For Round 1 of the Newgrounds Audio Deathmatch (NGADM)! I worked hard on this one, harder than anything I've ever worked on. I honestly think this is the best song I've ever made, I'm really happy with it.
A lot of inspiration came from Dream Theater and music by Back-From-Purgatory as well as my past music. Enjoy, I spent a long time on it :)
Hey! I don't usually post reviews on here, usually because I find it difficult to express. Step covers everything that I wanted to say though, and I have to echo what PirateCrab said about the production value.
I also wanted to point out a very subtle guitar pluck at 4:26, can you hear it?
Your NGADM Review for Round 1
So both you and InYourDreams did really well here. However I have marked you both down for the same score. This is quite simply because I feel like you have amazing melodies yet slightly lack in production and vice versa for IYD. As a metal producer myself I'm gonna try to give you some really useful tips to bring your production quality up! (There's no point focusing on the melodies because the whole song sounds fucking awesome haha)
Guitars: Now from the sounds of it you're using a VST guitar. *SLAP* LEARN THE INSTRUMENT! Nah I'm just kidding I ain't marking you down for that ;) However, with the tone on your guitar as meaty as it is, it's also fairly fizzy. It'll be worth EQ'ing out the top end of your guitar somewhat to remove that fizz. Rest is awesome.
Drums: This is what lacks, they fall weak to the rest of the track. Bring up the Snare and Kick a few DB's in volume, compress the snare with a hard and fast attack, fast release, do the same with your kick, add reverb to the whole kit, voila SEXY KIT!
Piano and cinematics: The Piano feels a little muddy to me. The reverb on it is sweet but the low end sorta pulls through too much and it doesn't have a brightness to contrast with the guitars so it sounds dull. Give it a bit of a high end boost on an eq! Your orchestral bits are awesome though, I have no quarrel with them!
Bass: Don't really have much to say haha. It's mixed fine and follows the root note, simple. I guess you could always expand it out and give it some freedom with a few extra notes!
Overall: You have a quality song and an alright mix. Definitely look at using all the headroom you can (Not necessarily brickwalling your music but using the potential headroom for your drums and so forth. Also have a look into brickwall mastering, it makes your tracks sound a lot thicker, you can hear examples in my work) Apart from that dude, you've got potential, hopefully we'll see you next year for the NGADM 2014 :)
This is an NGADM Round 1 review.
Hearing both your track and that of InYourDreams makes me realise what a close matchup this is. I love your guitar sound; it's perfectly aggressive and meaty, without sounding too crazy. This actually has one of the better blends of orchestral and rock from what I've heard that attempts this genre fusion in a long time. There are parts like 0:32 which really sound excellent and blend metal and orchestral seamlessly. I must also commend you on your good transitions (except 1:07 - too abrupt) and variety too. Some of the drum beats felt a little artificial in the way they were repeated, like at 1:07, but otherwise you've got great drum beats that fit well with the track.
This song doesn't have any big issues, but it's littered with minor ones. The drums occasionally feel too weak (as has been mentioned before) although it's mostly the snare and some of the cymbals that suffer from this problem. Some of the later sections of the track aren't quite as interesting as others, by the way. 2:00, part of 2:50, and 3:41 are the main offenders here (but 3:41 led to an excellent ending, may I add). It felt as though the symphonic aspect of the track was neglected a little more towards the end, which sadly made the track's structure feel a little wack. I was hoping to hear more of the sections like 0:32 where the two styles fit together perfectly, because not only would that help balance the structure of the track but it would probably sound awesome.
That's my two cents on this track. Very good work. It's a close matchup; you've got the ideas and composition, InYourDreams has the production value and quality consistency. Whatever the case, this track is really enjoyable and so is his - keep it up.
I love the combination of metal + orchestral. As a lot of people before me have said, the drums are a bit quiet. I have no other complaints about the song, it's an overall great piece of music :)
I really liked the song, but like others said the drums (besides the kick) could be louder. But i think it definitely kicks ass.