#1
Hey guys, I have here one of my favorite songs I've written, and recently I remade the part before the end solos to be orchestral and slightly bass solo-y. At the moment it's still a work in progress so it may sound off and there may be mistakes, but I'm looking for help with the overall flow of the song as it has quite a few interludes. I am wondering how everything flows, if there's good continuity, and if not what could be done to fix that. I am also very welcome to critiques about tone, mixing, production, and anything else that seems relevant. Whatever seems important, feel free to comment!
EDIT: FINAL VERSION

https://soundcloud.com/the-left-turns/cerebral-odessey-final-mix

I will C4C guaranteed, thanks for listening!

Also, considering the song length, if you want to pick specific sections, feel free to do that as well. I understand you may not want to listen to all 8 minutes
Music must be honest to be timeless.
Last edited by boratian at Jun 17, 2013,
#2
It's a pretty intense track, not bad at all. I personally feel that the transition at 6:33 is a little jarring. Maybe add a volume swell or something if you agree. If not, no big deal.
As for tone, the lead sound is great, borderline perfect for the song, but I would roll off a bit of treble for the rhythm.
#3
Writing as I listen.

Intro sounds brutal/awesome. The chords at the start are cool. And then we start metalling. Somehow it gives me a kind of Meshuggah - I (Which if you haven't heard you should definitely check out ) vibe somehow. Not sure if it's the tone or the song. At 0:48 it makes place for a bit more melodic vibe. At 0:58 we get a small break from the brutals with some low tones that could be mistaken as deep-sea parts from The Ocean's newest release. The return to the intro at 1:20 is very nice. Riffing thereafter is nice and heavy again. You're missing leads and or vocals at this point though. Do you have any vocalist/screaming friends? If so they could come in handy and if not you should make some. Part at 2:28 gives me a bit of The Ocean/sludgy feeling in a good way. And we're blasting of again at 2:48. Up untill now dynamics and flow has been superb, it feels like we're just starting out and we're at 3:00 already. At 3:15 we have some harmonic /chorusish discharge which is good. A bit more of a layed back riff at 3:24, which is nice for a bit. You don't have to stick your balls in people's faces all the time so to speak. The melodic riffs are cool. Back to that rock-and-rollish riff at 4:08 which is cool. Back to the chorus kind of thing at 4:20ish which is a nice part. I like the returning of the intro kind of chugs now and then, makes it feel like a whole. The transition into 5:00 is cool. A bit of Future Breed Machine at 5:13 for a little bit, nice. The layers at 5:22ish are good really add to the song lifting it somewhere. Wasn't expecting the 5:37 but it's cool. Bassguitar is moving places like it, seems a bit chaotic at times though. Like it doesn't really have any direction or doesn't follow a general line or anything. Perhaps make the bass try implending some chords (better) or think of a theme to do. Transition at 6:30 was a bit meh, could use work. The sweeps you do sound off-key or something. Doesn't really fit well. Solo part at 7:07 but the whole thing feels a bit improvised. You're not really hitting "wrong" notes but you're hitting notes that don't work as well as they should. Ending was a bit abrupt I felt. Could be a bit of a build-off perhaps or something. I don't know :P.

Song is awesome in general, the only transition that didn't work/flow was the one at 6:30, and the bass part before that should have some more form. As I said above, try and make it imply the same chords that are going on behind it. Or perhaps make it imply extensions of the chords behind it or something because at the moment it wasn't great. Same goes for the solo, sometimes you felt a bit out-of keys. Altough it sounded like you remained in key but hit a lot of not-so-great notes in key. Like you just layed those passing notes out while they should be left passing notes.

It feels like your lead playing is a bit under-developed in comparison with your huge song-writing skills. It feels like you're still falling back on blues/rock/pentatonic shapes that you learned while you were previously playing another genre (We all start out with Metallica/Iron Maiden/Something similar right?). Some ideas are good but it just needs a little more work to throw that previous stuff out the window. I can really recommend checking out some Gurthrie Govan lessons (Like this one on chromatics which was quite an eye opener for me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9Hg4JdwMMg ). Or maybe try doing some jazz improvisation to really get some different juices flowing. I feel like I'm kind of in the same alley as you solo-wise (Although you have better technique it seems :P), but I've been lately doing a lot of soloing / playing "Blue Bossa", which might sound retarted but it's actually learned me a lot, it has a change of keys in the middle section which really makes you think about being on the right notes. Or well really makes you think about what you play in general.

