Friday, December 31, 2010

Absolute Zero

Happy New Year's Eve! It's time to wrap up the year 2010. Regardless of its egoism, I would like to gather some of my personal experiences and such since the worldwide events that have met us can probably be read from any news service's website.

What this year was perhaps most notable for me personally was my graduation from Kerimäen yläaste (The junior high school of Kerimäki) on the 5th of June. I made it through with an average of 9.14, took a scholarship with me and performed twice in the period of two days with my music class, live. Another live performance I did with the class took place earlier on the 30th of April. Of course, I also put out my third EP ever, a concept one revolving around dreaming, which also showcased a leap forwards to becoming a more professional musician (notice the word more, since I'm by no means close to being a pro yet) and continued from where the first two EPs left off with, as the sound of Wicked Breath kept evolving in a natural progression towards a less amusing and unoriginal entirety. In addition to The Art In Dreaming came also my first music video, for the song Xie Xie, which I finished filming and editing during the summer and put out on the 21nd of July. The video, even if low in quality and hardly smooth by its cut or manuscript, managed to satisfy myself for the main part and the feedback I received was mostly positive considering it was more like a college project done 100% on my own than a real music video with editing, directing, writing and all that done by people who are specialized on their areas. Although still in the process of making the EP, I started planning my debut album in February-March, and after the release of the music video my main focus switched towards working on the monstrous creation (TBA in 2012) that still seems more like utter craziness than logic. But who cares. :P

2010 was a rollercoaster in my social life more than anywhere else. I re-activated my goal of forming a band where I would only be one of the members instead of doing everything by myself, leading to the realization of time schedules, which are hard to fit not only when everyone in the band is studying, but when they're also on different time zones. I gathered five people from all around the world to form an internet band which after a few months collapsed on the inactivity and ignorance of some of the members. Thankfully, two members remained besides me, and with the help of our new guitarist we have now been going strong and are on our way to finishing our first song any time now. If the year 2011 is good enough for us, we'll have a demo/EP out before you even know it. Besides the virtual relationships, I had one crush in my real life, and I think that I also fell in love for the first time, inspiring me to write several love-centered lyrics and compositions. I had a few new friends and lost some old ones, and came to terms with a bunch of personal issues. Without getting deeper into it all, there's no doubt that it's been a hectic 12 months on the area of human communication - but then again, what could be more inspirational?

Okay, I said I wouldn't, but I have to bring in some international events as well. Sports was huge throughout this year. Finland screwed up in Vancouver causing people to react heavily on the state of the Finnish Winter sports - me included - and in the summer we barely got any medals from the championships in athletics. That is why the floorball championship this December in Helsinki was such a refreshing event no matter how tiny the actual sport is. There were some great performances done by our nation's sportsmen and -women on events not so close to the Finnish heart, however, such as in gymnastics and boat sports. Finally, I have to mention the World Cup in football. The African teams still didn't make it as I had hoped, but it was a blast seeing some of the big teams fail and some of the more little ones succeed, nevertheless. Football has never been at the top of the list for me (Finland's lousy success has something to do with it, I'll add) but this year it was definitely one of the highlights.

Reading and writing decreased for me, because the 4 books I read in the summer were pretty much the only ones I did outside the stuff I read for school. Writing-wise my resources were all used in lyrics, as I haven't really had the motivation or the time to write novels or short stories. I still have ideas, though, so perhaps next year I will get back to the actual writing form.

Last of all are my influences in music. I again have made a playlist describing this year and intend to listen to it later today. You can take a look at it here. In general this year was weaker in new music than the year 2009 was, because there were a bunch of bands and albums I expected much from, but didn't deliver my expectations. To my own surprise, I did manage to come up with a pretty kickass playlist, nevertheless. My musical evolution hasn't suffered a decrease or anything either, really. There's just been more things keeping me busy than before, and some of my choices for new music have gone more wrong than earlier. I'd imagine that happens at every part of my life sometimes. The best album of the entire year was Diamond Eyes by the Deftones, I'd have to say. Entertainment in the form of TV shows and movies have also moved and shaped me a lot this year, perhaps more than ever before. Series like Chuck and Ketonen & Myllyrinne have provided relaxing moments for the most part, but also inspired and made me think about all sorts of things.

That's about it, my year's summed up. All that is left for me to do now is wishing that next year, the year 2011, will be better for all of us around the world - and make a promise that personally, I'll do the best I can to make it so. :)

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Inkblots

Merry Christmas everyone! Even though it is already the 26th now, I wanted to open with that before moving on with other things. For me, the Eve was one of the best I've ever spent, since I had the chance to spend a lot of quality time with my family as well as enjoy music and a few pleasant gifts I received and gave in return. Those are what Christmas is all about after all... Oh, and of course the food. Ah, the food... :P Chocolate is the dominating ingredient throughout my vacation, as always, but I never say no to Christmas ham or carrot casserole either. Although we tend to celebrate more or less on the Eve and just rest on the 25th here in Finland, I am aware of the tradition in many other countries, particularly America, where the 25th is the actual day of gifts exchanging and such. So, hopefully everyone who spent Christmas just yesterday is enthusiastic as well and feeling the calm. :)

To go on with more everyday subjects, my last week or so hasn't been filled with Christmas-related stuff only as you would imagine. I've been so thrilled about February's performance that I've had difficulties falling asleep on a few nights, and I've used several hours of my time in the day planning the songs, their arrangement, and the general look of it all in much detail. Obviously it's a bit unnecessary because many things may and will change as the other players join me (who the other players are isn't 100% certain either yet at this point). The one thing that is almost written in stone is that I've chosen Cyan Lie and Permafrost as the two songs I want to perform. They are not very complex, should keep the audience occupied (even more if I have the courage to sing Cyan Lie entirely plus one verse of Permafrost that I've been thinking about) and to me, they both should be pleasant for the other players as well to learn and perform. The only major issue for now is that Permafrost is lacking a lot of the drum parts and thus I need to figure something out next week. But yeah, I don't think I've ever been this excited about anything in my life before, and my family and friends have also showed encouragement which I never take for granted.

Outside the whole 'live' project I've continued working on the album, however in smaller doses than earlier. I've come up with three to four more potential ideas since the 18th (including an idea to compose something inspired by the popular Psychological test that takes adventage of inkblots, hence the title of my post) and written some random lyrics. All in all I am walking on quiet waters though as the year is reaching its end, despite trying hard to write something positive in particular. Perhaps it's not such a bad thing, because I have been worried about the amount of material I've been working on, forever increasing and eventually leading to the point where I have way more songs than can be fitted on an album and a special edition EP. Also, maybe the balance I'm trying to go for at the moment with my writing is too much since I find it 100 times easier to write something dark than something happy. Time will tell.

Finnish cello-headbangers Apocalyptica are the latest addition to my music library, but lately I have focused on less heavy music in the spirit of Christmas. Or, tried to, at least. :P On Christmas Eve I couldn't help but to jump around in my room to songs like RED's Fight Inside and Celldweller's One Good Reason. It's just the way I am... But seriously, I have been leaning towards some quite laid-back tunes as well (such as another Finnish band, Don Johnson Big Band, whose self-titled album I've also grabbed with me but have yet to listen to) and will continue to do so during my second holiday week, I believe. The bad thing is that I'll already have to get back to studying for my future exams on Wednesday/Thursday. Then again, the hardest exams are ahead of me until the 10th and the 11th of January, luckily.

Before I end up ranting for numerous pages about my wishes for the performance, my endless plans and inspirations for the album not to mention my current state of mind, it's for the best that I go. This was just a quick update to create a nice pace and once again wish the whole world a wonderful Christmas. Not to say that the whole world is reading my blog, but... Eh, you get my point. ;)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pink Mammoth

Alright, it has been a LONG time. Since my last post (which I made almost two months ago) I've turned 16, worked on both of my musical projects actively, enjoyed the cold and all-white Finnish winter, and studied as hard as I've been able to with the Christmas approaching and haunting in the back of my head. :P School-wise everything really has been going surprisingly well though - at the moment my average is 9 exactly, which is only 0.14 worse than at the end of the ninth grade. I've really had a good time in general at school lately, for whatever reason. The environment for succeful studies has turned out to be almost perfect in our class room, which might also be one reason to why I'm doing better than expected. The only negative thing really is that the next exam week begins already on the 4th of January, meaning that my upcoming vacation is only 1½ weeks long. I also will have to sacrifice a few days of that to prepare for the first of the 4 exams, society studies.

