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2013! February!

English: Duodji Saami symbols art Svenska: Duo...

English: Duodji Saami symbols art Svenska: Duodji samiska symboler konst (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Weird. I must have been so busy and exhausted I’ve forgot this blog. Let’s just say the beginning of this year has definitely been more interesting than last year’s January. Perhaps it’s the small things that matter. We have had snow, freezing days but the days are growing longer, day by day, slowly.

Eternal Tears of Sorrow has been busy, once again, even though in a different way than last year. We have a brand new merchandise shop at http://shop.eternaltears.fi/ . Also, the album is out, which means a lot of interviews and questions like “What does Saivon Lapsi really mean?”

Well, Saivo is something like this:

The south Saami used to believe that the ancestors lived in holy mountains called saajve(aajmoe). In the north Saami area this word – in the form sáiva – refers to sacrificial sites and to holy lakes, often round, with no rivers flowing into them, believed to be paired with a vertical shaft leading down to a lower one. Probably this is the original meaning because there is broad agreement that saajve/sáiva is borrowed from proto-Scandinavian *saiwa-z, “sea.” This interpretation corresponds to the fact that the Saami shaman, the noaidi, predominantly used a fish as the vehicle of his soul when he went to the land of the dead and to the fact that going there was referred to as “diving”.

And well, “Saivon” = “Saivo’s” or “of Saivo”, “lapsi” = “the/a child”, so “Saivon Lapsi” = “The/A Child of Saivo” or “Saivo’s Child”.

And yes, I finally managed to get the new version of our website online. http://eternaltears.fi/ is the place. It’s still far from perfect when using mobile devices or netbooks but I’ll get back to it a bit later.

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Christmas, New Year, Gandalf and His Snowmen

shiny christmas.

shiny christmas. (Photo credit: rhoadeecha)

It seems another year is about to end. 2012. I can’t say this has been the most exciting or interesting year of my life. It has consisted of daily routines, relaxing and thinking. Thinking of life in general as well as my life. And  making some new plans on how to take over the world.. Err, I mean, to improve my life. Sorry. Freudian slip.

Anyway, I saw two interesting films/tv specials earlier this month. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the Doctor Who Christmas Special 2012: The Snowmen.

First of all, how can Peter Jackson and his friends make three 3-hour epic films out of a children’s book? And what about the outcome? I watched the 3D HFR version of the movie and it was fine. A bit like “welcome back to the Middle Earth, friends and fans of Arda, enjoy!” The 3D HFR was an interesting thing to get used to and at times, it made the action scenes almost too intense. Fortunately, there were some action scenes because the first hour of the movie was a bit boring with all the songs. It’s not that the songs were bad (they weren’t!) but they were just a bit unnecessary. Still, it was a great movie.

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's liv...

Ian McKellen as Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s live-action version of The Lord of the Rings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What about The Snowmen? First of all, there was Gandalf (sir Ian McKellen), albeit only as the voice of the Great Intelligence. In short, it was good. Much better than last year’s “now we need a Narnia story” Christmas Special. The “thinking” snow thing was a bit, well, childish. But who cares? We sort of found out who Clara Oswin Oswald is, was or will be. Some questions were answered and much more questions popped up. Damn, mr. Steven Moffat is a very cunning man.

Anyway, for the last couple of days I’ve been working on something interesting again. I’m trying to finish the EToS website and (promise not to tell anyone!) we’re also trying to get our music video released next week. Before that, there’s a lot of things to do: writing biographies and press releases and much more. It’s funny and weird that most of the band related things must be done in front of the computer. I mean everything from the song-writing process to releasing videos, singles and albums. And everything in between.

So, I wish you all a happy new year 2013! May it become an even better year for us all!

 
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Posted by on 29.12.2012 in In English, Life

 

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There Is No Mystery in the Music Business Anymore

English: Kiss live at Paris in 1999.

English: Kiss live at Paris in 1999. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(I got the idea of this post from a post about journalism by Jussi Mäntysaari . Music journalism and band interviews, to be more exact. This gave me an idea. Read it if you want but beware: it’s in Finnish: http://alsosprachjussi.blogspot.fi/2012/12/ei-enaa-artistihaastatteluja.html ).

Back in the 80s, when I was young, I and the boys next door got into Kiss. Kiss was something huge, a group from another world or another dimension. We hardly knew anything about them as there was no Internet around – we just had read about them on Finnish music magazines.. We knew they were from the USA and had recorded some albums that affected us in a weird way.

