Sunday, October 26, 2008

Useless Sunday II

So here I am, once again, after sleeping for 9 hours, playing useless junk on guitar for ages, and doing a bunch of other stuff I'm sure you're not interested to hear about.

It's time to place a serious topic onto the table.

Time. A concept I'm sure everyone has heard of, and many pondered. What defines time? We all know, that it's related to a lot of space stuff and all, but if we go deeper into it, what really defines it?
Spiritually speaking, there is no time for a believer, there's only eternity. However, as living beings in today's society, we need to reach and have a hold to it from time to time. That seems to get harder and harder though - time is either going too fast or too slow, and because it's time, you can't do nothing about it. But what if you could? If you could stop time by snapping your fingers, or go far back to your past from a blink of an eye, what kind of an impact would it have on you, and other people? This leads us to my new favourite subject at the moment - what would happen if people would be given the power to control everything?
I have the vision that God has an ability to control everything if He wants to. I mean everything, from time to human minds, from birth to natural disasters. However, I believe that he lets go a lot of that power He has, in order for us to make mistakes and learn through them, develop our own personalities and be ourselves, and in order for the world to breathe, so to speak.
It can't only be a coincidence if you find yourself in the middle of a spiritual struggle one day either - God not only watches us, but defends us and Himself while the evil tries to control us even more. So, basically, the universe is controlled by people, God and the evil, creating a balance that is determined by the confrontations of the 2 latter.
So, back to the original subject, what would happen if God gave all of his power to us, unthankful and greedy people? Well, we obviously wouldn't stand a chance against evil, and the evil is too smart to let go of his own strenght. We would be able to control our stress, enjoy whatever we wanted to for an undefined amount of time and while used correctly, we could set the world to a harmony with no war or conflicts (and the opposite is, that the world would burn down in 24 hours due no one thinking about anyone except for theirselves). But then, the next snap of our fingers would take us to slaves of the evil and we'd face the opposite of harmony - terrorism. Only then, it would be a lot more destructive than 9/11 or any other human terrorism.
So, as a conclusion, it might be for the best if we're not given any more responsibility. Let God control us, let Him heal us and let Him love us. And that, my fellow readers, might just be the best power you'll ever feel, or need.

Okay, I admit, that's not a serious topic, it's just a bunch of my recent thoughts and conclusions. But there you have it. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Until the next holiday, I stay useless.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Waking the Fallen

So, today I've been super active. Not only did I write a review of Avenged Sevenfold's Waking the Fallen, but also translated the next chapter of the book. Here is the chapter:

VI

Freak, Part II

Four impatient pair of eyes stared towards Noah when he stepped into the music class carrying a black and white Fender Stratocaster and a black folder. He took the folder to the table that was at the back of the room and set his guitar to an open stand. He didn’t even notice that he was late, until Mark coughed and while Noah turned around, gave him a severe look.
- Oh, I’m late? Sorry, I had inspiration to write a bass track to this song…
- No matter what, you’re over 30 minutes late. We don’t afford to pay extra for this…
- No problem, we didn’t even start yet. Right? Summer tried to calm the situation down desperately. – Right?!
- Yeah, it’s okay… Adrian said blandly. Noah opened his folder and started to browse it like he was looking for something.
- This is not going to work, believe me, Mark whispered to Summer.
- Yes it is, let’s just start playing, Summer said headstrong. Adrian lifted his shoulders and Mark and he already reached for their instruments. Hannah stepped in front of Summer and said half out loud: - Why are you doing this?
- Why am I doing what?
- Destroying our friendship for that… that… boy?
- I’m not, I’m just thinking what’s best for the band…
- You’re only thinking the best for you. You’re clearly having a crush.
- Oh come on.
- Well then, why are you trying so hard to adjust him to our group? Hanna said nodding towards Noah.
- Because he is the missing piece of this group. Summer moved Hannah from her way, walked to the stand and grabbed the bass. Hannah sneered and went behind the drums herself. Noah looked by his shoulder and went to the center with his guitar, close to Adrian after he had noticed that everyone else was already ready to play.
- What are we going to play? He asked.
- Well, last time we improvised this one thing, Mark said. – If we try playing that as we can remember it, and then you can come in with whatever you want to after you’ve understood the idea? Others seemed insecure, but Noah nodded understandably. Mark clearly wanted to start testing Noah right from the beginning, Summer thought.
Adrian started a bit uncertainly by playing the intro an octave lower than the last time. Moreover, the whole song sounded a bit wrong by everyone’s parts, and it was less original than on the first time. By the middle of the song, the melody started to sound correct though, and everyone started to play more self-confidently. Noah seemed to look convinced. He was just in the middle of starting something, when he suddenly waved his hands telling others to stop playing.
- What now? Is something wrong?
- No, no, I just had an idea, Noah said while writing something down on a piece of paper that had been lying on the table. Mark sneered.
- You think you have the right to interrupt our jam just because you got an idea?
Noah answered while continuing to write:
- No… I never even asked for it. I only waved so that you’d hold on until I’d come in a bit later. A silence was awoken, until Noah stopped writing and said:
- Now we can start from the top. Mark couldn’t believe his ears.
- What? From the top?
- Well, that should be the best place to start from, it’s kind of hard to continue from the middle of it…
- Don’t you even think that you can just come to this band and start controlling us and our music… Mark got mad, but calmed down after realizing that others weren’t backing him up – they were already playing the intro of the song. Mark looked at Noah angrily, but started to play. Noah grabbed his guitar again and tried to get his writings - whatever they were – memorized. After a couple of melodic changes from each, Noah started plucking something very simplistic yet beautiful, which fulfilled the other music amazingly well. Adrian lifted his look from the keyboard and accidentally skipped a note. Summer started smiling, and as she looked at Hannah, she started to smile too. Mark was the only one who didn’t react at all. Soon though, he too had to be surprised too, as Noah grabbed the microphone that was standing a couple of meters away and started to sing with Finnish-accented English. The lyrics sounded very dark yet poetic. Noah sang a pair of verses, then pushed the mic aside and switched his plucking to an even simpler, yet more powerful riff. Summer began to play a bass line that wasn’t included on the original song, and others started improvising changes too again. The song just continued and continued even after 6 minutes of playing, and no one wanted to stop – and no one didn’t, until Mark’s plectrum got a scratch so deep that it became unable to use. The whole group was smiling when they placed the instruments back at place. Noah went to the table once again to write something more to his paper, before taking it to his folder. While turning around he faced Adrian and his satisfied look.
- Where did you copy those lyrics?
Noah answered shaking his head:
- By practice. Write lyrics for 5 years and have a good imagination. My singing voice isn’t that good, and I can’t hit the high notes, but it’s pretty good for heavy music.
- Definitely.
- How about the riffs? Noah asked. When he saw Adrian getting a more neutral look on his face, Noah decided to add:
- I know, that they’re simple – I’ve never been the kind of guy who practices chords or takes lessons. I’ve learned to know my guitar by writing own riffs and melodies.
- Okay. It sounded pretty good though. Adrian looked behind himself and saw Summer and Hannah both nodding and smiling. When Noah looked towards Mark, he turned back to his guitar. Noah walked pass Adrian and the girls, stopping a couple of meters away from Mark.
- What about you? Noah said. Mark didn’t even move, so Noah continued:
- I don’t want to destroy this band, but to me a member of it and bring my own flavor to the mix. Mark turned around and looked thoughtful. Noah continued once again:
- If you feel like you’re the leader of the group, and you’re afraid of me taking that place away from you, don’t worry. The tension was able to sense from Adrian, Hannah and Summer’s faces. Noah reached his hand to shake it. Mark slowly stepped forth, still looking serious. After taking his last step towards Noah, he stopped. Quickly he reached his hand too and they shook them. The whole room sighed out of relief with Adrian, Hannah and Summer. Then, Noah said with a tone that only Mark could hear:
- Because you just know that I’m going to.

