Dragon Slayer

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"Dragon Slayer" - submission composed for the N G U A C 2018 Final Round.

I can say that the making of this song was a fun ride to "Adventure Land". Compositionally speaking I reflected to the basics of what was my style like ten years ago, when I was free-spirited and more instinctive. In that regard, it's interesting to mention that I've been a member of the Newgrounds community for a decade now, since 2008. So, cheers to that and this competition! :D

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Killing it, bro.
Happy 10 years.
I remember when you hit the scene... good times, for sure.
Here's to 10 more!

350teric responds:

Thank you bro, I appreciate it a lot! :D

Epic! Great mix, really great guitar playing. Extra points for the use of live instruments.
I could have used more melodic activity in the slower sections. I also don't think you needed the tag at the end. It was fun, but structurally didn't really seem to pay off since it was a completely different direction from everything that preceded it, then ended before it was able to develop.
The cut to the guitar bit at 0:40 was a bit abrupt. I could have used some more finesse in that transition.

350teric responds:

Thanks man! :)

I like the spacey pads at the beginning. The progression is a tad slow, but I like the bright mood and reverb. The transition at :38 could’ve been a bit more gradual, but I appreciate the thick texture and victorious-sounding melodies there. The part at :58 was great for some structure variety, although (again) I would’ve liked to hear a less abrupt transition. At 1:38, I think the harmonic progression makes that transition a bit jarring. My ear was expecting you to resolve a half-step up like at 1:18, but instead you stayed on that F# for the downbeat. I could go on to critique other transitions, but I won’t. One thing I really like about the piece is that the production is super clean. There’s a lot of reverb in the texture, but it serves to fill out the texture during moments of minimalism. When the texture is thicker at the refrains, the drums are crisp and the instruments are well-balanced. The solo at 2:36 is when the piece really starts coming together in my mind, having finally broken away from the A-B-A-B cycle set up in the first half of the piece. The tempo change at 3:18 actually comes off rather well. The change in the rhythmic emphasis between the drums and melodies actually made it sound like a meter change too. I like how you brought the piece back full-circle towards the end with the main melody and rich vocal pads, but I think the tempo change at 3:58 could’ve been executed a tad more smoothly. The re-imagining of the theme at 4:40 was fun, and doesn’t really detract from the piece as a whole. Overall, excellent work with the melodic content, mixing and mastering, and overarching structural qualities. You might want to think more carefully about the transitions, harmonic progression at times, and textural fill. Overall, though, my complaints are minimal here. Keep up the good work, 350teric! ^_^

Mixing, mastering, and balance
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
Instrumentation and sound design
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
Originality and uniqueness
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
Composite score

350teric responds:

Thank you man! You're on point with the review on all parts. In contrast to my composition from the knock-out round (where all of the comments were like - "great stuff but I was expecting that"), I tried to be a bit more surprising with structure of the song and the sudden rhythm changes and ruff transitions, but one can never make people happy. The main thing is I had tons of fun with this song in particular (with that "epic" metal stuff) and the contest as well! :)

Interesting, spacious piece. I'm having a bit of a time judging due to hardware issues on my end.

Mix is a bit reverb heavy for my tastes. That wet has a messy tail on it. Tone it down a bit.

2:21, that hi-hat splashing could probably do with being shut a bit tighter.

Compositionally, I enjoy your lead writing. 3:18 chugging section was a bit abrupt for my taste, and I would like to hear a bit more of your leads. Mix wise, they were occasionally a bit washed out.

Your drums, with the exception of the toms, sound pretty flat. Kick is a bit flabby -- tuip-tuip-y. Snare also leaves room for improvement. I want to hear more of that top head ringing. Never be afraid to apply tape saturation/EQ/etc. to fatten up a snare. A nice 80's-ish snare sample might have even done the job if you blended it with the current sample.

Panning was pretty natural to my ears.

Cymbals were hiding in the mix. I'd take them up just a bit.

I also didn't like how disjointed 4:41 sounded from the rest of the track as a whole. It would have made a better bridge than an outro.

Overall, pretty good power metal, a couple hiccups in structure, tension, and release. Melody is fairly catchy, but it's missing that little something to give it some wow to go with the weird. As is, still jammin' though. Nice work!

Thanks for coming out to NGUAC!

350teric responds:

Well, thanks for the review and the high grade of 4. While reading your suggestions and personal preferences in this review I got an impression that I would score something like a 2 or below. Regarding the mix, I'm always aiming for a natural sounding blend, avoiding compression and clipping, which too often is present in 90% of modern music and contributes to the "loudness war" of mixes. (Conventional) Song structure is present, but should be perceived through the prism of progressive metal style. Thanks again! :)


350teric responds:


Credits & Info


3.74 / 5.00

Aug 17, 2018
6:45 AM EDT
Heavy Metal
File Info
11.6 MB
5 min 4 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.