I finally got to make an album in my favorite music style: industrial cybermetal. It all started when my mate James Mulvale introduced me to the Shreddage electric guitar VST. Suddenly, I didn’t have to be able to sit there and try to play triple-picked metal guitar with all the tuning and failed takes and what not; I could just program the computer to do it, and concentrate on making the arrangements better.
So, this album has tons of djenty guitars, lots of synthesizers, programmed drums, and a bunch of weird loops and ambient samples, most of which I found on Looperman.com.
The subject matter itself is intentionally cheesy — a throwback to the 90’s industrial metal obsession with “the machines taking over” (what machines? kitchen appliances? I don’t know).
I even got a cool YouTuber with a great voice, eyeofonyx, to play the role of “the sole survivor” — a human rebel infiltrating the machines’ underground complex, not knowing she is the last human being alive. Again, so much cheese, but she really nailed it.
I struggled really hard with my own vocals, though. Since the music is so densely packed, it was hard finding a balance where the human vocals would blend well without either drowning or completely overshadowing the music. I spent way too much time trying different distortions and different combinations of multi-layering vocals, as well as whispering, growling, screaming, what have you. In the end, what I did was just whisper into the mic on a single track, and then add a resonator filter that warped the signal to produce a single tone. It gave it a nice robotic tinge that fit well with the music. I’m still worried that I mixed the vocals in too loud or soft; it sounds good in headphones (well, MY headphones), but maybe not on your speakers at home. I’m sorry. Just know that I tried really, really hard.
For the last track, I invited some of my friends on Twitter to send me a sound clip telling me what they were most looking forward to when the machines rise up and kill us all. I told them they could say anything they want. Some took it seriously; most took it as a joke, and all were equally good. Of special interest to adventure game fans is the presence of Francisco Gonzalez (designer of Shardlight) and Agustín Cordes (designer of Scratches), as well as Cliqist writer Serena Nelson, podcasters Brian and Bianca Devins (Square Waves FM), podcaster Robert Menes (Nostalgia Roadtrip), and YouTuber Retrogaming Rose.