Thursday, July 16, 2009

How were things with my favourite band 10 years ago?

It has been said that nothing gets lost on internet. "Be careful if you upload your pictures", "Once it's there, you cannot get it out" etc. Well usually people don't pay any attention until it hits you in the face. You find a picture on internet you remember posting 5 years ago but you are certain you removed it also. "How in the hell can it still be there?" you ask. Man some even say that putting something online is like having a tattoo...forever. Sure you can try to get it removed with expensive laser treatments but it usually always leave a trace. Just like it goes on internet. Search engines like Google crawl websites and index them so people are able to find information they are looking for. Google indexes images also and every now and then you stumble on a picture that can be found in Google but when you try to follow the link, the image is no longer there. What happens is that although you have removed the picture from it's original source, there are still snapshots for instance in searchengines.

That sounded like a no means it was ment to be one :) That's just the way it goes. But having searchengines is very important. I think majority of us use those searchengines every day cause let's face it, internet is the nro 1 source for information these days. When you need to find something, you sit on the computer and start punching. The fact that you find something is cause those searchengines have crawled websites and stored the information. But every now and then we stumble on a website or service that really helps us. Cause of my work in Metal From Finland I need to find information about finnish metalbands very often and not all of it is accessible anymore. Bands renew their websites, some information gets lost along the way. Some even want to remove some information cause "Well it was part of our past and we don't stand for those things anymore". But I still want to read about it dammit! Well now there's a chance that you can.

Introducing you WayBackMachine ( This is how the website describes itself: "The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public."

Browse through over 150 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago. To start surfing the Wayback, type in the web address of a site or page where you would like to start, and press enter. Then select from the archived dates available. The resulting pages point to other archived pages at as close a date as possible.

Below are some links I checked:

Metal From Finland*/
Only year 2007 was indexed but you can see how MFF started :) Oh the nostalgy!

Starting point*/

Nightwish member-profiles back in 1999

Starting point*/

(Ville Valo biographjy back in 2001)

Children Of Bodom
Starting point*/

The 69 Eyes
Starting point*/

Well by now I think you've got the general idea what it does. I use it mainly for checking band-stuff but remember that it's all about websites...not just bands so you can check just about anything there! Have fun people!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

LARS ULRICH of Metallica the best metaldrummer in the world?

Drum! Magazine held their annual Drummies (Drummer Of The Year) and on their Metal drummer category the victory went to Lars Ulrich of Metallica. Ehm...what? Now I have to admit that I am not very familiar with Drum! Magazine so I don't know if those drummies are based on votes by readers or do they have a jury that decides who has the honour of winning each category. Somehow I would understand this if the victory is based on given votes from fans cause let's face it...Metallica is a monster so based on their fanbase the victory was kinda obvious. It's a bit same (although in smaller proportions) what happens in Metal From Finland Awards each year. It's Nightwish vs. Tarja Turunen vs. HIM. Well that is about to change for our 2009 Awards next February.

But if the winners are chosen by a really puzzles me. Now don't get me wrong here...I do like Metallica...a lot. Well at least their older albums but St. Anger and Death Magnetic weren't all that bad. In fact I might even call Death Magnetic a good album. Not a second coming of Master Of Puppets like Lars Ulrich stated in an interview once but still a good album.

Now let's talk a bit why Lars Ulrich of Metallica is the best drummer in the world shall we? First of all, he is after Metallica. In fact he is the founder of Metallica with James Hetfield! He is a Businessman with a capital B! He collects fine art. He is from Scandinavia. He downloaded their latest album Death Magnetic from P2P-network cause he of all people should have the right to do so. He is the first Danish person to be honoured in Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame along with other Metallica-members. And he is a drummer. Now you have to admit, those are all very good reasons. And his drumsolos...I! Don't believe me? Look for yourself :)

Ok let's get serious for a while. Of course it's an honour for Lars Ulrich to be the best metaldrummer in the world and as with every award, there are winners and there are losers. Here are some losers who lost to Lars this year:

Also the list goes on with these candidates

Well some of them are insanely fast, some are very technical, some are simply badass. But they are all awesome drummers. And that was just a very rough scratch...the list could go on forever. But since I have no idea what was behind the nominations, let's just accept the fact that Lars Ulrich is the best metaldrummer in the world...well at least this year.

