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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:47 pm 
 

The submission period of the first Metal Archives songwriting challenge has drawn to a close, and the results will now be posted for the enjoyment of the forum. I liked a lot of the submissions from this challenge, and YES, there will be more iterations of it in the future, though I do not currently have a schedule in mind (if anyone else would like to run one, I would be happy to take part). I'm glad to see that the musicians of the forum were willing to stretch themselves, even while writing music very dissimilar to their usual tastes.

First things first: the following challengers FAILED to submit their recordings in time for consideration in the challenge! If any of them still want to finish their works and submit them, they'll be posted, but they will not be eligible for the OMG AMAZING CD PACK! Until the following people have paid their dues via a completed track, they are PUNK BITCHES who will be properly ostracized by the posting community!

FAILURES:

Krafty
Bezerko
blood8815
caspian
Prominence
crusthead

At least a couple of these guys are working on their tracks, but until then, they are BITCHES deserving of scorn!

__________________________________________

With that out of the way, let's take a look at what happened!

mattp - Hi Matt! I really like your music, so I'm here to ruin your day! You get to make the world's first symphonic slam song! Your track will be heavily influenced by 'Demigod'-era Behemoth and extremely guttural slam ala Waking The Cadaver or Digested Flesh. The symphonic element must be pronounced (I highly recommend choir effects). See if you can take the most thuggish style of metal and turn it into an amazing experience! By the way, the lyrics will detail an Aztec-style ritual involving you raping and murdering your last ex-girlfriend to sacrifice to the sun god. Happy slamming!

Link to track: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_so ... ID=7814877

Matt is an accomplished songwriter with his solo project Alas, Tyranny, and this track would actually fit quite well into one of his CDs. The track is exciting, excellently written, and well produced. The actual songwriting trends a bit more towards deathcore than slam proper, but the -core influences are fused flawlessly with the core of Behemoth-style epic death metal. Vocals are a little bit strained-sounding at times, but overall I'm quite happy with how this turned out. This will convert deathcore haters! An excellent submissions.



PedigreeButchery - I don't know anything about you, but how about you try something in the vein of Suffocation's 'Pierced From Within', but with just a hint of Winter-style doom to it. Hell, take 'Thrones Of Blood' and cut it into half time if you like! Have fun contrasting some more convoluted power chord passages with more epic sections for a good time!

Link to track: http://www.yousendit.com/download/cmcwT ... bEIzZUE9PQ

This track is actually a lot of fun! The main riffs are pretty cool and definitely similar to Suffocation, as is the solo, but the doom break is straight out of some goddamn Jimi Hendrix version of hell. Not a big fan of the vocals, could use something more percussive, but the song itself is definitely instrumentally focused. Quite nice, this one.



invoked - Let's try something odd for you: I want something in the vein of Celtic Frost's 'Monotheist' album, but one of the more uptempo tracks such as 'Progeny'. Make it as simple or complex as you want, but I want you to keep the archaic and dismal atmosphere as intact as possible. You get bonus points for the insertion or arbitrary grunts and "Hey"s.

Link to track: http://soundclick.com/share?songid=7833377

I actually considered this one of the more difficult challenges I made up, and I was surprised by how well it turned out. I was very surprised by how similar to Monotheist invoked managed to make this track. It DOES feature an 'UGH!' and the Procreation riff at the end is a great touch. The drum machine is a little irritating in places and the voice could be better, but overall, the attention to detail on this track as far as guitar tone, songwriting, and overall atmosphere go is pretty staggering.



Traver - Since you suck at things, I want you to make a slow, depressive black metal song with a prominently featured bass including a solo. Something like Make A Change... Kill Yourself, perhaps? I don't know, you figure it out! You're an artist! Also bonus points if the tin whistle is incorporated, even if really poked at in post-production.

Link to track: http://www.2shared.com/file/6648388/6a1 ... inder.html

Very good one here. I couldn't hear the tin whistle, but he says it's definitely there so I'll take his word. Anyway, the prominent bass is amazingly well executed and changes what would be a fairly typical depressive black song into something very unique. I would have liked the drums brought out a hint more. It has a surprisingly powerful atmosphere, and a strangely subtle one also: I'm going to keep this track and listen to it on a very cold January day, sitting in my windowsill, watching it rain on an incredibly overcast day while nursing a bottle of cheap gin. Wonderful stuff. It's party music for the worst party in the world, where no one's looking at each other and everyone's lost in thought.



alexaons - Listen to Mortician's 'House By The Cemetery'. You hear what they're doing there? Do that. Bonus points for no tremolo picking at all, just massive grooves. I know nothing about you so it's hard to think something up!

