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Listen to my album 'Silent Autumn'!

Discussion in 'Children Of Bodom' started by (__Joonas__), Mar 4, 2019.

  1. rj rl

    rj rl multidimensionally dyslexic

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    Imagine thinking that the concept of a musical key = dumbing down to make it easier to approach. Dude, things that sound nice - they sound nice for a reason. You can't throw thousands of years of music theory out the window. I mean you can and you did and props to you, but don't expect many people to dig it.
     
  2. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    That's a vast and interesting philosophical subject, but if I have to choose to write what sounds good in my ("tone deaf") ears versus writing within a scale and key (while finding it limiting instead of helping) then I choose the first. At least it's something different. Only advanced musicians could tell whether it's within a key or not. Most musicians tend to get perplexed in theory without ever creating one song that's actually worth listening to creativity-wise. For sure it's gonna be harder to memorize for a player used to work with scales, keys and shapes, but you gotta remember it's atmospheric black metal, not jazz or pop or power metal. I only care about atmosphere so I take this freedom.
     
  3. P4T0U

    P4T0U Member

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    Reminds me a bit of the intro of this:
     
  4. Inceptionist

    Inceptionist It's Not My Funeral

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    Using 2 types of riffs:
    It would still be a good practice to try different types of riffs, even if you feel you don’t need them. Think of being a painter, you may feel you only need two colors, red and blue, to express yourself, but you’d be severely limiting your creativity if you didn’t explore more. Be prepared though because anything you write outside your comfort zone will sound horrible at first until you find how to properly utilize it. Like, for a metal guitarist learning finger picking, incorporating Fleetwood Mac finger picking would sound so out of place, until you find a way to do it to fit your style, and then you’ve added another tool to your arsenal and you have more ways to express an idea.

    Using simple melodies:
    It would be difficult if you aren’t establishing a key. Just keep in mind 5 minutes of straight dissonance isn’t as effective as a showcase of dissonance and resonance. Like, 5 minutes of dissonance would just be “here’s a sad riff, here’s a sadder riff, here’s an even sadder riff, and another sad one” and eventually the effect is lost because it’s just too much of the same. The variety of different emotions brings out the intensity of each riff more easily. The best example of a simple melody is the slow lead guitar melody for ADK. Actually ADK and ETID are perfect examples of dissonance and resonance used well. The intro of ETID is quite dissonant and the first lead melody is resonant and it makes each riff really stand out and share an individual yet similar emotion. The dissonant chorus of ADK vs the resonant main riff and slow melody after keeps you interested and displays the emotion better than if the entire song was just straight dissonance throughout.

    You just have to experiment. The first couple songs you write always sound awesome, but a year later you’ll have progressed so much you’ll look back on them and ask yourself what you were thinking believing your songwriting peaked.
     
  5. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Any particular chords you have in mind? I rarely use more than dyads on one guitar. I’m not an advanced guitarist, I just want to mimic what I hear in my mind, so all unnecessary theory that becomes a limitstion I throw out the window. Of course if you wanna have chords ringing while playing more than chord tones on the other guitar it probably has to be contained within a scale or key. I would need to learn about chord progressions to grasp the tension-release understanding, so far I’ve only gone with interval feel.
     
  6. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    One thing you can try is to alternate between Em and Cm and then play a melody in E harmonic minor on top of that. It will most likely end up sounding quite evil.
     
  7. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    So what you guys are suggesting is I establish a key for each song and use more varied rhythm?
     
  8. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    You can change keys between riffs, there's no need to use the same one for an entire song. Having a single riff go in a single key is often a good idea though. You can change notes in a key to make it more evil / heroic / sad etc. if you want, but you need to be careful when adding notes (One or two can still work) as it will often result in it sounding atonal (If you need more notes you can check the diminished scales. They have eight notes per octave instead of the standard seven). For evil stuff the best scale choices are harmonic minor and it's modes (Especially the 5th mode, which is also known as Phygrian Dominant), and diminished scales.

    Another thing you can do is coming up with a simple melody / riff pattern and then transposing that. Taking an E minor pattern and transferring it down to C minor and then coming back up for a repeat always sounds good (And evil). Same goes for E minor to D# minor.

