Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Driven To Destruction

First up, here's the review incase you've missed it.

Riverside – Anno Domini High Definition [2009]

Overview:
It has been 2 long years since Riverside ended their Reality Dream trilogy by releasing the final, third album of the series, entitled Rapid Eye Movement and went on tour. The fans have been waiting anxiously for new material with the following question in mind: Now that the circle has became complete so to speak, will Riverside ever be the same anymore?

Review:
A change is definitely evident already from the very first piano notes of the opening track Hyperactive. It’s a very moody sample that fades in, welcoming the listener with some vocal harmonies sang by the singer/bassist Mariusz Duda. Later on, a slightly distorted, yet very stripped down guitar melody comes in, to sort of keep it all together as the volume increases. Slowly, but ambitiously, the whole thing fades out and turns into a more traditional Riverside tune with some of their heaviest, palm-muted riffs to date, layered with some rather fast-paced keyboards. By the 2:10 mark, the song has basically re-invented itself and as Duda starts performing the lyrics with his charismatic trademark voice, the overall theme of the album is also being presented for the first time; lyrics such as “I hope my sell-by date
didn’t expire yesterday” and “Dial! Search! Accept!” leave no room for guessing. You got it – the whole album comes together on one concept, which is the modern generation of our times and how it affects us, the people, suffering and surviving through it. By the time the song progresses and eventually finishes a bit before the 6 minute mark without letting go of its intense passage for a second, everyone should know that Riverside is back and they’re more diverse and powerful than ever before.

One of the cons on Anno Domini High Definition is the overall lack of bass leads, which were totally prominent on their previous albums and one of the main reasons why the undersigned, for instance, fell in love with them just months ago. This absence, however, is not shown at all during the beginning of the oh-so-crazy follow-up track, Driven to Destruction. Whereas the intro for the song stars a pausing bass riff and some industrial/Nine Inch Nails-influenced twists no one thought Riverside would ever write, the latter parts of the song may remind you of Tool or even something more heavier, like Metallica (the mainstream Metallica, not the old school one). It’s safe to say that it did well for Duda to get out the band booth for a while and produce his own solo album last year, because even though it wasn’t anything mind-blowing musically, anyone can hear the influence of his obvious genre-exploring here. Humble by nature and thus prohibitive to take credit for anything besides the singing and the bass, it’s certain that Duda is the man behind such things as the nu metal-ish, early-Earshot kind of part in between the flowing, but perhaps a bit predictable guitar solos which, to be honest, sound way too typical now that we’ve heard the other side(s) of Riverside.

Next up is the lead single of off the album, Egoist Hedonist, which by no doubt already owns the title for the most interesting song title of the year. Riverside’s discovery just keeps on as the ears are being introduced to some funky trumpets halfway through the song - and that’s not the only time the song, which is divided in three, surprises you. The last 2 and half minutes - which are completely instrumental, by the way – also take some advantage of a string-instrument that is either sampled or in fact a real, live-played kantele (which I have all the reason to doubt since it’s a Finnish instrument by origin).

As the album progresses, the song lengths also get gradually longer and during the intro of the 11-minute long piece Left Out, the band gets really atmospheric and melodic for the first time on the whole album. The song is more than just a pleasant listening experience for anyone who has heard and loved Riverside’s second album, Second Life Syndrome, and ironically enough, the song draws a lot of influences from classic rock music before our generation. As the song starts bursting of echoing guitars, light yet simply genius bass lines very similar to the ones being played throughout Reality Dream I on the band’s debut, the musical tone of the song also changes from minor to major, with the lyrics clearly signifying that the protagonist is now dreaming of his love instead of feeling frustrated because of, well, being “left out”. Just before the song gets really heavy, everything is one more time being shut off to create a brief extract containing nothing more than some industrial effects, a piano loop and vocals, building up with the help of yet another bass line and silent guitars. Needless to say, for a full 2 minutes we get to hear something that sounds like something completely different than Riverside. I, as the reviewer, even dare to go as far as calling it something totally fresh - best resemblance would be Korn when they’re at the peak of their epic breaks mixed with calm, acoustic moments of Killswitch Engage, only Riverside can keep the excitement and anticipation on hold for much longer, on purpose and with a way better result than neither of the bands could ever land on.

The closer and also the longest track of the record is called Hybrid Times, nicely summing up the themes that have been present on the album. The beginning of the song focuses on fast-paced keyboards and guitars, with the singer Duda focusing on rather odd pitches in his voice, almost as if he was performing the song to some children. One of the things worth noting is, though, that Duda’s vocal performance is at its roughest as the song goes forward. Later on, there are slight Crystal Method-orientated industrial backgrounds hearable, followed by guitar solos that have a more sharp sound than previously, most likely produced with an effect pedal. Halfway in the song, everything fades once again, with a haunting mood carrying the song towards a dramatic, eclectic and an overall ending that’s versatile, yet never reaching one huge, clear climax. And that is not negatively meant, because this way, there are a lot of dimensions the song can go with depending on the listener’s interpretation.

By the time the album stops at 44:44, we can make more than a few conclusions – but the main ones are that Riverside has changed, and the change has done nothing but good to them, despite the fact that the sound has became slightly more broken, meaning the harmony they have previously been famous for is not a primary thing anymore, giving each of the members of the band more space to go crazy with their own instruments. If you thought that Riverside had a wide range of influences on their first three albums or that Rapid Eye Movement was the best they could reach, get this album just to prove yourself wrong. Right now Riverside is literally like a river – at times it has to freeze, but when it starts streaming, there’s nothing that can stop it, and drying only means that it’ll feel even better when the water floods in again.