Anyway, awesome song!
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#4
Thanks for that VERY indepth comment! I think you pretty much nailed my own thoughts on the weak spots. The orchestral transition is terrible at the moment, I've been working on smoothing it out a lot. As far as the underlying bass playing, that was literally one take just to fill the sound I wanted; I wrote this song awhile back and I changed that part significantly while recording it, so that's still under construction if you will. I really like your idea of outlying chords, I was going to do that originally but opted for a solo bass part for the heck of it. After listening back a few times I like your idea best for sure.

As for the solos...you've found my weakness! Yes, I can't improv solo worth a damn. I really heavily on pentatonics and minor scales,and while I've written some solos I'm quite proud of, this is not one of them. I'm definitely going to spend some time checking out guys like Govan just to open up some creative options. On a side note, those aren't sweeps and that was my goal with them lol. That was my attempt at something I call pseudo sweeping. What that was is two notes on the a and d strings and a quick hammer on pull off on the high E, but the strings in between are still played but muted. It sounds very realistic to a real sweep when played faster, but in a relatively slower tempo such as this one its flaws show like a nerve.

Again thanks a lot for your comment, I know you've left me ones like this before. Do you have anything for me to critique? I'd love to return the favor if possible
Music must be honest to be timeless.
#5
I just uploaded an updated version with some mistakes fixed and completely reworked the clean bass part as well as worked on the solos
Music must be honest to be timeless.
#6
Not really my favorite style of music but I didn't get bored at all. I really like the part that starts at around 3 minutes. I wish there had been some parts with less instruments playing at the same time. There were two changes that sounded a bit off IMO. First was at 2:37 and the second was at 6:30. I think you could fix them by using less instruments first and then add more instruments. But otherwise I think the overall flow was good.
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#7
Reminds me of a heavier BTBAM

I think the initial riff could be cut down, but I don't really know since there are no vocals.
The transfer at :56 seem pretty fluid and I like the ending recalling the first riff.

Not a big fan of 1:35 seems too similar to the first riff, doesn't feel like the song has progressed anywhere from this point yet.

I feel like 3:02 should came earlier unless you're going to bring vocals into the song.

3:20 sounds out of place for me...too southern metal.
It transfers nicely into the next riff but that area seems a bit too long.


5:33 is pretty awesome, a fretless bass would really shine in a part like this.

I really like the transfer at 6:30
the next part is pretty nice and transfer into the next riff is pretty sick.

I enjoyed the solo, you went out of key on a few parts but it is still fitting in the song.

7:45 you go into some bending thing that really just throws the ending off.

Not a bad song but there is definitely room for improvment.

I'd just work on boiling the song down, unless you intend on vocals to be added.

Here is my song I've been working on, it's really rough.
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=51
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#8
boratian,
Guitar tone is good. I like most of the riffs. Some parts really rock for me. Some good vocals would be nice. Playing is tight. The drums fit. If there is electric bass, I can't hear it very clearly most of the time (I can hear it during the piano), maybe it's just following the guitar. Nice Zach Wylde harmonic squeal, & sweeping, parts of the lead guitar (not as good at the end). Surprising piano/synth part. Please review my music at this link:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1605464
Last edited by aaron aardvark at Jun 16, 2013,
#9
parts of it are borderline metalcore style to me and i'm usually quite prejudiced against that - but actually it reminds me mostly of Killswitch Engage which i used to like. i like the raw energy of the whole thing. the transition to the second, more melodic section was okay, i think it could work with some stuff going over it. vocals to give the pause context, or some other instrument?

