Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Song of the Day 22: 'Urban Science' by Outspoken

It's day two of this Song of the Day series so as I follow Met's track list, the next one to be reviewed is Urban Science. What Met had said in his prologue gives people a general idea of what to expect, but I'll give my opinion on it as well as the details here.

The first eight seconds starts out very simple, where the song starts out with snapping. From about 0:09 to about 0:15, more is added such as clapping and slapping noises. Lower sounds are added at about 0:16, and altogether it's a pretty decent percussion section (without actual percussion instruments). However sometimes the beat that it produces sounds a little bit off, like when more sounds are added at 0:08 for instance. At 0:24 even more sounds are added which make the entire thing seem rather catchy. At 0:33 another thing is added in there; some very quick notes that try to create more to the rhythm for which the song is playing. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to match up very well with the beat, but it's close. At 0:48 everything cuts off, leading to a transition at 0:51. I really don't think that was a very good way to transition to the next section; it would have been better if there was at least something there instead of complete silence. At 0:52 a steady snapping is the beat which is by itself until 0:56. Here, there's bass that produces a melody. The bass could have been just a little bit louder, but generally it's fine since there was nothing else to really back it up other than the snapping. Speaking of which, this section seems empty. At 1:21 there's more clapping to help add to the beat. At 1:30 the beat is lightened a little bit. There really isn't much to this section, and it kind of irks me. At 1:40 there is somewhat of a harmony created by the bass, although I would say that the harmony sounds a little too low in pitch. At 1:53 the song steps it up a little bit by having the melody get higher and pitch as well as crescendo. The harmony at 2:01 is pretty nice; it really adds more despite the fact that it's still very simple. At 2:15 the melody continues, and more sounds from the beginning are playing once again. At 2:24 some synth is added which really creates more atmosphere in the song. That then takes over the melody, with the bass as a backup. However at 2:40 that sound ends up dropping, and it's just the beat and the bass again. At 2:47 it becomes a bass solo. Altogether it's pretty simple, but at 2:54 it the bass does this really good slide up in pitch. Oh, and the beat comes back at 2:56 also. That slide comes back at 3:03 and 3:10 as well. At 3:12 the bass goes back into a solo, and pretty much repeats itself from back when it played at 2:47. The beat comes back at 3:20, and it becomes what it was back at 1:21. It does have some differences though, such as the combination of the solos the bass would play and the main melody being played. The slides are there also, which make the song sound much cooler. More is added at 3:36, where more of a higher pitched melody is put in and played. There is a much more unique melody here and it doesn't repeat itself as often as the bass, which repeats itself frequently. The harmonies for the melody with the bass didn't sound all that good though; it basically sounded like a mesh of sounds that didn't really work. The high melody drops all the way at 4:24, leaving the bass and beat again. Fortunately, the bass melody is slightly different here. The beat lessens once again at 4:49, leaving only the snaps left to play with the bass. At 5:04 the entire beat is gone by then, and it's just the bass that finishes the song.

Pros: There was a really unique percussion section, with its variety of sounds. The bass also did a good job of playing the melody role, and the occasional synth that came in really put a lot into the song. The bass slides during the solos at 2:47 and 3:12 were pretty cool also.

Cons: This song was a little too simple. Sometimes the sounds at the very beginning didn't quite match up with the beat. The bass was quiet when it first came in, and the transition at 0:48 could use a lot of work. There was a huge lack of instrumentation here, and altogether it was rather empty.

Overall: The song could have gone much better. There were some good things about it, but it does need some work with filling in those gaps.

Rating: 6.9/10

Monday, November 29, 2010

Song of the Day 21: 'Retrospective' by Outspoken

Wait a minute...something's not right. There's a "Day" replacing the "Week" in the title. That only means one thing: Song of the Day is back. This isn't like the stuff Reogan wrote for Song of the Day back in the past; I guess it's "Marim's edition". This is only going on until this week is over though. Anyway, this is pretty much like the normal Song of the Week reviews that I do each week. However, there are some quirks. 1) I'm posting everyday this week (that ought to be interesting), and 2) I'm reviewing songs that Met composed himself. So now that you have the information of what the heck is going on, let's get started. So yeah, the song I'll be reviewing is Retrospective (the second song from the top).

Okay, so the beginning (the first seven seconds) starts out with a decent introduction, consisting of a simple melody to begin everything. At 0:08 that beginning melody drops out, and it's now an electronic pattern lasting until 0:16, where the beat comes in. There could have been more at 0:08; it seemed sort of empty there. This is a good reason why the beat comes in since it helps fill in the gaps. At 0:23 the melody at the very beginning comes, which goes along rather nicely with the beat. It quiets down at 0:32, although perhaps a little too quiet. It does get louder though, and the harmonies with that electronic pattern really help bring out the melody. At 0:48 the melody melts into more of a background section then the melody. At 1:04 the beat changes into more of a clapping rhythm here, although the parts where the beat is accented is a little too loud that it drowns away everything else. At 1:13 more is added into the song with some synth. At 1:28 it transitions into mainly a beat with somewhat of a melody. The transition into this section was a bit choppy; it directly goes into there without much in between. There definitely could have been more here as well, and the melody that is the same as what it was at 0:23 could have been way louder. It even took me a while to hear and recognize the melody that was being played. At 2:00 minutes some symbol helps create more of a beat, which really helps with keeping up with how fast the song is at this part. There's also some high notes being played here which leads to the transition of a section somewhat similar when the synth was being played at 1:13, but with more percussion. At 2:18 there is a low melody being played, although not much is being played. It still makes a difference though, so at least it's there. This continues until 2:42 where there's a low and muffled melody (the exact same as the previous ones). This section is pretty decent, where the beat and synth work well with the melody to make it sound good. The melody drops at 2:56 and goes back to mainly the percussion and the electronic stuff that Met knows more about than I. This entire section lasts until 3:26 where the song becomes much calmer. Again, the transition could have been better here. However, I like the section. It's much more relaxing than the rest of the song. At 3:45 there's more of an upbeat electronic section here, but it still has that relaxing mood to it. The electronic section also acts as a harmony that works well with the song also. The beat sounded a little off at 4:17, but that's mainly because it changed. However, it still didn't really fit with the rest of the song. It sounds much better at 4:25 though. At 4:32 the song goes back into what it was at 3:45, with that nice mix of upbeat and relaxing music. At 4:58 that melody comes back again, which replaces the synth that was there before. At 5:04 the beat goes back into that clapping rhythm as well. Once again, the melody could have been louder. At 5:14 it transitions into a section mainly consisting of a semi-catchy beat that leads to a small cymbal crash, thus ending the song.

Pros: I liked the melody, and the way it was displayed through many different sounds was unique. There was a nice mix of calm and upbeat music near the end, especially around 3:45 and 4:32. The song really isn't all that bad.

Cons: Okay, the transitions to each section could have been better, especially at 1:28. The dynamics should be worked on, especially with the melody. Sometimes the beat didn't fit, mainly at 4:17.

Overall: This song isn't bad, but it does need some work. It does have some good melodies and harmonies though, but there were a lot of things that need some work.