Later the same night, Noah was walking home. He was on a good mood, and still very inspirational. He had always kept himself as a bad member for a band, because he liked writing songs alone and wasn’t social at all. However, now he felt like this view had changed.
Noah had a feeling like this band could really turn into something. The first song was instrumentally exhaustive, and lyrically he had written one of his best texts. The progressive song was really addictive and it didn’t cause any trouble for Noah to remember it. With little adjustments, it could turn into a perfect song. Noah glimpsed at the sky and put his mp3-player on. His cell phone’s clock was ten to nine.
At the middle of the trip, Noah decided to go to the market to buy some Juice for the rest of his walk home. After coming back from the market, he bumped onto Summer.
- Hi. Where are you going? Summer began.
- Home. Just bought something to drink. You?
- I just have to buy some bread, my parents forgot to. Shall we walk the same path?
- Okay. Noah left outside the market to wait for Summer, while she went in to buy the bread, and a couple of minutes later they started walking by the lighted road.
After a while Summer opened the conversation.
- I liked those lyrics of yours a lot.
- Oh, thank you, Noah said smiling a bit.
- How can you write something like that?
- I don’t know… During the years I’ve just developed, and still am. I’ve always written stories and lyrics.
- Wow. They were pretty dark though.
- Well yeah… I don’t want you to think that I’m an emo or something. I can just write sad songs the best. It just feels more natural for me to write that kind of stuff than some sort of party songs for example. And those don’t have any context anyways.
- True. I personally like both, I mean happy and sad lyrics.
- Okay. I write positive texts too sometimes, but those are usually Christian then.
- Christian? Summer was confused.
- Yeah. Believe it or not, but unlike many others of this age, I’m a Christian – I mean a one that believes, one that’s not just a member of the church or gone through christening. It’s also hearable in my output.
- Oh, Summer said. She was surprised, but only positively, despite the fact that she didn’t believe in anything herself.
- Do you believe then?
- No I don’t really. However, I like to think that there’s a possibility, Summer replied carefully.
- Alright. I’ve never really even thought of another option. The faith just exists, Noah said looking serious. For a moment, Summer even got scared of Noah’s look. Suddenly, Noah said:
- But, shall we talk about something else?
- I don’t know, how do you feel like? Summer said caring. Noah switched the subject without saying a word.
- The thing we played today sounded pretty cool. We have an original sound.
- Yeah, we do. Your guitar and singing fitted well.
- Can’t argue, though others seem to be against it, Noah sighed.
- Not anymore. You convinced everyone, even Mark, Summer comforted.
- Maybe. I think that he just didn’t want to be against the rest of you. As Summer’s face looked hollow, Noah continued:
- But thanks for being on my side.
Summer smiled and glimpsed at the detached house on the other side of the road.
- This is where I live.
- I see. Well, it was nice talking to you. Good night. Noah stopped and stood at place while looking Summer cross the road. Summer even waved from the door. Noah waved blandly back.
After Summer was gone, Noah sighed and put his mp3-player back on. The shuffler picked the next song, and Noah was shocked, how well it fitted – the song was P.O.D.’s Know Me.

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So that this post wouldn't be too long, here's a link to the review: http://www.lpprojekt.com/forum/73368-post63.html

Anything else... Well, here's the list from yesterday's Friday night event, though I wasn't able to write down the songs I skipped:

1. KoRn - I'm Hiding
2. Deftones/Maynard James Keenan - Passenger
3. Project 86 - Bottom Feeder
4. HURT - Falls Apart
5. Project 86 - Safe Heaven
6. Project 86 - Run

Can't think of anything else at the moment. Have been listening to Avenged Sevenfold lately (as you can probably realize after reading the review) and I'm downloading Jason Truby's String Theory right now. I'll post tomorrow with my last post of the week (and my holiday). Should include some deep stuff.

