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  • The new Nightwish

    24 Nov 2007, 7:37

    With the departure of iconic lead singer Tarja Turunen, Nightwish had to face the biggest struggle in their ten years of band history. They didn't only have to fulfill the expectations of thousands, they had to pick a new frontwoman from a pool of very talented singers auditioning for the spot.

    With Anette Olzon (formely of Alyson Avenue), they finally found someone suitable for the spot - and released the record Dark Passion Play, an album positively received by professional criticism but hated by hardcore fans.

    For me personally, I have some history with Nightwish. They were one of the bands who brought me into metal. Although I wasn't always that much of a fan, they popped up in my playlist over the years again and again, which gave them a steady ranking in my Top 50.

    Then there was Once, an album which I thought was absolutely awful, I didn't even dare to listen, because Nightwish was now playing on MTV - for me an absolute no-go.
    After a year or so, I finally got in touch with the material and listened to the album a bit more closely. Soon, I found some true gems on it, which still remain to be my all time favourites (best example: Ghost Love Score, a song I got to know as the background for a YTMND clip and since then started to love) - and although most tracks of the album have failed to gain my interest, I still consider it a good and solid album today.

    The same can be said for Dark Passion Play, too. When I first heard the new singer's voice - and the new track, Eva, too - I was absolutely shocked. The song lacked any metallic elements and although I'm not much of a metal purist, this wasn't the Nightwish I knew. I still dislike Eva to the day, because I don't think the song got any potential. It doesn't even reflect what Nightwish are, what they were and what they can be.

    I knew I was going to dislike the new album a lot and I picked out one song which I was totally going to hate. Amaranth. I thought, a Nightwish song should not sound like that, it shouldn't be presented like that, I disliked the video and on top of it, the song was featured in a German television preview - on prime-time. This weren't the Nightwish I knew, this wasn't the band I listened to so many years ago.

    And today, as I write this journal entry, there is this certain song I listen to on repeat, because it's stuck in my head. And - yes, it's Amaranth.

    Seriously, I'm not one to say Nightwish is taking a direction which I personally support. To be honest, I find most of the songs of the new album to be bland, mediocre to say the least. Still, they had to make some kind of progress. And that these steps they are taking, given the popularity they enjoyed already for Once, goes in a more mainsteam direction, was clear. You don't turn to extremes when your albums go to platin. With that in mind you also have to rate Anette. She's not a bad singer, we all can agree on that. In fact, she's a very gifted singer, but her vocal style is a completely different from Tarja whatsoever. She's a pop singer, not a classical sopranist, as Tarja was. She never was and she will never be a rock singer, and that's clear. And she doesn't need to be. But the band had a difficult decision to make. They couldn't just take another sopranist, everybody would start to compare her to Tarja, a comparison which she, no matter how good she was going to be, would lose. And they couldn't just employ anyone. They had to search for a female singer with stage experience, some one with charisma - certainly the looks mattered, too - a true frontwoman.

    They also had to choose a woman who did not achieve world fame before, simply because if they chose one of their concurring band singers (and there are countless female fronted metal bands in their genre), this would mean that they were drifting completely towards the style of this band. People would have heard the voice before, a voice they connect with another band. They chose an underdog singer who was talented and experienced enough to front the band, but unknown to the audience.

    And they made the right decision. When Blaze Bayley joined Iron Maiden, he never could replace Bruce Dickinson. In fact, the band tried to do something different. The music got a different character, evolved. And although I too prefer the Bruce Dickinson Maiden songs, the two Maiden albums with Blaze are good ones. There are many good songs on it, if only people could neglect the fact a little that this is the same band which made songs like 'The Trooper' or 'The Number of the Beast'.

    It's the same with Nightwish. I am sure that with a different name, even purist Nightwish fans would perhaps even buy and love the album.

