Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Abyss

Hey there. I'm very happy to start this post by giving you the link to the English version of my short story Onchocerca volvulus, which I finished just yesterday. (For the Finnish version, see I had a lot of issues with the dialogues, and there might be some grammar mistakes left and whatnot. If you find any, please let me know - as well as what you think of the story in general, of course. I'm proud and had a lot of fun doing both, the Finnish version and the translation. If only I had a few weeks more left of my holiday than I actually do, because I would love to start another one. With 3 weeks left and my other projects keeping me busy, it's unfortunately impossible for the time being.

Another project, Ravinethrall's debut EP Bequeath, is also near completion. After 4 all night long sessions the writing and the artwork is done, and I have been recording some of the guitar and bass tracks too already. Here is the tracklist, some descriptions of the songs and the front cover for the EP.

1. Winterpipedream - 4:10
Most haunting song of the bunch and arguably most experimental as well since everything is played in 13/8. The song consists of a high-pitched guitar mood-setter reminiscent of KoRn with heavier riffs accompanying one after the other. After a return to the intro a lush harmony enters, followed by a climactic and slightly dissonant ending. The structure and the drum work are particularly simple in this one.
2. (Still Not) Burnished - 5:35
A very personal piece of progressive melancholy. Misses the doom of its predecessor but doesn't let down the foundation either with sorrow and desperation all over the music and the lyrics. For listeners of Wicked Breath this should be most accessible track in here since the time signature is 6/4 and the progressive touch is closer to my other works as opposed to the repetitive nature and idea of this project. There's still a unity found throughout though and one riff in particular is recycled within the song. All in all Burnished is as "brisk" and, occasionally, as upbeat as it gets on this EP. 
3. dearth - 6:45
The songs get longer and longer gradually and so our journey ends with a monster that's almost 7 minutes in length. dearth (yes, it's intentionally lowercase) includes lyrics from my good friend Justine Florio which I've modified a little and fulfilled with a few lines of my own. What we have here is however the most instrumental-based song by Ravinethrall so far. Timing goes in 7/4, and with this I've taken the biggest risk to bore people who just aren't getting it (that's not to point anyone with fingers; I myself am not necessarily conceiving what I've created :P). Divided in two distinctive portions, this track starts off with a riff that requires some time to get used to, but thankfully goes on and on for ages with brand new layers being presented from time to time, eventually going into a break where another riff comes in and leads us out of the maze so to speak in a very similar way, only more briefly (the first portion takes over twice as much time as the latter). In many fields this song falls between the two prior to it, while still delivering its own sense of structure and identity. To me it's not a perfect closer but still leaves you hanging for more, including me as the composer.

Here's your wannabe-art:

I also have a back cover and two inlays, but to see those you'll just have to wait until the release. Ha.

I'm hoping to get Bequeath out next month, and Wicked Breath's Perfidy of Judgment in September. Since I still have issues with my guitar necks and am lacking in time and sometimes motivation to record and mix the tens of layers I have to, I'm afraid WB's album will have a hard time getting finished next year, but obviously it's too early to estimate let alone state anything final on that. You shouldn't be worried about Ravinethrall or any of my other projects taking over by no means, because Wicked Breath still comes first in my decisions and creativity. I've actually been writing a new song for the album just this week. I guess I just really wanted to get something done and out there fast and Ravinethrall seemed like the best way to do that. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the next Ravinethrall EP takes several years to even be started with, unfortunately. I'll have to get the first one entirely completed first and see what happens, anyway.

I've already given you a lot to take in and I'm getting lazy myself so I'll just quickly deal with some of the music I've been listening to lately and we can all go home. Deftones has been up on my playlist, with Deadsy, Major Label, Celldweller, and KoRn having almost just as many listens. I basically re-discovered Deftones' Adrenaline yesterday and it's oh so amazing. Deadsy's second album Phantasmagore proved not to be as good as their debut in my opinion but it could be that it just needs a bit more time to grow. The title track especially is quite epic, nevertheless. The fourth chapter of Celldweller's Wish Upon a Black Star sounds greater with each new listen, and I also finally checked out Soundtrack For The Voices In My Head, including some of the most brilliant stuff Klayton has done I'll have to admit. Plus, it's wonderfully heavy at times. I'm basically trying to listen to the discographies of all my favorite bands and artists as much as I can for the remainder of my holiday, without forgetting my little Opeth project, which has though become pretty absent in my life recently. My apologies, Mikael and the guys...