Vocals/Lyrics - 9-/10
Guitars – 9-/10
Bass – 9/10
Drums – 8+/10
Keyboards - 9+/10
Other Instrumentation - 9½/10
Overall Harmony: 9/10

Final Degree: 9.22

Today's schedule has been rather crazy for me. I have been earning money again, working on a song, the site and that review, of course. Tomorrow I will have to pack my stuff up for Thursday but maybe I'll find time to actually do something and incase I will, I will also post. But if I can't write, record, compose etc., it's needless to post really, isn't it?

So, I guess with a 50 % certainty, this is goodbye - for now.... Hope and wish for the best; it's been nice knowing you, haha. :)

Inflammable

As I only got 2 days left before I leave for a complete week, I have been more active than in a long time. Believe it or not, I've already been planning the project I will be working on AFTER Autumn Scream. Unfortunately it seems that my chances to record during the next 2 days are very slim but don't worry, I'm doing a lot of other stuff and they're all turning out awesome.

On Sunday night, I almost finished the instrumental to a collaboration that you won't hear on Autumn Scream, but possibly on my next project, or as a b-side in between. I also finished the lyrics for this unspoken song during the few days of my abscence. Although you won't hear it in a while, I can already reveal that it's probably the most powerful, heaviest and complex track from me to date, since it's really fast and includes a slight tempo change amongst lyrics that can be seen rather aggressive for me. But enough with the hyping...

What's really been keeping me busy is listening to music and getting into new stuff in particular. After God Is An Astronaut, I gradually progressed to Lights Out Asia, a very similar ambient/post-rock band, but as I got the latter's third album on Saturday afternoon, by night-time I had switched to Metallica after seeing their documentary from TV. It had a huge impact on me since it made me see the previously overrated, just-not-my-style band turn into a somewhat normal group of guys with their personal problems and conflicts. After the document I found myself having a lot more respect for Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield (and a lot less for Lars Ulrich) and I just had to get Some Kind of MonsterSt. Anger, which was the result of the process the documentary portrayed. I basically only had time to get reminded of System of a Down's Toxicity (I find the overall sound on St. Anger very similar), when my interest changed up again - this time around to Riverside. Their new album, Anno Domini High Definition is out in Poland and fairly enough, it has also found its way to the internet. I'm actually writing a review of it as we speak, which I will post later today. That should give you a pretty good image of how I like about the album.

Now, I won't be translating in a while now, and probably I will have to leave my writings aside for a while as well, but I won't go on hiatus either - during these two remaining days I will at least finish up the review and work on the site to make it as perfect as possible before I leave. And I bet that during the camp I will have plenty of musical ideas too - just not sure how I will produce them.

Wish me good luck already. I will post at least one more time before I leave, but knowing me, the next 10 days are a BIG challenge. Almost as if I'm ... Inflammable.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eriovi'd étoc

The rest of the chapter 10 of my book has been translated.

After the school had ended the same day Mark, Hannah and Noah were going home together. The atmosphere was intense, and no one said a thing. Hannah was upset that she had suggested going together in the first place. She had thought of it as a good idea to walk together as something more than just band mates, but there seemed to be way too much negative tensions between Noah and Mark. And Hannah didn’t hate anything as much as discomforting silence. That is why she tried to start the conversation.
- When could we have another practice? We didn’t get a chance to decide on that last time.
- I don’t really care, but I would assume that the weekend would fit everyone the best, since Summer is probably going to be sick for a few more days, Noah replied. Hannah and Mark both nodded blandly.

Mark had only one thing in his mind. He had decided to make his plan come true as soon as possible. He was going to show everyone, that Noah wasn’t trustworthy and that his lack of sociality would revenge itself sooner or later. The only thing on the way of this plan was Noah himself, who should stay away while Mark would prove the issue to Hannah and Adrian. Summer’s presence, again, could turn out to be too risky.

- We could have the practice even without Summer though. The whole band doesn’t always have to be there you know, Mark pointed out. Noah and Hannah were surprised, but at least they seemed agree with Mark. Now he would only have to make Noah skip the practice.

The rest of the walk flowed as silently, until Mark and Hannah had to turn to the opposite direction than Noah and it was time to say goodbye.

- We’ll probably see each other tomorrow then, Mark said trying to act friendly. Hannah waved while Noah disappeared from their sight.
After Noah had left Mark begun to adjust the final details of his plan.

About three hours later Adrian received a text message to his mobile from Hannah. “Practice today at 20 O’clock in the music class excluding Summer and Noah.” Adrian was astonished of the short time notice but as he didn’t have any other plans to attend, he gathered his compositions which he had been working with and headed towards school.

It was still cold outside, even though the midway of March was ner. Adrian was anxious of the upcoming Spring, because whereas it meant that the summer holidays were getting closer, he preferred winter much more. And Adrian had no reason not to enjoy winter – it had, after all, brought plenty of new and happy things into his life once again this year. The band hadn’t only helped him to know new people, but made him take music and especially his own compositions more into consideration. Adrian still couldn’t act like he had no feelings towards Summer, and after Noah had came into the picture Adrian also felt like he had found a new friend, let alone that it probably had cooled his and everyone else’s relations with Mark for a bit.

