My third offical piece, very proud of how it turned out. C4C of course.

Classical sections are supposed to be Nylon String guitar, but Diminishedfifth showed me how awesome they sound in Piano, so I kept it as piano. Its not out of the question to actually play them on Piano though.

This song is mostly Classical Harmonic Minor based Tech Death, although the guitar work is inspired by a combination of Exivious and progressive Tech Death, which I find to be very unique and intense.

Song structure goes Classical - Tech Death - Fusion Section - Tech Death - Classical.

Yep, thats right, a fusion section, right in the midst of Classical and Tech Death. I say it works well.

I owe Steve08 for the drum work prior to "Stupor", and he is currently helping me rewrite the rest of the drumz.

C4C as said, crit here and I will crit back in equal length if possible.

This was the first time I've had to put something in a zip file, as it was 101KB rather than the 97.7KB allowed for regular uploads.

So, here you are!
Consumed [Classical Tech Death - Fusion].zip
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Jun 24, 2011,
Returning your crit.

Dude. I'm going to go ahead and censor it before UG catches it for me... ****! Use your imagination to figure it out.

I'm in love with that intro section. Everything works together so nicely. 2-5 is so f-in flawless! Everything in 7-10 sounds amazing... Just something feels a tad unnatural. Like a super super small something. Maybe a bit of hidden polyrhthmicism..? 11-14 good too. But the same unnatural feeling occurs during measure 14. 18 is a good build. 19 hits me as VEIL OF MAYA. Ever listen to them? Really, at first I was like... "Sounds like he wrote this for Veil of Maya." Then measure 24 confirmed that feeling. Not saying you ripped them off, it just sounds something like they would do. They're tech death I believe too. So that means you stuck to the genre. Stupor wasn't amazing in my opinion, but it was good. Fission was a beast, the bass really stood out to me on this section. It made the section good. 93 I found to be very interesting. 101 had to have been my second favorite section (to the intro) of this song. Stupor sounds a lot better just because of the mood of the song and being exposed to it once at this point. Inverted... 100% you nailed it. 100%... 100%... As for looping that very last section. I don't think so. Let it end.

Great. Fantastic. Wonderful. Listened to it twice before I gave you a crit. That good.

Crit back again? Angels and Black Roses in my sig?
Returning crit now, you don't have to crit the other one I wrote though BTW. If you do though, make sure you let me know when you have another up so I can crit it, your stuff is always interesting to me.

Intro: I'm afraid I have to disagree with you and DiminishedFifth on the selection of instrument (Piano), only on one term though. Unless the entire piece is in some sort of Symphonic Orchestration I really dislike *Insert random instrument that has nothing to do with the rest of the song* intros and outros. So I would keep it as a Nylon String Guitar Intro unless you intend to add extra instruments like a String Quartet or Saxophone. Apart from that, tonally it was very nice and sets the mood for the rest of the song. The following guitar riff is lovely and chaotic but perhaps a somewhat less intense section could be inserted between the two, maybe a slightly simpler/less technical version on clean guitar while it fades in would do the trick.
Stupor: Another great Tech Death section, when/if you record it, make sure you get the same/similar tone that Atheist/Cynic/Death use, that would really make this section perfect. The dissonant chords are smooth, not for the next section though.
Fission: After a while, these types of chords get tiring, especially on a distorted guitar (For me at least). If it were me, I would have something less dissonant between Stupor and Fission in order to balance out the mood in the piece. Instead of getting a sense of terror (Which I'm assuming your aiming for) I interpret it like an old man is shouting at me to get off his lawn, which is not terrifying, just annoying.
Relapse: Transition was good, reminded me of Story To Tell by Death. Bass is also very complimenting to the Lead Guitars. Transition into following section is also really good.
Reverted: Nice reprisal of previous sections. If you want to add some even more bizarre modulation, modulate the Stupor section within here to something Major or something along those lines.
Inverted: Nice reprisal, but same as previously stated, I would loop it four times for a fade out if I were you.

Overall you have a really enjoyable song, but with a few "touch-ups", it could be fantastic.
The looping idea was more of a joke that the entire song could cycle forever, not just the last section...

Inverted is the intro reversed, and I thought it would give some good closure.

I have heard Veil of Maya, but I forgot what they sound like. I thought they were Death Core though. I know their bassist is awesome, as he's able to play the CAFO tapping on a 7 string bass. Ill check them out though.

