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New Stratovarius album: a list of demands
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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:09 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I look forward to hearing it when you're ready!

There are such few die-hard Stratovarius fans from America that I feel we are brothers in arms Laughing

And don't worry about butchering my question. The average IQ of this forum is about 70 so I entered with very grounded expectations.

Mine is 65 if anyone's interested. Rolling Eyes

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:11 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:
I have a shy temperament. Embarassed


this one kind of made me laugh a bit. Mainly because saying you have a shy temperament is the same thing as saying you're shy, but in more words.

But somehow it sounds better. I'm exactly the same way. Anyway I digress.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:34 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I look forward to hearing it when you're ready!

About my album: I'm recording the whole thing in my home. I went into it thinking it would be really fun and exciting, only for it to turn into an exacerbatingly stressful experience. I'm handling the whole process myself, from writing the music, to placing the microphones, to playing all of the instruments, to mixing the tracks, etc... Things are moving along slowly. If you want to know just how slowly, I recorded the drum tracks last year. Shocked So far, the drums, bass, and rhythm guitar are finished. The lead guitar, keyboards, and vocals remain. I also did some post-production work, as well. The name of my project/band is "Zenith", and "MC" are my initials. Thus, "ZenithMC". Very Happy Sometimes, it is hard for me to find enough morale necessary to continue the project. It means a lot to me that you are looking forward to hearing it; it gives me strength!

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
There are such few die-hard Stratovarius fans from America that I feel we are brothers in arms Laughing
Beerchug Stratovarius would probably have more American fans if they toured here, but it's obviously not viable for them from a financial standpoint. I wonder if they've ever considered touring here as a group with other bands, like Sonata Arctica does. I saw Sonata Arctica live, once, back in 2014. I still consider it the best concert experience I've ever had, and I was at Orionfest in 2012 Surprised. I've only been to 4-5 concerts in my life. I don't really enjoy concerts anymore, for a plethora of reasons.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
ZenithMC wrote:
I have a shy temperament. Embarassed


this one kind of made me laugh a bit. Mainly because saying you have a shy temperament is the same thing as saying you're shy, but in more words.

But somehow it sounds better. I'm exactly the same way. Anyway I digress.

I glad you enjoy my idiosyncratic ways! Freak4

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't really enjoy concerts anymore, for a plethora of reasons.


I actually don't enjoy them much either, but I had a few really priceless moments over the years.

Seeing Stratovarius live in 2005, which I think was my first "metal" concert. What an unforgettable life experience! I was in the front row. They were (are) my gods and the entire experience was surreal. I still remember how much I hated Kotipelto's jeans.

Seeing Pumpkins United last year was also spectacular. I had been waiting for a Michael Kiske reunion for such a long time and it was a dream come true.

Seeing Angra (w/ Lione) and Labyrinth at Progpower was also really special.

Then there was Kamelot with Roy Khan in 2006...wow!

The dream that never came true was was to see Andre Matos perform live. Another one of my childhood heroes. What a shame, how young he passed.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:57 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
About my album: I'm recording the whole thing in my home. I went into it thinking it would be really fun and exciting, only for it to turn into an exacerbatingly stressful experience. I'm handling the whole process myself, from writing the music, to placing the microphones, to playing all of the instruments, to mixing the tracks, etc... Things are moving along slowly. If you want to know just how slowly, I recorded the drum tracks last year. Shocked So far, the drums, bass, and rhythm guitar are finished. The lead guitar, keyboards, and vocals remain. I also did some post-production work, as well. The name of my project/band is "Zenith", and "MC" are my initials. Thus, "ZenithMC". Very Happy Sometimes, it is hard for me to find enough morale necessary to continue the project. It means a lot to me that you are looking forward to hearing it; it gives me strength!


That is so cool! Are you playing all the instruments yourself, and singing too? Do you think the experience would be less stressful and more fun if other people were involved?

Are you planning to make a career in music, or is it just a hobby?

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:14 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
That is so cool! Are you playing all the instruments yourself, and singing too?

Yeah, the whole 9 yards! Laughing

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Do you think the experience would be less stressful and more fun if other people were involved?

It would definitely be less stressful with more people involved, because right now, I have to handle the tasks of the engineer as well as the tasks of the musician, and that quickly becomes overwhelming when I mess up my take 100+ times.

All in all, it's a lot more work to do it this way, compared to the traditional route, but it's a dream of mine to single-handedly produce my own album.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Are you planning to make a career in music, or is it just a hobby?

This is a career, and I plan on making Zenith a household name someday. Right now, it's only a household name in my own house. Laughing

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HinatAArcticA
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

I'm not exactly trolling but the art of hyperbole seems to be lost on you.


Hey, it's the Stratoforum. The line can get VERY blurry sometimes, and you know it Laughing I was just making sure. It was just really hard for me because of the earbuds thing. You don't need $1000 headphones to appreciate an album's production, but iPod tier earbuds is a bit too far the other way.

I was gonna reply to each answer of yours but they seemed quite reasonable to me so didn't seem necessary to go point by point.

I do not agree that CO's albums are above Eternal, though I will concede Stormcrow over Elysium in terms of production. May have noticed, but I'm in fact a fan of the way Matias works. I will give you that Elysium is not as good as his later efforts would become.

About Trinity, it's fine if it didn't bothered you, but it's simply not very well mixed/produced, specially compared to other stuff Tolkki did before and has done since that album.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

Isn't it crazy that the old Tricky Beans song Blackout actually sounds somehow better than Flag in the Ground?


