OK, I abandoned this sub-forum over the last 1.5 years for mathematics and engineering. Now that I finally have a decent break, it's back to the composing realm. You're probably excited to know what I have in store for you. If not, too bad. You're getting the low-down.

Right, so this is the first piece I've posted on here which uses synths and only has two guitars. There is plenty of compositional value to be found here. This is the first complete movement (as can be seen by the markers in the GP5 file) of an epic that is well under construction. The second movement will be more relaxed but the tonality is about to get weird. I will probably compose that movement on the fly with my keyboard. I already know what chords I'll be using. Just how I execute the layers upon layers of synths is the only thing that remains unanswered.

So once that is done, it may get tabbed, or I might just skip to the next section which will without a doubt get heavy.

Big influence from Kalter and Persefone on this one. Although I would say my piece turned into a more Power Metal inspired Grindcore spaz-fest as opposed to the Melodic Death Metal breeds that Kalter and Persefone are.

My main area of concern is the length. The first movement is only about one minute in duration; I would like to extend it and I don't know how. Any ideas that could contribute to extending the length would be great.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the piece or at least enjoy tearing it to shreds. I worked pretty hard on this one.

EDIT #1: I realised I had some dodgy harmonies near the end. That's been fixed now.

EDIT # 2: OK, I've decided that the 2nd section will be heavy as well so that has officially begun. The attachments have been updated as such. The chilled section will come in later. I also couldn't resist adding in another guitar, so now there are three. The clean guitar will have some crazy cool effect patches (grain delays, reverbs, tape delays, chorus, harmonizers) I created in GRP5 by NI once I begin to record this piece.

EDIT # 3: With the recommendation of RedDeath9, I have extended the chill section. It's still not done as I'll be adding in some leads from the guitars and maybe keyboard 1. We'll see where it goes though.

EDIT # 4: Melodies are done. Now I need to know where to take this section...

EDIT # 5: OK, up to V5 now, nearly at the end me thinks! I'd say I just need to finish this heavy section with a few recapitulations of earlier themes and then do an outro with the clean chord progression that's super chill and ambient and then I'm good.

EDIT # 6: Finally! It's done. Lots of rhythmic recapitulations going on at the end.

Also, I now have a link to my profile here which contains a recorded sample of bars 56-63 (just clean guitars and percussion) so you all have an idea of what the clean guitars will sound like. It's called Ambient Guitar Test if it doesn't start playing automatically for you. Enjoy!
Last edited by HaydenHohns at Nov 24, 2013,
Starts off pretty cool, nice variation at bars 8-9. Another cool transition at 23-27.

Woah, bar 28 reminds me of... I believe it was JR's skeleton piece called... Hyperactive Depression? Lemme check.

Yep, that was it. Bar 143 in the attached file.

Anyways, bar 32 is really cool. I like how you build tension at bar 40 by speeding everything up. The riff itself is pretty cool too.

Holy shit, bar 44. That's what I'm talking about. Everything before this was kinda... It was good, but nothing really wow'd me. I was afraid that it'd drag on a bit (despite a few repetitions of ideas, it still seemed to meander on a bit through random ideas, without a ton of changes in dynamics [well, it gets better after bar 28, for sure. Everything before that was meh though]) but yeah, uh... What was I gonna say... Right, bar 44. That could go in a lot of different directions. Personally, I think I'd slow it down a bit there.

Overall, some cool ideas, esp. after bar 28. Keep working on it.
Skeleton - Hyperactive Depression.gp4
Wow, means a lot getting a critique from you RedDeath9. Let's see what I have to say in response.

At bars 23-27, straight out of a Loomis textbook with the diminished arpeggios. It's been really hard getting my chops back up since abandoning music for the last 18 months. Especially with that string-skipping tapping bar.

Funny, I was looking up some Latin/Samba rhythms for that section (~28) and then adding in some Metal inflections with the palm-muted decorations. It's mostly influenced by a trumpet player called Allen Vizzutti (he's insanely good at composition and is technically skilled beyond belief). I'll try changing it up a bit though without losing the feel.

Regarding bar 32, glad you liked it. That's one of my favourite ideas I've had too. You'll have to wait for it to be recorded because the preset I've made in Guitar Rig Pro 5 is really cool. I might actually record one shortly to give everyone an idea/example of what it will sound like.

At bar 44, seriously, wait for this totally surreal preset that I'm recording with. It will take you on a trip my friend. I've been trying to mix tonal ideas (the first movement) that one would normally hear in Metal, Latin/Jazz/Fusion (the Phrygian Dominant mode obviously) along with more obscure sounds one would normally hear in Impressionist and 20th Century classical music. I find too much of either tonal or atonal music can be overbearing. I'm currently trying to find a midpoint now.