And if there is anyone out there who is now pissed off beyond words...don't be. Metallica still is a some kind of monster! Besides...if you think what I wrote was bad...check out what is said about Lars in Uncyclopedia

Monday, July 13, 2009

TWILIGHTNING: Plague House closed - 1998 - 2009 -

Twilightning posted this piece of news on their website July 8th 2009:

"Twilightning decides to call it quits. We discovered the fact that the drive has vanished and there's no point of going on without the full force and motivation. Then we just not only would cheat ourselves but also our fans. Everyone continues to pursue their musical careers on their own projects and bands.

Twilightning thanks all of it's fans and everyone that has somehow helped or been there. The past eleven years has changed our lives.

Thank you and see ya!!"

Twilightning always had a deep meaning to me. Ever since I heard their Delirium Veil-album. I don't think they have brought anything new to Finnish musicscene other than awesome music. The first thing about Twilightning that caught my attention was the sound of Heikki Pöyhiä. When I saw his picture and I thought to myself "Is this babyface really behind that awesome sound?" I couldn't believe it really. But in all honesty the man has a voice that you rarely hear. My only tragedy is that I never got the chance to see them live...and it seems it's too late now. Well in my defense I can say that in the last years they didn't tour all that much anymore.

There is one question concerning Twilightning that I have repeatedly asked myself for years already...why weren't they more popular? Well Twilightning isn't the only band I have hoped to gain more success than they did but since this is about them, I'll stick with them. They had a good label in Finland (Spinefarm). Don't know about their distribution channels outside of Finland but at least everything should have been ok in Finland. I don't even know if any of their albums reached albumcharts in Finland? They were popular in Japan though. Well at least more popular then they were anywhere else. It's naive to believe that having good music is enough for success it seems. But I would have granted the success for Twilightning.

Some people say it was time for them to quit cause they got worse and worse by the album. I do agree on that. Their debut album Delirium Veil was so incredible that it would have taken miracles to make a better one. But Plague-House Puppet Show wasn't a bad album...not at all. I think what makes people puzzled and confused about Twilightning is that they changed in every album. Where Delirium Veil was pure melodic power metal, Plague-House Puppet Show was more close to 80's hairmetal or glam. As for their last and latest album Swinelords...well I really don't know how to categorize that. It was a good album in general but not as a Twilightning album. I think you could already sense the changes on their Bedlam-ep released prior to Swinelords. I remember buying that ep and listening to it...what a weird experience. I was disappointed and happy at the same time. Happy to hear new Twilightning material but disappointed cause it wasn't as good as their previous albums.

But all in saddens me that the Plague-House is closed.

Twilightning Tribute:


Delirium Veil (Spinefarm Records 2003 SPI152CD)

01. Gone To The Wall
02. At The Forge
03. Jester Realm
04. Delirium Veil
05. Return To Innocence
06. Under Somber Skies
07. Seventh Dawn
08. Enslaved To The Mind
09. Masked Ball Dalliance
10. The Escapist (Japanese bonus track)
11. Affection Seeker (Japanese bonus track)

Into Treason EP (Spinefarm Records 2004 SPI203CD)

01. Into Treason
02. Wind-up Toy
03. Affection Seeker

Plague-House Puppet Show (Spinefarm Records 2004 SPI204CD)

01. Plague-House Puppet Show
02. Into Treason
03. The Fiend
04. Victim of Deceit
05. Painting The Blue Eyes
06. In The Fervor's Frontier
07. Fever Pitch
08. Diamonds Of Mankind
09. Riot Race
10. Lubricious Thoughts
11. Goddess Of Fortune (Japanese bonus track)
12. Wind-up Toy (Japanese bonus track)

Recorded at Astia Studio A by Anssi Kippo
Mixed at Finnvox Studio by Mikko Karmila
Produced by Anssi Kippo
Mastered at Finnvox Studio by Mika Jussila

Buy from Recordshop X

Bedlam EP (Spinefarm Records 2006 SPI250CD)

01. Space of Disgrace
02. Rolling Heads
03. Sex Jail
04. Plague Overload
05. Train to Bedlam

Recorded at Astia Studio by Anssi Kippo
Mixed at Finnvox Studio by Mikko Karmila
Produced by Anssi Kippo
Mastered at Finnvox Studio by Mika Jussila