Now THAT is just plain wrong Laughing

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:26 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:

This is a career, and I plan on making Zenith a household name someday. Right now, it's only a household name in my own house. Laughing


Well I think its great to have these lofty ambitions. But I think if you're making progressive/power metal, there is a very low "glass ceiling". Not even Nightwish is a household name lol.

Being able to make a living off of music is probably a more achievable goal, but even that to be honest seems out of reach these days. Discouraging isn't it?

Music is fun so lots of people release albums and songs just on the side.

Imagine how hard it would be to be a dentist.... if a bunch of self taught wankers were giving fillings and root canals pro bono just because they enjoyed it.

On the other hand its more rewarding to be a failed musician than a failed dentist. So there's that.

I'm not saying you'll fail though. Why would you?

Good luck!!!

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:33 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

HinatAArcticA wrote:

I do not agree that CO's albums are above Eternal, though I will concede Stormcrow over Elysium in terms of production. May have noticed, but I'm in fact a fan of the way Matias works. I will give you that Elysium is not as good as his later efforts would become.


Well, we also have to remember in all of our judgements....that power metal is nowhere near what it used to be. And even the music industry itself is not what it used to be.

So bands like Stratovarius are a smaller percentage of an industry that itself has shrunk.

That might mean the budget to record and produce Eternal could be one tenth that of Elements. So its a bit unreasonable for us to nag about production quality, etc.

I don't have the music expertise to really answer the big questions though. Has the advent of digital technology closed the gap between big and small productions? Do people in the music business have some backdoor access to good studios (or have their own studios) even despite small budgets?

Its a totally different world and i'm very curious about it.

I sometimes wish I would hear musicians candidly pour their hearts out about the realities of the business instead of this "our latest album is our strongest work to date" mumbo jumbo.

For example, what is it like when you have thousands of adoring fans all around the world..... but they are all half your age? Its kind of strange, isnt it? Your music appeals to a cohort of people you can't relate to on any level.


hinata wrote:

Now THAT is just plain wrong Laughing


Peacemaker is another example. Have you heard that one? I just pick up this really clear thinking and simple charm in that song. Check out that keyboard solo by the way. Its so playful and fun. When musicians get older they make things way too complicated sometimes. Maybe its declining libidos that are to blame? Wink

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:22 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Well I think its great to have these lofty ambitions. But I think if you're making progressive/power metal, there is a very low "glass ceiling". Not even Nightwish is a household name lol.

Being able to make a living off of music is probably a more achievable goal, but even that to be honest seems out of reach these days. Discouraging isn't it?

Music is fun so lots of people release albums and songs just on the side.

Imagine how hard it would be to be a dentist.... if a bunch of self taught wankers were giving fillings and root canals pro bono just because they enjoyed it.

On the other hand its more rewarding to be a failed musician than a failed dentist. So there's that.

I'm not saying you'll fail though. Why would you?

Good luck!!!

Yeah, scratch the household name thing. I wasn't totally realistic about that one. As long as a least someone remembers what Zenith was, or any of my compositions, hundreds of years from now, I'll be content (albeit from the grave). I think my music as a lot of potential, but then again, who, as a composer, would say otherwise about their own work. The path to success is paved with hard work and dedication.

If worse comes to worse, I could always just become a freelance composer. I tend to enjoy composing music more than actually performing it anyway. I've recently been branching out into writing more varied genres of music, so that I can expand my skillset. I can say that it's been very refreshing to do so. Very Happy

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:21 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I hear you!

Do you know the musician Matt Guillory? I think he's very talented. He's a session musician (mainly keyboardist) who played with a lot of great artists. His style is somewhat similar to our beloved Jens.

He wrote and produced all of James Labrie's solo albums!

Believe it or not, he is a full-time software engineer at apple. Incredible how hard it is to make ends meet in this biz. Or maybe its not that hard and he just prefers his gig at Apple.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:14 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

I'm not familiar with Matt Guillory, but I trust what you're saying about him.

This brings us to the marketing side of the the music industry. Without a good marketing strategy, even if a band puts out the greatest music of all time, they won't get very far. My definition of success involves accruing a large amount of fans and publicity. The more people that are exposed to a product, the more likely it is that someone will eventually purchase or share that product with others.

Do you feel that the strategy of social media era entertainers (like Youtubers and streamers) can be applied to musicians/bands as well? Do you think that the record label era of the music industry is becoming obsolete? If so, then it might be more viable for musicians and bands these days to build up a presence on Youtube and social media sites, and get funding through donation sites like Paytreon and selling merchandise.

If it is now easier than ever to reach audiences on the internet, then why are musicians struggling to make ends meet? If I had to guess an answer to my own question, I'd say market saturation. If there is a lot of competition, then the audience will be spread out among them, and not everyone can afford to buy every album that they come across.

I know it's cliché of me to say this, but what would ultimately make me the happiest in life is knowing that others will enjoy listening to my music someday, and not the financial gains from selling my music. Smile

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:33 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

ZenithMC wrote:

Do you feel that the strategy of social media era entertainers (like Youtubers and streamers) can be applied to musicians/bands as well?


Just releasing a bunch of songs a-la-cart to Youtube, and interacting with the fans to bilk them of a few dollars via "superchats"? The entire thing seems really watered down and lame to me. Not sure, what do you thinK?

