Saturday, October 29, 2011

Notion

Quick post here with my review and more new lyrics.

Deftones – ”Deftones” (2003) Album Review

Deftones is a band that has been praised album after album by critics due to their original sound and style. Despite the album ”White Pony” (released in 2000) selling over a million copies in the US alone and yielding the band a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance with the song "Elite", the Sacramento fivesome remains unknown to many music fans, even to those in the metal music community. On the other hand, there's never been too much pressure surrounding the band, allowing them to maintain their will to experiment and letting them focus on whatever direction they want to.

In 2003, Deftones released their fourth album ”Deftones”, which showcased an experimental leap like no other in the band's history. The album was originally going to be called ”Lovers”, but singer and guitarist Chino Moreno changed it after he realized that it would make the concept of the record too obvious. While Moreno has always been writing about love and sexuality, it all indeed pales in comparison to the content found on Deftones. His poetry is still easy to interpret in many different ways, but songs like ”Good Morning Beautiful” and ”When Girls Telephone Boys” leave very little room for the actual themes to be something other than what they presumably are.

Despite the aforementioned concept, this is by no means a pop record. The band's primary guitarist Stephen Carpenter switched to 7-string guitars after the recording of White Pony and offers plenty of chunkiness and brutality to the listener with the help of his downtuned monsters. The tuning Carpenter used throughout the album is G# D# G# C# F# A# D#, from lowest string to highest. Moreno contributed with a 6-string guitar tuned to C# G# C# F# A# D# on some songs on the album. Carpenter is also notable for playing a 5-string bass on the song "Needles and Pins" and drums on ”Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event”. Together Carpenter and Moreno form a duo where the creative focus of the band mostly lays. Carpenter's crushing riffs and beautiful melodies push against Moreno's desperate and mourning, occasionally even intimidating vocals so paradoxically it starts to make sense. Even if the rest of the band is there to give their own flavour to the music, they are without a doubt being handed the side role in this play. Bassist Chi Cheng's screams on Needles and Pins luckily aren't the only impressive thing he can do and his bass lines are actually quite clever whenever they don't just settle to follow the low end of the guitars. Frank Delgado's keyboards and sampling are delicious ear candy as well, but in order to notice them, the performance of both Cheng and Delgado need to be concentrated on. Drummer Abe Cunningham is perhaps the most technical and skilled musician in the band, but he sticks to giving a solid performance and barely has a chance to shine apart from showcasing his playful bass drum technique particularly in the verses of some songs.

The biggest flaw on Deftones as well as the reason why it is such a great album in the end is merely the same. Unlike past albums, there aren't any songs that float above nor any that fall beneath the rest of the material found on the 11-track CD. Some of the songs are more radio-friendly than others, but this is first and foremost an album; a strong entity of great music that most likely gives the best of satisfaction whenever heard from the beginning to the end all at once. Songs that do poke out more or less due to personal taste are Needles and Pins, When Girls Telephone Boys and ”Battle-Axe”, each storming while provoking images to one's brain through Moreno's visual and suggestive lyrics. ”Lucky You” is another standout track, as it relies completely on electronics composed by guest musician DJ Crook with Moreno's once again flirtatious vocals on top.

With their self-titled album, Deftones have crafted something that has their trademark sound all over it while in the same time it's very noticeable how they've expanded their horizons and what they are capable of. The band is less and less about pure aggression and speed with a few seconds reserved to breathing in between – softness, slowness, atmosphere and fresh elements now go hand in hand with the heavy, fast, in-your-face and old aspects of the band's identatintity. Delgado creating his own samples now instead of loaning from others and Carpenter tuning down to G# are just little things to note and warm the listener up before this adventure enters them. Deftones is truly not only an experimental album – it is an experience, and one any self-appreciative rock and metal music fan won't want to miss.
-Written by Joona Turunen (in October 2011)

Lyrics to the song Sip of October:
Sugar flows deep
cogwheels are untouchable
I carry the axe and shine in my spit

Perkele ajaa minua*
Lonely under guiding light
possessed by charmed, poisoned ideals
containing no fear, danger dwells in my stare

God's creation lives on
God's inspiration will fall like platitude
His chaotic vision will effectuate
shed my nucleus like skin, still He perpetuates it

I'll never learn
and I know I should
infections dismissed
tribulation as destiny
I wish
too late, I'm ruined.

