Who what when is/are futurism?

futurism was and still is the one man musical output of me.
The name futurism came from about a year of thinking up band names, and eventually deciding that only 1 word names were acceptable, at the time the domain futurism.net was available, but someone bought it before I could, the name however stuck.
The musical direction of futurism is loosely, instrumental metal, I enjoy technicality and insert it where ever I can.

What is the purpose of this website?

futurism is something I did/do for fun, the only enjoyment I get from it is to share what I make with others.
On this page is everything I can find on my various pc's related to futurism, mp3's, graphics, pictures, whatever.
Please understand the content dates back many years, where I can remember I will describe how it was created, and have a guess at when.
I will add to it as I find anything of interest.

mp3 audio files available for download

1. Faster

This is the very first track I recorded on a PC, I believe it was done at some time during 1997.
Previously I had been using a portastudio and a Roland TR-505 Drum Machine, there was also a brief period where I would use drums sequenced in scream tracker along with my portastudio.
This track came about only because I bought ans SW60xg soundcard, I had no intention of recording digital audio to the PC when I purchased the card as it is a midi card only (essentially the standalone version of the DB50xg daughterboard.
However the card came with some software, including a beta version of Voyetras Digital Orchestrator, which at the time seemed to be one of the first non hardware dependant Digital Audio Sequncers.
I cant remember how long it took me, but it was a frustrating process, for example, my soundcard, a soundblaster 16 I believe, was at the time incapable of doing full duplex audio at 44.1 khz, so the guitars on this track are actually recorded at 22khz.
The other vital ingredient was a small device called a Korg Pandora, Korgs previous guitar products had been horrible, but the new walkman sized Pandora was somewhat of a revolution, it predated things like the line6 Pod by 5 years, and I thought it was great.

My guitar on this is I believe, a BC Rich Ironbird, a cheap one, Platinum or Bronze series, It was the guitar I used for gigging at the time, it was badly beaten up, but always stayed in tuned. I also think this is the only track in which I have down tuned guitars, again this is due to me being in a metal band at the time.
The drums and synths all come from the SW60xg, and listening today, I think they are quite good still.
Back at the time, there was no audio mixdown or bounce feature in sequencers, so to mix this down I think I used a minidisc recorder, and years later sampled it back into my PC, it sounds like theres tape hiss on it but I suspect thats the Soundblaster hiss.

The track itself, I still like it a lot, the guitar solos are sort of groovy, especially the last one, and I think I did a good job on programming the drums given the experience I had, at the time I was able to sort of fake playing real drums, and I think that helps a lot in programming, its something else I should have kept up.
You may notice a strange pause at 3:48, I had to write that into the track, Digital Orchestrator would lose synch after the slow bit, so I actually would stop and restart the sequencer right at that point to resynch it up.

2. Further

Instantly you can tell the production values have improved. There was quite some time between my first track, 'faster', and this one. I dont believe this was finished until sometime in 1998, Mainly due to a short lived black metal project if I recall, I have some of those tracks somewhere also...
This track was recorded in Cakewalk, probably version 6, it was the first version with real time effects, of which there are probably some on this track, although I cant pinpoint which.
By this time I had moved away from the Korg Pandora and was now using a Boss GX700, a great effects unit, sort of a follow on from the SE500/700 series, there was a studio version, the SX700 and the guitar version which I had. It was rack mounted which I thought was great, and essentially modelled every boss guitar stomp box as well as amp modelling, speaker sim, etc.

The midi bass is very apparent in this track, something I would later replace, but I have since decided to keep it, for nostalgia, all midi in this track is again from the SW60XG.
I particularly like the synth tone, at this stage I was concentrating on incorporating synths wherever I could, something which fell off in later tracks.
I also like the clean breaks, which are the highlight of my earlier tracks, providing a significant contrast to the heavy sections. My favourite part of this track is 1:19, probably my first ever use of real time effects in Cakewalk.

3. Higher

This track was recorded at about the same time as the previous track, 'further' however this is a far superior track, and I think one of my best.
The equipment on it is all the same, so the production sounds very similar.
The highlight for me is definetely the start, the building intro to the piano break at 0:37, the midi bass even sounds good under it.
I enjoy this track immensely, and wished I could still create tracks like it. Their are a lot of changes, but they all seem coherent, and the drum programming isnt over the top as I have a tendency to do.

At about 2:50 their is a programmed bass solo of sorts, which is dying to be overdubbed with a real bass, which I think I have done at some stage, but again, I prefer the original.
I particularly enjoy the lead guitar tone at the end of the track.
I also think this track was bounced from an sb16 or possibly an ensoniq soundscape which I seem to recall owning at some stage, to a minidisc recorder, and back into my pc.

4. Zeroed

This track starts with a rather clunky opening, in retrospect the plucked string synth sound should have been an acoustic guitar.
Once the drums come in though, things, get moving along.
By this stage, sometime in early 1999, I must have owned an sblive, as I believe the drums in this track are from a soundfont, probably a few of the 'realacousticdrums' soundfonts put together.
I was also definetely using my Jackson guitar in this track, and at this stage it would have had EMG pickups.
Not one of my preferred tracks, it seems very disjointed and hurried, however things get better around 2:30, with a nice lead tone for the first guitar solo, the second sounds great also but is buried in the mix, and then the third brings it forward again (yes, 3 guitar solos).
The riff at the end is quite generic and doesnt really fit, also the track was mixed down a little hot and clips in places.

5. Imminent

Once again, recorded too hot, although with an sblive, I probably couldnt hear the clipping anyway. This track was recorded at some time in 1999.
I enjoy the buildup at the start, the clean section should have been mixed lower though, so that once the heavy guitars come in theres no preceived drop in volume.

The textured synth sound is back, although not carrying as much of the melody as in previous tracks.
I think the guitar sounds are still coming from my Boss GX700 at this point, the flange effect on the rhythm guitar goes on for too long, I suspect it was hardware and not software created though.
I am still using MIDI Bass, which is dissapointing, as I am sure I at least owned a bass guitar during some of this time, I always leave the bass tracks to last though, so the temptation would be to finish them in a hurry.
The highlight for me is at 3:30, a great riff. This track is unusual for me in that there is no shredding guitar solo, perhaps I should have incorporated one over the flanged rhythm section somehow.

6. Frequency

Frequency opens with a sort of ambient textured opening which serves very little purpose, but sounds good anyway, it would make a good opening track for an album.
The production seems to be a lot crisper than on the previous tracks, however I think very little has changed in the way of hardware, it is still cakewalk (which version at this stage I am not sure), an sblive, soundfonts, with the only possible new introduction a Roland JV90 Synth, which would have only been used for the synth textures.
This track is a little unusual, and dissonant in parts, the harmonized guitar break at 2:35 is a highlight, followed by a lead/solo of sorts which is quite tuneful, topped off with another break at 3:09.
Overall this is one of my better tracks, it flows nicely, and has good atmosphere.

The mix is well balanced and not overly compressed, something of which my latter tracks are guilty of.
This was completed on the 27th of February 2000, but has been mixed down and remastered at a latter date, which probably accounts for the better sound quality.

7. Meridian

Meridian is one of my heaviest tracks, with a very complex rhythm at the start. I recall that it was very difficult to program the drums so I ended up playing them on the keyboard and later fixing them up in the editor, a practice I would continue to use in latter tracks.
The guitar sound is particularly good on this track, it is however still a Boss GX700, a piece of gear which still sounds great today.
The mix in general is a little bright, but loud and clear.
According to the file properties, this track was finished on the 13th of April 2000.

I am particularly proud of the sweep picking in the solo at 2:50, something I used to do all the time and the gave up for years.
If I could go back and fix something, all that I would fix would be the clean guitar sound starting at 1:36, perhaps its just too loud, the lead over the top is deliberately a 'weird' sound but you almost dont notice it.

8. Radtrix

Radtrix was completed in May 2000, the opening is hectic but I love it, even if the riff at 0:28 is stolen from buckethead.
The drums are still a soundfont.

One thing about this track is there are not many layered guitars, it is one of the few futurism tracks I can play on the guitar, even a classical guitar, and still have it recognisable as a futurism track, however despite its lack of layers, it is one of my more complex tracks.

2:10 brings us another of my weird guitar sounds, almost synth like, with an eastern influence, as every guitarist was doing at the time, the riff immediately following at 2:50 is one of my favourites ever, especially with the double bass stabs under it, however I then ruin it all with the ending!
...overall I still like this track a lot.

9. Faded

Faded is perhaps my most easy listening track, with many clean guitar breaks.
It was completed on the 3rd of June 2000, I enjoy it very much, the changes between clean and heavy are great and the drum programming is some of my best, especially the high hats at the start.

The guitar solo is well placed and tasteful, but the tones are perhaps a little poor.
The soundfont used on this track has changed, I used to take about 20 soundfonts of drum kits and the create a super soundfont using the best sounds from all of them. The ending is a little abrupt, perhaps a fade out would have suited (given the track name), but I hate fade outs!

10. Ethereal

Ethereal is well named, the opening is guitar free. People often comment this is their favourite track, it is by far the simplest, and also the shortest, perhaps theres a message for me in that?
It is really only a couple of sections repeated.

I think there was a significant change in gear used to record this track, the guitars sound like a line6 Pod, the device which revolutionized home guitar recording.

Best part of this track, the transition between the two main riffs, worst part, the fade out!

11. Invasion

Invasion is poorly recorded, it is too tinny, and clips..digitally! The guitar sound itself isnt that bad, but I really need to remix the whole song.
The lead sound at about 1:30 is quite nice though, and the second half of the solo rips in a James Murphy sort of way, immediately followed by a nice simple clean guitar break. Soon after, its back to heaviness, with a different lead guitar sound, unfortunately the rhythm guitars still clip like mad though. The closing riff is quite heavy, all in all, a good remix could make this a decent track.

12. Radiance

Recorded around the 30th of December 2000, Radiance is one of the better tracks on offer on this page. The mix is a little unusual, but at least it does not clip, the big dissapointment is the snare sound used on the midi drums, it sounds very fake.
I love some of the progressions in this track, it is one of my better efforts at something which sounds well thought out rather than just a collection of riffs.
I believe the guitars are still all Line 6 Pod at this point. Highlight for me is 1:39 with 2 melodic guitar riffs going simultaneously, its all about the melody!
Theres another great riff at 2:05, which contrasts excellently with the one before it. Its a shame about the poor snare sound, as the drum programming is quite tasteful, with liberal use of snare fills.
The bass guitar is also unfortunately mixed a little low. The final riff has a rather annoying flange effect, perhaps it wasnt required...another remix needed perhaps?

13. Evolution

This track is lucky to be here at all, my computer was stolen years after it was finished, and it is the only track I did not have full offsite backups for, because of this, the track was a preview only, in 128kbit mp3, which I uploaded as a preview to get feedback about the mix.
I like this track quite a bit, it has a lot of raw energy or something!
This track marks the introduction of an Alesis D4 drum module, it has trigger inputs and I initially entertained the idea of building a trigger kit, but never got around to it.
I think the D4 sounds great on this despite its age.
Also, the graphic to the right was donated by Smaug (Smaug88), some of you may know who that is...

14. Distant

The production standards have certainly increased for this track, there is also for the first time, a real bass guitar! I feel it adds greatly to the production, it is an ESP LTD 5 string bass.
The drums are still from the Alesis D4, there is also synth pads from my Roland JV90 through most of the track adding atmosphere.
The clean guitar break is mixed a little low, it is an interesting guitar sound, some people think it sounds too plain, but as the solo over it is very simple and melodic, I didnt want to overwhelm it, I fell that adds to the effect of the main riff coming back in.
The track is a little repetitive I guess, but I like it!