    To shorten it up a bit: It may not be the Nightwish you used to know. It may not be their best album. But in order to survive, they had to change. A lot. And it worked for them, Dark Passion Play is selling good, they are playing in front of huge audiences. Your opinion will not result in a return to Tarja. They are not gonna do that. They have changed. Iced Earth did it, so did Iron Maiden (multiple times), even AC/DC successfully replaced a vocalist. All of these bands had to face the same kind of struggle Nightwish has to live through today. And all of these bands are still active today (well, Dickinson returned to Maiden, thankfully if I might say so) and their new singer is now welcomed by fans and critics.

    If you don't like the music, the vocals, or anything like it. Fine, it's not everyone's cup of tea. But please stop bitching about how Tarja was better when you don't even take the time to get in touch with new material, like I did before.
    I got to listen to the album multiple times. It's not the old Nightwish, it's something different, but I still think a band has a right to evolve, it's necessary to keep the spirit alive. If it's a direction you don't particularly like, much like me, it's okay. If you do, however, find the music extremely good, but your ego or musical taste or some clichés you're living just don't let you appreciate it, please think outside the box.

    The old Nightwish will never return. Accept the new, or listen to the old stuff only.
  • Call your current top 20 crap

    23 Nov 2007, 19:16

    I stole this from jerrymander, who stole it from uglybastard, who stole it from AdamAntZx, who forgot from whom he stole it. This was, as usual, just for fun.

    20. Pain of Salvation
    Dude, is this even music? I hate this whole progressive shit no one can even follow. It's just too complex for my brain.

    19. Knorkator
    If I had to come up with the definition of gay, this would be my response. Tattooed, bald people in women's dresses? Songs about being old, dying, about how music sucks - how can this band be any good?

    18. Deep Purple
    Oh please, the organ! It's just too cheesy. One of these so called founders of metal... come on. I can't say that any decent metal band uses this kind of organ for fuck's sake.

    17. Nobuo Uematsu
    Seriously, this moustache is a no-go. How can someone who looks that nerdy can be a good musician at all. Get a fucking life, Nobuo, get a fucking life.

    16. Stratovarius
    Kotipelto's vocals are the definition of how power metal can go wrong, way wrong. And the guitarist claims he fucked Hitler, yeah. Sick people.

    15. John Watts
    Well, okay. This guy can't even sing.

    14. DragonForce
    Oh my god. Another one of these bands who think if they play a song thrice as fast as a normal band, they're instantly better. I cite my friend I-Am-Satan here: "they can't play live, the keyboardist totally overdoes it, the guitarist gay little busted jumping is just embarassing and the singers a cocksucking cunt, i hope he gets AIDS, these are well and truly fucking wank". See?

    13. HammerFall
    Power of the steel of the metal of the unicorn of the angel of the sword! Holy shit, how gay can it get? Plus, one song was the theme of a Swedish curling team. CURLING. How not-metal is that?

    12. Korpiklaani
    Alcoholic bums making music with weird instruments. 'Nuff said.

    11. Edguy
    Awful band with a Bruce Dickinson wannabe singer and cheesy over-the-top power metal.

    10. Iced Earth
    Let's face it. Everyone claimed that without Matt Barlow, they suck. Truth is, they sucked even with Barlow.

    9. Blind Guardian
    OH, THE MAGIC DRAGON. IN THE FAIRYLAND! WITH THE MIGHTY SWORD! AND THE UNICORN! AND MY MAGIC IS RUNNING LOW! LORD OF THE RINGS! SAURON'S STRUGGLE! CHEESECAKE! WTF!

    8. Schandmaul
    Guys, the middle ages are past. Get over it.

    7. Machinae Supremacy
    What a weird band. The singer can't sing, the keyboard are damn annoying (seriously, there's a reason why video game music does not consist of chiptunes anymore) and they're covering video game songs - how NERDY is that!

    6. Akira Yamaoka
    Who?

    5. Slayer
    Middle-aged men growling about how religion sucks and Satan prevails. Aren't they a bit too old for that?

    4. Children of Bodom
    Mallcore gone metal. Only because you have keyboards and guitars dueling at lightning speed doesn't mean that you make good music. I suggest a collaboration with DragonForce.

