The title says it all! Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Personal tastes may vary, and we are cool with that.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Echoterra Review

Echoterra, symphonic power metal from the States featuring ex Visions of Atlantis front woman Melissa Ferlaak, is releasing their new full length album, Land of the Midnight Sun, on October 17.  As a reviewer for Sonic Cathedral's web zine, I was fortunate enough to get an advanced promo copy of the CD to review, and you can read my review up on the zine here.

Countdown to Sabaton...And Others!

As I mentioned in the last post, I'm in the process of moving from the literal sticks of British Columbia to the more civilized coast.  I won't be in Vancouver proper, but I'll be pretty damned close. On Monday, Sabaton is playing at The Venue in Vancouver, opening for Everygrey - and I am going!  The tickets were a surprise gift from a friend of mine to sort of celebrate a new chapter in both our lives.  My friend is not a metal head.  And this will be my first metal concert.

In a discussion with my colleagues at Black Wind Metal (who will be launching the new BWM site on Monday!), I found that wearing my Sonata Arctica t-shirt would be totally kosher.  I was a little worried that it might seem out of place to wear another band's shirt at a particular concert, but apparently that is totally fine.  I was worried about what to wear otherwise.  I don't exactly have the most exciting wardrobe in the world, and luckily the SA t-shirt is short-sleeved (unlike my Nightwish shirt).

My friend will be taking photos of the event.  I'm pretty stoked!  It should be a really fun experience, though I expect I'll be the oldest person there.

Russian folk metal band Arkona will be coming to Vancouver December 3, opening for Fins Korpiklaani, and I think I'll go to that gig, too.  I like Arkona.  And - excitement! - the boss over at Sonic Cathedral is in touch with Arkona's label and is helping to organize a possible interview with the band for me, so I can write an article for the SC web zine!  How fucking cool is that?  Cross your fingers that it will actually happen!

Vancouver is going to open up a ton of gig opportunities for me, so that excites me about my new home.  Living in the sticks totally sucks when you are into a scene that doesn't exist there.

Amaranthe: Amaranthine Video

I hate to say this, but Amaranthe is kind of growing on me, kind of getting under my skin a bit.  I still stand by all I said in my review of their debut album, but there is something fun about listening to them that I'm enjoying.  Could be my mood these days (heavy...I'm moving away from my hometown to The Big City at the coast and it's been difficult), which might account for my desire to listen to lighter stuff.  I don't know.

Anyway, this is Amaranthe's brand new video for their song "Amaranthine."  Highly polished and slick - just like their music - it's much less interesting to watch than their first video, "Hunger", which at least had a story line (though it was weak & needed some editing IMHO).  This new video features a lot of odd, sexy poses by female lead Elize, which I found rather...irritating.

But whatever!  I'm enjoying the music.  I wonder if they'll ever show up in Vancouver?  :D

Here is "Amaranthine."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Some news

1. Nightwish’s  "Imaginaerum" film will be done with mostly Canadian actors/actresses. Post-production will take place in Canada and Finland. The names of the actors who have two of the main roles in the film are Marianne Farley and Quinn Lord. Behind the scene photo gallery.

2. Sonata Arctica changed release date   of the new  DVD "Live in Finland". The DVD will be released November 11th, Europe and November 15, North America. Teaser can be found here.                        

3. Delain completed the songwriting process for its third studio album, which will be released in the spring 2012. Videos from the studio can be seen here.

4. Opeth released the official music video of their first single "The Devil Orchard" from the new album "Heritage".

5. Evanescence's new song "Made of Stone" with lyrics is now avaible for streaming on their official site.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nightwish Announces North American Release Date for Imaginaerum

And it's fucking January 10, 2012!  Why, why, why?  That's over a month after Europe gets it!

I'm pre-ordering it from the Nighwish web shop!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive!

Anette Olzon mentioned in this blog post the other day that she and the band were flying to Canada shortly to film Nightwish's movie, Imaginaerum (I dig the new spelling of the title, BTW).  Someone asked where in Canada they'd be and Anette responded, "Montreal."

Before I saw her answer, I was imagining all kinds of cool locations in Canada that, sort of knowing what Tuomas's internal landscape looks like judging by his music, might be contenders for possible filming locations.  Being British Columbian, I thought perhaps NW might be interested in some of our temperate rain forests on the west coast, or some of our pristine wilderness spots, say, around where I live!  Or, some forlorn coastlines on the east coast, perhaps even Newfoundland.

