#1
Hey folks,

I just finished a death metal song (well, there are a few things I'm going to add, but it's pretty much finished). I play a lot of death metal but up until this point it has mostly been just covers and covers of riffs. This one is an original though, and I was going for a somewhat but not overly-modern death metal production in the vein of older Bloodbath/Entombed, etc. You'll probably find that it's got a slight black metal vibe which is primarily what I play. Anyway, let me know how I did on the mix and songwriting. Enjoy!


Edit: NEW, BETTER (in my opinion) version HERE: https://soundcloud.com/kailm-1/ur-avgrunden-han-stiger-v-20
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Oct 13, 2016,
#2
Intro sounding really good i like the solo drum spots with that double bass has alot of punch. Pretty fuckin heavy man. For being so heavy it still has some nice.flow to it. I'm not to into this particular brand of metal. It's just noise in a few spots might be the device I'm using. Overall it's definitely I good tune you know what your doing guitar tone isn't to bad overall keep it up and thanks for reviewing mine!
#3
Dude this is awesome. Like the atmospheric intro that leads up to a blistering assault on your face. Pure dissonant evil brutality. I'm banging my head right now. Love that riff at 1:22 while the double kick keeps going. I really don't recall hearing such a detuned guitar sounding so crisp and chainsaw-like. 2:18 is great, I always liked those fast drum styles. Nice subtlety at 2:50 (it sounds like pinch harmonics but I don't think it is).

One slight criticism is at 4:00 the transition seems rushed or out of place, but no big deal to me doesn't keep me from enjoying the song. Liking the wall of noise that follows. The blast beat after that grabs me back and puts me back into headbanging mode. Even the little bit of feedback for the end is a nice touch. All you need now is some sick death growling.

So I really like this song. I'm interested in what you use for production. Do you mix everything yourself or have assistance with a program (I use EzMix2 for instance). You have such a crushing guitar tone and it's something that has always eluded me so any tips to achieve that quality is appreciated.

Definitely a pleasure to listen to. Here is my song for some feedback I'm sure you could point out a few things that I can improve on (mostly pertaining to production value). https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1708822
#4
^^Thanks for the feedback. That part at 2:50 is what I think could be appropriately called "trill." Kind of sounds like tapping, but I only used my left hand and just hammered-on/pulled-off rapidly twice for each of those notes. Another track, I played the same riff only harmonized so it created a unique sound.

That transition at 4:00 was definitely rushed. That's actually one area that I'm gonna work on in a few minutes actually. I think I've got some ideas for how to make it sound more like it's part of the song.

I do mix and master everything myself. It's taken a lot of trial and error + advice on forums and other websites. There are actually two distinct guitar tones on this (but I only used one amp). The tone in the intro part before it starts to get really crazy is my 6505+. The lead channel is modded to original 5150 specs and it is definitely more brutal/thick/ferocious than any non-modded 6505+. (Though, I could still make do with the original 6505+ tone.) The second tone I used was with my Boss HM-2 pedal (still through the 6505 lead channel though). I turned the gain on the amp way down, and actually turned the gain way down on the pedal too -- because together they are both gain monsters. The real "chainsaw" tone on the track comes from the HM-2. That pedal was responsible for albums like Entombed's Left Hand Path and every Swedish death metal album after it, pretty much. It's got a super gnarly tone that can't be beat for this kind of music. But when I combine the two tones it's something even beyond that...

Though both tones are pretty thick, I quad-tracked all the guitar parts. So that means I played everything 4 separate times. You have to really know the riffs to be able to play them tight. Just copying and pasting the same performance won't do it -- you have to actually play the part right 4 times and two track hard left and two hard right. Actually two of the tracks were only at about 80% left and right. I also didn't play the parts exactly the same. I harmonized the riffs slightly in places which you can really hear toward the end. It helps make the tone even more sinister and foreboding, depending on how you write the song. But enough about me -- I'll go listen to yours right now and see if I can help. Thanks again!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Sep 22, 2016,
#6
^^Yeah, I recorded with a mic. I live out in the country so I can play as loud as I want whenever I want. You can make all-digital sound just as good, but I think you have to spend some money on nice sims and cab impulses. The stock sims and impulses on Studio One (that I use) are mediocre at best. With my amp, and a mic, it's relatively easy to get a killer tone right away.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#7
Eh. I'll give review if you want once the aspirin kicks in, but it's going to be pretty harsh to be honest. Do you want me to even bother or no?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#8
Quote by theogonia777
Eh. I'll give review if you want once the aspirin kicks in, but it's going to be pretty harsh to be honest. Do you want me to even bother or no?


Can't you review something objectively without your personal preference getting in the way? Thought that was the point of this forum.
#9
Quote by apothegm
Can't you review something objectively without your personal preference getting in the way? Thought that was the point of this forum.


