Polaris Appreciation Post

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robocop
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Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:07 pm

This album has many memories attached to it. :luv1: :luv1:
I was listening to it again for the last bunch of months off and on. It totally blows my mind that they put out a powerful album like that with the first album of a lineup change! Goes to show you the deep talent they all have. Any thoughts?

P.S.
A friend of mine even had Deep Unknown as my assigned ringtone to me on an OLD flip phone! :lol:

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:26 pm

Code: Select all

Title                             Composer                           Lyricist
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Deep Unknown                      Matias Kupiainen                   Timo Kotipelto
Falling Star                      Lauri Porra                        Lauri Porra
King of Nothing                   Jens Johansson                     Jens Johansson
Second Sight                      Matias Kupiainen                   Timo Kotipelto
Blind                             Jens Johansson                     Jens Johansson
Winter Skies                      Jens Johansson                     Jens Johansson
Forever is Today                  Lauri Porra                        Lauri Porra
Higher We Go                      Matias Kupiainen & Timo Kotipelto  Timo Kotipelto
Somehow Precious                  Matias Kupiainen & Timo Kotipelto  Timo Kotipelto
Emancipation Suite Part I: Dusk   Lauri Porra                        Lauri Porra
Emancipation Suite Part II: Dawn  Lauri Porra                        Lauri Porra
When Mountains Fall               Lauri Porra                        Lauri Porra
I agree, it's a very solid and interesting sounding album; power-prog! If I screwed up the credits, let me know. My favorites are probably Winter Skies, Blind, Deep Unknown, and Second Sight. No particular order. :)

**Added lyric credits.
Last edited by ZenithMC on Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:32 pm

It has a great set of songs. Winter Skies, King of Nothing, and Forever is Today are my top 3, but the whole album is great to listen to.

One thing that I did wish TK did in Winter Skies was sing more softly. He sings like it's Hunting High and Low when it should have sounded like When Night meets the Day.

When Mountains Fall is a great little ballad. Again, TK's tone would be better off as if he was singing Forever.

Blind can be a bit too loud instrumentally, imo.
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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:08 am

I'd consider it a good album, not a great one. The following albums are better.

- Deep Unknown is a masterpiece and a roller-coaster ride of a song. Great lyrics, melody, and progression with awesome solos.
- Winter Skies is a really wonderful song too. Also great lyrics, great melody, and sounds very authentic to me.
- I also really like Blind. Lyrics could be a bit better but a very cool song.
- High We Go does not break any new ground but I think its also a good song.

The remaining songs are just OK.

Forever is Today: Catchy song, but very derivative and held back by substandard lyrics.

When Mountains Fall: Its a rehash of Forever. TK's accent usually doesn't bother me, but here it is distracting and his voice is strained.

Emancipation Suite: Not bad but too long and forgettable. Really reminds me of Babylon and not in a good way.

Somehow Precious is just not my kind of song.

King of Nothing and Falling Star are respectable efforts but not outstanding.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:33 am

NeverendingAbyss wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:32 pm

One thing that I did wish TK did in Winter Skies was sing more softly. He sings like it's Hunting High and Low when it should have sounded like When Night meets the Day.

When Mountains Fall is a great little ballad. Again, TK's tone would be better off as if he was singing Forever.

Blind can be a bit too loud instrumentally, imo.
Ah, I see. For some reason I am remembering a video that when recording one of their albums Matias wouldn’t turn the volume down on Kotipeltos headphones? :lol: One thing that stood out to me was the vocals being not as controlled and high register as older songs. People age, etc. That was first noticeable to be originally back then. Another thing is the production which I have no complaints with. I just can’t pinpoint why it sounds a little different than most albums I hear, from my sensitive ears.
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:08 am
I'd consider it a good album, not a great one.
The thing I remember is all the incredible drama going on at the time, losing their main songwriter and starting from scratch and picking up the pieces. I give them credit for at least making an effort, where maybe some parts are not incredibly amazing and they’re still not just phoning it in, trying to make songs exactly like Tolkki style. That’s just me, though. Some people don’t think of behind the scenes things. 8)

