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Seth Koos | Banishing the Beast

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Metal/Punk: Alternative Metal Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Out-and-Proud
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Banishing the Beast

by Seth Koos

Genre: Metal/Punk: Alternative Metal
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Banishing the Beast
8:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Every song has two stories. The first is the story the song tells. In this case a battle between mankind and some kind of evil force from another dimension. The second is the real story of the song, and how it came to be.
That being said, this song started out when I decided I wanted to author a backing track in drop B tuning. After many hours of playing along with various drum beats in drop B tuning, I finally came across a progression I liked. This would be the progression that starts around 1:55. And so, I spent a lot of time just playing along with it.
As I was playing along with it, my first thought was this needs some keyboards. So I started playing around with different keyboard lines and sounds. This led me in a different direction and I started another project writing something different around the new keyboard line. This became the intro you hear now. Later I found that by using a different keyboard with the same melody gave the progression that starts around 1:55 a kind of slightly bouncy sound that worked well.
At the same I continued working on the bass line on the first project, I was just not happy with what I had. So, I started tinkering with the bass line until I came up something that stood out and did not just underscore the melody. Unfortunately, it did not work very well with project one when I added the lead guitar, it was just too much going on and it lost that heaviness I was looking for. But, I found that it worked very well with the other (intro) project two. This became the bass line you hear in the intro.
So back to the drawing board on the bass line. Frustrated, I started changing the drum lines to be more similar to the intro. Doing this enabled me to go back to a heavier bass line similar to the one I first started with. This lead me to the bass line and drum line you hear now starting at around 1:55. Some how in my minds eye I keep seeing a high speed, high stakes motorcycle chase now every time I hear it.
Back to the intro portion now. It needed to be expanded. After some playing around with different ideas, I incorporated some seashore and thunder keyboard effects I was playing around with on yet another project. After changing them around to somewhat match the melody, adding the hell's bass drum, and starting the clavelectro part way through the progression, I came up with what is now the first 37 seconds of the song.
At this point I was not sure if I had one song, or two songs that were too similar to be released separately. So I went back to project one, starts at 1:55, and began looking breaks and bridges. I did come up with a bridge (Starts around 5:09) that I really liked as a bridge, but it did not work as a chorus. And, everything I came up with for a chorus was really heavy. Which is not a bad thing, but, if everything is heavy, then the really heavy parts get muddled in with everything else and lose that kind of sonic factor that leads you to experiencing the heavy parts as real heavy.
That was when I realized that with some small tempo adjustments, the two could be joined some how. This would give me an only slightly heavy surreal part and a louder/heavier part. At this point, I began trying marry the projects and there were still no lyrics for the song. This proved more difficult than I thought. Trying to go from one to the other was just too abrupt and the song lost it's flow.
So I decided on a gradual build kind of format, extending the first 37 seconds. I changed the drum lines slightly as it progressed. Changed the Rhythm guitar part to soften its entry. And, added another Rhythm guitar part to introduce it. It still did not work as well as I would have liked. There were a few awkward parts that needed better introduction.
I decided the song needed lyrics. I kept think about the ocean and thunder in the beginning of the song, and kept being drawn towards a ship sailing off the mythical edge of the world. but kept drawing a blank. Then one day, out of the blue the melody "So pick up your arms, and fight" just popped into my head, and I liked it. But how did that fit with the beginning, seashore and thunder. I thought to myself that metaphorically the sea shore represents the edge, and thunder represents something bad and ominous, and that maybe it should be about a battle against an enemy that was from somewhere other than the here and now. and that became the basis for the verses you hear now.
But the chorus still was not complete. As I thought about it, I realized if such a battle were to occur, mankind would need to fight together to win. So "In the name of mankind unite" made it in. At this point I was still lost for words and harmony variations. So I put it in a loop and kept singing with it until I found words I liked. This eventually became the chorus.
But the two still did not marry up well. The part about gathering the men and arming ourselves at first was a verse and much different. Then I decided to try changing it around and singing it over the new rhythm guitar part that comes in around 1:36. After some small tweaks, I found it married the parts together really well.
So now I went to add the lead guitar parts. Keep in mind this was something I had been shredding along with for a while. But the shredding just sounded kind of out of place. So as much as I enjoy shredding, I decided to look for a more powerful melodic kind of lead that would take the song to the next level. Again I went back to a loop and just watched the MIDI piano roll, playing along. Looking for things that went along with it melodically. The leads you hear now were formed one measure at a time this way, and then strung together as one clip ie... no punch ins or copying and pasting, just play it.
I had always wanted the song to be longer, so I decided to add a drop off to the beginning verses just before the bridge. Besides, it's just good format, intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, outro. This allowed me to add more verses and more importantly mess with the last few measures the second time around and create a better introduction to the bridge.
The last thing I thought it needed was some acoustic guitar parts. I tried many different styles, from fast, to more rhythmic. But when I added them to the beginning, they messed up the flow. And that kind of surreal tone in the beginning was lost. I was about to give up on it entirely, and then I decided to just try putting it in end of the song. And after several dozen attempts/versions found something I thought worked well and it ended up fitting in good as well.
And that is the story of this song. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Seth Koos



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