Rating: 7.1/10

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Song of the Week 23.5: 'Every Story Begins With a Name' by zircon, Big Giant Circles (redo)

Okay, so this week I'm redoing one of Met's previous SotW's, and this one in particular is Song of the Week 7. The song is entitled Every Story Begins With a Name, and it's a remix from Final Fantasy VII. Now this is going to be the first review in a long week of posts (see the latest post from Met). So if you want to directly listen to the track, click here. Redoing this SotW will make this longer, and I mean a lot longer. Met wrote a pretty short Song of the Week at the time, so I shall provide pretty much all of the details about what's in the song, just like I normally do.

Okay, so the beginning starts off rather quiet, but eventually gets louder and clearer at about 0:08. The entire thing starts out so eerie. By the time 0:14 comes, there's so many effects being heard, yet it sounds insanely awesome. Strings start playing at 0:16, which really adds more to the song. At 0:22 everything starts to crescendo until it reaches 0:32, where at this point the strings are the main focus of the song. At 0:35 there's some high notes by the bells which create a simple melody that completely stands out volume wise. At 0:41 the strings start to die down a little bit, and then at 0:48 low strings begin to act more as a bass, and a melody starts to play. The melody consists of high notes being played in a semi-major key, which clashes with the somewhat minor strings quite nicely. At 0:55 a lot of percussion is being played, which really adds more visuals and effects into the song. At 1:04 more of the strings take over, although with more of a medium pitch than the low strings which was the bass. The amount of instruments here is awesome; there's everything from wind chimes to strings. More of a beat comes in at about 1:11, which adds yet even more to the track. So far this song has a great introduction, and yet I haven't even been through a minute and a half of it yet. At 1:17 the strings gradually increase in volume, and then at 1:19 most of the sounds heard dropped. This leads to a transition into the most the song has shown us thus far at 1:23. The components in this song are numerous, and there's an excellent mix of orchestral and electronic music here. There's piano supporting the melody, a wide variety of percussion instruments to provide for the beat, and the electronic melody stands out above all the rest. At 1:34 though, the melody switches from electronic to orchestral without any transition required. I didn't even notice the change until I heard brass instruments playing the melody at 1:41. The entire section is very theatrical and epic overall. When it does make the switch, there's a soft pattern of high notes being played to create a minor tone with the mainly major melody. This pattern could have been louder though. The melody does switch to minor at around 1:44, so that pattern makes everything sound even better. Strings dominate everything at 1:47, which makes the song sound all the more awesome. At 1:57 though, there's another transition in which the majority of the instruments drop out. At 2:00 that has to be the strangest transition I've ever heard. It gives off a high pitched screech, eventually transitioning into a new section at 2:08. This section has a lot of unique sounds, mainly an alarm going off throughout. This new section sounds even more theatrical than the last. Consisting of piano controlling the melody, driving percussion to add some intensity, and the alarm for an awesome effect, this section has greatly impressed me. The piano also acts a bass with the melody, and at 2:17 even more intense percussion is added in to create a more rock-like beat. At 2:26 there's a soft electronic effect added in the background. This entire sequence continues, giving off great visuals and outstanding effects. At 2:45 there's even more added, and this time it's something we haven't heard so far: a choir. The choir really makes the song more dramatic, and works well with the driving piano and percussion. Despite the fact that the piano and the percussion mainly just repeat themselves, it's still interesting to listen to. At 3:04 the choir gets faster, creating even more intensity. Mainly around 3:12 there's a good electronic bass that is easily heard to help support and boost the melody created by the choir. At 3:21 there's another transition created by a percussion solo. At 3:23 it changes into yet another new section with more insane percussion for a beat and also strings taking control of the melody. The beat is especially intense at around 3:30, which is of course awesome. At 3:39 there is a slight transition, but it stays at the same section. Like Met said in his brief overview of the song back when his was posted, this part of the song is great when everything expands and comes together into one epic and incredible section. At 4:00 the song becomes a little more electronic, which really adds more variety to this section (although a lot of the stuff being played had dropped here). This entire part from 4:00 to 4:18 is all out electronic music that sounds amazing. At 4:19 there's a small and quiet transition into a much calmer section with guitar (or harpsichord) playing the melody role. The strings and the percussion do a great job supporting the guitar, and it really gives off an exotic feeling. This sequence continues until it gets louder at 4:45. At 4:46 there's even more added to this section: bass which does an excellent job at supporting the melody, strings that create both the melody along with some harmonies, and some percussion that keep things moving along. At 5:04 there was a pretty cool sequence from woodwind instruments that really give off an eerie mood to the section (this same pattern appears again at 5:13). There's another transition at 5:21, and at 5:21 the guitar/harpsichord is played again. This new section is great in terms of melody, backup, and percussion which has been excellent all throughout this piece. This continues until 5:40, where there's another transition into another section mainly consisting of more awesome percussion and intense choir. The guitar/harpsichord continue to do its thing, and the melody from the choir gradually gets louder and louder until 5:59. This is where the choir, some electronic effects for a bass, and the insane percussion mesh into a sequence of complete greatness. At 6:17 most sounds heard eventually dropped, mainly leaving the electronic stuff behind. However, the alarm is back and better than ever. The alarm even matches up with the beat, making everything work together perfectly. At 6:30, the intensity dies, and everything fades away. What I thought was cool was the alarm getting lower at 6:33, which leads to the end of the song. All I can say is "wow".

Pros: Amazing, completely amazing. The instrumentation in this entire piece was incredible, and even with electronic stuff playing, it works out perfectly. All the transitions were excellent and altogether flawless. Each of the numerous sections brought something new and no matter what I was hearing, it always had some intensity to it. The percussion was great, the effects were great, and pretty much everything was great. Wow, what a great song. :)

Cons: There were some parts of the song that may have needed more attention, such as at 1:41 with that pattern that supported the melody. There were hardly any cons to this song other than that, but that's mainly because this song is so well done.

Overall: This song is almost perfect. It has so much variety, so much presented, and so many awesome visuals. Everything would come together in each section, especially at 3:40. Despite the song being a bit lengthy, listening to this song was definitely worth it.

Rating: 9.8/10

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Song of the Day, Series 2, Prologue

Just dropping in for an announcement here. With our addition of Marim as a blog author and her particular focus on music we thought it fitting to re-introduce Song of the Day. I know this won't be the same as what Reogan did with The Three Realms. He has his own spectacular style and it really made McVaffe's music come to life. Marim will probably be taking more of an analytical approach, and she better, because it's going to be 5 days of music I wrote myself using Nanostudio, a program for iOS (so yes, all of the posted tracks were composed on my iPod Touch). With this in mind I would definitely appreciate critical comments as long as they're within my knowledge and the program's potential (for instance, don't tell me to sidechain dance music because that's not available on Nanostudio, however, if I ever did need to sidechain on something like FL studio, I'd watch this video). We'll be posting the tracks I made in order of when I made them, so here's the track list with a brief description of each track.

Retrospective - My first attempt with Nanostudio at making electronic music. This was composed over the summer and features all preset synths that came with the program. The major issues that plague it are a simple beat, an irritating snare, and lack of atmosphere. It's strong point would probably be the breakdown at 1:28.

Urban Science - This one was completed after Striking Chill, but the majority of it was finished by the time I decided to experiment with DnB. The drum computer is all samples recorded with the iPod mic and because of this the percussion lacks bass, but it is made up for by three very bassy synths. The main issues are lack of more than one melody structure, and too easy of a feel. The strong points would probably be the percussive rhythms with their sounds, the basslines, and the initial melody introduced at 1:36.