Since Adrian had a trip of several kilometers from his home to the school building, he decided to run. The road was a bit slippery, but Adrian didn’t mind. The thing circulating around his mind right now was his latest composition, which started very peacefully, but sort of got increased in speed afterwards. Adrian would’ve liked to emphasize the song with some guitar, of which’s playing he had lately begun to study and rehearse, but while Noah was a multi-instrumentalist as well, Adrian was afraid that his guitar playing wouldn’t do any good for the band. Since Adrian and Noah both also wrote their own material, it wouldn’t be certain at all if the band would last or not, even if Mark would settle down.

Having caught deep within his thoughts, Adrian didn’t notice the crack on the ice that was covering the concrete and so he fell over to his sparerib just and just on a spot that had melted, from which he then rolled over to an embankment of snow. For a while he stayed still feeling a burning pain on his left side, but eventually he had to get up, so that he wouldn’t froze there to death. He felt the blood streaming from his elbow into his jacket, but other than that he felt like he had survived with nothing more than bruises. Adrian took a glimpse at his clock quickly and swore by himself while he continued to go on by foot.

Adrian arrived to school about a quarter to eight. He stepped in through the front door which was already open. He climbed up the stairs and saw that the door to the music class was ajar. He went in and noticed that Mark was tuning his guitar. Hannah was nowhere to be seen yet.

- Hi, Mark greeted. Adrian nodded while he put his jacket onto the coat rack. His elbow was still bleeding.
- What happened to that?
- Oh, I fell down while walking here. The ice is deceitful, Adrian understated. In his leg he felt some awkward pain as he took his shoes off.
- Hannah should be here at any minute, she just texted me and said that she was around the K-Market, Mark changed the subject. Adrian had the feeling that Mark was on a better mood than he had been in ages, as Adrian sat down near the keyboard. After Mark had tuned his guitar they decided to begin playing together by covering Muse’s Knights of Cydonia.

As the start went a bit roughly, the music became better and by the time the boys had ended the song, they could hear Hannah clapping her hands together by the door. It wasn’t such a big deal for Adrian, but Mark’s smile just got wider and wider.
- I’m glad you came too. I have something to say but what if we play something first? Mark said.
- Yeah, I’m okay with that. What if we try In The End? By Linkin Park, I mean?

The guys nodded and so they begun to play. Adrian wasn’t really a fan of Linkin Park, but he had barely listened to them anyway. The piano intro to In The End, however, he could play even if he was dreaming, and it didn’t sound too bad either. Soon some completely different thoughts flowed into his head. What was this thing Mark was so excited about? Could it be related to him and Hannah? Adrian looked at Hannah from the corner of his eye. It was hard to tell anything about her while she was drumming. Adrian noticed that he played one of the notes wrong, but he didn’t care. He was too curious. Mark had to have a reason why he hadn’t invited Noah or Summer…
And at that moment, precisely, Mark, Hannah and Adrian’s music ended like it had got mashed against the wall.

Enough said.

Imagine Accepting The Truth...

So, here are the lyrics for The Listener, like I promised.

Taking control of the dam within
a glimpse as deep as a butterfly illusion
you stare
I cry

I took a walk
to scream out my heart
to bleed a whole new start
But my burden
was so much more stubborn than I knew
cutting the light, it replaced
my spirit with grey

My speed increases
towards the white dawn
I gasp and seek for understanding
for a brother soul
then the pillow above me starts to shine
indicating some sort of sign
wiping off cold around the seas
A friendly wave welcomes me

to my home


I was closed inside
but now I’ve found the lime
within reprise
The listener lies
in front of each decline
right by my eyes

(Now, let’s see what I am made of)

My steps get sharpened
as I’m revealing
what’s inside my chest
wrapped in innocence
as my half-emptiness
fades into the blaze
A gentle knife
scratches off the ache

Echoes of the struggle
of doubt versus belief
loneliness and independency
now escaping to be free
glimpse I was a stranger for
is now compassionate and light
I smile to kill my fears
until there’s none left at all

Without inertia
I’m closing into the shadows
Shivers under my skin
turn blood to reflections of red strings [x2]

And I’m being listened

-----------------------

The flow might seem a bit strange, but note that the song is as progressive as Night + Day = Awake and the individual parts differ from each other quite a bit.

Today, I finished the chapter #13 of the book, and tomorrow you can expect the second half of the 10th chapter translated. I've also been adding some piano parts to a few of my songs during these past two days, and Sun.06 is going to have a breakdown with some organs on the background, for example.

Concerning the Autumn Scream website, I'm about to include some lyrics and tabs there in a few days, and a biography is also on its way - but is there anything else you'd like to see? As always, don't hesitate to comment on this blog with suggestions, or alternatively, on the site itself. I've started a few forum discussions for you so we can get the site going, and I'm trying to make the whole thing as complete as possible before my camp, starting next Thursday incase you don't remember.

I got nothing else, just a quick update. I'll post tomorrow though, or at least, I will try to.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Inertia

Okay, so I'm 2 days late, but it's worth it. I've got a lot of things, and I'll start by letting down some of the expectations those who have been following my Twitter might have. Earlier today, I was hyping that I would start recording Dive Inside today - fact is, I have been working on it, but mainly only writing-wise. I did record a few acapellas for it, but they were just for practice. I will, however, start recording the track next week so that I can hopefully show it to you until my confirmation camp starts next Thursday - taking that all things go as I've planned, of course.