Link to track: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=6010 ... f6e8ebb871

Pretty good; the lack of vocals harms it a bit, but I do like the overall track. The main problem is that it doesn't really sound like Mortician: it sounds pretty significantly like a somewhat simplified Insidious Decrepancy, actually, and is obviously the product of someone way too skilled for Mortician trying to make a Mortician song. Still, I like the lurching rhythm changes and the riffs are actually pretty sick.



death_headj - Let's stretch out those clean vocals with a traditional doom song in the vein of St. Vitus. Keep it slow and low, and the word 'tombstone' must be used at least once in the lyrics. If you want something trickier, add a hint of folk ala unknown band Kin Of Ettins. I'm interested to hear this one!

Link to track: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?emkamthne4i

There's an interesting track buried somewhere here, and I would love to check it out when I could get past the completely unintelligible production! There's some murky thumping which I think are drums, scattered riffs and vocals which all seem sort of randomly timed. Rerecord this in a way that actually makes sense!



AppleQueso - Make a barely-metal power metal song in the vein of Axenstar! Take where guitars and keyboards are normally positioned and reverse them: guitars mostly harmonize with the keyboard, which is essentially the leading instrument. Doesn't have to be anything complex, and I'm sure you'll come up with something listenable. Dragons must be featured in the lyrics, and they have to be written completely seriously!

Link to track: http://www.mediafire.com/?ttutymnznoz

Hahaha, this is absurdly catchy for what it is. Doesn't sound overwhelmingly like Axenstar, but AppleQueso got the general idea of what I was going for with this one. It's silly and fun with a good central melody that makes me think of a shitty Dragonlance book. Reminds me of Path Of Debris a little bit, which is ALWAYS a good thing! I enjoyed this number a lot despite its simplicity.



FirebathDan - Let's see if you can make something ala Skepticism's 'Lead And Aether'. I want murky and dark funeral doom, but I want the main feature of the music to be a classically influenced and generally non-repeating lead guitar line that pops up during instrumental passages and departs during vocals. Bonus points for subtle and relevant sample usage (no speeches, just field recordings).

Link to track: http://www.4shared.com/file/117468280/d ... ition.html

This is also quite a nice one. It's a bit drawn out and still; I think the main verses between the lead sections feature bass without guitar accompaniment, and I'm pretty sure that with some more active drumming and riffing during those sections, interest could have been maintained a bit more. As it stands, I like the absurdly morbid and desolate lyrics (from what I can decipher), the construction of the lead guitar, and the overall mood of the song. This actually reminds me a LOT of Belarusian funeral doom band Reido; not what I expected, but an interesting surprise. Also the solo sounds more like a super slowed down alternarock lead rather than neoclassical but is actually all the better for it!

_______________________________

THE RESULTS:

I have to say, this is a tough one. It ended up being a tossup between the songs submitted by mattp, invoked, Traver, and FirebathDan, all of which were all remarkable and stirring in different ways. In the end, though, I had to pick...

TRAVER'S 'Når Alt Forsvinder'!

Mattp's composition was incredibly professional and precisely played, invoked's took a very specific idea and made a great song with it, and FirebathDan made something quite gripping out of very simple elements, but in the end, Traver's murky guitar wall drift, incisive bass solo, and gloomy, resigned atmosphere just grabbed me the most. All the compositions featured are worth listening to, and I highly encourage everyone to give each track a try and share your thoughts. Thanks to all the people who submitted tracks; I hope it's made you interested in trying out some new things. Traver, contact me via PM with your address and I'll get your CD pack out to you.

Traver's won the following for his entry:

A CD pack of Nokturnal Transmissions Records releases, featuring:

Ancestral/Wedard - Split
Forests Of Old - Voices From Oblivion
Pagan Hammer - Pagan Hammer I

AND

The chance to assign ME not just one song, but a full demo to write, record, AND RELEASE in a style determined by him. When that demo is done, it will be posted freely on the forums for all to enjoy.