Striking Chill - After composing one electronic, almost dance piece and one electronic chill piece (Urban Science was actually inspired by the Pyrite Town theme from Pokemon Colosseum) I decided to tackle DnB. This sounds surprisingly fast despite the fact that it runs at only 150 bpm. I would attribute that to the hi-hat and the rapid repetitive melodies that modulate. The primary issues with this track would be lack of atmosphere (something all my tracks suffer form in my opinion), lack of elements (there are only 3 synths used), and repetitiveness. The strong points would probably be the funky snare hits (some people hate them, but zircon inspired me to try and do something "new school"), the modulation, and the initial sequence at 1:10.

Progress - I liked the results with my first DnB track so much that I decided to take another crack at it this time with more elements. While I still don't capture the atmosphere I'm always seeking, I did find that music writes itself more often then not and the best part (in my opinion) ended up being the most un-DnB part. Cons are repetitiveness, semi-uninteresting synth sounds, drum loops, and the atmosphere (or lack thereof). Pros are mostly found in the calm section starting at 2:39. Overall I would argue this has the best production quality despite the fact that there isn't any real good element about it that stands out.

Shift (Interlude) - I put this together in around an hour because I had "Paint it Black" by the Rolling Stones stuck in my head. It's repetitive and plays the same harmony over and over through different key changes, but it accomplishes its goal of being an interlude. The "lead" for all intensive purposes is a very basic triangle pulse wave that uses the LFO to ascend to the note. If you want cons then I guess they would be weak synth lead and notes and a prolonged ending. Pros would probably be harmony and the "shifting" between keys. Overall there isn't really much that can be said about this track.

So that's all I've completed so far. I can tell you right now that I've been working on a Progressive Trance/House mix that will probably be done by the end of the year. I'm trying to use all samples and synths that aren't built into Nanostudio. The other track that is still at its very beginning is a sort of synth rock. It's much harder to compose because I'm not sure how to nail the style, electronic is so much easier. Nanostudio is the first music synthesis program I've ever worked with, so give me a break and help me out. There are people much more talented then I who work with Nanostudio. Checking their stuff out is definitely recommended so you can tell me how pathetic my beginnings are :) All comments are much appreciated.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Missive From a Friend

I find this letter from Lemony Snicket to all WriMos (I've lost, by the way. I'm weak) very fitting for inclusion here.

Dear Cohort,
Struggling with your novel? Paralyzed by the fear that it's nowhere near good enough? Feeling caught in a trap of your own devising? You should probably give up.
For one thing, writing is a dying form. One reads of this every day. Every magazine and newspaper, every hardcover and paperback, every website and most walls near the freeway trumpet the news that nobody reads anymore, and everyone has read these statements and felt their powerful effects. The authors of all those articles and editorials, all those manifestos and essays, all those exclamations and eulogies - what would they say if they knew you were writing something? They would urge you, in bold-faced print, to stop.
Clearly, the future is moving us proudly and zippily away from the written word, so writing a novel is actually interfering with the natural progress of modern society. It is old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy, a relic of a time when people took artistic expression seriously and found solace in a good story told well. We are in the process of disentangling ourselves from that kind of peace of mind, so it is rude for you to hinder the world by insisting on adhering to the beloved paradigms of the past. It is like sitting in a gondola, listening to the water carry you across the water, while everyone else is zooming over you in jetpacks, belching smoke into the sky. Stop it, is what the jet-packers would say to you. Stop it this instant, you in that beautiful craft of intricately-carved wood that is giving you such a pleasant journey.
Besides, there are already plenty of novels. There is no need for a new one. One could devote one's entire life to reading the work of Henry James, for instance, and never touch another novel by any other author, and never be hungry for anything else, the way one could live on nothing but multivitamin tablets and pureed root vegetables and never find oneself craving wild mushroom soup or linguini with clam sauce or a plain roasted chicken with lemon-zested dandelion greens or strong black coffee or a perfectly ripe peach or chips and salsa or caramel ice cream on top of poppyseed cake or smoked salmon with capers or aged goat cheese or a gin gimlet or some other startling item sprung from the imagination of some unknown cook. In fact, think of the world of literature as an enormous meal, and your novel as some small piddling ingredient - the drawn butter, for example, served next to a large, boiled lobster. Who wants that? If it were brought to the table, surely most people would ask that it be removed post-haste.
Even if you insisted on finishing your novel, what for? Novels sit unpublished, or published but unsold, or sold but unread, or read but unreread, lonely on shelves and in drawers and under the legs of wobbly tables. They are like seashells on the beach. Not enough people marvel over them. They pick them up and put them down. Even your friends and associates will never appreciate your novel the way you want them to. In fact, there are likely just a handful of readers out in the world who are perfect for your book, who will take it to heart and feel its mighty ripples throughout their lives, and you will likely never meet them, at least under the proper circumstances. So who cares? Think of that secret favorite book of yours - not the one you tell people you like best, but that book so good that you refuse to share it with people because they'd never understand it. Perhaps it's not even a whole book, just a tiny portion that you'll never forget as long as you live. Nobody knows you feel this way about that tiny portion of literature, so what does it matter? The author of that small bright thing, that treasured whisper deep in your heart, never should have bothered.
Of course, it may well be that you are writing not for some perfect reader someplace, but for yourself, and that is the biggest folly of them all, because it will not work. You will not be happy all of the time. Unlike most things that most people make, your novel will not be perfect. It may well be considerably less than one-fourth perfect, and this will frustrate you and sadden you. This is why you should stop. Most people are not writing novels which is why there is so little frustration and sadness in the world, particularly as we zoom on past the novel in our smoky jet packs soon to be equipped with pureed food. The next time you find yourself in a group of people, stop and think to yourself, probably no one here is writing a novel. This is why everyone is so content, here at this bus stop or in line at the supermarket or standing around this baggage carousel or sitting around in this doctor's waiting room or in seventh grade or in Johannesburg. Give up your novel, and join the crowd. Think of all the things you could do with your time instead of participating in a noble and storied art form. There are things in your cupboards that likely need to be moved around.
In short, quit. Writing a novel is a tiny candle in a dark, swirling world. It brings light and warmth and hope to the lucky few who, against insufferable odds and despite a juggernaut of irritations, find themselves in the right place to hold it. Blow it out, so our eyes will not be drawn to its power. Extinguish it so we can get some sleep. I plan to quit writing novels myself, sometime in the next hundred years.
--Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket is the author of  A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Last Thursday of November in the United States of America

Sometimes

the thoughts


don't flow.


We don't
let

that

stop us.


We should
know

by now.


We're

Blessed.


Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Song of the Week 23: 'The Dark Side of Phobos' by Daniel Baranowsky

Alright, here's Song of the Week 23, and were looking at a song from the people at OCR once again. The song is called "The Dark Side of Phobos" and is from the game "Doom". For the direct link, you can click here once again. I really need to find a better way to introduce these reviews. If anyone has an idea, just tell me. Anyway, I better get started.