PS: The Breath of Darkness Awards have been delayed until December. I'm going through so many bands and new influences right now, that it just wouldn't be fair to arrange the awards right now. But hold on for it, it's going to be fun.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck

Here we go again. Not a single post in 2 days, though I promised one... So you think I've been busy? Well, depends...

On Wednesday, I worked a bit on Winter, but completing the whole song isn't going to be done until next week. However, I started a new song, an instrumental one, and went through a lot of different tabs by P.O.D.

Yesterday, I continued my laziness throughout the day until I decided to go through some more P.O.D. and P86 tabs. I practiced them for awhile and then continued with the isntrumental track I had started the previous day. I also finished the over all 8th chapter of my book (by the way, I'm going to translate the next, 6th chapter during the weekend). The Finnish version now includes 58 pages, though it might increase while I format the text.

Today I've decided to take it easy due the end of the holiday. I will possibly write something utterly unnecessary or continue playing and practicing stuff.

Anyways, here is the part 2 of "Walk", which I wrote on Tuesday night:

After I had recovered from the fall, I tried to get up. However, I couldn’t. I tried to fly, but my skill of flying seemed to have disappeared like ashes to ashes and once again I was numb and without a body.
After a moment of scrabbling and wondering, the structure below me started to collapse. First, I could only feel rumble and wobbling, but finally I started to dash downhill. I hoped that this all would just be a nightmare and that I could wake up already, while I sensed the temperature heating up. Was this hell? Everyone always says that hell is underground. However, was the structure I laid on earlier, even ground? I couldn’t think of a single reason for me going to hell. So, almost like from the power of my will, the temperature started to cool down. First, it was very soothing, but then it started to get a bit too cold, and I felt like freezing. I was still very confused and nothing seemed to make any sense. Before I even knew it, all my thoughts were pulled away and smothered very quickly. I was falling towards a freezing death and I couldn’t even think about it.
With my last strength, I created the following thought, a spark of hope: “What if I could survive from all this?” However, that thought became my destiny. My speed got faster and I felt everything disappear, freezing into the coldness. No one could hear my inner scream and I would die in an imaginary world, of which no one barely understood anything, or even believed in. It was time to really test was there a God or not, and if there was, would He let me die?

We'll see if I find time and inspiration to write another post today or tomorrow, but I can guarantee that this isn't the last post of the week.

"You want the good life - you break your back/You snap your fingers - you snap your neck"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Thread of Light

As I've made a lot of progress concerning the EP during these last two days, I can't help but to think about the fact that almost a half of my holiday is gone. Not that I haven't enjoyed every bit of it so far. Here are some things I've done and am planning on to do.

On Sunday evening, I finished the book I had been reading for the last 2 weeks. I haven't told you much about it, so I think now is the time. The book was called Blown in the Wind and it painted an image of a girl who was bullied in school due her over-weight. In the beginning of the book, she also lost her mother, and all the pain she had to go through the years resulted to her having a relationship with a manipulative, 30-year old man as she was at the age of 17. The man was dating and making love to several other girls and women just when the main character wasn't looking, and was able to manipulate each and every one of them. Together, the girl and the man planned to build a bomb and launch it at the elementary school she had studied in when she was young and had been bullied. In the end, while the girl found out about her twisted boyfriends double-life, she went to the school building on the 6th of December (the Independency day of Finland) with the bomb, but there was no clear statement saying she actually commited her plan. Anyhow, it was a really dark book which I liked - though the end could've been a little less darker. I already started another book, but as I've only scrolled some pages, it's impossible to say what the plot is like at the moment.

Yesterday, I started working on the booklet for my EP. I was able to finish 2 pages, both having lyrics and drawn details. As I still have to think about what details to insert, I can't do much progress. As for the rest of the day, I pretty much just hung online, played games and listened to, read interviews and watched videos of Project 86.

Today, I had a big day. I had planned that I would record and mix the whole day, and it happened. I finished 2 songs, Poet Inside a Black Hole and Ascend Me, Blind Tone (the collab that was formerly known as Blind Tone) and started Winter. On my way of finishing the EP on time, I stepped at least 2 more steps forward. After the hard work I've been pretty lazy, but am planning on to write some stuff tonight. Tomorrow I'm also having another big day concerning my EP, as I'm going to continue with Winter.

Until then... "Time to burn this design, to free ourselves/We will burn this together/Time to fuse this design, to make us one/We will burn this together"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

60

Sunday, 19th of October 2008 has been a rather eased-down day. Most of the day I've been lazy - watching TV, playing online games, reading - but there is one special thing I've done, and that is translating the rest of the 5th chapter of my book. Because I hadn't posted the first half of the chapter earlier, here goes the complete chapter:

