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Operation: Evolution Operation: Evolution

Rated 5 / 5 stars

Spectacular despite flawed technical production

This is going to sound pretentious, but I don't like giving out perfect scores. I do, however, make exceptions for my favorite songs by my favorite artists, so long as I can justify it.

The production values of this song are the only things I can criticize. If I'm not mistaken, you're using FL Studio presets. They sound acceptable for the synths, but the drums could definitely use better samples (the kick in particular is rather pathetic). There are also some issues with mixing/mastering, especially regarding clipping with the guitar-synth. Speaking of the guitar-synth, it could be much more realistic (although the slides and FX manipulation do wonders).

Why the perfect score, then? No matter how unprofessional the production, the composition thoroughly compensates for it. The melody is ever-changing, constantly progressing, and yet every instant is memorable. The combination/mix of classical and electronic instrumentation is a real treat for the ears, and it solidly places "Operation: Evolution" in the genre of symphonic electronica (I wouldn't call this piece happy hardcore, techno, or trance; it deviates from the norms of those genres far too much, methinks). The song is filled with rapid synthwork, which appeals to me personally to a great degree, especially because the long 16th-note streams never sound aimless (a problem I've encountered with a couple of your other pieces). The ridiculously fast guitar-synth solos are awesome as usual from you. One additional thing I adore is the bass synth that you bring in at approximately 2:29 after/during what I'd call the breakdown. It's headbangin' awesome, especially with the added punch from the kick drum underneath.

I'm continually amazed by this song. When I first heard it, the constantly changing melody had me constantly doubting the song's direction, but it never failed to flow, even when I could have sworn it couldn't avoid working its way into disharmony. This is a masterpiece. I really don't think I have the words to describe my enjoyment of this song. I'm hoping you're inspired to write and release something new for 2009!

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{SD} - Tempest {SD} - Tempest

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Sounds nice, but it needs more overall movement.

Nice reversed intro. You're really fond of that lead synth. The melody is very nice. I think the rave synth really lacks power in this song. I like to use those kind of supersaws as huge leads, but you're using is as a sort of backdrop, so it's a bit weird for me. The beat is kinda underwhelming, too, although it's technically competent, with everything mixed nicely (including non-percussion instruments, for that matter). Hmm...I don't know why I'm so skeptical of this song. The piano is okay, but I'm not sure it works perfectly against the lead synth part. Also, the lack of variation in the underlying melody makes this song pretty dull, excepting the key change at 1:36 followed by the nice section with a new melody at 1:50. That was a good change. The piano part against it sounds pretty good at first, especially on the high notes, although towards the end of the melody, as the supersaws are fading back in, it feels like a melodic stretch to me. That supersaw line really irks me, by the way. Not enough variation, and it overrides the variation in the melodies, which isn't actually all that much, come to think of it. Sorry for such a critical review. Still though, it sounds pretty good, although it really needs more movement. Keep it up!

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ShirkDeio responds:

Thanks, critical is good if I know that the person is sincere =p. I will keep your advice in mind when I work on my new stuff.

{SD} - Dark Memories {SD} - Dark Memories

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Good job on the melodies. Strong mood. 7.5/10

While the overall flow of the piece is a bit flat, the structure is solid, and the melodies are nice. Good job on the piano melody; I like it, although there's something wrong with the bit that plays at 0:10 where it goes high (and every subsequent time that melody is used, of course). I'm not too fond of the synth lead, but the melody is good (although it doesn't quite work against the piano all the time). It could have used a few more flourishes. I'm thinking high notes. Then again, I have a tendency to find little things to add to other people's songs. The flourishes you had were nice. I liked the really fast string of notes at 1:01 or so. 16th note triplets? The beat is constant and driving throughout. It could use a better kick sample, and that hats are on the loud side. Overall, though, this is a neat song. Good job. Oh, where's that final note? I love that decelerando at the end, but I feel there should be one more note tagged onto the end. I'm too lazy to find out what note exactly it is, but it's the same note that starts the song. Oh well, good job. Later!

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ShirkDeio responds:

Thanks, man. I may remix this, now that I know a bit more about making music. Samples weren't so great in this one. Thanks for the input!