I always review things objectively.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#10
Quote by theogonia777
Eh. I'll give review if you want once the aspirin kicks in, but it's going to be pretty harsh to be honest. Do you want me to even bother or no?


Nope, I couldn't care less what you think.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Sep 24, 2016,
#11
Quote by theogonia777
I always review things objectively.


Actually I remember who you are. You most definitely base your critiques off your own opinion of what music should be. I don't think you are a very good critic. In fact you seem to go out of your way to be negative. I think a change in your attitude can help with whatever you're going through in life right now.
Last edited by apothegm at Sep 23, 2016,
#13
^^Yes, this has a Boss HM-2 pedal on certain tracks. But I have two methods of using that pedal -- one is to use it in the effects loop of my 6505 which gives me more of a blend between the 6505 lead channel with some HM-2 chainsaw grind mixed in. It sounds a little more modern and similar to At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul album in that method -- which is what I used primarily on this song.

The other method is to run the pedal in front of the amp, and that yields a more gnarly tone very similar to Bloodbath's Resurrection Through Carnage album. In fact, I can nail that tone with my setup, but didn't use it on this song. I used that setup on some of the atonal tremelo-picked lead stuff around 4:15 in the song, but dialed-out a lot of the low-end that comes with it. I'm planning to do a cover of So You Die by Bloodbath very soon, which will have that ultra gnarly tone. I'll go check out your song.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#14
Quote by apothegm
Actually I remember who you are. You most definitely base your critiques off your own opinion of what music should be. I don't think you are a very good critic. In fact you seem to go out of your way to be negative. I think a change in your attitude can help with whatever you're going through in life right now.


I judge things on whether I think they are good or not. I don't really think this is good. It really doesn't sound like Swedish death metal at all for starters nor does it sound like black metal as claimed.

The drum programming makes no sense and sounds like straightforward metal loops. No sense of what actual, organic drumming sounds like. Too robotic sounding. That would be fine for industrial, EDM, hip-hop, etc but for this kind of music it should sound like an actual drummer playing. The drum sound is not great either, and it especially doesn't work with the supposed genre. The drums are too loud in the mix, which drowns out the guitar.

The guitar riffs are nearly impossible to make out as they are buried under the constant pounding of the drums. The one thing that is noticeable is the guitar tone. I'm not sure how, but the guitars sounds nothing like an HM-2 which is the essence of Swedish tone. Just the fact that the pedal is used doesn't mean anything if you aren't getting the sound.

The mixing and mastering is very amateurish and it honestly doesn't sound like it was mixed or mastered.

So I guess if when you say I judge things based on my opinion of what music should sound like... well, this is supposed to be Swedish death metal. In my opinion, Swedish death metal should sound like Swedish death metal. In my opinion, mixes should be done in a way where nothing overpowers anything else. That is not the case here.

It sounds harsh, but that's how the music world is. I've been involved in a number of areas in the music industry from production to promotion. It's not a friendly industry where everyone gets a participation trophy and a pat on the back.

If you can't learn to take criticism, no matter how harsh you think it is, you'll never make it in music. That's how it is whether you like it or not. People shouldn't put themselves out asking for opinions because no serious critic is going to pull their punches. If your reaction to negative criticism is, "la, la, la, I can't hear you," then you are never going to get better.

That's really the way it is in life in general. People who try and ignore criticism don't ever improve and don't tend to succeed. The ability to take even the harshest criticism and learn from it is one of those things that separates those that are serious about perfecting their craft from those that just want compliments from their friends.

I don't go out of my way to be negative. I just call things the way I see them. I see a thread on the main Forum page saying Swedish death metal. I like Swedish death metal so I click on it. I take a listen and don't think it is good so I say so. I'm not gonna lie and say that I loved it if I didn't. Reviewing isn't about sugarcoating everything to improve self esteem.

If you want to call that being negative, then go ahead.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#15
^^If you can't hear an HM-2 in there, then you're deaf. The drums are loud, and I have since pulled them down in the mix. I do not have access to a drum kit nor a real drummer, so yes, I was forced to use drum loops. I disagree that they are inappropriate for the genre. You're free to think what you want, but I have listened to and played metal since the 80s. If I had completely duplicated the tone/production and writing style as from Left Hand Path, for example, you would have just as fast been on here claiming "It sounds completely derived/unoriginal/a ripoff/etc." I'm not claiming anything is perfect here. But I did attempt to write something with my own flair and take on Swedish death metal. It was never meant to be a perfect replica of the genre; as I am not interested in carbon-copying anything in my music.

What apothegm and now I am getting at is this: You are indeed full of nothing but negativity in most of your posts on UG. You offer nothing constructive and/or agreeable in most of your postings, and I have read quite a few. You go out of your way to be contrary to the status quo. You are among the ranks of a niche that I will call metal-hipsters; people who offer nothing but hate and will always insist that their musical preferences somehow pre-date, out-sophisticate, and are more informed than everyone else's.

