Archive for December 2009

Anvil Chorus and My Way to Work

Many years ago I discovered the music of Anvil Chorus. The band had been active in the early 80s. There were no proper releases except for one single (“Blondes in Black” b/w “Once Again”). But if one looked hard, one could get copies of old demos and live tapes. Those n-th generation copies sounded aweful, but the music itself not only stood the test of time, but even had a timeless quality only few metal bands can offer. The band reunited from time to time, but an album release seemed as unlikely as a show in Europe.

This year finally saw the release of the first CD by Anvil Chorus, “The Killing Sun”. I wrote a review in German over at Vampster.com. I thin it sounds rather tame, but songs like “Phase to Phase” and “Once Again” still sparkle. The lead guitars are amazing and the music, well, still timeless. And as if that weren’t enough, the band is scheduled to play in Germany at the Headbangers Open Air 2010!

PS: The picture above has nothing to do with Anvil Chorus. I took it on my way to university and thought, why not share it with the world.

Ein Eintrag, bei dem manche südamerikanische Roxette-Fans mit dem Kopf schütteln werden

Heute Abend spielen Roxette in Stuttgart und ich bin nicht da. Doof. Immerhin spare ich mir eine Menge Fahrt- und Eintrittsgeld. Nach dem tollen Konzert von Sänger Per Gessle im April war ich einfach nicht in der Stimmung, jetzt weniger Stücke mit mehr Orchester zu hören. Zum Glück ist inzwischen das Live-Album “Gessle over Europe” erschienen, so dass ich hin und wieder ein bisschen in Erinnerungen schwelgen kann. Und Mr. Gessle ist ja ungebrochen aktiv in Sachen Twitter-Updates und YouTube-Heimvideos.

Wer professionell produzierten, aber ansonsten uninspirierten Melodic Metal hören will, kann sich gerne mit “Japanese Hospitality” von Warmen (Vampster-Review) beschäftigen. Auf der Japan-Version gibt es hier übrigends eine wenig originelle Cover-Version des Roxette-Hits “Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)”.

On the Ending of John Green’s young adult novel “Paper Towns”

Some time ago I made a song/video about me not having the novel “Paper Towns”. It actually won me a copy of the book signed by its author John Green. That made me very happy! I started reading it last week. That was a mistake, because only a few pages into the story I was hooked. But I had to work. And to eat. And to sleep. Still, I finished it before the weekend and wanted to write couple of things about it ever since.

  1. The book is good! John Green writes for young adults, so technically I’m not a member of the target group. And I must say that his first two books (“Looking for Alaska” and “An Abundance of Katherines”) were very enjoyable, but not, like, a must-buy for each and everyone. But this time around, well, “Paper Towns” is still not a must-buy; but I totally recommend it to anyone looking for, well, a young adult novel that is original in its conception, excellent in its execution, and very enjoyable in its language. Here’s just a couple of (not necessarily representative) quotes to give you an idea:
    • Nothing is as boring as other people’s dreams. (p. 86)
    • Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start. (p. 183)
    • As much as life can suck, it always beats the alternative. (p. 287)

    Anyway, let me reiterate: it’s a good book. Buy it. Read it.

  2. This part contains major spoilers, so read on at our own risk. I enjoyed reading the book and was sad to see it end. The last few pages managed to give the plot a satisfying conclusion. Almost. I was left wondering, how it actually ended. Do they get together? Or is the last scene more of an afterthought that’s to vanish as soon as the sun comes up again? Ultimately, I can live with this ambiguity. I can live with it, because I figured that I can’t relate to Q. I mean, he’s the narrator and I like him more than some other of the other characters. Still, when he finally finds Margo, he comes up with his idea about the vessel and about the future. And I find it not very convincing. Sure, a big lesson at the end wouldn’t have the suited the story. Neither would have an overly romantic happy ending. I just wanted to remark that I preferred the little chunks of wisdom throughout the book. The ending was quite charming, but it didn’t add anything to what I got out of the story. But then again, I’m not the target audience and I still recommend you read “Paper Towns”.

Today’s music recommendation goes out to everybody who enjoys the mainstream kind of melodic punk rock. “The Days that Follow…” by Multiball (Vampster-Review) is a strong album that could totally be in the charts. The vocals are rather clean and melodic, the music itself rather powerful than catchy. It’s not the most original album; yet it sound rather fresh compared to many successful pop punk albums out there.

Adventszeit ist Blogzeit

Für die nächsten 24 Tage werde ich diese Seite in einen Adventskalender verwandeln. Es wird täglich Einträge geben, jeweils mit einem Link zu Vampster, wo ich parallel täglich schreibe (i.d.R. CD-Kritiken). Wer noch musikalische Geschenkideen sucht, wird hier vielleicht fündig, da ich noch eine sehr bunte Mischung hier zum Besprechen herumliegen habe (Prog, Punk, Weihnachtliches und eben Heavy Metal).

Aktuell gibt es eine neue Runde im Song Fu-Songwriting-Wettbewerb. Manticess (also Susanne und ich) sind wieder mit dabei, auch wenn die Deadline – und damit die Aufnahme – direkt in die Erkältungszeit fiel. Immerhin hat das Lied (1998) nun einen Charme, wie man ihn von Manticess bislang noch nicht kannte. Ach, was fasele ich: Anhören! (Ja, am besten alle!) Abstimmen! Bitte. Danke.

Wer lieber professionellen Progressive Rock mit schönem Gesang und  einer wirren Konzeptstory mag, sei auf das Album “Realm of Shadows” von Knights Realm (Vampster-Review) hingewiesen.