All 21 entries tagged Music

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September 16, 2005

Stratovarius returns

Title:
Rating:
4 out of 5 stars

Stratovarius are credited with making Finnish metal popular, it's likely that without them the likes of Sonata Arctica and Nightwish wouldn't be the same. Over the last couple of years the band basically imploded with the singer (Timo Kotipelto) being kicked out of the band by the guitarist (Timo Tolkki), them getting a new female singer, then Timo Tolkki had some severe depression things and the band looked dead. Then magic happened with Timo and Timo making up and now the band which also features an amazing keyboard player (Jens Johansson – this guy is incredible) is back together and have produced a self-titled album.

Woosh.

The album loosely follows the story of the band over the past couple of years (the track order is a big clue) and appears to show a new direction for the band. The sound is now fuller and better produced and the new direction makes it possible to compete with Sonata Arctica and Nightwish who have overtaken them in popularity.

This isn't an album where every song is a masterpiece, but they all fit together and there are a few songs that rate amongst their best (Fight!!! The Land Of Ice And Snow, United) and if this is a true indication of their musical direction they might be in for a big comeback. There's a good mix of heavy, weird, mellow and uplifting tracks so there should be something that appeals to most people.


September 10, 2005

Awesome Power Ballads You Probably Haven't Heard

I love power ballads, I also love heavy metal, how conflicting, oh well… here are some power ballads you probably haven't heard:

Alice Cooper – Hell Is Living Without You
At Vance – Lost In Your Love
Edguy – Forever
Edguy – Roses To No One
Europe – I'll Cry For You (Acoustic Version)
Europe – Open Your Heart
Iced Earth – Blessed Are You
Nightwish – Ever Dream
Sonata Arctica – Last Drop Falls
Sonata Arctica – Letter to Dana
Sonata Arctica – My Selene
Sonata Arctica – Shamandalie
Sonata Arctica – Shy
Sonata Arctica – Tallulah
Sonata Arctica – The Misery
Stratovarius – Coming Home


September 05, 2005

Andy's Top 10 Songs In No Particular Order #6 – Dawn Over A New World

The legendary top 10 list returns for it's 6th part, winnar'd. This probably isn't the best song by the band, but it's one I can listen to on repeat all day and still love it.

DragonForce - Dawn Over A New World

This band is so gloriously cheesy, we're not talking Top B cheesy here, we're talking outrageously over-the-top and fantastical lyrics. Coupled with the fact that their two lead guitarists can play guitar better than you (given a couple more years I might be able to nail one of their solos, well this one isn't too bad – I can play most of it). This song is pretty Bon Jovi-esque, but mainly in the guitar playing, this is to be expected as one of the guitarists lists Richie Sambora as an influence. If this song was about love it would be one of the all-time great power ballads, but it's not about love, it's about gloriously cheesy stuff. I love this song, like all the truly great songs it has a key change for the final choruses.

Lyrics

In the darkness of the night in the shadows of the dawn
It's turning black no looking back the sands of time are sown
When the day will slowly end and the sun has turned to grey
Will we feel the power of freedom with the dawn of a new day?

Over mountains paved with gold to the valleys of the slain
Our quest will lead us onwards to the journey of the brave
When the time has come to stand for the power we believe
We will ring the sound of victory for one and all to see

Sometimes in your darkest dreams you will feel the haunting prayer
Silent tears of your hidden fears come to haunt you once again
Fight on for the memories of the everlasting dreams
Their pain in the silent lands on wings of glory free

We can go on forever with the darkness so far away
And the warriors who live forever fight on to the end

Across the highest mountains and through the endless seas
Our journey ever onwards fight until we all be free
Through the darkness shining the neverending light
On through the days of glory rise towards the fight

And one day we will find a way towards this distant golden age
The cries of war will sound the day
We stand before the dawn of a new world

On through the raging thunder across the seven seas
Cold winter skies are falling on the battles we have seen

We can go on forever with the darkness so far away
And the warriors who live forever fight on to the end

Across the highest mountains and through the endless seas
Our journey ever onwards fight until we all be free
Through the darkness shining the neverending light
On through the days of glory rise towards the fight

And one day we will find a way towards this distant golden age
The cries of war will sound the day
We stand before the dawn of a new world
We stand before the dawn of a new world…


August 17, 2005

Bohemian Rhapsody

Is this the real life?