15. Descent

The production on this track sounds very similar to the previous track, 'distant', and I believe both were recorded in quick succession, this track was completed in December 2001.
The synth features a little more prominently.
I am unsure if the Line6 Pod is being used in this or if it is a Behringer V-Amp.
My favourite riff comes in at 1:32, and the bass guitar under it sounds great!
The first guitar solo in this one is a little poor, the one over the ending is a little better.

16. Isolated

Recorded in February 2002, this is a great track with a great production! (compared to the others here of course)
It is quite similar to the previous 2, but sounds a little more cohesive.
There are some eerie guitar textures along with the synth textures on this one, making it a very...texturous track.

17. Unending

Recorded on the 19th of June 2004 in a 24 hour period as part of Rapid Composers Consortium Event #1 for http://www.midiwarez.net.
This is the first track I have completed since February 2002...over 2 years!
We came up with the idea to once a month set a 24 hour period to record and upload a completed song, the limitation forces you to get stuff done, no excuses! no wasting 2 hours tweaking gear!

Since my last track I have some new gear, most notably a SansAmp GT2 direct recording device, this is an all analog amp sim, I feel it has greatly improved my distorted guitar tone.
I also recently purchased a secondhand Ibanez PGM30, it is the Paul Gilbert signature Ibanez, despite looking like my other guitars it really does play quite different!

The track itself is a bit plain, but I was just excited to get anything done. The opening clean section is all one string sliding between notes, you may notice the harmonizing parts over it pan left and right slowly until the heavy guitars come in.
This track has a lot of leads, the way I like it! some of them are rough but time was of the essence, I had a problem with my drum synth dxi which took up a lot of my time!
I cant wait for the next RCC event in July.

18. Molecular

Recorded 17th of July 2004 in a 24 hour period, this is the result of the second Rapid Composers Consortium (RCC) event, read about it at http://www.midiwarez.net.

This track was once again recorded with my Ibanez PGM through my Sansamp GT2, the style is very similar to the last one.
The introduction sounds very full despite being clean guitar, perhaps losing some of the impact of when the heavier guitars come in.
The main criticism of this track is that it is too slow, however I also think some of the cymbals are too loud and it does clip a bit in places....it is also too similar to many of my other tracks.
I do however like the lead tone very much, especially at the end of the track, last note is the best note!

RCC is really popular with a lot of people saying it's the greatest thing ever in #midiwarez, so everyone join for next month!

19. Khartoum

This track was recorded for RCC event 3 on the 14th of August.
Around the 45 second mark theres an interesting riff which isnt really in any key, so probably chromatic!
The production on this track is good, the drum programming only average though.
The guitar leads are a little boring and uninspired, but remember that RCC is a 24 hour thing, from start to finish.
The lead tone is sort of synth like, but a lot of that is the pinch harmonics rather than any sort of effect I would be using.
This track doesnt sound as 'huge' as some of my previous ones because the rhythm guitars are no longer double tracked and panned hard with a delay on one channel, not sure why I stopped doing that, just got bored of it.

At around 3:40 you hear some true wanking! 2 handed tapping ascending pattern, the master of all cheese!

20. Svalbard

Recorded on September the 18th 2004, svalbard is the 4th track I recorded for the Rapid Composers Consortium.
The frenetic opening moves into more melodic sections, however the riff at 1:22 is a little too reminiscent of some of my other tracks.
The production on most of these tracks will be fairly similar due to the close timespan of them all, 1 per month!

2:15 brings us an interesting riff which gets even better at the key change at 2:30, all in all this is one of my better composed tracks, the parts flow nicely.
The solo at the end has a double track harmonization which is quite simple, but people seemed to like it.

21. The rad trio

This track was recorded whilst I was on holidays, at the riverview hotel and apartments in Brisbane.
Knowing that RCC day would fall on my vacation, I transported a guitar and a laptop for the 4000 mile round trip just so I could do RCC.
When the day arrived on October the 17th, I attempted to plug my guitar into my sansamp, and into my laptop, to discover the input was mic only, not line! so I had to quickly try and work out how to actually get a signal, to make matters worse the plug kept falling out....so whilst holding the plug in with my knee I managed to hit record and track the fairly average guitar blues track.

The backing was done in ableton live, using an edirol GM product, I think the drum programming in particular is quite good!

22. Ashkhabad

Rapid Composers Consortium Track recoreded November 20th 2004.

The opening has a weird synth with just bass under it, then the guitars come in.
This is the first track I ever recorded in Tracktion, which is now owned by Mackie, I like Tracktion a lot.
This track has a lot of harmonies.
This is also the first track after I bought Roland Vdrums, and to celebrate the event, the drum tracks in this track are the Vdrums brain recorded directly from its stereo out, no edits, no midi, no effects, and all with only 2 weeks drum practice! I think I did pretty good, others disagree.

The bends on the harmonized lead at 3:41 would have to be a highlight for me.

23. Socotra

Rapid Composers Consortium Track recorded December the 18th 2004.

This track is highly unusual for me in that it has no distorted guitar at all, 100% clean guitars throughout.
There is also some synth in places, and the clean guitars I feel make me pay more attention to things like bass.
The track builds through a few different sections and then starts repeating, the tones are both good and bad, the 'lead' sound is somewhat better than the underlying 'rhythm' guitars.
The solo at the end is nice and sparse, suiting the song quite well I think.
The biggest problem with the track is the drum sounds do not suit the music at all.

24. Taymyr

Rapid Composers Consortium Track recorded January the 22nd 2005.

The first RCC track of 2005 opens with a very heavy riff, but soon moves into more familiar melodic territory.
1:29 is the start of a great section that repeats a nice riff only heavier!
The solo that comes in at 2:29 has a very dominating tone, luckily its fairly decent.
The mix on this track is a little raw, I believe all guitars and bass are the Sansamp GT2.
The build up to the ending has some harmonized guitars before returning to the original riff and a nice melody to take it out.
This is one of my heavier tracks.

25. Anadyr

Rapid Composers Consortium Track recorded February the 19th 2005.

Another strange track from me, with very little distorted guitar.
I think the bass guitar tone at the start is superb! although the riff under it sounds some what like older metallica.
1:22 is the start of a nice buildup, with strangely effected guitars and just a hint of distortion building in the left channel - a nice effect.
The clean guitars need to be tighter, more crisp, not sure really! they just dont sound great.
1:59 is the start of the regular thing, although nicely melodic, but derivative of course!
2:40 has some great melodies, reminiscint of my dying bride.
The production on this track is above average for me, the guitars whilst still sounding raw are not distorted to the point of being muffled.
Around 3:40 the clean guitars return, 4:10 is a great riff with a little solo over it, all the way to the end.
One of my better RCC tracks.

26. Necro philharmonic

An orchestral Track!
This was more of an experiment than anything, with a surprise ending.
Made for the 10th Rapid Composers Consortium event on the 19th of March 2005.
The orchestra is all from a neat little vsti called synful, which uses performance synthesis (not just sound) to make the small orchestral samples sound more realistic.
I employ harmony and counterpoint in my little bachesque string movement, nothing very original to hear here.
2:20 has a guitar come in...with a badly out of tune note!....really poor, the bass and cello under it sound great though.
2:50 has the surprise...some of you were expecting it - Hail Fenriz.

27. Qaanaaq

Rapid Composers Consortium Track Recorded April 16th 2005.

This track had me going insane messing with eq and such to try and make it sound decent, theres many versions of this floating around, presented here I believe is the 2nd of many versions, completed within the 24 hours allotted for RCC.
The melody over the guitars is a bit grating - something I continued to do for too long in upcoming tracks.
The drums sound particularly bad, the cymbals sound like they are clipping even though they are not, the whole mix is a little too saturated, I am not sure how it got there, maybe I recorded in 16 bit and didnt realise.
2:20 is the first solo, and is quite decent if you can hear it, theres not much room for it.
The Sansamp GT2 is in use here, as it has been for the last few tracks, but it is a difficult beast to master - perhaps not suited to making multiple tracks of guitars, better for standout tracks, its tone totally dominates.
The ending takes ages to fade out!

28. Kamchatka

This is the first track to feature the line6 guitarport - a Pod on steroids, I liked it so much I bought all the model packs immediately.
I think the difference in guitar tone compared to the last few tracks is immense.
As usual, this is an RCC track recorded on May 21st 2005.
The track builds up for the first minute before moving into some nice melody, the drums sound much better under these guitars - although still not great (drums are my most criticized component).
The track is well eq'd, and fills the spectrum better than most of my tracks.
1:56 sees a clean guitar break - which also sounds nice and full, the same theme continues with the heavy guitars as they come back, sounding quite epic.
4:15 sees a good key change, with nice harmony, leading to a non resolving last note.

29. Isachsen

This track marked the first anniversary of the rapid composers consortium - June 18th 2005.

This is also a nice track featuring my line6 guitarport - such a contrast to the sansamp, although I do think its the person piloting it mainly.
0:53 has some nice ascending downwards arpeggios (?) with a nice solo over the top, sounding quite wanky.
We keep moving up the neck and introducing some more harmony, a little chorused until about 1:45 - to a nice modulation, a very nice progression for me.
3:20 sees another key change, with a slow solo, lots of bends - not much shredding in the latter futurism tracks.
We go back into our ascending downward apreggios, cause they were just so nice, to build to a satisfying ending - to close out year one of RCC.

30. Ushuaia

Recorded July 16th 2005 - this track has a little rawer guitar sound, but deliberately so, raw perhaps isnt the best word, I still think the guitars sound nicely produced, it is what I was trying for.
The melody has some nice arabic influence, but also some movement up the neck, with the bass following and easily audible.
1:40 sees us move into a sort of interlude, with heavily reverbed guitars, sounding good - getting out of it at 2:05 wasnt so good though.
2:25 has a really tightly focused crunch, the best heavy guitar tone I have ever recorded I think, double tracked of course.
The drums in this track are quite tasteful, some nice offbeat snare patterns, contrasting with the straight ahead heavy sections.
The ending is a little too abrupt - but at least it doesnt fade out.

31. Zoukwara

The slowest track I ever made!
Recorded for the 15th Rapid Composers Consortium event - August 20 2005.
This track has a somewhat dissonate melody throughout, at times its great, at others its a little grating.
Having said that - this is a highly praised track among my peers.
The contrast to clean guitars at 1:10 and the melody that comes in are great.
The drum programming, working with slower tempo, I had a lot of fun with, using more toms than I normally would.
1:52 has one of my best ever melodic moments.
The riff after is sort of 9/4, or 5/4 - 4/4, then it all goes a bit weird.
At times it is hard to work out what key the track is actually in, which I think is a good thing.
By 3:10 we are back to the first riff, and the melody does start to get a bit tiring - so bendy.
3:54 has a brief interlude, followed by a chugging finale.

32. Srinagar

Could this be the last ever futurism track - perhaps, or maybe futursim will live on through RCC, I am not yet sure at the time of writing.
I do know that I am looking for a fresh start, having secured the domain http://www.dissonate.com.
I am hoping to progress somehow to a new style, not sure what yet - stay tuned.

This track however, was the 16th RCC track on September the 17th 2005.
Inspired by the slower track the previous month, I have again gone with a slower tempo, and I think it is quite nice once again - although without some of the great melodies the previous track featured.
2:25 sees the strings come in - synful I believe, as featured in the earlier track necro philharmonic
The strings build to an intermediate climax at about 3:10.
The solo is a bit of nothing really, we move back into the strings and move onto the finish. Anti climatic track..perhaps fitting!...tinged with sadness...JUST KIDDING...I think its a great ending.