    3. Metallica
    SELL OUTS! SELL OUTS! SELL OUTS! SELL OUTS!

    2. Iron Maiden
    Aren't these guys supposed to be dying of old age now? And who the fuck needs three guitarists? It's like a bycicle with three wheels. No, not a tricycle, a bicycle with three wheels.

    1. Sonata Arctica
    Fact: They suck big time. Their singer sucks, their guitarist sucks, the keyboarder is a damn ugly faggot and their bass player sucks too. Ah, and the drummer. THE WHOLE BAND SUCKS. SUCKAGE. SUCK SUCK SUUUUUUUCK!
  • Bandscore System Explanation

    29 Sep 2007, 17:12

    Welcome to my new Bandscore system! It's just another system of rating how much influence a band has on you, by not only counting plays but also adding weekly and yearly rankings, as well as times seen live to the score. It's easy to calculate, but to apply the rules, you must:
    • Count your weekly top artists
    • Count your annual top artists
    • Count how often you have seen a band live


    Here's the point formula:
    • Play - 1 Point
    • Weekly Top Artist - 50 Points
    • Annual Top Artist - 250 Points
    • Annual 2nd Artist - 100 Points
    • Annual 3rd Artist - 50 Points
    • Song of the Month - 100 Points
    • Seen live - 100 Points
    • Current Top Track - 100 Points
    • Current 2nd Track - 50 Points
    • Current 3rd Track - 25 Points
    • Current 4th Track - 10 Points
    • Current 5th Track - 5 Points
    • Day Leading - ½ Point
    • Special Play - 25 Points


    Of course, you may add extra categories and points. I'll just test this system for a while, and update it maybe.

    Have fun!
  • Theme Week #3: Off to Holiday!

    24 Sep 2007, 5:45

    Theme Week #3
    Off to Holiday!

    September 17th - September 23rd

    It's theme week time! At the beginning of each week, I pick a motto or topic and try to listen to music related to that certain theme for a whole week. Not exclusively, of course - I will still hear my favourite bands, even if they're not matched by this week's topic. I try to see this project as some sort of inspiration, an invitation to try out new things - and it's fun, perhaps you should try it, too :)?
    I decided to conclude each Theme Week with a little journal entry, where I describe my experiences and musical discoveries throughout the last week.

    Not literally holiday, but some sort of final school trip before my graduation in June. We were in Italy, more precisely in Tuscany. We spent an awesome week with sight-seeing, swimming at the beach and drinking Italian wine. Since my iPod is broken and my cheap replacement isn't able to scrobble, you won't fight many listened tracks this week.

    If my iPod still worked, Scar Symmetry's The Illusionist would definately be ranked #1. During the long bus rides (12+ hours, ouch!), with these extremely uncomfortable seats, there wasn't much you could to except trying to sleep while listening to music. I put the entire News from Dr. Blast Volume 10 sampler cd on my MP3 player, simply because I had space left and didn't know what to put on it.
    During the whole class trip, I must have listened to this song dozens of times, because it was stuck in my head for quite some time.

    And the Rattle And Hum version of U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday...
    Oh my god, what a breathtaking song. I'm not a huge fan of U2 and actually didn't find their music that interesting. But that song, especially with the rant at the beginning and in the middle, commenting on the Rememberance Day bombing in Ireland, is really a piece of music history and makes me get goose bumps.

    Nothing special this week, however. Except I've got bitten by a damn Italian dog, but that's another story.


    In a nutshell:
    Albums:
    Pitch Black Progress
    Rattle And Hum

    Artists:
    Scar Symmetry
    U2

    Tags:
  • Theme Week #2: Powermetallish Realms?

    24 Sep 2007, 5:16

    Theme Week #2
    Powermetallish Realms?