So, we wrote a letter to them in very rudimentary English. “We are fans, can you please send us some guitars so we can be like you?” was the core of the letter. We never got a reply. Or our guitars. Why, Paul, Gene & the rest of the guys, why?!? 😀

And when I listened to the radio and found a damn interesting band, sometimes all I knew about the band was the song itself. Nothing more. It could be that no Finnish magazines ever wrote about them. But I was cool with it. Music was the most important thing and if I bumped into information about the band, fine. That was bonus.

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Now, almost thirty years later, things have changed. Teenagers don’t pick their favourite bands from television, radio or the magazines. They can be found on the Internet. You see a video on YouTube, get to their Facebook page, send a message and a bit later, you can even get a personalized reply. And you can get all the possible information from the band in no time. It’s almost like the members of the band live next door. Almost.

There is no mystery in the music business anymore. Is it good or bad? I don’t know. It’s different, that’s all I know.

Perhaps it’s me? I’ve learned a lot since the first demo of our band. I know how the music industry works. I know what bands have to do to get an album released.

Let’s just say both have changed. The world and I. Still, one question remains: can I go back to my teenage years? Can I listen to an album and feel the magic again? Well, yes, partly. Damn good songs still affect me in a good but weird way. But then, I’ll have to start digging information about the band. “Where do they come from? How do they look? What are their influences?” and all that stuff. Because the information is there.

What’s the solution to this problem? Should all bands be like Tool? They very rarely give an interview, you know. There is a certain amount of mystique around them. And that makes them more interesting to many people.

So, bands, don’t be like most bands. Be mysterious. Don’t spread around information about yourselves. And remember: in the end all that matters is your music. You’re just a carpenter, although you’re still interesting to some people.

 
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Posted by on 2.12.2012 in In English, Music

 

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Band of the Month: Edge of Sanity

Death metal water sold here

Death metal water sold here (Photo credit: Nick Sherman)

In the 90s, metal was practically dead to the mainstream media apart from some exceptions. But metal was not dead. It kept evolving in the depths of a weird place called the metal underground. In that place, the most extreme genres of metal became something new and interesting. One of these genres was melodic death metal,  born of death metal, NWOBHM and thrash metal.

When people about melodic death metal, they usually talk about certain bands: In Flames, Carcass, Dark Tranquillity,  At The Gates and so on. And when they talk about progressive extreme metal, bands such as Opeth, Cynic, Death.

But at that time, in the mid-90s, there was one band who played melodic death metal, progressive death metal and much more. The band was called Edge of Sanity from Finspång in southeastern Sweden, hundreds of kilometers from Gothenburg, the Mecca of melodic death metal.

Cover of "Purgatory Afterglow"

Cover of Purgatory Afterglow

I usually divide their albums into four groups.

The three first albums were rather basic death metal, although you can some original elements on them. “Sacrificed”, released on The Spectral Sorrows (1993) is actually one of the very first gothic metal songs ever despite of being “just” a Sisters of Mercy pastiche.

The second group consists of Until Eternity Ends EP, Purgatory Afterglow, Crimson and Infernal (from 1993 to 1997). Purgatory was the first EoS album I heard and it really blew my mind. Melodic death metal had not been so innovative and versatile before.

Cryptic (1997) is alone in the third group. Without Dan Swanö, there weren’t elements of surprise and diversity on this album. The music got a bit one-dimensional without the melodic, progressive elements. To my ears, Cryptic sounded nothing but a half of what it had been before. It was heavy and extreme but something was missing.

Cover of "Crimson II"

Cover of Crimson II

After Cryptic, EoS broke up. But Dan Swanö raised the band from the dead once more to create Crimson II (almost) all by himself in 2003. The result was an updated version of the EoS sound. Unfortunately, I had sort of melodic metal and could not enjoy the album as much as I had wanted. Had it been released just after Cryptic, it would probably have been the best EoS album.

And that was the end of Edge of Sanity. They always remained a cult band with a huge influence on many bands, including mine. Why didn’t they become the biggest band in the whole extreme metal genre? Perhaps their record company (Black Mark) was a bit too small. Perhaps their unwillingness of doing a lot of tours around the world. But well, it happens.

Anyway, their songs can be found on Spotify and Youtube, so check them out. If you’re into melodic but extreme metal, I’m sure you like them.

