozo Legacy was designed as a progressive journey through the music of Super Metroid. The idea is that the album really will really shine if listened through from beginning to end. Each track focuses on a different area of the Super Metroid world, and they flow from one to the other to create a narrative similar to what you’d experience by actually playing the game.

For full disclosure, I have not played through Super Metroid in its entirety (though I am familiar with the game and some of its music), nor am I very familiar with the different styles and forms of electronic dance music. However, I do think that the album has achieved its narrative goal, which leaves me quite impressed. While listening to the album from beginning to end, I absolutely noticed elements that felt focused on creating this broader narrative, such as changes in style, pacing, and tone that made it feel more than just an assortment of EDM tracks. I also noticed some attention to smaller details, like the incorporation of some of the original sounds and themes from the game.

The album opens with the “Samus Shuffle”, which of course incorporates the iconic main theme of the game. It’s one of the album’s shortest tracks, but it works well for setting the overall tone of the album. The way the main theme is blended in also works quite well; the whole track wouldn’t be out of place at a dance club, except for perhaps the amusingly well-timed squeals of the metroid in certain places.

The album continues with an ebb and flow that is very well paced. Track two, “Chozo Legacy,” continues the upbeat dance feel. It has a great incorporation of the tense music of the prologue, reshaping it into an energetic dance pulse. After that, the album gets a little bit darker; the third track, “Into the Deep” has a much more eerie feel to it. The metroid noises are back, and the whole track has a bit of a disjointed, spinning feel to it. It sort of makes me think of arriving in a strange alien world, like Planet Zebes, but in a more intense way than the relatively ambient music used on the original soundtrack.

The next few tracks focus on music from different core areas of the game. The one in particular that I’d like to highlight is track five, “Kindred Spirit.” This one takes the eerie, crystalline melody of the rocky underground water area and brings out its darker qualities. This is the one track that includes solo voice, featuring vocalist Jillian Aversa. She does an excellent job at singing what was not originally a vocal melody, which is not always easy. Her voice is smooth and clear, and blends in very well with the overall ambiance of the album. The track is nicely placed in the center of the album, providing a little bit of variety.

The end of the album builds up to a fairly dramatic climax. The ninth track, “Ninth Circle of Hell” (clever, actually), remixes the music from the ancient ruins area. This music actually lends itself very well to this context, and bLiNd really ups the ante with dramatic tension. The theme continues to build and build throughout the course of the track, gradually incorporating a chanting chorus and more intense background figures until it gradually winds its way down again. I was not originally familiar with this track, and on first listen assumed it was boss music, just given the relative intensity and its placement on the album.

The final track, “Aran,” comes down a bit from the climax of “Ninth Circle of Hell.” This one is a slightly brighter, more feel-good sort of mix. It’s supposed to give the impression of credits music, marking the end of the journey, and it does that rather well. It’s an excellent closer, releasing a lot of the tension built up from the previous tracks with its brighter and more spacious ambiance.

The album grew on me more on repeated listens. Making the connections to the tracks within the game was fun, and doing so continued to reveal depth in the arrangements and organization of the album. If you are a fan of Super Metroid, or even if you just like VGM and EDM, you should absolutely make it a point to give Chozo Legacy a listen.

Chozo Legacy is available now for $10 on Loudr.

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