Buy from Recordshop X

Swinelords (Spinefarm Records 2007 SPI257CD)

01. Isolation Shell
02. Swinelord
03. Reflection Of The Cuckoo
04. Vice Jesus
05. Pimps, Witches, Thieves & Bitches
06. The Gun
07. Not A Word
08. Consume Gap
09. With The Flow
10. Wounded & Withdrawn
11. Maggots (Japanese bonus track)

Recorded at Music-Bros Studios by Miitri Aaltonen
Drums recorded at Astia Studio by Anssi Kippo
Mixed at Music-Bros Studios by Miitri Aaltonen
Produced by Miitri Aaltonen & Twilightning
Mastered at Finnvox Studios by Mika Jussila

Buy from Recordshop X

Heikki Pöyhiä - Vocals
Tommi Sartanen - Guitars
Ville Wallenius - Guitars
Jussi Kainulainen - Bass
Juha Leskinen - Drums

Twilightning on internet:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Review: Stratovarius - Polaris

There is little denying what Stratovarius has ment to power metal scene over the years. For sure Stratovarius has been one of the great ones always when it comes to that genre. Unfortunately for Stratovarius they have been known for more than just their music also and their numerous publicity stunts and public fights have kept them on the lipps of metal community for years already. Latest of them being when Timo Tolkki decided to leave Stratovarius and pursue his solocareer. Tons of hateful statements between Tolkki and Stratovarius followed and people once again had the "fun" to witness this madness. Where we are now with all this...well no one really knows.

For many longtime Stratovarius fans it was a very bitter pill to swallow when Tolkki left cause although he wasn't the founding member, he was considered the soul of Stratovarius. But we must not forget that although he wrote 95% of Stratovarius material, it was the five-piece that made the songs what they are. I am certain that every member brought their own little thing to each and every song although the songs were composed by Tolkki. As much as people seem to "hate" and love to bash Timo Tolkki there is no denying that as a composer he was and still is one of the best there is. For a while it seemed even to Johansson, Kotipelto, Michael and Porra that Stratovarius is no more. At least according to them. No one really knows how they felt after Tolkki left the band. It surely didn't make things easier that's for sure. But then after couple of left-turns, few back, three forward and one right, they confirmed that Stratovarius has a new guitarist Matias Kupiainen and a new album coming. And on May 2009 it happened and Polaris hit the recordstores. This is supposed to be a review right? So how is the album then?

I wish it would be all that easy...just to pick up the cd, listen to it and review it. The pressure behind Polaris was huge...not to mention the expectations. First album without the mastermind, a new guitarist, everyone now participating on songwriting. So many possibilities to make Polaris fail. I don't think they failed. I think considering the circumstances Stratovarius delivered a good album. Should we first chew Kupiainen before moving on songs? Gladly.

Junior is very good. But honestly...did anyone expect them to choose a crappy guitarist? We are talking about worldclass musicians here c'mon. But Matias is a very good guitarist. He also has his own project called Fist in Fetus that has released one EP. For Polaris Matias has contributed on 3 songs (Deep Unknown, Higher We Go, Somehow Precious). Perhaps in the future if he composes songs alone we can really tell more about his composing skills. But as a guitarist he is very good.

There are many recognizable elements in Polaris. Perhaps biggest of them being the keyboards of course. Jens Johansson simply has the sound to recognize and of course skills to match. There are many "duels" between Johansson and Kupiainen and those are always fun to listen. Jörg Michael and Lauri Porra makes a perfect rhytmsection. A bit surprisingly the negative feedback this time goes to vocalist Timo Kotipelto. Singing itself is very good as always but somehow it seems that he was missing the "pusher" in studio...that being Timo Tolkki. For instance there are few parts in the album where his pronunciation is quite bad and those would have never gone through with Tolkki. And also few stretched words are missing the last letter. Well the ones that usually criticized Timo's pronunciation were Finns and I guess this time isn't exception either :)

Sounds on Polaris are top notch. always. Then let's talk about the songs a bit. Here I just have to pick up one interview where Kotipelto said that Polaris is that good old Stratovarius again...excuse me? Maybe he was referring to something else besides songs cause this surely isn't the good old Stratovarius. You can put Episode, Visions, Destiny, Infinite or even Dreamspace on the same line with Polaris and it would be like putting Ferrari and Lada on comparison. But I think it's useless to talk about good old Stratovarius cause those days aren't coming back. Metallica said that Death Magnetic was like Master Of Puppets...right. Well it wasn't the Master Of Puppets I have heard.