V

Freak, Part I


Raindrops poured down the school’s scratchy windows. The whole school was locked inside. Hannah couldn’t think of a time when it had rained as much as now. It did, however, support her current mental state perfectly, so it didn’t really worry her.
Hannah, Mark, Summer and Adrian were all together for the first time in the school’s music class. Music being the previous subject they had, they had asked teacher Aspenforest if they could stay to play. Aspenforest had given a permission with the condition that all the instruments would be back on their places as the next class would begin, and that the noise wouldn’t be too loud. All in all, the music teacher was pretty calm, so often his warnings or conditions weren’t supposed to be taken seriously, because they definitely weren’t meant to be received that way.
As the most excited, Adrian had already started circling around the keyboards. Moreover, he had already placed the microphones too. Mark had grabbed the guitar and played some chords, to warm up I guess. Summer was tuning the strings of her bass in the back of the class. Hannah was the only one who hadn’t taken her instrument yet or even prepared for it. She stared outside with an empty, translucent look and sat on an old wooden chair motionless. She had shut all outside factors out and concentrated fully on her thoughts. It was a lot to do, because her head was like a hurricane with all the vain thoughts and confusing feelings. Hannah would’ve loved to play, but her state in that moment didn’t simply let her to.
- Are you okay? Summer asked so abruptly, that Hannah startled. After she awoke, she noticed, that Mark and Adrian were staring at her too.
- Yeah, I am, sorry, I’m just a little absent today, Hannah explained and got up from her chair. Summer seemed worried. Hannah tried to reach Mark with her look but he had already moved his concentration back to plucking his guitar.
Hannah sat down behind her drum set. She took a pair of wooden drumsticks. She hit the bass drum a couple of times with her feet and revered the set with her eyes – partly cause her own set was half smaller, partly to have something else to think about. She noticed how everyone else seemed to be warming up professionally, playing complex chords and lines, while she was just kicking bass. She was a bit embarrassed. What if she was too bad to play in the band?
Suddenly the door got opened. A tall, brown-haired and black and blue-wearing boy came inside carrying a guitar and a handful of papers. He seemed a bit surprised to see that the class room wasn’t empty.
- Oh, sorry, I didn’t know there were some people in here…I’ll come back later, the boy said with a low voice and turned back towards the door. Adrian remembered to be polite.
- It’s okay, come in, there’s plenty of room to play, he said and smiled friendly. The boy turned again, but only to say:
- Thanks, but I prefer playing alone. Nothing personal, I’m just shy. You’re having a band, right? Good luck with it. Well, I’ll come later.
The door was closed as the boy left the room and the class was filled with silence. Mark and Adrian looked at each other and Summer tried to reach Hannah’s eyes too, but she had already fallen back to her thoughts and went through things which she had forgotten concerning drums. Surprisingly, Mark broke the silence by saying:
- Should we actually play something? I mean like a cover at first?
- Probably, but I guess we should first see what everyone of us can do, Adrian said. Afterwards he realized that he had sounded ruder than he had meant to sound. Mark looked at him strangely, but turned his look away from him while saying:
- Well, I don’t think that anyone of us is really good. I guess we can start with something simple like Smoke on the Water.
Hannah let her thoughts go and lifted her head. Mark was surprisingly cold. Was it because of the break-up? Hannah continued watching, as Mark played the main riff and tried to remember, how the Deep Purple classic went. Hannah couldn’t concentrate at all.
- Don’t tell me we’re just going to start off from scratch? Shouldn’t we first at least know the tabs, Summer pointed out asking. Hannah and Adrian seemed uncertain, and Mark even disappointed. For a moment there was a dead silence controlling the room, until Adrian decided to break it.
- Yeah, it’d be really hard to start playing just like that, I can’t remember the song completely myself. Everyone seemed to agree, except for Mark, who wasn’t even listening.
- There’s nothing special about it except the main riff anyways, Hannah said trying to sound convincing.
- Moreover, this is the first time we’re trying to play it …
- Alright, let’s do it like this then, Mark interrupted. Let’s look up some tabs from the internet and then practice them alone, and then let’s gather say at the end of the week. Fine?
Everyone looked a bit confused, but in the end everyone nodded one after the other. Adrian looked at Summer and smiled. Summer smiled back. Hannah looked beyond the drums for a moment and broke Adrian’s and Summer’s contact. Adrian tried to shake the embarrassed feeling out of himself by glimpsing at the clock instead. The break would soon be over.
- We are going to play something at least, aren’t we? Or practice? We soon need to quit, let’s try something at least.
Adrian’s idea must have been great in everyone’s opinion, but it didn’t receive any response. Everyone was either too concentrated on their own stuff or then they just didn’t have the right words. But Adrian was too motivated to let the last 5 minutes go to waste. He glimpsed at his keyboard and started to improvise something high-pitched. No one said anything or reacted in any way. However, after Adrian had played the loop a few times Summer followed with a bass line that fit the keyboard beat better than well. Hannah decided to start a double-bass comp . A short, improvised keyboard loop had developed into a nicely going song. Only Mark’s guitar was missing.
Mark took a glimpse around. Everyone was expecting him to come in. Mark’s mood was in need of something heavy. So, by heart, he tuned the guitar down to D and started playing a strong power chord. In the end it completed the song as a whole very well. Summer took her line a bit higher, while Hannah switched the original cymbal to crash. After a couple of bars Adrian switched his keyboard track, this time a bit lower. One after the other everyone kept changing the thing they were playing, making the others follow. Mark played a short solo in the end of the jam. After they had ended the song, the break was already over and Mark realized, that they were all late. Soon they placed the instruments to where they belonged, grabbed their bags and headed off the class.
Before stepping out of the class as the last one of them, Hannah looked outside one more time. The sun had started to shine and once again it supported her state flawlessly.

