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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1995
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:31 pm 
 

As promised, reviews! Once again, nice work to everyone who got a song in. I think this is one of the best compilations yet and I love the diversity in these songs.

Diamond Famicom

I really like this one. The intro is great and the flute is a nice little addition. Production wise I dig the raw but warm sound, the guitar tone has a classic feel to it. Your shouted vocals are good, it’s a style I dig and you’ve performed them well. As for the howl, well I for one dug it. It’s a bit silly maybe but I’ve got no problem with that. The tempos changes throughout all work quite well and overall I think your writing and execution were really sold. Nice work man.

Infinite nexus

The intro to this song is killer. I know you’ve mentioned that doom isn’t quite your thing and are more comfortable with death metal, and it kinda shows a bit. I think it would have been cool to bring some of that lead riffing back into the song at some point, rather than relying on the cello melody to carry the last sections. Speaking of, the melody is quite nice but the cello sample lets it down. Try adjusting the volume envelope so it doesn’t trigger quite so flatly, or adding some reverb to give it the impression of being in a physical space. Other than that the production is pretty good, and the guitar tone is nice thick. You vocals are good- the spoken word bits work well and your voice sounds good during the chorus. Overall it’s not one of my favorites- the song has some strengths but it could have been developed a bit more and made into a really crushing piece of death doom.

Gioval9

Love the production on this song. I’m a synth guy and you’ve made some lovely choices here- the delicate but rich pads add a wonderful layer to the intro. I love hearing the subtle but notable swell of the lower pads towards the end of every couple bars, a really nice touch. The vocals work well for the production too- kind of airy, distant, almost timeless sounding. I understand you were mainly going for atmosphere in this song, which you definitely nailed, but I felt like it could have used some additional in the last section- maybe another lead or something to bring it to conclusion would have really pushed this song over the top and make it all the more memorable. As it stands now though, I quite like it.

Dystopia4 & necro

This song is a bit odd, it took me a few listens to summarize some thoughts on it. There are some interesting ideas here, but unfortunately it’s really let down by the production. The guitars are distant, the drums tiny and quiet, the vocals loud and clipped. Necro I believe you said you recorded this with a laptop mic? That would make sense- too bad cause it takes away from a pretty good vocal performance. I like the direction you went with the lyrics in interpreting the theme, and you delivered them well. It’s just that the song seems too often lack a sonic center, it feels empty in a lot of the space that the guitar and drums should be occupying. I like how the samples and effects were applied to go with the theme, but with other issues it’s hard for them to come across balanced in the mix.

I definitely see there are some interesting ideas in this song, and I like your adaptation of the theme and that you tried to bring together some diverse elements, but unfortunately the execution and production hold the song back from its full potential.

Syntek

Boom! Like others have said, this song is a killer. That melody is just fucking great- haunting, epic, massive. It feels like this giant, mournful, decaying weight is hanging in the air, and it manages to be both oppressive and almost wistful at the same time. Killer work on the vocals, and production wise I think you really nailed it.

Not too much to say on this one but outstanding job, definitely one of my favorites. You should make more stuff like this.

SLK

Another monstrous, overbearing piece from you. I liked the dynamics you brought to these tracks as compared to some of the other funeral doom I’ve heard from you- the mix of faster parts provides a nice contrast to the lurching slow sections. The production is spot on- it’s raw in the best of ways in that everything is clear and allowed to ring out naturally, like you can almost imagine being inside your recording space while this was being done.

I find the discordance a bit overwhelming at times, but you clearly know what you were going for with this stuff and it’s executed well- any fans of oppressive, cavernous extreme doom will surely dig these tracks, so good luck with the release!

Flesh Bag

Upon first listen I thought the production on this song was a bit odd, but its roomy, cavernous lo-fi sound grew on me and now I think it suits your piece quite well. The bending on the riffs is great, really adds a cool feel to your leads. I found this one interesting because it’s not the weepy, mournful kinda stuff many people would go for on a song about suicide, but it’s rather got this almost detached sense of finality. Like a slow, shambling but determined march towards jumping off a cliff or something.

