This is an Official NGUAC '18 Knockout Round Review:
Beginning Comments: I get the feeling of a rock ballad song. It was pretty open and had a hopeful feel to it. Not something I would have expected for a Newgrounds contest so it was refreshing.
Production / Mixing: For the most part I think it was good. The beginning was pretty good, I think the drums were a little too quiet for the mix, but the only part I would want to complain is that the synths that came in at 2:14 seemed to have a bit too much reverb I felt. Or at least combined with the guitar which I get the feeling also had some reverb, compounded a little with itself and made the overall mix feel crowded. Aside from that, the production was pretty decent.
Composition / Structure: The intro chords were captivating, and had a good impression for the style you were going for. After that it I could start to get a good feel for the ballad you were going for. It reminded me a little bit of top gun in a way. It wasn't "Danger Zone" but would I would have imagined replacing "Take my Breath Away" if I were to change it (lulz). Anyway, the composition doesn't have much going for it. A little slow which made it easier to put in the background and concentrate on something else. The progression of the structure wasn't bad, I liked the continuous rising throughout the whole song and it climaxed at a nice crescendo. I think it may have developed a little too slowly, but I do like how you've managed the energy through it for the most part. I didn't realize at first but the pads are a nice touch. They're subtle but add some good fullness to the song.
Sound Design: The beginning guitars sounded great. Almost live recording. The percussion when it came in I wasn't as impressed but I wasn't distracted by them once the song built some more energy. I wasn't sure about the synths that you brought in, but I feel like there was a lot of reverb to slightly mask what they were. Again, the guitars sounded great.
Ending Comments: Not bad. A bold choice to make a song of this style I think for a NGUAC entry, but decently executed.
Production - 0.5
Composition - 0.5
Structure - 1
Sound Design - 1
Replay - 0.5
Total - 7
*Disclaimer - to make judging consistent with other judges, individual category scores are multiplied by 2 to make a total possible 10 points.