    September 10th - September 16th

    It's theme week time! At the beginning of each week, I pick a motto or topic and try to listen to music related to that certain theme for a whole week. Not exclusively, of course - I will still hear my favourite bands, even if they're not matched by this week's topic. I try to see this project as some sort of inspiration, an invitation to try out new things - and it's fun, perhaps you should try it, too :)?

    Now, at the beginning of the fourth week, I decided to conclude each Theme Week with a little journal entry. Don't be irritated by the publishing date, as this entry is one week late.

    Taking a look at my profile, one may notice that I'm an avid listener. As always, I try to get to know new bands - or old bands which I simply haven't checked out yet. This week will center on four bands, most of them more or less 'Powermetallish'.

    Let's start with Lost Horizon. A band not overly popular, but still a decent band in my eyes. I listened to their two full-length albums. Starting chronologically with Awakening The World, I thought that their music was good, still it lacked a certain amount of energy. The guitar and vocal work is awesome, but the recording somehow lacks power. Their signature keyboard work creates a nice atmosphere, but sounds too artifical sometimes.
    I was pleasently surprised when I heard the successor, A Flame to the Ground Beneath. The album flows nicely and sounds more professional. The songs itself seems to be thought over well and some tracks keeps stuck in your head, an experience I didn't quite have with the predecessor. The vocal work of Daniel Heiman has also improved a lot. Definately a very good album and one I haven't listened to for the last time.

    At Vance is a band I have mixed feelings about. I picked No Escape, for my first listen. Their covers of non-metal songs such as Money, Money, Money or Eye Of The Tiger are awesome, well-executed and certainly interesting. Also, the voice of Oliver Hartmann is really breath-taking. But as much amount of depth they put into their covers, I didn't find their original songs that awesome. Perhaps the band needs some time to get used to and I will certainly dig deeper into the band that is At Vance.

    The next band is certainly not new to me, as I have already seen them live at Wacken 2006. But they were one of the bands I've never listened to a lot - and I wanted to check them out a bit better. Having listened to some of the old stuff before, I wanted to check out their latest album Majestic. And god, that was good! Powerful as ever, some really decent tracks on it. So, for example, Blood Religion! I instantly recognized the song as one they played on Wacken - and that was last year. A huge recommendation for all who look for straightforward, well-executed, but not overly spectacular or ground-breaking .

    The last band for this week is Elvenking. Although the name is a bit gay, being a huge fan of , the combination of both genres led to a conclusion: Elvenking had to be awesome - and boy, I was right!
    I chose Heathenreel for my debut and that's really one hell of an album. This blend of different styles is not only well-executed, it's also pretty interesting to listen to. I really find this album astonishing and it has a big chance to become one of my favourites.
    Listening to the sample of their upcoming album The Scythe on their MySpace site, however, disappointed me big time. Have they become just another pointless band surfing on the wave of 'scream the hell out of yourself'-stuff? No, the old stuff was far better in my eyes.

    This concludes our second week and some explorations in new 'Powermetallish' realms!

    In a nutshell:
    Albums:
    A Flame to the Ground Beneath
    Awakening The World
    Heathenreel
    Majestic
    No Escape

    Artists:
    At Vance
    Elvenking
    Gamma Ray
    Lost Horizon

    Tags:


  • Theme Week #1: Japanese Video Game Music

    24 Sep 2007, 4:23

    Theme Week #1
    Japanese Video Game Music

    September 3rd - September 9th

    It's theme week time! At the beginning of each week, I pick a motto or topic and try to listen to music related to that certain theme for a whole week. Not exclusively, of course - I will still hear my favourite bands, even if they're not matched by this week's topic. I try to see this project as some sort of inspiration, an invitation to try out new things - and it's fun, perhaps you should try it, too :)?

    Now, at the beginning of the fourth week, I decided to conclude each Theme Week with a little journal entry. Don't be irritated by the publishing date, as this entry is two weeks late.

