Alien Breed – “Alternate Title” (Allister Brimble)July 2, 2010
Alien Breed is a classic Amiga title that borrows unabashedly from Alien and has gameplay inspired by Gauntlet. Alien Breed gave players the ability to blast up the monsters that fueled their nightmares and like so many other games, cashed in on a franchise and aesthetic that 20th Century Fox wasn’t pushing in the action arcade. Team17 has recently revived the series on XBLA, and the alien designs are farther removed from the Geigeresque originals. The music in the game was composed by Allister Brimble, a competent English composer whose extensive credits include Descent II and Alien Hominid, as well as the rest of the Alien Breed series. Alien Breed: Evolution doesn’t seem to contain a remix of the title theme, even though it supposedly does…
The “Alternate Title” contains many sound sketches of the game, but isn’t really used within it. It’s kind of a shame the music wasn’t used throughout the game as background, as some of the sketches could really add to atmosphere – though some of the other sketches are pretty bad, so it’s hit-or-miss. By far the best section is the introduction, with an INCREDIBLY creepy bass, electronic warbles, and monster growls: this sounds like it came straight from the bowels of alien hell. There are some great drum samples here as well.
The entire song is 16:51, making for an incredibly long piece. There is a wide variety of themes here, with other sections include organs and some crazy high-pitched synths (the ending is also pretty awful, so don’t be afraid to turn the track off once you get tired of it).
Thankfully, Allister Brimble remixed the main theme for Immortal 3, which ended up being one of my favorite tracks on the album:
Personally, I think some of the creepy feel of the original MOD is lost here (particularly that uncanny mix of animal and mechanical/electronic), but the track gains much through the epic orchestral arrangement – as well as a concise 3-minute version of the theme. Synth and brass combine with some excellent space marine drumwork that builds to a great finale. A real keeper.