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*NO* Call of Duty: Black Ops "Anthem of Futility"

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Anthem of Futility (Damned)
 

 
MrS4TURN9
Dan Juliot
 
 
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Anthem of Futility
Damned (Zombie Theme)
Kevin Sherwood
 
I've always adored the melancholic sound of the piano melody 'Damned' from the zombie mode main menu. Remixing it has always been a dream. I wanted to capture the atmosphere the original evokes, the sense of impending, inevitable demise, while making it hit hard and swell with emphasized emotion. Here it is, a remix of my favorite haunting tune. Enjoy!
Edited by Liontamer
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I was worried when I heard the source that any remix of it was likely to be repetitive, but this arrangement does a good job retaining interest, for the most part.  Great soundscape, cool dynamics and flow.

There are just a couple of issues, but they're substantial ones.  First, which gets worse every time I listen to this: those kicks.  They're huge, meaty, throbbing kicks that cause some serious pumping in the whole track.

Second, the last section (4:52-6:13) does indeed get too monotonous.  There are some variations in the kick, but I dislike the kick, and some minor variations in the accompaniment, but they're hard to hear.  I definitely felt like I wanted it to end about 30 seconds earlier.

Lighten up those kicks, let the rest of the soundscape breathe, and I think this will be okay.  Do that and also make that one section shorter or more interesting and this will be great.

NO (resubmit)

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Really like the backing pad elements.  Creates a nice atmosphere for the track. I started feeling the repetition in the first minute, which received a change of instrumentation & chords just in time. 

Agreeing with the excellent MindWanderer on the issue with the huge kick.  It's occupying a lot of space, both in low and high end regions (the click), that it feels a little overwhelming compared to everything else.  I also felt like the snare feels a little weak, with a lot of high end, without much body to it.  Could be taste preference, but I'd like it with a bit more meat.

The piano does the heavy lifting for the melodic writing and provides most of the arrangement connection with the original.  The personalization mainly comes with the accompanying elements.  With that in mind, the piano itself sounds a bit too static/robotic in the writing (despite the delay effect on it).  It really could use some (more) velocity variation and even change ups in the writing.  The original also features piano in the main melody role, but it has more humanization to it. 

Beyond the balancing, I think repetition still hurts this by the end of the track.  Beyond the aforementioned piano parts, the beat stays on autopilot for the majority of the track (I don't remember even hearing any fills between main sections).  Very cool take and I'd love to hear it revised a bit and brought back.

NO resubmit, please

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I like the mood you've got going here.  I think using sidechaining so heavily it's an stylistic choice, and yes I think the heavy pumping is due to sidechaining, not the kick causing undesired compression on the whole track, otherwise the whole track would sound smashed to bits with such levels of compressions as to make the whole track react like that to a single element.  I could be wrong but this is what it sounds like to me.

That said, I do think it gets a bit tiresome after a while but it's not a big issue for me, maybe I'm used to hearing this effect on too many mainstream tracks.  I do take issue with the static nature of the arrangement.  It feels very monotonous and like not much is changing.  The piano hook is used as an anchor throughout the track and I wouldn't have an issue with that if we had the surrounding elements feel more varied or like they introduce new ideas.  The beat gets a tad repetitive as well.

With all that said I still think it's an enjoyable track, you just need to cut some fat from it.  It doesn't need to be over 6 minutes long in my opinion, if you cut it down a bit I would've passed it as-is.  Of course, introducing more variety instead of cutting it down could also work.  Either way, I didn't have an issue with your production, just the repetitive nature of the track.  Please take this into consideration for a revision.

NO (Resubmit)

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