Two very frustrating chemistry classes and one delay warning per each richer Adrian, Mark, Summer and Hannah sat on the schools stairs waiting for the optional classes to start. It hadn’t rained in one hour, and most likely, the P.E. groups – to which Adrian and Hannah belonged to – classes would be held outside. A couple of seventh graders were very happy about the slush and were throwing snowballs at each other a little farer. Strait walked to them looking rather red and yelled something with his unclearly rough voice. The most of eighth and ninth graders were inside. Besides the four bandmates sitting on the stairs, only a few boys and girls had bothered theirselves to come out. The majority of these was holding hands, kissing or having fun otherwise.
Suddenly, Adrian decided to open the discussion.
- The thing we played earlier today was pretty cool. Adrian hated the feeling of silence and he thought that it was important to talk about things inside the band when they were all face-to-face, and not through phone calls or text messages.
- It was, Mark said. He didn’t sound convincing. The schools headmaster walked by and forced them to say hello in the middle of the conversation with their serious looks.
- We should’ve recorded it, I can’t remember the tempo anymore, Hannah complained. – It sounded pretty good though.
- That solo of yours wasn’t that easy either, Adrian said to Mark. Mark had lowered his face down and lifted up his head abruptly when answering.
- I can remember it I got it memorized. However, what I’m concerned of is that it seemed to miss something.
Now even the girls started to look at Mark’s pale face. What could this mean?
- Hey, don’t give me that look, I’m just expressing my opinion. It had all the instruments and I’m not saying that it didn’t sound good by it’s basics, but it was missing it.
- What are you talking about? Talks about it are just excuses in my opinion, Adrian said. Summer thought otherwise.
- No, I know what you mean. But what can we do? Bury the band before it even got started?
Mark shrugged. He didn’t have a single clue how to repair the lack of it, but he had always been the kind of person who didn’t worry about stuff much. In school, for example, he did well even though he only listened to teachers with his left ear. The band didn’t need his caring for long though.
- What about that boy? Should we take him in? Summer asked.
- What boy? Adrian said for himself and for Hannah and Mark too. Summer pointed towards the yard with her head. The boy who had visited the music class the same morning sat alone on a wooden seat and was reading an English book looking concentrated. Three boys sat right next to him looking intently at a cell phone, which one of them clearly owned.
- We’d take him to the band? Adrian said and lifted up his eyebrows. Mark laughed and shook his head. Hannah was quiet.
- Why not? Summer defended.
- Why yes? Mark replied. – He’s weird, shy and just the kind of lonely wolf our band doesn’t need.
- I agree… I got nothing personal against him, but he just doesn’t fit this thing, Adrian accompanied.
- But…
- Summer, believe us, he doesn’t fit in. No offence, but he isn’t that good-looking either, Hannah tried to convince Summer.
- Come on! He’s not weird or shy, he’s got mystery. And none of us is somewhat a model either.
- Yeah, but that’s the point. Maybe we should look for a figurehead who can sing and has looks… Adrian suggested. Hannah nodded and Mark looked amazed that he hadn’t thought of it himself. Summer, instead, got even more mad.
- Alright. If you’re not going to ask him to come in, I will.
- But Summer, it doesn’t work that way, the band makes the decisions together, and none of us three want him in…
- Let her go. He won’t say yes anyway, Mark calmed Adrian down while Summer started to walk towards the bench on the left side of the yard, where the boy was sitting. His friends had already left, which soothed Summer.
- Hey, Summer started carefully. The boy lifted his head.
- Oh, hey. He stuffed his book to his bag and moved so that Summer got a dry spot to sit on. Summer sat down. She didn’t know how to start. From the corner of her eye she noticed a lot of glancing coming from the stairs.
- Um, you play something right? I mean when you visited the music class earlier today.
- Well, depends… I write lyrics and then write some simple guitar melodies and drum comps to the background, the boy said humbly.
- Oh, Summer almost whispered. She felt herself embarrassed.
- You play bass I guess?
- Yeah. I’m not that good though, I haven’t played that much lately, Summer said blandly. She reminded herself that the faster the situation was over, the better.
- So, I just came to ask if you would like to join our band, Summer finally said, but the boy shook his head.
- I told you already, that I’m too shy. Besides, I like playing alone and making songs. Then I can decide on everything myself.
Summer became silent. She couldn’t come up with anything that could make the boy convinced. However, Summer liked his mysterious and shy character, it had something. It had it. So, she didn’t leave herself an option.
- Well, even though you would belong to a band, it wouldn’t mean that you could not write songs…
The boy startled. He looked at Summer in the eyes for awhile looking thoughtful. For a moment he even smiled, but then lowered his mouth corners again and said while looking at Mark, Hannah and Adrian:
- What do the other members of the band think about this?
Summer was stunned. It was like the boy could foresee.
- They agree with me, they want you in too, Summer lied. She knew that the boy wouldn’t believe her. Summer simply couldn’t lie.
- I don’t think so. If they did, they would’ve came with you to ask me to join.
- No, they just didn’t want to…
- Please, don’t. I know that they wouldn’t like it if I took over all the freedom. The band would break up before we even got started.
- But they could get used to it, Summer spluttered, even though she didn’t believe it even herself. The boy laughed a bit and lifted up his shoulders. However, Summer decided to continue.
- And if they don’t, then let’s just come up with something. Come on, assent, let’s see how it starts to flow, Summer smiled trying to encourage. She couldn’t understand even herself why she was bothering. The boy looked doubtful. Finally, he said:
- Alright. I can show up to a couple of practices, let’s see about it again after that. But when we’re deciding about my future with the band, you’ll listen to what the others got to say too, okay?
- Of course, Summer said and rose up. She gave her phone number and was already on her way back to the stairs, when the boy said:
- By the way, you can call me Noah. Summer smiled as Noah got up too and left towards the English class carrying his bag.
After arriving back to the others, Summer almost drowned to an ocean of questioning faces.
- Well? What did he say? Hannah wanted to know first.
- Did he laugh at you? Adrian queried.
- Oh please don’t say that he said yes, Mark whined. Summer continued walking towards the door, and said like she was just in passing:
- He assented willingly. Let’s practice with him for 2 weeks and during that time I promise to make you convinced, Summer said proudly and went inside leaving 3 most confusing faces behind herself.