    For my first run of the series, I picked the topic 'Japanese Video Game Music'. I've been a huge fan of , especially , for all my life. It even inspired me to start creating music myself, so I wanted to dedicate this week to the masters of .

    I started with the Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda. Being a huge fan of Chrono Trigger, these songs brought back good memories. My personal favourites on this album are the tracks Frog's Theme, Tyran Castle and Wind Scene. Klutz, a pianist and video game music remixer put his piano rendition of Wind Scene on Overclocked Remix, which he called Chrono Trigger 600 A.D. in Piano OC Remix - and it's so beautiful, I even prefer it over the original version.

    I then continued with the Secret of Mana soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta. Secret of Mana was actually the first role playing game I have ever played and it sure as hell has started my passion for eastern rpgs. Up to today, it's one of my favourites. And the soundtrack was a big factor for that. Tracks like the fabulous opener Angel's Fear, Ceremony, Fond Memories or The Dark Star make this soundtrack become legendary.

    Perhaps my favourite soundtrack of all time is the Actraiser original soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro. This soundtrack is pure excellency, it suits perfectly to the game and has one of the most memorable tracks in video game history. The Symphonic Suite From Actraiser, an orchestral arrange album from the composer himself. You can read an in-depth review here. Synopsis: Fucking awesome!

    The second last theme album this week was the Metal Gear Solid Original Soundtrack by the mysterious KCE Japan Sound Team and TAPPY. Awesome music here, although I prefer the following two soundtracks. But that's not japanese video game music anymore, as one of the composers is British.

    This week's journey ended with the Phantasy Star Online / Songs of Ragol Odessey ~Soundtrack - Epiosde 1and2~. I've liked PSO for quite some time and decided to take a deeper look at the soundtrack, which was written by Hideaki Kobayashi and Fumie Kumatani. I wasn't quite taken when I found out that most of the tracks from the first PSO was stripped for tracks from the successor, whose soundtrack I deem only mediocre.

    In a nutshell:
    Albums:
    Actraiser
    Chrono Trigger Original Soundtrack
    Metal Gear Solid Original Soundtrack
    Phantasy Star Online / Songs of Ragol Odessey ~Soundtrack - Epiosde 1and2~
    Secret of Mana
    Symphonic Suite From Actraiser

    Artists:
    Fumie Kumatani
    Hideaki Kobayashi
    Hiroki Kikuta
    Nobuo Uematsu
    Noriko Matsueda
    KCE Japan Sound Team
    TAPPY
    Yasunori Mitsuda
    Yuzo Koshiro

    Tags:
    / / /

  • My new homepage.

    29 Abr 2007, 16:15

    Apart from the homepages for my bands Bad Sunday (http://www.badsunday.de) and Melophobie (www.melophobie.com), I resurrected my old / homepage.

    The URL is: http://www.nocius.de and the corresponding Artist is Mario Dederichs.

    I thought I'd share with it you :).
  • That shuffle thingy - Part II.

    31 Ago 2006, 20:46

    Okay. Here's the idea: Grab your media player, put it on shuffle and get it to answer all kinda different questions.

    When you wake up in the morning, what do you think of first?
    Song: Crematory - Wake Up.
    Comment: That actually made me laugh. The first song I shuffle on my huge playlist is actually a fully logical answer to the question. Holy shit. I rule.

    What are you totally addicted to?
    Song: Motörhead - Out to Lunch
    Comment: Yes, I'm a food addict. More precisely: A lunch addict.

    What is the most important thing in your live?
    Song: Alice Cooper - Headlines
    Comment: Um. Yes. I couldn't live without them.

    What will be written on your gravestone?
    Song: John Watts - Home
    Comment: Oh! My afterlife home.

    What do you find sexually attracting?
    Song: Helloween - I Live For Your Pain
    Comment: S/M all the way!

    How would you most likely die?
    Song: Motörhead - Dirty Love
    Comment: That means AIDS, doesn't it?