@ Hayden, I might actually have the intro on piano, bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse have used piano like this well. It will probably be on Classical guitar, but its good to keep options open.

I lol'ed when you called the opening riff "Lovely and chaotic".

I see what you mean about possibly having a less intense section, but I would like to keep the action going for as long as possible and still keep it interesting. It would also be a pain to switch between clean and distorted so often.

Some people really liked "Stupor", while some don't seem to care for it. The trick here would be making the chords work correctly, to not be too dissonant and yet get the proper noting.

I meant fission to be a sort of break in the song, and if you got a sense of terror out of it... Well, I don't quite see how.

I was actually planning to change some of the parts in Reverted to make it different yet still the same section, and although modulation might not work, I can still omit the 7th degree of the harmonic minor and achieve a possibly major sound. No telling whether it would fit the piece, but worth a shot perhaps.

Also, the reason I wanted to crit your other one was because my crits are often smaller than others, so I wanted to make it fair to you.
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Jun 5, 2011,
No! (LOL) I said you should be trying to get a sense of terror, it sounded like the soundtrack to an old man telling me to get off his lawn, as in it was annoying. You have to be careful with dissonance.
Nothing is wrong with keeping your options open but it seems out of place if the rest of the song is played on standard Heavy Metal instruments, bar an Intro and Outro on Piano.
I'm laughing at you laughing at me calling the opening riff "Lovely and chaotic".
You could also use Melodic Minor (Harmonic Minor with #6th ascending, then flatten 7th and 6th when descending) or Hungarian Minor (Harm. Minor w/#4th). Melodic Minor is usually described as "Jazzy" while the Hungarian Minor is described as "Romantic".

OK then, it's my worst piece yet as I'm still figuring out how to write good Death Metal (Atheist, Cynic, Death etc) without sounding like Deicide and Cannibal Corpse..
Allegro is a band that uses piano for intros and stuff, although they use it with internal sections also.

I still don't get the "Old man yelling at me to get off his lawn". And death metal's main goal isn't always to instill terror, and thats not what I was going for in this case. I also feel that the goal of being the "Heaviest or Scariest" has passed in the genre, outside of a few specific bands that do it well. (Portal, Deathspell Omega, Ulcerate)

Ill probably use those scales eventually, but in this kind of piece I didn't want too many chromatics and constant key changes, which both of those scales entail.

What is your worst piece yet? If you want to write Death metal in the style of Atheist, Cynic and Death, then study those bands and learn how they write. Then emulate it, not copy, and infuse your own style.
Firstly, sorry for the late crit man. Got a bit sidetracked with putting my band's GP5 stuff on Youtube. :P

But anyways, I'd like to start out by saying that I've never really liked anything like this. Most of the reason is it sounds a lot like the writer uses more of a knowledge of the music than their ability to play it. Most of these pieces that I see are a little far-fetched in the playable sense.

Now that's aside, I'll start returning the crit. The intro is very good, and very lively. It's a neat little piece but I'm the kind of person who would rather hear it on a nylon guitar than a classical piano. That's just my personal preference though. :P

I must applaud you for your fretless bass work on this piece, though. More and more bands seem to use their bassist as a mere buffer and ignore the qualities (and in most cases, skill) that these people posses. Being that I'm a bassist myself, I consider myself much of an advocate for their use (and proper use). I think that you used it quite properly, and I applaud the bass work. Something about a good fretless bass line that just catches me on (I'm a huge Obscura fan by the way).

I found the big piano part at the end to be quite boring, but on a second listen it grew on me a little bit. Personally I think I liked it better just listening to it as I type this now than actually sitting back and listening to it. Then again, this could all just boil down to my personal feeling towards piano's.

Overall, I think that your piece of music was pretty good. I liked it, but I wasn't too fond of it aside from the fretless bass work. The drums are a little too showy in my opinion, but they aren't bad. While the guitars sounded good, I think they were still too much of a mess. Not because they were sloppy, but just because there was too much going on.

I think you should focus more on writing music without trying too hard to stick to scales. Honestly, the best music in Death Metal is achieved not trough following scales and proper changes, but rather through proper knowledge of scales and using them effectively along with other changes and variables of which do not apply to scales.

All in all, good work.

