Welcome to another entry in Arrangement of the Week. This week’s selection comes from a series that’s been on many people’s minds recently. With the success of Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Kickstarter, it’s clear that there’s still a great amount of love for classic 2d action games like Castlevania. Even if you’ve never played the Castlevania series, you’ve probably at least heard the piece “Vampire Killer.” The arrangement we’re featuring today comes from artist Nostalvania, who puts an interesting twist on this classic game tune.
This arrangement is titled “Swing When You’re Killing” and is a catchy jazz ensemble interpretation. Consisting of an upright bass, piano, guitar, and vibraphone the mix was quite a pleasant surprise to my ears. I’m used to hearing rock or orchestral rock versions of this piece, so this really felt like a refreshing and unique take.
The piano and upright bass take a majority of the spotlight for this track, with the piano in particular providing some interesting variations on the main theme. Around the 2’41” mark the vibraphone and electric guitar take over for an improvisation section. It’s an enjoyable change up, giving us some new material before returning to the original theme with the full ensemble.
I like that his arrangement steers itself towards being its own thing, rather than trying to represent a track that could be heard in any of the games. It did however conjure up an amusing image in my head of Simon Belmont and Dracula chilling out at a jazz club. With all of that said, “Swing When You’re Killing” was an enjoyable and interesting find, and I hope to see more unique arrangements like this.
Did you discovered any interesting game music arrangements, remixes, or covers this week? Let us know in the comments below. You can listen to and download Nostalvania’s “Swing When You’re Killing” on OC ReMix.