THE BEST OF 2013 AND THE END OF 730 DAYS

Beginnings and ends. This time it’s more about the latter. Although year 2014 is just a crying newborn, I’m standing more around graves than cradles. The paper version of Kaleidoscope is lying already in hibernation, and now it’s time to drag this blog into the realms of sleep too. I have gone through all the old issues and also published lots of interviews from Imperiumi.net too, so I don’t have any actual material left in my sleeves – and same time I don’t have enough time and interest to create new things. Therefore, by this article about the pinnacles of 2013, I’ll say farewell but leave the door ajar for the possible inspiration to come. Thank you all – about 37 400 views so far, by the way – we’ll see somewhere in the future.

About the year 2013: many “good old bands” didn’t do the trick but to counterbalance this I found many new bands and even new genres that gave me new angles and ways to see this abstract and infinite world of music. So an interesting year in general. And it was also a happy thing to see that I had interviewed all these bands in my top five. So instead of actual reviews (let the music do the talking!) I pinched a word or two from those interviews – these bands have both music and words in aces.

tribulation_formulas

TRIBULATION: The Formulas of Death

– When we started getting somewhere with the album, we decided not to check how long the songs were, it seemed limiting at the time. This wasn’t the album for that kind of thing; we wanted this album to be as “free” as possible from all of that crap. Another thing we agreed on early was to shut the world out from this album; hence, we couldn’t have cared less if someone felt that it was too long. It could have been a three hour album, and it could have been half an hour. If anything, some of that has come to me now that the album is actually recorded, but I still don’t feel that it’s too long; it is what it is. We didn’t make the album to sell records, we made it for ourselves. If someone likes it, then that’s great I think, but I really can’t see how I will get affected by people who don’t. We left some material out, but no complete songs. It could be a good start for our next album; we actually have even newer material as well. That creative spark still lingers. (from Kaleidoscope #14)

bölzer_aura

BÖLZER: Aura MLP

– The guitar riffs are obviously an essential part of our atmosphere and it is precisely because I am alone in the string section that the riffs are large and evocative. I have a lot of space to fill so there is much emphasis put on the depth, breadth and tonality of the guitars. The dynamics find their roots in the riff writing process but really come to fruition when placed over HzR’s monolithic beats. I find our style of writing quite reserved, compared to a lot of other technical acts at least, so it is not too difficult to maintain an ordered overview. (from Kaleidoscope #17)

paavoharju-joko-sina-tulet-tanne-alas-tai-mina-nousen-sinne-lp

PAAVOHARJU: Joko sinä tulet tänne alas tai minä tulen sinne

– There’s always a primordial, elemental vision behind good music. Music is the saliva of God, and the person who’s trying to make truffles out of that saliva by rolling it in the dust, isn’t really capable of making a difference between an arp2600 and a lyre. (from Kaleidoscope #7)

cosmicchurch_ylistys

COSMIC CHURCH: Ylistys

– When you are solely responsible for every detail of the album and play everything yourself (with length and amount of different instruments as this) the amount of physical and mental stress is (at least for me personally) huge. I would also like to deal with recordings as fast as possible, but in this case I had to record the album in small pieces over the period of half of a year, which left me a lot of time to lay awake in my bed at night and have thoughts like “is it good enough, should I re-record the whole thing or just dump some songs or do something else” and I had major stress about these issues all the time and nothing was really proceeding, as I always had to fit my schedule together with the recording guy, etc. Finally in January 2013, we had everything ready from my part and I can say that I am happy if I never need to go through this kind of process again. (from Kaleidoscope #15)

conventguilt_cover

CONVENT GUILT: Convent Guilt MCD

– As much as I like women, whisky and wild nights in the city, I really don’t feel the need to write yet another song about those topics. There is definitely a serious side to Convent Guilt. We’re not ‘preaching’ or trying to send a message to our listeners, but we try to craft dark and powerful stories, often with an influence from Australia’s history. I love the dark obscurity of ‘70s Judas Priest lyrics, the Irish pride of Thin Lizzy’s finest moments and the sleazy, cheeky wit of ‘70s Aerosmith. I try to bring a bit of all those elements to Convent Guilt. (from Kaleidoscope #14)

…And to keep things going to the last breath, these albums also get my honourable mention:

THE RUINS OF BEVERAST: Blood Vaults

LANTERN: Below

ULVER: Messe I.X-VI.X

PESTE NOIRE: Peste Noire

RUGER HAUER: Ukraina

SUMMONING: Old Mornings Dawn

CATHEDRAL: The Last Spire

THOU ART LORD: The Regal Pulse of Lucifer

SOKEA PISTE: Välikäsi

CULTES DES GHOULES: Henbane

VENEROR: Percussimus Foedus cum Morte

NATIONAL: Trouble Will Find Me

SPEEDTRAP: Powerdose

KNOKKELKLANG: Avgrunnens Klangverk MLP

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