Quote:
Do you think that the record label era of the music industry is becoming obsolete?


I think no- and that's without me knowing anything about the music industry. You can make the simple observation that all major bands do have record labels, and most shitty ones don't, so there is something to it. Those that have the means prefer to have a record label.

It's quite possible that record labels aren't willing to invest any serious money promoting artists anymore, but evidently the alternative of not having a label is worse.

Quote:

If it is now easier than ever to reach audiences on the internet, then why are musicians struggling to make ends meet? If I had to guess an answer to my own question, I'd say market saturation. If there is a lot of competition, then the audience will be spread out among them, and not everyone can afford to buy every album that they come across.


There are lots of problems with the music industry.

(1) It's easier to make your work available to audiences on the internet, but not any easier to reach them. Probably its harder now. There is very little barrier to entry in the recording and distribution process- so everyone is pumping out music non-stop.

(2) The monetization model for music is totally broken. What other successful industry relies solely on the "honor system" as far as downloads are concerned? Its untenable.

(3) There is a growing back-catalogue of great music to listen to, which I think devalues future music. A young metal fan could spend years listening to classics that have stood the test of time from Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Stratovarius, Angra, Queensryche. So unless the up-and-coming band is bringing something to the table thats competitive with Visions or Temple of Shadows, whats the use? There is so much great prior work to choose from.

Quote:

I know it's cliché of me to say this, but what would ultimately make me the happiest in life is knowing that others will enjoy listening to my music someday, and not the financial gains from selling my music. Smile


Well that's a great attitude and with that sir, you cannot fail.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:33 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Just releasing a bunch of songs a-la-cart to Youtube, and interacting with the fans to bilk them of a few dollars via "superchats"? The entire thing seems really watered down and lame to me. Not sure, what do you thinK?

I don't know. I think it can be a good thing, as long as the band/musician is putting out a real album and not some Youtube only thing. They would be getting funding support from the people who truly care about their music, the fans, and not from some record label. Producing an album nowadays costs so much less than it did ten years ago, especially if the artist handles the production. I believe that if you don't branch yourself out into newer forms of communication and interaction, then you are only hurting your chances at success.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I think no- and that's without me knowing anything about the music industry. You can make the simple observation that all major bands do have record labels, and most shitty ones don't, so there is something to it. Those that have the means prefer to have a record label.

It's quite possible that record labels aren't willing to invest any serious money promoting artists anymore, but evidently the alternative of not having a label is worse.

That could be chalked up to the fact that many of these major bands were founded in an era without internet and mass communication, and getting signed was the only way to go. If the industry is truly being more selective these days, then some newer bands might have no choice but to start out as an independent act. At this point in time, it's obviously less fruitful to be an independent musician, and I believe that getting signed is important if you want to achieve the most out of a music career.

Take Ola Englund as an example. He is an independent musician who has amassed a very large audience on Youtube with his series of amp testing videos, among other things. He's a very good guitarist, and he also produces and sells his albums completely by himself. Do I believe his music career could be augmented by becoming a signed artist? Absolutely. However, I think his motivations for being an independent musician may be personal in origin.

Also, there are a ton of shit-tier bands that are signed artists. Laughing

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
(1) It's easier to make your work available to audiences on the internet, but not any easier to reach them. Probably its harder now. There is very little barrier to entry in the recording and distribution process- so everyone is pumping out music non-stop.

How is it not any easier to reach people nowadays on the internet? If anything, it's probably the easiest it has ever been. It certainly isn't hurting your chances. What are the odds that a big name musician will come across your channel and videos and reach out to you or want to promote you? I'd say the odds are much higher now then in the past. Instead of moving out to a large metropolitan area and getting noticed by local big names, all you have to do is promote your music online. Anyone with an internet connection has the potential to see it, so the pool of potential interest is much larger.

That's why it would be in a musician's best interest to attract the attention of a big name Youtuber, or someone else with a huge following online. If an e-celeb starts talking about your music, then you've also potential piqued the curiosity of the majority of that e-celeb's fan base.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
(2) The monetization model for music is totally broken. What other successful industry relies solely on the "honor system" as far as downloads are concerned? Its untenable.

About piracy in general: I don't understand why people in any industry say that they're losing billions upon billions of dollars to it. My reasoning is this: A pirate is not a customer; not today, and not in the future. So to say that they are losing all of this money is ludicrous if the pirates were never interested in purchasing their products in the first place. It's not like they can force pirates to buy things anyway. They will either acquire things for free, and if they cannot, then they won't acquire it at all and move on to something else. It's such a futile thing for the industries to try to combat, and when they do try to combat it, good paying customers end up in the crossfire. DRM sure is fun, isn't it? Laughing (I know this may sound strange, but I'm not completely opposed to piracy. If people in the future pirate my music, I would see it as people who are interested in sharing my music with others, and that has the potential to attract more attention and future fans alike)

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
(3) There is a growing back-catalogue of great music to listen to, which I think devalues future music. A young metal fan could spend years listening to classics that have stood the test of time from Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Stratovarius, Angra, Queensryche. So unless the up-and-coming band is bringing something to the table thats competitive with Visions or Temple of Shadows, whats the use? There is so much great prior work to choose from.

That's like saying that future video games have no chance compared to the classics... Actually, you're not wrong. Laughing But in all seriousness, how does this logic really make any sense? If you enjoyed all of those older bands, why did you start listening to anyone else? Why, even, were you not content with just listening to only one of those several bands you mentioned? The answer is that people will eventually seek out new and alternative forms of entertainment from that which they're already familiar with. Not everyone is going to be looking to the past to find alternatives. There will also be people who will select their alternatives from up and coming bands.

