=== This is an NGADM Round 2 Review ===
So when the scores for this track came out, I felt kind of bad, because I was the only outlier giving you a low score, when everyone else really seemed to love this piece. So I feel like I should do a good job justifying exactly what I think about this piece, because I don't want to be that kind of jerk. Well, I guess I'll still be a jerk, but at least you'll hopefully feel that my jerk-ness has some sort of justification.
This piece is pretty DANG good. Like everyone else has been saying, the production value is immaculate. It's orchestral with just a slight tinge of electronic to it - kind of reminded me of JacobCadmus' and SoundChris' song from Round 1, actually. The instruments sound awesome. The percussion is detailed as heck, and it fits perfectly in with the rest of the track. The mixing is darn near perfect as well, though there isn't any real bass to speak of, so you got off easy there. (Not that that's a bad thing. It's totally fine to have a track without much bass content if it works well with the mood, and I think that it works *very* well with the mood here.) You also have a great knack for introducing new instruments. This song is composed of a couple of different sections which fit together very naturally.
The thing is, this piece would work darn near perfectly as a background track for a video game. I think someone mentioned that this is great title screen music, and I'd say that's exactly what I could see from it - the title track of some sort of epic, mournful war game.
So why was I such an outlier? Let me see if I can explain.
I've mentioned this before, but the way that I score tracks is as standalone pieces of music. Particularly what this means is that songs that get higher scores from me are songs that I want to keep listening to. Songs that really jump out, that do something new or interesting. This usually boils down to mean that I like songs that are arranged in a compelling way and have strong melodies or beats, but none of that stuff is a requirement. The only requirement is a song that I want to listen to again.
There's nothing wrong with writing a really good opening menu track for a game and nailing the production, but it's also not really a track that I would be especially compelled by, or really have a strong desire to listen to over and over again. And it's hard for me to fault you for that, since it's not an opening menu track should make you want to keep coming back for it - but again, it doesn't really stand out in my mind either.
The arrangement for this track, for instance, is not particularly compelling. The energy stays at the same level for the entire track. Again, fine for a menu track, but it doesn't really make the song compelling to listen to. The melodic content is also not super compelling. Again, it's not offensive - it works very well to establish your mood, honestly, and I can tell just by listening to your melodies that you have a lot of compositional talent, because the details are . But it isn't doing anything that catches my interest, either.
So in the end I'm left with a song that ticks all the production boxes, but does not grab my attention. I hope that this review isn't too negative. I think that you are doing a LOT of things right here, and if you were to push your skills and work a bit harder on the arrangement and composition, then I think you would do fantastic.