Next is the bass guitarist. He did a great job, and I thought his tone was spot on for what the mix needed. He matched the electric guitars when needed for the technical moments and break downs, but also added his own moments of melody during more open sections that I thought were cool. His tone was outstanding. This mix has a lot going on it in, so finding the right amount of treble, mids and bass tones can be hard. His low end was huge and filled up the low-end space perfectly. The mid and low-mid tones were perfect for not conflicting with the kick drum and low growling vocals. The hardest part, in my opinion, of mixing bass is what to do with the treble frequencies and high bass overtones. I thought they made a good choice by not having too much going on in the high overtones other than, what sounds like, some pick hits on the bass strings. These percussive hits are essential for breakdowns and following the electric guitar, but also made the bass stand out during the melodic, open sections. It wasn’t overbearing in any way and did not take up the space of the vocals, cymbals, and electric guitar. Great job from a production standpoint and from a playing standpoint as well.
The guitars were very solid. Like with what I said about the bass, the electric guitar has your typical djent tone in the distortion and high clean tones. His playing was very clean, and I loved his bouncy riff writing. What helped his guitars stand out to me were two things, the high-end clean ambiance, and his open melodic sections.
The clean tones made it feel like I was in outer space, which is not atypical of this genre of course. I liked his use of 16 notes and tons of reverb and delay that slowly decayed into the distance. This is a little bit different from what I normally hear when listening to djenty music, which is big open chords that are normally just either whole or half notes. The constant picking, combined with the long reverb and delay, helped fill out the sound and added the perfect mood to what a part needed.
This is a guitarist that is not afraid to go for the 8th note open chords during the open chorus. The song was not just a chug-fest the whole time. The open sections, provided by the guitar, added a lot of open space from a song composition standpoint. This allowed the clean singing to help stand out more. Overall, great production and songwriting choices being made here.
The last thing I want to mention was In Vivid Clarity’s use of electronic drums and keys in their music. The best example of this was during the chorus. During this time the drummer is just doing a normal 4/4 pattern on the drums, so nothing too of out the ordinary. Instead of having him add some extra cymbal work, then decided to make a cool production choice and went for a cool, almost trap style drum hit that gave the chorus an extra sense of catchiness and grove that the rest of the band was not providing. I also really enjoyed the synths during the breakdowns as well. The breakdown section had a lot of atmospheres provided by the synth. The synth was washed in long reverb that decayed over time, but also gave the breakdown a distinct 8th note feel that was not present in the drumming during that section. These extra 8th notes made me feel like the breakdown did not lose any momentum, even when it was full like the band went into halftime. It is extra subtleties like this that help elevate a song beyond what it could be if these elements were not included.