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:52 am

robocop wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:33 am
AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:08 am
I'd consider it a good album, not a great one.
The thing I remember is all the incredible drama going on at the time, losing their main songwriter and starting from scratch and picking up the pieces. I give them credit for at least making an effort, where maybe some parts are not incredibly amazing and they’re still not just phoning it in, trying to make songs exactly like Tolkki style. That’s just me, though. Some people don’t think of behind the scenes things. 8)
I'd like to add, sometimes adversity is a great motivator. It's an opportunity to prove and test one self's worth and skill, respectively.

Also, when new members are introduced to the band, they bring with them fresh creativity and inspire other members to come up with new and intriguing ideas.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:56 am

Yup. The time frame was relatively fast, too. I suspected them to release an album for at least 4 years since the great schism, but they wasted no time in releasing Polaris.

Production wise it is solid. I agree with Robo it sounds different from the rest.
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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:44 am

Now speaking of the artwork: I found the Infinite album cover animated with dolphins jumping through the infinity logo. Never seen their covers animated before! It makes me want to see Polaris animated.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by SentineLEX » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:04 pm

Second Sight/Blind to Forever is Today is a wonderful stretch of songs. The second half of the album is a little weaker imo. Higher We Go feels like Forever Free in that they're too anticlimactic. Emancipation Suite is pretty comfy. When Mountains Fall is subpar for a Strato ballad.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:22 pm

Got to have some dynamics, bud. Good and bad. They can’t all be winners. Seems like I say this everyday like a robot. :crazy1: :crazy1:

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:28 pm

I feel about the same way as A10. I'll say that I find Emanicipation Suite a little boring. Some of Lauri's contributions are too closely emulating Tolkki's style on this album. When he writes songs in his own style, I think they sound way better and more interesting.

Ironically, When Mountains Fall actually gets to me for some reason, whereas Forever doesn't. The lyrics seem sadder to me.

For me, the only precious part of Somehow Precious is the solo. So I guess, in my mind, this song is called Somewhat Precious. :lol:

King of Nothing has a really cool intro and a very unique marching vibe, overall. I also love the solo. Who am I kidding? I love every Strato solo! :)

As for why some of you think this album sounds different, production-wise, I haven't a clue. ??? I would need something to go off of, before I try to investigate.
robocop wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:22 pm
Seems like I say this everyday like a robot. :crazy1: :crazy1:
Well, your username is "robocop". :lol:

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by Motha-faka » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:31 pm

I have Polar - is... is my coat :D

Image

But is summer, i can use my polar - is a coat :cry:
I'm a huge Fuck :x

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:15 pm

ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:28 pm

As for why some of you think this album sounds different, production-wise, I haven't a clue. ??? I would need something to go off of, before I try to investigate.
Maybe the way the drums are? No huge reverb like the old ones. Who am I to say, I am a n00b. Or maybe running through something through an analog mastering plugin? No idea.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:43 pm

robocop wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:15 pm
ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:28 pm

As for why some of you think this album sounds different, production-wise, I haven't a clue. ??? I would need something to go off of, before I try to investigate.
Maybe the way the drums are? No huge reverb like the old ones. Who am I to say, I am a n00b. Or maybe running through something through an analog mastering plugin? No idea.
Hmm... The snare sounds a little less bright, less emphasis on the snare wires than on the Elements albums, but otherwise it sounds pretty similar. There might also be slightly more emphasis in the ~500 Hz range in the snare, too... It might also be ever so slightly lower pitched. The amount of reverb sounds similar to that of the Elements albums.

The tom-toms sound warmer than on Elements. Actually, I think the overall frequency response is a little warmer sounding and less articulate in the low mids (the response is somewhat shaped). Elements places more emphasis on a flat response (that's not a negative term, it just means that it's not bright nor dark), or neutral response.

