Aw, yeah! There's a lot of epic stuff going on in these two and a half minutes. You've made a really varied and dynamic track here, Lucid. One that truly fits the description of "Cinematic." It's no surprise that you ended up taking second place overall in the NGMT, and it's a real pleasure to be able to hear those tracks now that the contest has come to an end. Very well done!
The beginning really took me by surprise, mostly because it was a sound I hadn't really heard from you before, but also because I hadn't taken the time to read your description yet. Very appropriately dystopian with a cool Steampunk vibe. The backstory you've created here is like a new take on an age-old struggle, the classic story of questing for a better way of life, a world that isn't so corrupted with pollutants that the very sky above is obscured by black clouds and filth.
Hey, I kind of like that totally cheesy level of optimism! It always makes for the best stories. That one person or group of people who hold tightly to a slim thread of idealism and keep hoping for a brighter future when it would be so much simpler to just accept the way things are. Choosing to fight rather than languish in despair.
You know, those moments of almost silence around the one and a half minute mark are very meaningful, and even though it's a release of tension, you can just tell that something big is coming. Enter the low, soulful brass, followed by a rich harmony of strings, rising higher and higher toward that powerful crescendo. A feeling of success and triumph at the end of a long and arduous journey. To finally see those shining stars.
In fact, here are five well-earned stars for you.