33. Seramban

Well...futurism lives on it seems!
This track was made on the 19th of November 2005, as usual it was made for RCC, but this is actually a remix (not in the rap/top 40 sense).
Some time in early January I purchased BFD, an awesome drum synth, and went back and remixed this track incorporating BFD and some new Reverb usage techniques I learnt which seems to make the sound more cohesive or something.

The track gets off to a crappy start, with clipping clean guitars, but once the hi gain sound starts everything sounds fine.
This is one of my longer RCC tracks, and thats probably because there are a few too many repeats.
1:16 is a nice change, and a nice progression, which changes again into a simple heavy bit with lots of drum action, showing of the anti machine gun capabilities of BFD.
This track jumps in and out of little clean breaks a bit too often, and is probably too chaotic, even though I like that.
2:26 is an interesting sort of atonal passage that repeats and goes into a strange solo at 3:20 which doesnt really sound like me playing at all.

The ending is the best part of the song, with some phasing effects and a great doubled guitar tone, the clean part is actually a good contrast here.

Overall, the highlight of this track is the BFD drums, since drum sounds are my most criticized thing.

34. Maridi

After another break, this time whilst I travelled to India and Malaysia for work (read about that at http://www.falseguide.com, I made a track in Ableton Live thats not fit for this site!) its back to Australia for RCC on the 21st of January 2006.

The good news is, I feel this is one of my best tracks, and possibly my best production values ever.
The drums are BFD once again, and I am getting better at using them, and using busses for reverb on most things, which I think sounds good, maybe it masks mistakes!

0:55 sees a clean break with some nice sounding drums under it and the solo that follows sounds great to my ears.
Most of the guitars are doubled but it sounds very tight.
1:35 is a nice interlude, its so simple and lets the drums shine through, this was the first track I made with BFD from the start, so I was really trying, and I think it shows, others disagree....

The ending is a wall of sound type of affair, its still only 3 mono guitar tracks though, I dont know how people use 100 tracks!

All in all this is one of my favourite tracks.

35. Koror

This track was recorded on February 19th 2006, and it was a real struggle.
I could not get started for RCC, which is a rare thing for me, so I decided to play with synths and drum grooves that come with BFD (none of the drums in this track were programmed by me).
Additionally, the bass for the whole track is a synth, and I am anti synth.
Still somehow it turns into metal, and sounds pretty interesting.
The synths are all from Native Instruments Absynth (they of the crappy interface design).
From about 1:50 what sounds like synths is mainly guitars, although theres a strange percussive sound under it, the production sounds pretty huge.
This was a very different track for me, theres really only 2 or 3 riffs in the whole song with textural guitars over the top...I guess its more 'modern' sounding than my other stuff, lets just hope its not 'nu' or else I will die a dishonorable death.
The ending is super heavy, which has become a feature of my last few tracks.

Overall Koror is not as satisfying as Maridi, but good because its different.

36. Kermadec

Recorded on the 19th of March 2006, Kermadec is another 'different' track.
It is slow and simple and features an organ througout, the guitars came after the organ.
My main criticism is the production of the lead guitars, they are hard to distinguish at times, and some of the harmonies seem very forced and contrived.
The drums this time are programmed by me again, rather than using BFD's built in groove, and I am satisfied with how they sound.
The ending is somehow majestic or ethereal or some sort of fancy word, and upon reflection sounds like the first album by 'the gathering', who used organs a lot in their album so thats probably why.

This is not of the same quality as many of my other songs, like it for the organ!

37. Cotonou

This turned out to be the last track I completed for quite sometime, instead of making music I went on a gear buying frenzy.
Additionally it was the end of RCC for quite some time, after creating something for 25 consecutive months from various locations.
Recorded on the 25th of May 2006, Cotonou has some quite complex timings and some decent production, however things were about to change for the better (see next track).
This is the last track for which I used a line6 guitar port or any direct recording product, its also probably the last time I used BFD for drums.
Lots of complex timing things going on here, and quite a bit of melody, but the melody does seem a little forced.
The clean break around 2:30 is the best part, track drags on too long with too many repeats.

38. Tantalum

RCC is ressurected! I have purchased heaps of expensive amps!
Recorded on March 1st 2008, its been nearly 2 years since the last track. In that time I made a lot of clips but not really any full tracks.
The production on this is far better than anything I have done previously, its an Engl Blackmore head recorded through an SM57 and an E609 Microphone.
Drums are EZ Drummer with the DKFH expansion, but most sounds are replaced or blended with custom samples in drumagog.
This song was completed in under 6 hours, came out pretty well, some decent melody, some timing changes etc.
Best section by far starts at 2:35 and lasts almost for a minute, lots of dissonant riffs being thrown about with left/right harmonies.
I also quite like the main riff which is a harmonized guitar part with the synth behind it.

39. Dysprosium

Recorded May 2008.
This is again a rapid composers consortium track....I promise soon to actually work on some tracks for a period of time.
The amp this time is a Randall RM100 modular tube head with the 1086 module, single mic'd with an SM57.
The mix seems a bit nasally sounding, I could probably remix it and do a better job (recently set up my studio better with a good monitoring position now).
Synths are a bit cheesey sounding in this one, as is the lead guitar at around 1:50.
Best part is the weird repeating pattern at around 2:25, with the timing change that sort of builds, but doesnt really go anywhere!

40. Astatine

Recorded June 2008.
Description added July 2018! Time to review my own music 10 years on.

My notes on this suggest it uses a more tracks in my recording software than anything else I had made prior.
The start is nice and mellow and goes into an excellent choir! Nice transition...but I am waiting for the bomb. Sad piano first, still great.
The guitars come in without the usual dense mess of power chords, quite refreshing. Nice harmonies.
Things head into more metal territory from the 3 minute mark. This song has a bit more of a major key feel to a lot of it.
Choirs come back into it and its all a bit cheesey, but I dont mind cheese. We then fade back to the sad piano. Enjoyable song!

41. Technetium

Recorded July 2008.
Reviewed in July 2018!

For this one we get off to a complex start, lots of time changes and general wankery going on.
It seems to get worse, chromatic escalation or something.
A bit of melody with choir at around the 1 minute mark. Sounds as if the tempo should be a bit faster though. After a bit more wankery we head back to epic choir and bad solos with a bit of egyptian feel thrown in. Then things get weird.
Circus music erupts briefly.
Black metal ending! Not a bad exercise in complexity, very clear recording.

42. Niobium

Recorded August 2008.
Again, I am reviewing this about 10 years after making it. I can tell by the monthly gaps between each song that these were done as part of the rapid composers consortium, which means they had to be started, finished and uploaded in a single day.

Great clean opening. Apparently this was all recorded on my Engl Blackmore tube amp, clean guitars, heavy guitars and bass. Clean lead is not as clean as it should be.
Transition from clean to heavy is quite bad! But then the actual riffs are ok, nice sounding guitars. Riffs are a bit generic.
2:25 is a great transition, and when it goes down an octave sounds awesome. Great groove.
Short song, no real solo, but overall, pretty good!

43. Polonium

Recorded September 2008.
Apparently I recorded this in 3.5 hours, using my Engl Blackmore for all guitars and ravity as a soft synth for most choirs. My notes suggest its black metal, time to re listen 10 years on....

Well the start is kind of black metal, but recorded too clearly, with bad sounding drums. Also clipping badly!
Seems the first transition at around 30 seconds is more black metal. Playing is a bit out of time.
Drums are poorly programmed. 1:18 and yeah, very black metal. More strange pauses in the timing though, like I can barely play guitar.
Just after 1:30 its a kind of Satyricon groove, then more choirs.
Just before 2:00 I mess about with the mixing to make it all glorious mono. I must have thought that was a cool effect to try at the time.... and it turns out it was! When it jumps back to stereo at 2:30 was epic.

Unfortunately the transitions a bit later in the song are a bit strange to get us back to home.

44. Lanthanum

Recorded October 2008 - reviewed in July 2018
Quad tracked guitars, great guitar tone, very clear production, especially like the bass guitar in this one.
My previous notes on this say I thought it suffered from being all a single tempo, but there are tempo changes in the song.

The opening is certainly very simple and very much like everything else I seem to make.
The sudden change at about 23 seconds in is great, but we quickly go back to same old same old.

Finally at the 1 minute mark we get to a nice lead over a progression which then breaks down into a harmonized dual lead.
The bent note in the guitar lead leading into the fast picking at 2:12 is the undoubted highlight for me.
Great melodies at the end of the song, even if some of the drum programming is a bit abrupt.

45. Tellurium

Recorded December 2008 - reviewed July 2018.
A fairly run of the mill opening, again recording all the guitars and bass through my beloved Engl Blackmore tube amp.
I have a few more notes for this track, which clearly states ez drummer drumkit from hell was used but with bass and snare replaced by drumagog. Quite a short track, nothing too experimental, nice clean production, but starting to get a bit denser than previous tracks, now 10 years later in hindsight I am not sure thats a great thing.
Time change at the 40 second mark is ok, but all the riffs are a bit too generic in this one.

Another tempo change at 1:10, and a bit of awkward out of time playing. Predictably we fade into a clean interlude. 1:55 is probably the highlight. It builds and builds but unfortunately just goes back to the generic riffing.

46. Seyfert

Recorded March 2009.
Description to come

47. Quadra

Recorded May 2009.
Description to come

48. Titan

Recorded June 2009.
Description to come

49. Shifted

Recorded July 2009.
Description to come

50. Incongruous

Recorded August 2009.
Description to come

51. Pompous

Recorded December 2009.
Description to come

52. Deep

Recorded December 2010.
Description to come

53. Untitled from November 2013

Recorded November 2013.
Description to come

54. Drawn out

Recorded January 2015.
Description to come

55. XiangTong

Recorded 31 December 2017.
I have no idea how this happened, but heres a new song, after almost 3 years.
Recorded on axe fx, with a steinberger headless guitar into Sonar.
Lacking in high end a bit, but overall not bad, made really quickly on new years eve because I was sitting at home bored.
Song title is the Chinese word for exactly the same, because this is exactly the same as my other songs.

Update: May 2020 - remixed and reuploaded, quieter, less clipping, Kvlt II drums.

56. Surprise Demise

Recorded 1 July 2018.
Another new song, sounds the same as all the others.
Recorded on axe fx, with Jeff Loomis Schecter 7 string and Jackson Soloist into Sonar.
I did a second mix because the first wasnt bright enough, I think its pretty bright now.
Title named because I started to feel like I was getting sick while recording it, which was surprising.

57. Kingdom of Isolation

Recorded 9 May 2020.
A really long time between uploads.
Hopefully I can address that and make more music soon.
This one uses some new gear, neural dsp plugins for guitar, through a new focusrite interface, using getgood invasion drums and eurobass ii for bass. Yes, MIDI bass.
Not a bad song, production sounds nice, composition sounds too similar to everything else, time to focus on doing something different!

Oh yeah, recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. One day I might look at this and remember the months of being isolated in my kingdom (apartment).

UPDATE - this was reuploaded after a minor remix to be more consistent with the next two tracks. The drums were changed from Getgood drums invasion to KVLT Drums ii.

58. Forced into Solitude

Recorded 17 May 2020.
Heres the second of my COVID-19 lockdown tracks.
This one has all the same production gear as the last one (and the next one) as I remixed all 3 for consistency.
The clean start goes into a really heavy part that is probably a little too slow in tempo.
The tempo actually changes a few times in this track, I tried to make those transitions smooth, they mostly work.
There are 2 great improvements to my work flow that have resulted in the increased productivity, composing bass first with the excellent Eurobass II plugin, and recording DI guitar stems, which makes editing a whole lot easier.