the transition at 5:30 was not so great to me, almost like you said "screw it" and just faded out the drums to bring in the other instruments. 6:30 was better, but it still didn't seem that convincing. i think it's because you have a habit of stretching out a chord from the previous section for dramatic effect, then bringing in the other part. you already did this once in the song. i'm going to pull a guideline out of my ass and say that i think you should only have one or two of these types of transitions on a whole album, or else it starts to sound lazy. unless you're doing some weird kind of experimental concept album with a narrative or something.

the solo section at the end was pretty awesome overall, love the interplay between the different leads, but i agree with pinguinpanic - some of the note choices are questionable.

i'm glad you're still going to work on this, the material is good! i just think it needs more messing around with.
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#10
I really like this track! Guitar tones feel really raw and in-your-face but definitely in a good way! The first minute or so really gives me a kind of Darkest Hour vibe. Kick drums seems a little low but that could be on my end.

Love the part at 2:36, and the chorusy part around 3:00 is excellent! I definitely got the head bob going from that part, I love some awesome chord progressions. The transition at 3:20 into the more driving feel is also great, then back into that chord section. I was just like YEAH DUDE!

The backing parts around 5:00 seem sort of muddy and drowned out by the rhythm. But the section around 5:30 is a refreshing change of pace overall, the piano really makes the part stand out. The solo section afterwards at 6:30 is a great follow-up to the change of pace and I like how it takes the rest of the track to the end.

Overall, really digging this track!
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#11
Thanks for the comments everyone! I actually just re-recorded all the guitar parts because I figured out how to get a better tone from the Axe FX. I also fixed that last transition everyone's mentioning. I'm not sure how you'll feel about it, but it's much better than before lol

Also I suppose I should explain he concept behind the song as it may make more sense overall. The basic premise is that it starts out with playing on the ideas of dreaming and nightmares. Literally what it was intended to be was it opens with a guy in a space ship under attack, his ship gets blow up, and he's knocked into some altered state where he experiences his life in fragments and weird memories. Basically that's the songs whole concept, but the first section is really where it is relevant - everything else just built off of it. The final orchestral section was originally going to build up into a full band climax before the solo, but I was playing with some VST synths and used the basic idea and created that whole section instead. Considering that section is supposed to be the man remembering who he loves and ultimately waking back up from his altered state (the distorted bass immediately after the strings/piano), and the solo is sort of the final stretch to survive.

That's the general idea and it's hard to explain as it's more emotional ideas that I'm expressing, but those are the visual aspects of the song that inspired me to write it in the first place.
Music must be honest to be timeless.
Last edited by boratian at Jun 17, 2013,
#12
Thanks for the feedback!

Mix overall is generally very good, would personally prefer the bass to be slightly louder in the heavier parts though. I like the individual sections of the song (especially the southern metal section) but they generally go on for too long each to my liking, even with vocals they could each be cut by 25% or so imo. Also agree with the above comments on the transition at 5:30, doesn't really flow that well - perhaps let the rhythm guitars fade out for a bar or two before bringing in the piano/strings/etc.
#13
Thanks for the crit man, finally got the time to write you one out now, anyway;

Very brutal riffage going on for the beginning part of this song - very reminiscent of Between The Buried And Me's "Disease, Injury, Madness". I'm digging the main riff though! Drumming works really well along with it as well.

2:05 is a great build to the quieter section that also divides the song nicely giving a short break from the madness aha. The next section is once again pretty nuts sounding - maybe would have been better suited in the first section? The part around 3:02 sounds really cool, liking the chords and the section that follows flows fine.

Nice part around 5:03 - the clean over the chugging reminds me of Periphery which I can see is an influence. The part at around 5:35 was really unexpected - it wasn't bad - but I really didn't see that 'natural' orchestral sound fitting into this song from the get-go.

Solo/dual solo sounds great for the last section if a bit 'dry' - I think that may be down to maybe EQ'ing or maybe it could do with a touch of delay/verb around there. Regardless, the solo itself is awesome.

Overall it was a good mix of heavy to melodic and it didn't feel like a long song (standing at 8:07) so clearly it carried itself well. Good work man.