This is an NGADM Round 3 Review.
You're getting some pretty high praise from the reviews. Guitar lord of the Audio Portal, Newgrounds' king of metal... and while these are pretty big things to be throwing out, there really is a lot of truth behind them. You are freaking excellent at what you do, and while calling you the best metal musician on NG would discredit all the other awesome metalheads I know of on here, I do consider you one of the absolute best.
There's a lot of fun stuff in this track, from the changes in time signature that are pleasantly complex to listen to, to the excellent melodic work in sections like 1:30, 2:10, and 3:29, to the usual superhuman fast-paced guitar solos, to the part at 3:01 which I keep listening back to because of how damn well you pulled that off. As always, your production is immaculate (maybe work on the stuff MetalRenard mentioned but I wouldn't be able to give advice on that because my ear sucks lol), and the guitar playing is at the same sky-high standard you've presented us with for so long now.
If I had to mention any complaints, most of them would be echoes of what the previous judges have said. I agree that the synth felt out of place and that this song gets tiring and in need of a break somewhere (but I felt like I should attribute that latter complaint to me being accustomed to more dynamic genres of music). It's times like this that I wish I didn't take so long to write my reviews, so that what I write will actually be original haha.
Having said all that, my main complaint, which is what lost the most points for me, is that I feel like this has less direction from your previous tracks. It starts off with an almost apocalyptic mood, with use of the harmonic minor and an overall tense atmosphere. All of a sudden it switches to a more upbeat, "head-banging" mood before a minute has even passed, and then at 1:30 it jumps to a more rhythmic and slow pace. While I adore the variety, it felt like I was exploring a collection of different song ideas, rather than one cohesive and varied experience, which is what you were ostensibly going for. I asked myself "what is he getting at?" while listening to this track, and when that previous melody was reintroduced again at 3:16, instead of feeling like the whole track is coming together, it simply felt like you looped through your list of ideas and went back to your first one, if you get what I mean. This is essentially a structural issue, that can be fixed with a more thoughtful balance of different sections and a more progressive and sensible flow between them.
And those are my two cents. Let me just say that while this doesn't provide the singular, cohesive listening experience I was hoping for, each individual section was truly brilliant. Thanks for taking part in the competition, and I hope that, if there is a next year, we'll see you again!