The Portrait's Secret

It's a strange piece. Read about it on the link above if you're interested. I'm really happy with this piece but you guys will probably want to tear it apart so you have permission. Be as harsh as possible actually. I'm happy to C4C too. Ask plenty of questions too. I'm happy to answer those. Also, I should credit MetalCommand (thanks bud!) with the lead tone. I asked him about his settings on one of his threads he posted here so look that up if you're wondering (since he gave screenshots of everything). I was actually using PT so I couldn't replicate it exactly but the D-reverb in PT LE 8.0.5 works fine (well IMO anyway).

EDIT #1: Thanks to naybnbyuwn for bringing my attention to the link. It's my first time uploading on the new soundcloud. The link should be fixed now.

EDIT #2: Thanks to Usernames sucks for making my realise I suck at linking things. I know what's up now. You need to remove that hash in front of the artist.

EDIT #3: I've just released a new version with better rhythm guitars and modified parts. It's available below:


That better work.
Last edited by HaydenHohns at Jan 1, 2013,
you might want to relink it there buddy. there seems to be a hash in the link that redirects it to my soundcloud homepage. anyway i managed to find the song https://soundcloud.com/haydenhohns/the-portraits-secret

I totally love the contrast between the quieter, bass and synth driven egyptiany bits and the chaotic guitar mashing. the keyboard lead sections are also quite nostalgic to me, becasue they remind me of final fantasy 7 lol.

although i have no qualms about the composition, IMO the mix is quite harsh, especially the thick guitar layers- maybe work on EQing them for more clarity and less fizziness, but hey, its all personal preference.

overall, solid piece of experimental metal. love it. you've earned a follower.

c4c? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=30800179#post30800179
Yes you need to relink it bro.

Anyway to the song:
This litelayry growls CYNIC, wich is a very good thing! Did you play bass, and is it a fretles? Its just a amazing mindtrip the wole piece. I love the synth sounds that come in after a while. Imo you shuld have stayed whith the vibe in the inntro a little longer or maybe you shuld bring it back in.
Cool little piece, would have loved to see it with more movements in it, but its a great beginning. Certain parts were cool with the layers of sounds too! Feel free to check my song out and give me a crit!

Quite interesting choice of tuning you have there.
Confusing way to start the song. In my opinion those first 2 seconds to could be left out, and rather have a little extended clean build up with some strings (which I can hear you know how to use).
The synth at 0:59 sound a bit like it would fit more into an old videogame rather than a song like this in my opinion. All the other synths sound really good a go pretty well with the song.
I love that outro starting at 1:20. Sounds like a mystic soundtrack for a movie or something like that. The small bass solo earlier in the song is also really sweet! it adds a really nice touch to the song, so thats definitely a big plus. Those solos are rare in metal today.
The guitars could have been a bit brighter and powerful.
The phrygian dominant scale would fit perfect in the lead guitar to create more of that Egyptian feel. I could be wrong, but I don't hear much of that in the leads. Still you get the sound of madness through to the listener though!
I love those slow bends from the 4th to the 5th, and/or 7th to the 1st(octave?) at 0:16 and 1:33.
The 2:15 part sound a bit odd, and the mood changes which I personally think is unnecessary.

Pretty awesome I must say, but there is always room for improvement. Don't forget to let me know when you got new material! Really excited to hear it!
To answer a few questions and pose a new one:

This bass everyone keeps referring to is actually a clean guitar. The settings for eq just had the mids and bass equal (~ 1 o'clock) and reduced treble (~ 11 o'clock). I"VE DONE TRICKED YOU ALL!

I did play the bass but it's barely audible in my speakers since they hate bass. I also don't own a fretless so I can't play one. That said it would be cool to own one of those Ibanez Ashula hybrid fretted/fretless basses. Once I get better monitors the mixes should turn out better.

@JB95: When you say extended clean build up, should I outline the chords played in the main theme with the strings and electronic layers while outlining clusters with the Rhodes piano and then fade in with the guitars to bar 3? I might do that. If that's not what you meant, please let me know.

Thanks for the crits guys.
Last edited by HaydenHohns at Dec 27, 2012,

What I had in mind was leaving out the sudden and a bit random-sounding first 2 second and rather let the clean bit last a bit longer. With the help from some synths you could create a build up effect for the main riff that follows.
By the way the process of changing key at 0:57 sound a bit odd, but that could just be me.
Last edited by JB95 at Jan 1, 2013,
Hayden- Good to finally hear a proper recording of your stuff!

The intro is kinda wtf? sounds like the end of one song got cut with the beginning of this one. The acoustic guitar bit is nice, and the distorted guitar covering it is fine. The lead part seemed kind of there for transition's sake and nothing else. I really dig this acoustic jam part, the bass and drum parts are excellent. Very Opethy. Again the guitar lead part doesn't seem to fulfill any purpose other than transferring riffs. The rock organ section is excellent! However I dislike the 8th note snare drumming after it. The next part is interesting, I like the trippy sound effects and synth noises. It adds a spacey element to the song that takes it in a new direction away from the Opeth genre, almost into Ozric Tentacles territory. However at 2:02 the sound effects are a little too loud in the mix.

dat ending

Its a cool song, but I think the difference between the serious riffs and silly sounds was a bit too great. I think if you added in some more riffs (and built off that rock organ stuff) it would be a very solid prog rock track.

c4c? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1581774
Kurzweil K2500xs
I probably would have done the intro differently, maybe fading it in instead. I never was a fan of "machine gun bass drum" (even though I have brief machine gun sound effects in my latest tune), but that is a personal preference. I'm not sure if you are going for metal, prog rock (the organ playing is fine), alternative, or all of the above. I certainly like different elements of the song, certain guitar riffs, though it seems you had a hard time deciding what style to go for. Please review my music at this link:

@isispelican: Guitars are already done that way. Not sure what else I can do.

@~Flounder~: I know right! I'm slowly building up an albums worth of material and I'm saving up (slowly) for some really sweet gear. Right now I'm just working on mixing skills so hopefully I'll be professional by that time. The intro, I was trying to go for "Your Poison Throne" by Nevermore (see below). If you can help with that then by all means.


Also, are you referring to the blast beats. Sorry I love those!

I'll try working on the lead parts but I feel that they serve their purpose. I did have a few melodies at one point but I gave up on them since I was unhappy with how they sounded (in terms of harmonies).

I don't know what this Ozric Tentacles is but I intend to look it up. Also the ending, the samples are called "Demon's Chuckle" and "Laughing Fish". Everyone I've shown at home loves that too.

@aaron aardvark: My influences are vast but at heart I am a metalhead. Biggest influences come from Nevermore, Anubis Gate, Beyond Twilight, Ihsahn and Wintersun. But I can just as easily switch to Igor Stravinsky, Bartok or Yoko Shimomura.
Listening to the second version:

Really nice so far. The only thing bothering me is that when the bass drum was going fast it was kind of "pumping" the sound (too much compression in the final mix, I think).

The leads sound fantastic!

The progression at the 1 minute mark is intense! I love it. The rhythm guitar tone isn't ballsy enough, though. It sounds very thin, almost like you cut all bass from it and made it very treble and mid heavy.

I would bring the leads a little more forward into the mix. They're kind of hidden behind everything.

Overall, I liked it a lot! Very well recorded... very clean... those above are my only complaints. And the ending is a little cheesy