The whole theme for this week has been the finishing touches to the songs I will be including on my EP, since earlier this week I already finished the lyrics for The Listener. Concerning the 8 tracks that for now are on the tracklist, I'm done with all the lyrics, and writing-wise, about 90 % done with the bass and the guitars. I only got drums for the intro of the EP and Memory done completely, but the ones for Dive Inside and Winterstorm in the HÆrt are almost finished as well. So now, a lot is depending on two things - firstly, how much new material am I going to be working on during the next month or two and will I be including any of that on the EP, and secondly, how often will I be able to record. I can already assure though, that I'm more done with this EP at the moment than I was with Glimpse At My Horizon last October. And let us not forget, even though it was rushed, it only took a month to get finished from there...

I haven't been doing anything new concerning my book or my short stories, but then again, the EP is my primary project at the moment. I will try to work something out for my latest short story during the few days since I haven't been working much on it since the weekend I started it. You can expect the other half of the chapter I posted last time as well by the end of the week. I still got 7 days left, so who knows what'll happen...

Thanks to some recommendations, I've been into God Is An Astronaut this week. They're an amazing mix of art/experimental/post-rock, ambient and electronic music. Their music is completely instrumental, but their music is so innovative that it simply doesn't need any vocals at all. As I've been meaning to check out completely new music, especially more electronic sounds and influences, this seems like the perfect start for me. No, it's not only a start, it's an instant jump to the peak of the genre.

The site dedicated for Autumn Scream, which I launched on my earlier post, hasn't really taken off since I only got 5 members so far and I'm looking for at least 10. I know you're out there, so please, register! You'd already show me mental support by doing so. And it won't hurt to waste 15 minutes or so of your time to post a few posts on the forum either, ha? Obviously, the site will be updated a lot since it's just in its starters, but to be able to receive all those updates in real-time and enjoy the site fully, it's recommended that you'll join immeadiately. I'm not forcing you on this, but if you have any sort of connection to my music, the site is at least worth checking out. The site address is, incase you missed it, http://autumnscream.webs.com.

I'll post the lyrics to The Listener next time. Until then, you know where to spend your time and what to keep and eye on...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sorry But It's Over

Okay, so it's time for some big things...

While working on 2 new songs, writing lyrics, listening to the Deftones and Limp Bizkit, writing/translating a new chapter... I've been working on a website with my friend Max. I better let the site do the talking...

Here.

I'm also going to show you about a half of the chapter I've been translating.

X

Time for Moves

On Monday morning, Summer had a terrible headache. Even though the winter holidays were over, she had to stay home. Summer didn’t really mind being sick though, because the holiday had went well and the day at school would’ve been annoying anyway. She had more reason to worry about the difficult relationship situation which she was in, and the situation with the band wasn’t clear either despite last Saturday’s meeting. Summer tried to think positively, however. The spring and the summer were ahead, and so was the confirmation camp in July. While drinking a glass of water Summer wondered if the rest of the band was on the same camp than she.

Summer laid down on the couch and turned on the TV. News, shopping TV, soap operas… Summer was ready to lose her hope until she noticed that there was a document about Deep Purple coming from a theme channel. Summer loved Deep Purple, but she often didn’t admit it to anyone. At the same time, she received a text message. It was from Hannah, who wanted to know why Summer wasn’t in school. “I’m sick at home.” Summer typed back. At times she was annoyed of how other people wanted to know why she wasn’t somewhere or why she didn’t do this and that. Couldn’t she have some privacy and own will?

After watching the document and eating a bit of breakfast, Summer decided to grab her bass and plug it in the amplifier. Summer’s Fender had been lying on the back of her closet for a long time, but because of the band she had started taking it off from there and practicing more and more often on her spare time. Bass wasn’t a difficult instrument, even Summer got that, after all it had been one of the reasons she had gotten it in the first place, but having a unique style took creativity and experience. Summer liked bass not just because of its simplicity but because she was fascinated how the strings in it were lower than the ones in guitar and formed a deeper yet softer sound.

Summer still had a rough headache, but she barely noticed it as she started playing. Summer had already learnt powerchords and which notes to use with certain guitar chords in order to harmonize, but she was still in need of practice on several divisions, taking she wanted to play as good as her idols Roger Clover and Tim Commerford. At the moment she was focusing on controlling all kinds of different effects, such as slides and pull-offs. Summer usually didn’t practice to others music, but now she decided to put Rise Against the Machine’s debut onto the player, if not for something else then just to create a mood. As Bombtrack went on Summer threw away the last remains of worrying and pain and didn’t even notice that Hannah sent her another text message.

I think that's it for now. I'll post tomorrow with more specific details on the site and what I've been up to. 2 weeks gone... But oh-so-many left.

Friday, June 12, 2009

As the Crow Flies...

Well, what can I say? I haven't been working on much the past few days, or at least, not much visible - I have a big surprise for you planned which, if luck serves, I can present tomorrow, but other than that, I don't have any recordings, writings etc. for you to show. I have been writing some new stuff for my book, worked on some lyrics and so on, but it has been very slow and brief, meaning it's really not worth showing. I have been earning a resonable amount of money this week though, so that's a positive thing.