Musically, I naturally have more than enough new stuff going on. My internet band has changed its name to Theban Cycle and we're now around 70% done with our first song - I have mixed the drums and the bass together, plus the piano and half of the guitars have also been added. We already have 2 new songs in the process of writing as well, so things have really picked up for us. For Wicked Breath, the situation is even more exciting. I haven't only come up with new ideas and finished old ones, but also pondered the overall themes, stylistic directions, lengths, instrumentation, song structures et cetera for the individual songs and the album as a whole. I've been able to maintain my pace with everything and there hasn't been a single week when I would've been feeling too uninspired to write or compose something new. The greatest news of all is that in February, there is an event at school where I might play 1-2 WB songs with the help of some local musicians. I am absolutely thrilled about the opportunity, which just hit me some days ago. Currently I am thinking of performing Cyan Lie with some of its guitar parts transposed to piano, as well as some other song like Johannesburg. I will spend more time thinking about the song choices and such during my Christmas vacation. Before moving on, here's a brief listing of the songs I've worked on most recently and how they are in my opinion.

Permafrost - a song I started on ages ago already has found its true form, in both, lyrics and music. Includes a plenty of experimentation with transitions in particular.
Let Go - my darkest effort to date has remained dark from one edit to the other. In a tough spot with the lyrics and the music after the first two-three minutes - many things sound good but don't seem to fit where they are. Is also a challenging song because of its theme, and I am finding it hard to work on it when I'm feeling happy. Makes sense.
Tree of Life - another messy song that has lots of potential, but makes me feel very little/not at all satisfied. Shows, however, a great example for a bunch of future songs I intend to make positive and thus balance out the moods on the album.
Superstar [AqME Cover] - Concerning this one I only have three words to say. "Just for fun." :P
The Black - Is 95% finished structure- and lyrics-wise, but seems to be missing something. The anthem for the end of the world also lacks drums for its middle parts at the moment.
Prejudice - a new song I wrote in three days or so. Much like Baptism of Fire in theme, length and musicianship. Under present conditions won't be used on the album, but a catchy song that was fun to write and is still fun to listen to and play, nevertheless.
Seven - also known as simply "The Worship Song". No lyrics yet, however the instrumental is growing on me after first having thought that it's not good enough. The main melody is minimalism at its best.

(I'm also re-considering the demos Fingernumb and VW which for a long time were both forgotten about.)

The website project I was stalling with for weeks, if not months, has also been set off during my absence from blogging life. The site is called Mind Death Machine and it focuses on expressionism. A lot hasn't happened yet, but we're obviously welcoming everyone to join, particularly to the message boards. The address for the main site is http://minddeathmachine.webs.com/ whereas for the boards you need to go to http://minddeathmachine.freeforums.org/. I will keep posting about the site as we make progress. After Christmas some updates will definitely be on their way.

My birthday was nothing short of spectacular, even though I did enjoy it quite a bit. What strikes me the most is that I now am, actually, sixteen. This makes me sound even older but the years just fly by these days with music and school keeping me busy. With each year from now on also comes greater responsibility... And frankly, despite being a little more mature than the average perhaps, I've never been too fond of that.

The music I've been listening to has consisted of oh-so-many bands since the end of October. I've had my phases with KoRn (twice), AqME, RED, Cold (twice), Soundgarden (oh yes), Mr. Bungle, Killswitch Engage, Faith No More, Disturbed, Metallica, Drudkh (atmospheric black metal, with nothing against God found so far), Orgy, Deftones, Major Label, Tool, Celldweller and Pelican. During the past few days I've been merely into calm music like electronica in the likes of Junkie XL, as well as post-rock and post-metal in general. It really is my version of Christmas music. :P

That's actually everything essential I have to say for now. Really thought it would've taken more space... Ah well, I will get back into posting once a week or so from now on, allowing me to share something in my next post that I might of forgotten to type here. In case something happens though, Merry Christmas, everyone - and God Bless. :) Of course, I hope that anyone reading will also have a nice day/week/year/life. :P

I'm back, baby!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Peach

Wazzup. I've been on holiday now for 4 days, and although I don't think I've ever been this bored and reluctant during one, I have made some significant progress on many areas. On Saturday, I started writing a new song called Peach, which is most likely going to be an instrumental played in Drop B tuning. If some day I come up with lyrics for it, they'll most likely focus on love, thus I'm pretty sure already that the song won't be included on the future album. It will, however, still be worked on actively, since you never know if it might see the light of day in another format - plus it's fun and fascinating to work on something without the pressure of it being heard and having to make it as perfect as possible, similar to State 18. Today I've continued this development by writing a few new parts for the worship song I've been working on and off with, and by recording the bass track for Shyoul's first song. The worship song is becoming more dramatic than I expected, which is making me feel a bit uncertain about its direction - whereas the bass track still needs to be mixed before it's officially done. I've also been rehearsing the drum parts for the song since yesterday so I can record them by the end of the week, and hand both over to the rest of the band soon afterwards.

After a tiny break from watching Chuck I've found myself relaxing to the first 6 episodes of season 4 lately. Unfortunately, I have caught up on the US schedule now and have to wait for a week before the next episode is available. I've come to think that maybe that's not such a bad thing, though - I have loads of work to do whether I like it or not, school-wise and recording/writing-wise. Being hooked to a TV show with new episodes available wouldn't exactly help that. One of my biggest concerns is reading a book for school which, despite its interesting nature, seems like an obnoxious assignment to do for some reason. I have read about 30% of it already, but time's running out and I'm not a quick reader.

Before we move on, a quick look onto what school actually looks like for me at the moment. I got another not-so-good grade the other day - 7+ from Health studies - which just adds to the pressure I set on myself concerning the future exams *sigh*. After this holiday ends I have a few weeks of really heavy studying on many different subjects ahead, and so I am entitled to my rest this week on top of all the work really. I'm probably making it sound more serious than it is, but in my life these are big things at the moment. Thankfully Christmas isn't too far away... Amusingly my birthday collides with the next exam week, by the way.

Anyhow, back to some less stressing topics. We are officially just a few days away from the release of the new website I've been promoting for months already. As I'm writing this, the last descriptions and tweaks to the forums and the main site are taking place. My moments as a music listener, on the other hand, have been quite rare recently. When I have been listening, I haven't left the route I was on a couple of weeks back or so, taking some various recommendations from people into consideration while moving with my search for (doom) metal. I've been taking many walks outside in the autumn-meets-winter-scene as well these past few weeks, with my mobile phone's music player shuffling such bands as P.O.D., The Accident Experiment and Project 86 for me.

Pff, I've ran out of what to talk about. That could be another not-so-bad of a thing... Haha. Cya, and blessings all around. :) I'll try to post again during the weekend.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Forecast for Today

I'm officially turning into a doom metal fan. During the past week I've been into Pelican again, a lot, while yesterday I downloaded Jesu's self-titled album. Although Pelican's early material is much more intriguing, I've been very excited towards both bands - aside from some old school P.O.D. and Deadsy that I've also been enjoying. In a way you can also hear the doom influence with some of the new stuff I've composed, if you could access my Guitar Pro files that is, haha. The Black, for instance, is progressing in a good pace again and with the lack of a better way to put it, it's just like one of its lines: "...for this circus has been forced to go so long, it has turned to the other side." There are some really crazy combinations of layered guitars presented throughout the song to begin with, and several polyrhythms, end of the world-esque lyrics and buried melodies deep in the mix are some things that follow their lead. I'm probably making it sound much more impressive and sublime than it is, but one thing's for sure - it's different, for me and for you, I'd assume, once you hear it in its final form.

As much as I hate to think about school on my free time, here are a few things about my study week. I got my first course marks which are 10 for Maths (!) and 9 for Swedish. Both are more or less confusing, but nothing worth complaining much about. Finnish has kept stressing me but I'm doing alright in it for now, whereas German and French do the same thing without making me satisfied with how I'm doing in them. I'm already quite certain I'll quit either one at the end of the first year, because like this it's just simply too much. My health studies exam wasn't exactly a success and I fear the result is a lot the same than with my history exam a few weeks back. Despite all this, however, I've been on a rather positive mood all week. The first snow has also arrived to my home place and though it's a little sad that autumn has never been this short before, it's a lovely view as always.

For those of you wondering about my little site project that never seemed to launch - it's still being worked on. I and my partner have both been busy outside the site but we're doing our best to launch it as soon as possible. In the mean time I'm hoping that whoever reading will make sure to join the forums of the site once it does get public and also let their friends know about it and the main site. It is thematically very wide so no worries if you're not into the whole spiritual discussion and/or the tasteful joking - plus those two, there's music, literature, TV and movies etc. type of discussions and I'm sure that everyone who can adjust to the simple rules of the forums can find something to like and post on.

Concerning the disaster of Finland's national football team that just seems to cut deeper and deeper each qualification match... Baxter has my support, and that is all. Another sports-related news I have is that the play-offs of season 5 in the internet game PowerPlay Manager have been on-going for a while now, and my team Cyan Dreams is currently fighting for place 6 in the IV.7 division. Besides that, I've been taken by another hockey manager game, MHM 2000 (again). :P I'm not overly addicted though and thus I'm not letting the gaming interfere with my studies or the projects I'm working on too much.