 

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Saivo, Lapland and Melodic Death Metal

Cover of "Children of The Dark Waters"

Cover of Children of The Dark Waters

I’m listening the seventh album by Eternal Tears of Sorrow, called “Saivon Lapsi”. It’s finally been mastered and should be released in.. Well, I’ve stopped talking about exact dates or even wide estimations because nowadays, release dates seem to be quite flexible. And they are never ever up to us. Next year, that I can promise. Massacre Records say it’ll be out in late February in Central Europe, so… We’ll see.

For Children of the Dark Waters, we recorded “Vilda Mánnu”, the title song of our second album. Also this time, we re-recorded an old song. So,  when listening to Saivon Lapsi and this re-recorded song, I can’t help thinking “oh boy, we’ve changed during these years”. Which is not a negative thing at all. Most bands change, most bands have something new on their new albums. Yes, we have changed since our first album, too. We’re a bit angrier, a bit more symphonic, even a bit more melodic (if possible) but it’s still us. Wiser and older. Well, older, anyway.

Still, Saivon Lapsi (“The Child of Saivo”) closes one circle. It is the underworld of the Sami people (or the Saami people, both are acceptable) that were the theme of our second album. And now, the Vilda Mánnu theme and the Angelheart theme are drawn together. (I didn’t realize this until now, weird…) And we’ve had song titles in Northern Saami, Japanese, Irish, pseudo-Latin (Nocturne Thule), so I suppose it’s only natural to have song titles in Finnish, too. But no spoilers because as always, there are surprises on the album! 🙂

By the way, I hate categorizations, especially when people try to categorize bands I’m involved with. No, Eternal Tears of Sorrow are not a gothic metal band. And no, Eternal Tears of Sorrow are not a black metal band either. The accurate categorization would go something like “Symphonic melodic death metal with influences from many kinds of metal, including gothic metal, progressive metal, thrash metal, black metal, and so on…” In the end, we don’t care what people and the record companies call us or our music. Metal. Call us metal!

 
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Posted by on 12.11.2012 in In English, Music

 

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“Death or Ugu?” … “Death It Is! But First: Ugu!”

Gilbert Gottfried - 2008.03.28

Gilbert Gottfried - 2008.03.28 (Photo credit: Stephen Dyrgas)

The title of this post comes from “Dirty Jokes“, a live stand-up performance by Gilbert Gottfried. It provides the dirtiest jokes ever told, or almost. Well, the dirtiest jokes you can tell without getting arrested in most Western countries, anyway. And this one is about two missionaries captured by an African primitive tribe. You can guess the rest. Or perhaps not. I’m not going to write the joke here as it would.. Well, never mind.

Now, an awkward transition. Previously, I wrote about how ridiculous metal bands may seem to people. Well, there actually are headbangers who also do stand-up comedy. One of them is Steve Hughes, an Australian who used to play in Slaughter Lord, Mortal Sin and Nazxul. As some of you may know, Slaughter Lord was the band who had a song “Legion” on their very first demo tape. Almost ten years later, the same song was covered by At The Gates, and it was a wonderful version. For years, I didn’t even realize it wasn’t written by ATG themselves.

Steve isn’t ridiculous, he’s just funny and hilarious. Check out this clip from Steve’s Swedish tour.

I’m going to end this post with an interesting Rammstein cover version. No explanation needed. A perfect warm-up band for Rammstein.

P.S. What about the question “Death or Ugu?” Well, try to find the joke on Youtube. And also, check out Brian Posehn‘s Slayer act.

 
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Posted by on 13.4.2012 in Humour, In English

 

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Movie of the Month: Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead (Zonbi asu)

Danger! ZOMBIE ASS: Toilet of the Dead – Zonbi Asu – is here and it will spread like a zombie virus.

Well, I must admit I’ve only seen the trailer of this magnificent Japanese zombie (and toilet) movie. Not yet. I’m sure it’s either a very bad movie or so bad you want to stick something sharp to your eyeballs to not see the rest of the film.

I wasn’t able to find so many reviews on this movie yet, but this quote is hilarious

Yes, this is not just a zombie movie, this is an alien ass parasite zombie movie designed purely to allow Iguchi to indulge in his love of the female posterior. Juvenile in the extreme the film is driven by ultra-lowbrow sight gags and splatter effects – both practical and CGI – laced with a heaping helping of shit and fart jokes.

Sounds like fun. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

 

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