I never would have guessed Montreal, though!  I wonder what is there that they're interested in?  I've been to Montreal many times and it's a fantastic city with some unique features.  But given that NW are from Scandinavia and therefore they have easy access to all kinds of cool shit throughout all of Europe, I'm not sure what is in Montreal that has lured them there.

Except privacy.  And Tuomas did have a fling there at one point during the Wishmaster tour..

Anyway, now that there is a Canadian connection to Imaginaerum, I'm much more interested in the movie than I was before!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Imaginaerum's cover artwork, tracklist and release date

The release date were set for Europe - Friday, 2. December 2011 and Finland - Wednesday, 30. November 2011. 

"Originally, this was supposed to be the centerfold image of the album but once I and some mates saw the final image, we immediately knew that the hunt for the actual cover artwork was over. I believe this is Toxic Angel's finest piece of work yet, capturing the deepest essence of what Imaginaerum is all about. The power of imagination and places of wordless wonders, magic and awe, of longing and the surreal.

I emphasized from the start that not a single living thing should be seen in the picture, and Toxic was able to create that sublime but desolate, "all this waiting for you, and you only" - feeling.

All you need is the courage to enter."     

- Tuomas

The tracklist

1. Taikatalvi
2. Storytime
3. Ghost River
4. Slow, Love, Slow
5. I Want My Tears Back
6. Scaretale
7. Arabesque
8. Turn Loose The Mermaids
9. Rest Calm
10. The Crow, The Owl And The Dove
11. Last Ride Of The Day
12. Song Of Myself
13. Imaginaerum

Track-by-Track teasers

This world is but a canvas for our imagination.

How would it feel to take a midnight flight with a snowman through the most wondrous landscapes, like in the classic animated Yuletide film? The meaning of our very existence is created though stories, tales and imagination. They are at the very core of humanity.

LIFE is the ultimate privilege; a river filled with wonders and horrors. Love, sorrow, beauty, evil and temptation. And we need them all to survive and enjoy the journey.
Good, Evil, Pain and Pleasure - members one of another. 

Truest love needs no words, demands or promises. It is wordless territory, and thoroughly unconditional.

Longing for things long gone, but still possible to bring back.

Monsters in the closet, squealing pigs, hordes of spiders and flesh-ripping harpies. A peak into childhood´s unforgettable nightmares- a vivid and twisted circus sideshow.

A catharsis to a nightmare. Giving birth through a death-dance.

We quietly witness as her dying loved one takes his last journey...forever now, a haunting moment of beauty 

and comfort.

Memories and hope are two things no-one can ever take away from you. The sweetness of my own past is a bottomless chest of comfort and inspiration.

"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me Truth"
- Henry David Thoreau

Love is everything, and only Truth is our guide to a deeper state.

The theme park is just about to close, but the rollercoaster runs one more time and you get to take the last ride by yourself. It`s dark and the fireworks have just started. Moments such as these are portals to infinite dreams, of deep realisation, and ultimately the thrilling awareness of being a speck of dust in this vast swirling cosmos.

Our homage and version of Walt Whitman`s transcendental celebration of life and existence, delving deep into a personal catharsis.

Thank you for sharing the ride and we hope to welcome you back soon. The stage is lit, and the Magnificent Play is beginning...

Recently, conducted an exclusive interview with Pip Williams. 1 hour chat  includes insight into composing alongside Tuomas and his thoughts on Imaginaerum. 

The shooting of Imaginaerum movie began. And the location of shooting is in Canada.

Evanescence's "What You Want"

Evanescence's first single "What You Want" was released today. The song is from the upcoming self-titled third album. Amy Lee said about the video: "This video is sort of, like, the history of the band. This club is emulating old shows we used to play in the beginning.  We used to play this club called Vino's in Little Rock,  it's sort of like back then, the gritty, dirty club, sweaty. And basically, it's also about New York, where I've been. It's sort of about escaping New York and coming back out into the world."

See the artwork for the album belove. 


Sonata Arctica's new DVD "Live in Finland"

The show was recorded at Teatria in Oulu, Finland on April 15th, 2011. The DVD also includes songs from the band’s own Sonata Arctica Open Air Festival held in Kemi, their hometown, in August 2009, documentaries, making of's and music videos.
The release date is October 28th.