Anyhow, it's now time to say goodbye and turn the page, folks. We'll catch up again later - and once that happens, I will be on my first holiday since summer vacation. It will be well-deserved... But filled with working, as you can imagine. Take care, reader #1 and #2... and you too, random bots. Leave me alone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Postpone

No posts in 3 weeks... Oh dear. Am I dead? I don't feel so. Maybe I'm just unconscious or something? Nah. It must be the same ol' same ol' - busy when motivated and lazy when there's time. I'm here now, though... :)

How's life treating me? Well, the first exam week is gone now and we've already gotten our exams back some days ago. For me, it was the strangest chain of events ever. I couldn't really tell if any of the individual exams went particularly well or bad beforehand - I mean, I did have some sort of an impression of each, but seeing how badly I was wrong with all of them in the end, I'll rather not share whatever it was that I had in mind. The lowest score I got was from history, which in the same time is also the lowest score I've ever gotten from any exam - 6½, describing a slightly below average score in our 4-10 grade system. Sweet, eh? I wasn't expecting a 10 out of it by no means, but I surely wasn't expecting something so low. The level of my disappointment wasn't overly big, nevertheless, because history has never been at the top of my list in the subjects that fascinate me nor in the subjects that I succeed in the best. Anyways, next up was Maths, which was more than a positive surprise - the one & only subject I had REALLY been struggling with yielded me a 9+, which was also the best score of our entire 1B class, apparently. At this point all the slightest disappointment went away concerning history, and I have to admit that I am going to re-consider my definite no-no towards writing Maths in my baccalaureate. I might do well in it anyway... The remaining two exams were from Swedish and English, with yet another positive and negative surprise included. From Swedish I got a 10-, even though it seemed to me like the teacher had messed up the checking or something due to my many mistakes. Not complaining, however, because I did work hard for that exam in particular. From English I got my second 9+, which in contrary to the Swedish exam was a pretty low grade in my opinion while compared to the amount of mistakes I committed. It serves as a good enough base for my future courses though, and that's the important thing.

The second sixth of year one has begun now and I got to tell you, it's quite a relief after all the stress with the first one. We're now on our second course of history as well as starting our first high school course in society studies. Psychology is really a treat for me, and I'm enjoying it a lot. Other subjects include Finnish, health studies, biology, German and French. The latter four I only got 3 hours a week, while Finnish frustrates me five times a week. Our new teacher in Finnish is not one of my favorites I have to say, and I'd really just like to write during the lessons and not necessarily talk about/study some of the stuff we do. I'm trying my best to remain positive about it, of course, regardless of things not going the way I was thinking. Like I said, all in all this is a much more relaxed sixth than the previous.

Then to some less school-orientated topics. :P My debut album - yes I dare to call it that - is progressing strong and maybe even a bit quicker than I had anticipated. During this week only I've practically started and finished a brand new song called Baptism of Fire, which is however traditionally-structured and a rather short song in my books. Various other new and old ideas have also been developed during this time, as always. A fresh list of working titles and their lengths is up on the AS forums now if you want to take a closer look, which despite the lack of Baptism of Fire is as up-to-date as it gets. Concerning Shyoul, we're preparing to record our first song which is now fully written and composed. I plan to lay my drum and bass tracks on it during my next vacation, which is 9 days long and will take place in 2 weeks.

To keep it short, that's pretty much all I have. I've kept playing some hockey manager games for pastime as well as kept watching Ketonen & Myllyrinne and Chuck every now and then, but being productive music- and school-wise is still my thing, as you all know. Many bands have been floating in and out of my ears, but most notably I've been influenced by a Finnish rapcore group called Jacks of All Trades, with Project 86 and Demon Hunter fulfilling the mix on their part. I also gave Darwin's Waiting Room a chance just after my last post, but didn't find them particularly appealing apart from 2 standout songs on their album Orphan.

Before I let you go, I'm showing you the lyrics for Baptism of Fire. Enjoy (and reflect on):

FLUSH MY HEART AWAY!

Crawling on the floor of a station restroom
(Fall is it? Own me, push me and loathe me
Crooning, “I am me”, keeping the truth leashed
Staying untamed so tomorrow can drive me slow)
Lakes they’re turning into mountain vales
(Ruthlessly standing by what I trample
Aiming my vengeance at everyone else
when all the banishment should be laid like mud on me)

[Chorus]:
Hunting demons down the lane of death
Narcissism is programmed into my brain
Wherever I call for a sincere smile to support
Melatonin attacks, flames charge right beneath my back

Carry judgment I must to be a part of the mass
(The truth, still fizzling under my lungs
filling, this nature covers it up with
Threads do connect but are nowhere to be found at all)
Relying on myself and me only
(For I can’t take advice, I could as well be blind
Seeing moonlight where sunrise is offering blood
donation, my soul lives in daily frustration)
AARH

[Chorus]

Elements of you and I on the tapestry
of the caves and the modern reins
Insides cry “go away, raise attention you eyesore
or die away”
Lemons, voices, eyes
gifts behind that line
of shifting into an euphoric bond
of esprit and ghosts
I snap, the hoodies are gone off the faces
surround me like haze and fight for their places
In pieces, throwing the torch on the flame, suffocation
it’s freezing, let me in

[Chorus2]:
Hunting demons down the lane of death
Narcissism is programmed into my brain
Wherever I call for a sentimental support
Melatonin attacks, the machine boots beneath my back

(The machine boots beneath my back)
------------------
Peace and love. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let Go

My apologies for not posting in 2 weeks. As you can surely guess by now, my excuse is that I've been studying quite hard - and whenever not, been lacking the motivation to login here and type something up. I'm here now, though, so... :P

First things first - I have now started on part three of the trilogy songs Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage and Cyan Lie form. This new song (which is meant to give closure to the rather dark love story) is so far titled Let Go and played in a weird pair of tunings - a Drop A# tuned guitar and a Drop D# tuned bass, meaning that I've actually tuned the bass up half a step from usual while sticking with my latest low tuning guitar-wise. Instrumentally, I have about 3 minutes done (without drums) and also some minor lyrics sketched out so far. I've thrown some other new riffs and ideas together as well during these last 2 weeks or so, of course, such as an interlude type of chord play called VW and yet another Drop A# fest titled Maybe I Should Go, which I was actually planning to have as the closure of the trilogy before I got inspired to write Let Go instead. I've had a little less ideas all in all lately, though, as the exams are closing on me. On Thursday and Friday I already had two word exams (one from English and one from Swedish), tomorrow I will have another word exam from English + a listening exam from the same subject + a possible Cooper test in P.E. The actual exam week begins on Thursday with maths, followed by English on Friday. Soon after finishing up with this post I will actually begin studying for the one on Thursday.

Outside school and my music, I've only been watching an episode or two of Chuck during the weekends now. It's turning more and more exciting however, with season 4 knocking on the door already. On another note, I've also really gotten into a Finnish comedy duo recently, Kari Ketonen and Ville Myllyrinne, and their show Ketonen & Myllyrinne, which is currently running on its 3rd season on Finnish TV. Lovely "black" humor - need I say more? I have known the show and the actors for quite a while, and even watched the episodes since last year, but not been this excited about it all up until now. The site project hasn't been going anywhere, unfortunately, but I stand by my promise to let you all know whenever there's news on it. Same goes for Shyoul. My listening appetite has been quite small, with Linkin Park's new album A Thousand Suns being the only significant new release or band I've checked. The record is far from their best in my opinion, but my view on it is pretty neutral compared to the general fanbase, I feel, with most people either really loving or really hating it. I personally wouldn't consider it absolutely horrific or anything, but apart from a few great moments such as the songs Wretches and Kings, Blackout and When They Come for Me, in addition to the wonderful solo in Burning In The Skies, it's a non-innovative product with way too much filler and secondary pop mixed with true potential. The positive thing is that last Sunday I spent the whole evening listening to Chester Bennington's very first band, Grey Daze, obviously inspired by LP. I still love their sound of the 90's, blending hard rock and grunge... Hah. Thirdly, I've been giving myself some sort of a refresh of Deftones' self-titled, which I have been more or less ignoring beside their other records after I first got into it (and the band).

Since my life is getting more and more filled with studies and all kinds of Wicked Breath-associated things, that's honestly all I have been doing in a nutshell. Although the exam week that continues all the way until Tuesday the 28th won't be leaving me with much free time, I'll do my best in being creative and productive next week and share it here as soon as I can. Until then, God Bless and please enjoy the effect of autumn, for I personally have always thought of it as the season that seems to go by the quickest. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

S.M.C.