Best part of this one is the clean bit at the very end.

59. Exiled

Recorded 24 May 2020.
Now for the third of my COVID-19 lockdown tracks.
The production is the same as the last 2, standard tuning, KVLT drums ii, Neural DSP Cali guitar plugin applied to DI guitar tracks, Eurobass II, recorded into cakewalk.
This one has a few interesting transitions between key changes. It actually took me quite a long time to make some of them work, I think they mostly work ok now.
There is also a fair bit of flying fader action going on to get some parts to work properly.

Hopefully the next track will introduce some new / different ideas!

60. Reclusive Form

Recorded 30 May 2020.
Another week, another track completed. Peak productivity achieved during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This one might be my least favourite of the 4, I might like it better in a few days.
The production notes are the same as the previous 3, all guitars are Neural DSP Cali, Bass is Eurobass II, drums are Kvlt drums II.
I conciously decided to go with a faster tempo. I think I like slower tempos more. Maybe next weekend will be a much slower tempo.

61. The Cold Harsh Light of Grey

Recorded 6 June 2020.
My record run of making a new track every weekend continues for a 5th week.
This track is a bit heavier, down tuned to c standard, but other than that, production notes are generally the same as the above.
I rewrote a few riffs to be a bit simpler after thinking I had finished.
The best bit is the pause at the end before the last riff with the solo.

62. Fortunes of the Plagued

Recorded 13 June 2020.
Peak productivity period extended by another week, here is my 6th new track in 6 weeks.
This one is back to standard tuning, slower and doomier, 97bpm.
I do not like it as much as some of the other tracks, but finishing anything is better than finishing nothing.

Many parts of this track add a 3rd rhythm guitar track centre panned, in addition to the hard left and right tracks, although the 3 tracks are never playing the same thing.
Production notes basically the same as the previous 5 tracks, focusrite interface, DI guitar, Neural DSP Cali / Abasi, Cakewalk, Kvlt Drums II, Eurobass II.

63. Vile Reemergence

Recorded 20 June 2020.
Week 7 of the great period of productivity as a result of Covid-19 and the need to stay home.
This week I am back to a c tuning, a bit faster. The strings on my guitar (Ibanez PGM30 for this) were failing, especially the g string which sounds like a wet noodle.
It took longer than most of the above few tracks to finish this one, I have heard it too many times, but still think its not bad.
Production equipment is the same as the above tracks, Cakewalk, NeurapDSP Cali and Abasi plugins, Kvlt Drums II, Eurobass.
Listening to the song again now, a couple of parts could have used a slightly faster tempo. My favourite bits are the couple of transitions that have a tension note.

64. Shadow upon Shadow

Recorded 27 June 2020.
8th week in a row finishing new music!
This one took an extraordinary length of time, it wasnt finished until 3pm Sunday afternoon.
Due to failing guitar strings on my 4 or so regularly used guitars, and slow postal delivery during Covid, I had to use a rarely used guitar, tuned to D with active EMG pickups.
The EMG's do not get on well with my software amp sim plugins for some reason. Also the song would probably better suit a C tuning. Oh well.
My favourite riff is at 3:44, probably should have used that again earlier in the track. The lead tone in a few places is also quite satisfying, to my old ears anyway.

65. Predatory Predication

Recorded 4 July 2020.
The 9th song in a series of Covid-19 tracks.
I was running out of guitars with decent strings, so this week it was time to pull out my 7 string.
This one came together quite quickly, its perhaps a bit simpler and heavier than my last few. The best riff is at 2:15.
The 'dirty clean' break after it is also nice sounding, I spent a while to make it sound less clean if you know what I mean.

One criticism is that the heavier bits should be louder in contrast to the non heavy bits.
I noticed with this track that the version I loaded to youtube really got mangled by youtube compression.

66. Prison Tower 9

Recorded 11 July 2020.
I made it to week 10! If you had of asked me 10 weeks ago if I would have made a new track every week for 10 weeks I would have told you that you were dreaming.
Where I live the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions have returned, so to 'celebrate' I purchased an orchestral library vsti, Nucleus lite. That means you can hear some strings, brass, choirs, woodwind etc in this track.

Also my guitar strings arrived, delivery and getting what I paid for was challenging. To celebrate I am back to using my Ibanez PGM tuned to C standard.
This track also came together rather quickly. The ideas are simple but I like it, I dont think the orchestral bits are too cheesy, the guitar tones are sombre, less gain, neck pickup used throughout.
The timing in this track is deceptively complex in parts, despite that I quite like my drum programming. Kvlt Drums II and Eurobass II are still used here as well.

67. Last Known Contact

Recorded 18 July 2020.
Powering on with my 11th week in a row of COVID-19 lockdown new music. The lockdown where I live is actually getting worse, but I digress.
This weeks song has more orchestration, building on last weeks purchase of Audio Imperia Nucleus Lite.
I am also using some of the BBC Labs libraries for the intro and rain effects.
Guitar used here was my Schecter Loomis 7 string, tuned to B standard.
The song switches between clean and heavy bits, with a black metal-esque bit near the end. Overall, its simple but I like it.

68. Foreboding Spiral

Recorded 25 July 2020.
Back again for another week. This one is a similar style to last week, simple riffs, lots of orchestration.
The start is a heavily processed piano.
For this weeks track I used a guitar tuned to Eb, which meant when playing along on my controller keyboard for the orchestrations, it was Eb minor, all black keys.

Other than that, a similar track, a bit heavier, a bit faster, probably mixed a bit too loud for the newer -14db LUFS target streaming services like you to aim for.
The last section delivers the epicness with cheese filled choirs.

69. Failure Model

Recorded 1 August 2020.
Week 13 of COVID-19 lockdown music making with no end in site. Huge increase in the severity of the lockdown here in Melbourne with a curfew being imposed.
Enough of that, lets talk about music.

This weeks track is back to an older style. No orchestration. Standard tuning.
I used my old old Jackson guitar which lately has sounded a bit weird, making strange electronic buzzing noises. The plugin I am using, Neural Cali, models a Fortin Zuul noisegate, which seems to get rid of any weird buzzing.
The track here has complex timing. I like most of it but the cleaner section sounds a bit forced. I re did some of the drums and added a wah to a couple of the leads to roll off the harsher high notes.
I also added too many amp sim plugins and multiple drum libraries and started hitting my CPU limit, there are plenty of ways I could work so I dont hit that limit, but now I kind of know there is a limit. Neural DSP plugins use a huge amount of CPU.

70. Walled City

Recorded 8 August 2020.
Week 14. This weeks track is really dark. C tuning, lots of orchestral stuff.
I think my solo near the middle of the song here is pretty good, I drew the wah in to mask a few sins. Blast beats sound OK, I took a while to program them to my satisfaction.
This track overall came together quite quickly, and I liked it pretty much straight away, normally I dislike the stuff I make until a few days later.
It does seem that lately my style has evolved to the point of having almost no actual riffs. The weak point is the last section, it doesnt fit too well and the ending is kind of forgettable.

As far as production values go, also pretty good, the decay on some of the semi distorted guitars is suitably crunchy.

71. In Chaotica

Recorded 15 August 2020.
Week 15. Habits have definitely been formed by now.
This track took a long time to make, partially because I am using some different gear. I recently purchased a Line6 HX Stomp, which is a smaller version of a Helix.
I am using the HX stomp as my interface here, its a bit different, DI tracks are very quiet.
A great feature of the HX stomp is that for a small fee on top of the hardware unit, you can get the Helix Native plugin, which is the same thing in plugin form.
CPU usage of Helix Native is a lot less than the Neural DSP stuff. Having said that, I think I prefer the grittiness of the Neural DSP rhythm guitar tones from the previous 14 songs here, although I am working on replicating that nastiness in Line6 world.

As for the track here, I was a bit sick of working on it by the time it was finished, it goes back and forwards between heavy parts and spooky parts, with orchestral stuff added throughout. Standard tuning although I am also using my headless Steinberger here for the first time during this period of Covid inspired productivity.

72. Pandemonic State

Recorded 22 August 2020.
Week 16.
An older style track, no orchestra.
The DI's are all being recorded from my HX stomp, played on my 7 string with active pickups. I think the input was clipping a bit.
There is a setting to change it to line level. Tricky unit, no input gain knob, you get to choose line or instrument level, and if you choose instrument it has a capacitance circuit. This all means its too quiet with passives and too loud with actives.
Anyway, back to discussing the track, I stole one of my own riffs. I also think its a bit slow and plodding in places, Not one of my favourites. Blast beats are the highlight, and I guess I like how the end kind of trails off.

73. Tumult

Recorded 29 August 2020.
Week 17. Another week, another song
This weeks track is back to spooky fx and sad piano.
Eb tuning. Using my HX stomp as the interface to record DI's again and Helix native for all amp sims with various zilla cab IR's added to it. Actually I use Helix Native verbs on non guitar stuff also.
This track has some evolving tempos, a bit of a new thing for me to try. I like the track straight away, there are a few bits where I reversed a guitar chug to swell back into a part.
Bass guitar tone is particulary enjoyable, its very janky.

74. Distraction Map

Recorded 5 September 2020.
Week 18. Another week, still more songs.
More new gear this time around, back to using Neural DSP products, everything in this song is the Plini Archetype.
Also, back to using my focusrite 18i20 interface to record the gutiar DI. This has analog gain on the input to get more signal into my DAW. Standard tuning using my ESP LTD. Unusual track (slightly), there are no power chords, there are quite a few cleaner sections. A couple of the transitions are a bit iffy. I like some of the lead tones from Plini.
Maybe not as good as last week, might grow on me.

75. Calamical

Recorded 12 September 2020.
Week 19.
Really slow track this one, probably the slowest track out of all 20 so far. I like the slow drum programming and some of the bass guitar.
D tuning, using active EMG pickup, something I dont seem to enjoy as much as passives.
The tempo seems to make parts of the song labour a bit, I think it also contributes to the noticing the guitars intonation is off at times.
Lead tones from the Neural Plini plugins however sound really nice.
The heavy rhythm tone is Helix Native, Engl amp model, and I think it sounds really good here with my EMG pickups.
The change to the last riff is the best part of the song.

76. Perilous

Recorded 19 September 2020.
I made it all the way to week 20.
Another track with quite a bit of orchestration.
A bit faster than last week, C tuning on my Ibanez PGM30.
Tones are a mix of Helix Native, Neural Plini with the usual Eurobass II and Kvlt Drums II.
There are a couple of tempo changes in this song, the way modern music is recorded to a click means you have to really thing about adding tempo changes, they dont come naturally.
My favourite bit is the solo after the slow bit, the ending is a bit generic.

77. Apocryphal

Recorded 26 September 2020.
Now up to week 21 of the epic recording sessions during COVID-19.
This week is a more complex song, recorded on my 7 string. Lots of key changes and timing changes.
I am not sure I like it though!

It took a long time to make. I set out to deliberately try and make some disjointed sections fit together. Some of the time I was succesful, other times I was not.
Highlights are the bass guitar tone and some of the drum programming over complex time signatures. Actually all the guitar tones sound pretty good, rhythm is Helix Native, leads are Neural DSP Plini.