The song starts out with an extremely low and pulsing pitch of sound. It's probably some low string instruments (or something of the sort). This entire beginning sounds completely eerie, and at 0:17, some violin is added into the background to make the song sound even creepier. At 0:24 there is a transition to a string-dominating melody. The notes that the strings make from 0:27 to about 0:36 adds a ton of suspense to the song, as the pitches gradually get higher. At 0:37 it transitions again into a different melody from the strings, as well as some percussion that occasionally comes in to add emphasis. The suspended symbol at 0:44 is a nice touch also. The string section has different parts to it, and you can clearly hear a difference from 0:50 to 1:03. At 1:04 a lot more percussion is played here, and, like the other added effects in this song, really add suspense. The percussion here gradually gets louder and even draws my attention more than the melody the strings are playing. This continues until 1:17, where there's a percussion solo lasting until 1:23. This solo transitions to a section similar to the one at 0:37, this time with some piano in the background. The bass in this section is great, and the piano does a great job to keep the suspense in the song. The piano can be louder though, especially since there isn't very much playing other than that. Everything decrescendos at 1:52, but then suddenly transitions into exactly what it was before at 1:56. The piano here does get louder and louder until 2:10, where the strings once again take over. Once again the strings here split into separate sections (depending on the sound they make respectively), and create a harmony which can easily be heard at 2:15. At 2:26 things really start to die down. At 2:29 it transitions into a dark tone equipped with low instrumentation, and low percussion. However, at 2:41 the mood calms down a little bit. At 2:48 the piano takes over everything. This entire piano section lasting from 2:48 all the way to 3:50 is awesome. The notes would switch from major to minor keys without making it sound to transitional. Everything seemed to flow here, and the strings starting at 3:00 that harmonized the melody worked out perfectly to add to the calmer mood of the song. The dynamics are also perfect; people can definitely tell the volume difference when listening to this solo, especially at around 2:59. At 3:32 the piano could have been much louder. The interlude still goes on, so the piano should finish the job by having the listener actually hear the piano being played. At 3:50, some loud percussion comes in to create the last beat of the song. It may be the end, but it completely disintegrated that calm mood with some loud percussion that nearly made me jump when it came out of no where. Then everything is quiet, and the song comes to an end.

Pros: There was a great feeling of suspense in this song, and the instrumentation was amazing. I'm glad it wasn't just strings and percussion dominating when the huge piano section kicked in at 2:48, but none the less, the strings and percussion were pretty awesome. Everything flowed perfectly, and none of the transitions were choppy. This is really a job well done.

Cons: Okay, there were unfortunately a couple of cons to go with this song. The piano could have been much louder during numerous sections, mainly at 0:37 and at 3:32 during that piano section near the ending. The ending at 3:50 I didn't like at all. That really was a bad way to end the song, especially when everything was so calm from 2:48 to 3:49. That really could have gone better.

Overall: This piece is impressive, but it could be better. For example, the ending. Beside those details though, this is definitely a piece worth listening to if a person is in the mood for something suspenseful and dark.

Rating: 9.4/10

Hello, my lycanthropic arthropods and otherwise inextricable pseudonyms. I, Reogan, have arrived to give a more Reogan-y review, as no one else here is as capable of being Reogan as I am. Odd.

A stirring from deep within the earth brushes the edge of human consciousness. Again it pulses, and a faint energy, neither electric nor chemical, grips the soul. Again it surges, stronger than before, and now a grating of the opening hell-gate begins. As infernal power ebbs and flows, the heartbeat of Man begins to speed, and the skies turn grey with terror. Across the world, not a star shines, and the sun and moon have both fled. A horrible Power, long dead, long sleeping, long damned, swells with strength, straining at Its decaying fetters.

With a terrible roar, the chains snap free from the rock, and He is free. Up from the Pit It flies, accompanied by the winged forms of creatures neither Angelic nor Human. The tunnel is long, and lit by a thousand guardian angels, whose swords glint for a moment before a fire beyond their ken quenches them. The bodies are consumed by the hoard, and only a few feathers drift, forgotten, to the ground. Above, the earth waits becalmed, unable to do anything. A faint scream grows louder as a hope never recognized fades.

Then all Hell breaks loose. The ground shatters and Legion leads his legions across the earth. Beelzebub and Asmodeus emerge nearly at once to herald the way of their Lord and Master. And then He is come. For a second, everything falls to silence, all beings immobilized by His presence. Then, with a roar beyond comprehension, he flaps his tattered wings and takes to the sky. Chaos flows from Him, and Nature herself dies. The weapons of man fail as spirits fly through their defenses and devour their souls.

A light builds beyond the clouds. Slowly, it gains strength and a single beam pierces the veil. Out of the sky stream the Host of a Lord long blasphemed by those he comes to save. Man is helpless to do aught but watch as light meets darkness above. The Lord of Shadow watches as His minions fall in hordes, while the angels lose but a handful. Above him, the two blessed generals of their Lords army direct the battle.

Suddenly, their light falls to nothing as He grabs them both from the air and devours them. A wave of Darkness floats out from him, and each angel turns black and withers beneath its oppression. He strides through the land, knocking them all from the sky, leaving his minions to devour them. The land shatters beneath his step, and nation after nation falls. Families die and their souls are snatched by darkness before salvation can be.

An arrow of silver pierces the brow of the Prince. He looks on, and out of the darkness rides a King with a blazing sword. Steel meets claw and lightning flies as the two Titans battle for the last time. First one claw-gouge, then another appears on the Savior's face, and his Foe throws him outward into the Swarm. The cloud closes about its victim, and from between the writhing bodies flows light. It grows and dims, pulsing for a minute. Mankind holds his breath.

The Light dies, and a new, maniacal fear, a hopelessness beyond thought ensnares the world. Some run screaming, others pray vainly, but their spirit is one, prostrated in the mud. Most of the demons are perished, like the Host, and the Fiend cares little for prolonging his work. All are undone by night. And the long-silent clouds above rain their tears down in mourning for their Creator. A wind blows through the broken limbs of trees, and leaves fall onto the blasted ground where Hope died.

Then, from their place of hiding, the Two chosen by the First to rebuild rise. They look about in sorrow, at what has become of their world. A glow builds behind them, and they turn to face their fate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is a post.

There will be more, but GLEE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Darklight, Chapter Three

Light is unnatural. Darkness is truth. - The Gospel of Darkness

The Luminators who fetched me from my cell were clothed in the stainless white of the Capitol. As they bundled me down the hall, I felt as though my uneven blue dress was in itself an offense against the State. Only that and my dark hair stood out from the blameless white that suffused the hallway. So perfect was the light that I couldn't tell whence it came, nor in fact where the floor ended and the wall began. It was a perfect eternity of nothing. It was a heaven.
It was my prison.
After an eternity of walking-how long were those halls?-we finally came to a door. Concealed entirely within the wall, the perfect rectangle swung out at a touch from the Luminator on my right. The room beyond was far brighter than the rest of the building, and I had to shield my eyes. Blinded, I was led to the center of the floor and left to stand.
No sound was made, but the guards were gone when I could see. In their place, a host of men and women robed in the same flawless white could be seen at the edges of the room. So intense was the color that i couldn't bear look at anything for long. Then, ahead of me, I saw him.
A shimmering Brilliance stood not twelve spans from me. A long silence passed before he spoke.
"Welcome, Glint, to the Forge of Hearth. You are charged with the crimes of murder and Darking."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Michael

She was like a comet in the night. Blazing across the sky, she darted to and fro, dazzling sparks drifting from her like snow. To most, she would be nothing more than a blur. To the lucky, a goddess of beauty could be seen within the fire.