At the moment yours truly is sick with flu, cough and fever, so I won't be making a huge post for your relief. Not that there's anything significant that's been going on anyway. The main news is that what I've been referring to as "the new online project" is still not in a publishable form; however some progress has been made this week. I am rather positive that you won't have to wait much longer anymore to see what I and my partner in crime have been up working with though. Secondly, before moving forward, I want to give my support to the coach of the Finnish national football team, Stuart Baxter, who most fans around here have been almost crucifying after last Friday's disastrous loss to Moldova. I don't think Finland will make it to the 2012 Euro tournament in the end, but I am still anxious to follow the qualifications and I believe that the team has way more to offer than what they did on the disgraceful Moldovan potato field 2 nights ago.

Lately I've spent some time developing a few new songs as well, obviously. I only did some slight modifications and additions to Johannesburg yesterday afternoon but it's already reaching its climax and I have a good view on how to end it. I've scrapped my previous worship song idea and am now working on another idea with the same concept, strongly inspired by P.O.D.'s classic song Alive. New guitar riffs have been floating in the air less frequently than on the past two weeks but there's still been a decent amount of creationism around all in all with once again multiple new ideas saved on Guitar Pro. Shyoul-wise, we're closing on our first song with partial lyrics written and a full structure finalized, only waiting for some polishing touches before we move on.

Studying hasn't eased on me but I am getting more and more used to the pace of it and days seem to be going fast as they usually do in the middle of a new semester. My test this week went well however I'm going to be a little behind from the others next week, as I will have to stay home for at least one work day due to my fever (38 degrees Celsius this morning). We've received our schedule for the exam week (23.-28.9) and it seems fitting to me, so I'm good all things considered on the studying area.

Project 86 has been my biggest musical influence this week with 10 Years coming in second. I have particularly spent a lot of time analyzing P86 lyrics and themes, with their repetitive yet imaginative riffing drawing a line (pun intended) on me as well. Unfortunately I have not been able to enjoy music as much as I would've wanted to, though.

I hope you all will take care, including the ones suffering from a more or less annoying disease (like me) and the ones who're doing just fine and healthy. See you next weekend, as it's becoming a habit for me to post on Saturdays and Sundays only. :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tree of Life

Yo. Week 34 is reaching its Sabbath and your favorite storyteller is here with a quick recap of what's been going on. Let's go...

If last week seemed fast to me, this one's been even quicker. From Monday to Wednesday I went with pretty much the same formula - wake up, get ready, go to school, relax for about 2 hours when back home, sleep for an hour, homework for an hour, eat dinner, another hour of homework, some relaxation, and finally bedtime. Exceptions included a brief band meeting with Shyoul on Tuesday and skipping the so-called sleep hour on Wednesday. Since yesterday all first year students had no lessons but instead a 5-hour day by the nature with some further info on high school, games and such, Thursday evening I didn't have to commit any homework - half a relief, half a shock as I had already gotten used to working my afternoons on something. Nevertheless, I already had a word exam on Thursday (English) and next Monday I have another one (Swedish), so the work never really ends when you're a high school student. Probably not worth mentioning, but I admit under-estimating what's going on now when it was still upcoming.

Outside school my mind's been split. At times I've felt a little depressed, at times more or less inspired and happy. At the moment I'm feeling more like the latter, thankfully. I've been writing some random riffs all week, with the ones I've wrote down called The Hill, Fragile, Mystical and Doors, respectively. I've also done some modifications on Tree of Life, the demo I started on a week ago. Listening-wise I've been focusing on Adema's Unstable, some Project 86 songs and albums plus a fresh new influence, industrial rock band Deadsy, and their album Commencement. I actually had a song by Deadsy before, called Sleepy Hollow, but it had been mislabeled as KoRn featuring Marilyn Manson because of Jonathan Davis' vocals in it. The reason I checked the band out now was because my online project partner linked me to their music video The Key To The Gramercry Park a few days ago, which also features Davis doing additional singing. It has since been my favorite song of the moment.

I haven't been writing any lyrics or anything for the book in a long time now, so I'm hoping to put something together tonight. What comes to my interest in the TV show Chuck, I've managed to held onto my habit of watching an episode of it each day. It's not only great entertainment and good for relaxing, but also quite inspiring lately. The traditional Finland vs. Sweden athletics competition is also taking place this weekend, with me following it closely. Lastly, I've been planning to start taking more walks and going out more in general to further motivate my studies and keep my mind open and nimble beginning next week.

That is it. Hopefully the current situation where I only post once a week and with very little to say at once doesn't become a permanent habit - otherwise I'll probably have to start making up serious topics and conversation starters like in the beginning of this blog. :P It'd be fun for sure, but a major time-taker and not necessarily worth a read, anyway.

Blessings.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birthright

5 days at high school behind and what do you know, I'm still alive. :P I have to admit that while the amount of home assignments and work in general has been quite overwhelming, the new level of education has its upsides, too. Some courses are interesting to say the least, the atmosphere is pretty laid back all around and I've already gotten inspired thematically on something fresh. So, while certain concerns certainly haven't disappeared, including my recent lack of time, I can't say that I would be in utter hell or anything. Plus, it's my choice now to study, so enough with the whine (for the time being).

Unfortunately I don't have any further news on my new online project yet, other than the fact that it has been progressing more or less slowly this week. Among the hectic nature of everything some new songs have been continued though, as I predictably just can't dam whatever ideas I have in my head from time to time. My newest song idea is entitled Tree of Life. Music is really great therapy too at the moment, because it can easily take my mind away from most of the things I don't want to think about. Since it has been a while after the last one, below there is a listing of my most potential song ideas for the debut album I hope to release in 2012, just before my crucial third year in high school.

The demos in Drop D tuning are:
Allergy/Anemia
Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage
Cyan Lie
Finland
Johannesburg
Scoff
Grope
The Day I Scared Myself
The Black
I Against Seven



The ones in Drop B tuning are:
Permafrost
The Aftercry
Insomnia (Faithless Cover)
Tree of Life

Before we move on, I really am serious about this. While there might be some samples, songs or even an EP released prior to it, Wicked Breath is now steadily moving towards an actual album. I am, however, taking a long-term approach on the project as you can see. For now I have no time limits and no huge pre-plans. I'm just letting the ideas flow, recording whenever I'm in the mood, and wherever that takes me, so be it.

What I've been listening to has been very versatile all week, with again no particular focus on a specific band or artist. I was going to get deeper with Saturday Night Wrist by the Deftones as well as Adema's Unstable (which for the record I downloaded on Wednesday) but there's just a lot of stuff going on currently in the music department as well. I seem to have a lot of stuff right now that I've at some point obtained but have yet to truly give a chance. I got no plans for this weekend though so hopefully during the remaining hours of today and tomorrow I'll offer that chance to some presumably great pieces.

I'm done here, that's all I got in a somewhat compressed form. I still do have to mention that Shyoul is having a few meetings next week which will hopefully push our first song a little further - and, just as I predicted, I haven't been able to let go of Chuck these past few days even if my viewings per day have decreased. Next week is just going to be another one stress, inspiration and hard work shall share with each other regardless of any attempt - therefore, keep your fingers crossed for my endeavors, and I'll keep mine crossed for yours. :) Peace and love.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ten Against Seven

Here we go, last post of the summer. I know, I know - summer's not really over yet weather- and calendar-wise, but as school begins, it's really secondary what season it is. There's going to be stress and a horrible lack of time from now on present no matter if it's +30 or -30 degrees outside.

Anyhow... During this last week, I've done my best in relaxing and taking my mind away from everything too stressful. I finished reading my 4th book of the summer which, by the way, has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the past 10 weeks - I never thought I'd read more than 2 of them, but I've indeed read 4 and enjoyed all of them very much. I only skipped on one book that didn't really seem interesting after 100 pages or so. The music that I've let my ears enjoy has been varying from 36 Crazyfists to the Deftones, from P.O.D. to Major Label, and from System of a Down to God Is An Astronaut, without a deep focus on one band in particular. I did get 36 Crazyfists' new album Collisions & Castaways last Sunday. So far I've only given it half a spin and I have to say that I've heard much better from the group. Last night I also downloaded an album by post-rock fit Explosions in the Sky but didn't have much concentration on it yet either. Lastly, here's a playlist I made last weekend including some of the songs I've really had fun with during this summer as a whole.