Funny you mentioned slowing things down there. I just started a Black Metal section.

I guess I could try extending it. I'll start two versions. The one with Black Metal and the other with an extended Fusion/Ambient section. Actually scratch that, I'm going to use the chord progression in the Black Metal bit (trust me it's nicer than you think and it's more interesting than Phrygian Dominant) in the extended Fusion bit and then go Black Metal.

Do you have any ideas for not making it meander in the first part? I mean I thought it was alright but now I'm not sure.

Thanks for the critique once again (really appreciate it). Have you continued with your "Spirals" yet? I'm interested in hearing those following movements you mentioned in your last topic I heard (Human). I definitely want to finish this one since it will sound truly epic once it's recorded. Plus it will be a good way to get my chops back up.
You don't have to change 28, I was just pointing out a similarity. It wasn't really a big deal. I'll address everything else tomorrow, as I'm dead tired right now.
Oh, OK. Cool, now I don't need to think up a new rhythm. Also that extended chill section is working out great right now. I should have V3 up by the time you're not dead tired.

Cheers once again.
Quote by HaydenHohns
Do you have any ideas for not making it meander in the first part? I mean I thought it was alright but now I'm not sure.

Thanks for the critique once again (really appreciate it). Have you continued with your "Spirals" yet? I'm interested in hearing those following movements you mentioned in your last topic I heard (Human). I definitely want to finish this one since it will sound truly epic once it's recorded. Plus it will be a good way to get my chops back up.

I just relistened, and I think it's alright, but not exactly my cup of tea. I think what mostly sounds 'average' to me is the solo from 12-18. Bar 14 is cool, though, I like the whammy bar right at the beginning. And actually, bar 13 is good too, because it goes well into 14. Hmm, how do I describe the rest of the solo, though? 15-18... You know, the more I listen, the more I don't mind it

Nah, I haven't really done considerable work on Spirals since posting part 2. However, I did upload a new collab with Tarbosh, if you wanna check that out.
@RedDeath9: Ha! It's funny how things end up like that.

I just checked out your/Tarbosh's piece. Everyone's already said most of what I want to say. The only thing I noticed that wasn't mentioned was that I felt that the difference from triplets to straight 16th sections was very jarring between the transitions. My instinct would be to split it into two songs. Keep the triplets with the triplets, and straight 16ths by themselves too. I think the happier triplet stuff definitely makes me think of a town theme but the 16th Fusion-y stuff reminds me of Sazh's Theme from FFXIII in terms of rhythm and the solo phrasing of the piano in Sazh's theme was similar to the soloing in both the guitars and piano in your A Twilit Bridge.

I think it would be seriously cool if you and/or Tarbosh did a purely Jazz/Fusion album.

Also I wasn't sure if I'd be necrobumping your last piece since it was more than a month since the last post was in there, so I opted for this. Hope that's cool.
I listened to this the other day. It's definitely interesting how you mixed the keys with the guitars. The part that starts at Bar 28 really stands out up until about bar 36 where I kinda felt the song lost a little momentum. The song itself isn't really my thing but you definitely did a good job keeping the song heavy and only using standard tuning for the guitars. The overall atmosphere of the whole thing is great though!
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@kylendm: You seriously have no idea how heavy standard gets bro, try Empyreal by Sylosis. Deicide and Deceased are in Eb standard and they're both very heavy too. Try those even if they're not your thing. The lead playing on the last four Deicide albums is near flawless IMO. I'll try make bar 36 and those near it a little more interesting if I can. I've already chucked in a fifth version but I'll keep working on that section too. I think I'm at the home stretch now for this piece.
well. it is a good work,dude!

The intro it is a little bit strange , but the melodic line is nice.

The riff from the bar 28 it is a very epic and groovy one. The next riffs are very power, with a good progression and melodic line.

The acoustic part it is not bad, even it is a little bit dissonant, but it is not bad.

The synths are ok. Maybe you could do it a little more dynamic, more energic but it isn't bad.

p.s. excelent bass line and drums. 7,5/10
Oh, man. I wish I was able to give criticisms more often, but this tab forum is the only place I manage to find good music anymore. The sense of harmony here is pretty damn impressive, and this really shows what a good synth can do for metal. No complaints here.
@Rossielle: Cheers! I appreciate the feedback. I think the biggest thing with bass is actually making it audible to begin with. Anyway, I'll try adding some more interesting synths and atmospherics if I can, although it's already been recorded, minus the square lead.

