Immortal 3

Immortal 3. Front. Click to zoom.
Immortal 3
Front
Covers release: Akumu
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Overview

2006's Immortal 3 is the culmination of a series of remix albums dedicated to the Amiga's classics. Featuring two discs and an incredible 35 tracks, the album featured more music than its predecessors combined. It lacked quite the same exuberant presentation as its predecessor — notably omitting track-by-track liner notes — but producer Jan Zottmann made up with it with a great volume of tracks. Once again, the arrangers were given a free reign on how to treat the tracks — many of them their own originals — resulting in a particularly varied album. But does the increased volume and diversity necessarily result in a better overall experience?

Body

Immortal 3 immediately demonstrates its more lavish production values than its predecessor with its opening track — a full-blown orchestral medley dedicated to Apidya by classical orchestrator Adam Klemens. Though this sampled orchestration has since dwarfed by Symphonic Shades, it demonstrated the dramatic potential of symphonic interpretations of Amiga music. The rendition of Tim Follin's Ghouls 'n Ghosts is also incredibly entertaining with its folksy guitar riffs and elaborate whistle improvisations. It's in no way thematically related to the Japanese games and, perhaps refreshingly, doesn't sound gothic in the slightest. Another surprising addition is Tim Wright's Agony. The original was a shift from the typical action-packed synths of the Amiga with its soothing piano-based tones. The arrangement elaborates on this — slowly blooming towards its beautifully understated climax. It's a pity that the budget couldn't be afforded for a studio recording session, but the piece is still emotional. This tender element is further explored with the beautifully realised piano improvisation dedicated to Ambermoon.

Plenty of tracks here maintain the Immortal series' emphasis on nostalgic synthy tunes. Allister Brimble stays pretty close to the original on Alien Breed, but in doing so provides an excellent demonstration of how old synths can make a great impression — the science-fiction sound he creates here is so deep and immersive. The similarly styled but more upbeat adaptation of Psygnosis' hidden gem Ork is also a very welcome addition here. Chris Hülsbeck returns to personally offer remixes of the second and third Turrican titles, both conspicious absences from Immortal 2; while these remixes are less colourful and elaborate than those on his main albums, they're still highlights because of their nostalgic treatment of strong melodies — in other words, they're saved by the originals. Other retro-styled highlights span Lotus 3: The Ultimate Challenge's pumping beats, Katakis' melancholy wails, and Amberstar's sensitive reflections. And who could forget about Shadow of the Beast 2, with its fitting, addictive, if bizarre blend of gothic melodies and tribal rhythms?

A few tracks here have a more contemporary touch. Olof Gustafsson's Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies — both legendary games back when pinball was all the rage — are among the best electronic pieces here; while these tracks contrast with their respective smooth trance and abstract industrial stylings, they capture the infinite possibilities of a pinball game with all their interesting colours. Meanwhile Speedball 2 and Cardiaxx make an impact with their overdriven rock riffs — the latter a particularly rich adaptation from the Nugel Bros. While most of the aforemnetioned tracks are accessible, there are a couple of arrangements that were definitely 'misses' for me. The rendition of Gods' title theme may stay faithful to the original — so much so that no arrangers are credited, only performers. But when the original comprises nothing but bizarre vocals and retro beats, this isn't necessarily a good thing in this case. The parodic Trolls is also a select taste with its over-the-top vocals, but at least it is reserved as a bonus track and acknowledges right away that can be annoying.

With so many tracks, there is an incredibly variety of melodies, moods, and styles on this album. While this is largely a good thing, keep in mind that Immortal 3 is a less cohesive listening experience than its predecessors. Just look at the way the opening's grandiose orchestration clumsily shifts to Gods' peppy vocals and Theatre of Death's moody beats. Likewise, while eccentricities such as No Second Prize's blend of trippy Indian vocals with jazz fusion instrumentals are interesting highlights on their own, they don't necessarily make a positive to contribution to the album as a collective whole. Furthermore, the playful tones and chiptune references of Fire & Ice, Defender of the Crown, and Disposable Hero — while perfectly enjoyable in their own right — are such major shifts in tone from an otherwise moody and ethereal album that they can be distracting. In order to capture the diversity of the Amiga's music, it was necessary for Zottmann to incorporate pieces like these, but they will present a dilemma to many listeners.