Throughout the past few days I've been relaxing to some TV as well. I am honestly obsessed with the show Chuck right now. I've watched about 15 episodes online after watching a few from Finnish TV earlier in July and this month (I hate the delay between USA and Finland, I mean 2 and a half seasons, come on!). The plot is so interesting, there's drama and action, and for those of you who've watched the show even just once, do I even have to mention Yvonne Strahovski? :P Anyway, I'll probably tone down on the interest once school starts, but still watch an episode or two a day. I don't remember being this hooked on a series since Kyle XY... And that show seems a bit childish now, anyway. (What is it with growth and TV shows going hand in hand? Haha)

I have not forgotten about my music either. On Tuesday I finally settled a melody of some sort for my upcoming, very first serious worship song. I'm calling it Me Against Seven for now. I also came up with a very dark and Tool's The Grudge type of demo on Thursday evening, called The Black. I have a strong feeling that it'll be a great opener if it makes itself on a release some day. It's definitely got that vibe I want an intro to have. On a side note, Shyoul's been having some meetings this week, and even though we are working on our first song very hard, let me put it this way - things really could go more smoothly than they are going on that area.

Then what I consider the biggest news in a while. I have teamed up with a fellow Christian and music lover from the US to form an online project so far known as Mind Death Machine. Before you ask, yes, we got that name from The Accident Experiment song, sue us if you care. :P Anyway, we're working on to put up a site with our own thoughts, pieces and such all over the place. Basically the idea of the place is expressionism. We will have a forum up as well where everyone can discuss about, well, anything really. I can't offer you a link or any further details yet, I'm afraid, but next week I bet I will have some more information on this fresh project. God only knows how many of them I got going on by now, though, hehe.

Well well. I'm done with the enws and I don't want to keep ranting about how great this holiday has been and how awful it is that it's ending. Bottom line is that everything good comes to an end - and hey, who says high school is 100% negative? I will be inspired with a lot of things I bet and I've come to see that when under pressure, stress and not much free time, I actually work pretty well and maintain everything that I got going on together. I'd like to thank you, my readers, and God for this 10 weeks that I've spent off-duty, so to speak, but it's time to go back now, regardless of what I want. This summer has offered me some great things and perspective but now life shall go on as it's destined with me entering high school. To stay positive, there's only 42 more weeks until next summer, let's not forget. ;)

That's it. Not the greatest post ever made but good enough to be posted and for me to cross this blog off of my list of things to do before Monday. I will be back ladies and gentlemen... When you least expect it! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sacred Scavenger

Even with my holiday getting more and more close to its end, I've been working hard on lyrics, music and the sorts all week. That is, however, not the most essential thing that I want to write about in this entry. Before anything else, I want to tell the world (starting from the few reading this, hehe) that despite being a Christian all my life, I've spent the last few days mainly changing some of my more or less bad ways into good. I've practiced purification of my mind and body, in a way, by some deep thinking, remorse and communication. It's not like I've killed someone or anything (:P), don't worry - I've just realized that despite calling myself a believer and having chosen the path of Jesus I haven't really acted like it during the last few years. Being a teenager or being busy with other projects is no valid excuse to this. I have now started to pursue a change though as I said and I can already feel its consequence - the calm, warm and confident effect that makes it seem like I've found faith just now for the very first time. :) Even if my road will be even harsher now that I'm a "proper" Christian, I am proud of taking the right moral turn in my life.

The spiritual change mentioned above was strongly encouraged at the start of the week as I went back to P.O.D.'s albums Satellite and The Fundamental Elements of Southtown half-accidently to find inspiration and groove I had been missing. At this point I have to admit something non-spiritual that I also regret in my life as of yet - not reading lyrics to most songs. It's ironic because as a lyricist and writer myself - and as a rather good one in my opinion - I don't often look up what exactly is said in a lot of songs I really love and as English is only my second language, it is impossible to understand everything right off the bat. Anyhow, this had been the case with FEOS as well for the most part and so I really enjoyed reading Sonny's raps and vocals in further detail as I listened to the once again refreshing record (I had done this once before in my qualm/interest last December, but that was too long ago for me to remember much of the wording, after all, it isn't all that simplistic :P). After P.O.D. I moved on to some System of a Down in the middle of the week as I wanted to write strong, even slightly political and straightforward lyrics for the demo named Scoff I actually finished instrumentally on Tuesday. Once again I took time to not only listen but also read what was going on. I took a new kind of atmosphere by going to the unheated sauna to sit and write, listen and read. The outcome was quite a success. Before I show you the lyrics, though, let me finish up this story. System of a Down wasn't where my notable listening experiences ended, you see... As a big fan of the Finnish band Major Label (look up my posts from early this year if you don't know what and who I'm talking about) I got curious about the band's guitarist/vocalist Arto Tuunela's other projects on Thursday. I knew about him having a solo project called Pariisin Kevät (Spring of Paris) in which he basically composed pop songs with naive kind of lyrics. Though innovative, I wasn't ready to get more down with this project in particular. Instead, I looked up two of his older projects - one where he used the alias Samuel Tubak, and one called Helsinki Blues Driver where he supposedly collaborated with an unknown electro-ambient musician. These projects blew my mind, particularly the second one. Tuunela doesn't just seem to have the ability to produce, mix and record for other artists, play basically any instrument and juggle between several different projects in the same time (half of which are not his own), but also have stunningly versatile content in his separate works. None of it is complex, it's all quite simple really - but in the same time, so different. Without any further efforts in trying to bore you, I'll conclude by saying that I really like his style no matter where he takes it. Even the performance videos and interviews I've seen give a very humble yet artistic picture of him, and regardless of me sounding like a fan boy, this guy is my new musical idol.

To get back to what I've actually been working on this week, here are the lyrics for Scoff like I hinted there in the last paragraph. Please do tell me what you think. ;)

Golden rings, suitcases of hope, burying their faces on hands of coke
Choke, every enemy with power they don’t in reality ever even touch to hold
The revolution is crying to be set off its cage, it’s a cage ruined with money and fame
And the selfish, somewhat privileged plays of zest accepted by the worldly brain
But hey, does that advertisement truly gain any real families or children to pay
for education, food and brainwash, you seem to deny being known for no lies
The bombs you build are nothing but disguise and foolishness towards bloody goodbyes
Tell me, how come aren’t you kicking me in the chest but causing all the pregnant women to get so depressed?

Love, you tear it off
The seed, of what we are
SCOFF

Stream of fall is everywhere, pain in the moonlight uncarved
Filling air with smoke and skies with lust martyrs die, liars remain alive
And pools of purity, dwell in unstoppable poverty
Without harmony, this corrupted corrosion floods our sources for life and how we want to DIE

So rip off your shirts to destroy the market
(Love, whoever’s around you)
In the name of this Earth, kindness shall overcome hate in the end
Struggles are short and painful, but our creations will last

The plea of candle wisps and enlightened houses
deserve more than pity and scoff

Now, we don’t call each other beautiful, beauty escapes us, we’re material too
Wearing grins we never smile, unless it’s to get us some more wine

THE STREAM OF FALL IS EVERYWHERE, SELLING HUMAN LOGIC,
ARTIFICIAL TRUST TO CHILDREN!

SCOFF [x4]

(Tear it off.)

What I'm really interested in is whether or not it's too aggressive or out of my usual style. I have also finished the lyrics for Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage as well as its instrumental for the most part. With several riffs hanging over my head concerning a possible worship song, you could say that I'm doing progress in a good pace.

On the side of all this, I've been reading a new book and trying to complete some things that I still want to complete before school begins again. These include such things as barbecue, going to (a heated) sauna, playing floorball, watching movies, eating chocolate, going to the beach and so on. I also watched the fifth and sixth Harry Potter films this week caused by a sudden caprice. Shh, don't tell anyone. :D

I'll catch up with you once or twice more before high school starts to torture me.

PS: Shyoul is back with a fresh new member, making us a quartet. Tell all your friends.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Pain of August

August first is here, and before I go on with the good news I have, I'll tell you that I'm terrified right now. Just 15 days and I begin high school... And that'll be after a holiday that's been a total mess, in both, the good and the bad. There's still two weeks for me to embrace free time, though, so even if the thought of entering the great and stressing unknown is going through my head more and more rapidly, I'm hoping to still spend some relaxation-filled and great moments before it actually begins.

Then the good news. During this week I've been extremely productive, but still haven't been working on something all the time. A lot of new musical and lyrical ideas have been followed by spectator sports, and cleaning the house (=earning money) has been followed by moments of falling into music and rest. I haven't been reading or going out as much as I would've wanted to, but meh, you can't have everything. The Insomnia cover I started on last weekend is almost complete now, as is Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage which I decided to continue working on after a while just yesterday evening. The Aftercry has earned itself some bass and a possible verse, and I've been thinking about the overall structure of all my new songs and their themes a lot in general. You can read more about the songs themselves, their current lengths and so forth on the updated forums of the Autumn Scream site, here. The whole site has been updated, really, so I'd appreciate it if everyone could take a brief look and maybe post around some.