All-in-all, it's not a drastic change or anything. I find Elysium to have a drastically different sound, especially as far as the drums are concerned.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:10 pm

Yes! Warmer sounding. Nailed it. Keep going on I’d like to hear more, 8)

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:53 pm

robocop wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:10 pm
Yes! Warmer sounding. Nailed it. Keep going on I’d like to hear more, 8)
I guess mystery solved! :lol: I would go on, but I don't really have anything more to add. :?

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:44 am

ZenithMC wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:53 pm
robocop wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:10 pm
Yes! Warmer sounding. Nailed it. Keep going on I’d like to hear more, 8)
I guess mystery solved! :lol: I would go on, but I don't really have anything more to add. :?
Tell me your opinion on the drums from Elysium like you mentioned. If I am remembering right, Jorg used his acrylic clear kit and matias said they were the best drums he ever recorded.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:11 am

robocop wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:44 am
Tell me your opinion on the drums from Elysium like you mentioned. If I am remembering right, Jorg used his acrylic clear kit and matias said they were the best drums he ever recorded.
Oh, alright! :lol: Yeah, so if I listen to Polaris and Elysium back-to-back, the first thing that jumps out at me when darkest hour begins to play is just how different it sounds, production-wise. It actually takes me a little while to become accustomed to the change. :lol:

The most obvious deviation has to be the bass drum sound. The high end *click* is far more pronounced than in previous albums, and really does sound somewhat more plastic-like. I'm not entirely sure if it has to do with Jorg's acrylic set or not. It's certainly possible to achieve that level of emphasis with just standard EQing. It might actually be a little too bright and clicky for my tastes, or just about too much. Of course, the bass drums and all of the tom-toms employ the same amount of clickiness to them, which is important for consistency. The tom-toms are also very warm sounding and have a great tone to them. The next thing that jumps out at me is that the snare sounds less reverberant, and thus, a little less powerful than in previous offerings.

I could go into more detail, but I'm feeling kind of lazy. :lol: I could power up my monitors and explain differences in certain frequency ranges if you want me too. For instance, it seems like the frequency response has even more scooped out low mids for the drums than most other albums, but I would need to take a really good listen to confirm that, or just look at a frequency analyzer's output. I'm also leaving out the differences in other aspects of the album, like the other instruments' productions (Lauri's bass guitar being very audible here, etc.), because you only asked me about the drum's production.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:30 am

Ah! The bass I know from the start people started to say the album sounded muddy. Listening to it on better speakers it sounds awesome. The thing that stood out to me is the lower tone of the guitar, too. Tuning I rememeber I couldn’t figure out what the guitar was tuned to. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure it’s B if memory serves right since matias joined. My personal preference if I’m shredding is tuning up a little more. (only because of the amount of floppy strings that I could never fix on my crap guitar with bad tension.)

The gear they use is probably designed for that and they have no problem with the string tension like I did. The click of the kick could very well be just being triggered like modern drum recording techniques employ. No idea, just speculation. It seems you have very sensitive ears in the EQ sense. Good to have. Sometimes you can wish an album sounds a certain way. It ends up starting to hold a special place in your head and reminds you of whatever was going on back then. For me, it was a guy I knew passed. And I payed for the album preorder and got the special version and shirt straight from Germany nuclear blast. With the money I made from doing those “micro tasks” jobs you can do online. :)

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:33 pm

robocop wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:30 am
My personal preference if I’m shredding is tuning up a little more. (only because of the amount of floppy strings that I could never fix on my crap guitar with bad tension.)

The gear they use is probably designed for that and they have no problem with the string tension like I did.
You probably just need to use a thicker string gauge, which would provide more tension at a lower tuning. :) Be forewarned, however, that the thicker the string is, the more difficult it becomes to bend the strings. It might be worth it to use lighter strings for the thinner plain steel strings, and heavier strings for the thicker wound nickel strings.

