Alright, I was trying to release the reviews all at once, but it's been difficult to get the time to do them, so here's what I've got so far:diamond_famicon
I was (pleasantly) surprised with the amount of major and harmony I heard in this piece, and I certainly felt it was an innovative way to start a competition of a genre that focuses mainly on gloom. I particularly liked how vintage and folky the riffs were, the intro probably being my favourite part of the song, although I also liked the section after, especially because of the interesting and equally folky chord progression. Although the production wasn't anything spectacular, everything was mixed very well considering; the drums were punchy and earthy, and the guitar tone was satisfying and prominent, yet both perfectly audiable amongst the vocals. I also really, for the most part, enjoyed the vocal style for this track: as strange a combination it felt for the style of music, it really complemented the production and instrumentation nicely.
However, I really didn't enjoy the howled vocals in this track nor the youthful-sounding clean vocals, both around the 2:50 mark, which, while appropriate for the theme, weren't executed very well, and really detracted from the instrumentation. Despite obvious flaws, though, I really felt this was an interesting and well constructed piece of music.infinitenexus
From hearing the first 5 seconds of the fade in, I was expecting something good.
I enjoyed the rather death metal-sounding leads over the doomy chords, although upon first listen it seemed to drag a little (with that said though, the guitar leads still sounded great when the harmonies came in).
Though the riff leading into it was awesome, if perhaps a little short, I felt that the chugging, everything being an octave above eachother, wasn't an incredibly potent chord progression; rhythmically it was fine, but I felt that the choice of chords could've been more brooding. I didn't dig the spoken vocals over this part, either (not that I really ever have enjoyed those kind of reedy spoken vocals), as they felt a little weak.
However, the sung vocals and the instrumentation in the section afterwards were great, and worked really well. Honestly all I can say about this part, as it was awesome.
The section after this is by far my favourite part of the song, and the most interesting part, although I think it could be double in length; I remember distinctly going "no noo nooo, don't end there!" when it proceeded to go into the very MIDI sounding solo cello part (I actually thought it was a sax at first), which was a bit of an anticlimax. It then went on to repeat the same structure, until it ended.
Everything here was strong-sounding timbre wise, and certainly one of the most well produced songs in the competition, but I felt it mostly lacked powerful and assertive riffage. With that said, still a good death/doom song all around.gioval09
Now we're talking.
I was instantly grabbed by the acoustic that opened this track, and from the mystical chord progression, expected something epic. Which, for the most part, is what I got. The synths used when the distorted guitar was introduced were pleasing, detailed, and very tastefully applied. In fact, all timbres in this piece, including the atmospheric, almost croaked (but still powerful) growls, were, as a whole, well mixed and well produced.
However, I was disappointed by the lack of change in chord progression. The two riffs you used not only were fairly similar to eachother, but filled out pretty much the entirety of the piece. I certainly have no problem with repetition; in fact, if the songwriting is good, I encourage it. It's just that the same two-chord progression loses its appeal after a while.
Another thing that irks me ever-so-slightly is the dryness and the volume of the drums. They're certainly prominent, and sound great, but they seem a little too loud in the mix compared to the rest of the piece, and they could also benefit from a little bit of reverb (although that might just merely be my obsession with reverb talking, aha
With that said, this track is really growing on me, and I find myself enjoying it more and more with repeated listens.dystopia4 & Necroticism174
Haha. Where do I begin with this one.
Well, on a positive note, if you constructed the first 50 seconds of this entirely from scratch, then I merit you, as it portrays the theme of technology very well, and is actually fairly menacing, in its own way.
From 50 seconds onwards, though, it's a mess, really.
The first thing I noticed when listening to this, is that whoever recorded the guitar recorded it without a metronome, or, the drums are at the wrong BPM. The timing is definitely out here, without a doubt.
The second thing I noticed is the lack of sonic presence from any of the instruments. Everything feels weak and tinny, which is ideally more suited to black metal, rather than doom. The song really
needs some fleshing out with more instruments, and better recording quality.
Another thing I noticed, while it isn't the worst perpetration here, is the programmed drum beat that is exactly the same throughout each section, which was obviously put together very quickly, and also carries on later when it really should be just ambience.
I can't even begin to start on songwriting, until the other flaws in this piece are fixed.
On the topic of ambience, though, I thought the the synths you used for this were great, and were probably what actually hauled the carcass of this piece along, as well as the awesome growls (kudos to whoever did those, they were the best thing about this song).
Like mentioned by others, there are some ambitious ideas here, but they weren't executed very well at all.
But alas, you tried, and there are no real winners in this competition anyway.ShaolinLambKiller
I'm gonna just review the standalone track, because there's an absolute tonne of content on the EP and reviewing all of it would take up too much space:
Upon listening to this, I was suddenly plunged into a tortured, writhing abyss, without light, or any means of escape. You've really captured the theme of horror well here, with the dissonance and atonality, and also with the lyrics that sound almost like the frantic ramblings of a disturbed person. The riffage itself, for me, reeked heavily of Nivathe, more so in the slow sections. The vocals, as weak as they were, still brought an air of suffering about them, and were perfectly held in the mix.
I also really enjoyed the faster sections in this piece, which still managed to retain the sense of recurring dread, with more of a pummelling aesthetic.
My only real gripe I have with this, and it may also be down to my quite short attention span, is the length of it. I remember listening to this the first time round, convinced I was nearing the end of the experience, and then glancing across to my screen and realising "oh my shit I'm only 8 minutes in".
In correlation with the length, though, in future, songs like these should perhaps have some slightly more melodic (but just as dissonant, of course) and/or more memorable parts to balance out the more atonal, grusome parts. Not to say that the riffs aren't good, but they can become repetitive after many minutes without prominent variation.
With all this said, this is probably the most coherent and authentic song so far, which while even though it is not necessarily the most innovatively written piece in the competition, it is certainly the one of the most reflective of its theme, and one of my favourites, for sure.
Good job, man.
More reviews coming up sooner or later!