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Alive 13

Immortal 3 Remix CD

                           [ S h o r t   Re v i e w ]

        In June 2006 the Immortal 3 Audio CD was announced, a double CD-
        release with a lot of songs and ever lasting playtime.

        The Immortal series consists of Amiga remix collections, but 
        since most Amiga games were also available for the Atari ST, the 
        remix CD might be interesting for Atari users as well.

        I ordered the CD the same day as the announcement was made and 
        it shipped within the same week from Germany, so no delivery 
        problems here. As always when I get new CD's I have no patience 
        what-so-ever, and there was nothing different this time, I threw 
        in the discs and started to listen as soon as I could.

The Music!

        There is a big variety of songs and people behind the
        production; a rough guess is that about two thirds of the tracks
        were also converted to the Atari ST back in the days. The number
        of songs total to thirty-five (!) which result in about two and 
        a half hours of playtime. You can guess that there are a lot of
        different composers making up for all that material.

        And this is exactly were my criticism begins. Unfortunately the
        big flora of composers gives a very split impression. Lot's of
        styles and different ideas can be found on the Immortal 3 CD but
        they don't blend very well. Besides I am under the impression
        that the composers have not heard each others work or haven't
        got a base script for the album before they did their remixes.
        In my opinion an album can't sound focused and inspiring without
        an underlying idea.

        After reading the composer list before ordering, I was happy to
        know that Mad Max and one of my favourite Atari composers,
        Excellence in Art, were doing remixes for the album. Mad Max
        remixed some level music from Wings of Death and Amberstar. I've
        always wanted to hear remixes like that. The remixes don't sound
        bad, in fact the Wings of Death remix even begins with the
        original ST "P p p please wait" loading track - this had me
        hoping that this was to be a real kicker. Unfortunately - as it
        goes on - the remix evens out and doesn't make a lasting
        impression. A bit like elevator music or a telephone queue,
        especially the Wings of Death tracks would have needed some more

        The next one among my list of tracks with high hopes was the
        Excellence in Art (XiA) track from the wonderful Atari STe-game
        "Obsession". XiA had chosen the Desert Run table to remix.
        Honestly this caused some slightly mixed feelings as I've played
        the Aquatic and Baseball tables a lot more. However, after
        twenty seconds this one stands out as a killer good remix. It
        keeps all the energy from the game, and it sounds very inspired.
        The instruments selected are very much alike to those of the
        game, but surely pitched up another gear. I tell you this is no
        elevator music, it swings!

        Among other well done remixes are the ones by Blaizer of TBL. 
        His remixes of Pinball Dreams (Amiga/Falcon (also known from the
        Falcon demo "Agony" by DNT Crew) and Pinball Fantasies
        (Amiga/Jaguar) are well done. They have inspiration and stand
        out for really trying. Not quite up to the energy of XiA but
        they compensate with a larger sound spectrum and impressive
        production. Very enjoyable tracks indeed.

        Other ones of interest to Atari users are likely Turrican 2,
        Defender of the Crown, Gods, Speedball 2, No Second Prize and
        The Chaos Engine (to mention some of the more known tracks that
        also have an Atari counterpart), but these mostly just fill out
        and doesn't have much to remember them by, the Speedball 2 track
        being the better of these.

Audio CD vs piracy

        One of the reasons to by a CD instead of downloading the mp3's
        is to get something extra for your money. Normally this would be
        a decent booklet (like in the ST Revival) or why not a DVD video
        with some game/demo footage where the original songs are

        Unfortunately the Immortal 3 has nearly no extra value at all
        compared to just leeching the mp3's. The cover looks nice, but
        it doesn't even list the tunes. To keep track of what you're
        playing you either have to have the booklet out or use the
        computer to play the songs (from the CD or rip them.). That's a
        detail that annoyed me a lot.

        The booklet isn't much of a booklet really, just a few thanks
        and credits. No game details, no screenshots and a barely
        readable font - this is miles from the ST Revival booklet
        standard. Also I missed contact addresses for the composers - I
        really wanted to write XiA a note and congratulate him for the
        awesome Obsession remix.

        In the end, buying the CD give you very little over just
        downloading the files, which is a real downer.

Final thoughts

        When you will remember perhaps five or six songs out of thirty-
        five, it's a pretty disappointing buy. Immortal 3 lacks the
        common factor that glues an album together as a strong package.
        It has it's highlights but they scattered between a lot of
        uninspired songs.

        So here are my overall scores

        Inspiration   - 3/10 
        Energy        - 4/10 
        Production    - 7/10 
        Cover/booklet - 3/10 
        Bonus content - 0/10

        Total         - 5/10 (thanks to good efforts by XiA and Blaizer)

        All those who understand German may want to read a German review 
        of the IM3 CD at

                                   Anders Eriksson for Alive, 2006-07-15

Appendix A

                        Tracklist of the Immortal 3 CD

        01. Apidya "Suite" (Hülsbeck)
        02. Gods "Into the Wonderful" (Nation 12)
        03. Theatre of Death (Clarke)
        04. Ghouls'n Ghosts (Follin)
        05. Turrican 2 (Huelsbeck)
        06. Turrican 3 (Huelsbeck)
        07. Fire and Ice (Page)
        08. Pinball Dreams (Gustafsson)
        09. Disposable Hero (Hoekman & Holt)
        10. The Chaos Engine (Joseph)
        11. Agony (Wright)
        12. Death Mask "Something Evil" (Owens)
        13. Defender of the Crown (Cuomo)
        14. Lotus 3: The Ultimate Challenge (Phelan)
        15. The Plague (Klaren)
        16. Alien Breed (Brimble)
        17. Aquaventura (Wright)
        18. Ambermoon (Steinwachs)

        01. Wings of Death (Hippel)
        02. No Second Prize (Steinwachs)
        03. Speedball 2 "Brutal Deluxe" (Nation 12)
        04. Brat (Lynne)
        05. Amberstar (Hippel)
        06. Shadow of the Beast 2 (Wright)
        07. Uridium 2 (Page)
        08. Cardiaxx (Simmonds)
        09. Pinball Fantasies (Gustafsson)
        10. Elfmania (Eeben)
        11. Overdrive (Brimble)
        12. Ork (Bartlett)
        13. Leander (Simmonds)
        14. Obsession "Desert Run" (Almered)
        15. Katakis (Zendeh)
        16. Super Cars 2 (Leitch)
        17. Trolls (Nixon)

Alive 13