But even her brilliance paled next to the flaming behemoth beside her. Despite its terrifying downward velocity, the plane seemed to hang in the air, ominous and omenesque. She darted through the gash in its side into the cabin and back to the ground time and again, pulling screaming passengers to safety before they knew what happened. She was that good.

Michael was better.

His wings beat effortlessly as he darted towards her. Black against black, he was nearly invisible in the night sky. Without a sound, he drew up alongside her as she ascended. It was a half a second before she noticed him.

"What are-"



Michael smirked as the beacon plummeted to earth. He leisurely climbed up to where he would have a better view of the crash. It looked as though it might even land on the other Angel.

Then a brilliant golden flash lit the night, and Michael found himself spinning out of control.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Song of the Week 22.5: 'Black Wing Metamorphosis' by Fishy, Jillian Aversa, Sixto Sounds, Steffan Andrews, Suzumebachi, bLiNd, tefnek (redo)

Like the last .5 edition I did last week, this review is a redo of one of Met's older SotW's. This one was part of a two song edition, although I will only be looking at the second one. This is Met's SotW 5, which is called Black Wing Metamorphosis. Here's the direct link to the song also.

The beginning of the song is very electronic, and reminds me of a telephone. It's not really something I hear everyday (unless I hear a telephone ring, of course). At 0:15 more of a beat comes in with the soft sounds from before, which makes it all the better. You can clearly hear some strings at 0:26 as well. The strings here pretty much take over the melody until a brass section has possession of it at 0:31. The song sounds more orchestral than electronic now. At 0:45 the song is so intense; there's great percussion, and the choir here is absolutely awesome. At about 1:01, it almost sounds like more of a mix of electronic and orchestra. Mixes like this are amazing, by the way. At 1:11 it goes back into what it was at 0:45 however. At 1:16 there is even a small percussion solo. At 1:18 the vocal and the background sounds just make the song so eerie sounding. At 1:26 things kick back into gear with a huge amount of choir. The choir does an excellent job of keeping the intensity of this track. This section continues until around 2:07, where the brass maintains the melody. At 2:18 a bass line comes to support the brass also. At 3:00 something appears that I never would have excepted in this song: the electric guitar? Now that's what I call intensity. The guitar absolutely goes crazy here; I never would have known that would happen. At 3:16 things die down into the song's ending.

Pros: Excellent use of choir, guitar, and pretty much everything in the song. There were great transitions into each section as well.

Cons: Parts of the song weren't as interesting as others, and some of the sounds could have been louder. That's pretty much it.

Overall: This is one cool song. It could have gone better in some areas, but other than that it was a job well done.

Rating: 9.1/10

Friday, November 19, 2010

Karachay: Part 7

Tuesday, June 6th, 1967
Dear Lyov,
The condition of the farmers is slowly deteriorating here as well. I may soon be in your position, but for now I have a little time. I’ve made far too many house calls over the past few days. This is clearly not just fatigue; there is a connection here, I know it. I’ve just sent word out to the surrounding villages. If they face the same troubles that we do, then these things must be connected. In that case, we must contact the government for assistance. I do not know what this is yet, but no disease is incurable. The human race has made it thus far and I believe it will continue to weather these storms.
Mikhail sends his regards; he too is hard pressed in these troubling times. The farmers are constantly at work, trying to meet quotas while staying healthy. It doesn’t do them any good. If not for my own drinks and requests for cures I fear Mikhail would be out of business. I’ve yet to see a drink Mikhail cannot mix; his skills are invaluable to my job more than ever as of late.
Your dire situation demands some respite; I would visit you if I could. Do not take stock in superstition. These are trying times, but just because there is a question for every answer doesn’t mean it cannot be explained. Marya was a brilliant assistant, but do not make her one mistake. I miss her dearly, but even I acknowledge that she would accept the supernatural all too soon. There is a logical explanation for this; we will find it, and then we will call for help.
Take heart,
Isaak

Thursday, November 18, 2010

the cornerlaugher

I have this friend
who is really awesome.


I talk to her
on
the
phone.


I've never seen New in Town,
she informs me,

but I might like

tapioca pudding.


I have a platypus.


She tells me

I will fit in only if I am on LSD.


The friend...

not the platypus.


Just so you know.


But the platypus is pink
and male, anyway.


(Not a she.)


I wonder about platypuses.


(Platypi?)


Anyway,
why do they lay eggs?


Why

do bears hibernate?


And why

don't I

hibernate as well?


What does a bear do

that makes it

so

very

tired?


What do I do

that makes me

so


very


tireder?


Make up words?


Tastry. Debacon. Squarea. Pitytart.


Whimsy
overtakes me.


Poems about math,

hamburger doodles,

stuffed platypi,

knee-high umbrella socks.


Portions of fancy,

samples of dreams,

glimpses of memory,

fragments of musing.


Like so many

awkwardly

spaced

thoughts

on a regular, dreary Thursday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Song of the Week 22: 'The Result is Always Death' by Another Soundscape

Alright, I'm not going to go into all my random commentary that I put in here. I might as well just get to the song and start reviewing it. Okay, so this week's song is from the game series "Shadow Hearts", and the song is called "The Result is Always Death". What a depressing title; this better be good. Anyway, for information on the song, click here. For those who don't have enough time to look at information as well as other comments from other reviewers, click here for the direct link to the song.

The beginning of the song is rather eerie, but if it weren't for the dynamics in the sounds giving off that feeling, it would start out with a rather dull impression. Fortunately, at 0:08, a beat comes in to make things a little more interesting. The syncopation between the beat and the melody is great, by the way. At 0:13 some strings are added in for an extra effect. As you can tell from previous reviews, I love a song with a string section. At 0:16 everything seems to come together into one melody, a percussion section, and also a bass and string section in the background. It's interesting how even though the song is very electronic, it's very relaxing. At 0:30 most of the instrumentation here drops, and it's just the bass and percussion proving that they can be just as interesting as the melody. I'm not saying that the bass and percussion are boring, it's just that the melody draws my attention. At 0:47 the song goes back into what it was at 0:16 though. At 1:17 different sounds are introduced, such as the triangle, the piano, and a semi-low bass section. The melody here on the piano is awesome; it really gives off a "mysterious" feeling (if that's some way to describe it). At 1:48 the song combines the two different sections (the one from 0:16, as well as the one from 1:17) to make one great section. The bass does a really good job of supporting the piano also, providing an excellent harmony to go with it. This entire section continues until the song is almost over, 2:51 to be precise. Here everything is dropped except for the piano, the bass, and some bells in the background to go with it. Thus the song ends with a brief bass solo.

Pros: There was great instrumentation in this piece, and was executed very well with its use of dynamics, harmonies, background sounds, etc. It gave off a great mood while listening to it also.

Cons: The bass was probably a little bit too loud during some sections of the song; the same goes to the percussion as well. It wasn't all that bad though, so it doesn't affect the song too much.

Overall: Well done, AnSo. Well done. Can't say much other than that.