Technicality: 9/10
Interest: 7/10
Mood: 10/10
Atmosphere: 10/10

Overall: 9/10 (36/40)
There will be zero tolerance
For the creator of hallowed intentions
There will be zero tolerance
Fate is your deciding God
OK, bad analogy, I want to be a teacher some day so I thought I might get some practise... obviously not working. See when I review pieces on GP5, first I close my eyes and try to create a movie with the song as a soundtrack, then I listen to it again to see what musical ideas were in it, and then a third to reaffirm my thoughts being typed to said person. Basically I thought that the duration of dissonance was annoying so instead of feeling terror, I felt annoyance. I'm not saying the part is bad (The chord voicings are actually quite unique to my ears) but it needs something to balance it out if you want to keep it that long (IMO).
Oh and don't get me wrong, I love buying notation booklets and reading the music as the song plays on my CD player, I even go as far as applying Mathematics to Music (The subjects I want to teach). I'm just having trouble applying it at the moment. It's getting there though. I'm working on one now which also sounds like those three plus Diablo Swing Orchestra (Tonally speaking), which is turning out quite well so far. My worst piece is the other one in my most recent thread (The Grand Design).
I guess I'll go against the grain and say that I found this pretty painful to listen to.

This song looks like "tech death" if by "tech death" you mean bands like Cynic, but it doesn't sound like it - at all. It may have emulated the method, but it's a far cry from having emulated the substance.

What makes Cynic and similarly styled bands sound the way they do is not how they play; it's what they play. And unlike this song they always have a clear and easily identifiable harmonic structure with proper chord progressions and proper melodies played over those progressions. Like so many other songs posted on this board, this sounds more like you turned on the scale tool in GP and then just hammered out a bunch of notes with little concern or understanding for how they fit together or how they sound.

Listen closely to any of the numerous Cynic tunes that feature the picking style you've so painstakingly copied and you should soon realize that they sound nothing like what is found in this song.
@ Drag the waters11, The only thing that counts there should be the interest, so in reality its a 7/10, or maybe an 8/10. Regardless, thats a positive review. Surprised you didn't like the outro, as its the intro but reversed. If it was the instrumentation, I would suggest changing it to a Nylon String guitar, as it is most likely more possible on guitar than piano. (Two or more Octave stretches on Piano would be a bitch)

I did write this from a theory perspective, but Im fairly certain its all possible except for the chords at Stupor and Fission. Those could be too difficult, but I have yet to try them. Im going to try and record a few select bars on the 18th with a friend who has recording experience. This would be mostly for a sampling of the sound and to see what effect an actual instrument would have upon the sound. It should resolve some dissonance problems.

@ Hayden, I see your point that the dissonance may persist for too long, although dissonance is subjective. Honestly, this is an amazing song to me, but most peoples' ears might bleed from it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XEWvAsGS9U

@Fabulousfred, If by tech death I meant bands like Obscura, Augury, Atheist and others, then yes, it's tech death. But I wrote it using similar ideas such as Exivious and to an extent Cynic, such as the "Double note Tremolo", and chord voicings and phrasings.

I did not write it in the style of Cynic, but I did borrow the way they write, just like all songs that use alternate picking and sweep picking don't all sound like Michael Angelo Batio. Likewise all songs with string skipping don't all sound like Paul Gilbert, and all songs that use the pentatonic scale aren't all blues songs.

So of course it doesn't sound like Cynic, and if you compare it to Cynic you get bad results. Also, never said I wrote like Cynic. If you listen to Exivious' "Waves of thought" there are some slight similarities, and I would say I borrowed more from them than Cynic.

But comparison aside, it is what it is and you can take it or leave it. I hate to have to "Defend" my pieces, because I'm not going to discuss this stuff with everyone who listens to it.

About this...

clear and easily identifiable harmonic structure with proper chord progressions and proper melodies played over those progressions.

Perhaps pop and country music is more to your liking?

The point was for the listener to tear it apart themselves and think about the music, you can follow whatever melody you want, there are mulitple that accent each other and create a harmonically complex structure.

My worry was that something like this could be considered too progressive, as this is fairly difficult to classify, and caters to a specialized taste. I don't know what you could compare this to, but if someone could help me, that would be great.
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Jun 6, 2011,
Sorry for the delay in the crit- I'm an unbelievably lazy bastard.

I've listened to this a couple times, listening again as I crit.

The intro is nice, and while harmonic minor isn't my favorite sound, this sounds alright. The repeat at 7-10 was very odd, because the fast run at bar 10 sounds like it's transitioning to a faster section, which is thrown off by the repeat. After that, though, that's fine.