78. Terms of Endurement

Recorded 3 October 2020.
For week 22 of COVID music its back to slow epic sad piano music. This one may be the slowest so far. It took a few takes to get some of the slow bits recorded in time.
I kept the lead guitar and sad piano thing going through the entire song.
Perhaps for the first time in history of music here, theres a couple of major key sections, joined by some ambiguous sections.
The bit at the end is a reprise to a previous song.
This track was recoreded in E standard on my Steinberger ZT3 headless guitar.
I think I like this one more than the last couple.

79. Dereliction

Recorded 10 October 2020.
Week 23 is totally black metal. So black in fact that I had to remix it to be blacker, the remixed version appears here.
I think I really like this song, theres a lot of interesting chords in the rhythm guitars. The remix version makes the lead guitars and orchestra more of an ambience, leaving the rhythm guitars grating chords more apparent. My favourite part is easily the transition at 3:35 which sounds really epic.
The original version of this, some of the changes sound a bit weird, but this blacker remix they all sound good. I also like the way it swaps between straight feel and triplet feel a few times.
Standard tuning here, helix stomp for all guitar tones.

80. Appeasing the Wretched

Recorded 17 October 2020.
Week 24 and I am keeping with the black metal theme.
This week is all guitars, no other instruments of any kind.
It took a while for me to enjoy this track after recording it, but I now think its pretty good. There are a couple of nice key changes.
A tempo change probably would have added a bit of variety.
Standard tuning again, and all Line6 Helix Native guitar tones.

81. Vast Traverse

Recorded 24 October 2020.
Week 25 and the Covid lockdown has eased a little.
I celebrated by making something a bit different.
this is more of a really dark ambient intro track. There are some guitars but there are no drums. There is lots of sad piano and explosion sounds (which are just really slowed down pianos I think).
My favourite part is the pulsating bass at 1:40.
Perhaps somewhat annoyingly, I got a lot of positive feedback for this track, people must really hate my actual music.
Guitars here are standard tuning and I used my Steinberger GT3 again, not that it really matters for this song as they are mainly adding ambient effects.

82. Hibernation Delirium

Recorded 31 October 2020.
Week 26 and today I should have been flying to Japan for a month long holiday, however since its currently illegal to leave my city, more illegal to leave my state, and also illegal to leave the country, here I am making more new music again.
As far as Covid goes, we have had some really good results, and soon it may not be illegal to leave my city. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is descending into chaos. Time to make something dark, but then again I always do.
For this track I used a new step sequencing tool that runs inside Kontakt called Riff Generator - outside in edition. I think I am using it in a strange way, as I programmed some odd time signature stuff into it, this confused the key switching to change patterns, eventually I got it to work but it was not a great experience.

The track itself is kind of nice I guess. Despite feeling like a very different process to all my other songs here, its actually more similar to what I normally do than last weeks song, in that it has guitars and drums.
The sad piano here is actually Roland TTS-1 that comes for free with cakewalk, which I recently rediscovered. Its good for Rompler sounds. The step sequencer things I mentioned above is under everything, kind of doing bass notes and some guitar harmonics almost rhythmically.
Favourite bit is when the repeat of the main theme starts at 2:50 with the heavily reverbed guitar chords under it. The guitar here again is my Steinberger GT3 tuned to standard.

83. Derision Wave

Recorded 7 November 2020.
Week 27, Covid restrictions eased, US election drama continues, title kind of reflects both. Enough politics.
This is not one of my favourite songs. It starts off well enough but then some of the changes seem too forced, especially the slower bit with the guitar solo at about 2:30. Parts of the song remind me a lot of of Spiritual Healing era Death.

Standard tuning, which I have been sticking to a lot lately.
Basically all the guitars come from Helix Native. The tones themselves sound pretty good here, just the composition needed a bit more work, although it seems I did add some drawn in wah to hide my poor intonation during the painful solo.

I deliberately set out to make more of a 'standard' track this week after the experimentation of the last couple, lets see where we go to next week.

Footnote - above photo was taken at a nearby mountain visited on the very first day after lockdown restrictions were lifted, the first time I was allowed outside of the city since March, nearly 8 months.

84. Existence Unleashed

Recorded 14 November 2020.
Week 28, still making music. I thought I might stop now that the lockdown has eased.
This is another standard sounding track, although it adds the pompous orchestration throughout. Mildly tempoed (thats a term I invented).
D tuning this week for something different, tone sounds good from Helix native, the guitar I used has EMG's, which I dont always seem to get a good recorded tone out of.
The changes in this song are pretty seemless, both key changes and tempo changes. Slow passage in the middle with heavily effected clean guitars is nice sounding.
Unlike last weeks track, I instantly enjoyed this one, it has a few epic moments to look forward to when listening back 50 times to get the mix right and fix the drums hits that sound weird etc.
I would however prefer if the riff at the end, which is actually 3 variations of the same atonal riff, was a bit clearer, the passage starts at about 3:44 and goes all the way to the end, quite a few cool chords to appreciate under the lead and orchestration.

85. Barrage

Recorded 21 November 2020.
Week 29, COVID restrictions ramping up in my old state while being removed in my current state. Maybe for me interstate travel will be possible soon? Who knows.
This weeks song has no drums, nearly all clean guitars, and only guitars. Everything is a guitar. The synth sounding things are guitars, the sub bass things are detuned guitars.
It was surprisingly easy to make this track, did not take very long, I think it sounds ok? Could maybe use a key change.
D tuning again this week, using a modded ibanez with an EMG active pickup.

86. Containment Breach

Recorded 28 November 2020.
Week 30, and its back to a standard metal sounding track. Some nice riffs, chuggs along. C tuning on an Ibanez PGM30.
I reverted to an older template in my DAW which uses more Neural DSP stuff, Abasi and Cali, rather than Helix Native.
Bass guitar sounds quite good here in places, nice rumble to it, good clear mix.

Most of the riffs are pretty generic sounding, this is another example of a song that really needs vocals to make it interesting.
Because of that perhaps my favourite bit is the clean interlude with the strange buzzy lead tone over it. This then leads into an epic kind of solo section before heading back into familiar territory.

87. Precipice

Recorded 5 December 2020.
Week 31, and its time for some new synth type stuff. This one has some synths from Heavyocity, specifically from the natural foces pack, as well as a few rumbles from Izotope Iris 2, which was free.
C tuning again, and its all played on the neck pickup to give a bit of a lo-fi feel.
The sub bass rumbles that sound like thunder are nice, but do mess up youtubes encoder.
This track could have easily just meandered along as a textural thing for a few minutes and ended, but no, I decided to go blast beaty instead! Therefore this track has a bit of everything.

I think this is a really good track, key changes all work, some weird chord voicings that work well with the leads, tinkerbells....
The pause at 3:52 before returning to the same idea as the start only now played on guitars instead of synths is my favourite bit.
I should also mention this is c tuning again, like last week, in case I ever want to play along with myself in the future.

88. Pointed (Colder Version)

Recorded 12 December 2020.
Week 32, is all about HM2.
My Line6 Helix and Helix Native plugin was updated with a new firmware that includes a Boss HM2 simulation.
This means only one thing to do, set all the controls to 10 and play something Swedish.
To add to it all, I took my 7 string and tuned it down a half step to A#.

There are actually 2 versions of this, this is the more polite version, the first version which is probably still lurking on youtube, is even buzzier and more nasal.

Despite messing with HM2 and lower tunings, I think some of the drum programming in this is quite good.

89. Trepid

Recorded 19 December 2020.
Week 33, I am still tuned to A# using my 7 string.
This one starts out with some really nice atmospheric stuff, interesting melody. These noises were a combo of Heavyocity Natural forces and Izotope Iris 2.
The best part is the opening clean guitar riff, its like Pink Floyd but darker. The echo on the guitars comes from the Helix Native plugin.
Soon after, heavy guitars come in, they dont hit quite hard enough compared to the clean part. However I do like the wah sound over the top of them, sounds very... trepid.

The song gets better with the slow double bass drumming, continuing with the wah guitar, which was all a single take.
Drum programming works really well with this one.
3:55 has the clean guitars come back with the cool riff again, then its back into heavy stuff which is actually the same riff as some clean stuff from the start.

This is one of my favourite tracks.

90. Entropic

Recorded 24 December 2020.
Week 34, last track of the year.
This one is tuned to e flat / d sharp, depending on if you are a pianist or guitarist.
A happier sounding track than most, there are a few weird time changes but I think they mostly work ok.
I actually recorded this track on a Thursday as I went away to Beechworth in Victoria for Xmas. I was determined to maintain my one song a week streak even though I could not make one on Saturday like I have been since earlier this year, 34 weeks ago.

Cheesy choirs with tom tom shenanigans may be the most interesting bit of this otherwise fairly bland song.

91. Annus Horribilis

Recorded 2 January 2021.
Week 35, new year, same Covid. Australia does well compared to the rest of the world.
This track is D tuning. The best part might be the intro chords. After that it is an exercise in chromaticism, with synths.
I remember I had a really cool riff early on that I had to re write as it sounded too much like Slayer.
Time signatures are all over the place in the this song. The little break at 1:50 is interesting building into a descending spiral of despair.
The ending seems a bit tacked on, possibly because without it the song was too short. Overall, not bad.

92. Scrolls of Doom

Recorded 9 January 2021.
Week 36, title is a reference to finalist for word of the year, doom scrolling. Which is actually 2 words.
2 reasons to doom scroll this week, Covid, USA election. Therefore, time for some doom.
This one starts off really doomy. B flat tuning, as low as I can go. 89 BPM.
A relatively simple song as far as time signatures, key changes etc goes.

It took a long time to record this song, I spent a long time messing around with clean guitar sounds and reverbs and track automation. Even with things like the reverb on the drums.
One part has a little bit of synth from Izotope Iris2. Something about the patch and my CPU do not get along!
The main guitar tones here are from Helix, unusually I copied the left and right rhythm to another track and doubled it with a less high gain tone to add some clarity.
Some of the drums sound a bit too much like a machine gun despite my programming efforts.
The long note at the end back into the clean part required a lot of editing to make it work.
Overall, I think this track is pretty good.

93. Infinite Mutations

Recorded 16 January 2021.
Week 37, every week it seems there is another covid mutation which is apparently much worse than any prior mutation. UK, South Africa, Brazil. Time to write a song to somehow represent this.
This is quite different to most of my other songs, the buzz noise is much more synthy than what I normally do, gives it a kind of computer game soundtrack vibe.
I used my Steinberger headless in standard tuning for this, but the guitars are almost an afterthought. There are no standard drums, just some orchestral percussion.

Some of the guitars sound like the distorted speaker on an ice cream van. Some of what sounds like synths are actually heavily effected guitars.
The best bit by far is 2:22, which has the heavy atmospheric guitars, but also an LFO filtered bass line.
The goal of this track was to induce a panic attack, and although its not my favourite I think that people who are less likely to enjoy 'metal' are more likely to enjoy this track.

94. Rancorous

Recorded 23 January 2021.
Week 38, time for another epic track.
This one opens in a calm manner, with some clean guitars, tuned to B flat / A sharp again on my 7 string.
All guitar tones this week come from the Helix Native plugin.
Once the heavy guitars start, theres a bit of a build up into a really heavy Morbid Angel-esque riff.
After that things get a bit more creative with time signatures, lot of 5/4 for the remainder of the song.

The clean break in the middle has an almost polyrhytmic thing happening, and that same riff, with different timing, continues into the heavy bit that follows, which is easily the best bit of the song.
There is some automation on the reverb mix to make notes blend across section changes, something I had not done before.