Here's three points in support of newer bands and young talent in the music industry:

* There will be a demand and market for younger and newer bands to represent the interests of younger fans. There are generational shifts in tastes of music. For example, why aren't you listening to 40's era swing bands right now? Younger generations are eager to hear new and exciting things, and that's what generally prompts progression in music and art.

* The music industry would love to pay newer trendier bands less and eventually abandon the older expensive bands. An example of this was the rise of Grunge in the 90's. That one ultimately backfired, but it happened, nevertheless.

* Newer bands can potentially gain the attention of someone bigger than them, and rise to prominence as a result. This is how a lot of older artists became popular and this is also how newer artists will become popular.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to how much talent, publicity, and luck one has. Not everyone band is a great band, and that, in and of itself, is a form of natural selection in the musical ecosystem.

Sorry for the gigantic wall of text. Embarassed

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't know. I think it can be a good thing, as long as the band/musician is putting out a real album and not some Youtube only thing. They would be getting funding support from the people who truly care about their music, the fans, and not from some record label. Producing an album nowadays costs so much less than it did ten years ago, especially if the artist handles the production. I believe that if you don't branch yourself out into newer forms of communication and interaction, then you are only hurting your chances at success.


But in a way this transparency with fans ruins the magic. If Timo Kotipelto was live streaming every day and begging for donations, I don't want to say I would lose my respect but it would be hard to take him seriously.

Can you imagine Ritchie Blackmore doing something like that? I think a veil of privacy kind of increases the appeal of these artists for me.

But yeah I agree in this day and age that is probably the best route to take.

Quote:
How is it not any easier to reach people nowadays on the internet? If anything, it's probably the easiest it has ever been.


We have to draw a distinction between between making your work available to others and actually reaching them. Yeah the internet makes file and video sharing trivial, but every damn idiot is putting their work out there, so getting eyeballs on you is no small feat.

In the old days recording an album was probably tremendously difficult and expensive. But if you pulled it off, that was half the battle.

Quote:
My reasoning is this: A pirate is not a customer; not today, and not in the future. So to say that they are losing all of this money is ludicrous if the pirates were never interested in purchasing their products in the first place. It's not like they can force pirates to buy things anyway. They will either acquire things for free, and if they cannot, then they won't acquire it at all and move on to something else.


Your last statement is a blanket statement that just doesn't hold up. Its like opening a bakery that's totally on the honor system, and telling yourself that anyone who steals a cake would have never bought one anyway.

Personally I have both paid for and torrented many albums over the years. Some of the ones I torrented I might have bought if there was absolutely no other way to get ahold of them.

Quote:
It's such a futile thing for the industries to try to combat, and when they do try to combat it, good paying customers end up in the crossfire. DRM sure is fun, isn't it? Laughing (I know this may sound strange, but I'm not completely opposed to piracy. If people in the future pirate my music, I would see it as people who are interested in sharing my music with others, and that has the potential to attract more attention and future fans alike)


As an up and coming guy, I understand any eyeballs are encouraging. But its still extremely cut and dry that music industry revenues are a fraction of what they were in the late 90s, and I think piracy has a lot to do with it.

But I agree its a futile thing for industries to combat. I think these music streaming services are probably the music industries best bet.

Quote:

That's like saying that future video games have no chance compared to the classics...


The difference is that video games continue to improve in their graphics and sophistication. Music, its arguable. The style changes but it does not strictly improve. Some might say it gets worse, since the industry itself has shrunk and no one wants to invest in big productions anymore.

Quote:

Actually, you're not wrong. Laughing But in all seriousness, how does this logic really make any sense? If you enjoyed all of those older bands, why did you start listening to anyone else? Why, even, were you not content with just listening to only one of those several bands you mentioned?


There are a lot of reasons. I'm a hardcore music fan and I heard all the old stuff already. But a more casual listener might very well suffice to listen to the last 3-4 decades of music on shuffle.

I'm not trying to argue there is absolutely no need or demand for new music.

But I do think a rock fan in 1971 was probably much more hungry for new music than one in 2019. There is just an absurd amount of high quality rock and metal already out there and I think music has become a commodity these days.

That's a pessimistic perspective I realize!

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:31 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
If Timo Kotipelto was live streaming every day and begging for donations, I don't want to say I would lose my respect but it would be hard to take him seriously.

Okay, I didn't mean it like that. Laughing I meant more like a band would live stream their live performances, and the viewers would be able to donate if they wanted to.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
We have to draw a distinction between between making your work available to others and actually reaching them. Yeah the internet makes file and video sharing trivial, but every damn idiot is putting their work out there, so getting eyeballs on you is no small feat.

In the old days recording an album was probably tremendously difficult and expensive. But if you pulled it off, that was half the battle.

Of course, just making the videos available doesn't attract much attention. If you aren't also promoting yourself then you're only doing half of the task, and I would absolutely describe those people as damn idiots if they thought they were going to get anywhere by half-assing it. Where are the eyeballs looking? They're looking at whoever is promoting themselves the best. What about the recommended videos list on sites like Youtube? What about tagging videos and appropriately naming videos and posting links to the videos on sites like Reddit and generally diversifying where you promote them? There are systems in place to help get the eyeballs on you, and those who do not take advantage of those systems will perform much worse.