Rating: 9.5/10

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sonnet XX "Ghosts"

With Memory ephemeral,
And history constructed myth,
And mother's milk so tainted with
That madness daemoniacal
Which so corrupts the unformed mind
To swallow wholly ever Lie
And call it true, we can but try
To maintain Hope to someday find
A meaning, Hope, however small,
A future, Hope, however dim,
An exit, Hope, however slim,
A wing├ęd Hope to never fall.
With nets of myth and lie and shame,
We long for Hope to fly again

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Reogan is gone for just about the entire month and I'm in charge if you haven't already figured that out. Last week I managed to schedule everything in advance and it wasn't half bad as far as quality goes. However, this week will be interesting. I want to provide quality posting every day, but it's not easy. I'm currently in the process of writing the next chapter of Operational Catalyst, so hopefully that'll appear this week, but as far as the other stories go (bar Karachay) it's going to be an interesting ride. Hopefully I'll find some authors to help contribute in these "difficult times." Any ideas? You tell me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Advent of Mystics: Chapter One

The forest was settling into an evening calm. Saren watched as his daughter walked toward him, head bowed in disappointment. There was silence as they walked back to their small home together. Saren knew what had likely transpired. Miranda, his only daughter, had always shown a keen interest in magic, a remarkable thing in such transient times. She'd taken an upper school course on the subject and was now in the process where it was do or die; guessing by the look on her face, Saren knew the answer. Miranda had never been talkative, she was brilliant with a firm grasp of philosophy, religion, and science. Saren knew this was a very rare combination and he did everything he could to manage his daughter to the best of his ability despite the changing times.
"There's still hope." He said to his daughter over dinner, as if it could lighten the mood.
She didn't respond.
Saren didn't know what to do, he had once worked as a mage, traveling the land, keeping order, and helping the poor. He knew magic, but he hadn't the knack for it his wife did. His wife, Faith, was away, working to support the family as the sole source of income. She was a talented magic user with pitch black hair and an often solemn expression. Miranda knew little of her mother, she was only able to return to the small village twice every year. Saren knew that his daughter wanted to be just like Faith, but he had no idea how to make things right for Miranda.
"I'm done." Miranda snapped Saren out of his thoughts.
"You didn't..."
"Father, I'm nineteen, I'll finish it later. I know."
Saren sighed as he watched her head out to the front porch. That was the other thing about Miranda, she loved to spend time outdoors, always embracing nature. However, it also meant that she was somewhat of an isolationist, taking long walks in the woods on her own. Saren didn't like the way things in the world were headed. He was no expert, but he could see the new generation clash with the old on the most central topic of the last 40 or so years, magic and science. It'd started about 20 years ago, around when Miranda was born, that the news of a man in a far off town had invented a new weapon based on explosives. War hadn't followed, not then, but Saren believed it was only a matter of time. This new discovery led to a renewed interest in the science of mundane life: physics. Most of the new generation openly rejected magic as the inferior ways of the past. Although magic was by far more formidable in combat, the new generation hailed scientific discovery in physics as the new way of thinking. A wide gap had formed between science and magic, there were extremists on both sides, but so far it hadn't sparked a conflict. However, the new leads in science has persuaded the extremists to take a new direction most saw as absolute madness. Despite the growing gap between science and magic, it was still the general consensus that the Lyoh was a very real and powerful intelligent force behind magic. The extreme scientists denied this assertion with the claim that magic was just with certain people because of their heritage. It was a very dangerous belief and the few that expressed it openly were often driven away from civilization.
"Father?"
Saren looked at her, his face still wrinkled in thought.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes," He looked down briefly before looking up again.
She sat down and began to finish what remained of her meal.
Saren stared at the table, mind blank of solutions for any of the current problems.
"It's okay, father. I'll find something else to do." Miranda said after finishing her meal.
"I know." Saren was disconcerted; he knew it was a sure sign of age if his daughter was comforting him.
"Are you sure you're alright?" She asked him.
"No, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, I should've worked with you more, I could've done something." It was one of those rare moments where Saren was actually bringing his problems to his daughter.
"It's not your fault. I just can't do alchemy or transformations." She replied.
Saren just sighed, still deep in thought.
"I love you."
"I love you too." He replied, still unsure of what to do in this situation. Miranda was successful at nearly everything she put her mind to and he was not used to dealing with her failure; he's had enough of his own failure during his lifetime.
They spent the rest of that day in the main room, only briefly striking up topics of conversation. The sun shown in through the windows and they moved their conversation outside as the sun neared the horizon and the sky changed to dusk. Saren and Miranda had watched sunsets together nearly every night since Miranda had been born. Tonight was different in one respect; there was a green glow that night, not unusual enough for people to talk about, but many later remembered it as the night where everything changed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Song of the Week 21.5: 'Global Empire' by Big Giant Circles, Sole Signal, Tweek (redo)

I have another .5 edition this time, mainly because this post is going to be a little more unique than the others. This review is going to be based off an earlier Song of the Week by Met, back when he first started doing these. It's my job now to make it longer, more detailed, and basically better than the one that was written over a year ago. This is from Song of the Week 6. After reading it, Met still has the introductory stuff down; he's way better at that than me, even when he posted it a year ago. So yeah, here's the link to the song information, and here's the link to the direct song. So anyway, here's the song called "Global Empire".

This song first starts out rather quiet, but then it crescendos until 0:18. At 0:18 it gives off a very electric feel, sounding almost robotic. The percussion in this section works out great, by the way. At 0:40, it transitions into...an orchestral song? That's pretty awesome. The entire rhythm can really be described using one word, a word that Met even used in his review: epic. At 0:51, you can now hear a mix of electric and orchestra. That's a pretty interesting combination; I never would have thought that those two music genres would combine, and then actually make the song sound awesome. At 1:03 it goes back into mainly electric though. The beat here is insane; the percussion absolutely drives here. At 1:26 it switches back into an orchestra piece. I do so love a song with a great string section, and this is definitely something with that quality. At 1:48 there's more of a mix of genres again; this time it's more of a mix between orchestra and rock. The melody for this section is very cool, especially at 2:45. At 3:03 more bass is brought up, which really helps bring out the song a little more. At 3:10 there is a brief piano interlude, which really calm things down. The wind chimes here in the background along with the piano make a very relaxing tone. At 3:32 the track goes back into the electric genre, with some additional piano to help. At 3:55 the melody that was previously piano changed into a more electric-sounding melody here. I personally liked the piano before, but that's only my opinion. At 4:09 there's a section which probably sounds the most electric, and it's most likely the most upbeat section of the song. The beat, along with the bass, are amazing here. I could definitely tap my foot to this song. There are short little breaks where the sounds in the song are completely cut for a beat. It's really not that important, but I thought I would just mention that because it's sounds really cool. At 5:03 there's a very cool part where it sounds like somebody is scratching records, and then all of a sudden at 5:05 it goes right back into the orchestra. The artist(s) nailed that transition right there. Along with the orchestra is some electric guitar in the background; it really shows that this section is a mix of orchestra and rock. Then at 5:17, it's a mix of all three coming together. This is absolutely awesome, mixing these three different genres into something so cool. The electronic melody here is insane compared to the rest of the instruments being played. Instead of everything else, where they play a simple, yet epic rhythm, the melody goes all out. It really stands out, and has to be one of the coolest parts of the song. This section dies down at about 6:03, and then the song comes to a close.

