Clash at Demonhead – “Ride to Demonhead” (arr. Vurez)February 26, 2010
Vurez’s rendition of “Ride to Demonhead” from the NES oldie Clash at Demonhead (1990) is a dark, awesome cowboy piece. Vurez packs so much atmosphere and emotion into his pieces that it’s always great to hear new works from him.
The overall tone of “Ride to Demonhead” is sorrowful, morose, and gruelingly serious. There’s fantastic whistling, Vurez’s trademark acoustic guitars, and a chorus of ‘bum bum bum’s to get you on the trail. You can almost hear the wind howling and picture dagger-like wind blowing gray dust up the treacherous haunted path as a posse rides hot on the tail of the outlaw (or more likely as Billy “Big Bang” Blitz, the intrepid hero of the game, slogs his way to the crest – actually, I was a little surprised at how much detail was put into the plot of what is essentially just an average adventure game).
The song takes a detour at about 1:35 with some original and inspired material before returning to the main theme again at around 3:00. There’s some nice dark material here as well as a wonderful spaghetti western trumpet solo at 1:50 followed by a combination whistling and acoustic guitar playing a variation on the theme at 2:09 and some nice baritone choral support at 2:25. The church bells emphasize the gothic nature of the track. When the main theme kicks back in, it is highly stylized, with more acoustic guitars spinning like tumbleweeds. Throughout the entire piece is a nice, driving beat that characterizes much cowboy music – the sense of riding onward on a mission. Definitely made of cool.
Clash at Demonhead is a pretty bizarre game by Vic Tokai. Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be any credits anywhere, so I don’t know who the original composer was. The original version of the song is fairly catchy, which is probably why Vurez decided to mix it. However, I don’t think it’s got the kind of atmosphere he put into this piece. Talk about love. Anyway, you can check the original music in context here, starting about 3:00.