BlogThe usual and unusual happenings involving me and my musical projects

Eternal Servants to the Departed Track Deconstruction

neo | Nov, 29 2013 at 2:54 UTC | Track Deconstruction

We've reached the end of the album today with the track Eternal Servants to the Departed. Those who are familiar with my song Among Them, which was written for the short film Gun Barista, will recognize the title from the lyrics. The idea behind the line of course, was that to survive the main characters would need to forever serve the undead. Seems almost the same as being a zombie when thinking back on it. 

Much like Looks I Could Kill, this track began as a manipulated version of a fully arranged sound clip. A couple days into working the piece I ditched this original idea, as I felt the vocal portion was much less interesting than I would have hoped. The track was shelved for a couple months before I found the sounds which best suited the mood I wanted to capture.

I honestly cannot remember the original source for the main underscore to this piece, but I do know it originated from a part of the score for Relentless. If I had to make a guess, I would say it's most likely from the first waterfall scene. I do know that the original sounds were ethnic percussion instruments. The resulting layer continues to stick with me however, as one of the most hauntingly hypnotic drones I have ever created. I recall listening to just this layer alone a number of times, completely zoning out from the world surrounding me. This effect is best experienced with headphones.

Along with the main droning, there exist a couple of percussive layers. The first is a sparse arrangement from a portion of the Relentless score, originally created with sounds from Native Instrument's Tension Strike set. It repeats four times during the course of the track, each time using a different set of effects. Some are very subtle, but they are important to each repetition. Overall, the part is quite heavily manipulated.

The second percussive layer is somewhat buried but exists throughout a good portion of the second half. It's origin was a cue from If Looks Could Kill, which made heavy use of samples from Evolve Mutations, another Native Instrument collection. The semi-metallic sound was given in processing for Eternal Servants, it did not exist previously.

There are actually two melodic pieces in this track, though one may be seen more as ambiance. Both parts hail from a short electronic piano bit I composed a good number of years ago. For this piece, the first section was heavily delayed and reversed, resulting in very slow attack times. The second section was elongated and faded into the mix over just about the entire track duration. 

The last pieces of the puzzle, the vocal clips, came directly from the recording of Among Them. They were granulated in FL Studio to slow them down slightly and then mechanized by a ring modulator, conforming to the rule laid out during the Locust Star days, "it needs more ring mod." I will forever be in debt to Kelly for this lasting advice, which has proven true on so many occasions.

The final whisper was recorded specifically for this track, but still fits the project guidelines in that it's lyrical source was a previously recorded track. I chose to not use the original recording as the presentation was completely wrong for the desired impact. 

This track was the easiest to place on the album as it was the only one I thought could properly close the disc. I feel as though it fully encapsulates the collection's overall darkly melodic vibe. Definitely one of my personal favorites.

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