If you were awake enough to read that completely, I won't torture you any longer. I still got to mention though, that I downloaded the 4th Demon Hunter album today, and so far it sounds absolutely mind-blowing, maybe even better than the self-titled debut album, which I thought was the best DH album out of the first 3 I got. As no one knows what tomorrow (my first official holiday day) brings, I'm ending this over all 60th blogpost of mine with the following quote from Demon Hunter's
Sixteen:

"Oh, voiceless, wasted/You soaked your heart in gasoline/Now light it up and burn/Voiceless, wasted/I came this far to drag you down/And watch you take your turn"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rock The Party...

During today I haven't made much anything (as planned), but I did go out for a walk while it was raining, and as always, it was beautiful. Secondly, I mixed Poet Inside a Black Hole so that it's pretty much just missing the drums and some adjustments for the bridge right now. I'd say it's 65 - 70 % done.

But now, let's get to the point. The surprise I've been working on for the past couple of weeks is a thing called The Breath of Darkness Awards. It's an internet-based version of the Grammys created by me, Jon2. I've arranged 13 different categories (and no, the number isn't 13 just by coincidence), each having 5 to 11 nominees. After revealing the nominees and the categories I will let you, the few readers of this blog, vote on your own favourites. And after that's done, I'll share you my own winners candidates. No prizes are being dealt, this is just for fun. Got it?

Now, I want to make this perfect, so I think I'm not going to reveal any more details just yet. Hopefully I got you all excited about this already though, because I've had fun making up the categories and thinking about the nominees. Give me a little time to give up on that fun, eh?

That's all I guess. Hopefully I can do something more creative tomorrow.

Hunt Down My Demons

I've had the most interesting, troubled and stressful week in a long time. I've spent time getting to know Demon Hunter, trying to find time for the EP recordings and anticipated the one-week vacation that FINALLY is here. Here's a recap of everything that's been going on.

First of all, my Demon Hunter interest has spreaded from owning one promising debut (Demon Hunter) to having 3 unique and amazing albums (Demon Hunter, Summer of Darkness, The Triptych). Today I'm going to download the 4th studio album by them and am definitely getting their live album as soon as it's available (it's called 45 Days and it's coming out the 25th of November). This can't only be a coincidence - DH is one of my 7 favourite bands now and it's one to stay. I'm still not completely sure of exploring other metalcore and death metal-influenced bands just yet though, but the brutality and variety of DH has really striken me and I see it as very different and interesting.

In my recording sessions, I've worked harder than ever before, but done only small progress (may it be a sign?). Poet Inside a Black Hole has only got guitar and vocals so far, and seems like I need to re-write the bass completely. Blind Tone still isn't as perfect as I want it to be. The worst is, I only got one day next week to really record all-day long. But I'll keep fighting. I've decided to spend the time when I have no interest or time to record/mix anything to work on the album art and other management. If God has a plan for me that doesn't include this EP being released on the 12th of November, then it shall not happen, but I'm definitely not quitting until I have to.

I've decided to start listing out all the songs that I come across during my traditional Friday night events. Yesterday, I was feeling a bit more cheerful than usually, but it didn't show in the list. I really believe that the songs my cell phone's shuffle picks aren't just conincidence, because even though I have to skip some, there's always multiple songs fitting my mood or the happenings during the week perfectly. Yesterday's list looked like this:

1. Shadows Fall - Inspiration On Demand
2. P.O.D. - Lo Siento
3. Brian "Head" Welch - L.O.V.E.
  • Project 86 - Safe Heaven (Skipped)
4. P.O.D. - Addicted
  • KoRn - Justin (Skipped)
  • Wicked Breath - Lie Down (Skipped)
5. Disturbed - Liberate
6. Letter Kills - Lights Out
  • Demon Hunter - The Flame That Guides Us Home (Skipped)
7. Project 86 - Circuitry
  • P.O.D. - Satellite (Stopped)

Also, I'm almost done with the book I started reading two weeks ago (haven't been that active with it lately, but I'm trying to get it read this weekend).

Here's the short story I worked on last weekend. It's going to have part 2 and possibly even more soon. At the moment it's called "Walk".

Shine takes over my mind. It reflects itself to the retina of my eyes. It beats like a marching drum inside me. I don’t feel my cold legs, my numb arms or my shaking body. Only thing I feel is the compelling emptiness and the desire to go on, go on to eternity.
Suddenly my nonexistent breath jams and it feels like a dark, evil and incorporeal wave goes through me. For a moment, I feel like falling towards something stony, but then the feeling disappears and I feel somehow purer and lighter. My senses get sharpened, but I’m still nonexistent and numb. I still always follow the light.
A timeless moment goes by, and another. Nothing happens, the whole dimension stands at place with nothing to stand on. The light, instead, escapes even further.
Then I feel the presence of a white dove. I can’t see it, but it’s as if something whispers it to my ear. The dove tries to tempt me to turn away from the light, but I can’t do it. The light pulls me towards itself way too forcefully. Just when I think that the dove has quitted, it attacks towards me. I can’t avoid it. As we hit each other, something unpredictable happens, something beautiful. I don’t see the light anymore, and I start to feel my senses again. I can’t see the dove anywhere, but I feel like it had reborn inside me.
I wonder where to go next. I still don’t know where I am or why. However, suddenly I recognize the light again. I decide to go towards it, but when I head off, I don’t walk, I fly. I fly so fast, that I can catch the light. I’m a couple of centimeters away from it when I try to touch it. However, then the light disappears and I fall to the ground.

As you can see it's very poetic and deep. Think about it for a while - because tonight I'll be making another blog post with hopefully something big (it's the thing I've been talking you about for sometime already, let's just hope I can get it finished by tonight). Until then, I'll be enjoying my first holiday afternoon out of 8 more to come by being lazy and perhaps writing something along with finishing the surprise. All I know is that no matter how selfish it'll sound, I believe I have deserved some rest.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Infected

Finally, last night, all my plans came true. Usually I plan a lot of things like writing songs and new chapters and they barely ever come true. But yesterday, I was able to even surprise myself by writing almost 800 new words for my book and starting a short story I will probably finish either today or sometime next week. I don't have much time left today to finish off the chapter I started, but I'm already proud of myself.