I am going to translate another chapter for you tomorrow, so that's something you can look forward to, besides the surprise. I have also started working harder on the band project, and you should be able to hear something soon - if not new, recorded material, then at least news concerning the project. Listening-wise, I have been listening to a lot of Thrice again, with Living Sacrifice still on the playlist along with the new addition by the Deftones.

Since I really can't talk about much before revealing the secret, I'll let you get away with a shamelessly short post for now. But tomorrow, it should be at least thrice longer (pun intended)...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mind Distant

Sorry for not posting in a few days. I'll even make it short now because... Well, I got a new chapter for you which you can read at the end of this post. Enjoy.

Due to their awesome performance in this year's Rock Am Ring (for those who don't know, it's a very popular festival in Germany held each year), I've been into Limp Bizkit lately, believe it or not. I also got yet another album by Living Sacrifice (called Inhabit), and I have to admit that while translating the chapter today and yesterday, I've been having it more or less on heavy rotation. Even though heavy, extreme and brutal, the band has surprised me with their amazing lyrics and incredible ability to transform into so many different soundscapes and feelings.

If you have followed my Twitter (which is, one more time, Twitter.com/WickedBreath), you should already know that my next EP, Autumn Scream is probably going to include a hidden track, just like GAMH did. Since it'll truly be hidden and all, I don't want to go furthermore about it, but you should know that it's the track I've been working on a lot lately. I'd also like to thank you all for giving me so much feedback on Memory, because so far it has really given me an image of what to improve and trust that I have developed and will continue to do so.

I haven't been recording lately, but I will promise to see if I can on Thursday, because that's when I'm supposed to have more time than tomorrow or on Friday. While my confirmation camp is getting closer and I also got to do some work at home I have noticed that my time is truly running out... But at least I've been having a pretty good time. While I got some new stuff going on that I can't unfortunately present to you yet (like the hidden song), I'm working as much as I can as often as I can and have the desire to do so.

One more thing I'd like to point out before setting off the chapter 9 of my book is that inspired by Wes Borland, I have now tuned my guitar to F# F# C# G B E (while the standard tuning is E A D G B E and drop D, the tuning I mostly use, is D A D G B E) where the two lowest strings play the exact same note if open (F3). While Borland's 4-string guitar that he uses from time to time is tuned to F# F# B E - with the F# notes being F2 and F3 - I don't have the resources to tune as low as he does, not to mention getting a 4-string guitar (I could always take the two extra strings off my guitar, but no thank you lol). So, I decided to give this tuning a go, and the way my guitar now sounds is rather special in my opinion. I doubt I will use it much though, but perhaps you will hear it on a few parts on my EP...

VIIII

Jamming And Jealousy

Noah set the potato chip bowl and the bags of candy uncleanly to the table and glimpsed at the clock. Five to. The others would be here any time from now.
It was Saturday, and the meeting arranged by the band, to be taken place at Noah’s, was present. There was no cellar or any other specific playing lounge at Noah’s so the band would have to settle for quiet guitar playing and singing while discussing, so that the neighbors wouldn’t report about noise or such – it was Saturday night after all, and the hecklers upstairs were too loud anyway. Everyone else was fine with Noah’s request though, and at least Noah himself felt that plain discussion could just turn out to be nice and even useful. The group was still sort of divided in three; Adrian and Mark, Summer and Hannah and Noah alone. Lately, Noah had been able to win Adrian a bit on his side though, and Summer was constantly his supporter and defender inside the band without Noah really knowing why. Summer had almost dragged Noah into the band in the first place - even though Noah could’ve said no, of course - and in conflict situations Summer had at least so far taken Noah’s side. What did she see in him? Noah didn’t usually receive admiration from anyone, even less from a beautiful girl who had just met him. For now, Noah had decided to observe the situation, just in case it would turn into something, but he didn’t set any kind of expectations. Nevertheless, something about him fascinated Summer.
The doorbell broke Noah’s imaginary thinking bubble. He flinched and after realizing what the sound had been and where it had came from, he went to the door half-running.
Adrian and Summer were standing behind the door, and it seemed that they had come together. A feeling went across Noah, something he hadn’t felt before. Was it jealousy?
- Hey… Sorry if we’re early, but we decided to walk here together and time went faster than we thought, Summer explained.
- No problem. Come on in. Noah tried to be as friendly as possible and kept his face normal, but he couldn’t help the feeling which just continued to grow within when he noticed that Summer and Adrian were gently smiling at each other.
Quickly they entered Noah’s room, which obviously was familiar to them already since the first visit. As everything wasn’t as clean as last time around, the number of instruments was still impressive. Summer decided to sit on the chair in front of the keyboard, while Adrian sat down on the side of the bed, which took quite a lot of space in the room. The conversation didn’t even have time to begin as the doorbell rang once again.
This time it was Hannah. Noah noticed a gentle smile on her face too while they exchanged greetings and moved to Noah’s room. Between the chair behind the drums and the one by the writing table Hannah picked the first, and Noah himself sat on the side of the bed near Adrian, ready to start the talk.
- Now that everyone is here, maybe we should begin…
- But one is still missing, Hannah interrupted and in the same time the doorbell rang once again. As everyone looked confused, Hannah figured that Mark had not told others about his plan to attend the meeting after all. Noah rushed to the door, fearing for the worst.
- Hello, Mark said at the door trying to act friendly.
- What are you doing in here? Noah asked.
- The same as everyone else, I came here for the practice, Mark continued. – Didn’t you get my message?
Hannah and Adrian had now also entered the hall and they both looked interrogative, only because of different reasons.
- What message? Noah snorted. Mark started digging his mobile phone away from his pocket and after a while of typing he showed a text message which clearly read “Is it okay if I come to the practice today?” The recipient was Noah.
- I never got a message like that. The tension was sensible in the whole room, and even Summer was peeping from behind the door to see what was happening in the hall.
- Let me see your phone if you don’t believe me, Mark demanded. Noah was reluctant, but eventually he pulled his mobile phone away from the side pocket of his jeans as well. The look on his face told everything that needed to be said.
- Well, you didn’t have a permission to come because I didn’t reply.
- Maybe not, but we have to start getting along with each other. We’re playing together in a band after all. We had our differences, but isn’t it time for us to bury the battle-axe? Mark sounded convincing, but Noah was very suspicious. Only 4 days before Mark’s attitude had been the total opposite. Noah didn’t want to fight though, especially not on a Saturday night and at his home, when his parents were around.
- Alright then. Not that I would have wanted to bring the battle-axe on in the first place.
- Is everything okay? Noah’s mother’s voice came from the near room.
- Yeah, yeah, Noah replied. He scowled at Mark one last time before they all went back to Noah’s room.