*Finnish for devil drives me. "Perkele" has multiple meanings, however, and many (including myself) consider it to be the most 'Finnish' word in existence.

Lyrics to Precipitation:
I wonder which part of my face is bleeding today
A scene rolls on and on within the creep's gates
Fantasies fly like the dove in the horizon
helping me get lost in the night

Somehow when I talk with you or spend time near you
I unwaste everything
You are the wonder, lush, horrific paradox
pumping me with breeze and bright allusions
turning to illusions

For me to live you must live
for you to live I must die
for me to die you must die
for you to die I must wake up

I think I want what you want me to, beauty in death
and need in this pitiful sacrifice
Romantic death, romantic sacrifice
roses from Hades, thorns dirty from the mud

Kiss on the letter she's adhered with
is not from my lips, is not from my cape
it's from the deepest vein.

And now back to mixing Precipitation. <3 See you soon.

Monday, October 24, 2011

±0

Enough with misery. Here come the great news. I have now if not finished at least started working on all of the songs for my and Wicked Breath's first studio album, Reflections & Realizations. That being said, I'll also have to admit that plans for a second album have taken a great leap forwards as I've come up with several new song titles, ideas, and one fully structured song. This means that while I am hoping to get the recording and mixing done for the first album by the end of 2012, I might just finish writing the second album before then and thus get the sophomore effort out sooner than expected, perhaps already in 2013, which will be my sabbatical year from studies allowing me to spend more time on my music (although I'll also be attending my non-military service then). I have not lost my focus however, and acknowledge the order in which I need to take my steps. In fact, I am happy to announce that not only have I been writing a lot lately, but recording as well - so much that I am almost done with the song Precipitation, and strongly on the move with the song Skies. With a bit of luck I'd be even more ready, but a sickness running in the family has ruined a bit of my plans. (Everyone's okay right about now, don't worry.)

Before we move on to other type of updates and rant, here is the tentative track listing for the album (with song lengths) as well as some new lyrics I'd like to share since it's been a while that I've done so. Keep in mind that the song titles themselves are still unconfirmed and the lyrics may still change slightly. Nothing too drastic is expected to happen though.

01. The Black 6:36
02. Baptism of Fire 4:12
03. Drowning 4:55
04. Cyan Lie 5:06
05. Excruciated 2:12
06. Skies 3:26
07. Half-Heart 5:03
08. Allergy/Anemia 7:18
09. Syppress 4:34
10. Awaiting The Great Depression 4:52
11. (Unholy) Months for Affection 4:16
12. Sip of October 3:59
13. Precipitation 3:29
14. Polarity 4:36
15. Grain 4:30
16. Wallow In Life 3:36
17. CATS 3:03
18. The White 4:09

Lyrics for Drowning:
I pull I out, tune on in
Wipe the pale jacket off my head
Moving still, screaming with no sound
please amplify the stars I weigh

My acknowledgement disappears
My mistake is the greatest success

I know the way to make pain stop
to make time rush and not matter for us

I am ready to give in to the ocean all around my shot chest
candle light, be my zest
burn a hole in a blushed clown suit
Falling in love over and over
walking, I'm dying, over and over again

I owe you more than you will receive from me
all this gloom grows for you, the ice cracks blue just to bloom
genuine so I can no longer forcefeed lies
you've created a night that calls from my insides

OPEN UP THE WICKED

(Hello, beautiful.)