Week #30 has also marked my return in writing stories. On Friday night I wrote about a thousand new words for a new chapter to be on the book so far known as Traveler, which I surprisingly started on over a year ago already. The chapter I've been working on now is not a direct continuation to the latest one I finished around winter, so I have skipped on the story a little and am planning on writing the chapter(s) between a little later on. All in all I am enjoying the process of writing a lot again and it's wonderful after such a long period of staying away from stories. Perhaps next week I will give you a little taste of what exactly I've been writing. :)

As the European Athletics Championships 2010 in Barcelona are ending later today, I feel like this is my one & only chance to rant about them. Finland hasn't obviously done all that great but it's been fun to watch the few women and men succeed and reach for their best out there. Not even near to the watching experience of the Winter Olympics, the Ice-Hockey World Championships or the World Cup in soccer, but nevertheless, nice for pastime and relaxation. So far we have achieved 1 medal and 2 point places, and today we are most likely going to score our second medal or at least a point place as long jump for men takes place in the evening with Tommi Evilä and Petteri Lax competing. On a more objective view, the amount of surprises has been a little overwhelming particularly in track events for women. The lucky Spaniards haven't been as successful as in soccer earlier during the summer, for which I feel a bit epicaricacy for. The organizers seemed so unprepared for the rain on Thursday that God should've let it rain here instead, haha. (Seriously, the heat record of all time got beaten here in Finland on the 29th, so it's been officially the hottest summer ever, which I obviously haven't fully enjoyed.)

Listening to music has been playing a smaller role in my plans this week than during the previous one but nevertheless I have been headbanging and jumping around to some Tool, Faithless, Killswitch Engage and Linkin Park (believe it or not). I also received Tool's Lateralus and Killswitch Engage's debut during the week, as I ordered them through a friend in the same way I did with White Pony by the Deftones the week before. Working on my own music for hours each day has taken its toll, anyway.

Now, enough with the letter torture. I'll talk to all of you later next week. ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Music.

Music is never flawless. The people who make music are never flawless. Not even the people who listen to music are flawless. That is what really makes music what it is - a soulful, sincere product from one person to the other, from generations to generations; constantly developing it isn’t reliant on wars, hate or conflict that surrounds us daily. Instead, music is the deepest essence of us humans and at its best it is just as flawed as we are. Most importantly, all music is born from the love of something. In a ballad, it can be from the love of someone you have lost, or then someone you’re happy enough to be in a relationship with – in rap music it can be from the love of expressing your opinion on many unspoken things in an unformatted way. Even the most brutal heavy metal music comes from the love of something – the love of the music itself. Regardless of the many religions and beliefs music can spread, on its own it is actually the one & only universal language which can make anyone feel like they’re in heaven, meditating and/or worshipping no matter the place, the heart or the looks. Music is in the past, in the present, and it will be in the future, and it is never around just to flow with the timeline. Music changes with people, it changes people, but the great thing about it is that no matter how hard anyone tries, music cannot be made artificial by people. You can make it mainstream, you can make it all poppy or as horrible as you can, but it still remains sincere and plain. It just appears in a less original and inspirational packaging that way. There is nothing else in this world, in this entire universe that would be as lifeless and in the same time, as alive as music. Because of its non-breathing, non-thinking existence it is impossible to feed lies, deception, greed and all the other evil things people have created on this Earth to music, but it is just as alive as another person would be right next to you when it touches you in the core. With each note, through each melody… No one can ever truly understand the meaning or structure of music completely, but everyone can feel its overwhelming attack at night, day, summer, winter, in the ghetto and the mansions, in the cellars and on the mountains. Don’t even bother to try and stop it, government and record companies. Music is not only a tool of revolution, it is the revolution – and of the friendliest kind you can think of.

I just wrote that and even if it's totally not checked for errors and flow, I wanted to post it before I get any second thoughts. Totally spontaneous and out there. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

200th Collage

Here I am as I said I would be, about to make my 200th post in total on this blog. :) It has been quite a thrilling week - possibly the best one out of my entire holiday so far - filled with not so surprising yet enjoyable moments and acts. I'm currently downloading an album by Faithless called Sunday 8PM (fitting well to the current state of the week, amusingly) after getting back into the trio's debut Reverence just yesterday. I've been re-amazed by The Accident Experiment too recently, without ignoring Ektomorf, which is my most fresh new influence. Even though technically not as impressive as the two others, I've been headbanging for a fair bit to the album Outcast by the latter during the past few days.

Before I get any further, I want to reveal that Faithless has not only inspired me with its sound, but it has also inspired me for its sound within this weekend. I spent hours last night and some more throughout today to work on a cover of their probably most well-known song, Insomnia. Coming along not much different than the original sheet-wise, it is definitely something new for the undersigned, but with a trademark Wicked Breath twist to it. I hope you're all looking forward to hearing it as much as I am to finishing it. This is also most likely the only one out of the three covers I have worked on during June-July, with the covers of My Own Summer and Aerials being more or less too obvious for a musician such as myself to cover, I think. I couldn't really bring anything fresh to the already hard and heavy songs myself, not to mention that screwing up with the two songs could only result in big trouble, whereas with Insomnia I can at least get some credit for doing a brave effort in converting the song to rock. Outside Insomnia, I've began on yet another new song, which does base on a riff I came up with months ago already though. As I mentioned the possibility of maybe showing off some new lyrics of mine in the last post, here we go - two short, but in the same very meaningful verses of the new piece currently titled The Day I Scared Myself.

Waste around my lungs, stuffing my heart with internal calm
Another gust has built its hate in my eyes – all red, I see the aligned
Love is found within my haste, but confusion has perverted its taste
I want to live under the cold wrapping all, oh, milky

Late August fear and gasp, fading while the other one grows
Something strange about the silk ashtray advertises the west
Rage is making its temples again but I will not let it get far this time
So take all this evil away, now, now, now… 

As the brightest ones out there can see, it's quite a mix of spiritual, depressed and self-exploratory moods with a poetic way of expressing. I won't go deeper with it yet, but I do wish that anyone reading will if only they have the time. ;)

Between these posts I've also completed reading a book which I started reading at the start of the week. The book is called Audrey, wait! (by Robin Benway) which focuses on telling a story about a worldwide hit song which, simply put, ruins a teenage girl's life since it was made by his boyfriend about their break-up. Sounds more stupid than it is, trust me, because it turns out that this Audrey girl is a huge music fanatic, and as there's plenty of syrup included inside the book's pages, there are interesting descriptions of live concerts and great music in general as well. I don't mind syrup-ish stories at all anyway, even if that does make me sound even more of a wussy than I already am I guess, haha.

As we are reaching the final paragraph, I want to announce that I am finally done with not only the EP and the music video, but also with the cutting of all the bonus material that the promotional team members can now view on the secret site they have been linked to. I would also like to let everyone know that there are still a few spots open in the said team in case some of you reading aren't members of it and haven't either turned down the offer or received one yet. I cannot emphasize enough that I need all the support I can get at this time. Promotion itself has been going a little better as far as I've heard during this week, but there's always room for a new listener or two, so... Keep spreading the word. Jon2 is off for tonight, but only to bug you again next week. Peace out!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Passive vs. Active

Has it been a while or what, huh? I obviously have a lot of stuff to share but I'll try not to bore anyone here and keep things short and simple. It's not like I have much time to waste anyway, knowing that I have only about 35% of my holiday left anymore at this point...

First of all, the Xie Xie music video is now out. You can view the video on YouTube and comment on it either there or here in my blog. A lot of work has been put into the video despite its low quality and amateurish filming/acting, and so be gentle with your words even though I most certainly want to hear everything from love to hate concerning it. The video is about 6 and a half minutes in length but I'm hoping it's not too boring since it does have many different angles and characters. It beats half of the music videos rolling on MTV what comes to the content, at least. :P

The past 10 days or so I've mostly been working around finishing the MV, putting together some new ideas musically and lyrically, reading a bunch of stuff in general and further building up my addiction on music from the Deftones, KoRn, System of a Down, Killswitch Engage, Crazy Town and Atomship. I've actually been buying records, too - I ordered White Pony by the Deftones (which I also received 2 days ago), Lateralus by Tool and Killswitch Engage by Killswitch Engage through a friend of mine and yesterday, while doing some shopping with my dad, I bought Faith No More's The Very Best Definitive Ultimate Greatest Hits Collection and To/Die/For's Wounds Wide Open. The latter were both risky, I know - I was going to buy some albums I actually love from a familiar record store but then I heard it had been closed and settled for the market shelf which predictably didn't have much to offer. I've only given the two albums an incomplete listen so far and have yet to really have anything groundbreaking to say about them, but obviously one's from a classic, one's from quite a nobody. While "shopping", I also got myself a new TV, new headphones, some floorballs and ink for my printer. The first two were due to my old TV and headphones (both aged 2½ years, RIP) breaking down at the end of last week - not because me and my family could afford to buy those every other week, ha. My new TV is much better than the old one was but I'm a little skeptical about my headphones at the moment. I really loved the previous although these new ones have awesome bass leveling.

