Survivor's Guilt by DavidN (critique requested)

Survivor's Guilt (critique requested)

DavidN

23 April 2017 at 18:17:57 MDT

The fourth full song from The Poison Skies!

davidn davidn
We’re somewhere around mid-2013 now in this album’s very elongated production timeline. Similar to Out in the Wilds, this was one where I had a vague idea of where I wanted it to go and put together some fragments, and then Kjorteo took them up and added some lyrics and verses around them. I remember that I’d intended for the song to start by fading in with arpeggios from a low synth instrument, something approaching “The Haunting” by Kamelot, but I couldn’t get it to sound right - I replaced it with the mournful cello starting out on its own before bursting into the song, and it works so much better than my first idea.

This was the last song to have any significant amount of it written in Modplug - we kept sending song fragments back and forth to each other as .IT files because they’re easier to share and mutually edit than entire music project files, but this was the last full song I was working on in .IT form before work on the album stalled a bit to make way for Hatoful taking over our lives. It's one of the few songs where I didn't replace the electronic choir noise with Symphonic Choirs, because I wanted them to have an uncomfortable, otherworldly feel.

After writing “The Day The Night Slept” by accident, having had my attempts at singing go far better than I had always feared and finding the Shreddage library, I was spurred to change this album’s direction, finally take the leap away from Modplug and to start moving everything I’d done so far out into a DAW system - usefully, I had written a utility to translate channels in .IT files to MIDI several years ago for creating Guitar Pro tabs, so the process was fairly painless. And doing a second pass of the songs that I’d already written gave me the chance to improve and make them more interesting.

Like I say in the audio commentary, this was the first song on the album that I recorded completely, mostly because the Mathias Blad singing style that we were aiming for here was the one I felt I was most likely to be able to emulate.

kjorteo kjorteo
When I made that list of which singers I would theoretically cast as all my characters, it was never meant to go anywhere. I have another friend who sometimes compares his characters to singers just to give me an idea of what their voice sounds like when I'm reading their dialogue, and "write a story and cast metal singers for all the parts" projects like Tobias Sammet's Avantasia are a huge portion of what I listen to, so I just sort of did that. Even when David and I were trading notes and collaborating on The Poison Skies, I noticed he had that old singer list I sent him in the same text file as all the song lyrics but I never really knew why. What did that have to do with anything?

The final version of Survivor's Guilt blew me away the first time I heard it, both because of that incredible mournful cello intro, and because it was the first time I noticed the very obvious and distinctive influence in the vocal delivery--the clear, excessively formal, somewhat somber tone of David's singing voice here stood out compared to the other tracks, which meant that he had to have done that on purpose, which meant... oh, goodness. That list. He thought I was serious and he made an actual Falconer song.

Had I known the reason he kept that list in the lyrics file, I might have worried a bit more about being careful with some of those selections. It worked out, though! The end result surprised even me with just how perfect it is for Cameron.

Lyrics
[Cameron:]
Been cast into the wasteland
This photo and these notes are all that's left
Of a life whose sun has set
I must live on and wander
Even as those around me fall and die
Leaving me with the regret

Self-directed hate
I can't change their fate

Visions that I can't erase
Every time I see her face
She reminds me of how I never tried
And I watch us as we fall
Can't help anyone at all
Why did I alone survive?
Survivor's guilt

Why was it me instead of her
When she could be with them to mend and heal
So that they could have a chance
I'm just a cold observer
My only choice to stand and watch them die
With no way to change the course

Living is my fault
I have failed them all

Visions that I can't erase
Every time I see her face
She reminds me of how I never tried
And I watch us as we fall
Can't help anyone at all
Why did I alone survive?
Survivor's guilt

Survivor
Outsider
No grand reward
One life and we're gone

Survivor
Divider
After this world
No heaven or hell, just the void

Visions that I can't erase
Every time I see her face
She reminds me of how I never tried
And I watch us as we fall
Can't help anyone at all
Why did I alone survive?
Survivor's guilt

And so the path that brought me here
Leaves harsh reality so clear
All my knowledge left me nothing to give
And for the hope that they could see
If she were here instead of me
For the lives that could have lived
They are my guilt

Submission Information

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237
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3
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Rating:
General
Category:
Multimedia / Original Music

Comments

  • Link

    This is well done, I must say !! I am now a fan xD

    • Link

      Thank you so much! It's so rare to get comments on Weasyl that it took me a while to notice this - but I'm so glad you enjoy our music :)

      • Link

        I know, its alright im glad you appreciate what I have to say then. I just bought an Ocarina since I lost my flute, I want to play music soon.