#1
Got another one here. My old Power Metal influences managed to rear its cheesy face in mine so I took a left turn into Latin Jazz (At least it sounds like it to me in the chord progression and rhythms/accents). My favourite sections are [A], [H] and but it's all good ( ). I also think the Dissonant/Thrash section needs to be extended but I'm not sure. This one is also quite short (4:09 me thinks) so don't expect any ambitious jamming (The worst part of Prog anyway), but rather some nice melodic development, using multiple voices and some complex but emotive chord progressions.

Hope you all enjoy, if your feedback does entail something like adding a new section/changing something dramatically then an example of what you envisage would be appreciated (Whether this is simply the name of a song by an artist I have to look up or a detailed description). Thanks.
Attachments:
Template12.gp4
Template12.gp5
#3
As promised, here's my critique! I've listened a few more times before even starting to write, so rather than go section-by-section, I'll give my overall impression.

I was more than impressed by the use of correct score conventions, including the clear key signature, accent and dynamic markings, and appropriate groupings of musical notation. It's just really nice to see these things being taken into consideration in the notation of a musical composition, and I'm sure it would be appreciated by performers.

The use of contrasting time signatures throughout is very effective, too; the subtle push of a 7/4 interspersed amongst the preceding 4/2 bars of [A] and provide a more direct flow without seeming urgent; [D]'s 5/4 isn't even particularly noticeable let-alone jarring, and provides the opposing sensation of a pull to provide, rather than would should be rhythmic anticipation, the freedom for melodic themes to develop appropriately (hearing the accents though, I'm debating whether the 5/4 should be bar 1 of this section rather than 2, including variations of the theme); and the shift to a constant 7/8 provides a complimentary urgency to the thrashy dissonance.

Another trait that I really admire, and one I'm trying to incorporate in a piece I'm currently working on, is the inept sense of flow and progression thanks to cross-fades and the like - there's no real hesitation or pause, and the entire composition comes across as lively and determined to live and breathe on its own. In the context of an album, placing this track in the middle or later-portion could be very effective to reignite a listener's interest and involvement in the music. That is of course unless you have pieces even more flowing than this, in which case you should disregard my suggestion.

The phrasing throughout is great, particularly thanks to the combination of various subdivisions and syncopations, but also a relentless polyphony making for some interesting non linear/parallel harmony, something I'm a big fan of.
One bar that did meddle with - more out of curiosity than anything - was bar 16's lead lines; after seeing your later use of quintuplets in the 4/4 ->5/4 section, I altered the subdivisions to three lots of triplets, a quintuplet grouping, and then final sextuplet grouping, which I think is something Ron Jarzombek does absolutely masterfully to subtly imply alterations in tempo or meter. I'm not suggesting that my take is anywhere near as adept or likeable to his approach, but I've linked the GP files below if you'd like to have a listen.
The second bar I altered was Bar 18 by extending the meter from 6/4 to 7/4. Again, this was from curiosity as the 6/4 seemed a little jagged to me, or too abrupt in its transition into the following bar. I also shifted the first snare hit in bar 19 one quarter to the right, but again it was out of interest. I won't say what I think of the product of my tampering, since I'd rather leave it to you to decide which you're more comfortable with.

Hopefully I won't be coming across as too pedantic by pointing out yet another thing I'd like to see changed - or a dick by the way I word it - but here we go! While the change to the thrashy section is absolutely fine the way it is, I think it may be worth writing a more major-key oriented variation of it, or at least in a similar vein to the tonality of the melodies we had been hearing up to that point, to function as the first hearing of that thrashy theme. What I mean is, you could have the more major-oriented version slowly modulate into the menacing dissonant progression, allowing you to develop the theme itself whilst allow making for perhaps a more tonally logical progression from the melody themes to this focally-rhythmic part. I hope I haven't worded that too badly in that it either be offensive of incomprehensible
At the moment, I kind of liken this transition to the one early on in Angra's Angels and Demons, which jumps into a HUGE shift in mood about a minute-and-a-half in, sort of functioning as a bridge you'd hear near the end of a song rather than a likely follow-up to preceding themes. My tastes have changed a lot since I first heard that song, so while I liked the mish-mash back then, I really prefer developments now (God, how pretentious do I seem right now?). Anyway, I'd really like to see what you could do with this modulation idea if you decide to adopt it.