After the bland beginning had somewhat passed, and a few everyday stuff was done with, it was decided to pick up Noah’s electric guitar and start improving the band’s so-far only song. Adrian asked to try first, but Mark ripped the guitar from his hands and started to play himself, with maximum volume, of course. The sound made him confused.
- How does this sound completely wrong?
- It’s tuned to Drop-C, Noah said and took his guitar back. While Mark’s face still looked confused, Noah revised:
- Meaning all the strings have been lowered down one full step and the lowest string two steps. It makes powerchords easier to play and makes it possible to play the C-powerchord with open strings. Mark was completely astonished, but while Noah gave the guitar to Adrian, the latter said:
- You forgot to mention that often it’s being taken advantage of in fast metal music and the tuning is used by Disturbed and Shadows Fall, for example. As the girls also dropped their jaws, Adrian illuminated:
- I’ve been studying some guitar playing lately… It’s not that hard when you can already play keyboard.
- Slightly put studied, Hannah said. – That was like straight from the dictionary, by both I mean.
- Well yeah, Noah said while smiling humbly. Mark had an evil grin as Adrian put the volume of the amplifier down a bit and played a few basic powerchords.
Quickly the situation turned into a jam session that was enforced by Noah’s acoustic guitar and his keyboard, which Mark and Hannah had begun to play. Noah had suggested that Summer could start to sing, but she was happy just listening. Noah himself was giving everyone suggestions such as playing a chord a bit lower or playing three-string powerchords with four strings instead, or in some cases, even with 6 strings. Secretly from others he also started to roll the lyrics in his head, because he wasn’t completely happy with the original text he had created in the first practice.
Half-way through the evening, at about nice o’clock, the group decided to settle down and place the instruments aside. Noah took some soda from the fridge and suggested that they would watch TV. The others seemed to have a positive view on this, and when it came out that both, Noah and Mark liked German crime series, the atmosphere started to soften out too. Mark still had a plan, but he decided to leave it alone for now.
At half past ten Mark and Hannah left to their homes, but Summer and Adrian both requested to stay at Noah’s for the night, because they both lived further away than others and walking back home would’ve taken longer. Noah was pleased to say yes, and even his parents were okay with it. Summer offered to sleep on the couch, but Noah declined.
- That couch is terrible, you can watch TV from it but sleeping is pure pain. I’ll rather sleep there myself than let you guys suffer.
- Oh come on, I’ve slept on our couch numerous times and it at least looks worse than yours… Adrian said.
- And there’s no way two of us can fit on the floor either, Summer pointed out. Noah acknowledged the situation, but still didn’t let Summer sleep on the couch. His consciousness said one thing, but something inside him said something else. Eventually, it was decided that Adrian would sleep on the couch, Noah in his own bed and Summer on the floor on a thick, two-meter mattress.
- I hope you both will sleep well… I feel disgusted that I can sleep in my own bed but you two probably have to stay awake on the couch and the floor, Noah said with his mouth inclinated.
- Don’t worry. I usually can’t sleep anyway on foreign places, no matter how good the place I’m sleeping in is. Besides, I’ve already slept so much on this holiday that it wouldn’t matter if I stayed up until Monday morning, Summer said and smiled in a way that was very cheerful. Noah couldn’t help but to smile back and go brush his teeth.

I'll post later this week and remember to follow my Twitter.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Living Sacrifice

You won't believe half of the stuff I'm going present to you during the next 10-15 minutes (depending on how good of a reader you are and how passionately you really feel about reading my updates), because to be honest, neither can I. Yesterday and today (well, according to the time over here, the previous 2 days) have not only been filled with unpredictable happenings, emotions and results, but have also turned out to be the best two days of my holiday (and maybe, just maybe, the best two days of this whole year) so far. Anyhow, let me begin...