Pros: There's too many of them! This really is incredible stuff here. The instrumentation, the melodies, the variety. This is an awesome piece of music right here.

Cons: I can't really think of any for this song...

Overall: This is definitely a piece worth listening to, and I hope others can enjoy it as well. This is brilliantly executed, and pretty much flawless.

Rating: 9.6/10

Friday, November 12, 2010

Karachay: Part 6

Thursday, June 1st, 1967
Dear Isaak,
I can hardly spare the time to write you. Four more have fallen ill, and only one has recovered. The first - the man I have written of from the beginning - fluctuates between fevered dreams and nightmarish, waking rants. He refuses food and drink, and I've no way to drug him. I find myself being called about the village at all hours, and I worry that I may stretch myself too thin. If I were to-
But such talk is neither here nor there. We've little room for the hypothetical when the actual demands so much of us. As it is, we've little room for that which makes life worth living. But we make it. We sit and we write our letters. We ask the important questions.
Speaking of which, how is our friend Mikhail? Give him my love, and this message: "I find myself remembering your spirits fondly, though I suspect that it is merely because even pigswill is preferable to nothing at all."
I don't notice the dust anymore. I've never a need to remember my mask, as I'm never in one place long enough to remove it. I fear life will remain like this until I die. Few intend to leave, even if it means death, and I am bound to them. How is-
The bell is tolling. I doubt I will have more time to write, and so I wish you all the luck you need.
Sincerely,
Lyov

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NaNoWriMo

Suicide.

They call it
Painless.


It's not.


Not when you

Carve

Your noose.

Pull threads of
Soul

Into the loom.


Not when
Death
Comes from


Words.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Song of the Week 21: 'Wasteland' by zircon

Okay, this week's song is once again from a site that I've never even heard of again. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just that I don't even know how the heck Met finds all these songs for me to review. So yeah, here's the link for the song. It's called "Wasteland", and it's by the artist Zircon. I've heard of Zircon (mainly from what Met tells me of him), but I still really don't know much about him or any of the artists for the songs I review. Enough of that though, so I might as well start off this review.

The first ten seconds of the song sound sort of creepy; it gives off a science-fiction sound (if that's a good way to explain it). More of a beat starts to appear at 0:10, and that with some percussion added in give off a nice electronic groove. At 0:21 more treble sounds start to appear, consisting of a string section. This at this point makes up the melody. At 0:33 the piano takes over the melody, transforming the strings into more of a bass section. Until 0:43, the piano is just simple, loud notes. When it does get to 0:43, the melody in the piano has a little more excitement. It's not much excitement, but it's something better at least. At 0:54 it drops down into just the bass and percussion playing, which works quite well together. More piano appears during this section also. The dynamics of this song are pretty decent; the piano is loud enough, however the percussion and bass could change volume level once in a while. At 1:16 the song definitely become more upbeat than it was before. This section is pretty sweet, although lacking a melody. It dies down, and during this section you can hear somewhat of a melody. At 1:56 the song transitions into a different rhythm, with some musical harmony to support the piano melody. At 2:40 it goes back into what it was before at 1:16, with some differences though. At 3:08 it dies down again, leading into the song's conclusion.

Pros: The song did give off a nice feel, the instrumentation was decent, and everything blended together nicely.

Cons: There was a lack of melodies in many places, the dynamics weren't all that great, and in some sections the song seemed sort of dry.

Overall: This is a pretty decent song. I can't really give much for a review for it though; it's way shorter than most of the songs I review. It's pretty well-rounded, and the artist did a good job in making this.

Rating: 8.6/10


Met:
I've labeled Marim a heretic for giving zircon a rating under 9 and I will now continue with the proper review :). Alright, you'll notice that this track is from a compilation of sorts for 10/10/10 and it also features a few artists I've heard around at Protagonist Records. However, as far as I'm concerned, Wasteland is a track by zircon from an unreleased album featuring more of a darker tone (something I'm very excited for). With this in mind, it is possible there will be a few minor differences between this track and the actual song when it is released. Going back to my opening statement, I may be a bit bias toward zircon because I absolutely love his music and I've gotten my hands on just about all of his stuff (except maybe the complete Phasma Elementum, his first album). Zircon has built himself an impressive reputation in my opinion and he seems to work tirelessly at what he does. Anyway, I should get down to the review already.

This actually does appear to be a little different from most of the zircon stuff I've heard in the past, but I like how he's pushing things in different directions. Some abstract synthwork starts this track out before the drums are introduced under a low pass which is slowly lifted. Matrix Rob Dougan-esque strings soon join the track, but they soon start laying down a more complicated bass line than I usually hear with Rob Dougan. You'll notice that the time signature is somewhat hard to pin down with the odd percussion hits. I counted it initially in 4, but I soon realized that 3 actually works better; I'd love to see some speculative comments about the time signature here. Anyway, the piano lays down a slow and somewhat wary/trippy melody with the beat and chord progression that breaks open on a high note at around 0:43 with the percussion. The same melody is repeated this time with some higher piano added in further adding to the wary/trippy feel. 0:54 is a transition with a variety of ambient synths and such with some intermittent piano added on top before it breaks open again at 1:16 into a more percussion and synth heavy section. Piano chords are added for emphasis beginning at 1:29 until we loose the trip heavy low percussion at 1:42. At this point the entire track sounds fairly uncertain without the bass as it changes notes almost on a whim, but keeping with the wary/trippy structure of the track, the synth work is pretty good. However, 1:55 brings it back together completely. Now we're rolling with some sweet synths and trippy beats with the original piano melody added in at 2:06. I'm digging the feel here and the trippy beats make for a memorable track at this point even if it isn't your favorite. 2:28 drops the central percussion again, but leaves the piano albeit with some glitch effects this time among the swirling synths. This uncertain section is once again gathered in at 2:39 when things come together in a more resolved form similar to what we heard from 1:29 to 1:55 although this time with the central percussion always there. Things are subtly escalated with the high piano notes and synths until the track wraps up at 3:05 leaving some swirly synth sounds that trail off into the distance.

Pros: Tricky beats and melody with excellent-as-always synth work by zircon. I absolutely dig 1:55 and the ensuing synth, piano, and beat work. Good cohesion on a tricky melody and beat.

Cons: This track seems to suffer from lack of structure, usually zircon's music is more styled specific. This track broke open a little too early in my opinion and it was a little too uncertain. Keeping with the trippy feel this may be intentional, but I can't help but feel that it detracts somewhat.

Overall: zircon is as good as always, but this track let me down slightly. However, that may be the point, keeping with the trippy feel in all; art is art. My personal taste tells me that this track, if it was more mature, would be one of my favorites. However, it seems a little too raw. Perhaps this isn't the final version though; we'll have to wait for zircon's album release. In the mean time, check out Space Whale Studios. Andrew Aversa certainly keeps busy in the world of music and video games.

