Hi guys, back a lot quicker than usual this time. This piece includes guitars and trumpet played by myself while the drums, piano, and music box are programmed by me. I welcome all feedback and will gladly C4C. I recommend this for fans of bands such as Naglfar, Hyperion, Thulcandra, Ne Obliviscaris, and Teramaze.

The link is below.


Hello there.

Very interesting piece. Your musicianship is of a very high standard and your obviously very creative. For me though, the mix lets this down a little. The vast majority of it is fine, but at times there is just way too much going on and it kinda blasted my ears - not with volume but with overlapping instruments batter my brain. The little synth(?) part at around 1:15 is a cool part but has too much meat to it and kinda treads on the rest of the track - maybe clip its wings a little. Theres a bit around 2mins where practically everything is going at once which also feels too much. I think maybe some more EQ'ing to give each part more space may help.

What I have just written probably sounds way more critical than I intend. I am really impressed with what you have created. And I recognise that trying to cram that many parts into a track is going to be difficult (I guarantee I could NOT do better). But I always try and give an honest and (hopefully) useful crit.

If you fancy checking out my track (way less impressive) - https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1725692


PS: When you record do you tune everything exactly to the sax or do you go slightly flat of it? I was once told by a recording tech that sax always sounds flat when recorded (compared to the way you hear it live) and that tuning everything slightly flat of it helps reduce the problem. Never found out if this is true or works.
Hey man,
Thanks for the crit.

On the mix, it's a bit too crowded. I think you need to give all the instruments / parts some space. You've got some great melodies in there but they get drowned out.

The rhythm playing was tight and you had some interesting chords going on in there but they kind of get lost.

I think it needs to be structured a bit better though it's technically killer.

All the best!
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You are what they call a “rhythm guitarist”. While it's not as glamorous as playing lead you can still get laid. Especially if you can sing and play.

Beer is the solutions to the world's problems.

Hey man. Very cool piece. There's so much going on here and the track moves along nicely. I really like the style but at times it would have been nice to play on a couple of the ideas for a bit longer rather than jumping to the next one. The mix is pretty good considering how many elements there are to it although I thought the levels were a bit of at times, e.g. at 1.13 and 1.32. You're clearly very talented and I think is a great composition on the whole. I really liked the passage from 2.45-around 3.50. Very good progressions. Added you on soundcloud.

C4C? https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1727230#1
Hey thanks for the crit, sorry it took a while to get round to this.

The song has a lot of very unique and interesting elements to it with the added instruments, and especially the progression of the song as a whole. I'll have to echo some of the other comments about the mix, it's by no means terrible, I'm actually a little bit jealous of how you've managed to get a decent overall mix with so many elements playing, although some of the trumpets and some of the lead piano parts can sit a bit prettier because they sound a little bit disjointed from the rest of the instruments playing underneath them.

But overall, you've got a great unique song here, really impressed by it.
Like the others said, the intro was a bit messy, but you really got some interesting stuff going on here. The transiton at 1:23 was a bit abrupt, but I'm really digging that part right after. Those piano runs and that trumpet(?) thingy you got there sounds awesome! It gets quite messy after a while though.. Too many instruments on top of each other..
The piano part at 3:13 sounds really nice!
All in all I think you really got some interesting ideas here, but they get a bit too messy sometimes.

Wanna check out mine?
Thanks for reviewing my music!

I got a Dethklok feeling in the intro, which is always nice. You definitely have very good songwriting skills and the song was really interesting to listen through, so I don't have any complaints songwriting-wise (some would say there are too many abrupt changes but I like it this way, just a matter of preference).
The only thing I would recommend is to lower the trumpets a little, and the instrument at 1:13 too (is it a glockenspiel? I can't really tell). Also, at some points I think the rythm guitar was a little bit off tempo, but it might just be me. Great job overall!
Thanks for the feedback everyone, I have some answers and questions.