Thanks again to everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the first Metal Archives songwriting challenge. More WILL be done, and I expect the next installation to pop up within a month or two. Enjoy the songs!
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mattp
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:11 pm 
 

Traver did a fucking excellent job. Congratulations!
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FirebathDan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:35 pm 
 

I truly appreciate your positive words on my contribution. I just burnt a CD with all the entries and at some point later tonight, I'm going to throw my .02 in on my competitors. I look forward to hearing some of this stuff!

I, for one, enjoy providing insight to my process, so I'm just going to quickly comment on Noktorn's comments on my piece.

all quotes by Noktorn wrote:
It's a bit drawn out and still


I actually had to cut it down when my first go at the drum programming was well over 19 minutes long...

Quote:
I think the main verses between the lead sections feature bass without guitar accompaniment


This is mostly true. Nothing like a Russian Big Muff! Halfway through the second verse there is a single guitar playing single notes doubling the bass-7 string guitar and 4 string bass in the same register. A subtle textural change...

Quote:
and I'm pretty sure that with some more active drumming and riffing during those sections, interest could have been maintained a bit more.


This is 60-40 minimalist intention vs. laziness-not wanting to spend too much time on intricate drum programming. Time was better spent on arrangement, orchestration, and lyrical composition (my weakest point as a composer)...

Quote:
As it stands, I like the absurdly morbid and desolate lyrics (from what I can decipher)


I'd be happy to post them in this thread if anyone is interested...

Quote:
This actually reminds me a LOT of Belarusian funeral doom band Reido; not what I expected, but an interesting surprise.


I don't know Reido, but I also did not know Skepticism before this challenge either; I ended up digging what you've referred to me. I'll probably look into these guys as well...

Quote:
Also the solo sounds more like a super slowed down alternarock lead rather than neoclassical but is actually all the better for it!


Interesting. When you said "classically influenced" lead, I figured most other people with neoclassical influence take it from either the Classical, Romantic, or Modern periods. In my mind, this lead is Baroque influenced-I certainly wasn't thinking alt rock, but I can kind of see what you mean. And when you said "non-repeating", I took it to the extreme-a 12 bar melody at 50bpm is the epitome of non-repeating...

All in all, I had a blast doing this. I also learned something about myself-I work better under pressure/with a deadline. Now, if I can apply that to the Cold Blank Stare stuff...

Can't wait to hear some of the other tracks!
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Last edited by FirebathDan on Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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beserkerolaf
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:40 pm 
 

Traver this song is purely genius, nice job
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PedigreeButchery
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:51 pm 
 

Excellent contributions, you guys! I will listen to them more tomorrow after work, and maybe write some comments. By the way, a little suggestion. For the next contest, maybe all participants should have a few general tasks (like a certain lyrical theme, type of song structure, etc.) but write it the way they want. Just a suggestion, though. Will compete the next time anyways!

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Noktorn
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:53 pm 
 

Yeah, I was thinking of on the next iteration having one very precise song idea that everyone would adhere to; it would make it a lot easier to judge somewhat objectively when everyone has the same idea to go for. At the same time, I need to keep people's skill sets and gear in mind, so the personalization is good.
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overkill666
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:58 pm 
 

Cool songwriting guys. Was interesting to hear some of the results. From what I've heard, the Suffocation and Mortician attempts are very sick. I wasn't able to download the winners music..I'll try again.
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Aoc
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:26 pm 
 

Great job everyone. :thumbsup:

My favorite track was invoked's, catchy stuff!

Traver's track was the most powerful, musically speaking. Excellent arrangements.

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FirebathDan
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:13 pm 
 

Just checked everyone's submissions out; I'm very impressed. Everyone put forth an awesome effort and some killer performances. My thoughts:

mattp: All around excellent track. The choir and horn(?) samples are top notch, the vocal performance is intense, and the drumming (programmed?) is insane, gravity blasts and all.

PedigreeButchery: Tremendous Suffo approximation. Great playing and especially inventive song structuring.

invoked: Great energy in the front & ending sections, a cool moody vibe in the doomy breakdown, and a sweet midpaced bridge. Top it off with a unique vocal approach and a good reinterpretation of that classic Frost guitar tone, and you get this fun headbanging tune.

Traver: Congrats. Excellent, excellent job. Perfect dark atmosphere, and superb use of instrumentation and spoken recitations. Not more needs to be said; everyone should check this out.

alexaons: Stating the obvious, it needs vocals. Having said that, whilst you "failed" in creating a Mortician-esque song, you've actually succeeded in making a very solid brutal death metal song-something Mortician themselves have never done.

death_headj: I had a heart attack listening to your tune. I had to crank my stereo just to hear the song, but when that guitar solo came in halfway through-at least twice as loud as everything else-I jumped out of my fucking seat. I will say you put in a very, very good vocal performance-quite reminiscent of My Dying Bride to my ears. Again, great vocal performance.