Summary

Put simply, Immortal 3 is the most expansive dedication to Amiga music out there. When official albums dedicated to Amiga titles are so scarce, it's incredible that Jan Zottmann managed to incorporate so many classics — and feature so many original composers — in one album. The diversity results in a rich and varied listening experience, but be warned there are some interruptive experiments and sloppy productions along the way. Perhaps the best way to appreciate Immortal 3 is through selecting individual highlights for one's iPod rather than listening to the entire album in one session. But either way, this album is a must-have for Amiga fans.



Album
8/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

1.01 Apidya "Suite"
Composed by Chris Hülsbeck
Orchestrated by Adam Klemens, Mixed by Reed Robins

1.02 Gods "Into the Wonderful"
Composed by Simon Rogers, Shem McCauley & John Foxx
Performed by Jan Zottmann & Fabian Del Priore. Vocals by Per Almered

1.03 Theatre of Death
Composed & arranged by Mike Clarke

1.04 Ghouls'n Ghosts
Composed by Tim Follin. Arranged by Henning Nugel & Ingo Nugel (www.nugelbrosmusic.de)
Used by permission from High Technology Publishing Ltd.

1.05 Turrican 2
Composed & arranged by Chris Hülsbeck
Special thanks to T.R. Schmidt (http://turrican.nemmelheim.de)

1.06 Turrican 3
Composed & arranged by Chris Hülsbeck
Special thanks to Robert Konrad (www.turricanforever.de)

1.07 Fire & Ice
Composed & arranged by Jason Page

1.08 Pinball Dreams
Composed & arranged by Olof Gustafsson
Produced by Thomas Boecker, Merregnon Studios (www.merregnon.com)
Pinball Dreams is Co. Rebellion, used by permission

1.09 Disposable Hero
Composed & arranged by Rick Hoekman & Hein Holt

1.10 The Chaos Engine
Composed & arranged by Richard Joseph

1.11 Agony
Composed & arranged by Tim Wright

1.12 Death Mask "Something Evil"
Composed by Matthew Owens
Arranged by Markus Holler, Guitar by Sven Haas, Violin by Xenia Schmidt, Flute by Markus Holler
Special thanks to Matthew Owens for the valuable input
Death Mask is Co. Alternative Software Ltd., used by permission

1.13 Defender of the Crown "Castlekeep"
Composed by Jim Cuomo
Rythm arrangement & remix by Arnaud Paviot, Woodwinds by Jim Cuomo

1.14 Lotus 3: The Ultimate Challenge
Composed by Patrick Phelan. Arranged by Fabian Del Priore & Jan Zottman
Special thanks to Patrick Phelan

1.15 The Plague
Composed & arranged by Ron Klaren

1.16 Alien Breed
Composed & arranged by Allister Brimble

1.17 Aquaventura
Composed & arranged by Tim Wright

1.18 Ambermoon
Composed & arranged by Matthias Steinwachs

2.01 Wings of Death
Composed & arranged by Jochen Hippel
Special thanks to Gerald Müller-Bruhnke, The Thalion Source (http://home.wtal.de/gmb/)

2.02 No Second Prize "Grand Prix of India"
Composed & arranged by Matthias Steinwachs

2.03 Speedball 2 "Brutal Deluxe"
Composed by Simon Rogers. Performed by Christian Pignon

2.04 Brat
Composed & arranged by Bjørn Lynne

2.05 Amberstar
Composed & arranged by Jochen Hippel
Special thanks to Gerald Müller-Bruhnke, The Thalion Source (http://home.wtal.de/gmb/)