First of all, let me inform you that it has been raining three days in a row now over here. Concerning I love rain, I just had to take a walk outside on Thursday afternoon. Partly since it was indescribable to me, and partly since I don't want you to think of me as all emo (or is it too late for that? haha), I won't even begin to describe how I felt during that walk to you - I will, however, show you the story I wrote the same night loosely based on that walk. It may be found a bit weird since I wrote it from a female perspective and it's meant to be taken as sort of a love story, but give it a try.

There we were. He gently gave me a kiss on the cheek and smiled. I tried smiling back but with low success. He didn’t seem to notice it though. Without saying a word, we left the front door and started walking by the empty street.
I don’t deny it - I was insecure. I knew nothing about this guy and I had prejudices, doubts, and fear laid on my mind. I noticed that he wasn’t feeling completely secure himself – he didn’t say a word, and most of the time he just watched down towards the road, always smiling whenever he turned at me. Somehow, I felt that his company was relieving though. However, just as I thought that our date was going better, the clouds above us gathered together and it started raining.
- You mind if I put some music on? He finally asked. I was kind of confused that the only thing he said all night was an enquiry to play whatever it was that he liked to play. I didn’t mind, though, so I replied; - Yeah, why not. He was delighted and so was I after noticing that we had the same interests in music. But…
As the rain began to fall more and more vigorously and densely, I started feeling depressed. I had no umbrella with me, and neither did he, not to mention I had make-up all over and a dress that really didn’t need to get wet. However, soon all these became secondary, as I saw how my date had closed his eyes and was now almost tripping on the concrete.
- Hey, watch out! My inner, caring survival instinct caused me to say. He awoke and seemed embarrassed.
- Oh, sorry, I was too into the music. I think it’s beautiful in here, don’t you?
I stopped and stared at him out of curiosity. I wasn’t judging, but he had a funny way of thinking.
- No I don’t really… I hate it when I get wet.
- I can relate. But try ignoring the fact that your clothes are going to look bad and wet. Feel how the atmosphere cleanses you. Smell the air. Listen to the music and just let your senses relax.
Now I was getting seriously scared.
- Is that really how you see all this?
- Yeah. It’s like an ear- , eye-, heart- and braingasm all in the same time. Just try it. Take my hand and forget everything else but what you feel.
Even though the normal me would’ve still been terrified of how this all sounded, taking I didn’t know a thing about the person who it was coming from, something about him was so comforting and I felt something important… as if I trusted him. So, as he smiled and gave me his hand sincerely, I smiled back and placed my hand against his.
An instant wave went through me. The stormy clouds, the waggling tree knots, the cold raindrops – they all disappeared as I trusted on what he said and gave control to the emotions. I felt how the wind started to carry me over the air, and I felt like crying –I wasn’t sure was it out of desperation, sentimentality or joy, but I loved it. I looked at him once again, and he still hadn’t lost his smile.
And since that walk, neither did I.

Think you've read enough? Oh noes, I got plenty of more. First, apologies for double-uploading, but here's the latest version of Memory that I mixed today - it now includes both, the intro in its entirety and the bass parts to the guitar solo. Here you go: http://www.sendspace.com/file/mkr21e

It's also more than worth noting that even though I don't have it recorded, I have now finished The Listener concerning the guitar and the bass, and half of the lyrics, of course. I worked with it for aproximately 4 and a half hours Thursday (yes, I know, I have no life) - simply because I was so inspired of my walk and wanted to take adventage of it, but couldn't really, at least not at first or the way I wanted to. Eventually, I came up with a really funky part for the song, which bursts into a rougher outro. Sounds fresh, doesn't it? Just wait until you hear it...

Yesterday, I visited the library while in need of inspiration, and I borrowed some very fascinating books concerning psychology. The names tell everything you need to know; Darkness Visible - A Memoir of Madness, Da Capo, Loneliness... So far I have started reading the first one of those, and even though it's dark, it's very educational and that's what I'm going for here anyway. On that note, I don't know have I told you yet, but taking my music and my writings won't take me anywhere, studying psychology (along with philosophy) is one of my career options for the future, so I'm kind of taking a false start here so to speak (and I'm truly interested too, trust me).

On Friday I also started exploring some extreme Christian metal, thanks to someone whose name I won't mention because you don't know him anyway. I've started with Living Sacrifice, as I got the album Reborn just a while ago. It's a mix of metalcore and thrash metal, with Christian lyrics - and man, I love it so much so far. I will keep digging for more of similar stuff during the next few days, and I'm hoping I can find some time to share a bit of it to you too, in the form of text, if you see my hint.

I better stop here until this whole thing gets too long... Or, I shall say it once again - is it too late for that? Either way, please let me know what you think of this all - no matter is it just feedback on Memory, the story, my recent interests in music and literature or all of those.

Will write to you later. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Wishes Come True...

The past 2 days have been rather crazy. I FINALLY got a new microphone yesterday - you can see a pic of it by clicking here - and while I was all alone at home today, I recorded Memory all over again from scratch and finished it (without the intro, which I'm too tired to get at right now). So far I have received very little feedback on it (with mostly both, positive and negative points noted), but I have to say that even though I myself am not completely satisfied with it (my current situation doesn't yet allow me to), I think I've improved a lot and without my obvious problems in singing, I'm now on-key most of the time and the song is definitely worth checking out. But anyhow, you'll be the judge. Here goes: http://www.sendspace.com/file/t9k0t7 If anything, notice the better recording quality.