Earlier today, I already surprised myself again by writing a review of the Demon Hunter album I got yesterday. It turned out to be so amazing that I just decided to write the review out of a small spark of inspiration. For those of you who haven't seen it on LPP yet, here goes:

Demon Hunter – Demon Hunter (2002)

Demon Hunter has been one of the biggest names in metal since 2000. Slightly controversial, the Seattle-based Christian metal thrashers hit your ears with explosive mix of brutal screams, hardcore-influenced yet semi-melodic guitars and a challenging set of drum patterns. With slight industrial touches in songs like the opening rally “Screams of the Undead” and the power ballad “My Throat Is An Open Grave” – which is probably the slowest song on the album among with the Deftones-alike closer “The Gauntlet” – the band delivers a solid, hard-hitting sound that won’t disappoint any fans of Christian hardcore or groove metal.

The previously mentioned opener Screams of the Undead starts off with a riff that reminds you a bit of KoRn back in the days of Life Is Peachy. The primitive howling by Ryan Clark quickly switches into growl and the song goes on with tremendous speed, offering room to breathe only in the softly sung chorus, though nothing seems to stop the pounding rhythm of the guitar and the drums. The song is over in a blink, though it’s supposed to last about 4 and a half minutes. That and the following lyrics on the bridge describe the song and it’s speed perfectly: “Burn it out, let it go, break it all, lose control; force it out, bring it through, pass it down, make it new.”

“I Have Seen Where It Grows” is less-haunting than its predecessor despite its spicy keyboard riff, and that thing seems to make the track only worse. This time the song’s structure is shaky, with riffs speaking for themselves but no clear basis for them to build. The disappointing and abrupt ending fade out sums up the unbalanced track - yet it proves that even at its weakest Demon Hunter hits hard and is enjoyable.

Oh my: this one is so addictive! “Infected“, the album’s most successful single, might just be the best offering on the whole album. As the metaphoric song uses the basic growl formula in the verses, it includes a purely magical chorus, which gets stuck in your head and makes you get up and sing along despite its simplicity and slightly pop-ish singing. Moreover, you can’t help but to think of Deftones’ Mascara when the bridge riff comes in, suddenly out of the blue. Once again, the song ends way too abruptly, but this time it doesn’t make the song significantly worse at all.

As the heartfelt cry of Clark, picking-filled verse melody and distorted electronical effects of track #4 hit in, you’ve arrived to the miserable land of My Throat Is An Open Grave. As this semi-stripped down ballad differs from the rest of the album, you can pretty much only compare it as an individual. In addition, in a comparison like that it does really well. The only time the guitar really gets into action (so to speak) is in the chorus, and even then, it’s being held back a lot. Lyrics are actually the only factor that connect the song with the rest of the album, as they’re yet again dark and desperate, barely showing any sings of the band being Christian. Usually strings would be considered cliché in a song like this, but this time they fit well and deepen the song’s atmosphere. The solo is a disappointment though, and the climax you’re left expecting never happens.

The second standout song on the album is “Through The Black”. The songs shoves itself forth like the opening track Screams of the Undead did earlier, until a chorus consisting of somewhat a “beauty and the beast” duet comes in, with amazing drums and guitar, which create a beautiful and brutal contrast, both in the same time. The bridge offers some powerful screams literally bursting the song towards the end. Truly a diverse piece that won’t leave you bored or hungry.

“Turn You Back And Run” is probably the heaviest song on the album, offering a set of verses that are completely insane, like a boy running in a room made of mirrors with no sense of how to get out (weird example, but you’ll get it when you hear it). The short pre-chorus is the only part of the song where the band isn’t thrashing your head with maximum power, with the exception of the haunting bridge that has a creeping synth loop reminding you of a funeral. The song is maybe a bit too extended, and it’s not the most significant song on the album, but its heaviness and over-used brutality represent one extremity of the band’s sound.

Following a 30-second skit with gallop of horses is one of the album’s most disappointing songs. The verses boom around and stay at place, taking the song absolutely nowhere and making the heavy guitars redundant with no thrash, no speed, nothing. The song doesn’t seem to have any goal for the listener at all, and it’s a major let down. Even the screams feel empty and don’t force you to scream it yourself like the other songs do. Perhaps the band wanted to experiment a bit with this song, but it definitely did not work. While the echoing bridge does raise some small, vain hope for a climax, you find yourself nothing but happy to be able to dive into the next song. The title “As We Wept” actually fits quite well – because this is exactly as empty and pointless as are you while weeping.

“A Broken Upper Hand” appears right on time - as the level of the album started slowly falling, one of the best tracks comes in with in-your-face verses and semi-melodic backgrounds throughout. The chorus is yet again very addictive but this time barely pop-ish, though there are some parts sung, some growled. The track is also rather unpredictable, as the bridge builds up very nicely from a reversed loop to almost-whispery lyrics to screaming with a hardcore breakdown. For once, the track isn’t stretched or faded out abruptly, and the song might just describe the band and this album the best.

As the closer track “The Gauntlet” begins with a very plain riff, you can’t listen to the song until you check is this really the same album we’ve just been almost through or the Deftones’ White Pony - speed it up a little and you got Knife Prty! Despite this, the song is a great choice for a closer, with clean vocals and a strangely secure atmosphere filled with last words before dying. The song might be a little too repetitive to listen to when you just got nothing else to listen to, but when you have the right situation and mood, it’ll make you feel like you’re in Heaven. The drum work is especially good in this song – or then it’s just the fact that in the other songs of the album the guitars and the screams have taken the main attention. Either way, as the song ends, you’re left begging for more of Demon Hunter.