Album opener Deep Unknown which was also the single release and the song for video. Well it's a good one really. Perhaps the chorus is a bit tacky but all in all it's a very good album opener. Falling Star is a mid-tempo song with a catchy chorus. King Of Nothing is my personal favourite on this album. Jens Johansson plays some amazing tunes on this song. And although you can recognize it as Stratovarius, it also has something new. I just can't put my finger to what it is...should I try my fist? Then comes Blind, what a horrible "let's-just-fill-something"-type of song! This song is a textbook-example that no matter how well you play it simply isn't enough if the song has absolutely nothing. And the fact that it comes after King Of Nothing makes it even close to blasphemy. A total ear-bleeder. Winter Skies is the next one. Along with Deep Unknown and Higher We Go, Winter Skies has managed to break on their setlist too...but I wonder why though? It's an ok ballad but on the long tradition of ballads in Stratovarius, this really doesn't move in any way. I would prefer Winter from Fourth Dimension over this in any day. Forever Is Today is probably closest to the good old Stratovarius. I think this song would have fit any Stratovarius album easily. All the elements are simply there. Doublebass, melodies, keyboards, the package. And the lyrics do offer a good lesson..."Forever is today so don't delay". Kupiainen also plays a very good solo on this song. And it was nice to see that this song was composed solely by Lauri Porra. Higher We Go is an ok song but again I wonder why this particular song is on their setlist? But definately a song worth having on this album, a bit clichee but then's Stratovarius :) Somehow Precious is a very good ballad. Kupiainen plays very beautiful melodies on this song. And the chorus is very good. The comes the Emancipation Suite in 2 parts: Dusk and Dawn. Again solely composed by Lauri Porra. At first I didn't like these 2 songs but it required few listenings and they started opening up. Not the best on Polaris but definately worth having. And I have to admit that part 1 has one of the best guitarsolos I have ever heard. Very good indeed. Closing the album with When Mountains Fall. Only vocals, acoustic guitar and strings. Touching lyrics. Somewhere said it's the Forever of this millenium...bullshit but however a very beautiful song. And again...solely composed by Lauri Porra...Lauri you are an animal! The only minus in a beautiful ballad is that it sounds like Kotipelto sings "Now I am shitting by your grave and I sing this song for you"...not very romantic.

All in all Polaris didn't bring much new to the scene but it delivered. As a closure I have to criticize their setlists a bit...on the first part of their tour Stratovarius only played 3 songs from the new album. And in my opinion they chose entirely wrong songs from Polaris...with Deep Uknown there should have definately been King Of Nothing and Forever Is Today. I saw them (well heard them mostly cause I was enjoying beverages with my gf in the drinking area) in Sauna Open Air in Tampere and it is understandable that people freaked out for all the classics but it was equally sad to hear people being confused about the new songs. We are far from the days when Stratovarius played their entire Infinite album from beginning to an end and only after that came other classics. But as one concert review from Sauna Open Air said...Stratovarius is an excellent tributeband.

Review: 8 / 10

Tracklist of Polaris:
  1. Deep Unknown
  2. Falling Star
  3. King Of Nothing
  4. Blind
  5. Winter Skies
  6. Forever Is Today
  7. Higher We Go
  8. Somehow Precious
  9. Emancipation Suite Part I: Dusk
  10. Emancipation Suite Part II: Dawn
  11. When Mountains Fall
Stratovarius is:

Timo Kotipelto - Vocals
Jens Johansson - Keyboards
Matias Kupiainen - Guitars
Lauri Porra - Bass
Jörg Michael - Drums

Stratovarius on internet:

Friday, July 3, 2009

When idolizing someone goes too far

What has been the nro 1 topic in every media during the past week or so? Michael Jackson and is unfortunate passing of course. The amount of news in different medias have been something beyond understanding. On the day of his death many websites crashed cause people all over the world tried to find information, Twitter crashed, Google thought they were under attack from the amount of queries their search-engines received all of a sudden. From the impact point-of-view one might think that the world simply went mad cause of this.