Making an album is still very difficult and it requires a lot of dedication and effort. That much hasn't changed. What has changed is the availability of affordable recording equipment. Based on my own experiences, it is no longer a requirement to use a studio to record an album and produce professional sounding results.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Your last statement is a blanket statement that just doesn't hold up. Its like opening a bakery that's totally on the honor system, and telling yourself that anyone who steals a cake would have never bought one anyway.

Personally I have both paid for and torrented many albums over the years. Some of the ones I torrented I might have bought if there was absolutely no other way to get ahold of them.

According to what you said, I would not consider you to be a pirate because you said that you would've purchased it if it was available. I'm talking about people who, even if the product was readily available for purchase, would not have purchased it to acquire it. My definition of a pirate is someone who seeks to acquire a particular product and will never buy it under any circumstances. Realistically, not too many people probably fit that mold, and it's pretty black and white.

I'm not really sure how to interpret your analogy, so if one of these two arguments seem silly, that's why:

1) Not too many people will arbitrarily attempt to rob a store sometimes, and at other times, be a law abiding customer.

2) If they just wanted to steal it, why would they think of buying it later? Laughing

Your analogy references theft. Piracy and theft are not one in the same. Stealing a cake deprives the store of the cake and any potential return on investment that selling it would've provided, and that really hurts the store financially. With piracy, the product is still available to be sold, because no one physically stole it. Writing a bunch of binary information to your hard drive costs nearly nothing. The raw ingredients for the cake cost several times more than that.

Here's another perspective:
Would someone, back in the old days before the internet era, be considered a pirate if they shared their records with their friends? What if they made VHS recordings of their favorite TV episodes and gave them to their friends? What about just lending them a book for a while? I'm sure these things occurred frequently, and many of those friends ended up never buying their own copies. Sometimes, they never planned to buy their own copies. How much did the big media industries lose as a result of this? My answer is nothing. Why? Because they were never interested in purchasing them. Therefore, it doesn't make sense for the industries to include non-potential customers in some hyperbolic propagandized statistic on how they were terribly hurt by them.

Sorry, the whole piracy debate is somewhat tangential. Embarassed I honestly wouldn't worry about it. There will always be more people in this world who do the just thing than those who will not.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
The difference is that video games continue to improve in their graphics and sophistication. Music, its arguable. The style changes but it does not strictly improve.

Music is always constantly evolving, just like any form of art. To say otherwise is not reflective of reality. Even the differences in style between different power metal acts is vast, especially if you compare the oldest acts to the latest ones. Whether the evolutions are an improvement or not is subjective.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
But its still extremely cut and dry that music industry revenues are a fraction of what they were in the late 90s, and I think piracy has a lot to do with it.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
the industry itself has shrunk and no one wants to invest in big productions anymore.

You seem to have this notion that the music industry is fairing less well nowadays, and it's commonly used in your arguments as a counter to my own. Where are you actually getting that information from? Are there statistics available for me to read or is it all just hearsay?

I don't believe the music industry will ever die, or is even doing that poorly. It's a fundamental part of our culture and, more generally, humanity.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:28 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
You seem to have this notion that the music industry is fairing less well nowadays, and it's commonly used in your arguments as a counter to my own. Where are you actually getting that information from? Are there statistics available for me to read or is it all just hearsay?

I don't believe the music industry will ever die, or is even doing that poorly. It's a fundamental part of our culture and, more generally, humanity.


It will never die but it is faring much worse than in previous decades.

Check out this graph.

In fact this graph doesn't do justice to how bad the situation is, because:
(a) Artists get a far smaller cut of the revenue from streaming services than they did from album sales, to the point where its practically negligible. See link. $5000 to split across an entire band for one million streams on spotify is pathetic. That's $1000 a person and doesn't include equipment and software costs, etc.

If you want to make 50,000 a year per band member, you need 50 million views per year.

And like I said, why would you get millions of views on Spotify? You're competing for listeners ears with Rolling Stones and Metallica. These streaming services aren't this desert where people are dying for some material to engage them. They have an increasingly growing body of good music to choose from and the problem is only going to get worse.

(b) Given how easy it is to produce music, there are probably an order of magnitude more artists now, competing for an ever shrinking piece of the pie.

(c) Rock music is no longer the top dog. Artists in EDM, Pop, and Hip Hop get far more attention. So if you're out there trying to play rock, its an uphill battle. To say nothing of power metal.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:36 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
Your analogy references theft. Piracy and theft are not one in the same. Stealing a cake deprives the store of the cake and any potential return on investment that selling it would've provided, and that really hurts the store financially. With piracy, the product is still available to be sold, because no one physically stole it. Writing a bunch of binary information to your hard drive costs nearly nothing. The raw ingredients for the cake cost several times more than that.


Yes, piracy is not exactly theft. But as a civilized society we still make laws on intellectual property because its in everyone's best interest to do so. You can't just go around violating trademarks and patents just because its technically not theft.

Quote:
Would someone, back in the old days before the internet era, be considered a pirate if they shared their records with their friends? What if they made VHS recordings of their favorite TV episodes and gave them to their friends? What about just lending them a book for a while? I'm sure these things occurred frequently, and many of those friends ended up never buying their own copies. Sometimes, they never planned to buy their own copies.


If you loan someone a record, its really totally different than duplicating it and distributing it.

