Survival of the Hungriest

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NGADM '14 Round 2 Entry (versing the very talented and awesome etherealwinds).

"Survival of the Hungriest!"
So thought I'd give the over the top slasher flick a go for this round!

Originally I was going to explain what happens, but I'll leave that up to your imagination. I'll simply say that my scenario was about a couple who move into a new house, to discover their next door neighbor is a psychopathic cannibal.

Had some trouble handling a full orchestra, including percussion, piano, choirs, two metal guitars, a bass guitar and a drum kit in this one. But I learned a lot about mixing things and trying to keep them fresh sounding. Bit of fun, loads of new territory - hopefully progressing!

How well do you know your neighbor?.. 0_o

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This is an NGADM Round 2 Review


What a hypnotic introduction! With your rather vague, but imaginative description, the first thing I picture is the couple slowly coming to a disturbing realization that something isn't quite right. Maybe, one of them is unpacking a box on the upper floor after having a small fight with their SO (0:18). They see slight movement out of the corner of their eye out of the bedroom window (0:22). What is it? It's just Frank, the next door neighbour. But, what is he doing in his backyard, carrying a large, stretched garbage bag with branches in it? Certainly that's not a bag of twigs and branches. Looks too heavy. Wait, is that a white branch that just fell out of the bag? No. He pick its up, revealing it to be a bone. He looks around only to see you peering down at him. And then BAM! Creepy! (1:02)

Just a taste of what I imagined was happening. Hmm, there's not much left to say that hasn't already been said. The level of tension in this track is amazing. The fear that oozes out of the strings and piano is great, supplemented by the overall feeling of adrenaline from the guitar and drums. As the song carries on, and the choir is introduced at 2:59...man that's fantastic. Especially when all of the instruments swell at 3:13 into a heap of panic (gave me goosebumps). Perhaps a chase scene. Oh, it has to be! Goosebumps again at 3:43. I think it can be safe to say that if a song gives you goosebumps, that means it's something special. The conclusion is so calm and full of relief – the woodwinds, warm strings and the choir help accentuate this feeling.

Again, I'll reiterate what others have stated: there's not much of a motif here. Although you do a fantastic job of creating an exciting and mood-filled piece, I have a hard time recalling any pattern throughout the track. Other than that, I feel as if towards the end (~5:00), some of the instruments are buried just slightly beneath the strings. Particularly the woodwinds! After 5:22, this isn't an issue.

Well done, well done, well done (though I prefer my steak rare mwahahaha)! Looking forward to more! :)

Score: 9.5/10

Your beginning is extremely inviting! There are some suspenseful atmospheres being created and this easily sounds like it could be in a cinematic scene where the character must remain silent.
The 0:17 instrument – bassoon? Contrabass? Gonna bug me - I felt it added the best of tensions to set this track in motion. Beautiful piano, too. All of your instruments sound live, by the way (save for the chorus that comes in) and they’re very smartly fused together in that 1:03 transition to total darkness.
Outstanding percussive work, as always. You know how to ramp up tension and create a sense of panic for the listener. Your staccato strings in the background also help strengthen the sense of confusion/loss. Perhaps our main character was being chased down the psychopath during the middle portion.
I’m struggling to find a main theme throughout the piece; even though everything sounds great, I just want to return to some kind of motif, something that is recognizable before and after the gigantic percussive party, or maybe even during. After the song was over, even though it was amazing work, I couldn’t remember how it went – the piece went where it needed to go to conduct the scene properly, however, and that’s what excellent cinematic pieces do, so I didn’t want to judge too harshly here.
The transitions, though, are excellent, absolutely flawless work here. The silence that comes in after everything has finished exploding(?) at 3:46 is something right out of a Michael Giacchino phrase. The softness only adds to the overall bleakness that you feel after all this has gone down – sounds like a death might have occurred. Your chorus near the end is especially stunning, in that it helps highlight your strings and they all end up sounding heavenly.
Conclusively – your mix is fantastic, production value is off the charts (in typical raccoon fashion), but I would have enjoyed a theme to hum afterwards. Very lovely work.

NGADM Round 2 Score: 9.1

EvilRaccoon responds:

Thank you so much for the feedback. I've been eager to see what you thought to help me improve on my weaker points. It looks like your thoughts are echoed by many others here, and they are absolutely right.

Your picking out great little ideas, like 'a death had occurred' etc that were in my thoughts when I was doing this so it's great to know i'm not a lunatic making up stories that only I'll be able to identify with. XD

Thanks again, I really appreciate the time you took to listen and review my track! It helps a lot!

Oh and at 0:17 it was both Bassoon and contrabass! The Bassoon was more frontal.

"Survival of the Hungriest" aka "plz dun eat me i dun wanna be füd".

I am impressed by how strongly and cleanly the impact of this track is delivered. The entirety of its composition is pleasing to me.

I don't really get how the ending fits in with the story, but it's quite beautiful so I'll accept it anyway. Grin.

The use of brass and choir sound characteristically "Peter Satera" style to me, but everything else seems to be characteristic of the track itself. (This is more a neutral observation than praise or criticism.)

I listened to this track while reading your reply to Desiel391's review. It made your reply seem very heartfelt. Haha.

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.


After hearing your pieces The SuperBugs Attack, Apocalypse 2012 and now this, I can confirm that you have a certain knack towards making the dangerous, exciting, and edge-of-your-seat type of music. This is truly the most epic and exhilarating piece of music that was submitted to this round, and that's no doubt due to your SUBLIME production value. Really, just like in the previous round, you've crafted a truly spectacular orchestral sound. It's this kind of brilliant execution that gives your tracks an edge, since it ups the professionalism tenfold, and makes the track extremely powerful at high volumes. You are really, really good at what you do.

There are some fantastic compositional touches present in this piece which is a nice change from your previous track which sounded more standard and typical. First off, the atmosphere you created at the start is beyond perfect. It sounds somewhat peaceful but the subtle but tasteful use of dissonant note intervals (whether harmonic or melodic) offer a foreshadowing of the peril up ahead, making for a pretty awesome introduction. Things like the 1:57 piano echoing the melody before it, the various dynamic buildups you've made, the intense tempo change at 3:16 and the unexpected but surprisingly suitable mood change at the end create a wonderful listening experience. 4:25 is such a fantastic little crescendo by the way. I know it's a very specific thing to mention but I just loved it.

My issue the same issue I had with Jay-Turner's Round 1 submission. It feels like each section is purely made with the intention of portraying a mood. I hear a motif you use at both the beginning and the end, which is a nice touch for sure, but everything else feels, purely in terms of composition, like filler. The dangerous parts especially have little melodic meaning to them, choosing instead to play expressionless orchestral hits. During the busier sections, you don't really aim to excite the ears with some compositional complexity and structure, instead choosing to write sections that are there simply to portray an experience. While you do a brilliant job of that, I'll be damned if I don't admit I wasn't disappointed with the melodies!

Having said all that, this is brilliantly-executed stuff. Fantastic work, Peter.

SCORE: 9.4/10

EvilRaccoon responds:

Thanks step. The lack of melody seems to be a common point made, i'll be returning to make sure I do have one next time around. :)

I was expecting something along the Horror Stalker lines or something like that. The metal guitars personally did not do it for me, for it reminded me too much of the SAW sountracks which I hate. From beneath the metal guitars there is a Peterish style emerging and got lost. Nevertheless, production wise this song was marvelous and top notch.

Credits & Info


Waiting for 2 more votes

Sep 8, 2014
3:58 PM EDT
File Info
13.4 MB
5 min 51 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.