I saw someone reference your vocals as being like Gollum, but they seem fine to me. Extreme metal vocals are theatrical in their very nature, this doesn’t seem any different. They didn’t blow me away or anything, but they worked with what you’ve done. I also enjoy how you came back from that clean break with just a slow eventual fade, bringing that scraping back in. Great way to emphasize your theme for the ending.

GEO

Love the leads and melodies on this song. You’ve clearly got a good eye for composing melodic and emotive guitar. I would have liked to hear the vocals being up in the mix a bit, especially those cleans- you’ve got a good voice, show that shit off! The overall progression of the song is nice, from the mellow and moving sections to the contrasting chugging riff and that section around 4ish mins with the double bass drums. The song doesn’t feel like it’s 6 mins long, which I think speaks to the quantity and quality of ideas you’ve managed to fit in.

As a few others have commented I think the drums could be heavier and more emphatic. Drums can be one of the harder parts for solo independent musicians, but I think it speaks to the strength of your composition that is pretty easy to imagine this with a bigger production being an epic and powerful track. As it stands though that’s a pretty minor complaint, the song still shines and you definitely show a keen sense for melody here. Good stuff!

Frog & Necro

Now this is a fucking weird track. The first time I listened to it I really wasn’t sure what to make of it. I didn’t really like it that much but I think that listening to it from the perspective of conventional music is bound to be a somewhat strange and not entirely pleasant experience, so I tried looking at it more as audio art and found it much more rewarding on the second listen.

First off- I fucking love what you guys did with the theme. Rather than a detached and stuffy philosophical look at nihilism it’s like an inflicted anomie due to disassociative mental illness. This is way more interesting, and the lyrics really lay out a bleak, disturbing narrative from outside the typical connections of meaning and social understanding.

From that perspective, the accompanying soundscape makes a lot more sense, and becomes rather evocative. Both of you laid down some great vocals, but Necro in particular nailed a certain unhinged derangement that I really liked- reminded me of the dude in Child Abuse at times actually. The odd use of effects and muffled voices (especially that screechy effect on ‘my hands can’t stop shaking’) really convey the dissociation and black disaffection of the narrator, and as the piece progresses it did draw me in quite a bit with its strangely distorted layers and listless weirdo guitar playing.

It’s a difficult listen at times and not something I’d often go back to. But as an experience made to capture the theme of nihilism, it’s a really interesting piece and definitely worth spending a bit of time to untangle the intent behind it. Good work sirs.

Awblaster

I really like your approach to this one, almost a classic horror film vibe to it. And that guitar is really well done, thick, booming, dark. Definitely evokes a sense of dread. I wish your vocals had been up higher in the mix, cause I like the idea of a narrator sort of telling a story but at times I found it hard to follow along to, especially with the longer sections of that repeated riff it would have been nice to hear them clearer. But yeah, I think you definitely captured your theme really well, your riffs are quite effective, and I love that screeching, wailing solo that comes in towards the end. Nice work man!

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
Posts: 4997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:46 pm 
 

Thanks for the review, man. You approached it in the way we hoped it would be. We felt the music itself, not just the lyrics, should convey the bleak nihilism. I did my best to overarticulate every word and Frog went in the opposite direction. I saw that as a way to illustrate the journey into madness and incoherence and I think Frog's vocals over the clean break were very effective, which no one has mentioned yet. /end pretentiousness.
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Flesh_Bag
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:42 pm
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:23 am 
 

Thanks for the reviews guys, I really appreciate it, the positives and the negatives.
I promise ill review yours, I just gotta finish a bit of study.
So far they sound killer

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
Posts: 4997
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:31 am 
 

Don't let this thread die people! Check out, and review, these great songs.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12161
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:42 am 
 

I know, more reviews! Maybe there needs to be an enforcement of if you don't review for the challenge you participate then you can't participate in the next 2.
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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 864
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:45 pm 
 

Reviews 8-11.