95. Unfathomable Decay

Recorded 30 January 2021.
Week 39 is a track with no heavy guitars however it is far from what you would call easy listening.
The start is ominous, despite standard tuning. My ESP LTD was the weapon of choice here, first time I have used it for a while. When the drums start is the main riff that repeats with variations a couple more times througout the song. The lead over the top sounds almost like a trumpet but is actually a guitar.
The same goes for some of the low rumbles and distorted sounding synths, they are actually guitars too.

The middle section is a bit unusual, kind of major key, but then not, alternating between the two, with an even weirder lead behind hit.
After that we get back into the same mood as earlier until but with more drums. Eventually it all comes to an end and decays into nothingness... something like that.

96. Extraneous

Recorded 6 February 2021.
Week 40 means I now have my own personal top 40 to listen to. That would be arduous.
This weeks song is a bit more upbeat than most, kind of proggy, sounds a bit like Fates Warning.
To create it I went back to the first of the COVID tracks I made, Kingdom of Isolation, and created a template from that track to go back to the same production sound heard there.
Generally that means less reverb, no orchestration.

I quite like this song, its pretty simple and straight forward, production sounds good. D standard tuning.
The lead lines are quite vocalesque. Thats a word I made up.

97. Nebulous

Recorded 13 February 2021.
Week 41 has everything thrown at it.
Rumbling synths, orchestral stuff everywhere.
I guess its quite simple, no tempo changes, mostly normal sort of time signatures, although there is a key change briefly.

While re listening to my old stuff I realised that I really liked a song I made called Precipice, so I used the routings and etc from that track as a template for this one.
Hence the instrumentation should sound quite similar.
Overall this track is not as good as Precipice, it feels a little bit too vanilla despite all the layers of instrumentation.
As is often the case, sad piano is my favourite bit.

98. Gravitas

Recorded 20 February 2021.
Week 42 is probably the most different of all the tracks here.
It is not ambient. It is not really metal. It is kind of electronic but theres lots of guitars. A strange movie soundtrack perhaps.
I find it to feel claustrophobic.
Sad piano for most of it, but also a lot of the synth sounding things are actually guitars (tuned to E standard) heavily processed mainly with Line 6 Helix Native.
There are a couple of interesting key changes, hard to notice perhaps, but I like them.

I probably wont make another track like this one!

99. Fragments

Recorded 27 February 2021.
Week 43 is going back closer to my roots.
Standard tuning, no orchestral stuff, lots of guitar.
Faster tempo than most of stuff has been lately. Production sounds pretty crisp. Timing was quite good, I programmed some parts on piano to play along with to tighten up my playing.
Some of the riffs are reminiscent of Obituary.
Wah added to some of the leads to add a bit of interest tonally.
This on was played on my ESP LTD, I need to replace the G string.
Crticism is that the rhythm guitars stay too close to home, and some of the drum programming is a bit weak. Strangely I got some pretty good feedback on this one from listeners even though I am not a huge fan myself.

100. Genomenclature

Recorded 6 March 2021.
Week 44 is also track #100 on this page!
It is also super doOOomy.

The synth at the start is Knifonium from Plugin Alliance. I am new to using analog synth emulations, not sure if I am doing it right.
This track is played on my 7 string tuned to b standard. Very standard progression, but thats ok.
This dissonate/dissonant strings are probably the highlight for me as well as the drum programming.

The analog synth also comes back a couple more times, but the lead guitar sound over the clean guitar is kind of, bad.
When the drums come back after the interlude, the lead guitar sounds great!

101. Cromulus

Recorded 13 March 2021.
Week 45 is a faster track. Perhaps one of the fastest yet.
D tuning played on my Ibanez with an EMG installed
The little slow down bit near the start is a nice touch.
Many parts of this song have 3 guitar parts, left, right and centre. Some of the drum programming is quite good, very aggressive sounding. The way the main riff comes back a couple of time provides plenty of energy.

Slower tempo in the middle works quite well, fairly run of the mill solo, sounds a bit laboured, but then the riff right after it is nice sounding despite its simplicity.
Nice grindy guitar sound. This one came together really quickly.

102. Rescourged

Recorded 20 March 2021.
Week 46 is slower and doomier than ever, a complete contrast to last week.
The analog sounding synth is Knifonium, aka the new bladerunner synth. Sounds pretty good here.
This song is played on my e standard tuned steinberger headless, and is nearly entirely in 5/4.
There is no guitar for the first part of the song, but plenty of sad piano, which is a very plain piano library with the very awesome free valhalla supermassive reverb plugin applied.
First change in the song sees the Knifonium synth become more predominant, then the guitars start and things get interesting.

I am again using a similar panning delay from Line6 Helix native, which works really well in this song. Eventually the lead line with the cool synth under it gets going and we reach peak doomy.
Things calm down a bit before picking up speed with a rhythmic lofi lead sound, again this is Helix native, before the song repeats a couple of the earlier sections for a nice mellow ending.

103. Phylaxis

Recorded 27 March 2021.
Week 47 is in the rarely used E flat / D sharp tuning. After a scene setting group of 4 notes, its into the main riff.
Lots of slow meandering vocal replacement guitar leads in this one.
I think the drum programming is interesting.
Also some of the way the guitar leads move between modes which establishes a later key change is where I think I did quite well.

1:05 is a great riff, with the cymbal choke grabs. It is also a key change. Very effective and a different method of changing keys for me (I think so anyway).
The main riff repeats in the new key of G, up from E flat at 1:30 to hammer home that something has changed.
I originally had a whole clean guitar section for this but it did not really work, instead at 2:30 I repeat the 4 note intro backwards and go back down to E flat minor.
This leads into an ending that goes all over the place.

I like this shorter song, mainly for the musical ideas discussed at length above.

104. Edict

Recorded 3 April 2021.
Week 48 starts off with a nice clean section. The whole song is relatively clean, just mild levels of distortion throughout.
Recorded in e standard on my Steinberger headless.
The song features some melodic repeating parts, with less busy drums than normal.
No weird time or key changes in this one, but the accents on the melody add some rhythmic variety to the riffs.

Clean section in the middle of the song has almost strummed chords, a real rarity for me, the lead over the top sounds nice. Then theres even a tremolo effect on some chords and a pink floyd esque lead line.
We then get back into the main melody and ride it out to the end.

105. Recombinant

Recorded 10 April 2021.
Week 49 is not one of my favourite tracks.
The start has some strummed chords under the main melody that persists throughout the song.
This is a 7 string standard tuned song.
The first heavy riff is very... boring, and it repeats too many times throughout. It is deliberately chromatic to mask the mode being used.

The faster bit with the lead is a bit better, we then head into a slower bit, where the clean guitar sounds nice over the semi distorted bit underneath, this then morphs into another section, with even more mildly distorted strummed chords, lots of strumming in this one.

Unfortunately we then go back to the main generic riff again, which I dont like much.
3:14 is the highlight of the song for me I guess, I kind of flipped around how I normally do rhythm guitars for this bit, its using the neck pickup.
The final riff is a repeat but with an extra octave riff thrown over the top which provides a satisfyingly heavy ending.

106. Venous

Recorded 17 April 2021.
I made it to week 50!
Maybe the quality is slipping?
I meant for week 50 to be a long epic with lots of orchestration, but somehow made the complete opposite. This is Cannibal Corpse esque. But with many tempo changes.
Probably too many! Although I think I could do things to make them flow better. Also, standard tuning on my ESP with new strings this week.

The slowing down to groovy tempo at the 30 second mark is a highlight.
The lead part that comes in over the next slow part is nice enough, but it doesnt flow into it well, I think there should have been a slower riff between the slow bit and the lead starting.
Getting back to fast has another groovy slower riff which is pretty good, but derivative of some of my earlier songs.
Then we repeat a few bits until we slow down again for more leads at the end that suffer the same issue as the ones in the middle of the song.

107. Hypoxical

Recorded 24 April 2021.
Week 51 is a doomy track, standard tuning as I put new strings on my ESP last week so I am still using that.
The opening has a clean guitar that sounds a bit too clean for what I was trying to achieve, but it gets better when we get to the chromatic bit thats kind of played in a row row row your boat style round.

Heavy guitars arrive in a big way with a melody from the get go and lots of tom fills on the drums.
1:45 is the first of a few key changes in this song, that one was all well and good, but getting back at 2:00 took a while to figure out.
This goes into a faster sounding section that builds for a while and then has the best key change of the song at 2:42 which was very satisfying.

As usual, it calms down for a while, drums sound ok under the calm bit. The long slow riff after the calm bit is kind of my favourite, nice and groovy.
After a repeat we loop back to the start to fade....

106. Tenebrous

Recorded 1 May 2021.
Week 52! That means I made a new track every Saturday for an entire year. All thanks to COVID.
To celebrate, a really depressing sounding drum free track. Standard tuning still, ESP with relatively new strings still.
This is one of my darkest track, the piano / organ sounds good at the start and continues for most of the song.
There are a couple of key changes and even a slide down to a slower tempo to keep things a bit interesting.

I tried to make the heavy guitars sound like they were off in the distance, in a cave, because thats the thing to do to make your songs sound really dark.
The repeating clean section in the middle deconstructs until its just left playing on its own, I thought that was quite effective.
It is then just a repeat, but with an added deep string section doubling the bass guitar.

I spent a lot of time messing with patches and presets on this one, not sure it paid off!

107. Catastrophized

Recorded 8 May 2021.
Week 53. A new year, more black metal.
This one is still standard tuning, which I have been sticking to exclusively for a while.
The opening is plain black metal, the riff at 50 seconds is quite glorious.
The drums flicking between 6/8 and 4/4 is quite nice, a trick I have used previously.

Best part of the song comes in at the 2 minute mark with a great riff that compliments are really nice lead. This evolves a bit before hitting a great key change supported by the lead. Very happy with this bit.
Getting back to the main theme also works really well.
The song is a little bit too one paced, but I really like it. It is an almost happy sounding song.

108. Excess Nothingness

Recorded 15 May 2021.
Week 54 is a big contrast to last week.
Making its debut here is a new soft synth, Arturia Pigments, version 3 to be precise.
The opening is a bit weird, the guitar is almost playing a different mode to the synths but somehow it works, adds tension. Standard tuning yet again this week.

Heavy guitars come in at 1:20, but no drums yet, the drums that come are different from all others I have done in the past and also came from the very diverse Arturia pigments plugin.
2:20 sees the drums with delay effect and modulation arrive. The heavy guitars coming back over the drums is a bit too grating, the lead sound is too loud, although the rhythm sound is nice and roomy.

3:15 is nice and epic though, where the drums hit double time. The underwater sound effect is also Arturia, works quite well.
It all comes back together at the end to repeat the first riff, only heavier.
Not a bad song, but the lead guitar sound is too dominating.

109. Broken Helix

Recorded 22 May 2021.
Week 55 starts off as 70s inspired heavy metal, only heavier. The second riff is pretty crushing, with horns under it.
C standard tuning this week, with Arturia pigments providing the rusty organ sound.
At first I did not like this song much at all, it took a really long time to record even though it is quite simple. However on reflection a day later when typing this, its ok.
The drums in particular took a lot of work to follow the riffs. Speaking of the riffs nearly all of them add a half a riff bonus riff on the end of the repeat of the riff... if you follow?

The bit I struggled with the most is the key and timing change at 2:10 supported by the bent note on the lead. It works ok now if you dont focus on it, but it worked way better in my head.
I guess the organ break is the best part, the riffs in the song are good enough but a bit too much riff salad going on.