When services like Twitter crash or Google consider they are under attack, we can only make one conclusion: Michael Jackson was a very significant person to this world. I mean these things doesn't happen just cause few thousand people all of a sudden decide to start finding information about the same has to be hundreds of thousands...probably even millions of people. About his passing there is simply nothing I could tell that hasn't been told already. And new things pop up each day...latest being how he wanted to adopt the 8 children from Nadya Suleman, better known as Octomum. At first Debbie Rowe didn't want to have anything to do with her 2 children, then she all of a sudden wanted the custody and now rumors say that she isn't even the biological mother of Prince Michael and Paris. I mean what the hell? Well this is the time when all the rumors take place and media grabs them all.

It kinda reminds me that poor Bolivian tv-station who got hold of pictures from Air France flight AF447 that crashed on Atlantic and they aired showing those pictures where the back of the plane was ripped off and one passenger was torn from the plane...unfortunately for them, those pictures were taken from the tv-series Lost! You could even see Evangeline Lilly on the pictures and she surely wasn't on AF447 flight. But it just shows that when something is "hot", things are published by any means possible. And it's really sad.

The passing of Michael Jackson was and still is sad and tragic. But what really saddens me are those 12 Michael Jackson fans who decided to commit suicide. Well at least the count is 12 while writing this. And hopefully it will stay that way and we won't have any more people ending their lives. Don't you think it's stupid to end your life cause your idol died? Do you think Mr. Jackson would have wanted his fans starting to take their lives cause of him? I mean c'mon!

When you lose a familymember, your companion, your child...those are the moments when a person might go through thoughts about his or her will to carry on without the person he or she lost. And somehow that is understandable. But how important can an idol really be to a fan? This is simply something that doesn't get in my head...maybe I am not idolizing anyone strong enough? Outside my family and friends there are very few people who's passing would make a strong impact on me. I think Ozzy Osbourne is one of those people. When Dimebag was killed it saddened me cause everyone said how wonderful person he was. And it wasn't his time yet. And I truly admired him as a musician and a guitarplayer. But I would never choose to end my life because of them.

Wishing a nice weekend to everyone!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: Synestesia - Feeniks

Synestesia came from the bushes to me. I had them listed in Metal From Finland but for some reason I never payed that much attention to them. But after reading one review of their album "Feeniks" in which they got 10-/10 I simply had to get familiar with their music. So what do we do these days if we want to listen some new bands? Well we visit their Myspace-page of course! Which I did...and boy am I glad that I did that! Well it really didn't require much to convince me really. Since I got hold of Feeniks-album it has been constantly playing on my iTunes and iPod.

Feeniks is a concept album and the first thing I payed attention to were the lyrics. Those are some "parental advisory" stuff, I love it! If you come to think of it, basically there is only one thing that could prevent Synestesia from becoming a very succesful band outside Finland. It is the fact that they sing in finnish. Songs on Feeniks are relatively short (around 4 minutes) except for the last one "Tuli Palakoon" which is over 6 minutes long.

Instrumental song Suvanto calms down the album very nicely. It's like calm after the storm but also before the storm! Well as I wrote earlier, Feeniks is a concept album and after Suvanto, the climax of the album starts building up. Once you understand the lyrics you'll notice that the suspense keeps on growing and growing and it reaches the top on Rakastan Sinua-song. After that comes Tuli Palakoon which is crushing yet very melodic mid-tempo song.

Members of Synestesia are incredible musicians and the songs are written in a way that they are fast, brutal yet melodic. Sounds are supreme. All in all a perfect package. A must have to all fans of melodic death metal.

Review: 9/10

Tracklist of Feeniks:
  1. Nimeni On Feeniks
  2. Minun Hymyni Kirkastaa Kasvosi
  3. Kuka Nyt Saa Sen Tietää
  4. Puhdas Sattuma
  5. Merituuli
  6. Suvanto
  7. Lasialttari
  8. Päätös
  9. Rakastan Sinua
  10. Tuli Palakoon
Synestesia is:

Eero Hammais - Bass
Kalle Aaltonen - Guitar
Jonne-Pekka Stenroos - Guitar
Eero Kuusisto - Vocals
Timo Harju - Drums

Synestesia on internet: (soundsamples available) (Label)