8. Broken Skulls & Shattered Faith - Corpsefister - Religion
The synth sound here was really nice because the older styled sound worked to help the atmosphere. A more realistic sounding synth section I think would have taken away from the song because the guitars and vocals remain the most tonally rich part of the music. This allowed for the synth to serve in the supporting role it was written to serve. I wasn’t a huge fan of the vocal style that started at around 2:40 until the song deftly transitions to the more upbeat section around a minute later. In that section however the drums could have been a tad more dynamic and I think it would have highlighted how the chord progression dissipates the song’s energy and would better match the vocals. Matching the big cathedral room sound in the outro was a nice way to maintain symmetry and recall the intro while simultaneously contrasting it - musically conforming with your lyrics. I read the lyrics after first listening to the song, but I understood what the theme was just from the music and the title, nice musical narrative.

9. Behind the Veil of Consciousness - GeoCO3 - Dreams & Reality
Wow this really captures that kind of Peaceville sounding doom that I haven’t heard much of recently. Unlike how some of those bands turned a little too weak for my taste, you kept from being saccharine while still incorporating beautiful clean vocals and soothing melodies. Like others have pointed out the chugging came off as unusual in a unpleasant way, it was too rhythmically complex compared to the rest of the song. I really liked how the frantic riffing build up to a quieter section because of how this suspended the resolution of the musical tension; toying with the listener in this way makes the return of the main melody all the more satisfying. I also have to concur with those who said your vocals could stand to be a bit louder. As diamond_famicom noted, it is a tad poppy and while lower vocals and contrapuntal vocal melodies act against this, the memorable cleans make the shifts more predictable. Despite that, I really enjoyed this and it is my second favorite from the challenge.

10. Nauseous Waves – PhilosophicalFrog & Necroticism174 - Nihilism
For the first two minutes I was underwhelmed. After the initial shock of the unusual and abrasive sound y’all used wears off, you can hear how there isn’t much musical layering going on. Once the drums come in the off kilter feeling adds a lot of character and creates a unique mood that helps fix how the minimalism gets to be too much. However, it isn’t really enough to carry the length of that section and even the maniacal haranguing vocal work, though admirable, can’t hide the monotonous texture. It feels extended past its instrumental worth just to fit in lyrical ideas. That textural backdrop becomes more interesting from about 8 minutes on as things start to vary more frequently and particularly interesting when the pace picks up. That mood change along with how you split the vocal duties also makes the song feel less coherent than it really is.

11. The Horrors that Dwell Within - Awblaster - Lovecraft Mythos
I agree with CorpseFister about having the vocals higher in the mix with the narration idea. As it stands the intro was really boring because it is like I am almost only hearing those three notes over and over. After that passes though I definitely feel the song’s Lovecraft vibe much more and things get more interesting, but could still use more variation. That booming bass is really nice with this because of how Lovecraft has that feel of just overwhelming hopeless terror that you match with the deep bass tones. The solo section works in the same way but as you can likely predict I wasn’t into the outro with the same three notes. I think if those sections were double up with suspended 4ths or something to make them sound even bigger it would be more evocative of the theme and made for a great song.

Edit: Thanks to everyone who participated. I love metal so it is rare that I listen to a song that I don't enjoy on some level, so naturally there was something about each one here that I liked. It was nice hearing so many different takes on doom and what everyone did with the lyrical themes was interesting.
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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2143
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:59 pm 
 

Here are my reviews. I'll be editing to add some more things.


diamond_famicom : Howling Doom [Lycanthropy]
Wow. The intro feels like 70s style prog rock, with the lo-fi production and the orchestration of the instruments. +100000000 points for that. Then it transitions, very smoothly might I add, to melodic death/doom metal, almost like Dance of December Souls. Great job on that. Great riffs as well, I can even hear 70s trad metal buried within. The howling, silly as it may seem, is not too out of place. I guess the only complaint I have about this track is that the mix could use a bit more low end. Otherwise, this is awesome, top three for sure. I would very gladly listen to a whole album of this.

