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!
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!
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
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!