I will be posting more close details on the album in the near future, including more lyrics, most likely. I'd appreciate it if someone out there would also make a comment on the lyrics, or anything else I write about here... Or at least click the Like/Love/Dislike buttons before they go. I'm getting lonely and this place seems more and more dead with the gap in between my posts getting longer and longer these days. :p

I'm noticing that this post got long fast so I'll try to fit all the rest of what I have to say in a smaller space than usual. I'm on my autumn holiday now which naturally lasts only for a week, but is still very needed and helpful in my quest to a) make progress with my music and other projects b) relax. On Saturday night, I finally started the novel that I've been planning in my mind for over a month, and I'm positive that I'll continue writing it in the next few days. I've been doing some school works too including a portfolio that's obligatory for English in this course. It's a lot of work but I love it - or have loved, I should say, as it's near completion now. My three works include a review of the self-titled Deftones record, a biography on Mike Patton and the lyrics for The Black with a Finnish translation included. I'll make sure to post the review here later - I, for one, feel rather proud of it. It was really nice writing one for a change, too. Regardless of the fun I've had with the portfolio, a big reason as to why this holiday is so needed is the stress school's putting on me. I've never had as many things to juggle with in my entire life before than I have right now every day I enter the school building. The works are harder than ever before and so are the demands I make for myself. Not only that, there are distractions, particularly my love life which we will not be getting deeper into right now. Most of you know what I'm referring to, anyway. I've also reached a point in my life when I need to make some very serious decisions. I guess I don't need to tell anyone who's possibly reading, most of whom are older than me, that it's not an easy task to handle.

Luckily there have been Chuck and Kotiteollisuus. As the fifth and last season of the former is about to begin this week, I'm trying to finish my re-run mission in time and have watched about 15 episodes of season three during the past three days (the number would probably be a little less if it wasn't for that sickness though, heh). It all just makes me recall how fantastic of a series it is and how much I love it, ever since the first watch but somehow even more now, with a greater ability to relate to the people and the events in the plot. Kotiteollisuus, on the other hand, is an interesting case. I half-accidentally stumbled upon their darkest effort, the album Eevan Perintö last Sunday and my God, it's one of the best albums I've ever heard. I now have the band's entire discography with the exception of their latest, self-titled album. I haven't had a chance to listen to all of it yet, but I do know that their more recent stuff is more catchy and while not exactly poprock, filled with choruses I tend to dislike. Some of their stuff is just too good for me to judge the more commercialized releases without listening first. Their simplicity, lyrical content including allegories to the Bible and Finnish literature as well as their somehow perfect description of Finland and Finnish people with their sound just strikes me. And, those of you who are observant enough, should notice their influence on the music I'm currently writing. Then again, you probably won't hear that (properly) in at least two years. :P

But hey, that's all for now, folks. I'll try to fit making another post this week into my schedule if I can. Until then, take care - which reminds me, RIP, Davide Simoncelli and Dan Wheldon. :( May God Bless us all.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Overture

The biggest curse one can have is low self-esteem.
Anything and everything can make you crack.
You feel the adrenaline in your system flowing so often that it becomes your norm.
A hormone is preparing you to die at whatever you do.
And you let it take you as its slave.
You've never done drugs yet you're a crack addict.
Or even worse.

You are afraid to try anything new.
All that's old bores you and is no longer enough.
Actually, you're beginning to think it was never enough.
Accomplishments are the only thing that satisfy you.
And even they fade away like fireworks in the sky; you blink and all your efforts are gone.
And no one was there to see them.

You lash yourself.
You lash yourself for everything you hate and is you, and eventually even the things that you thought were worth admiring become untolerable.
Whoever says that shyness is a good quality is either a liar or a brainwasher.
Whoever they are, they haven't felt the beating you have in your chest.

Depression is the enemy.
Depression is nutrition.

Then you're shot.
You wore a bulletproof vest, how did it happen?
This was no bullet.
It was a laser, a bright light that seemed to infiltrate all of you, and didn't stop there.
It began to change you.
You lose your focus, you dwell in memories, draw in the ground and write in your hand.
You act, speak, care.
Someone cares for you.
But they're not who you chose.
And then you lash yourself again.

Evil comes out of your mouth.
You deceive and attempt to break free.
But the pressure grows.
It's cold and everyone around you is frightened.
You stay calm and caress what you see.
But no one is there to caress me.
I forfeit, let it pour and fall on my knees
with closed eyes give in to my low self-esteem.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Am Who I Am, There's Nothing You Can Do...