    An example of changing keys in a song:



    0:00 - 0:13 goes in B minor
    0:14 - 0:26 goes in C# minor
    0:27 - 2:21 goes in E minor + some chromatic runs in the verses
    2:22 - 2:34 goes in F# minor
    2:35 - 2:47 goes in G# minor
    2:48 - 3:06 goes in B major
    3:07 - 4:08 goes in B minor + added major 7th
    4:09 - 4:33 goes in E minor
    4:34 - 4:59 goes in F# minor
    5:00 - 5:45 goes in F# minor + added major 7th
     
    #68 ESA1996, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
    rj rl likes this.
  9. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    As for rhythm, I didn't find anything wrong with the rhythm guitars / bass, but the drums were a bit slow for my tastes. Some parts were good, but every now and then they played so few notes that it stopped feeling like a drum beat, rather it felt like a break / buildup to something (And since it wasn't an actual break, the "buildup" didn't really go anywhere which was a shame). Even if the snare and kick are slow, I'd put something in between them so that it doesn't lose momentum.

    These guys have loads of examples of very slow beats that still feel like beats (Atmospheric Black Metal):

     
  10. Inceptionist

    Inceptionist It's Not My Funeral

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    No particular suggestions, use whichever chords flow with the song. Like, ESA suggested Em to Cm, and yes it’s a dark progression, but don’t just take it and play those two chords, find a way to utilize that info in a new way. If you did add any clean guitar I feel 7th and 9th chords would fit easily in your songs, just to go beyond the usual major/minor/diminished without getting proggy, a lot of atmospheric BM bands use these. Really it’s just a matter of continuing to learn new tricks and twisting them to ways you feel fit in your music.

    Also, +1 what ESA said about not remaining in one key for an entire song, changing throughout is common and helps get the different sounds you’re looking for. To me, the main point was the tension-release thing, which you need a key to utilize somewhat. Establishing a key in my mind is less about following any certain scale and more about having some kind of main “note” the riff/song stands on. Like, if you’re in A minor (A,b,c,d,e,f,g) you don’t have to stick to just those 7 notes, you can use all 12 notes and go on the interval feel you were talking about, but there will just be this “feeling” of it wanting to resolve to the A note. Basically using the key to create more dissonance as well. Like, if you’re playing in A, strictly staying in key, just mess around in the scale for a bit, and then strike an Eb note and hold it, it’ll sound super dissonant. That one “off” note can give a whole new flavor to your riff and twist the key a bit.
     
  11. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I tried to grasp some practical use of the stuff you guys posted. But in the end it boils down to composing from the heart. Even with all theory one would still not create emotional art if it's not coming from the heart. Especially when it comes to extreme emotions such as the ones manifested in black metal. Hard to think of someone doing something memorable without having the horrific experiences to go by.

    Every time I forget my own rule number 1 (which is listen to your subconscious first, then touch the instrument) I end up doing what most metal is today: pointless riffs that have no relevance. The secret to emotional and purposeful atmosphere is like I've said for a long time: silence yourself to listen to your subconscious source of creativity, and only once you truly hear the idea, then touch the instrument, never before. And chain together only ideas that stem from the same source, don't try to sew together different ideas. In metal it's also the key to making dark music. It's never gonna be dark otherwise.
     
    #71 (__Joonas__), Apr 26, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  12. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Today I've been basing my new song sections to F# minor key, with a couple accidentals (to form a tritone and a minor 9th), I find it's sometimes necessary to have such consistency when carrying a rhythm chord thru say two bars... But for me the secret is having a very deep root idea for a song. I create that "seed" by first silencing my mind to listen to my inner voices and wait until I hear the idea so it "hums" in my head, then I pick up the guitar and play the melody, then I try to listen if there's a backing riff or harmony, bass and drums then come naturally with some creative thought.
     
  13. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    Three of my new songs are completely ready. It's shocking, deeply atmospheric, dark, and musically slightly more coherent. Working on the other songs.
     
  14. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    Sounds good.

    Also, a notice from your previous comment, if this tritone happens to be F# and C, then the scale is F# Locrian. It's the darkest sounding mode of a major scale (The modes of harmonic minor tend to be darker still).
     
  15. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    4th new song ready, it’s 99% in A#m. All songs are equally good. The remaining three are half ready. I aim to get it out by Midsummer. I figure it’s the soul melody of a song that has to set the tempo and key, since I believe at least the deepest melody is chained to a certain pitch. Ran into some dilemmas on the way but decided to find a way around.
     
    #75 (__Joonas__), May 24, 2019
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  16. Sany

    Sany Member

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    Dude, WTF?!
    Band is now looping on Spotify, thx man!
     
