You really know how to set the mood and introduce us to your music. Your structure and writing skills are impeccable. It also doesn't hurt that you have a distinct voice... man your melody at 1:40 is so good. After having attempt writing a song, I have that much more appreciation for songwriting. To write something memorable without it losing its simplicity in melodic voicings is quite the challenge. This flows very well and I think that's key in judging for this year's NGADM
the harmonies sound gorgeous and the steadily growing calmly atmo is quite lovely
some words seem sliiiiiiiiiiiiiightly out of tune for me (like 'down' in 'Lay down your sword') but they're very very few
loved how it all sounds when the third voice joins in again at 5:23 with the new instruments. the entire piece carries a strong sense of coherence too which positively adds to its peaceful mood
Do I hear.. foley sounds and birds? Hmmm... Suddenly plunged into artsy little plucks, nicely panned. Pensive piano. Everything seems to be in about the right place. I think I hear some tapped drums. Singing is surprisingly organic. Reminds me of Final Fantasy in a way, some of the tracks from FFXIII-2. I really like your presentation and the deceptively simple arrangement. Cello line was fantastic, despite minimalism.
Chorus section is quite beautiful and well-mixed. This is going in my favorites. I don't think I have much critique to offer you.
I especially like your 7th chords. Unsure if I hear a 9th chord. Also, not picking up a Celtic vibe. Am picking up a native American vibe. I admire your subtleties through this track. Keep those close at heart.
I can actually kind of see what AlexFalcon is saying when he calls this Celtic. While the music itself isn't intrinsically Celtic in nature, it does indeed exist within the spirit of the track, especially in all those lovely grace notes that speak of Emerald Isles and majestic highlands.
Those first few seconds of the song actually seem to be completely devoid of sound, but when I crank my volume WAY up, I can finally hear the very first bird calls. I might personally have preferred if you had started with the second set that are a bit more audible, but that's nothing more than a personal observance and nitpick. I would really hate for anyone lacking in patience to click away without experiencing your track to its fullest, but then I suppose it wouldn't be much of a loss.
Okay, so honestly--where do I start? I haven't given out a perfect 10 yet in this competition, but yours is one of several that comes oh so close. Let's just jump right to the end, shall we? It ends a bit like it all begins, with some lovely running water that almost makes me feel as though I'm about to get my feet wet. Suffice to say, your ambient elements exist very realistically within the mix, and are quite appropriate within the ebb and flow of the piece.
As for the instrumentals, they begin with such a delicate layer of piano, and oh! There are some of those beautiful grace notes already. The percussion used here also lends itself well to the mix, and while it's softer than most drums I've heard of late, I cannot really imagine anything else working as well. Then there's that soulful low flute incorporated into the mix here and there, and I simply love how the vibrato sounds on that, not to mention how perfectly it comes in at just the right time. The track itself could be overrun with very high frequencies considering the instruments used, but you've made excellent use of the full range of sound, and the lows and mid-ranges come across just as wistfully and ephemeral as all the rest.
Moving on to your written lyrics and vocalization, once again--what can I say that I haven't already? Such beautifully rich harmonies, and they are mixed incredibly well. You have truly come a long way with your vocal mixing, Jordi. Your singing matches the tone of the lyrics so perfectly that it almost brings a tear to my eye. Those side-yodeled notes sound right on target the lion's share of the time, although things do still get a little bit dicey on the lower end at times.
Suffice to say, for not having a lot of time to really work on this due to a sudden increase in busy-ness, you really knocked it out of the proverbial ballpark. My biggest complaint is that you had to go and boot the team of Lucid and SnowTed from the competition, but hey--it IS a Deathmatch, after all.
Keep on doing what you're doing, Jordi! You'll be up against JacobCadmus in the Round of 32, and now that he's added vocals to his already quite solid repertoire, it's going to be quite the anticipated battle. Be sure to bring your A game to the arena. Excelsior!
9.55 out of 10
The nature FX at the beginning was pretty quiet, and I think the (electric piano?) at :20 has a bit too much attack. The tranquil mood and atmosphere were great, though. The vocals were amazing, of course. Very smooth and reassuring - they fit the mood well. The thematic elements of the piece are really enjoyable, too - avoiding conflict in a deathmatch, while getting samples from your opponents. :) The minimalism adds to the emotional quality of the piece, yet by around the 2-minute mark I was itching for a little more textural fill. The lyrics themselves are quite strong, though, and I love the melodic content in the piece. I think the part at 4:20 is my favorite (no marijuana reference intended). The vocal riffs there were just really calming and flowy. I did think that there were a couple of transitions that might’ve needed a little smoothing over in the piece, such as 4:45. The sense of climax, however subtle, the piece has at 4:45 is great, though. I think you could’ve done more to add some more emotional heights and energy to the piece at times, especially since it’s so long, but overall this is stunning work. Great job with the atmosphere, mood, and instrumentation. I couldn’t help but admire the production quality as well. Keep it up, Etherealwinds! ;)
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