Also, when you change your string gauge to something thicker, you might have to adjust (tighten) your truss rod, because of the additional stress on the neck.
robocop wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:30 am
Tuning I rememeber I couldn’t figure out what the guitar was tuned to. Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure it’s B if memory serves right since matias joined.
I remember that Matias also uses drop tuning often. He also has a really cool bridge that allows him to toggle between drop tuning and standard tuning at a moment's whim.

I could be wrong, but it seems like he goes between Drop B and Drop C tuning. On Polaris and Elysium, Drop B, and on Eternal, Drop C. Nemesis... I don't know. Could be C standard, but many of the songs are in B flat. It makes sense for the tuning to be C standard because of the riff in Out of the Fog... But the riff in Halcyon Days makes the most sense to use a drop tuning... I don't know. I'm not an expert on guitar tunings! :lol: I just tune to A standard (7 string) and don't think about it anymore. :lol:
robocop wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:30 am
It seems you have very sensitive ears in the EQ sense. Good to have.
You probably know by now, but I'm obsessive about album production and the like. :lol:

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:58 pm

Sweet! I do use the heaviest strings! My guitar just suxxx!!! I could never find something to fit my old old Jackson dinky to adjust the truss rod. They have tools that I should buy. Newer guitar came with all the tools brand new. (Just an Allen key.) That’s cool about that bridge he has. I used to hang out with guitar players and don’t get to know their secrets nowadays anymore. :lol: Tells us the secrets. Not that anybody even cares about this technical jargon. :lol: Ok. Back to topic subject. I was trying to find the old videos of them recording on YouTube of Polaris and can’t seem to find them. Eh, oh well! I do remember this was taken from one of the recording vlogs!
:party:

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:11 am

I admit I'm kind of jealous of the passion you guys have for music production and composition. It does sound like a really cool hobby!

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:08 am

I, on the other hand, have a strong passion for cocoa puffs. You could say I am fucking cuckcoo for cocoa puffs.
What the fuck did you just fucking say about me, you little bitch?!

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:20 am

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:11 am
I admit I'm kind of jealous of the passion you guys have for music production and composition. It does sound like a really cool hobby!
NeverendingAbyss wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:08 am
I, on the other hand, have a strong passion for cocoa puffs. You could say I am fucking cuckcoo for cocoa puffs.
Don’t give up!! Breaking a routine can be good and bad. :) Did you guys see those old Polaris vlogs recently? Or any time at all? There was one with lauri going up a construction lift with HIGHER WE GO playing in the back. As far as I know they were on Lauri’s channel?

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by mocobhc » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:40 pm

You might speak about these two vids?


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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:19 pm

Thank you!!!! :D :D :D :D

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:59 am

Sorry for the double post. I'm going back buying all the albums I always listened to but only streamed them on spotify or had the mp3s. So, here I am listening to Polaris on my HD 650 headphones and AXE IO. I love it. I didn't get the live polaris one, or whatever one has the vinyl mix of deep unknown? My Elysium album was never given back to me after I let an old friend borrow it. I really want to hear that right now...dammit. Got to try out these new headphones, if anybody has a recommended strato album or song that they think is the best, let me check it out on these new headphones and enjoy. :D
I probably already tried it, though. :wink:

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:44 pm

I have the exact same headphones actually and they are amazing! I feel like they help you experience the music in an entirely different way.

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by robocop » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:32 pm

Awesome. I’m going to upgrade to the hd 800 after I get some stuff paid off. :lol: Yeah right...

$1k for headphones, for an idiot like me. :lol:
Maybe if I was using them properly and was an audio engineer working in a professional studio. Then it would make sense. I’m not sure, there’s got to be even more expensive ones. I don’t look at it like a higher price tag means you’ll be able to do more. I like to squeeze the most out of a lower priced item until it falls apart. :lol: Just was raised that way. These are one of my higher purchases because I’m a pretty broke bastard!! :shock:
Credit cards, yay. :P

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Re: Polaris Appreciation Post

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:46 pm

I was hesitating on spending $80 for headphones. $300 is just way over my non-existing budget.

I bet it sounds orgasmic, though.
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