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Kor-Avul-Thaa excerpt (Bal Sagoth cover) by tapewolf

Kor-Avul-Thaa excerpt (Bal Sagoth cover)

Kor-Avul-Thaa excerpt (Bal Sagoth cover)


There's a long story behind this recording, what it is and what it is for. Sit comfortably, and I'll begin.

In the early 2000s I was enchanted by a fantasy death metal outfit called Bal Sagoth, who, rather than putting out a concept album, had a 'concept career' in that each of their six albums was set in a universe created by Byron A Roberts.

Their second album was called "Starfire Burning Upon The Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule", and in my opinion one of the stand-out tracks on that was "As the Vortex Illumines The Crystalline Walls of Kor-Avul-Thaa", a title too long to use as a FurAffinity submission.
The song describes an apocalyptic event whereby dark fiends from the void are unleashed upon the city of Kor-Avul-Thaa and conquer it violently.

About this time my brother and I were writing a walkthrough for the game 'Serpent Isle' which completed it by twisting the game in directions the creators had never intended. In particular, there is a scene in which the antagonist opens up a gateway to the void and dark fiends come out of it to wreak havoc upon the population. I have long associated the two events - given that the album came out three years after the game, it's entirely possible that Byron played it.

Anyway. Recently I've been doing a "Let's Play" series based on said walkthrough, and I decided to finally marry the two concepts. The easy way would have been to literally use a clip of the track from the album, but that opens up various complications such as the video being at risk of getting pulled if there's a policy change at Google or they fall out with the RIAA/GEMA/PRS. It may randomly get banned in places like Germany.

But I'm a hedge musician, and not at all by coincidence, I have the exact same Roland orchestral sounds that Bal-Sagoth used, plus the Korg Triton has things like the M1 choir patch that they also used. So I covered it.
It didn't have to be perfect, and it isn't. It's only just long enough to cover the scene in the video - this is literally all I recorded and it ends just after the fade. I only have a bass guitar so the Triton and JV1010 are doing the faux guitar sounds as well.
I turned the reverb up far too much on the vocals during the mix (the track was shared with the wind sound effect).

But apart from that, I'm rather happy with how it came out, and I thought it might be worth sharing in case anyone is interested. I may attempt to do a full-length version one day, but reverse-engineering even this little part of the song was a struggle.

Synthesizers used

Roland JV1010 (with Orchestral expansion card): Strings, piccolo, speed drums, distorted organ
Korg Triton Extreme: M1 choir, modified clavinet patch
Alesis DM10: Main drums
Moog Voyager: wind sound effects

The vocals didn't sound too impressive to begin with, until I suddenly realised that they had probably been slowed down on the original album. So I did that too.

Tracking was done on a TASCAM TSR-8, and mixed to 1/4" on a Studer A807.

The song was written by Bal Sagoth (Byron Roberts, Chris & Johnny Maudling) for their second album, 'Starfire Burning' which is really awesome.
Serpent Isle was created by Origin Systems.

For those curious, the Let's Play video can be found here:

Submission Information

Multimedia / Cover Version