4½/5


My personal favourites are Screams of the Undead, Infected and Through the Black. My download of Demon Hunter's second album has just finished, so they might just be on their way of being a new favourite band for me... Right after P.O.D. and P86 of course.

The short story I started yesterday is written in Finnish at the moment, but I will translate it as soon as I have it ready. Next weekend I will also (hopefully) translate one chapter of the book for you non-Finnish readers. If you've forgotten all about it, read the latest chapter again from Psychedelic.

I'm off now, but if I continue my sudden inspirations and get something done in the next 4 hours, I will post again.

"Push it out - it's everything you ever were/Push it out - I want to see it shatter/And everyday I see my life rewind, tearing through dreams I find, I'm wide awake" - Demon Hunter, Screams of the Undead

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Seeking The Wise

As the so-called deadline approcahes, I'm still (believe it or not) on schedule. This week I finally started to work as hard as I need to in favor to finish the EP during the next 32 days. I got Lie Down completely ready and I've recorded most of my parts for the collab, so it's pretty much up to the other person are we going to be done in time with that one. While I'm convinced that 4½ weeks is well enough for recording 3½ tracks, I'm concerned because I still got to write bass and drums for Soar, and the guitar track is still in bit of a making too. I really need to get busy on that, and as a matter of fact, I already have, as I started writing the drums for the intro of it this week. But no, I'm not quitting - as P.O.D. puts it: "We've gotten this far... Don't you quit, don't you quit on me!"

Concerning other stuff in general, I continued on my sudden interest to reading by finishing the previous book I had lent and lending 3 more earlier this week. I'm in the middle of the first one out of those 3. I really enjoy it this far and so far I've developed a new way to relax out of the whole reading thing. Can't believe I had forgotten of it...

Influence-wise, I've been busy this week also, as I got 3 Doors Down's new, self-titled album and ANThology by Alien Ant Farm. As I've enjoyed the first one (especially the heaviest tracks like Train and Give It To Me), I haven't really had any time to check out the latter. Currently I'm downloading Demon Hunter's debut album, as I'm really looking for something new, mid-heavy and Christian.

The big surprise I told you about last week (Direct quote: "I won't reveal the lyrics for Memory yet, but I will do that next week, as I'm revealing another thing too. But that stays as a surprise for now") has been delayed for another week, but I believe it's worth the wait. The main reason for the delay is my autumn holiday, which I'm having between 18.10 - 26.10. During that holiday I should get a lot of stuff done too, but most importantly, relax.

The lyrics for Memory are being revealed now though. Feel free to comment on the following:

The view inside me echoes
my desiccated soul
the seeking desire
awoken by my faith
- blue wings of fire

(My eyes walk alive)

The anticipation shouts inside
folding even the night
Wish my longing stain
could reverse the rain
freeze my shade to wait

[Chorus]:
The time staggers in the void

downcast set beyond control
injection of fall, bless of the memory
risen hope, the soil is adorned
The time staggers in the void
downcast set beyond control
injection of fall, bless of the memory
risen hope, the wildfire devotes

My skin is numb, turning to blue
I will receive The Truth
Locked up mood
the eyes that look
beyond the moon

(I’ve felt the prize)

In flames I’m eternal ice
sand that never flies
This bland, deficient day
is like a drug
I cannot seize

[Chorus]

[Bridge]:
Reaching out for the glory

for the wings of purity
scald so deep and burning
scars of the devolutions
counter flow, lift the fences
sharpen my serene senses
Make me forget the cold rain screaming
these visions are twisting the dimensions

Today I'll begin a new chapter of the book and hopefully write something else too, but I don't know what just yet.

PS: I've been on a walk outside 2 times during the last 4 days and spent a lot of time outside in general. I really love autumn...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Journey I Thought Was Easy, Has Just Begun...

A wild week has been crossed. I've almost finished Lie Down, it's only missing the bass actually, and I'm going to record that one too during next week. I've made a lot of lyrical progress too - I've finished Memory and Martyr is in the end of the writing too. I've developed Poet Inside a Black Hole and Soar, and even though there's still more changes coming before the pieces fit together perfectly, I can already say that the songs are far from what they were in the early process. Half of Soar has been taken away, and replaced with riffs that are a lot more progressive and in my opinion, they sound more professional. I've also started working on a cover for Autumn Scream, but I won't reveal it yet, not even the original performer.

The week has over all been quite fine. After a stressing 1½-week period I've been able to relax a bit, and Thursday was an official off-school day - you could choose to either go working somewhere or come to school. I worked at home for a couple of hours, and spent the rest of the time relaxing and recording.

As I have a one-week-long holiday coming up in 2 weeks, I'm very positive and I got some big things coming. I have about 6 weeks to finish my EP (my birthday is then), but I think I can make it, especially if I can finish Lie Down next week and already start working on another song. And that is very realistic.

This week I've also started reading again after a long break, I lent this book called "The Named" last Tuesday from the local library, and it's a very addictive fantasy book. Too bad that it's a trilogy and it seems that there aren't any of the other 2 books available. Oh well... The most important thing is that I'm excited and into reading again.

I've also been listening to a lot of KoRn and Head this week and today I got Crazy Town's Darkhorse, which seems quite good so far.

I won't reveal the lyrics for Memory yet, but I will do that next week, as I'm revealing another thing too. But that stays as a surprise for now.

"You see I'm OK now but I dont think it will last/Because reality is something I cant seem to grasp/Candy-coated pain is like a ball and chain/Pulling me closer to death, I feel closer to death now/Candy-coated pain is like a ball and chain/We only dig deeper by running away"