infinitenexus : Dead and Cold [Pride]
Great intro. As far as doom goes, the first minute is really good. Heavy spacey riffage, and with a title like "Dead and Cold" it really does make me think of space rather than pride. Not a fan of the clean vocals. The transition between the start-stop riff and the cello part is lackluster, and from there the song is uneventful and pretty much dies down quite forgettably.

gioval09 : Persephone’s Dream [Mythology]
Texturally, this song shines. I feel like I'm walking around in a crypt or some big fucking tomb. The lyrics point me in that direction as well. Even if it consists of only 2 riffs played for 6.5 minutes, I can still find some enjoyment in this song. A little more action wouldn't've hurt though. It's good, but not something I'd listen to on a regular basis.

dystopia4 & Necroticism174 : High Definition Boredom [Technology]
Hmm I don't know how to describe this. Sounds like a mess more than anything. Oddly enough, things manage to change whenever I visit a new webpage as I listen to this. So yeah, weirdness is all I have to say.

Syntek : Antipathy [Civilizations & Cultures]
Cool intro. Pretty morbid funeral doom with the best vocals of the challenge for sure. The riffs are really good, the guitar tone is awesome, but the occasional bass drum rolls I don't like very much. It might be my monitors, but the bass drum seems really loud. Nevertheless, this is massive. The piano interlude fits really well, but it's a bit too quiet. Perfect length. Pretty much a standout track for me, and I would definitely listen to more music like this. Top three I'd say.

ShaolinLambKiller : Whispers in Darkness [Horror & Macabre]
What can I say? More of the typical cavernous chaotic-sounding Yzordderrex, except too overlong this time. I must say that I much prefer the relative brevity and structured madness of Crawling (one of your prevous tracks). This just keeps dragging for too long and loses any meaning it might've had.
The EP: The songs are still too long. Oh wait a minute, AH SHIT the death metal riff at 7:50 (first track) is absolutely ravaging. See, this is what Yzord needs. Not senseless dissonant pluck-noodling. It needs bestial rampaging riffs that stampede over people. RIFFS. Second track is even better, but the ending of the third is ace. Overall, this is more like finding diamonds in the rough. They're there, but they're so few and far between that it's an effort and a test of patience finding the really good bits.

Flesh_Bag : … [Suicide]
Lo-fi and kvlt as fuck, but musically pretty sweet I find. Great funeral riffs with a certain lyricism to them that works surprisingly well, so much that I can almost imagine people flagellating to this, haha. All that's missing is a choir, and slightly better production, and I imagine that this would be utterly devastating. It's pretty enjoyable as it is though, and evocative to me at least, so bonus points for that. The length is perfect, not too long, not too short. I can easily see this making my personal top three here.

CorpseFister : Broken Skulls & Shattered Faith [Religion]
This tracks is somewhat special because it's the first time, to my ears at least, that your synths are not the primary driving force in the song. The guitars are for once recognizable as such (rather than simply sounding like background synthish buzzing). Nice build-up and vocal delivery, but the song feels maybe just a little bit too short, and a brief rebound at the end could've made it much better.

GeoCO3 : Behind the Veil of Consciousness [Dreams & Reality]
More depressive rock than doom, though in my book that's still a good thing. Very reminiscent of mid-era Katatonia. I'm definitely enjoying the riffs, and the clean vocals are great as always. However, it seems to me that the production is masking/killing some of the overlaying riffs/synths, as I can barely hear them. Pretty solid track composing-wise though.

PhilosophicalFrog & Necroticism174 : Nauseous Waves [Nihilism]
Great lyrics, obviously smudged and dripping with sludge misanthropy. All I got from listening to this was a massive headache. The atmosphere is that of a silent, grainy black & white film with two fuckups crawling around looking for rocks in a crackden/gutter, each arriving sequentially after running into some meaningless tragedy. Kind of like Sugarhouse meets Begotten, except bleaker. The vocal deliveries are great, but man, fuck that reverberated noiseshit. Can't say much about anything else. Didn't dig all of it, probably wouldn't listen to it after this.