That isn't to say there aren't ambiguities and gray areas. But I don't agree that illegal downloading and distribution of music is this morally ambiguous thing. It violates the laws of the land that we have collectively decided, and those laws are in place for a very good reason.

How many artists want all music to just enter the public domain?

Quote:

How much did the big media industries lose as a result of this? My answer is nothing. Why? Because they were never interested in purchasing them. Therefore, it doesn't make sense for the industries to include non-potential customers in some hyperbolic propagandized statistic on how they were terribly hurt by them.


You seem to deny the possibility that someone was willing to purchase something, but chose to download it instead. That happens all the time but from your telling, its one in a million.

Again just look at the huge decline in music revenue that started RIGHT around napster and p2p sharing.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:10 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Thanks for the figures and links.

The graph only shows profits from sales and not units sold. That can be misleading when comparing different mediums to each other. Digital versions of music cost less to produce, and therefore, are sold at a lower price. Singling out piracy as the reason for declining music revenue omits the possibility that another factor is responsible.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia in support of my claims:
Quote:
In the first decade of the 2000s, digitally downloaded and streamed music became more popular than buying physical recordings (e.g. CDs, records and tapes). This gave consumers almost "friction-less" access to a wider variety of music than ever before, across multiple devices. At the same time, consumers spent less money on recorded music (both physically and digitally distributed) than they had in the 1990s.[13] Total "music-business" revenues in the U.S. dropped by half, from a high of $14.6 billion in 1999 to $6.3 billion in 2009, according to Forrester Research.[14] Worldwide revenues for CDs, vinyl, cassettes and digital downloads fell from $36.9 billion in 2000[15] to $15.9 billion in 2010[16] according to IFPI. The Economist and The New York Times reported that the downward trend was expected[by whom?] to continue for the foreseeable future.[17][18] This dramatic decline in revenue has caused large-scale layoffs inside the traditional industry, driven some more venerable retailers (such as Tower Records) out of business and forced record companies, record producers, studios, recording engineers and musicians to seek new business models.[19]


The graph is only reflective of the RIAA's own understanding. What this tells me is that the music industry is becoming more decentralized, and not necessarily weaker. Why is the market so saturated even though the industry has lost so much? It seems like a contradiction, unless decentralization and shifts of mediums are factored in. If you ask me, I don't think the musicians ever got a fair cut. If musicians do not have to rely so heavily on the record labels and industry insiders, then I believe it's for the best.

I completely and wholeheartedly agree with this statement featured in a research paper about why the 90's had such great sales figures:
Quote:
It is also important to note that a similar drop in record sales occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and that record sales in the 1990s may have been abnormally high as individuals replaced older formats with CDs (Liebowitz, 2003).


AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
$5000 to split across an entire band for one million streams on spotify is pathetic. That's $1000 a person and doesn't include equipment and software costs, etc.

Actually, they currently make $15,000 per year based on the data given over the 4 month period, which is $5,000. At the end of the day, I'd rather have that extra income stream, no matter if it's $5,000 or $15,000, considering the low time and labor investment required to establish it.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
If you want to make 50,000 a year per band member, you need 50 million views per year.

You aren't seriously expecting a band to make that much from streaming, right? Streaming is meant to be an additional source of income, not the only source of income.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
You can't just go around violating trademarks and patents just because its technically not theft.

What are you even talking about? Shocked You cannot patent a song. Not even Gene Simmons could get a patent for a song! Laughing Piracy only infringes copyright laws. In my opinion, copyright laws should be reformed to only lasting 14 years. That would allow for more freedom in the market place.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
(b) Given how easy it is to produce music, there are probably an order of magnitude more artists now, competing for an ever shrinking piece of the pie.

Ever shrinking piece of the pie, eh? If that pie is based on reduced profits from sales and not reduced unit sales, ala RIAA's chart, then your statement couldn't be more misguided.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Again just look at the huge decline in music revenue that started RIGHT around napster and p2p sharing.

This whole "we lost sales due to piracy" thing from the RIAA seems like convenient propaganda to support lobbying for the creation of new legislation that will inevitably fail to combat piracy. Guess who was in support of SOPA and PIPA. Wink

Here's an article which references the previous research paper finding an almost placebo effect of piracy on the music industry: https://www.cnet.com/news/music-sharing- doesnt-kill-cd-sales-study-says/

As an aside:
Ultimately, I don't care about the profitability of my music. I just want to make music that I enjoy listening to, and if others happen to like it too, then great. No matter how adverse things become with the industry, it won't sway my will to continue onward and make progress.

If I was truly concerned about the profitability of my music, I'd try to sell out as much as humanly possible, become an opportunistic weasel, write the most trendy generic commercial-friendly material possible, and become a despicable money-grubbing scumbag. Laughing

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
If I was truly concerned about the profitability of my music, I'd try to sell out as much as humanly possible, become an opportunistic weasel, write the most trendy generic commercial-friendly material possible, and become a despicable money-grubbing scumbag.


If only you could simply decide to be money grubbing and start raking in the cash Laughing

Quote:
What are you even talking about? You cannot patent a song. Not even Gene Simmons could get a patent for a song! Laughing Piracy only infringes copyright laws. In my opinion, copyright laws should be reformed to only lasting 14 years. That would allow for more freedom in the market place.


I never said you could patent a song. That was just a response to your criticism of my cake analogy. I just wanted to bring an example of intellectual property theft that technically isn't "theft" in the same way that stealing a cake is, but is immoral and illegal nonetheless.

