Alien Lard EP Song #2 - Tear it Up and Light Fire to it (Rule the World)

EDIT #1 -

  • brought down cymbals
  • brought down vox a couple of DB
  • Scooped some high mids from vox, a little from bass and guitars

Did several small adjustments hoping that it does an accumulative job. I muted the overheads and vox and found the track to be fine guitar wise, but it did seem to be a build up of high mids with the other things combined.

Is it still harsh? If so, is there a stand out culprit or more of the same scooping across the board?

Hey folks,

Here’s the second song for my Alien Lard, five song EP project. Probably the most brutal of the songs (at least in the bridge). As with the first, this is more about feel than substance. Vocals/lyrics are not as important as the energy of the song overall.
I have found this one a lot easier to mix after the great feedback on “That’s What They Said About 'Nam” as I was able to use the same sounds but alter them to fit this song as needed.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated, as always.


Wow huge bass, I love it. Great balance and intensity, the movement is really good. Personally I would pull out a bit of that screaming but that is personal taste. This song reminds of rage against the machine who i am a big fan of so…

Hey Dan,
Sounds pretty good to me. Certainly a lot of energy !
I’m listening on cans. My only gripe would be that the mix is a little harsh to my ears, but then ruling the world is perhaps pretty harsh ;). It might just be part of the metal genre, I don’t know. There’s quite a lot of high mids from both guitars and vocals (and even bass) in there anyway.

This is great, Dan. Love the bass tone and the overall energy. Pretty full on.

I would have preferred a little more melody to give some respite from the onslaught though. As a songwriter, I can hear some missed opportunities to make the chorus more melodic, but that obviously isn’t the vibe you’re aiming at.

I agree with Aef about the harshness. It is much better than the first iteration of the last song, but it still has the same tendency.

Cool track!

Yesterday I did a quick listen of this through my laptop speakers and the bass sounded strong even through those speakers. As a whole unit I wasn’t sold on the “song”, but I had just done a quick listen and I wasn’t totally focused on it.

I just now finished listening to this song again on my headphones…and of course the bass sounded very cool again. I really liked how the kick drum interacted with the bass and the way it slices through. The dominant frequencies of the kick and bass don’t fight with each other, they don’t mask each other. I know some people will have issues with the slappy-ness of the kick but I think most metalheads will love it the way you have it.

I like the stereo image that I hear when I’m listening through headphones. Your productions are always great or at least quite good.

Some small nit picks might be ;

  1. There is some excessive Sss’s. One of the places that the esses seems a bit loud is when you say “diplomatsss” but I think there are some other places.

  2. Around 1:30 when you do the gravelly voiced singing, your vocal tone becomes muffled. The voice seems a bit too bright in other parts of the song but seems too cloudy/ muffled when you’re incorporating the rasp/ gravel in your voice. I don’t know if it’s really a true problem but it is something that my brain takes note of. It could just be me, though.

  3. The double tracked vocals seem a bit loose. This is a very small nit. BUT I find when I double track vocals I want them to be extremely tight because it helps the song sound cleaner and well, …tighter. If you were recording a demo I wouldn’t even mention that, but I know you want this to be released to the public. Now having mentioned that…, I want to say this…On the other hand, there’s many, many loose sounding double tracked vocals from back in the 60’s 70’s and maybe beyond…, and I love that stuff because I grew up with that “audio looseness”. Zeppelin, Bowie, and on and on had some pretty loose vocal doubles. I would bet that they didn’t correct their flaws because they didn’t have the time and resources that we have today, with digital recording. Analog tape can only withstand so much editing and repeated rerecording/ takes.

I was thinking similarly to Andrew in regards to the songwriting aspect. I was hoping for more “melody”. But I do see where you’re coming from with this. You’re vision and the manner in which you want to express yourself with this song is geared more towards the attitude and the aggressive vibe. In the case where a song lacks melody, I would try to get a really strong attitude by focusing on the vocal delivery (expression) and very importantly, the rhythmic patterns of the vocal delivery.

You have a very cool sound happening. It will be interesting hearing your 4 song EP when it’s completed !!

Ha! Yeah, I have a pretty vision for this project and subsequent ones under its moniker. The screaming will be more scattered and varied in intensity but this song has the most intense prolonged section out of the 5. I know/knew it wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea

Yep and this is what I have been afraid of. I am struggling to get the bite to come through but afraid I will make it too muddy if I cut too much out. I am afraid even if it is ok for one song, that five will be too much with similar sounds.
I used the same sound/mix settings overall as the first song… but I fear that it is an issue I will need to tackle!

