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All 332 Audio Reviews

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This is a NGADM Round 2 review.
All scores are out of 10, for a total of 50.

COMPOSITION: 8

The piece feels quite short, and restrained. The melodies played by the strings and other lead instruments are singable and memorable. The chords do feel like they repeat a fair bit. There's some slight deviation in the middle when the glock appears -- a welcome change, for were it not there, I daresay the piece might have sounded a tad samey to me.

Nice rallentando to bring in the main melody again.

Your soft-loud and structure are on point. I do wish that the piece were a little longer, as the melodies you introduced here, as well as the theme of grief and clutching at memories in dreams, are things worth expanding upon.

PRODUCTION: 10

Wide, atmospheric, and bringing out the physicality of the instrument -- I have no complaints as far as this piece is concerned.

EMOTIONAL IMPACT: 10

The composition and the production here both give me a feeling of sorrow, the weight of mourning and loss on my chest, and the squeezing feeling that comes with it. The flute that comes in feels suitably mournful, reminiscent of someone singing a plaintive final chant to ease the loved one's soul.

1:31 brings to mind slightly happier moments, with that more playful glockenspiel -- they are fleeting away, like the physical proximity we had to a person we lost. The flute reappears again, losing some of its air -- almost as if the flautist playing is choking up, trying to muster breath to play in between the tears and the weight of sorrow on their chest.

It's back to the weight in my chest at about 2:31. I do feel my tear ducts filling, and the more I type about this, the more they fill.

Props to you for bringing about this visceral reaction of sorrow in such a noticeably short piece.

UNIQUENESS: 7

Sad mournful pieces like this are ubiquitous in VGM and films, and elegies with slightly scherzo elements are uncommon, but not unheard of. Shorter pieces with restrained melodies are also quite common.

That said: you owned this well, injecting a lot of visceral emotion into this mix, something which most pieces of this kind do not do. In my last review of a piece of yours I spoke of the physicality of an instrument; I sense it again here.

MEMORABILITY / REPLAYABILITY: 9.5

I remember every melody. I remember every articulation of each instrument, and the feeling it gave me. I remember the feeling of being squeezed with pain. I also remember how short it is.

Will I play this again? On its own, yes, but I would argue for a longer version in future. Will I recommend this to others? Yes, for the subtle emotional detail, and the feelings it gives.

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TOTAL: 44.5/50

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EDIT: Following up on your response, I would vary. Vary, vary, vary. Give me the squirming of tremolo strings, give me the full vulnerability of a soul singing with their beloved before they part ways forever, into different planes. Go down musical paths less trodden. Write this with a LOT less restraint than you are doing, if possible. Grief is not a solemn, stately emotion a lot of the time. It is loud, it is uncomfortable, it rouses others to grief and compassion. It is also often unseen, and can ring like screams into the night. Imagine what it'd be like if you managed, through some emotional feat of strength, to pull this off — to go into the dream and to spare no emotional or environmental detail!

I'm saying this to you as a guideline. Don't just give me any song of grief. Give me *yours,* with every inch of tears and hard feelings and bitterness that stays for years to come. If the dream is pleasant, capture the gleam of the sunlight, the rippling of the water, every little detail, in as cohesive a form as possible, and taking us on a journey (which is what I'm expecting you want to do). Because right now, this is not something that many do, if this is done at all.

Uniqueness, to a great extent, is not just about blending influences. It's about defining what your own musical voice is, and letting that be drawn out. I know you will probably be searching in your soul for this; it can take a short time, it can take a long time.

Everratic responds:

Thank you for the review again! I appreciate your hard work to help make participation in this competition beneficial and rewarding.

I'm curious, what do you think I could have done to earn a 10 in uniqueness without changing the composition fundamentally?

edit: Those are good points, thanks for the follow up.

This is a NGADM Round 2 review.
All scores are out of 10, with a total of 50.

COMPOSITION: 8

This feels more like a progression than a structured piece, though I feel elements of structure in there, in the arps, in the rhythm. Your soft-loud is certainly on point.

The piece feels like it's been conventionally structured like a cinematic trailer: loud section that builds tension, a brief period of softness or silence, and then finally a much louder section that serves as the climax of the piece before tapering off. Though I use the word "structured" relatively loosely, it feels more like A-b-C-D-A at this point.