Thanks for the kind words, I believe you mean trumpet. The trumpet I've checked with a pitch-correction plug-in and seems to be pretty on-point at most parts. I have however just invested in a new (and much better) trumpet which may alleviate these problems. Theoretically I could try just playing a little bit sharp on the trumpet and keep everything else at A440, right? I agree with you regarding the synth (it's a music box), I think I will do some complementary EQ on it with the piano to reduce its impact. I'll be honest, I spent very little time mixing this, I've generally just made a template in Reaper which gets tiny little tweaks with every session based on feedback from previous tracks. When I am getting ready for a proper release, I will make some more specialised mixes. Don't worry about the criticism, it's good to keep my (already over-inflated) ego in check.


I can't say I listen to much Dethklok, but I'll take it as a complement. There are actually some very subtle cues when I make transitions between different sections, for example there is a rhythm that is used at the end of 1:08 which is used in the next section at 1:18. Little cues/variations like that are everywhere in this piece. I agree with you on the trumpets, just a pinch lower (maybe 0.5-1.5 dB). The instrument at 1:13 is a music box.
Hi, listening now.

Let me just say I've NEVER heard a song like this before, so please consider that in my review lol

There is SO much going on, I'm @ 1:30 ish right now, you definitely have some amazing creativity. Your musical skills are awesome, but I think your creativity really shines here, this song is incredibly expressive. VERY theatrical, I am enjoying the hell out of it, lots of different instruments. Production wise it's great, I do feel that the trumpets come off a bit too loud/peaking perhaps? I don't know. I'm not sure if this genre is usually this busy, if that's what you're going for you nailed it. It might be too complicated for your everyday listener, but to a musicians ear this is simply amazing.

I don't know why, but I get like Queen vibes from how theatrical the song is. I mean that in a good way, very interesting.

The production with everything else is great, mix is professional quality. I'm curious to know what vocals would sound like on a song like this if it were simplified a bit.

Here's a link to my thread, review back when you can thanks! https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1728320
I kinda like this actually. I'm not usually into instrumental tracks but this has that different edge to it which makes it stand out. It's a very nice mix of things! Reminds me a bit in some places of Phazm - how to become a god's intro.

Nice work man!

Thanks for the feedback on my track also
Very nice track, Hayden.  Quite progressive, yet it doesn't sound like typical "prog" these days, as your transitions were unexpected, yet made sense in the song rather than being thrown together haphazardly or with a "let's see how weird we can make this song" feel.  All in all, you've carved out your own style; at least on this track and the last one you posted (On Fissured Precipice).  I heard a little Rush in there, whether that was your intention or not, and I mean that as a sincere compliment.  Overall, your instrumentation is impressive with a nice collection of sounds that I'm not sure I've ever heard together.  I like to hear what you're doing with the trumpet -- it is rarely heard in heavy music, and I wouldn't have thought it belonged until I heard these last two tracks from you.  Guitar tones are awesome; clean and crisp, yet plenty of gain and heaviness.  At first, I thought your rhythm tone (especially in the intro riffs) had a little too much in the low-mids region, but after a few listens I think it sounds great.  Your lead tones are awesome -- I don't know how you get them to sound that way, but I'm never able to get that liquidy-smooth tone out of my rig (maybe I just have the wrong amps).

Anyway, my favorite part of the song is at 2:27, where there is a soulful transition followed up by a Queen-esque guitar solo.  That section makes the song, IMO.  Bravo -- keep these tracks coming!   (And looking forward to your next one, as you referenced in your thread in the metal subforum).
Atmospheric dark metal w/ black and death metal influences:
(My Soundcloud page):

Pestilential Flood

Thanks for the critique, if you've never heard anything like this and want to hear more, I recommend bands like Anubis Gate, Ne Obliviscaris, and Teramaze.


I think that would be because I'm not composing the music like a standard "Verse Chorus Verse Chorus" type track and then soloing over the top of it like every bedroom shredder does these days. I write the music more in a Western Art music fashion -- i.e., writing it with knowledge of classical structure, melodic variation, etc. 