Awblaster : The Horrors That Dwell Within [Lovecraft Mythos]
Plodding, but not particularly heavy. The production is pretty good though, I can hear all the instruments. The guitar could use just a tiny bit more gain, but I like the Black Sabbath vibe I'm getting from it. Composing-wise, this is too repetitive and uneventful. Not particularly evocative of Lovecraft either.


Last edited by kingnuuuur on Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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CorpseFister
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 2:07 pm
Posts: 1995
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:25 pm 
 

kingnuuuur wrote:
CorpseFister : Broken Skulls & Shattered Faith [Religion]
This tracks is somewhat special because it's the first time, to my ears at least, that your synths are not the primary driving force in the song. The guitars are for once recognizable as such (rather than simply sounding like background synthish buzzing).


I know right! I feel like I've finally made something distinctly metal, after 5 or so tries haha.

But yeah, I would agree (as other people mentioned) the end needs filling out. If I was to ever go back to this song I think I'd try to develop the faster section more, maybe add another lead or something. Overall I've been pleasantly surprised by the feedback and I think I'll try to develop this sound a bit more as something distinct from my fuzzy synth wall DSBM stuff.

SLK wrote:
I know, more reviews! Maybe there needs to be an enforcement of if you don't review for the challenge you participate then you can't participate in the next 2.


I figure it's probably best to leave it casual, but hopefully everyone who participated will finish up with some reviews.

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Syntek
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 620
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:42 pm 
 

kingnuuuur wrote:
Syntek : Antipathy [Civilizations & Cultures]
The riffs are really good, the guitar tone is awesome, but the occasional bass drum rolls I don't like very much. It might be my monitors, but the bass drum seems really loud. The piano interlude fits really well, but it's a bit too quiet.


It's likely partially your monitors, but automation and velocity was actually lost for anything drum-wise after the piano interlude, to my annoyance. So that's understandable.
However, for the piano interlude itself, I intended this part to be the most delicate bit of the piece, particularly catering to headphone users like myself.
But anyhow, thanks for the review, man! :)

On that note, I should be writing reviews soon, so hopefully expect them within the next few days.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12161
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:29 pm 
 

awwwww king.. I like dissonant plucking!! but hell that's obvious! haha. never wanted yzord to get too riffy or death metally cause I have other bands(filtheater, Ishimura, Draug) for that so that's why i don't mind the occassional one to pop up if i feel it propels the idea I have. thanks for the review though!
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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2143
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:35 am 
 

CorpseFister wrote:
I know right! I feel like I've finally made something distinctly metal, after 5 or so tries haha.

But yeah, I would agree (as other people mentioned) the end needs filling out. If I was to ever go back to this song I think I'd try to develop the faster section more, maybe add another lead or something. Overall I've been pleasantly surprised by the feedback and I think I'll try to develop this sound a bit more as something distinct from my fuzzy synth wall DSBM stuff.

Oh I don't know, I really enjoy the DSBM stuff, and I'm not even that much into DSBM. I just really like the unusual retro poppish synths in the music. For example, I much prefer "The Ninth Ring" and "Free to Suffer" over "The Flesh Remembers". But I like the current direction as well, so, more power to you!

Syntek wrote:
It's likely partially your monitors, but automation and velocity was actually lost for anything drum-wise after the piano interlude, to my annoyance. So that's understandable.
However, for the piano interlude itself, I intended this part to be the most delicate bit of the piece, particularly catering to headphone users like myself.

I'm pretty sure there's some overly powerful bass stuff happening, at least my DAW says so. There's just too much sub-bass. Did you high-pass anything?
No complaints about the piano, just about +3dB more volume would've made it better IMO. Sucks about the automation though.

ShaolinLambKiller wrote:
awwwww king.. I like dissonant plucking!! but hell that's obvious! haha. never wanted yzord to get too riffy or death metally cause I have other bands(filtheater, Ishimura, Draug) for that so that's why i don't mind the occassional one to pop up if i feel it propels the idea I have. thanks for the review though!