Rating: I was joking about the heretic thing obviously. This is subject to the same rules as all other tracks we look over. 8.9.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Advent of Mystics: Prologue

The lights cast a greenish hue upon the figure. He raised his hand as if to banish the world from existence. Something had been changed, an altercation without notice. He smiled with grotesque passion at his work. It was only a matter of time before his life, like so many other before him, would be rendered unto oblivion. He knew the truth; death has no avatar of emotion, only coldness.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Potential

I get fed up sitting here staring at white space. There's so much potential in everything, all this energy waiting to be transferred. Sometimes it's hard to dedicate yourself to a single pursuit when you're pursuing so many things. Goals, objectives, linear minded thinking: Is this the inverse of what it should be? What point are we trying to make? What are we really trying to do here? Do the angles really matter when there's an infinite amount of vectors? Can't we see how lofty every quest is? Does it really matter? How do you reach a conclusion? A Catharsis? Is it thinking outside the box? What is the box and what have we put in it? It's so much easier when targets are designated, clearly stated, and left for us to pursue, but life was never this way, we all know that. Temperaments disguise true motive, but motives are colored as well. Nothing seems pure, nothing can be found to end the madness. How do we even know it will end? Deal with it. There's enough energy in the universe for a catharsis, we all feel it. It'll all boil down to a single moment. What will you have to say for yourself? What did you do? Was it worthwhile? Who decides? What happens next? Answers only bode as the questions do and what meaning do the answers have without a complete picture? It's something though, because it will be more. It is potential.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A VISITOR.

if i can't someday publish this because i'm sacrificing it for this website, i will destroy everyone.

Algebraic Lament

No solution or infinite,
Watching problems merge or split,
For weary minds it is not fit.
The knowledge light-bulb is not lit.

From the board the problem leer--
The f(x) is y + fear.
All these systems, sitting here,
Happ'ly alone, I shed no tear.

Now the review, dizzying stuff,
Easy for the algebra buff.
For lowlier minds, it's quite tough.
Frankly, we have had enough.

i bid thee farewell.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Sonnet XIX "Ascent"

So sit the Wise, enshrined in Gold,
Entombed within their brilliant halls,
Extolling praise for Laws of Old
That live but solely in their walls.
Without, the Free enlightened roam
at once unique, at once the same.
Within, the Trapped sift through the loam,
By Wisdom bound in Wisdom's shame.
Asylum walls, though, shake and fall.
Each day the cage has lesser strength;
One day the Trapped shall Free stand tall.
Each day the wait has shorter length.
The dawning day when Old gods die
Brings wings to those who long to fly.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Karachay: Part 5

Sunday, May 28th, 1967
Dear Lyov,
It seems that I have now fallen unto the same troubles you have. This symptom of “fatigue” is now upon the farmers here as well. No one here is quite as worried as I am by this. It nags at me, as if the fatigue of the farmers here is connected to your troubles. This is a far-fetched notion; everyone suffers fatigue, and this year’s drought provides ample opportunity for it to surface. Still, I feel as if the two are connected. It is easy enough for me to say, but it is likely just my longing for your presence here to assist me. In either case, I would appreciate it if you would make copies of your case studies and send them to me. The fatigue of your village is likely very different from the one a few farmers contracted just yesterday, but I still worry. Shrieking and flailing in the night is not something I want to deal with on top of my already pressing troubles.
I would prefer to retain most of my supplies, but I believe I may be able to allocate some spare opium. While this isn’t usually the time of year I’m used to seeing diseases, this situation does not bode well. I’ve also prescribed the victims of the dust a similar treatment. Mikhail has told me that something similar happened back in America, before the Second World War. He says it didn’t end well. Let us show the Americans that the Soviet Union is every bit as resourceful and more in combating this dust.
Fishing has suffered in this village as well, although not to the point you describe. We cannot afford to work the fields for more grain; the government demands all of it that we can spare. I do not believe the people here will starve, but we will certainly have less food than last summer. There is talk among villagers of moving to a more industrialized region to escape. I would gladly join them if not for the medical matters of this village. I cannot abandon my post here, as I’m sure you’re well aware. We have a responsibility to help these people.
Be strong,
Isaak

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fix

Deprivation

is all
that matters.


I know
I need more.



I can't make it

on my own.



I will take

what is mine.


It doesn't matter

what you
think.


I will take it.


I need my

fix.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Song of the Week 20: 'Before Everything Happened' by Flexstyle

We've made to at least 20 posts of SotW, and although I haven't done half of the posts on here, it's pretty cool that this has lasted so long. This song this week is another song from OCR. I'm really not good at this introduction information, so if Met can get his input on the song, perhaps he can provide more info. If you want the link about the track and various comments on it, click here. If you want the download for it, I would suggest you click here. So here's the song from Dark Cloud 2: "Before Everything Happened".

The first fifteen seconds of the song start out with some piano, which is of course awesome. This style of piano playing is definitely more hardcore than the soft stuff I usually hear. At 0:15 a beat comes in, which helps support the piano. I'm usually not much of a fan of percussion being alone with piano, but in this case it works out rather well. There is some low bass in the background which doesn't appear until 0:26, but it definitely adds more "beef" to the low piano melody. At 0:41 the bass gradually gets louder, which really adds more effect to the piano and the beat. At that point the piano is gone, and the song gets more of an electronic feeling to it. The harmonies in this section work out great; it gives much more excitement to the song. This continues until about 1:13, where more of a melody is introduced. This is a huge contrast to the melody in the beginning; it is both high as well as fast. I do enjoy melodies like that. From 1:40 until 1:49 there is a really cool echo effect in the melody, which I think is a nice change from the short melody playing over and over again. At 1:50 more bass is added with the melody, however the melody plays a similar yet different rhythm. At 2:20 more of an electronic rhythm appears, that accompanies the previous melody. All three parts: the high melody, the newest melody, and the percussion/bass line all seem to work together in this part of the song. At 3:19 things start to cool down a little bit; during that entire section lasting a minute, parts of the song would eventually drop out. It reduces into only having the bass and the percussion play. At around 3:30 the piano makes an encore appearance, leading up to the song's conclusion. Let's not forget about the percussion and bass also; they play an absolutely huge role in supporting the piano to make it more interesting. The ending was okay, the percussion did a pretty good job finishing it off (unlike other songs I've reviewed).

Pros: Great melodies, harmonies, instrumentation, etc. There was always something new added to keep the song interesting, and everything the made up the song was played in an almost perfect balance.

Cons: Sometimes I thought that the beat was off a little bit, and the rhythm of the piano was hard to follow. Other than that, there's not very many cons in this song.

Overall: This song is pretty great when it comes to how the parts of the song support each other. It was definitely something I could keep listening to, and everything fits in the song; there is absolutely nothing odd placed in there at random.

Rating: 9.4/10

Scheduling and Other Affairs

You'll notice that we're not strictly sticking to the posting schedule this month. This is for a reason, we've got a lot of busy people around here and I plan on calling in some guest authors to help if possible. We're trying our hardest to bring you a new post every day.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hello Again


Hi, I'm back, also, before my post, there were 600 posts on this blog! I don't know if that means posts that are up now, or including posts that have been deleted, but it's still exciting! I've got more time now, so I'll be able to post more consistently. So yeah, here's a pidgeotto.


and here's my idea of an apocolypsed Pidgeotto. I made the wings longer, and ripped some chunks out of them, darkened some of it's colors, t
urned it's eye black and yellow, enlarged the tail, and gave it bigger, blood-stained talons. Any ideas to make it better?