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  17. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I'm almost scared (thrilled anyway) at how good it's turning out. This new album is fucking dope. There's good chance you'll see me on stage one day (from backstage of course, promised for everyone who's been supportive). Key is to find dedicated people to play. The newest song is impossible to stop listening to, and the level is as good on each song. I really wanna go play this shit live. This album has a grey atmosphere and it deals with all the psychological dark associated with heartbreak. Wish you'd hear the newest song already, it's like a psychedelic version of Halo of Blood but with 6 mins duration.
     
    #77 (__Joonas__), May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
  18. ESA1996

    ESA1996 Member

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    You could try Muusikoiden.net for recruiting band members.
     
  19. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    ^Yeah.

    I'm now thinking about having the 2nd guitar with a distinctly different sound. I need the melody guitar to be sharp and echoing, but I miss something more murky, distant and 'selloish' from the harmony/rhythm guitar, less distortion also. It still needs to have enough crunch and bite obviously for those sawing riffs - or try to leave those sections more for the lead. So I'm thinking of having the other guitar more mellow instead of constant attack in tone.

    I figured long ago I don't like having bass in high treble and low mid, I like high mid in the bass and less treble (given I like bass to sound like 'soft piano.') It's disappointing in my opinion (composition-wise) how most black metal bands hide the bass (due to "harmonic clarity.") I want the feeling / creativity of composition to do the work, instead of using blatantly dark sounds to fix a composition that doesn't sound dark or atmospheric. That's why I'm brave enough to do heaviness in E and atmosphere without keyboards. Not to say I don't realize the potential that is gravely missed... but man, having a low B string and a keyboard would just make it too easy... maybe someday tho.
     
    #79 (__Joonas__), Jun 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  20. (__Joonas__)

    (__Joonas__) † Followed the Reaper †

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    I took time with the one song on this album I felt I had to understand more deeply, and it's finally ready, (just some drum parts left.) I knew the symbolism behind it, but eventually I figured what memories it really relates to, which opened up the block. I know the 2nd album is usually the best, so I intended to keep that in mind and not rush it, make sure each song is epic.

    This song ended up having 9 different sections, while I try to strive for about 5. It would be a dream to make it happen with only 3 sections, something I will try on the next album for one song at least, but that's hard to do in a fulfilling way given the guitars are in E standard and there's no synths, but it's an interesting challenge for creativity and also musicality and I can't wait to try it for the third album - then again it's not just the amount of sections, it's the amount of musical material / how many bars are the sections - but I'm gonna try to meditate and come up with such sections that leave an everlasting memory and are enough to describe the conveyed feelings and tell the story in just 3 sections. I've now decided I must make it happen or I'm an utter failure as a human being. It's interesting when you want to create sections that could be repeated forever without the interest wearing away, but sometimes a song just needs some more 'biting' sections that aren't meant to go on for long... maybe I want a certain 'live impact' element involved, but even Burzum is not entirely "sleeping music" (you could loop Dunkelheit forever and it would not get boring)...

    This led to 5 out of the 9 sections in this song occurring only once in the song, not to be repeated, which is kinda old schoolish black metal method as well (think of Mayhem's Freezing Moon)... Then again, when it comes to learning the songs, it's not just the number of sections, but the number of bars in the sections... This song I made has 26 bars stuff to memorize when playing (out of the total 209), it's the amount of "musical information" (something where COB seems to be in their element when having rich information in a short duration and fast speed, instead of going slow, repetitive and long - thing is if they measure songs from IWC with the likes on Hatebreeder and Follow the Reaper, the sections have to be atmospheric and impactful, otherwise it's just gonna sound boring and stretched but still go by seemingly quick (it might be other things too like pitch, lead melodies and how the sections flow together) - the reason why SNBN is so insanely epic is it's very rich, minimal repetition, fast and short, with an undisturbed atmospheric story, so despite its short duration it can be listened to over and over without ever getting boring; same for Halo of Blood, except that one is more repetitive and less lead-driven, but equally short, fast and atmospherically successful.

    The whole process of putting sections together is interesting and leads to a satisfying catharsis when accomplished (a bit like Frankenstein's monster coming to life from the lightning, it seems to become 'alive' suddenly and find its heartbeat and even soul when everything comes together in the right way), but it would be good not to let time fly by between composing the sections, as you need to keep in mind the feeling of the song, the shapes and all - it becomes mindfucking trying to sew together sections composed months apart, but maybe sometimes time is required... have to think in the midpoint what type of sections the song still needs to be a complete entity, to tell the story, and need to think the speeds, and which sections come with vocals, then putting it all together to a form where it flows in a sensible way.
     
    #80 (__Joonas__), Aug 2, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019

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