This is an NGADM Round 1 Review.
This is one of the more professional-sounding orchestral submissions of the round. I love the quality of your sounds and your arrangement. It's the kind of track that, with a slightly less muddy mix, I would expect to hear in a film or game, and that's always a great sign. You've got a powerful arrangement of instruments that really shines in parts like 2:12 which sound menacing and dark, or 1:06 where you have these absolutely exceptional fast passages that truly give off a feeling of intensity and excitement. Of course, it helps that the samples you use are high-quality, but what I really must commend you on is how well you use them. The only quirk I have with your arrangement is that the guitar, while sounding fantastic, felt a bit out of place at the very end, since it just came out of the blue without any prior foreshadowing.
My main issue with this, apart from the mix being just a little muddy, is that the composition is lacking. It almost feels as if each section you wrote was only written with the mere intention of portraying the mood described in your author's comments. The composition is simply not memorable. I mean, sure, it's well-written, has a lot of sweet call-and-response sections and the voicing is pretty sweet, but outside of the well-portrayed moods there isn't much to commend. In a way, this like Veneox's submission - it tells a story through different moods. However, his actually has some sweet motifs, whereas to me, I regret to say that this sounds a lot more lifeless and lacking much-needed expression.
That's my opinion on it! You certainly have the talent to make a more expressive and compositionally sensible piece, so I hope you give that a shot for the next round!
Thanks for your response Step.
I'm glad you enjoyed the quality of the sounds and the range I tried to express. I used a lute for this piece, I did use it earlier on in the piece at around 40 seconds subtly. I guess I wanted to added an element that wasn't typical to an orchestra - the same as I used tamourines in the introduction to embody the necromancer's chains.
I didn't intend for the piece to be catchy or memorable but rather to invoke emotion/feeling of what is going on, I imagined it would place emphasis if it was accompanied with visuals. I did use a motif though, first at 0:24 and then the outro lute plays it again.
Anyway I am following your advice and trying to create a more thematic piece for my second submssion. Thanks again for your thoughts, I appreciate it.