@Macabre_Turtle: The high praise means a lot to me. I would say I have plenty more in stock but I've just been offered a summer vacation job and will be busy after Christmas. I might be able to squeeze a few things in before I start though. Feel free to send me a PM and you can tell me what music you're into and I might be able to help with some recommendations.
Returning your amazing feedback in my other thread.

This was an amazingly well put together piece, consisting of musical ideas and melodies I couldn't even start to analyze. What impressed me the most, I think, was even though some of the parts and motifs seem very schizofrenic and "all over the place", there is a feeling of coherency throughout it. Very well done.

Well worth listening to a couple of times!
Welcome back to the realm of composition, mr hayden.

Now I've let this piece sink in a couple of times and I'm listening back to it again, and trying to find out what I like and dislike about it.

It's very clear you're comfortable with composing, there are great rhythmic ideas, a lot of variation in texture, phrasing and mood, and from the couple of listens I've give it, it seems to work all around harmonically and orchestrally, so I don't intend on putting too much emphasis of my review on those aspects.

The guitar leads and synth leads throughout are pretty interesting and diverse, but overall, I feel like this piece has a bit of a personality crisis.

Everything works, but what is the piece telling me? It seems like you enjoy using changes in mood in your leads, changes from colorful, joyful tones to more contemplative, sad parts, and plenty of ultra fast drumming and driving beats, but overall I feel like when the piece gets into a groove, it suddenly throws you in for a loop over and over again so that you lose that direction, that flow that gives the listener a solid emotion or mindset.

I feel like you're trying to bridge a gap between epic power metal and black metal and you haven't found the proper balance between the two that would make it a cohesive whole, more than the sum of its parts, so to speak. It moreso comes off like... a fusion of two ideas, emotions, moods, that are struggling to find common ground and express themselves as a unit.

It's like two people having a conversation, but neither are taking the time to listen to the other speak; the ideas aren't meshing together as well as they could be.

Of course, that being said, it all works harmonically, and none of the sections, on a micro scale, sound bad, but as a macro whole, as an expression of an idea, it's not sure what it really wants to be or achieve.

In bar 11-13 I feel like you get that mesh of moods, that power metal synth with that dark atmosphere, and it gives me this feeling similar to what bal sagoth can sometimes achieve in their music, but then at bar 14 it seems to struggle to transition into another territory, and I feel this repeats throughout the song on many occasions, sometimes more successfully than others.

I personally find there are way too many pauses in the song that just break the flow of the piece. At measure 10, the first time, after an intro, it works for me, but then it happens again throughout the piece and the flow just falls apart, and I don't think the length or the nature of the piece lends well to that - It's possible to lower the intensity, to make the drums continue and groove out without completely cutting off the drive.

Now some sections in particular like 69-72, it really feels like you nailed the idea of merging both styles together into more than the sum of its parts, it's got a soaring, epic, lead, and this menacing, dark black metal backing underneath and it sounds really fresh and interesting, but again, it's in a little chunk, and it comes and passes faster than you can really sink your teeth in it and appreciate that atmosphere.

Both these genres, black metal and epic, symphonic, or power metal, they do really well with drawn out, long sections that develop a mood over time, and I find the spazzy, grind-like execution of this piece hampers the potential that blending both together in the way you do ultimately could have.

All that being said, it's not bad at all, I can listen to all of it over and over again without issue, and as I said, from a technical standpoint, it's well written; I was just searching for some insight I could give you to make the whole tell a better story, because I think if you can nail that aspect, it would be quite fantastic.

If you're interested in telling me my music sucks ass and is impossible to play, I got one for you

Keep up the writing though, it's great to hear more of your music.
@Christopher S: Cheers man! Although I think I have lost some of that coherency in my later music. It's all spastic as f*** these days. It's all about keeping an idea and transforming it continuously though. Also, if I came across as harsh in your thread, don't take me too seriously. I step across boundaries sometimes.

@JazzDeath: Wow, that's an awesome crit and it means a lot coming from such an accomplished composer such as yourself. You're definitely correct with the personality crisis, I can never decide whether I want to play Thrash, Doom, Black, Power, etc and I'm so musically-ADHD when it comes to composing music despite the fact that I love long and epic tracks. Also, nice crits however pleasant are boring, and I appreciate the critical mind. So all good there.

I'll try to tell you it sucks but I'll probably just end up admiring it (don't worry, I'm not ducking out, I'll get to it ASAP). I'll always be composing but studies get in the way sometimes. One of my more recent threads (note this one if fairly old) was pushed down to the bottom but is more recent (I attached a link). I think you'll hate it due to the Grindcore execution but musically it's some of my best. You can check it out if you want.