The use of the fretless bass doesn't agree with my tastes- maybe it's just the MIDI- but the note choice is great, with one complaint; the voice-crossing in the first 'metal' section. The bass guitar, playing the bass voice, goes higher than the notes that Guitar One (which in this ensemble, I believe would be the tenor voice?) plays, and while it's not harmonically inaccurate, it just sounds really odd, at least to my ears.

If that ^^ made no sense, well... it didn't to me when I learned voice leading, either, until I heard it for the first time. I don't know really how to explain it. :/

The pause at 23 is awful, IMO. It ruins the momentum, and sounded to me more like my computer lagging.

No problems throughout the rest until the reversal of the intro. The qualm I have with that repeated section pertains here as well.

To me, it looks like I've done a lot of criticizing, but in all honesty, I like the piece. It sounds good, just with some minor flaws. Like HaydenHohns said, touch it up here and there, and it could be really good.
Definitely hear the Exivious in there haha. It's certainly a bit of a step away from your older stuff. I love how you did the whole "one guitar playing weird chords while the other does some quavered-arpeggio" thing. That technique actually works surprisingly well with this style of sound.

Another thing I liked is how...for lack of a better word, cyclical all the riffs sounded. I just got this image of this thing oscillating and doing all kinds of weird stuff when i was listening to this. This is a very good thing haha. Such vivid soundscapes are difficult to come by, and I find almost impossible to compose.

Great work basically. There's nothing I can really criticise except perhaps the intro...it sounds dull and too Spawn of Possession-y. It's completely at odds with the dynamic colour of the rest of the song imo.

So yeah...EPIC.
What is mountains? A mountains has no special shapes or sound!

Epic Chill Broseph Of the Australia FTW! Club. PM Alter-Bridge or The_Random_Hero to join.

I want to crit back, but there's no zip file.
Quote by MoogleRancha
It's like Fenriz and J. Read

"I'm so happy to love metal and stuff"

"I AM metal"
There is nothing Death Metal about this. At all. Not just lack of blast beats or what have you, but the tone/mood/riffing just isn't either. It's not even Tech Death by the standards of Martyr/Cryptopsy/Darkthrone [see Soulside Journey]/Gorguts.... Which is literally the only Tech Death I can listen to and actually call it DEATH METAL. Because usually, it isn't [see Necrophagist. Guitar masturbation masquerading as tech death when really its basically neo-classical with blastbeats and growls. blastbeats and growls do not a death metal band make].

That said, this wasnt bad. Sounds basically like a more classically tinged Exivious to me, not even really close to anything else.

Problem is, there is a dearth of memorable material here. Relapse was good, but it doesnt even stick out to me. Part of this is, I think, the bass is far too loud while the guitars are far too quiet and a lot of the basslines are fairly similar/monotonous. Then again, it also sounds heavily baroque period influenced, and I dont find baroque memorable in any way shape or form, as impressive as it can sometimes be.

Also, that outro goes on forever. Literally. I feel like it was looping in the background for about an hour when it should have just ended after a few repeats. And the synths and piano dont fit. At all. They sound good but they never get used again beyond the beginning and the end. Thus they stick out and just are kind of there for no reason. It makes it very separate from the rest of the song, which ruins the cohesion. It's like you went "you know what would be cool gais?" "what?" "if we tacked on this nifty atmospheric piano thing I wrote!" "But wait does it fit?" "Who cares?!"

Still, not bad, just not memorable to me. I grew out of this stuff a long time ago. Thus I am probably not the best judge of it.
Quote by MoogleRancha
It's like Fenriz and J. Read

"I'm so happy to love metal and stuff"

"I AM metal"
Last edited by Burning_Angel at Jun 26, 2011,
Where to start...

I respect your opinion as a composer and reviewer, although it seems that you could be a bit biased in this, but that being said, crits are personal opinions of a piece, and what they were able to ascertain from it.

I like to have the bass forward in the piece, as it should still be able to be heard over two guitars, drums, and vocals. Also, the lack of interesting and audible basswork in today's music (except in a few select bands) dissapoints me immensely.

As for the intro and outro, those were written much earlier than the rest of the piece, and I feel it flows rather nicely.

To your credit, I suppose this piece qualifies more as prog than Death metal.

But to all that, thanks for the crit.
I am without doubt biased; most of us are. I am biased against many things: "opethian" stuff, djent, so-called "prog/death/tech" stuff or whatever you want to call it... Opeth I still enjoy, time to time, but one must also recognize their glaring flaws, I think, but the rest of it? Hell no. Closest I get to that is death metal in the vein of Demigod, Desolate Shrine, and other Finnish dm bands. Or Melodic Death hailing from Sweden like Necrophobic.