AppleQueso: I'm not familiar with Axenstar, so I don't know if the power metal type music with the growling vocals is in that vein, but it seems like an unusual dichotomy. Fun tune with some good keyboard layers and guitar work-especially the solo at the end.

Excellent work everybody. And congrats to Traver. Not a wholly serious suggestion, but NTR should take these tunes and put them out on a limited run CD-R comp.

PS: someone should post something in the general Metal Discussion forum to attract attention/divert traffic to these tunes.
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death_headj
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:42 pm 
 

Right-o, I'll rerecord it as you asked, Noktorn. At the time I was under a lot of stress and didn't feel like mixing it properly.

Thanks, FirebathDan. I generally sing lower than that, but I didn't think my bass/baritone didn't fit with the traditional doom vibe. Sorry about the heart attack, though.

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AppleQueso
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:20 pm 
 

This was a lot of fun, I probably won't be able to get to listening to most of these until tomorrow.

Thanks for the feedback both of you, It was more positive than I might have expected!

Can't wait until the next comp, this is really great fun.

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LordOminous
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:31 pm 
 

A lot of these are really good songs, well done chaps. i'm gutted that I was away and didn't have an opportunity to enter, I love writing music under pressure.

Hopefully the next contest comes around soon, with even more genre-mashing challenges than this one. Looking forward to it.

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invoked
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:11 am 
 

Thanks a lot guys, I was trying a lot of new things for my song. I never use that kind of vocal style, intentional distortion on vocals, or mid-scooped guitars. Then there's the obvious fact that this kind of music is totally unlike anything I've ever tried to write/play. During the writing process, I kept having to throw out riffs because they sounded like Ashpyx/Autopsy and not close enough to that dark, almost mechanic feel on Monotheist. I'm going to listen to all the songs, I'm still on mattp's right now but I expect some good stuff from the rest of you.

Can't wait for the next one of these, it was fun.
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blood8815
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:11 am 
 

I am a bitch *weeps*, but still, how the fuck do I make drone?

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WebOfPiss
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:15 am 
 

blood8815 wrote:
I am a bitch *weeps*, but still, how the fuck do I make drone?
What kind of question is that?

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TheRealThing
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:23 am 
 

Shit. I'm listening to Traver's piece right now... I keep thinking I'm listening to Leviathan or Isis! It is fucking mind blowing. If could play more than drums, this would be awesome to do.
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Traver
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:47 am 
 

Well this was pretty unexpected.

Noktorn wrote:
I couldn't hear the tin whistle, but he says it's definitely there so I'll take his word.


It comes in at 6:05 for what it's worth.

Noktorn wrote:
I would have liked the drums brought out a hint more.


Drums have always been a weak spot for me, mainly because I've never actually sat behind an actual drum kit in my life, so I just have to pretend I know what the hell I'm doing with the drums. So I guess I tend to de-emphasize drums most of the time because of this.

I really enjoyed FirebathDan's track, lacked the keyboard to make it feel like a Skepticism track, but it was still really great.

Other than that, I don't really know what to say except thanks a lot for all the positive comments. I really wasn't expecting to win, much less being compared to the almighty Isis. That pretty much made my day. Cheers all.

I'll send you a PM shortly, Noktorn. I'm a bit stumped at what sort of agonizing songwriting I should put you through, though.
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caspian
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:13 am 
 

eh, sorry about this. I was down south (pumping surf: http://www.coastalwatch.com/news/articl ... W%20action.) and just wasn't really motivated to do any research into the genre. Perhaps next time if things are more general; I dunno.
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AppleQueso
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:25 am 
 

blood8815 wrote:
I am a bitch *weeps*, but still, how the fuck do I make drone?


I once made a drone-esque piece by just recording myself making strange sounds with my mouth and then layering it tons and randomly changing the speed and pitch of the various noises, etc.

Came out fairly creepy for being entirely my mouth.

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PvtNinjer
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:39 am 
 

I very much want to participate in the next one, but I gotta say, I hope I get a genre that's out of my comfort zone. It'd be like outsider art version of whichever genre I never write.