Yesterday, I also finished the over all 11th chapter of my book. I was more than happy to complete the part I had been stuck with for weeks, and I was planning on continuing towards a 12th chapter today, but my recording sessions have eventually left me worn out and unmotivated. Maybe tomorrow's a better day, as they say...

I've been more and more into Soulfly today, and as I presumed earlier, I'm now downloading the remaining two albums of The Alchemy Index by Thrice. I haven't even listened to that much music during these two days though, since I've been concentrating more on my own songs and projects in general.

That's about it, just wanted to give you a heads up. Please tell me what you think of Memory and I will post again on Friday, if not already tomorrow.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chalk Lines

So, three days of my holiday have passed now. Is there anything at all that I have done? Plenty. Let me start by posting this over all 5th part of Walk, which I completed yesterday.

I fell down to my knees abruptly. I had no idea what was going on, neither did I care about it, since my mind had been taken by a dreamland, with only one intention of life, smoking. God obviously did not hand me another cigarette as I was hoping, so it was up to me to conquer my own self, and to be able to do that, I had to dream about something. Something… Strange.

I was standing in the middle of a bridge. It was one of those old, wooden bridges which seem to destruct easily, but don’t necessarily. I looked underneath, in between the planks and saw some shining blue water. I sensed, however, that I wasn’t supposed to fall there. So, I lifted up my glance from the water and directed it towards the left. The bridge seemed short, and I had no trouble seeing to the end on the left side. There, I saw a field, filled with flowers, plants and trees. The sun was shining and judging by everything I saw, there wasn’t a worry in the world. So, without even looking at the opposite direction, I started walking to the left side. I had to move slowly just to make sure the bridge didn’t break. Step by step I was walking smoothly and calmly, but as I set my left foot down for the ninth time, the water turned red and it started raining some sort of liquid I didn’t recognize. I did notice that it was red too though. I continued for a few steps, but the closer I came to field, the faster the rain fell down and the red lake beneath begun to rise. I started backing down, and before I even knew it, everything turned back to normal – the rain stopped and the lake became blue and shiny again. As I arrived to my starting point, the middle of the bridge, I stopped and turned towards the right end of the bridge. There, I now saw a similar field, but instead of several plants, I only saw one tree, one flower and one bird. I was confused, but since I couldn’t just stand there, I decided to start walking again, now in the opposite direction than last time. Despite choosing what seemed to be the right choice, as soon as I had taken nine steps ahead, something started happening again. The water turned white, and it started raining again – but, instead of some strange red liquid, it was snowing now. As I got closer to the lonely field, the snow got heavier, and turned into hail. I was forced to move as low as possible, even crawl, but as I looked at the sincere eyes of the bird standing on the field ahead of me, I figured that I had to go on no matter what, and with my stubbornness, it wasn’t hard at all. Five steps away from the field. Four. Three… And that is when the bridge collapsed and I was forced to grab every piece of wood I could to avoid falling into the white water. After settling down a bit, I noticed that the bridge was still on hold from the other end, meaning it had not fallen to the lake completely and I still had a chance to reach the field I was going for, but it required me to jump for 20 meters or so straight ahead. While I was able to sense the white water already, and the harsh snowing wasn’t stopping at all, my prolonged nature took the win and I had to take the risk - I leaped. I simply closed my eyes and let my hands control me. I almost flew right to the edge of the field, grabbed it, and helped myself stand up. The field was still rather empty, but as I realized that the more fruitful field at the other end had consumed, I knew I had made the right decision. As mine and the bird’s eyes met each other once again, I felt pure and free - rewarded.

This is the point where I woke up from my dreamland and found myself in front of two windows.

Another thing I've been working on while trying to settle down and relax is yet another new song, currently titled Chalk Lines. I have a very interesting yet dark, and personal concept built around it but I won't reveal it, mostly due to reasons I just stated and partly because I really want the listener to get inside the song him/herself with no help from me or anyone else. That is when the song gets finished, of course, taking that even happens - I'm still rather satisfied with the EP's current tracklist, so we'll see if I will make any changes to it. I've also been trying my best to finish The Listener, but my perfectionist nature seems to have gotten on the way and I'm pretty frustrated with that one at the moment.

Even though I have to admit that I could've been more productive these past few days, I can't complain. While not productive myself, I have been helping others (you know who you are) and you know, doing what a normal person is supposed to do on a holiday - take it easy. It's getting pretty hot in here though, and since I've never been a fan of hot weather or summer in general (if we ignore the spare time), I can push some of the blame aside from my shoulders. I will, however, promise myself and you to keep working, and hopefully tomorrow I will post with more of something new. In the mean time, enjoy Walk and please, give me feedback no matter have you read the previous chapters or not.

Oh, and lately I've also been trying to get into some Incubus, which has been a bit resfreshing due their funky sound (let's not forget that besides Rage Against the Machine, I barely listen to funk rock). Most of the time I find myself not convinced of their musical output though (they tend to have unusual powerchord combinations in their riffs and while the turntables are a nice addition at times, a lot of the time they're just disturbing to me), but maybe that'll change with time. I've also been listening to some Thrice again, and I just might get the second half of The Alchemy Index series soon.

It's also worth mentioning that I got myself a Twitter account early this morning. Check it out here and please follow me.

For now, let us fade into the night...