What else? Not much I guess since I really am not too keen on showing you my new lyrics not to mention my latest musical ideas. We all hate MIDI anyway, am I right? ;) Maybe I'll tease you with some hints of Permafrost or something when it's time for my next post. I have so many ideas and little drafts of songs though that it's even hard for myself to keep up with them, let alone anyone else.

The first promotional team members have already witnessed an exclusive site including videos, a recording of State 18, a digital booklet for TAID and much more. I am nevertheless desperate to get more supporters and members, so please, anyone reading, can't you just direct one or two people towards the EP if you haven't yet and let me know about it? Not much work, guys and girls, not much. Especially considering all the exclusives I got up on the secret site, it's worth doing. (I probably am overestimating the readers of this blog, but really, I'm sure there's a few of you lurking.)

I'll try to stop now and instead share any further updates, news and ranting in my next post, which I promise will come out before next week. Enjoy the MV and my absence until then. :P

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Darkhorse

Big news first - Wicked Breath is currently looking for a singer. I have FINALLY realized that no matter how much I dream about singing in particular whenever it's time for me to perform my own music live, at the moment it is for the best to try out something else, and someone else, because I simply am not going forward with the current flow of things. If I really wanted to become a decent singer someday soon, I'd have to invest some money and time on it which I can't afford to, not to mention the fact that I'm an autodidact who probably would only feel torture practicing with a vocal coach, anyway. Perhaps in a few years when I settle on my own and the music is good enough to be sold to a wide audience, I'll make the needed operations to reach a decent level of expressing things with my voice, but with the time being I am faced against the wall. (As a side note, the fact that I am looking for another singer doesn't mean that I am calling off the request to receive tips on vocals from anyone, so please, go ahead if you have any. ;)) For the record, I already have 3 candidates for the spot, but even more are welcome to volunteer, of course.

Then, speaking of selling my music... Another big decision I've made is that instead of selling the special edition package I've told you earlier, I'm only going to share some exclusives on a secret webpage to those who succeed in promotion. This means that most of the content I have filmed and prepared for the special package will see the light of day, but in a non-physical form and for free. So far there aren't many people that have been promoting well as far as I am aware, so keep on doing it, please. The EP is far from my best work of art to be presented in this life time, but I consider it enough to make a few people more acknowledge my musical existence through it. In a week, I will set up the secret site and tell about it to those who I feel deserve to know about it. In a week or so, I'm also releasing the Xie Xie music video on the AS site and YouTube, so keep an eye on for that.

As I shared in my last post, it's been overwhelming to spend my days listening to so much music after I no longer have had to work on the EP. Since Monday, I've been listening to such bands as Crazy Town, Deftones, KoRn, Disturbed, 36 Crazyfists, Blindside, AqME, Blindside and a few others as well. This morning I also went through the rather impressive spoken-word album by Chi Cheng called The Bamboo Parachute, which I believe I mentioned here a few posts back. The poems the album consists of are quite inspiring as far as I have been able to interpret them without any text to back up the words I can't catch or understand. Concerning KoRn, I've been getting into their new album KoRn III: Remember Who You Are, which so far seems like an okay album but not all that impressive - while from Crazy Town I downloaded their two studio albums The Gift of Game and Darkhorse after "losing" them between switching from my old laptop to this current one 1½ years ago. Both albums seem pretty solid, though not all that great lyrically, similar to Limp Bizkit. In case you are wondering, I have a much better internet connection than before since last Friday which is also a reason to why I've been downloading stuff like crazy lately. :P It's really fantastic to see albums and videos load 30 times faster than before, and the best thing is that the monthly fee is actually 2 Euros less than with the previous connection, making my parents happy too, heh.

About the World Cup, I'm on Netherlands' side now for the final, and hoping that Uruguay will surprise Germany in the bronze match. All in all I have enjoyed the games a lot though I haven't been able to follow them as intensively as I would have hoped. I am proud that the African continent made it to the top 8 because of Ghana and I'm also happy that regardless of whether Netherlands or Spain wins, there will be a new champion added to the books of history. Now that I'm not really in a rush for anything besides finishing the music video, I'm certainly going to watch both of the last two matches from the start to the end this weekend.

Lastly I want to say a few things about the future of Wicked Breath. Some of the most developed new songs of mine at the moment include Allergy/Anemia, Cyan Lie, Permafrost, Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage and Johannesburg. In August I will start recording instrumentals again for the singer candidates and before then I will try to finish a song or two, with them most likely consisting of the titles mentioned above. Currently the sound of WB is diversifying by each new song, basically, and the songs are all in all more complex, poetic and dark - however, there are more traditionally structured songs in the works too besides the progressive efforts I've been writing. Lyrically the palette is wider than ever, but that probably doesn't need to be explained... :P I'll be telling more about the new stuff as time passes and the ideas evolve.

Now, I'm off to watch some Formula 1. See you again in a few days, and before then... Stay active and don't forget the World Cup final. ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bury Me Where I Fall.

I honestly don't know where to start with this post. I guess above all things I should let everyone know that I will post a little more often from now on since I have much less work to do and I should also have more individuals things to talk about than during the past few months. As a cold lover, the hotness outside during this sunny July is simply too much for me to spend much time out there so I will probably sit in front of my computer for quite a bit, anyway. :P

The EP is now out as many of you know, and it has gotten a rather positive response so far. The bad thing is that I am still not satisfied. One reason to that is the fact how I still keep finding things I should've fixed upon release - another one is the fact that most of the feedback I've got so far has been from people who, to quote their own words, "don't listen to the kind of music" I make. While that makes my appreciation towards giving my music a chance even bigger, I've now realized that promoting it is actually a huge challenge. Currently I fuse a lot of genres on my releases, but instead of using the same kind of style on every song (or at least on most of the songs) basically each of them is different, which I've so far seen as only a good thing. Now I've opened my eyes and realized that no matter how much fun it is to make soft rock songs, nu metal songs, post-rock songs, progressive rock songs etc. it makes promotion and forming an own identity for Wicked Breath much much harder. Obviously there are people who have diverse musical tastes and enjoy not knowing what's coming next from me, but most people really just want to recognize one style and one direction when they pop in the CD and concentrate on what they hear. I haven't solved this issue yet but I am working on it - while in the same time I truly ask you to promote me. Seriously, anyone who is reading, take 10 minutes of your time to think of a person who could be into passion-filled rock music (because I'm sure everyone knows one) and then contact that person and tell him/her about me. If everyone who's already downloaded the EP could do that, the number of listeners would already double. And, with the numbers we're talking about here, that would be a pretty good start. A third issue I currently have is that I'm still getting a lot of criticism towards my singing, which I know I have improved on as expected, but apparently it's just not enough at this time. Thus, my second request is that if anyone knows some tips that might help with my singing, please do not hesitate to tell me.

To boost up the promotion I have started cutting the Xie Xie music video one week early now. The Promotional Team Sign-Up is on-going as well, but instead of the pre-planned deadline of a week, you now have 2 weeks to go to http://autumnscream.webs.com, sign-up if you haven't or login, and then go sign-up for the promotional team through the link you see on the site navigation bar. If you're an old member of the team, you also have to confirm your participation in promoting TAID, to make sure you're actually all awake and ready for it. :P For that, login and then go post your confirmation here. The Xie Xie music video should be released within one week, and I will of course keep you updated on how that goes before the actual release.

Recently I've been into making covers of songs on the side of working with and promoting the EP. I already told you about the cover of My Own Summer (Shove It) by the Deftones that I had been working on, and last week I also got inspired to do one of System of a Down's Aerials. Note that both of these aren't recorded though, just Guitar Pro files, and even though I already had an idea of making a cover EP of sorts, I don't have any bigger plans right now for neither one of the two songs. Concerning my other new demos, Allergy/Anemia is now almost complete written-wise and I've also started on a new one that was first called Ille Sidus Postumus, but later retitled to Johannesburg. Named after one of the big cities in South Africa, Johannesburg is very post-rock influenced as many of my newest songs have been. I was actually joking the other day that I have enough material already to make 4 mini-EPs consisting of just a few songs, which would revolve around covers, love, post-rock and left-overs, haha. I will do a list later compiling all of my new ideas and their titles.