But, I figure an honest crit is always good, if perhaps not what one wants to hear.

As to bass, audible is all fine and dandy but I believe every instrument has it's place, and unless the bass is leading, it should support the song as a whole, as opposed to dominate the volume of a song [as it does here]. Bass is primarily a rhythm instrument anyway, which doesnt preclude it from being interesting, but DOES, in my mind, mean it should help the drums and increase heaviness in a metal tune, and have interesting flourishes. This doesnt mean it should always follow the rhythm guitar, but... eh. I always try and think of the bass and drums as a unit, I suppose, and since I'm a guitarist they will naturally support the guitars, which are the basis for metal anyway.

To be fair, the bass is better/quieter in Avidity.
Quote by MoogleRancha
It's like Fenriz and J. Read

"I'm so happy to love metal and stuff"

"I AM metal"
Last edited by Burning_Angel at Jun 26, 2011,
Sorry for the late crit, thanks for your input on "Xenomorph"! I'll make sure you get an electronic copy of the album when its ready, I'll be posting it here on Ultimate Guitar forums as well.

Intro, super atmospheric, bar 5 was one of those "wtf?" moments, but I see its purpose in this progression.

Really liked how bar 11 flows into the section @ bar 12, those accentuated chords are heavy as ****!

The minute the guitars came in I thought "Gorod".

Very weird style of riffing that reminds me of French metal (don't ask) lol, digging bar 32.

Key change @ bar 48 was a bit too abrupt and seems out of place. Section starting @ bar 40 till 48 seemed to stretch on a bit too long for me, but then again might just be guitar pro.

Lead @ bar 62, I can see what you're going for but just doesn't appeal to me. Bar 89, now that kinda stuff gets me going, at this point its very reminiscent of Gorod (I don't mean that in a denotative way).

The only major gripe I have about this piece is the outro, I can't see (hear lol) it ending w/ the piano piece the way it does, but I don't have as much appreciation for this style of music as someone like you so my opinion on that is def. biased!

Overall, great piece, 7/10 but that's a subjective score, right?

Edit: "The outro is the intro reversed"

Ooops, probably should read above posts before typing haha, ignore my comment about the outro not being "good", I see its purpose now and it makes sense! =D
"Our revenge so everlasting sweet,
Enslave your Children, Behead the weak,
Kill every last Man, Woman and Machine
The cleansing has begun.
Your meek defense is foolish,
we come from the stars a trillion strong."
Last edited by cptazad at Jun 27, 2011,
Thanks for the crit. I still find it amazing that some people don't read the OP, but it doesn't matter as long as they still listen to the piece.

And I typed a paragraph about musical subjectivity and objectivity, and realized that while it made sense, I didn't quite know the point I was trying to express, so I deleted it.

Thanks for the crits, regardless of musical taste. These pieces variate so much among listeners, I've had people say some parts are awesome (Such as the Stupor section in this piece), and I've also had people say the same section did absolutely nothing for them.
Last edited by Life Is Brutal at Jun 27, 2011,
Good job. Music like this is hard to compose but you managed to pull it off.

Regarding the intro (and the similar outro), to me it sounds quite structureless without any proper phrasing and such. But I get the feeling of death himself playing the piano, so if that is what you aimed for, then you've succeeded. Good!

The first riff is okay, but the following ones (1:23 and 1:36) - wow! This section is really, really cool (love the melodic baseline!) and, at least at this first listen, I consider it to be the highlight of the song. Stupor is also great.

The part with the arpeggios that follow sounds like shit in MIDI (the chords are a tad bit too complex to be made any justice by the MIDI overdriven guitar...), and if extreme dissonance isn't the goal here, some clean guitars in this section would be nice. All up to you of course.

Relapse grabs me by the balls, but the best part of it is the tiny "stop" before Reverted - I can imagine bar 104 to be really ****ing brutal on a recording. This is as brutal as MIDI gets. Reverted is a bit more melodic than the other sections, but it is a welcome change, as non-stop dissonance can get quite tiring. Good section.

Stupor returns to great effect, before the haunting piano returns... and never ends, unless I end the track. Creative little loop there

Bottom line: Cynic on steroids. Good job, kept me entertained from start to finish.

Would you mind critting another song from my album? Maybe The Black Rain of Scorn or Will Rise Again, I would like to hear some opinions on one of those. Cheers!