Tracklist DVD

Sonata Arctica: Live in Finland

1.Intro (Everything Fades To Gray)
2.Flag In The Ground
3.Last Amazing Grays
6.Blank File
7.As If The World Wasn´t Ending
8.Paid In Full
9.Victoria´s Secret
10.Instrumental Exhibition
11.The Misery
13.In Black & White
16.Letter To Dana
18.Don´t Say A Word
19.Outro (Vodka/Everything Fades To Gray)

DVD 2:
Extra Features:
Sonata Arctica Open Air II:

1.White Pearl, Black Oceans
2.Draw Me
3.In Black & White
4.Don't Say A Word

Making of "Live in Finland"
Making of "Flag In The Ground"
Latin-American Tour Documentary
Made in Finland - Tour Documentary
Music Videos:Don't Say A Word, Paid In Full, Flag In The Ground
Acoustic live at Alcatraz, Milano
The Flag in the ground- cover contest
Photo Galleries

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Synopsis from the director of Imaginaerum film

It was four years ago. We had just shot Nightwish’s music video, ‘The Islander’, in Rovaniemi, Finland. As we sat down afterwards with Tuomas Holopainen, we pondered over the idea of having a music video for each of the songs on their next album. Back then it was the distant dream of two ambitious people.

One year later Tuomas called me and said: “This is it: would you be willing to come over and talk about our next project together?” The next few months were full of excitement, writing treatments for twelve clips, thinking how hard it would be to make all this happen.

At one stage I lost track of time as I was writing a story about a young boy, growing old in his own dream. It was in fact a fictional story about Nightwish, but above all about Tuomas himself, a forever-young genius, who loved life but also every single person around him. As we got inside each other’s minds, we knew that music videos weren’t enough for what we wanted to say to the world. We wanted something more.

Our love for life, our families, our memories, music, waking up to new wonders each day and love for the best tool available to us human beings, our imagination, became the cornerstones of the story. It had to be about the mixture of our lives and our worst fears of growing old. As we wanted to emphasize all these things, we found there was only one way to convey the story.

Imaginaerum tells the story of an elderly composer, Tom, who suffers from severe dementia. As he has had the disease for years and has regressed into childhood, he remembers practically nothing from his adult life. His music, friends, all his past including the memory of his daughter are a blur in his fragile mind. All he has left is the imagination of a ten year old boy. As he drifts away into coma, it seems impossible to get back what he has lost. Or is it?

The film is a journey between two different dimensions. Tom travels through his imaginary world seeking answers and finding memories, while his daughter, Gem, tries to recover the bond she had once shared with her father in the real world. As they have become more and more distant from each other over the years, and as there’s even greater obstacles separating them now – Tom’s coma and his imminent death – Gem’s project feels doomed to failure. However, through Tom’s darkest secrets, Gem discovers the path she must follow in order to find her father again.

There are some questions we must ask ourselves before entering the world of Imaginaerum. What is most important in life? Can the power of memories protect us during our last moments? Will our imagination help us find the spark of life in the deepest darkness? Can we still find love after bitter forgiveness?

Imaginaerum is an emotional fantasy-adventure powered by the music of Nightwish. The story reminds us of our childhood where the smallest but most precious thing meant everything and losing it would have left an everlasting scar. Now it’s time to reopen the wound and see what became of it, but above all, where it came from.

- Stobe Harju, Director

Friday, September 2, 2011

The new Nightwish single "Storytime"

"Storytime" is the first single from the upcoming album "Imaginaerum" and will be released on Friday, the 11th of  November. The whole album tracklist with teasers of each song and the album release date will follow in a week.

Also the name of the album and film was changed to "Imaginaerum". According to the site, it was change in order to avoid mix-ups with various things named "Imaginarium". 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Within Temptation's short films

This year, Within Temptation released 3 short films which give further insight into the concept of album "The Unforgiving" and are based on the comic book series "The Unforgiving".

The first one, "Mother Maiden", introduces the ones that "execute justice". 
"You need not fear us, unless you are a Darkheart. A vile one who preys on the innocent ...". These lines appear in the song "Iron".

The second short film "Sinead" was released in March.

The third short film and the last one is called "Triplets".

More short films are coming next year.