110. Reincarcerate

Recorded 29 May 2021.
Week 56 is really epic.
This being a song divisible by 8, it means it is time to release another album of COVID lockdown tracks and this is the album closer.
I used my Schecter Loomis 7 string tuned to B standard, and a free piano library with a cool reverb effect from the free Native Instruments Raum plugin. The piano is the highlight of the song.
The build up at the start is nice, the heavy guitars are melodic, the drums fit well, then it changes key and repeats.
Finally at the end, as usual, its back to a variation of the start, it fits quite well and fades out nicely at the end.

111. Insidious Onset

Recorded 5 June 2021.
Week 57 is totally black metal and I like it. Recorded in the rare Eb tuning on my pawn store Yamaha guitar which has really nice passive pickups but needs new strings.
This song flows really nicely. I tried to muddy up the production a bit for a bit more black metal cave feel, but not too much.
The first clean break comes at 1:05 with a nice eerie synth in the background. Clean guitar over slightly dirty guitar works well, never go full clean!

The heavy bit immediately after is kind of uplifting and epic then back into the 6/8 blast beats, listen closely theres 3 parts, probably inspired by Emperor.
At 3:20 we head back into semi clean territory, some nice clean guitar leads, synth sits well here too.
The splash cymbal is however too loud as we go into a nice fast romping ending.

112. Rational Chaos

Recorded 12 June 2021.
Week 58 is not one of my favourites. At the time I thought I was onto something good, but even now a week later, when I normally re-like things I disliked as I finished them, I still dislike this one.

With that out of the way, it is in standard tuning and does have some different kind of sounds.
The semi dirty start does not work too well here, especially the lead guitar sound, which just sounds badly intonated to me now.
Once the heavy guitars fade in, which reminds me of a Metallica song, the rhythm sound is a bit too grating, sounds kind of fake, like an old cheap amp sim, even though it is Helix Native.

I guess the best bit of the song is the transition that occurs at 1:36 with the chromatic move down to the weird neck pickup sound. That part took me forever to get right, its in groups of 3, and now you can barely notice it at all. At least 50 takes to get right!

The fade back into the heavy stuff works well enough too, but then we repeat it all again, clean, heavy, and thats still ok, although the chorused lead sound over the clean chords ruins my cool lead line with the delay getting in the way of the melody, at this point things were still largely ok...

The change at 3:44 is very unsatisfying, it goes back to the riff from the start with different more distorted sounds, but it sounds out of place, and the lead is just lazy. In summary, I dont like this song.

113. Forces of Madness

Recorded 19 June 2021.
Week 59 is back to the old cleaner style, faster, regular e tuning. No reverb. Not so epic.
I used a really old song from one of the first COVID lockdown songs as a template for this one, same amp sim presets, same drums etc, the more these songs go on the crunchier and more reverby they have tended to become.

As for this song, its fairly bland. A bit of wah over a roomier guitar sound before a slower break with a lead is a nice interlude.
One unusual thing is the sections with 3 rhythm guitar parts, hard L and R pan but also a centre channel. I have done that once before I think, but not often.
This being an older template, the rhythm guitars are the Neural DSP fortin cali, instead of helix native. I go back and forth between which one I like better.

The lead at the end is probably a bit too long, but I like how the song ends unresolved.

114. Inimical Glare

Recorded 26 June 2021.
Week 60 returns to the darker, reverb drenched style of song.
I used my ibanez with an EMG tuned to D standard, and really struggled with getting a decent signal, even though I put new strings on it. I have had this issue a few times with this guitar. I think its faulty!
The start of this one is fairly typical clean with a lead, but the rough bit that arrives with the toms is particularly satisfying with the thump of the toms.
After a heavy bit with weird timing, we go back to the rough semi distorted bit, but this time with an ice cream van sound over it. The heavy bit this time around is similar, but better.

The clean guitar with the delay is a patch I have used a few times, I think the first time was in the song Tumult. The synth over the clean guitars is Arturia Pigments, but that then gives way to a guitar lead.
Some of the low end rumble here is doubled by a synth pad from the excellent Spitfire labs, which is free and awesome.

After the middle section we hit the toms and crunchy bit again before returning the heavy bit that this time is even heavier. I fattened up the tone on the rhythm guitar for this song as its slow and uncomplex, really noticeable here.
And then.. a key change! Worked pretty well, before heading into a quieter bit with a rather generic lead on top. The song has pretty simple drumming, and this ends the song Bolt Thrower style by continuing the beat past the end of the last riff.

I thought this song was better than the last couple!

115. Sacrosanctity

Recorded 3 July 2021.
Week 61 is down to a C tuning using my Ibanez PGM model with new strings. The opening features a bit of the Knifonium virtual analog synth.
The song features a fair bit of diminished and chromatic guitar work, which may be a bit grating to some people.
Drums sound nice and crisp, I added a bit more fat into the bass and snare mixing.

Unusually I revisited this song after it was done to correct a few things, some note were too chromatic, there was too much gain and too much reverb. Masking parts of the harmony guitars etc.

Half way through we get to the kind of clean bit with Arturia pigments synth over it to add some eerie texture.
The best bit of the song is the slow lead epic part after this clean section.
The worst bit unfortunately is the riff at the end, which is one of the riffs I went back and fixed up, but I still dont like it! Too generic. It does sound very heavy, and a bit of string noise is good, but theres too much here.

116. Infernal Indifference

Recorded 10 July 2021.
Week 62 is a new guitar! I bought a 1990 Yamaha mg m-ii, which is a signature model of B Z Matsumoto, who I have never heard of. It is blue, has an unusual floyd rose, unusual thin shape etc. I tuned it to standard. Enough about the guitar.
The opening of this song is nice and mellow, strummed chords almost, strings come in, and like last week, I did a bit of post song rework on the strings to simplify them so they do not distract.
I also reworked the rhythm guitars to be asymmetrical, different patch left and right, and have less gain. A new thing for me, so this song should sound a bit different to all others here.
Originally the lead lines had wah, I didnt like that either, so I removed it and changed the patch, not 100% satisfied with the lead sounds still though.

What I do like is some of the chord voicings, they can be hard to discern, but they are quite complex triads.
This is a very un metal song by my standards, so some people may like it more. Drum programming is slower, but relies on more toms and more crash / china work.
Strings come back in a few places to provide texture. Like most of my songs, the mellow part in the middle provides a nice break from the grating heavier bits, this time its a re work of the intro, same chords, different leads.

Theres quite a lot of fader riding happening in this song, overall I am happy with the song, especially the clarity of the mix.

117. Fifth Degree

Recorded 17 July 2021.
Week 63 and I am using my new guitar again, so standard tuning.
This one starts out with some Arturia pigments synth to set the scene, which includes turing randomization, whatever that is.
Once the heavy starts, its the standard style with one big difference, this entire song is in 5/4. It is the 5th hard lockdown for COVID here in Melbourne, hence the song title and 5/4. I find that 5/4 is the least um, groovy of all odd time signatures.
The mix is very clear, key change at 1:51 is nice, with the lead over it, it will be repeated later. Bass guitar is perhaps a bit loud in places, even though I ride faders a lot more when mixing.

Slow double bass bit at 2:20 is nice epic and the crunchy reprise back to the main riff works quite well, despite being 5/4 it passes for something resembling a song.. mostly.

The key change worked even better the second time, because the mind was ready for it, this leads back to the main riff again, this time with a variation and a bit of a solo.
Overall this song is not bad, it has a happier vibe than most of my songs. I set out to make an all 5/4 song and it worked out, cant complain.

118. Declining Realm

Recorded 24 July 2021.
Week 64, still in lockdown here in Melbourne.
This song is the last song of my 8th album, all week I knew I wanted to make a 7 string song in 6/8, and thats exactly what I did.
The opening is super doomy, the lead works well with the held bent note, the drums sound good.

Being a 7 string song, I used my Schecter loomis, but tuned to A sharp standard, a half step down.
1:04 brings a section with some interesting drumming, the repeat only increases the unusual drum beat, I like this bit.
The pregnant pause trick before the timing change is not the best bit of the song, but I am still hyper aware of it being there, after that we get into some synthy stuff, first heavy, then the quieter bit that was sure to come.
The underwater sounding thing and the bells over the top are both from Arturia Pigments, but theres also some Spitfire Labs sounds for the horns. Getting back to the heavy was a kind of key change reminiscent of older opeth, that builds with a crunchified synth.

The main riff is reprised, but this time with some trem picking over it to point out the melody. More and more layers are added to get us to the excellent throbbing bit that then leads to the same thing played on clean guitars with some harmonic stuff going on until the excellent sound of the guitar lead being removed to end the album.

119. Pretence

Recorded 31 July 2021.
Week 65, Most of Australia in lockdown.
Looks like I am continuing with new music every week.
This one is standard tuning using my still relatively new to me yamaha guitar. However this one is more about synths and fx, which all come from Arturia pigments.
It will be the first song on COVID album 9, so it kind of is deliberately an intro track in some ways.

The explosion and crackling fire noises are suitably deep and crackly.
There is a huge amount of automation going on, every track has me riding level faders, and some have automation of the synth macros to change timbre etc in pigments.
The glide on the synth bass is effective at times for the bladerunneresque vibes.
Guitars eventually start soft, but then, you know, black metal... we then ride it out with a repeat of the intro but with a bit more of everything turned up.
The heavy double bass guitar bit explosion is a nice jump scare.

120. The Inevitable

Recorded 7 August 2021.
Week 66, lockdowns further intensified.
This song is standard tuning again, again using my Yamaha 80s shredder guitar. No synths this week.
After a clean opening we get to an anthemic series of riffs. Nice lead lines, nothing too heavy.
Then the chromaticism starts and things are quite interesting, relatively. Lots of low end on this track.

The break to the semi clean section works well, snare sound is starting to annoy me a bit.
Moving back into the heavy bit was satisfying, with a nice enough lead over the top, I believe this was a fast take one shot.
The mid paced riff that comes after the lead in 6/8 is the song highlight, especially the second half of it.
Then its back to the chromatic riff again and a nice enough ending that adds a little bit of tension with some out of scale notes.

121. Last Bastion

Recorded 14 August 2021.
Week 67, peak lockdown in Australia.
This weeks song is in C standard, played on my Ibanez PGM.
The opening has some sound fx noises and a clean guitar thats less clean on the right channel.
The heavy riff is a bit plain, trem picked lead line over the top works ok.
Back to the clean sound and the transition works well, then the organ from Arturia pigments builds and the rest of the sounds are stripped away to leave just an angry organ.
The vibe changes a bit after this to an airier lead sound, this is probably my favourite bit of the song, the pulsing clean guitars under it all add a sense of dread.

Transitioning out of this includes a reverse guitar effect there to mask what would otherwise have been a rough transition.
After this we get a solo over the heavy riff from the start then variations on a couple of earlier riffs until we head back into organ and synth fx territory for the wind down to the end.

122. Minatory

Recorded 21 August 2021.
Week 68, peak lockdown in Australia continues to be peaking. Record case numbers.
This weeks song is in Eb / D#, for which I use a Yamaha guitar, not my new to me blue one but an older one that was actually made on a newer date than my new to me one, got it? It needs new strings.
For this song I set out ot write some longer riffs as a challenge, it kind of worked but not for the whole song.
Opening riff is ok and it will repeat a few times, complete with chromatic section.
When the wah kicks in is probably the nicest riff due to the chugs at the end.

Repeat of the main start riff with the harmony works well enough. This song features 3 guitar parts quite a lot of the time, left, centre and right.
Skank beat section is ok too, I find it hard to decide if skanks should be leading snare or leading bass.

Second half of the song is a bit too repetitive and boring, some of the leads are too mechanical sounding.
Eventually a nice change comes at 3:25 to provide a little bing of contrast. Mid gain chords at 3:45 for a couple of seconds are the real highlight.