Apart from the more obvious critique I had of your piece, I really did enjoy everything here - the themes themselves are wonderfully phrased, have a great character and flavour, and are complimentary of one-another. The only thing I'd like to see is the transition from lead-oriented sections to rhythm-oriented be smoother out a little, and also be complimentary.
Hope this helps out somewhat, and great work on the composition!
Attachments:
Template12(2) Bar 16 Lead Edit.gp4
Template12(2) Bar 16 Lead Edit.gp5
#4
@juckfush: Yes, I consider notation a work of art in some form or another, probably grinded into me from playing trumpet over the years. I actually have to take these things into consideration as it's possible that I may make symphonic arrangements of these for my school to play.

I met a trumpet player from the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra (I think he was from there anyway) once and he taught me about anticipation, whether it had to do with the cadence within the chord progression or the rhythmic pulse. It was from that point that onwards that I really took into consideration of the structure of a piece. I mean I used to have songs where I would copy and paste one section without any variation whatsoever. I'm planning on rewriting some of my older material if I lack enough material for this album.

Also I'm quite certain this will be the last or second last song on the album (I have about 5 songs completed and another 5 in progress), depending on the completion of a composition in the style of Nevermore, specifically "This Godless Endeavour".

I love listening to Baroque music for melodic development and polyphonic texture. The parallell 5ths harmony was inspired by Death though, specifically 'Trapped In A Corner". It may have been only one beat but that still counts right?

I definitely liked the Jarzombek thing you did, he uses that technique frequently in Blotted Science. The 7/4 addition and snare hit I'll give some more thought though.

Are you specifying the 7/8 section before it or the actual Nevermore "riffinz?" I could see that happening before the Thrash section but not in it. Thrashing in a major key is a big no-no for me.

BTW I listen to Angra more for the riffs and solos (Kiko Loureiro is insane on Temple of Hate) rather than their transitions and nearly absent melodic development. The Danish Prog bands are much better at melodic development (Anubis Gate with their counter-melodies and ever-changing harmonies and Beyond Twilight for their twisted modulations) along with all the Baroque musicians I know of (Not many though).

Thanks a million, I really appreciate the crit, gibsonbrothers could learn a thing or two from you (LOL).
#5
This is a great song, to me it sounds very Obscura influenced. I'm sure you have listened to them but if you haven't check out the albums "Cosmogenesis" and "Omnivium." Long story short, this song is amazing good work!
Last edited by gffCrazyCharlie at Jul 3, 2011,
#7
One thing I hate about modern "prog" bands is how they force the time signatures on you in a "look at me!" kind of way. Very abruptly, with no thoughts for how they compliment the song, and only so that they can look or feel techy and talented. You however, write very smooth transitions, so smooth that I had to listen back through the beginning a few times and count out the weird ones (like that measure of 15/8 near the beginning) to make sure they actually happened. I like it. Very melodic.
#8
@gffCrazyCharlie: I have listened to Obscura before and although I wasn't that excited for Cosmogenesis I definitely liked Omnivium. I'll have to purchase it if you recommend it so much (I only heard a couple songs). I don't have a recorded version yet. I'm working on a rough demo so I can use them as backing tracks for an upcoming 'Battle of the Bands' competition. Thanks for the reply.

@FrauVfromPoB: Glad you liked it. The thing I hate about Prog is so many claim that for its musical innovation you must have complex time signatures, ten minutes of virtuosic jamming and odd chords. But Prog was there for musical innovation, so I hardly see how so may bands like Andromeda, Circus Maximus and others can be considered Prog when there is nothing new they are really doing. I mean it's still decent music but I wouldn't call them Progressive Metal. If you want real Progressive Metal then the bands I mentioned above (Angra, Anubis Gate and Beyond Twilight) are all good places to start. I also listen to Ayreon, Cynic, Death, Ihsahn, Jeff Loomis/Nevermore and Unexpect. Blotted Science and Spastic Ink are also unique bands worth checking out.
#9
I don't have much of an critic to be honest but from what I hear it's good stuff and I enjoy it. So good job, look forward to hearing more of your stuff in the future.

(By the way, you might enjoy a prog metal band called Haken, just saying.)
"Fly with me forever high
And with these wings
We'll set the world on fire
Fly with me through scorching skies
You and I - The lie of lies"

-Symphony X
#10
bar 50 - 54 blew my mind!
I thought it was cool, reminded me of playing street fighter on ninetendo.
“being in a room and sitting there with a ghost, hearing their voice in your head and seeing them as clearly as I'm seeing you right now.”
#11
@Gulli05: Glad you liked it. I hope to continue this niche I've found (I have about 20 minutes of material completed which hopefully has enough variation but not too much that it has no focus throughout the entire album). I haven't posted all of this material on UG but once the entire album is done I'll repost it as a complete collection. I'm also recording rough takes of these songs so I can get an idea of how they should sound and so I can get feedback on the quality. I'll let you know when I've recorded/written more.

