=== This is an NGADM Round 2 Review ===
I'm about to say a thing. Please humor me and laugh. This is very important to me.
"The idea of the song is wandering from a tranquil area into a cave that gets progressively deeper, danker, and more dangerous"
I AGREE. THIS SONG GETS *EXTREMELY* DANK TOWARDS THE SECOND HALF.
Haha, get it? Thanks, I'll be here all wee- mont- until whenever NGADM is over. ima slave. ;_;
Alright, on to the review.
Whenever I see a song that's 7 minutes long, I instantly freeze up with fear. Not because I hate listening to long songs or anything! (Some of my favorite songs are long!) It's just that, on the portal, long songs almost inevitably are arranged poorly - they generally repeat the same ideas far too often, or alternatively arranged in a haphazard way that makes no sense to anyone but the author.
So I am happy to report that you NAILED the arrangement! This piece progresses like a professional track. The first half is this gradual move from acoustic to heavy thrashing, but it manages to stay compelling and interesting the whole way through. Like I said, this is super rare, so good job. You do an excellent job of combining together a bunch of sections with different energy levels in a way that is so cohesive I don't even notice it happening unless I pay super close attention, simply because it all fits together so naturally and so well. This right here is a big reason why I ended up scoring your track so highly.
Let me point out a few specific moments that I really enjoyed from that first half:
The sweet sweet bass at 2:15. Have you ever heard of Porcupine Tree? This sort of bass work (and just the whole progressive feel of your track) gives me a feeling you would like this band. I was actually kind of sad that I didn't hear more bass work along these lines.
Ooh, yes, the playing at 2:37. Changing into this new timbre is super satisfying. And then the drum work, which is fantastic, by the way. EXCEPT. That AWFUL snare noise. I'm sorry, but even from the beginning of the track, the snare just stood out to me like a sore thumb. A crisper snare would make a big difference. It's kind of a shame, honestly, because your drum work is otherwise lovely.
3:56, when the song suddenly changes into a completely different beast. And yet it all feels completely natural thanks to the wonderful arrangement. YES! This is how you properly arrange a song.
Now, here's my main criticism. It seems to me like once we get into the heavier riffing section of this song, that the song begins to get a little too repetitive - we stay on that one riff with only a few minor variations essentially until the song ends. And the truth is that I'm not convinced that that riff is *that* good to play out for a good 3 minutes. Which isn't to say it's a bad or offensive riff, but I really do want some more variation towards the end of the song. There is one great solo in there, and that helps a lot, but overall, yeah, I wanted some more variation.
So, overall? You did a *really* good job here. This song flows in a way that I very rarely hear, and that's definitely impressive. I'd like to have heard melodies that were a bit stronger, admittedly, and the song is just a *tad* repetitive towards the end, but this is still one heck of a song. Keep it up.
This is a NGADM Round 1 Review.
- What an introduction! So warm and calming.
- Great use of both the acoustic and electric guitars.
- Loved the outdoors sounds and effects.
- Nice composition, nice atmosphere.
This, in my opinion, is your best track. I love tracks that have a solid atmosphere. This track definitely has that quality about it, an immersive feeling, if you will. The instruments work tremendously together; the bass and drums reflect the mood, the guitar soothes the ears, and everything just flows. On top of that, you have implemented the sounds of a calm night. Nicely done! At 2:46, I was pleasantly surprised by those whistling sounds -- they really help keep things going in terms of the mood and story. To be honest, I preferred the first half of the track. However, the grittier, metal stuff, sounds clean and is well implemented!
What to consider:
- Vocals sit in the mix a little oddly.
- The vocals were a great addition, but they also seemed out of place.
- The snare is a tad dry, especially during the beginning.
My biggest gripe were the vocals, and the more I listen the more they grow on me. There's just something about it that I feel doesn't quite fit with the mood and atmosphere with the song. It seems that they are sitting in an odd space in the mix. It would have been cool if they were dipped in a little more reverb and bounced around the stereo image to accentuate the idea of being in (or just entering) a cave. Also, the drums at times seemed a little dry. Nothing too serious, but it often break the immersion.
Really wicked job, keep at it! :D
This is an NGADM 2015 review.
Dude, I really like this song. It's so long and interesting and dynamic. I really enjoy it when artists try to take their listeners on a journey because it's such an interesting creative experience to enjoy and analyze.
I have to give you props and many points for your atmosphere and intricacies. This song is supremely engaging for its length and these two things contribute a lot.
Your composition is pretty good - the fact that it's slow and drawn out quite well reflects your intentions with the piece and I definitely enjoyed it for that. Nothing particularly stood out or was incredibly memorable, but the song itself certainly was, you know? It's quite compositionally dynamic too, but that's to be expected :)
Despite the fact that I'd describe this song as existing fairly deep into the "artsy" zone (nothing wrong with that of course), I'm going to talk a fair bit about production. I'm assuming that you recorded most or all of the elements in this song yourself, which is awesome, and they generally sound pretty good - some things sound as though they're a little out of time though (mostly the cymbals, but honestly most of the percussion sounds quite out to me around 02:50, for example), and through most of the song I feel that your snare sticks out a bit much - though it's probably fine later on in the 4 minutes section, most notably. It's just that early on I feel it detracts from the atmospheric aspects of the song, especially with how "boomy" it is when it's lowpassed. The low-mids of the percussion in general really overpower me a bit here and I feel like it would be a lot nicer without the percussion at all toward the beginning, but oh well. Nitpicks :P
Solid track dude. Enjoyed it a lot and it's one of the ones I remember the most.
What you did well:
Well that's definitely the right amount of warmth for the feel of the song, mellow and full. The composition kept me interested throughout and I genuinely enjoyed the journey it took me on. I think it's a step-up from the previous track and I'm interested in what you come up with next after hearing this (and your previous NGADM track).
Where this could improve:
I would have liked more clarity at times (maybe less reverb?). I think the snare could have had more high end throughout.
The electric guitar still needs more grit in the way its mixed. If you're going for "high production" guitars, they have to be great or just don't do it at all. The alternative if you can't do high gain, super production is to do the opposite - make it purposefully lo-fi. Cut out a huge % of the gain and pan the guitar to one side (while balancing it against something else on the other side). This would allow it to keep in tone with the rest of the song's feel, too.
8.25 - With better production it would easily be 9+
Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.