As promised my comments on Pariah. I've used sections to make it easier to read.
I don't intend to repeat the advice provided by TB-AV, which you should follow. Anything which gets you listening to music and analysing it is good if you want to learn to mix. However, I will be looking at the mix from the perspective of what you could change in Pariah. My examples are from songs that would be in my top 100 ongs of all time, if I ever did one.
First I look at the role of the drums in the song, then the quality of the drum sound, followed by light and dark, the vocal, some thoughts on the track and a conclusion.
THE DRUMS - MUSICAL QUESTIONS
I get the impression from listening to the song that the drums are an after thought, which may be wrong, but that's what I hear. It sounds like the rhythm guitar or the bass line came first, you then added the drums. This gives the clear impression that the song is driven by the guitars not the drums. In simple terms you don't tap your foot to the drum beat. When you listen to Iron Man what do you tap you foot to? Now try it with Pariah but only tapping your foot in time to the pulse of the drums. You should find yourself fighting against the natural pulse of the song, unless there are other drum beats lost in the mix.
If there isn't a bass drum part buried you would have two diffferent pulses if you brought the drums higher in the mix. Some music does have cross-rhythms but the question you have to answer is, is that what you want?
If you don't want competing pulses then you have to decide whether you want the guitars or the drums to push the song. Here are a couple of examples from Phil Specter's wall of sound where the drums complement and drive the song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqP3wT5lpa4http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PAllQBDVJw
If the drums are to drive the song you'll need a new drum track.
THE DRUMS - SOUND LIKE BALLOONS?
Again, this is a question of taste and what do you want the song to sound like. For example, I think on Rain there are two drum tracks. The most prominant one contains the bright fills, which sounds like a lead instrument. Behind that is something that sounds similar to your drum sound which keeps the beat. Although the beat is mainly driven by the bass and rhythm guitars.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5zmgXoa-wE&feature=related
Another example of a "fuzzy" drum sound. In this case the drums and bass drive the song.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYsQcIMPOnQ
You can see why TB-AV says mixing is difficult. It's like having hundreds of choices, which way do you turn? The end result is always simple, you either like it or you don't, but its the sweat in between that's hidden. If you and millions of people like it you made the right choices.
In rare cases you get to see behind the choices. The Nirvana box set has three versions of Smells Like Teen Spirit and the 10th Anniversary set of the Holy Bible by the Manics has a UK mix and a US mix.
So, you pay your money and make a choice.
THE DRUMS - WHAT I HEAR
John Bonham at 1.12 kicks down the door and drives the song onward. Or, alternativeley the way the drums, rhythm guitar and bass work in the song in the next section.
You begin to see why great bands usually have great drummers.
LIGHT AND DARK - SLIP INSIDE MY HOUSE
If you look at the sound wave in Soundcloud you notice that the song is fairly consistent all the way through. TB-AV mentions this in his explanation. TB-AV talks about dynamics, loud and soft pasages etc. So, for example, to allow John Bonham the space he deserves, the song up to 1.12 would have to be a lot softer ensuring the sound of the door being kicked in takes your breath away (unless you use Soundcloud and then you can see it coming). If you like the rhythm part, which I do, you could try following the next example (which to me is close to the feel you've generated). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPPG3ZNJ9LA
If you listen to the song you'll notice that from 2.08 to 3.06 the mood changes twice. However not much happens to the underlining beat of the song. The band achieves this by not playing as much. It introduces shades of light into the darkness. So by altering the rhythm patterns a little you create the impression of different dynamics without changing the nature of the song too much.
There are times when the dynamic in Pariah does change but it goes from dark to darker, for example from 2.20 onwards. A tiny bit of light would help.
THE VOCALS - USING EQ
One way of blending the vocals is to use EQ. This is a very good introduction to EQ and blending. It should give you some tips. He may not look very rock n roll but what he says about mixing is important and in a fairly straightforward way. The rest is up to you, just experiment with your EQ plug in on your recording software until you get something that makes the vocal slightly louder and the rhythm track slightly lower. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeOSGGBSvKU&feature=related
You could get a quick glimpse of what effect it would have by using the EQ plug in to find the frequency of your vocal. When you find it the vocal will seem to disappear. Write down the frequency and then drop the rhythm guitar, bass and slightly using the EQ plug in and see if it makes a difference. You need to be careful though, you don't want to affect the rhythm track too much or it will sound strange. Start with a narrow drop (see second video below). You just want to create a small space for the vocal to sit in.
Before doing this you should have a listen to this bloke as well, especially the second video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urgeEBxZ4Y4&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0X2qy5o0bg&feature=related
If it works then you follow the advice in the first youtube clip and do it properly.
SOME OTHER THOUGHTS ON THE SONG
I like the song but the fade out at the end is too abrupt. You could either start the fade out earlier, or, a bit more extreme, just stop like he's hit a brick wall.
I think the guitar solo is really good. Although in my head I heard it panning from left to right and back, especially towards the end.
As regards the drums. After finding the basic chord progression I usually make my drum track first and record to that rather than a metronome. That way the song follows the drum pattern rather than the drum pattern following the song.
Hope this helps. Remember there is no such thing as good or bad music, just music you like. The same applies to mixing. If you like it, its a good mix, even if you are the only one that does. If you want a more commercial mix then listen to a lot of music, analyse the instruments as TB-AV says, buy some books and experiment with your software. Its a good idea to pick a song and try and recreate a similar sound. But be warned, its not easy, successful mixing engineers get paid a lot of money for a reason.
My health has improved a bit over the past few days. Back to work Tuesday. Its taken me a couple of days to write this, so no worrying about me typing away on a Sunday morning.
Good result yesterday and out of the relegation zone.