Cheers! It means a lot from you. I wish we lived nearby so we could trade techniques for writing and recording. A clever way to transition between sections is to make use of elements in the previous section to gradually morph into the next one (and continuously doing this throughout the piece). That's what I've done in this piece and "On Fissured Precipice". I hope I can translate that tone into the new rig I'm building, I currently use Positive Grid Bias Desktop, but I would like to use real amp tones where possible. I have a Laney IRT-Studio which I've heard great demos on Youtube, but I just don't seem to be able to get the tone I want out of it. I'm using a Sennheiser e906 directly on the centre of the cab. I don't have an OD but there is one on the way.

Although I wouldn't say I'm directly inspired by Queen, I know Jeff Loomis is, and it would probably come through that aspect of my playing. I agree, that is my favourite part as well.

I'm very excited for the next one. The one I referenced in that forum is actually different to what I'm working on now. The one I'm working on now is very reminiscent of older heavy metal bands from the 1980's. It takes (IMO) the best of each of them, melds them all together with a slightly updated style of composition to reflect my own stuff. It will be my first piece with vocals, and if I can get them good enough, I will perform them. If you want to max out the hype, listen to King Diamond, Manilla Road, Trial (Swe), Candlemass, and Iced Earth. 
Moonlight Gaze is playing now through the headphones
I have listened to a lot of metal over the years. I think this is the first instance where I've heard something so diverse in instrumentation without it being a guitar pro file! Props for getting your ideas all into the recording and fully realized. There is so much progression here from one section to the next, the structure is always keeping you on your toes. I really like the around 2:45, if you brought in a bit of a clock or a similar effect, it was a very nice touch.

In terms of influences, the piano reminds me of Uaematsu. The horns remind me of Morricone. The guitar and bass seem to be just adding the energy level in between each instrument's mini-solo. It's a good style, and I can imagine it would take a ton of repeat listens for someone to really wrap around all the nuance here. I do not have anything bad to say about the vibe and feel of the track, it's expressive and extremely interesting. Some of the horn parts were close to clipping it felt like, a bit of carefully setup EQ is going to be beneficial when you have so many diverse instruments jumping in and out of the master track constantly.

Also checking out "On Fissured Precipice". These two songs seem like they belong on the same album. It really feels like you picked up right where the one left off. I especially like the straightforward 4:4 rocking passage around the 3 minute mark. It's of course a personal thing, but I am very partial to standard timing and just letting the drums and guitar do their thing. It feels like overall the rhythm guitar is shining more on this track, where as on Moonlight it had more of a backseat role. The playing is good and well in time. If you are not double tracking your rhythm guitar and panning left & right, you could try that to give the soundstage a bit more width. Everything seems to be relatively concentrated on the middle 40% to 50% from a panning standpoint. The cleanly picked outro was great. I really enjoyed what you did there.

Keep it up! You have a solid style that you obviously enjoy working within, keep cranking out the music! This is ambitious stuff, and I know I have heard Black Waters before, maybe a few months ago. It just started but I instantly remember hearing this track.
Hey sorry for ignoring your c4c offer, hadn't checked the forums in a while. Thanks for critiquing my track!
First of all this one is quite an interesting track! I like the feel. However, for all the thought that went into adding all the instruments and all the great musicianship all around, I was let down by the clumsy off-time beginning guitar riff. Everything else sounds so good though, which makes me a bit confused that you'd be okay with keeping that opening rough. 

Although it's not my personal taste to include all the other instruments you have in such a track, I think you have a good vision about what you want to do with it. 

I will comment on the volumes. I'd love to listen to sections like 1:00 at full volume, but then you have the horns that would make my ears bleed at the same speaker volume. Gotta level everything out a bit...I actually had to pause the track to make sure i didn't have another song playing in the background by accident...not really because they didn't go together, but because some instruments are literally twice as loud as others.

With some fine tuning, I think you've definitely got a good song!