July 25, 2005

ohmygodohmygodohmygod

Thirteenth Day was incredible

Season's End – My train was late so I missed them, but apparantly they weren't very good

Intense – Quite heavy but grew on me due to some cool choruses

Dragonland – Fast and pretty good, but they have a fairly muddy sound, talented musicians though. The singer can hit some incredibly high notes.

Epica – Basically they're kinda like Nightwish, so they have a very hot female singer and a good orchestral sound. Were very good though.

Finntroll – These guys are heavy, wasn't sure if i'd like them, but then it just got crazy bouncy fun, they're some weird bouncy polka heavy metal… thing. Great fun. The lead singer does look kind of like a troll.

Norther – Everyone was saying how good they were, but they just sounded like Children of Bodom but without the melody and catchy riffs. Didn't like them at all.

Sonata Arctica – Absolutely amazing, they just seemed to be enjoying themselves so much and they had the crowd going from the start. The singer didn't back out of singing the high notes on the song he notoriously hates singing live, sounded better than on their live album. Here's the uber-amazing setlist (order may be inaccurate):

  • Misplaced
  • Blinded No More
  • (Some song that isn't on any of their albums that I didn't recognise)
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Broken
  • My Land (the song with the notorious high notes)
  • Black Sheep
  • Don't Say A Word
  • Replica
  • 8th Commandment
  • Shamandalie
  • The Cage (awesome song to finish on)

Only bad thing was that their set was cut short because the roadies took ages to set things up.


July 19, 2005

Lyrics Answers

Follow-up to Lyrics Quiz from Andy's Dumb Ramblings

Yup, me too. Well done to everyone who got them correct, the girls win a kiss and the guys win a manly pat on the back.

  1. Long for someone to embrace and say hello to say goodbye = Edguy - Forever
  2. Come down with fire, Lift my spirit higher, Someone’s screaming my name (Not Deep Purple) = Rainbow - Man On The Silver Mountain
  3. Heart of an eagle, He flies through the rainbow, Into a new world and finds the sun = Stratovarius - Eagleheart
  4. I'm not superstitious, I have no doubt, That there's a reason, how things turn out = Europe - Superstitious
  5. Across the highest mountain and through the endless seas, Our journey ever onwards fight until we all be free = DragonForce - Dawn Over A New World
  6. A sin for him, Desire within, A burning veil, For the bride too dear for him = Nightwish - She Is My Sin
  7. Then came the churches then came the schools, Then came the lawyers then came the rules = Dire Straits - Telegraph Road
  8. Sing with me, sing for the years, Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears = Aerosmith - Dream On
  9. And I know nothing good comes easy, And all good things take some time, I made my bed I’ll lie in it, To die in it’s the crime = Bon Jovi - Dry County
  10. On my lips your memory has been stained, Is it all in vain, Tell me who’s to blame = Alice Cooper - Hell Is Living Without You

Bonus:

  1. Dancing on the path and singing now you got away. You can reach the goals that you have set from now on , every day = Sonata Arctica - Victoria's Secret
  2. Tell me now that… I have found the whore in you, Why can't I tell you no = Sonata Arctica - Last Drop Falls
  3. I see you walking hand in hand with long-haired drummer of the band, In love with her or so it seems, he's dancing with my beauty queen = Sonata Arctica - Tallulah

On Music (aka why music snobbery exists)

There are too many bands that I haven't properly listened to that sound exceptional to waste my time and money on bands which merely sound good.

