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Moar shred. I was really in the zone for this, some of my best playing to date, hence the title 'Zen'.

EDIT: Remastered, but it's bass heavy. I haven't got the time to go back and re-mix all the bass tones in with my new bass sounds so just fucking have it. :)

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Amazing, a little loud though, and you couldn't here the drum much

This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.


- Awesome guitar playing.
- Excellent melodic content.
- Great mix!
- Made me move!

I feel like it has become a cop-out to say that your guitar playing is fantastic...but hey, it IS! You are right in saying that this is some of your best playing to date. The melodies here are all-in, relentless, and darn catchy, too! The mix is great, though I will point out (just like everyone else it seems) something about the drums below. I can't seem to find the words to describe how energetic this track is. Just an awesome job!

What to consider:
- No real break of relief at all.
- The drums and bass seem 'deadened' during the solos.

I felt as if after listening to the track for almost 5 minutes, there should have been some from of a break, some silence, something to give the ears a short rest, even just for a moment. Some time to pause and take it in would have been awesome and would have worked wonders! Otherwise, a pretty small nitpick on my part, but it seemed that during your solos, the drums became drowned out. The same could be said about the bass (prior to your edit). Not a huge issue, all the same.

Keep on rockin', dude! :)

Score: 8.9/10

This is an NGADM 2015 review.

Really enjoying the slightly bandpassed intro and composition in this song in general. As others have mentioned, your solos are godlike. There's just about nothing I can fault this song on composition-wise, I enjoyed just about all of it and this isn't even really my kind of music, so kudos on that! You kept a nice level of consistency with repeated parts, and I never found myself becoming too familiar or getting bored.

Because I'm a critical bastard, I'm going to mostly talk about the mix as it's where I think your track's weaknesses lie. The mixing is overall pretty alright, though your percussion is almost definitely a bit low, especially in comparison to your lead which is absolutely screaming. Using a spectrum analyzer I can see that while the lead is playing the mid-highs are quite loud - it's a very sensitive part of the spectrum to human ears. This becomes more of a problem when the lead is playing along with the rest of the guitars in the choruses, and you end up with this layer of saturation/distortion around where the lead sits (1k-6k.) I'm guessing that this is because of the harmonics in the other guitars + how loud/high the lead is. (To clarify, it's most noticeable from 00:55 to 01:23, 01:41 to 02:30, and 03:40 to 04:30.) It makes listening at regular volume a bit difficult for me, whereas the rest of the song (the parts not listed in my previous bracketed statement) are fine despite not being quieter (RMS-wise), which is why I've talked about this issue so much. It's mostly an EQ/level problem, really. You're also rolling your highs off to a pretty large extent, though the song doesn't sound any worse for it, actually.

Despite some critical words, I think this song is pretty awesome, especially composition wise. Keep at it, man.

*\_-=/NGADM Review\=-_/*

The Great:
Such a huge sound and excellent spacing, everything has its own place in EQ and in depth (reverb etc). Lead guitar melody was exquisite composed with multiple layers and harmonies, phenominal phrasing (as always) and melodic even when technical.
Areas for Improvement:
Snare was a bit weak, would have liked more punch or maybe for it to cut more (high frequency excitation/distortion) from it.
I wanted the lead guitar to be wider! This would have helped sell the melodies of the lead guitar even more.

Welp. Nailed it again, you monster. Seriously, stahhhhp, no fair for the others. :P

This is an NGADM Round 2 Review


Damn, man. I think this has to be my favourite track from you. You certainly have me in awe right now. Those solos are no less than superhuman, especially starting at around 1:40. The melodies are also fantastic and memorable. I very much appreciated those subtle things like 1:26's solo starting similar to your main melody but then delving into new territory. Ultimately, what gave you an edge over your opponent (and over a lot of other contestants this round) was that this possesses a lot of wow factor. The guitar playing is just so damn good and there are wonderfully climactic tension releases like 3:40 that altogether make this track insanely impressive.

I have two main complaints. First is a small mixing issue. The drums get kinda drowned out during the more busy sections. Other than that, this is a phenomenal mix with a lot of clarity and some really neat use of reverb. The other complaint is that ending. You're doing a disservice to the huge and impressive nature of your track by ending it on a low note like that. Similar to what I said to bassfiddlejones, I would've certainly gone for a more bombastic ending.

I have nothing but nitpicks for this killer track. You've impressed the hell out of me. One of my favourites of the whole contest thus far for sure. Wonderful work!


SCORE: 9.7/10

PirateCrab responds:

12 years of guitar playing is paying off then ha!

Yep, drum mix was fixed with my most recent 'Past, Meet Present' mix (You might have to clear cache as it's reuploaded as of today) but everything's much more powerful now so thanks for pointing that out.

I'll have another look at the ending. Haven't got a clue how to end it other than that though!

Thanks for all the compliments and criticism! :)

Credits & Info


4.47 / 5.00

Sep 1, 2015
7:10 PM EDT
Heavy Metal
File Info
10.8 MB
4 min 43 sec

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