The chords in this piece, and the harmonies you have introduced, especially at 1:36 onwards, are purposefully discordant / detuned but still sound harmonious and ominous all at once. The sounds you have used here have been picked well; the full impact of these I go over in Emotion below, and these and the structural choice influence my score.

You end with a rhythmic motif that you introduced at 0:38, nicely tying up loose ends.

PRODUCTION: 9.5

Lush, wide, atmospheric, incredibly spine-chilling and visceral. Everything was balanced and had its proper place in the mix.

More instrumentally dense sections could do with a bit more fatness -- there's a great deal of high-end but the lows and some mids could be boosted a bit, something I feel you are doubtless aware of.

EMOTIONAL IMPACT: 9.5

The beginning did well to give me the feeling of dread, with what sounded like primordial ooze or the secretions of some abomination being let loose. When the rest of the instrumentation came in, it felt tense and frightening, and it gave me the visuals of people in a laboratory or wherever, in a heightened state of readiness to fight the looming threat, which seems remote to them at first, but they know it is imminent and could pounce on them at any minute. The heartbeats sealed the deal re: that feeling of dread; I felt my hair standing on end and my spine growing cold. I felt a heightened sense of physical readiness, the fight-or-flight reaction.

The choir singing "HUNGER FOR YOUR FLESH" in its distorted tone caused my heart to sink with fright. It felt like some monster with the ability to speak our language was crying this out. The screeching leads towards the end felt like a mournful song and a scream of agony all at once.

The ending, as it trailed off, brought to mind the destruction left behind by the theoretical abomination I spoke of above.

All the visual pictures this evoked in me were vivid, and the reactions I described were viscerally felt. Certain parts of the mix -- notably the higher frequencies -- were able to bring that spine-chill, that creeping feeling.

While I did feel this viscerally, I feel that the lack of fatness in the more instrumentally dense sections made me feel slightly wanting, emotionally -- the fatness would have driven it home like nails in already open wounds. Don't get me wrong: the piece is emotionally powerful as is, and it's going to take me a short while to recover from what I have just perceived.

UNIQUENESS: 10

Yours is a style I recognise from a mile away. The blend of industrial, goth, choral and metal / power fry that you use is unmistakable.

MEMORABILITY / REPLAYABILITY: 10

I remember the leads, I remember the feel of the piece, the choirs singing "HUNGER FOR YOUR FLESH," the screaming strains in the end, the sound effects that lend to the spine-chilling feeling I spoke of above... The piece has stayed with me for a good long while after it had ended.

Will I be listening to this again? YES, in more sober conditions perhaps. Will I be recommending this to other listeners? YES, YES, ABSOLUTELY YES.

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TOTAL: 47/50

Apologies that it took me forever and a day to get to this...

Right off the bat, this could do with an intro, and some breaks in the tension (like some unexpected moments of silence) before the beat reappears. It'll help the MC, and it'll keep listeners at the edge of their seats guessing a bit, which generally ends well — a form of hype basically.

And on the subject of hype, I'm not hearing much of it from the track. It feels samey all round. There's very little tension building, in the higher percussion. Drop some instruments in some parts, bring them back in others. Those might correspond to verses and things. That's also another way of subtly telling listeners, "oh hey, something's happening." Gets the message across a lot better.

I've no complaints about the mixing quality; it's mixed quite well.

I'm glad I stopped to listen to this. It has some very, *very* heavy Enya vibes to this, which I always love since Enya is one of my strongest influences. Also, the chord work on this is impeccable.

Those are some very soulful chords and that is very soulful piano playing. The arps add to this piece quite nicely. The lead is singable and memorable.
Drums are sounding a little bit thin in the mix, that they're buried behind much else, and I think the bass is equally thin as well -- these ground the piece, and without it, the song itself comes across as fairly thin.

Leading up to 2:21 you could always transition -- sparklies, cymbal rolls, timpani rolls can always create that nice crescendo into the next section and there's a reason that we use them for sound colour, and not just for rhythm. If you'd like something that heightens the impact without taking away from the progression that you've got, those are some quick fixes.

FionaTheDream responds:

thank you for the detailed review!