July 18, 2005

Lyrics Quiz

Each one is from a different band, and i've provided clues in brackets. Don't cheat, some are obscure and some aren't.

  1. Long for someone to embrace and say hello to say goodbye (German band)
  2. Come down with fire, Lift my spirit higher, Someone’s screaming my name (Not Deep Purple)
  3. Heart of an eagle, He flies through the rainbow, Into a new world and finds the sun (One of various Finnish bands)
  4. I'm not superstitious, I have no doubt, That there's a reason, how things turn out (A European band)
  5. Across the highest mountain and through the endless seas, Our journey ever onwards fight until we all be free (Band based in London)
  6. A sin for him, Desire within, A burning veil, For the bride too dear for him (Well-known and Finnish)
  7. Then came the churches then came the schools, Then came the lawyers then came the rules (Very well-known band, song is quite long)
  8. Sing with me, sing for the years, Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears (not rap)
  9. And I know nothing good comes easy, And all good things take some time, I made my bed I’ll lie in it, To die in it’s the crime (Very well known band, not very well known song)
  10. On my lips your memory has been stained, Is it all in vain, Tell me who’s to blame (Well-known artist)

Bonus:

  1. Dancing on the path and singing now you got away. You can reach the goals that you have set from now on , every day. (Awesome)
  2. Tell me now that… I have found the whore in you, Why can't I tell you no (Awesome)
  3. I see you walking hand in hand with long-haired drummer of the band, In love with her or so it seems, he's dancing with my beauty queen (Awesome)

July 17, 2005

one week to go…

…until I get to see the most awesomely amazing band that is Sonata Arctica live.

There is no better band. Fact.

Incidentally, how long does it take to walk from the Academy to Birmingham New Street station?


June 06, 2005

Andy's Top 10 Songs In No Particular Order #5 – The Misery

Been a while, easy choice though.

Sonata Arctica - The Misery

Rarely has one song made me decide to buy an entire album, this song did though. It's a ballad (not a power ballad, just a ballad) and Sonata Arctica do ballads very well. The vocals are soft and melodic and considering the song isn't based on any particular events in the band members' lives (or so i'm led to believe) it also sound exceptionally emotional. The instrumental melody is mostly simple arpeggiated chord shapes on guitar, this isn't a technical song at all. There is a simple lead guitar line towards the end that is well-placed and fits the song perfectly. Beautiful song.

Lyrics

I write the lines you want me to, with the words I dare to use of all
the ones that you have taught me, along the years

You cast a perfect shadow on the paper, fade away with sunlight, I fear
the way you know me, love can leave a stain…

You steal my only hope and make me stay awake another night,I wish you
bear with me, stay near me
When the Autumn leaves have fallen
Solitude, my pain, the last thing left of me…

If you fall IŽll catch, if you love IŽll love, and so it goes, my dear,
donŽt be scared,
youŽll be safe,this I swear. If you only love me back

Seven lonely lies written on DeadwinterŽs night, open the only book with
the only poem I can read
In blood I sign my name and seal the midnight with a tear, burn the
paper, every line for them I cried…

If you fall IŽll catch, if you love IŽll love, and so it goes, my dear,
donŽt be scared,
youŽll be safe, this I swear. If you only love me back

I am the Playwrite and you are my Crown, make me cry for your love, like
youŽve done many times, so I know
I canŽt write these storylines without you, Lady pain, make me strong,
canŽt we be together without them forever…

The words I write can only hurt you, sorry for the rain, thank you, my
only one, you gave me this pain
I leave you gently on the floor, take one step towards the door,
whereŽs the letter never written, goodnight now…

If you fall IŽll catch, if you love IŽll love, and so it goes, my dear,
donŽt be scared,
youŽll be safe, this I swear. If you only love me back

If you fall IŽll catch, if you love IŽll love, and so it goes, my dear,
donŽt be scared,
youŽll be safe, this I swear. If you only love me back


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