123. Vanquished by Fear

Recorded 28 August 2021.
Week 69, more and more covid. This week is a D standard, standard metal song, complete with the clean opening, going into the riffy stuff.
Clean guitars at the start with the typical lead over the top are jangly clean. Drum sound when it comes in is decent.
Often this track features a centre panned rhythm guitar part as well, which works pretty well here. Transition at 1:04 is a highlight as well as the octaves at 1:21.

Back to the clean stuff at 1:38 and a synth is introduced for a bit more ambience. Nicely intonated leads lead into a truck driver gear change that comes off fine.
Production on this track is particularly crisp.
Moving back down to the original key for the fast bit again is now seamless. Repeating into another clean bit.
The ending is really nice and melodically heavy.
All in all, a good track! Less experimental but some memorable riffs.

124. Grand Capitulation

Recorded 4 September 2021.
Week 70, every week is a new record number of covid cases in Australia.
This weeks track is synth heavy with only a brief section of guitars and drums.
The opening is very foreboding.. before we spiral into an even more foreboding piece of grandeur, which comes off well despite being a key change. The sub bass sounds nice. Originally this section was piano, but the key change did not work well with piano.

After repeating the start with a few more layers of synths from arturia pigments we transistion into some very chill guitars with nice delay and some interesting timing.
Very restrained lead playing for me.

Finally, heavy guitars and drums, a questing section, complete with the sub bass from arturia pigments. Nice chord progression, which is actually a call back to one of the earlier synth only parts.

Then its back to more synths with more rumbling and wind noises to give us another go at playing restrained floyd-esque guitar leads, also works nicely into the ending.
Another good track!

125. Forever Aghast

Recorded 11 September 2021.
Week 71, huge COVID failure continues in Australia.
This weeks song is in standard tuning and is kind of inspired by Spiritual Healing era Death. I said that before on one of my earlier songs, Derision wave.
The start of the song does the single panned guitar thing into the main riff, which starts with bad sounding leads, but we then go into a bit with Death style chorus effect on the guitar.
The chuggy riff is a bit grating, and the whole opening section repeats again...
Key changes are coming thick and fast but the best one is at 1:00.
There are also a lot of timing changes in the song, just as Death would do.

Some of the timing changes are a bit grating, but less so now after I let the song settle for a few days WITHIN THE MIND. See what I did there?
A very riffy song, no synths, no clean guitars. That leaves room for experimentation of sorts next week.
Too many leads in the song this week, 3:20 onwards to the end is decent enough, overall, average song, last 2 weeks were better.

126. Besieged by Ignorance

Recorded 18 September 2021.
Week 72, large scale anti lockdown / anti vax protests across the Melbourne CBD where I live are keeping me prisoner in my own home.
This weeks song is the album closer for opus ix, my 9th album completed during the COVID restrictions.
After a synthy doomy intro, we get a nice clean guitar sound. This week I used my Steinberger headless which is tuned standard.

Heavy bit comes in nicely, with an epic riff. We return back to the clean guitar bit, but a bit dirtier this time with some drums. Nice clear sounding production.
Fast bit comes in nicely too. Then into a heavy descending progression of sorts and a synth reappears, pretty sure its Arturia Pigments.

Returning to the clean bit for a 3rd time works well, now with a restrained lead of sorts into some nice octave chords. So far so good, can we bring it home to end the album?
Repeat of the earlier chords with a different lead line into a foreboding conclusion that leaves us hanging.
Very happy with this track.

127. Amok

Recorded 25 September 2021.
Week 73, protests continue in Melbourne. Whenever I leave the house the police hassle me as I clearly look like someone that might be about to stage an anti vaxx protest (I am double vaxxed).
This weeks song is played on my 7 string tuned down a half step to A#/Bb.
After a fairly bland intro, HM2 appears! How will this turn out? Well for a start the drums are too loud and should have been buried. Slow tempo sounds a bit awkward.
The tone alternates between HM2 and more more regular modern tone. Riffs seem a bit lazy.
Tempo changes and alternating tones come thick and fast, too much... probably should have stuck to 1 tempo, the faster of the 3 tempos used.

At the mid point its back to the clean part from the start, but this time distorted. The synth under it comes from Spitfire labs, its more of a rumble than anything.
Too much melody going on as usual, lead lines get in the way of the riff.

Getting into the last riff was a bit rough, but its probably the best riff, simple though it is, with the drum programming working well, but then... a terribly weak ending.
I do not like this weeks song much!

128. Elimination Strategy

Recorded 2 October 2021.
Week 74. Time to add some percussion to the mix.
I purchased a new library called PercX, it is used extensively here. Quite tricky to use.
The intro is nice and boomy, I spent quite a bit of time on the bass line as well, which as ever is Eurobass VST.
Guitars come in super clean, with the bass still keeping up the variations.

Highlight of the whole song is the bladerunnereseque synth pitch wheel down tune thing at 1:18. I was very happy with that.
Heavy guitars come in with a nice catchy simple riff, nothing complex here and its better for it. I think this is a guitar tuned to C standard, Might need to go back and check that!
Heavy guitars keep going with simple repeating melodies over the top that are not as grating as my usual leads because they are simpler, which is the lesson today.
Eventually we get to the super spooky ending, with the muffled percussion continuing.

This is one of my better tracks.

129. Undue Influence

Recorded 9 October 2021.
Week 75. Huge number of COVID cases in Melbourne still. So lets continue to make more music, at least for a few more weeks....
The new percussion library I purchased is back, but this time we start with some bird chirping and chanting to set the mood.
The piano break is a bit off but ok after the transition, the buzzing anti grav car sounding thing is a highlight, and this is all before we get to any real instrumentation.
The clean guitar that has a synth under it is actually just a delay and pitch shifter effect. I think it was also used in last weeks song. I like it. Also this week is D standard on an Ibanez with an EMG installed.

Black metal erupts at 1:42, and its got good clarity, the lead over the top works well in this song too.
Piano plus guitars and percussion all work well together. A little bit of string noise on the guitars never hurt anyone.
Things get a bit more epic with a nice lead over the top until we head back into eerie synth guitar land again. A descending part heads back to chanting at 3:30, transition works well.
The weak point of this song is the 2nd heavy guitar bit, the lead line over the top is not as well defined as those earlier in the song, however I still think this is a good song.

130. Renunciation

Recorded 16 October 2021.
Week 76. Government starting to give up on lockdowns, or at least telling as they might?
This weeks song is all heavy guitars. 6/8, standard tuning.
Some of the riffs are deceptively hard to play. What sounds like synths again is actually guitars fed through a heap of fx.
I feel as though I stole a riff in this song but I do not know from where, I actually changed it to try and make it less noticeable but that seemed to make it worse so I changed it back. The bit I think I stole comes in at 1:58. Its also probably the best part of the song!
Production here is not as strong as some of the others.

There are a couple of timing changes, but no key changes.
Clean guitar section sounds nice enough, but is pretty generic, although its actually the last heavy section of the song as well, which you may not immediately noticed.
Getting from clean back to heavy worked ok, might have benefited from a longer pregnant pause.
The ending of this one is decent, the rhythmic riff over the bit starting at 4:10 took many takes to get right because picking in triplets is hard for me.
Not a bad song, especially for an all heavy guitars no synths type of song.

131. Profane

Recorded 23 October 2021.
Week 77. The back half of the last of my 10 covid albums.
This one starts with some pitch bendy synthy stuff and sci fi textures before we hit the sad piano I like so much.
Lots of deep rumbles, which I like a lot lately. Clean guitar riff with the synth bends is nice sounding, drawing in the synth bends was difficult to do.

A bit of percussion makes it quite dramatic, even if its a very simple structure / melody / rhythm.
Heavy-ish guitars come in, more like an 80s prog sound than actual metal, which is fine.
This continues as the drums come in, sounds like its building to something, which is heralded by the tom rolls.
All becomes clear with the epic sounding melody over simple riff, very satisfying.

I think this was played in D standard on my Ibanez with a retrofitted EMG.
Back to the song, after a while its back to synthy sci fi stuff, transition works well. Eventually it fades out to sad piano.
Pretty good song, not very heavy.

132. Grievance

Recorded 30 October 2021.
Week 78. Not even talking about COVID, its still here, lets move on.
This song starts with a bass line, before some almost happy sounding guitars come in.
I believe this one was played on my recently acquired 80s Ibanez in standard tuning. It is a bit of a throwback to the tunes I used to make, back in the RCC days, lots of guitar melody.
Very clean production. The little bit to go back to the main riff was nice. Progression starting at around 1:20 is good, especially once the right guitar starts chugging a bit.

Trem picking part was predictable, but quite well executed. The different parts left and right are interesting, but at times seem to wander off from the main riff a bit too much, bass guitar is prominent throughout, often not following the riff explicitly.

3:06 is a bit different, drums get faster, before we head into a bit of a guitar lead, which is not too flashy, and generally intonated well enough.
Right at the end it breaks back down to the bass guitar before reprising the main theme.
A very happy song, comparatively.

133. hordes

Recorded 6 November 2021.
Week 79. 2nd to last COVID lockdown song.
This one is about the hordes of unwashed masses roaming the street as lockdowns lift here in Melbourne despite there still being thousands of cases every day. Lots of protests about vaccination requirements for assholes.
Anyway, the song starts a bit Dimmu Borgir-ry, but as I so often do, then breaks into clean guitars.
This one was played on my 7 string Schecter Loomis, and is a very doomy song, maybe the most doomy of all!

Heavy bit hits hard, drums are nicely done, not too flashy, leads over the top are.. yearning.
Some synth textures add a bit of drama. I think this is actually the longest song of the COVID songs, but nothing too silly at six and a half minutes.
Great riffs, great leads in the first half.. lets see if I can keep it going.
Also really enjoying the production on this one, really crunchy low end.
3:20 brings a clean interlude, but with some crunchy low chords over the guitar strumming, and some nice synths to keep it gloomy, still really liking this.

Heavy part comes back in as a simple variation on a theme, good drum programming, leads still good.
4:27 breaks out into a faster bit, with unusual timing, seems ok, gets better as it goes into trem picking, nice tension, back into the slow doomy bit.

Ending fades to synths, perhaps it could have had a crunchy guitar under it, however, this is one of my strongest songs.

134. all will conclude

Recorded 13 November 2021.
Week 80. Here we are at the end. 80 songs later, I have decided to stop making a song every Saturday.
The title is even specific that all will conclude.
This final song is in standard tuning played on my ESP LTD.
The intro is a quiet buildup with some synths and choirs, but quickly goes into black metal blast beats, with horn section. Perhaps the most blasty of all blast beat sections I have done. Somewhat inspired by Emperor perhaps.
Soon after, we head into an epic wah based lead, and then some 6/8, this song has it all. Leads are not flashy, just haunting, although the 6/8 beat sounds a bit plodding at times.

2:20 brings it down a notch to eerie synths again, with a nice low rumble, which makes way to some clean guitars played 'in the round', building back up again with some horns.
Surprisingly, this heads into Opeth territory, with semi distorted guitars rather than the super heavy ones I normally head back to after the quiet interludes, but still it seems to build, and heads back into some epicness in 6/8, with the plodding drums again.
Theres a reprise of the epic chord / wah combo, solo gets a bit grating, before we head back into blast beat central, how will it end after 80 songs? We are about to find out.

A boom, a rumble, some horns, into sad harpsi-clavi-piano, fading to nothing, all has concluded.

If you want to mail me, try dissonate@gmail.com try and stick 'futurism' in the subject