Finally, my wishes go out to the victims and families involved in the Oslo shootings. May Amy Winehouse rest in peace, too. For those of us who are still alive: "may God bless you all, for the song you saved us..." :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Choking Victim

Here I am again, after 12 days of absence. You all are going to love this post so much. :P Unless you're a troll. Trolls love nothing.

Big news first - I have started yet another new project. So far I'm calling it Ravinethrall, and it's basically built around an idea I had last Sunday while on a walk about making music very spontaneously and at night. So, whenever I'm having an all nighter or staying up longer than I'm supposed to on this holiday, I'm working on rather slow and repetitive as well as dark and gloomy songs for a 3-track EP called Bequeath. I will also do artwork for it on my own and when it's time to record (which I obviously will have to do at some other point of time) I plan to use my only adventage as a vocalist, emotion, by doing the throatwork following a one-take philosophy. Not only that, I want to keep things simple with this project and not polish or stress too much about everything having to be flawless. While this doesn't mean that all you'll hear is random notes or noise that can't be called music, I will admit that this an experimental experience and if you don't like the darkest aspects heard on Wicked Breath and Theban Cycle recordings, you might want to prepare yourself for something even more distressing to come with this thing. Last night I had my first session and finished one song called Winterpipedream, so I know what I'm talking about. It's the creepiest thing I've ever written, but I love it oh so much. Hopefully someone is as excited as I am about Ravinethrall, it's something quite astonishing for me so far in both the making of it and the results that come.

On the Wicked Breath department I've kept on recording for the teaser and the album. Vocals (and guitars) for Cyan Lie are now waiting to be mixed while the ones for Tear of the Afternoon already have been, Johannesburg is basically just missing the drums and a few more guitar inserts (all guitars have been recorded) and the latter half of the guitars for Letters from Rats will be put on tape next week. I've been throwing quite a lot of new demos in the air too lately; most notably last weekend I came up with 4 and continued on 2 previous ideas. Some of the guitars for Clutch and the bass for Midnight Sun are also off of my to-do list so I'm not only focusing on the solo stuff. Of course the progress for Theban Cycle and my third, untitled project is however slow(er).

Evanescence, Opeth, Jesu, Sepultura, KoRn and Arto Tuunela's projects Samuel Tubak, Major Label and Pariisin Kevät are what I've been hearing the most recently. Evanescence and Amy Lee in particular are driving me crazy... Haha. Ev and Jesu are also the two biggest influences for my Ravinethrall though Ev might be a bit harder to identify. Pariisin Kevät, being a somewhat new familiarity, turned out to be slightly predictable yet still enjoyable pop music. Lastly I've been addicted to the one & only song released by KoRn guitarist Munky's side project Fear And The Nervous System. The song is called Choking Victim (yes that's where my post title comes from, clever aren't I?) and it kicks some major ass. The 7/8 time signature also influenced me on the first song I did for Ravinethrall as it ended up having a 13/8 time signature. You can hear the FATNS song here. I really hope that the album they've been working on since 2008 will be out this year.

Even after everything that's been said I think my greatest achievement of the past 2 weeks might just be yet without a mention. You see on Friday I actually finished the short story I began writing on my first holiday week. I haven't been more anxious towards a story ever before I think, and the way I kept typing without knowing how to stop near completing it was just fantastic to see and feel. The original came to be around 7500 words and 18 pages long. I have already translated its first page and am trying my best to get the story posted here later this month, in English and in its entirety. Although it's quite love-centered and perhaps even soapy I am proud of it making it, particularly since I thought my storywriting days would be over. It's been almost 2 years since Just Another Numbered Day, the previous (short) story I finished. I'm relieved I now have more.

Now it's time for me to continue melting here in the heat of Finland. I seriously miss the winter, its weather and atmosphere to be exact. Summer's just not for me unless it's chilly and/or raining. Warmth is fine as long as it doesn't go too much over 20 degrees or so. 33.1 degrees in my room... Not the ideal conditions for my creativity or personality. Ah well, no can do. Those who can, please enjoy your sun. Blessings all around. =)