***I have yet to hear anything that you've recorded.***

Being a critic is one thing. Being an asshole is quite another. I will wholeheartedly accept any criticism that is constructive and meant to help myself improve. But the way you came at me in your snide first response was nothing short of hateful and extremely disrespectful. Go listen to whatever you want. But feel free to stfu if you can't offer anything constructive.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#16
Here's a new mix for anyone interested. I lowered the drums a bit and reduced the compression on them. I also attempted to humanize them a bit (actually they are a human drummer, but I used some identical loops in there). I also added/changed some fills to vary it up a bit. Finally, I raised the non-HM-2 pedal guitar tracks' volumes and changed that part starting around the 4 minute mark to include a solo of sorts. I think it all sounds better -- at least in my car. Let me know how I did. **If you can offer constructive criticism I'll C4C, as always.

https://soundcloud.com/kailm-1/ur-avgrunden-han-stiger-v-20
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#18
KailM
Redig visa! Mycket vackert tycker jag. Vars hän är hans stuga? En kanske kunde hoppa över någon dag och kasta ihop något gött?
#19
"Vars hän"... Vik hädan demon; edert språkbruk avslöjar att ni icke är från Svea Rike!
#20
1111belphegor
Nu blev det 1724 igen. Hatar när det händer. Och nej, jag är icke från Svea Rike, jag är ifrån min fars pung, och du är ju från din fars pung med så vi delar ju något jävla obehagligt. ♥

Demon va? Smickrare. :3
#22
^^^Jag vet inte vad ni pratar om ... men jag skrev och blandade den här låten att låta som svenska death metal som blodbad. Jag är inte från Sverige, dock. Men jag mormor är ren svenska, så det är i mitt blod.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#23
KailM
Whoops, apologies. That's what I get from assuming things. (Saw the song title (Ur avgrunden stiger han) and made the fallacy due to it.) I'll translate...

"Redig visa! Mycket vackert tycker jag. Vars hän är hans stuga? En kanske kunde hoppa över någon dag och kasta ihop något gött?"
(Lovely lullaby! Very beautiful in my opinion. Where-aways is your cottage at? Perhaps I could drop by someday and throw something tasty together?)

""Vars hän"... Vik hädan demon; edert språkbruk avslöjar att ni icke är från Svea Rike!"
""Where-aways"... Expell yourself you demon; thine ways of the tongue reveals that you do not heir from Svea Rike!" (Svea Rike = Sweden)

"Nu blev det 1724 igen. Hatar när det händer. Och nej, jag är icke från Svea Rike, jag är ifrån min fars pung, och du är ju från din fars pung med så vi delar ju något jävla obehagligt."
(1724 again. I hate when that happens. And no, I am not from Svea rike, I am from my father's cockpouch, and you're from your father's cockpouch, so we both share something extremely creepy.) - I basically made fun of being "from Sweden". I couldn't care less, and nor should it matter.

Apologies again for causing confusion. The tune is lovely tho!
Also, I'm not a nationalist, purity of blood is silly. We all bleed red, and we all are african apes, so I hope you didn't think I was some kind of right-winger. Then again, I'm not far-left either.
Last edited by Deciphered at Oct 7, 2016,
#24
For the record: Me neither. Nationalists can go fuck themselves (was only trying to be funny - failing miserably)!
Sorry KailM - at least your thread got bumped this way; that's always something!
#25
KailM

Thanks for your critique on my piece, I just thought I'd let you know that this thing sounds sick! The photo is cool too. Shame about your amp, what are you going to replace the 6505 with? The 6505 MH and the EVH LBX look pretty good to me. But I digress...

The intro is really cool, how do you go about constructing ambient sections? I always struggle with them since I always feel compelled to write a melody somewhere. I like the section where you play the chugs but then stop midway with just the percussion playing, have you considered developing it to a slower section and then having some of the more ambient guitars take over in alternating bars? That is, distorted guitars + drums in one bar then clean + drums in the next? That might be an avenue to explore. I think the transition around the four minute mark needs some work. Perhaps a lead bit (rubato) with no other instruments will help fix things.

Will you be adding vocals? I think standard fare black metal shrieks will work nicely with some lower growls to add for ornamentation/intensity at select sections. What are you using for the drum machine? It sounds a bit too robotic to me, do you have any humanisation features to play with? I think the guitars are probably a bit overpowering in the mix, pull them down a bit and you should be good. Otherwise it's a great track, looking forward to the final version. I think the length it is at now is pretty good personally.
#26
Thanks Hayden!

As for your questions --
I'm getting a new 6505 head next week (the regular 6505, not a 6505+). I've owned a lot of amps and played just about every popular high-gain amp there is, and the original 5150 tone just works the best for me, at least for black/death metal. Can't wait to get this one!