Quote:
Actually, they currently make $15,000 per year based on the data given over the 4 month period, which is $5,000. At the end of the day, I'd rather have that extra income stream, no matter if it's $5,000 or $15,000, considering the low time and labor investment required to establish it.


Well I think a million streams over four months would pay as much as a million streams over an entire year. Laughing But I understand where you're coming from, any opportunity to make an income doing what you enjoy is a good thing.

Quote:
You aren't seriously expecting a band to make that much from streaming, right? Streaming is meant to be an additional source of income, not the only source of income.


Yeah, you can fall back on selling albums which you think should be in the public domain anyway lol. I suppose you can go on tour, if you're popular enough that might be lucrative.

Quote:
I completely and wholeheartedly agree with this statement featured in a research paper about why the 90's had such great sales figures:


We can go back and forth about facts and theories as much as you want, but literally every musician will tell you in no uncertain terms that their revenues have completely evaporated over the last twenty years. I realize that's the exact opposite of what you want to hear as an aspiring musician, but I don't think it should discourage you. There's still room in this industry for you, and you'll do great!

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:21 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
If only you could simply decide to be money grubbing and start raking in the cash Laughing

Who? Me? Never! Laughing

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I never said you could patent a song. That was just a response to your criticism of my cake analogy. I just wanted to bring an example of intellectual property theft that technically isn't "theft" in the same way that stealing a cake is, but is immoral and illegal nonetheless.

Honestly, I'm not sure if I fully understood your cake analogy. Nevertheless, yes, they are both illegal acts. While it is illegal in the U.S., it is not considered illegal in all jurisdictions. Morality can differ between people and cultures, so that that is more subjective.

Personally, I think it's much worse if someone pirates something and tries to sell it, compared to a pirate who acquires something for non-commercial use.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Well I think a million streams over four months would pay as much as a million streams over an entire year. Laughing

Yeah well, they weren't getting 1 million streams per year, it was more like 3 million. In the article, they said the time period accounted for was between 10/15/2013 – 2/15/2013 (I think they meant 2014). So that was 1 million streams in only 4 months, and I'm pretty sure the trend continued after that period. Their data extends into 2016, so I'm not sure why they only accounted for 4 months worth of data to perform the calculation on.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Yeah, you can fall back on selling albums which you think should be in the public domain anyway lol.

I don't recall ever stating that albums should only be placed in the public domain, but if you want my definitive answer on this, it is "no, they should not only be placed in the public domain". They will automatically be placed in the public domain once their copyright expires.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
We can go back and forth about facts and theories as much as you want, but literally every musician will tell you in no uncertain terms that their revenues have completely evaporated over the last twenty years.

Honestly, when have musicians ever made a decent amount of money from selling albums? Most of their profits come from live performances and merchandising, which, as you said, can be lucrative if you're popular enough.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
I realize that's the exact opposite of what you want to hear as an aspiring musician, but I don't think it should discourage you. There's still room in this industry for you, and you'll do great!

Thank you for your support, A10. I understand that we might have to agree to disagree on some of these topics. Smile

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HinatAArcticA
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:27 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

Peacemaker is another example. Have you heard that one? I just pick up this really clear thinking and simple charm in that song. Check out that keyboard solo by the way. Its so playful and fun.


I can't really measure Demo-level production to studio-tier production (unless it's fucking Ecliptica 2014) and that's why I said Blaclout sounded horrible. For demos, all the Tricky Beans/Means stuff sound pretty nice.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:

When musicians get older they make things way too complicated sometimes.


This is true, but go far too simple and you get I Have a Right with like one 6 bars melody for 5 minutes.

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:14 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Quote:
Yeah well, they weren't getting 1 million streams per year, it was more like 3 million. In the article, they said the time period accounted for was between 10/15/2013 – 2/15/2013 (I think they meant 2014). So that was 1 million streams in only 4 months, and I'm pretty sure the trend continued after that period. Their data extends into 2016, so I'm not sure why they only accounted for 4 months worth of data to perform the calculation on.


Well, I was just trying to calculate the amount of money an artist would get for X streams, not how much money that particular artist makes. Anyway, numbers aside I think you and I can at least both agree that its harder to make a living off of music than, say, to be a dental hygienist or something.

The good news is that you get paid in other forms of currency. Like attention and self-expression. A far below average musician can still get way more eyeballs on him/her than even a top 1% dental hygienist. In some sense, if you really love music perhaps you can't do anything else so all these numbers and optimizations become meaningless, right?

Once in an interview, they asked Tony Kakko why he writes music. And he said "why do you breathe?" I thought it was an incredibly corny thing to say Laughing, especially since it wasn't a real interview but instead a Q/A posted on their website. But I do get it completely.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:48 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Well, I was just trying to calculate the amount of money an artist would get for X streams, not how much money that particular artist makes. Anyway, numbers aside I think you and I can at least both agree that its harder to make a living off of music than, say, to be a dental hygienist or something.

True, and that can also be applied to anyone who starts their own business. It's much easier to apply for a job at a company than it is to actually found and manage your own company. Ultimately, I think that uncertainty and freedom are part of the charm and allure of being a musician, or self-employed in general.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
The good news is that you get paid in other forms of currency. Like attention and self-expression. A far below average musician can still get way more eyeballs on him/her than even a top 1% dental hygienist. In some sense, if you really love music perhaps you can't do anything else so all these numbers and optimizations become meaningless, right?