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ThrashingMad
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:39 pm 
 

I would have loved Traver's if he had cut out all the black metal actually. If it had been simply a pure dark ambient song with that haunting piano (?), spoken word, and almost tribal drumming, it would have been very cool; something I'd actually listen to.

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Karnstein_Records
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:56 pm 
 

God damn it, I'm fucking kicking myself for missing this whole thing! Definitely will be contributing in some way next time.

Noktorn, I'd keep the personalisation if I were you. Just makes the results much more interesting.
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LotF
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:37 pm 
 

Congrats to everyone.

This was a great idea, I look forward to more versions of this down the road.
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youngoldschool
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:06 pm 
 

Noktorn wrote:
PedigreeButchery - I don't know anything about you, but how about you try something in the vein of Suffocation's 'Pierced From Within', but with just a hint of Winter-style doom to it. Hell, take 'Thrones Of Blood' and cut it into half time if you like! Have fun contrasting some more convoluted power chord passages with more epic sections for a good time!

Link to track: http://www.yousendit.com/download/cmcwT ... bEIzZUE9PQ

This track is actually a lot of fun! The main riffs are pretty cool and definitely similar to Suffocation, as is the solo, but the doom break is straight out of some goddamn Jimi Hendrix version of hell. Not a big fan of the vocals, could use something more percussive, but the song itself is definitely instrumentally focused. Quite nice, this one.

alexaons - Listen to Mortician's 'House By The Cemetery'. You hear what they're doing there? Do that. Bonus points for no tremolo picking at all, just massive grooves. I know nothing about you so it's hard to think something up!

Link to track: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=6010 ... f6e8ebb871

Pretty good; the lack of vocals harms it a bit, but I do like the overall track. The main problem is that it doesn't really sound like Mortician: it sounds pretty significantly like a somewhat simplified Insidious Decrepancy, actually, and is obviously the product of someone way too skilled for Mortician trying to make a Mortician song. Still, I like the lurching rhythm changes and the riffs are actually pretty sick.


Can someone (Noktorns, PB, alexaons) repost these two? These are the only ones I wasn't able to download and I'd love the hear 'em.
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PedigreeButchery
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:31 pm 
 

youngoldschool wrote:
Can someone (Noktorns, PB, alexaons) repost these two? These are the only ones I wasn't able to download and I'd love the hear 'em.


http://www.yousendit.com/download/Y1RyK ... bmhMWEE9PQ

There you go.

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youngoldschool
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:11 pm 
 

PedigreeButchery wrote:
youngoldschool wrote:
Can someone (Noktorns, PB, alexaons) repost these two? These are the only ones I wasn't able to download and I'd love the hear 'em.


http://www.yousendit.com/download/Y1RyK ... bmhMWEE9PQ

There you go.


Thanks, man, can't wait to hear this!

I'm gonna put all of these on a disc (and what a compilation it shall be!), give it a few spin and post my thoughts. Not that I know what I'm talking about, mind you, I just need something to do :np: .

EDIT: Hey, PB, I think you posted the wrong track. I got "Suffowinter," not "Butcher Me." I was reading Noktorns commenting on the vocals and I was like "Hmmm...that's odd, I don't hear any vocals." Ha. Thanks for the freebie, though, I liked it. :)
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PedigreeButchery
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:36 pm 
 

Hah! You got the one without vocals, didn't you.

http://www.yousendit.com/download/Y1RyK ... Z2wzZUE9PQ

That one should be okay.

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youngoldschool
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:36 pm 
 

Still trying to hear alexaons track, anyone have it?
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'TWAS I WHO FUCKED THE DRAGON, FUCK-A-LIZE, SING FUCK-A-LOO!
squeebsquab wrote:
one time my friend used a hammerfall promotional condom while nailing this chick and it busted. he fucking hates that band now.

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FirebathDan
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:32 pm
Posts: 806
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 2:33 pm 
 

youngoldschool wrote:
Still trying to hear alexaons track, anyone have it?


I've got it. PM to hammer out the details.
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Dark Sacrament
Melodic Black Metal, Band, Drums
Cold Blank Stare
Black Metal, Solo Project, Everything

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DisembowelMe
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 10:59 am
Posts: 539
Location: Iceland
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:50 pm 
 

Guys, put this on goddamn jamendo.com.

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weakling_goat
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:34 pm
Posts: 755
PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:58 pm 
 

I liked Invoked's the best.

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