I have actually listened to Haken before and thought they weren't worth the hype the media created for them but I'll give them another shot. Thanks for the response.

@tissue-box: Glad you liked that section. There are a few thrashy tracks I'm working on at the moment but I'm not confident with them so it's likely you'll only see flickers of Thrash/Death Metal in these ones at the moment. I don't listen to the composer/s for Street Fighter but I'm a big fan of Nobuo Uematsu and a lot of the other composers for SquareSoft/Enix games but I will take a listen to the soundtrack for Street Fighter. Thanks for bringing that up.
#12
What I particularly like about this is that it is focused - there are relatively few ideas compared to what I would expect. As such, this feels like a song.

You deal with time sigs very nicely, as other people have noted - it's not noticeable for the most part, which is ideal - it's far better imo for something complex to appear more simple at first glance, as opposed to something complex sounding... well, complex. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, depending on the context, but that's how I feel about complexity in music in a very broad sense.

One thing I couldn't help but feel you used perhaps a little too much were the lead runs that both lead guitars were performing, both perfectly in harmony (using thirds? I know very little theory, but I *think* that's the best way to word it ) - it sounds good, granted, but it's very distinctive, and hence noticeable when you use it throughout the song. Building on from that point, I think it would've been better to have less time spent with dual leads fighting it out - balance it out a bit more, with singular leads playing at parts. I love polyphony as well, but imo the difficult thing to do is to resist doing it too much, because then it's less special when you use it in the song. In one of my songs from about six months ago (Nihil Semper Floret) I nearly started out the song by pretty much spilling all my good material at once - however, I stopped myself, and ended up being able to write a whole song based around that one idea, by splitting it up, and it was only used as originally written right before the very end. It also turned out to be one of my more stable songs in terms of structure, but that's besides the point.
There isn't that major of a problem here as I feel I'm painting, but it's something to bear in mind when writing stuff like this in future.

In terms of everything else, though, no complaints - your soloing was excellent, not too wanky or dull, and rhythmically it was varied and interesting. I see this as complete - imo there's no need to extend the Dissonant/Thrash section. And for my last little note: favourite section was [C] - good chord progression there, and the melody/solo over the top for the most part is just the one lead, which works really well there.
#13
@Quibokk: You're first statement worries me, as a song feels like a degrading term to me, I must extend its structure at once!

I agree with your stance on complexity, if a riff sounds good in 7/16 that's good, if a riff sounds good in 4/4, that's also good.

There isn't much diatonic third harmonies here as they only happen by chance when the leads match up together. The melodies in section B actually borrow each others rhythms in the 2nd half which is something I really like about this piece, so that in a way is proof of my conservation. I will keep your thoughts in mind though, and I'll listen to your other composition which you specify for reference to this.
#14
Quote by HaydenHohns
@Quibokk:

...

There isn't much diatonic third harmonies here as they only happen by chance when the leads match up together. The melodies in section B actually borrow each others rhythms in the 2nd half which is something I really like about this piece, so that in a way is proof of my conservation. I will keep your thoughts in mind though, and I'll listen to your other composition which you specify for reference to this.


I'm probably wrong in my explanation of what I meant, or you think it's not that big a deal (either one is fair enough ) - and I also didn't mean to undermine your work in the structuring of the song. We all listen to music for different reasons, and what stood out to me is not what will stand out to everyone. It's quite likely that we come from different perspectives on music, so take everything I say with a grain of salt (as I think you already have).

Main reason for justifying this is that now I feel as though I've hyped up my example a bit too much so will be specific - my original idea comes into play in bars 131 - 138 (originally with the standard verse backing). Attentive listeners may or may not notice that the two melodies being played there are the first two verses at the same time. It becomes much less impressive (depending on your definition of impressive) when knowing how that came about. I was quite proud, regardless, of being able to take that little 8 bar shard, and split it up and turn it into a fully fledged song. Probably a bit of my ego influenced even mentioning that in my original comment, haha.
#15
WOW! Simply WOW!
This is the first song original song that left to totally speechless.
I liked the latin feel of this song. Really enjoyable. It reminded me somewhat of Atheist's 'Elements' album.

I think this was meant to be instrumental because there's not much space for vocals. I still loved all those chord progressions, lead guitars, harmonies...

If you are going to form band someday, I hope you making this kind of stuff (with vocals, of course).