    What is your life's main goal?
    Song: Impaled Nazarane - Crucifixation
    Comment: Hi, I'm Jesus. Glad to meet you.

    What do your parents think of you?
    Song: Metallica - Better Than You
    Comment: Did I mention I hate shuffle surveys?

    How do you get somebody around?
    Song: Judas Priest - Turbo Lover
    Comment: Oh yes, fucking faster than the speed of light. Bravo.

    What handicaps do you have?
    Song: Motörhead - (Don't Need) Religion
    Comment: It's a handicap that I'm atheist? God forgive me!

    Did you eat the chicken?
    Song: Spandau Ballet - True
    Comment: It was delicious.

    What kind of person are you?
    Song: Carpathian Forest - In League With Satan
    Comment: Roar.

    Which song describes you best?
    Song: Nobuo Uematsu - Dead
    Comment: Pity me.

    What do you think about this survey?
    Song: Alice Cooper - Poison
    Comment: Oh yes. That's why I stop right here.
  • That shuffle thingy.

    11 Jun 2006, 16:13

    How does the world see me?
    SONG: Kiss - I Love It Loud
    COMMENT: Holy shit, either they think I'm bad at hearing or I'm a volume addict. Great.

    Will I have a happy life?
    SONG: Fireball Ministry - Two Tears
    COMMENT: Winner. Why have a happy life when you can whine all the time?

    What do my friends really think of me?
    SONG: Nobuo Uematsu - Summoned Beast
    COMMENT: You make me emo.

    How can I make myself happy?
    SONG: Red hot Chili Peppers - Road Trippin'
    COMMENT: Oh, of course. I'll start now.

    What should I do with my life?
    SONG: Metal Gear Solid 2 - Kill Me Now!
    COMMENT: Kill myself? Oh dear.

    Why should life be full of so much pain?
    SONG: Megadeth - 1000 Times Goodbye
    COMMENT: ALL MY FRIENDS WILL DIE!

    Will I ever have children?
    SONG: Rurouni Kenshin - Preacher
    COMMENT: I'm gonna be a catholic priest? So no? I can't stand that.

    What is some good advice for me?
    SONG: Pantera - Rise
    COMMENT: Fine. Now I stand. What now?

    What is happiness?
    SONG: Nobuo Uematsu - The Extreme
    COMMENT: No risk, no fun.

    What is my favorite fetish?
    SONG: nocius - Omo
    COMMENT: WASHING POWDER? Holy shit.

    How will I be remembered?
    SONG: Nobuo Uematsu - Piano Lesson 4
    COMMENT: I'll be a piano teacher?

    What will be a big challenge in life for me?
    SONG: Nobuo Uematsu - The Decisive Battle
    COMMENT: Oh yes, fight for freedom and homeland, of course.

    Am I a good boyfriend?
    SONG: Cydonia - The King
    COMMENT: Now THAT is an answer.

    Do I have a Secret Admirer?
    SONG: Jester's Funeral - Morons At The Speed Of Light
    COMMENT: Life sucks.

    How will I die?
    SONG: Impaled Nazarene - The Endless War
    COMMENT: If I should fall in battle, my brothers who stand by my side~

    What am I afraid of?
    SONG: Suikoden - Mysterious People
    COMMENT: Oh. Really?

    What will I be doing in a few years?
    SONG: Helloween - Music
    COMMENT: Yes, most likely.

    What should I do instead of this quiz?
    SONG: AC/DC - Meltdown
    COMMENT: It's not that hot, you know.

    What is a bad habit that I should try to stop?
    SONG: Hatebreed - Facing What Consumes You
    COMMENT: Ah. What consumes me, then?

    What's for dinner tonight?
    SONG: Bathory - Song Of Blood
    COMMENT: AH. YES. FRESH BLOOD. FLESH! I'M A VAMPIRE CANNIBAL.
  • Greatest Band Ever.

    3 Jun 2006, 2:10

    It's simple like that: Melophobie roxxors ya boxxors. There's nothing else to say.