2.06 Shadow of the Beast 2
Composed by Tim Wright
Arranged by Jan Zottmann, Alexander Prievert & Ruben Monteiro
Special thanks to Tim Wright

2.07 Uridium 2
Composed & arranged by Jason Page

2.08 Cardiaxx
Composed & arranged by Matthew Simmonds
Arranged by Henning Nugel & Ingo Nugel (www.nugelbrosmusic.de)
Special thanks to Matthew Simmonds for the original mod files

2.09 Pinball Fantasies
Composed & arranged by Olaf Gustafsson
Produced by Thomas Boecker, Merregnon Studios (www.merregnon.com)
Pinball Fantasies is Co. Rebellion, used by permission

2.10 Elfmania
Composed by Aleksi Eeben. Arranged by Hannu af Ursin, mixed by Aleksi Eeben

2.11 Overdrive
Composed & arranged by Allister Brimble

2.12 Ork
Composed & arranged by Tim Bartlett

2.13 Leander
Composed by Matthew Simmonds
Arranged by Juha Kaunisto (www.playbynumbers.com). Drums by Elad Fish (www.drumsforyou.com)

2.14 Obsession "Desert Run"
Composed & arranged by Per Almered
Special thanks to Pascal Janin. Obsession is Co. Unique Development Studios

2.15 Katakis
Composed & arranged Darius Zendeh

2.16 Super Cars 2
Composed & arranged by Barry Leitch
Electric Guitars by Chris Reile, Burbles & Clavinet by Adam Zukic, Accoustic Guitar by Greg Klas
Mixed at Wasteland Studios

2.17 Trolls
Composed by Philip Nixon
Arranged by Juha Kaunisto (www.playbynumbers.com). Troll vocals & lyrics by Marcus "Makke" Nilsson
Narration & lyrics by Markus Virtanen, special thanks to Philip Nixon
Album was composed by Aleksi Eeben / Allister Brimble / Barry Leitch / Bjørn Lynne / Chris Hülsbeck / Darius Zendeh / Hein Holt / Jason Page / Jim Cuomo / Jochen Hippel / John Foxx / Matthew Owens / Matthew Simmonds / Matthias Steinwachs / Mike Clarke / Olof Gustafsson / Patrick Phelan / Per Almered / Philip Nixon / Richard Joseph / Rick Hoekman / Ron Klaren / Shem McCauley / Simon Rogers / Simon Rogers / Tim Bartlett / Tim Follin / Tim Wright and was released on June 15, 2006. Soundtrack consists of 35 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by Synsoniq Records.

CD 1

1
Apidya "Suite"
04:39
2
Gods "Into the Wonderful"
03:19
3
Theatre of Death
07:04
4
Ghouls'n Ghosts
03:40
5
Turrican 2
04:22
6
Turrican 3
03:27
7
Fire & Ice
04:07
8
Pinball Dreams
05:15
9
Disposable Hero
03:35
10
The Chaos Engine
05:22
11
Agony
05:34
12
Death Mask "Something Evil"
06:37
13
Defender of the Crown "Castlekeep"
02:32
14
Lotus 3: The Ultimate Challenge
02:35
15
The Plague
02:48
16
Alien Breed
03:14
17
Aquaventura
06:15
18
Ambermoon
01:48

CD 2

1
Wings of Death
07:48
2
No Second Prize "Grand Prix of India"
05:44
3
Speedball 2 "Brutal Deluxe"
03:33
4
Brat
03:09
5
Amberstar
05:23
6
Shadow of the Beast 2
04:05
7
Uridium 2
04:29
8
Cardiaxx
02:48
9
Pinball Fantasies
06:33
10
Elfmania
03:51
11
Overdrive
03:08
12
Ork
03:23
13
Leander
05:20
14
Obsession "Desert Run"
04:00
15
Katakis
03:36
16
Super Cars 2
05:11
17
Trolls
04:27
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