As for ambient sections, I sometimes record ambient noise such as streams and birds/forest noises in the mountains near my house, but I also get a lot of sounds from Freesound.org. People put all kinds of sounds on there for others to use in any way they wish. For this track I found this sort of "industrial" ambient noise clip, looped it, then recorded those "ghost voice-like" sounds using a slide with my guitar on a clean setting and did volume swells with a lot of reverb and delay. I do quite a lot with volume swells on many of my tracks, sometimes creating melodies with them. I can get a lot of cello/violin-like sounds that way.

And ahhh, the drums. My worst enemy at times, haha. I use Betamonkey drum loops. Sound quality-wise, I think they sound more natural than a lot of what I hear from EZDrummer and similar programs -- because they are real drum samples and loops recorded in a professional studio. But they still suffer from repetitiveness and not enough variety in grooves. I think early on in this song is where you hear some of that. For example, you can tell that I repeated the same loop over and over again in the first, slower part of the song; and that's because once I started with that drum pattern, there was not another loop on my software similar enough to it to have some variety. I have since gone back and really tweaked the drums; adding cymbal hits, harder snare hits in places, etc., and I think it is now sounding a lot better -- I just haven't uploaded the new version yet. I also fixed the problem of the guitars being too high in the mix as well.

I have considered actually getting a drum kit and learning how to drum, lol -- because programming drums and making them sound convincing is ridiculously hard, as I'm sure you know. As for vocals, I might do them at a later date. I am about 2 1/2 songs away from completing an album. I kind of want to just focus on the music, then I'll tackle lyrics and vocals. I might try some black metal vocals but I don't have too high of expectations for myself haha.
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
Last edited by KailM at Dec 30, 2016,
#27
KailM

Cool, I've been tempted to buy a 6505+ combo from my local store (which is a reasonable price considering it's Australia) but I'm also quite infatuated with the idea of lunch box amps. Unfortunately the 6505 MH came out not long before I purchased a Blackstar Metal HT-5 head and cabinet. Although I have yet to buy any overdrive + noise gate pedals to put in the effects loop so I don't know how much that will help. The amp doesn't sound bad at all. Although I do like Peavey and Engl a lot.

Do you use a portable recorded (e.g., Zoom H4?) to do that? That's cool, I guess I need a slide then... and start abusing delay and reverb.

Well if you use Superior Drummer (which does have real samples and multiple for variation), you can get quite a nice set of sounds, but then what I've been thinking is replacing each instrument one by one with the real thing. For example, I was going to buy a snare some point in the future and record that and remove the Superior Drummer snare track I have set up. Then kick, then toms, etc.

I look forward to hearing it, let me know when it's up. Can't wait for the full album either!
#28
I use a Presonus Audiobox USB interface which came with Studio One Artist software. I mic my cab with a GLS ES-57 which is a Shure SM57 clone for 1/3 the money (everything I do is on a tight budget). I can play as loud as I want pretty much whenever I want so my setup works well. I like my DAW quite a bit, but unfortunately it doesn't have 3rd-party VST support unless I shell out $250 for the upgraded version. Then something like EZdrummer and I think Superior Drummer adds another $100 or so. That's why I don't have one of those, though I'm sure it would make my songwriting much easier. I thought as well, like you, of getting a snare and maybe a crash cymbal so at least I can record some live playing with my songs.

I hear you about writing songs beyond your guitar ability as well! I've been kicking around a song idea for about 4 years now and even started recording it over the summer but then got sidetracked with easier songs. My problem is not so much coming up with technical riffs and playing them -- it's being able to play them well enough to quad-track or even dual-track them some times. But yeah, my two most technical/aggressive songs have yet to be finished -- can't wait to share them. I'll be checking your Soundcloud page as well. Keep up the great songwriting!
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood
#29
Awesome, I'm not keen on having a large amp, mostly due to space and also so I don't bother neighbours. I only have a Rode M3 condenser at the moment but I'll be looking into a dynamic microphone and potentially a ribbon microphone. I don't know about you, but one of the heaviest tones I ever heard was from Star One's "Victims of the Modern Age", which used two dynamics and a ribbon microphone on a single 1 x 12 speaker. You may or may not like the style, but you can't deny how heavy that tone is, of which Arjen actually posted a video detailing how he got the sound (you can look it up if you want). Here are the results though:



Yes, I agree. I used to quadruple track but I'm not good enough for that anymore. I write everything in notation software so it's easy to get a little too crazy with the music. No worries, Black Waters (which has gone through a few changes since then) is the only one I'm still happy with of the stuff on my Soundcloud. Although I was pretty happy with making good use of an alternate tuning on "The Portrait's Secret", which was back when I was playing 7 string guitars.