There's a part Touhou, part Final Fantasy feel to this. Your chord usage is *excellent*!
The theme itself could do with some dynamic downtime, like at about 1:10, before building back up to the chord progression that you hear in the beginning.

Also, quick question -- how come you haven't set it as a loop?

This is an Art-Inspired Music contest review.
Full disclosure: my rubrics include five factors, each out of 10, for a total of 50.

COMPOSITION: 7/10
Excellent use of rubato, dynamics, good use of purposeful dissonance. There are some recurring melodic fragments that I recall after having listened to the piece in its entirety. These help ground the progression.

I guess it feels quite weird and wacky in place. Ending's quite abrupt.

PRODUCTION: 10/10
No complaints as far as this piece is concerned.

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE: 7/10
I do get a slight eerie feeling from the piece.

ORIGINALITY: 9/10
I'm getting both a Stranger Things vibe and a retro video game vibe from this, though the influences find a happy medium together here.

RELEVANCE TO ARTWORK: 7/10
The sound effects and some parts of the piece fit the artwork well, though I'm not sure when it seems to take a bright, arcade-y feeling as opposed to the darkness and dim light and fear of the artwork. I do get a bit of a remote horror movie vibe that *could* possibly make those sections fit...

TOTAL: 40/50

This is an Art-Inspired Music contest review.
Full disclosure: my rubrics include five factors, each out of 10, for a total of 50.

COMPOSITION: 9/10
Loving the use of the grab in the main chord motif. I love the percussion in here. There are inklings of melody dipping in and out that I feel I can sing back with little effort. Nothing felt abrupt, and everything had its place. When you introduced some wilder variations to some already familiar melodic motifs it was really nice, and when you changed the key towards the end it was a very pleasant surprise.

I would have perhaps appreciated a little quieter part, and an ending whose features did get used a bit more in the rest of the piece.

PRODUCTION: 10/10
No complaints as far as this piece is concerned.

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE: 8/10
It felt decently industrial, about on-point.

ORIGINALITY: 9/10
It sounds reminiscent of the Mega Drive-era soundtracks, but you've varied it enough to really own this style.

RELEVANCE TO ARTWORK: 9/10
Atmospherically, this is a very nice fit. The music does suggest some more activity that I need to mentally stretch to see past what's being shown, but it is a nitpick at this juncture.

TOTAL: 45/50

Intro reminds me of something out of Xenoblade Chronicles. Perhaps the title is also influencing me.

I love that melody that introduces itself early on: it's memorable, it's singable, and I could catch myself singing it. You've injected a lot of emotion into them that it feels as though the instruments themselves are being made to sing. I'm aware that this is your outlook with a lot of your instrumental music, and I'm glad to see it being put to use.

You've also introduced techniques in here that rarely get used in the vast majority of cinematic pieces I've heard, the trombone slide being the most notable one to me.

You've kept this piece varied enough to sound like it goes a fair way against the grain. Also, key changes are my weakness: that F# minor section was very, VERY good. The transition back to the original key was seamless and barely noticeable -- sometimes, simplicity speaks a lot louder, and you used it quite well.

All in all, solid effort. Well done.

The melody is a quirky one -- some parts feel like they're meandering, but some parts feel memorable. That being said, I'm not quite sure what to think about this beginning section -- it doesn't quite hold my attention well.

THOSE CHORDS ON THE PIANO ARE JUST PERFECTION. THOSE 7THS. And leading up to "I wanna be with you every day", that satisfied me. From the instrumental breakdown onwards, you certainly got my head turning, and I'm glad that I didn't regret listening to this and stop it right away -- because I could get lost in this longer bit of the piece.

4:26 has the chords of "I wanna be with you every day" but the verse lyrics, and I like that switch-up of things.

I haven't got complaints regarding mixing preferences -- it feels like the drier kind of trance that has sounds popping up on my left and my right, and takes me back to some older Japanese V2 and V3 pieces.

littlemusicboy1628 responds:

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. <3

Pronounced "trwa-nix." I dream up meepy dreams full of meep.
Currently doing things nonprofit. (she/her)

Annette Singh @Troisnyx

29, Female

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Lancashire, UK

Joined on 6/26/11

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