Spot on, Andrew. There is a deliberate vibe I am going for here. I have referenced this band before, but this is the general feel I’m after:

Melody is minor. Their songs all do the same as what I’ve attempted in regards to varied spoken, yelled and screamed vocals with little if any melodic fuction per se.

Any tips on how to keep that bite and clarity? Whores. are a lot more muddier, but someone like Deftones maintain that high end clarity with a similar music style in their heavier parts? Is it just pulling out some high mids form the guitars/vox or across the whole master?

This will likely suit a niche audience of noise rock fans (at least I hope they dig it!).

Will look at that, as I like how those lines are up front but I don’t want any S’s biting!

Yeah, the line “and not later” which is the line into the first chorus is not clear. I’d say that’s my delivery. I may have to redo that. Brightness seems to be a theme, at least somewhere if not a few places.

I’ll balance this on a case by case basis. I’m ok with looseness across the board with this project and have only done minor edits to drums or vocal alignment. That’s the sort of raw feel I’m going for unless it’s really distracting or clearly out.

Yeah, agreed. The tough thing for me is that that style of vocal is not something I am overly experienced with. In fact this project is my first dabble. So I am prepared to learn and reflect but I definitely hear what you are saying and will review the tightness of them!

Thanks. I am well aware of who the target audience is for this and that it will be niche. And that’s ok as I probably feel more focussed and aware of the parameters of this than other projects I have done.

I tend not to post every song for critiquing, usually just the first couple and go from there - still not sure what I’ll do with this one. I think I may need to even post the whole EP once it’s done to see if any brightness changes made have had the desired effect over the long (not that long!!) haul or if it’s STILL fatiguing or harsh!

Thanks for the comments thus far folks.


Well, if that is the case, then I would suggest really tucking in your vocals - bring them down about 3dB, or even more.

Vocals have to be super-compressed to ride the waves of guitar and just poke out above and be audible all the time. Sometimes using frequency specific compression on guitars triggered by the vocal can help… so that those mids around 3-5k don’t become overwhelming. Just ducking that area out of the guitars a dB or so while the vocals are present can help tuck them in.

I like this one, too, @danmanisa. I can offer no technical advice, but it sounds like a credible next song after 'Nam.

Personally I like the loose doubled vocals, it boosts the illusion this is a live band really kicking ass. What it may lack in melody it more than makes up in riff. Hey, you have two more songs to go, you can always sneak some sentimental melody in for 30 seconds or even a minute without offending your target audience if you want to transcend what you are striving for. After all, it is your story arc, your epiphany, your art, your anger and emotions on display. You control the out of control.

Yeah, a loose reference re style more than sonics as such. But yes, I think I will pull the vocals back a little. It’s funny as I have a tendency to mix vocals lower, so I am a little conscious of that at the moment.

Yep, will do that. I will likely apply that to “Nam” as well to get that consistency.

Thanks mate. That is exactly what I am hoping for, that when the vocals are more shouty and less melodic that the riffs are the focal point and drive the feel.

Thanks, but I am super clear on this project. It’s pretty well full on most of the time. That’s not to say there are not shades of intensity. There’s only one song where there are more calm, harmonized verses (song #4 tentatively titled “Wheels”). Most other breaks are riff set ups or relief from intensity.

That’s interesting as I am generally not an angry person and very much a pacifist. I find that it’s more about a positive rush with this kind of music, not anger. I don’t enjoy or listen to it for anger, I listen to it to sharpen me up, get me excited and feel alive in a funny kind of way. That sounds a bit too deep, but I guess I’m saying it’s not there as a catharsis to relieve me of any anger at all. Probably also why I am choosing not to invest overwhelming amounts of time int the lyrics, because I frankly don’t have a great deal to be angry about - at least not without sounding horrendously cliched!

Very cool song to me, I really like what happens in this 3 minute song.
Listening the to revised mix, I didn’t hear nothing agressive on this mix (vocals, drums and guitars), it sounds fine for me.
The same for vocal level, I found it right for the song. But I share comments about the vocal doubling, I think it acts against the song and lyrics, which it shouldn’t.
I saw improvements about scooped adjustments you did but I think you could go a step further.
While I like the guitar tone and find it works great for the song, I’m not sure about the bass guitar tone. I would choose a different tone (bass amp, cabinet, bass guitar, mic settings…) because I found it very boomy. Just something different.

Very great song and work from you!!

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