Until I bore you to death... Last paragraph right here for now, focusing on the music I've been listening to and taken slight influences from lately. As you might predict after reading that I have worked on a cover of Aerials, last week I got back into System of a Down and listened to them more than anything else. The other band I've been covering, the Deftones, has also been swimming under my earwax, haha. A few days ago I tried to give Mudvayne's The End of All Things to Come a go but for the moment it doesn't/didn't seem all that pleasant or inspiring to listen to. Before and during the making of this post I have switched to 36 Crazyfists and their debut album, Bitterness the Star, as well as AqMe and Sombres Efforts. After only focusing on my own stuff for the last few weeks, seems like I have an enormous need for listening to all kinds of stuff right now. Finally I would like to note a totally off-topic and random thing - after the relief of finally releasing my first somewhat listenable effort, I spent the whole day re-decorating my room (exactly one year from when I did it last time) with images of my favorite bands, their album covers, a few photographs I've taken myself + the cover of TAID. I have to say that I have never felt as comfortable inside these 4 walls I'm typing this post from that I do now. :) So, concludingly, I'll be back in a few days, and remember the AS forums, the promotion, and all of my other insanely several though not at all impossible requests. ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dreams of Art Sit In The Dark...

...Waiting for you to open the bar. That's right... The Art In Dreaming EP is now here. :) More than a year has been spent while working on this piece and I am hopeful (however not certain) that this release is actually worth listening to more than just once and for numerious days yet to come. If you're kind enough to read the README file within the package to which I'm about to paste a link here, you'll see that I am modest and humble towards anything anyone has to say now - but in the same time, I am rather satisfied with myself, my patience, and my development. TAID is by no means perfect, but by no means is it as flawed as my past, either. I am positive that it's a promising effort, but how promising is it exactly? That's up to you.

Anyway, I don't want to rant all day here, I can do that in another post. I will let the music do the talking, for once. Be advised, however, that no matter how humble I might be now, I will rant if opinions don't start flooding during the weekend. :P

Last note I want to make is that the album art was done by Justine Florio, not me. She also appears as a vocalist in the closer of the EP, In The Art of Dreaming. Everything else has been written, performed, recorded, mixed and pondered in my own room - my own home studio, if you may. Now, enjoy this free product with your delicate ears. ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Own Summer

Long story short - I'm done with Xie Xie for now and about to move on into mixing 15th Pb. Considering I have yet to do the final level checking, polishing of everything and whatnot for all the songs, I'd say that I'm about 95% done with the entirety at the moment. This week I've faced a few very tricky parts with Xie Xie and looking at it now, I probably could've done a drum part or two better... But what's there is on-tempo (at least more on-tempo than ever in my music) and thus I have no need to go back to recording and the other exhaustive phases I've already been through. What's left should be finished in a few days, so it's safe to say that this time next week you can already have a listen to the EP instead of just reading my tease about it. :P Regardless of how deaf I've become to my own works during this process, you will hear a developed version of my music (and me) soon enough. :)

Midsummer Day is tomorrow and even though it's the Eve today and the whole city has been in the mood all week already, I've barely had any room for relaxation once again. At best, I've read a few pages of a book or played some Floorball on my backyard, plus following the World Cup of course. Concerning the latter, I am hoping for a miracle as I type this since the third game of the tournament for Cote d'Ivoire is about to be kicked off and they're in a very difficult position what comes down to making it to the next round. As all of the African teams seem to be failing one by one, I'm more and more on the side of USA, and the bright Slovakia who surprised Italy wonderfully last night. Ghana will continue to the next round out of my original favorite teams, but all the other African teams have already dropped out with the exception of Cote d'Ivoire. Really unfortunate - especially when South Africa, for instance, really didn't lose much to Mexico, the second team to go on from Group A. I'm happy to see that the tournament has been getting a lot more interesting after the first games though, and it's been pleasing to see more and more goals and brave forwarding.

To go back to EP-related stuff, I plan to shoot the last scenes for the DVD of the special edition package on Monday. I was supposed to shoot them already this week but my mother's been on a brief holiday and on the morning she was outside, I happened to be feeling sleepy. :P Luckily I have been able to shake off the 10 AM waking up rhythm my body seemed to have gotten used to at the start of the week. To keep myself motivated, I'm doing another chocolate strike at the moment by the way, which will end when the internet version of TAID gets out.

Lately I've been listening to the Deftones like crazy, switching between Around the Fur, B-Sides & Rarities and Diamond Eyes. I've even been playing some of the riffs in their songs with my guitar in the past few days which I often don't do with songs composed by others, and on top of that I've been inspired to start working on my own version of the band's hit My Own Summer. So far it has a more uplifting chorus, some additional guitar fills and a bridge I've composed myself in comparison to the original song. I might have a lyrical verse added there too if I think the song is missing something after the instrumental's completion. To conclude my Deftones affectation, I've just downloaded Chi Cheng's spoken word album The Bamboo Parachute. As always, I'm also hoping and praying for his recovery out of coma.

I guess that's all I got for you in this update. I might do another one on Sunday or on Monday depending on how things progress. Until then, enjoy the summer, whether you like yours breezing cold or boiling hot. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Open for the Flow

Currently I am rather exhausted and unmotivated to write much, but since there is one more webisode left to be put out, I dragged myself here nevertheless to complete my duties. Even though you really shouldn't expect an EP to be out next week (I just don't have enough time to finish it), I see no reason to postpone the release of this clip no more. Be noted that this is a short one compared to the other parts of the podcast, but even more valuable by its content, because ladies and gentlemen - at the end of the MP3 you can download from below is a teaser of song #3 on The Art In Dreaming EP, Trepidation. And no, it's not in MIDI or in some other disgraceful format - it is a 100% real snippet from the actual song to appear on the upcoming EP. So, enjoy - and promote, as always. :)

http://www.sendspace.com/file/80abfa

(For the record, I am still aiming to put the whole thing out until the end of the World Cup - and if that doesn't happen, something has to go really, really badly wrong, haha. Long(er) post with further information coming soon, so stay tuned.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Horse & Crow

I'm here - let's whine. :P First of all, I want to brag with my achievements. Even though the estimated release date for The Art In Dreaming (the 24th) still seems to be coming way too soon, I have gotten around 95% ready with mixing Trepidation, and tonight I plan to do the ending polishing. The heck with modesty - it's sounding awesome so far. Naturally, I still have Xie Xie and 15th Pb yet to mix starting from tomorrow, but if I keep working as hard as I have lately I should work things out by that. After all, I did mix for at least 10 hours in total this weekend - while another 5 hours or so was wasted by watching soccer. Last week I also finished shooting the scenes of the drummer for the music video, leaving me with just the singer yet to film. I already started on one angle earlier today and I am hoping to finish the remaining two angles tomorrow. I might have been able to pull them off already this morning if I wouldn't have woken up so late... Staying up late mixing just happens to have its downsides, haha.

Between my last long post and this one I have been listening to a Finnish alternative rock/metal band called Lapko a lot. They released their fourth studio album A New Bohemia last March and are currently promoting it quite heavily as you could expect. They appeared in a common summertime show here in Finland called Summeri ("Buzzer" in English) last week, through which I was reminded of the band and decided to check the new album out. Previously I had only heard two singles from them, but both had left a mark between my ears. I've even had the song All The Best Girls on my computer for like a year or so, but had ignored it for some reason. Anyhow, the album is quite an impressive mix of different emotions, ideas and directions and I am currently looking for another album by the band, even if A New Bohemia is far from being the best album of the year so far. I can at least say that I dig 5 bands from my home country now (Lapko, Major Label, Kinetik Control, HIM and The Rasmus to an extent), which is still shamefully little though. Lapko should keep me fascinated for some time, nevertheless. :)

After the book I already read and the walk I took last week I haven't been that active on the whole relaxation thing, unfortunately. I was going to go swimming again today but as I said before, I woke up pretty late and the weather outside has been rainy, cold and dark all day long, anyway. I got 3 more books I lent from the library last Monday yet to read, but they don't seem as interesting as the first one to be honest. I only hope that the weather will be better during the next few days and that the books will start to fascinate me as I get bored with constant working. Watching the World Cup has been quite liberating but I feel that I don't really have the patience to watch the games from the start to the end entirely because of the slowness of the game. Obviously the last thing I want to end up with right now is burning out and not enjoying my holiday at all, so let's just hope I will find ways to sit back and take it easy during the upcoming days.

Hmm hmm hmm... I guess I didn't have that much stuff to whine about after all. I do want to remind you all that the promotion for TAID is already on-going and if you want to get the physical copy of the EP + a special edition DVD with almost half an hour of bonus material, a bonus track and a personal letter from me, you need to begin with your wording about WB to your friends, family, and anyone else you think might be interested, now. MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, all kinds of message boards and your own websites are very efficient ways of promoting anything basically, as you know, and with the webisodes out you also got something to back your promotion with. You don't need to shout to the whole world that Wicked Breath exists - just do some little stuff here and there and you will be rewarded. :) The sign-up for the promotional team begins again in a week or so, and even if you've been a member before, check the site because I will ask some members to re-sign due to their inactiveness.

That's it friends. Go out and play, it's a wonderful day... At least I hope it is somewhere. :P