Artist Name: Stone Warden Title: Chapter V (Freedom) Genre: Stoner / Sludge Metal Rating:
PC running Steinberg Cubase 9, Kazrog Thermionik and IK Multimedia AmpliTube guitar amp modeling plug-ins, and Toontrack EZdrummer 2. Akai RPM3 monitors. Gibson Flying V 2011 guitar, Engl Blackmore amp with Marshall 1992 Aniversary cab.
The track is taken from Stoner Warden\’s first EP “Wolf”. All tracks from the EP were composed and produced by Stone Warden. Mixed and Mastered by Stone Warden.
“Chapter V (Freedom)” is a “Stoner / Sludge Metal” instrumental. Stone wrote, performed, programmed, recorded, and mixed the track in his home studio.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
“Sludge Metal”! Not a lot of this genre comes our way—let’s delve into Stone’s submission and see what’s happening.
It is pretty obvious that guitar is Stone’s primary instrument, and he does a good job here with the heavy dark-vibe sound. The Gibson Flying V/ Engl/Marshall rig provides the classic metal tones and gets things off to a good start. Sadly, the track gets derailed fairly quickly with the introduction of the programmed drums, which we found to be quite erratic, both in composition and tempo. The absence of any additional instrumentation shines a glaring spotlight on the problem, and unfortunately the guitar cannot carry the track alone.
This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that drum programming has “spoiled the soup,” as Grandma used to say. We become proficient on our primary instrument through hours of practice and performances ( the old Malcolm Gladwell “10,000 hours” theory). Having the time, energy, inclination, and resources to pursue additional instruments is certainly not a guarantee, and achieving proficiency with them is dependent on a whole lot of factors.
That said, in our experience we have found that the best course of action when drum programming becomes challenging is to stick to the basics. Time changes and syncopation may be the end goal for the arrangement, but being able to provide a solid working demo that emphasizes the track’s highlights (in this case the guitar) allows for not only more immediate success, but also the opportunity to present the work to a drummer or drum-savvy programmer who may be able to assist in creating a more complex part in the future.
We would urge Stone to spend sufficient time with his programming to provide for a solid tempo “bed” for his guitar playing as he moves forward, and to perhaps consider collaborating with a more expert drummer or programmer in the future.
Time for a little study.
Stone Warden, firstname.lastname@example.org