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Repetition and fuzzy guitars - 55%

ThyBlackHalo, September 13th, 2018

"#414 :: Nil" is the fifth part of Manes' backward-numbered demo series. Unlike many of the other chapters that often included a couple versions of some ideas, it features five distinct tracks.

Many of the ideas presented in the series are guitar ideas with a melodic pattern on top. In Epiano_Idea_Fuzz, the scope of the piano is a mere 6-note riff repeating on top of the fuzzing guitars and bass. Gammelt_Riff 1 is another guitar idea (literally "old riff") which at some point is overtaken by a funky piano and drum machine pattern: he piano is unbearably fake and plasticky and its contrast with the organic, distorted guitar is not pleasant. A semi-acoustic riff is repeated in Gitarsnutt, and a keys melody appears on top alongside fuzzy guitars in extremely low production value.

Fiolin (Norwegian for "violin") is the longest track here, and longer than most of these demos. It features prominently a synthesised violin, and some high-pitched piano arpeggios at the start of the track. These get soon overwhelmed by heavily distorted guitars. It's a very doomy song, and the violin melody gives it a sort of goth feel that reminds of early Draconian. Right after the fourth minute, the track exploits the 3/4 signature with a waltz. The violin+piano combo stays the same until the end, where a variation is presented before a full-on symphonic black assault ends the track.

Flesh is the most electronic piece in the bundle. It's also very differently produced, with a much lower volume of the sound. The instruments all clutter in the same areas of the spectrum, and the very low production (akin to that of Gitarsnutt doesn't make justice to whatever the track could be.

Tracks like these, and many other in Manes' web series, give the impression of something that could be composed playing a guitar into FLStudio or a similar kind of software, which makes repetition in the base a staple of the writing process. This can be a great writing technique, but is rarely interesting in its simple form. In here, it's mostly a good way to store ideas and sketches.