Back again. First and foremost I'm announcing that the Wicked Breath EP Perfidy of Judgment will not be released due to several reasons, including lack of time and satisfaction. Instead, a song or two that were intended to be on the EP will be released on another EP titled This Slut They Call A Heart, which will be available around the same time as Wicked Breath's debut album. TSTCAH is what I may have been referring to as the 'special edition EP' up until now. The album itself also carries a new working title as of late, which is Reflections & Realizations. I've been writing songs like crazy the past two months or so, and there is only one song yet to be started on for the 18-track affair. The working titles of the latest two songs are Vail and Drowning, and I've also finished a song called Excruciated since my last post. At this rate, I am presumably done with writing by Christmas and can aim my focus entirely on finalizing the product and getting it out by the end of next year.

During the past week or so I've resumed the recording of the album by working on guitars and bass for Skies. While I never stopped writing, I had been on a break from recording and mixing basically since the middle of August, but now I've developed a game plan and am back to experience the rush. Not only have I abandoned Perfidy of Judgment though, I'm also delaying Ravinethrall's debut release Bequeath to a time yet unknown. Whether it will be finished this year or next year is impossible to tell, but it will be released sooner or later - as it is only a side project, I'm just finding it more important to work on my priority first. All recording has been done for over a month now so it shouldn't take long to put everything together for Bequeath once the time comes. Later this weekend I'm also having a meeting with the members of Theban Cycle so don't you worry - I may not be able to work on everything simultaneously not to mention share every single update, but I have not forgotten or ditched anything. Well, anything besides Perfidy of Judgment, but I precise that metaphorically, its intention was merely that of a movie trailer with cut scenes and whatnot, and along the way it was just decided that some of the scenes would be used for the movie itself instead while some others would be scrapped entirely. As the artist I don't really have to explain myself anyway, do I? I live by Evanescence's new song. :P

Speaking of Evanescence, their new album is coming out soon (October 11th to be exact) and it will have a zero chance to wear off by the time more awesome and new releases I'm thrilled about are already out. KoRn's new album The Path of Totality gets off the leash December 6th, with Munky's side project Fear And The Nervous System releasing their debut album over a month prior to that on October 25th. A new KoRn single will be playable as early as next Tuesday and it's called Narcissistic Cannibal. While waiting for the new album(s) I've checked out some bonus tracks from KoRn III: Remember Who You Are, and one of them called Trapped Underneath the Stairs is officially my song of the week. Opeth's Heritage has been in my possession for about a month now and though different, it's a very enjoyable album which I'm sure will grow in huge amounts as I listen to it more. There are also several albums that have come out recently from such bands as Mastodon and Dream Theater that I'm thinking of checking out, since they are bands I've been meaning to listen to for a while but haven't done so yet.

School is naturally what has kept me so busy that I haven't posted here much and am required to do even some harsh decisions with my projects. What's worse is that so far it's not even really worth it. My first exam week of the year ended on Tuesday and the grades I've gotten back so far are a 6+ from Health Knowledge and a 7½ from Geography. Both are rather meaningless subjects to me but I'm still a bit disappointed, and I don't feel like the grades we have yet to receive from Finnish, Swedish and English are going to be much better. I have received a few honors though along the way so far - one of my Finnish essays was the best of both classes attending year two and yielded 55 points out of 60. My teacher is eager to make me want to be a reporter now. I was also offered the chance to join the European Youth Parliament due to my English skills and interest in society, but I turned it down. What truly scares me is that I still don't know what I want to do with my life apart from writing lyrics/poems and stories, and music which will surely never end. Neither happen to be things I could make a living out of, unfortunately.

Finally, I have started a new short story with a friend of mine that's yet another love story, but quite dramatic at that. There's no telling when it'll be done but so far we have almost two chapters written. My other idea hasn't come to letters yet but I have tons of twists, characters and the general plot (most importantly) memorized in my head. It looks like it's going to be an actual novel after all. Obviously that means it won't be done in years but that's fine. I'm more confident than with my previous novel attempts that it will be finished eventually.

I leave you with Trapped Underneath The Stairs now (click) and go on with some school work and Wicked Breath-related things for the rest of the day. Regardless of the song fitting with my mood these past two weeks or so, I can say that my depression is better now than it was a month ago. Ironic, isn't it, since days are getting darker and colder? :P Then again, we're coming closer to the season I really love.

Until next time... Take care!