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Death Match

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It would appear that I passed auditions for the NGADM15, and since I got cut early last year because I didn't take my mixing seriously enough, I figured that I'd go big this time around, in the hopes of really wow-ing the judges...I am damn-well gunna put up more of a fight this time!

This track was accomplished in a single day, after work (yeah, life gets in the way of music sometimes) using a single mic, one steel-string acoustic guitar, one classical guitar, body percussion, and an old leather jacket.

Lyrics:

I'm taking every source of commonality and throwing it away
And each time you wanna fight
I'll steal your very sense of shame when I hear you complain
That life's so very unfair
And now's the perfect time of night

There's really nothing here to say there's really anyway to spend another day undone
But here you are, and here I am.
But anyway you look at it, it's come to this, and I won't miss when I move
But not right yet…

You're looking' kinda paranoid, starin' at the void, but you can't avoid it now.
It's really come to this.
It's time to draw your weapon son, if you got one, I'm almost done, ready now
Here comes the steel kiss

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This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.

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Good:
- Great build-up.
- Great lyrics.
- Excellent guitar work (as always)!
- Love those solos (1:05 & 2:15)!
- Excellent blend of acoustic/electric.
- Snappy, clean percussion and soft exhales.

I think this is one of your better tracks, Ceevro my friend. Clean, full of raw, soulful performance and generally a great listen. The blend of acoustic and electric guitars work splendidly in this piece; the acoustic backing during those electric solos makes for an interesting combo/perspective (in terms of the lyrics and my interpretation of the song).

What to consider:
- Electric portions sound just a tad uneven in the mix.
- That subtle humming in the background could be brought out a little more.

The electric guitar works incredibly in this track, but it overpowers other elements of the track at times, especially during the solos. This brings me to my next point -- the humming that we hear at 1:27 and 2:13. I can just barely make it out, and I think that if the volumes were brought up just a bit more, it would sound perfect! Honestly though, these are more or less nitpicks on my part; I really enjoyed the track!

Excellent work, keep it up!

Score: 8/10

I like the soothing mood at the beginning. Your vocals are soulful, down-to-earth and flowing. I also really like the lyrics themselves. The solo at 1:06 was very heartfelt and catchy, and I liked when you started getting slightly less unplugged at 1:26. The solos at 2:13 initially seemed overly busy and crowded the mix a bit. I think you have to work up to the level of intensity you had at 2:14 more. One thing I liked about the solos at 1:06 and 1:26 is that they still left a lot of space in the texture. However, I also felt like by around 2:50 you had successfully led up to that emotional height, although I was disappointed by the fade-out ending. It struck me as a bit lazily done tbh. Still, I appreciate this piece stylistically, and you know I like the organic soundscape and the passionate vocals. Keep up the good work, Ceevro! ;)

8.5/10

This review was written for the Newgrounds Audio Death Match 2015.

Ceevro responds:

I know how much you hate fade-out endings. But I like 'em! Gotta end things somehow, and it seems that I get flak no matter how I end! Perhaps I need to look at that.

Thanks for all the work you've done over the past while...I'm sure that by the end of all this you'll not wanna be listening to a new song for quite some time! See ya next year, though!

So much better than Tim's mom (not that I would know. I've never met Tim's mom)

But seriously, this is much better. Really good guitar work and the singing is cool too. I like your voice. It's scratchy an a bit unrefined but it works really well. Keep it up.

Solid work. I like this.
-Spadezer-

Ceevro responds:

Well, the concept was a sort of story. It's told from the point of view of an older, gritty man with a personal grudge to settle with a cocky younger man who has no idea what the reality of the situation is. The major section in the bridge is there to show a few seconds of making his own peace with his possible demise before the violence sets in once again. The electric solos are meant to denote the actual fight, starting more chaotic and experimental, but pulling into more refined and precise flurries. The harmonic string-bends should denote screams caused by wounds, until the final high-Dm chord - the coup d'etat, finishing with one man silently walking away. Which one? Damned if I've decided! I'll leave that to the listener.

And I find it unrealistic to think that ANYONE doesn't know Tim's Mom, hahahaha!!!

And Ceevro comes on the scene with the second fastest NGADM debut in 2015! Man, this is a seriously tight track, especially on the instrumental side. All the guitar sections sound stupendous, from the main descending bass line to the electric licks...simply epic. Seriously, I cannot stress just how impressive this jam is, and it's mostly due to your jamming. The percussion is the same story, and I have really been digging the organic mediums that you've been incorporating. An old leather jacket? I love it!

And now you're probably expecting me to tear apart your lyrics or some such thing. Well--surprise! I'm not going to. Do I have a little more feedback for you? But of course! That's what friends are for. The lyrics themselves are really quite well written, so song writing just seems to be one of your natural talents, methinks. Not that it's ever easy, mind. That being said, they could definitely benefit from a bit more tweaking on the EQ side. So while the lyrics themselves sound really good, they just don't fold into the music as smoothly as they could. I'm actually thinking that a little high pass filter would have sounded appropriate on top of the leveling EQ, but hey...that's just one dude's opinion.

Of course the fact that you laid this entire track down in a single post-work day is ridiculously impressive. You speedsters are all a bunch of overachievers! And I certainly don't dislike that.

Ceevro responds:

Hehe. I wish I was a vocalist, but I'm a rank-amateur on the singing side. The singalongs gave me a little bit of an idea of how to make my vocals sound a bit better, but I KNOW that I've still got a lot of work to do. Surprisingly, I have much less of an issue singing live than I do recorded...probably due to my lack of knowledge of vocal mixing - I do what I can with what I got!

As to the organic percussion; It's just like I was telling everyone in the singalongs! Need a sound? Grab the nearest thing and hit it, and really listen to the sound it makes. You'll find a place for it in the jam. I recorded this in a walk-in closet (best acoustic room in my house) and I had an old jacket hanging up. I'm sure you can almost visualize my shrug just before I grabbed it.

I'll have to try the high-pass filter thing. You're the second person to recommend it.

The purity of your classical guitar couple with the organic percussion are pure bliss.
The vocals seem forced an affected, which at times makes them quite pitchy. I would also recommend some EQ work on them, making a cut somewhere around... 900Hz? And a high end shelf for some floating clarity, allowing you to boost the level on the guitar a bit without sacrificing vocal presence.
The electric guitar had mostly great tunes, adding a bluesy flair to the soothing background. But the timing sometimes gave off the impression of improvisation, and the riff at 2:14 seemed to disregard the key entirely.

All in all, excellent stuff here. A great listen, honestly. I have to nitpick because it's a good track. :)

Good luck, Ceevro! I'm glad I got to listen to your track so early. I have a feeling you just might snatch our round.

Ceevro responds:

Well...given the time-constraints, is it any surprise that I had to improvise the solos? And...uh...well...everything? I literally wasn't able to touch a guitar until this afternoon, so all I had was a rough idea, and it actually turned out a good bit different than the idea. If I've learned anything, it's that forcing my ideas into a song that doesn't want them always results in disaster.

But I am very glad you enjoyed the tune, and thanks for the mixing tips. Sadly, I won't get to use them this round!

Credits & Info

Ceevro
Author

Listens
1,008
Faves:
5
Downloads
18
Votes
14
Score
3.57 / 5.00

Uploaded
Aug 7, 2015
12:40 AM EDT
Genre
Classic Rock
File Info
Song
7.7 MB
3 min 22 sec

Licensing Terms

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