I totally get that, however you have a fucking SUNN ENFORCER. You should be bulldozing humans with that monster like in that one riff. Seriously, that riff? OSDM at its finest, hell it's even better with the massive production. The EP itself is decent, just IMO you should make the songs shorter, get straight to the point and demolish everything. Better vocals would help a lot as well. Then it would be great, like, Cemetery Urn levels of great. Probably even better, but hey that's just me talking.

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:48 am 
 

Well that's some encouragement to consider... I usually don't consider myself in any sort of good big leagues as such. I just derp around.
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kingnuuuur
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 2143
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:09 am 
 

We're all derping around more or less, but that doesn't mean that whenever good shit comes up it's all by accident and not worth looking into.

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diamond_famicom
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:03 pm
Posts: 34
Location: st. augustine, fl
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:34 pm 
 

thanks for all the reviews. in regards to the production critique, I use a multiband compressor to louden my otherwise quiet mixes. that may be why the guitar sounds like it's about to peak? or maybe I was overdriving the mic. I also got a 4 track, so I can record my drums with more mics... hopefully that will help, though I still haven't learned to tune drums. there is unlimited room to grow in that area. I'm glad some of you liked the howls. they were meant for additional entertainment. I'm a real joker in real life. you all are great. can't wait for the next challenge
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dystopia4
Thumbman

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 3568
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:13 pm 
 

First 6

Corpsefister - I like the chanting at the start, a very authentic old world vibe. I'd say this is the best. The atmosphere is great, the riffs actually go somewhere and the vocals are really cool. The kind of half clean/half harsh deal vocals work perfectly. Nice ambient outro, reminds me of Agalloch's Our Fortress is Burning Pt.3

Necro and I - Objectively the best song ever recorded. Alright, I know I fucked this up (sorry Necro). I don't have the best recording set up and to be honest I've never really recorded any music besides electronic and ambient before. I like how some people thought I chose the drums to fit in with the technology theme - I just really have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to programming drums for metal. The first riff doesn't really fit, I like it, but in hindsight I should have chosen something else. As for the doomy riff, I quite like it, though it doesn't work as well because I only tuned to drop-D and I should have went further. I like all the atmospheric instrumental stuff I did for this, I really like the section with the clean singing (for some reason the vocals remind me of Giant Squid). The harsh vocals are really cool, especially with the backing whisper effects.

GEO - I guess the depressive rock comparison works, although this is definitely rooted in metal, and death/doom definitely plays a factor. I don't really like this style of clean vocals, but he pulls it off convincingly. I love the mix of those awesome leads and chugging. Definitely a good song.

Gioval9 - Very convincing funeral doom. Love the intro - both melancholy and psychedelic. Really done on all acounts, good simple riffing, a bit faster than one might expect, great atmosphere. The cavernous vocals are perfect for this, their slow creeping aggression is very powerful. Well done, sir.

Infinitenexus - Good death/doom. I really like the snarly harsh vocals. However, I'm not such a fan of the clean vocals where "dead and cold" are repeated, although their not really bad or anything. It should be noted that the guitar in the intro is fucking badass. The synthesized violin, although it is obvious is not real, fits the song very much. In all this is pretty expected stuff for the genre, but that doesn't matter if you do a good job at it.

Nest of Vipers - Right away I like that samples are being used with slow doom riffs. However this intro does last for a bit too long without changing at all. The programmed drums could have been better, but I'm hardly one to complain. The vocals are cool, but I feel this song is a bit too long and repetitive (However, there is a cool twist when there is around 2 minutes left). Still a very cool sound, though.

I'll post the rest later
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Syntek
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:14 pm
Posts: 620
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:37 am 
 

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 :p ).
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!

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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 12161
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:15 am 
 

Thanks for the review and I'm going to have to seek out Nivathe, I had never heard of them before and at a glace I thought you had typed Nirvana!


edit: holy fuck i'm loving Nivathe, i can totally see the comparison to it.
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infinitenexus
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:35 am
Posts: 1939
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:47 pm 
 

Since everyone has commented on my shitty cello, I thought I'd just say that it was a cello from guitar pro 6. Hey, I needed a cello and that's all I had! I guess next time I'll have to look around and find a better sounding one, hahahaha.
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