Yeah, you have a point.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Once in an interview, they asked Tony Kakko why he writes music. And he said "why do you breathe?" I thought it was an incredibly corny thing to say Laughing, especially since it wasn't a real interview but instead a Q/A posted on their website. But I do get it completely.

I actually asked Tony Kakko some questions when I saw SA back in 2014. I asked him if he had any sort of procedure or method when it came to writing his songs. He said something along the lines of "not really", and then said that he would play around on his keyboard until he came up with something interesting. The band was super friendly. Smile

The show was fun and energetic, and it was also my first time seeing Sonata Arctica live. It was the first show they played in North America for that year. There were a few technical difficulties, but those didn't bother me in the slightest. I remember Tommy calling for Tero to help him out. Tony actually started doing a comedy routine while things were getting fixed. I remember that some people in the audience were insisting on "no slow songs!", and then Tony said something along the lines of "the slow songs are what get you laid." Shocked Laughing It was a really cool show, because the band sounded great, the venue was a small bar, and I was right in the front row with Elias standing less than a couple of feet in front of me. Very Happy

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:03 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

That's awesome! How were you able to meet Tony Kakko?

The first time I saw Sonata Arctica was in 2006 on the Reckoning Night tour. That was "kind of" the classic lineup with Jani on guitars.

It was a great show but I remember Tony wore pajamas to stage, which was kind of bewildering to me. I also really didn't like Henkka for some reason. I thought he was sloppy and strictly inferior Mikko. Shrug! Maybe I just didn't like change. But they played a great show and I had a good time.

I think I saw them again, on the same tour as you (2014) which was also pretty good. At the time I wasn't really into Sonata's then-newer material but it really grew on me over the years (Unia has some great songs and Days of Grays is only a touch weaker than their first four albums in my opinion).

I really played those albums to death back in those days! I can't believe its 2019....

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:26 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

They had a meet&greet with their fans before the show. The band sat behind a long table and signed tour posters for the VIP members. I'm pretty sure you were supposed to just say "hi" and move along, but I stuck around until all of the other VIP members had left so that I could talk to them some more. Laughing

I'm more of a fan of their older works. Although, they are able to pump a ton of energy and power into their more recent songs when they play them live. It's a totally different experience from their studio equivalents.

I think Tony sounds excellent on Unia, and you can also really focus on Marko's bass lines. Tommy shows off some new tricks and pulls off some pretty complex drum patterns. Yeah, for the most part, I really enjoy Unia. I'd probably enjoy it even more if it contained a really fast song or two, though. I'm a speed freak! Eyecrazy

I think my favorite SA album is Winterheart's Guild. I really enjoy the melodies and atmosphere on that one. The album art looks exactly how the album sounds, and I love it when there's that kind of relationship. It really makes me feel like I'm in a moonlit forest in the midst of a cold melancholic Winter's night. My second favorite would probably be Silence.

Before I was a Stratovarius fan, I'd listen to Sonata Arctica albums during car rides non-stop. I did that for several years. Now, I listen to Stratovarius albums during car rides non-stop. Laughing

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AAAAAAAAAA
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

On Unia, I think my favorite tracks were "It won't fade", "paid in full" , " black and white", "...drop of fuel for a nightmare". I do think there were quite a few weird or filler songs there too.

WHG is really incredible. Especially the keyboard solos and ambience. I think Victoria's Secret, The Cage, GravenImage are all masterpieces.

But I would still give the nod to Ecliptica and Silence as my two favorites.

Perhaps little known fact: when Reckoning Night came out, all the fans were freaking out and many hated it. But I think that album has aged well. And its a lot similar to the classic material than their more recent works.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:52 am    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
On Unia, I think my favorite tracks were "It won't fade", "paid in full" , " black and white", "...drop of fuel for a nightmare". I do think there were quite a few weird or filler songs there too.

Yeah, those are some good ones. Smile Big shout out, also, to The Harvest for its awesome solo section. It's probably my favorite solo on Unia. I also enjoy listening to Fly with the Black Swan. I agree that there are some filler tracks on Unia. The one song that I really don't like is Good Enough is Good Enough.

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Perhaps little known fact: when Reckoning Night came out, all the fans were freaking out and many hated it. But I think that album has aged well. And its a lot similar to the classic material than their more recent works.

With Reckoning Night, perhaps it was the introduction of more prog-like compositions, Hammond organ, and 7-string guitar that caused those feelings among fans. I think the song that felt the strangest, compared to the prior 3 albums, was Blinded no More.

Personally, I really like Reckoning Night, but I enjoy the first 3 albums a little more. Don't Say a Word was the very first SA song I'd ever heard (I watched the music video). I had never heard a Power Metal song before that one. I'd never heard solos that fast and precise before. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and I still think that song is awesome to this day. I actually own an Ibanez RG1527, just like Jani had used for the 7-string parts of Reckoning Night, although it is slightly different than his.

The song that inspired my foray into musicianship was 8th Commandment. When I heard that guitar riff in the intro, I just had to learn how to play it.

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Empathica1928
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

So when the fuck do I get my greedy little hands on a new Stratovarius album? I'm dying here! It was awesome getting a new record every 2 years, and then we got an amazing Intermission "sequel" last year, but I'm itching to hear the fifth masterpiece from these guys.

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ZenithMC
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:13 pm    Post subject: Add User to Ignore List Reply with quote

Hopefully soon. I'm eager for some new Strato as well!

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