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posts for january 2008.

just more or less finished a project. well, it’s done except actually receiving the last part (which i don’t have to do myself), putting everything in an envelope and sending it off. that feels really good.
and my todo-list is clearing up, too. just kicked out five organizational points i wrote down, and one i forgot to write down. this feels even better.
now it’s time to concentrate on getting some interesting things done :)

posted in: daily life

yesterday, we had the third rendition of the try to bring the north western german tradition kohlfahrt (literally: cabbage tour; a description in english can be found here) to switzerland. (actually i missed the two previous renditions…)

i’d guess that for everyone except the people living in north west germany, it must seem utterly strange to see a group of people going around with a hand cart, playing a strange game involving two balls rolling around, and drinking hard and soft booze all the time. whatever. we had fun.

actually, this was probably the first kohlfahrt featuring a view on the alps! (at the first rendition, one couldn’t see the alps from the place where it took place, and even though the second was at the same place than this time, the weather was too bad apparently…) here are two shots of our view on the alps:

finally a view on the beautiful sunset we were able to watch:

well, after doing a random cover, i decided to do a not so random one. and here it is, the cover of orchid‘s on love and despair:

unfortunately it’s purely imaginary.

ps: a friend just informed me that in fact there exists a band called orchid. my cover is completely unrelated to them. i just came up with the name orchid while i was listening to opeth‘s album named orchid.

posted in: albums photos

ok, now i finally managed to catch the baton kornel threw up into the air, which is about creating random album covers. the rules are as follows:

  • the band name is the title of this article;
  • the name of the album is the last four words of the last quote on this page;
  • the title picture a picture on this page.

well. it didn’t turned out to be a real doom album, but i think it’s still somehow cool (the right half is the back side of the album):

it’s work on in despair by plaka. the photo is this one by lynnmwillis. this image is, as the original, under the creative common 2.0 generic license.

posted in: albums

i can’t stop listening to ascension, a song on the isa () album by enslaved. pink floyd style prog fusing with black metal, creating an intense, beautiful, somehow strange but yet so neat stream, switching between mellow, dreamlike sequences and brutal riffs.

“never in need of sleep,
nor in need of truth
i would never have stayed in this darkness,
and we would ascend”

from ascension by enslaved.

just saw 臥虎藏龍, which translates to crouching tiger, hidden dragon (imdb). not the usual version though, but one with live music added by a conductor with an “orchestra” of three djs, and a singer. shown in a ewz powerhouse. i haven’t seen the movie before, so i can’t comment on how this version compares to the original one.
but i can say that this one was really good. both the movie, a chinese martial art movie, and the new background music, featuring noise, strange beats, even swiss folk music, are good, in their own, and especially as a composition. i liked in particular most of the noise parts, which seem to make the scenes more intense.
and it made me think about the concept in general. reminds me a bit of dead man, one of my favorite movies, whose soundtrack is what neil young improvised on his electric guitar while watching the movie. and it makes me think how a movie featuring a sound track made by sunn o))) would be… must be fantastic…

after watching a horror movie which i didn’t like too much (it felt too constructed, the horror was too obvious), i watched another movie, den tredje vågen (imdb), a swedish one, called the third wave in english, and this one was really, really good. despite being an action movie. reason is, it has a story. a good one. the only bad point was that i could only watch the german dubbed version, as the original was in swedish and i don’t happen to understand that language…
the setting is europe, being threatened by organized crime. the hero, an ex cop, is dragged together with his family into a chase through europe (london to the netherlands to munich) after a backer’s wife who wants to give information to europol. the story is solid, seems to be well investigated and plausible, is mostly not predictable, tension increasing until the end, which is a partially happy end with a deep dark shade left, leaving my mind rattling, chunking on different thoughts. making me fear the environment is too real, too realistic. this is way more creepy than creep.
it’s really a shame this movie wasn’t shown in german cinemas, as it’s way better than most of the movies which were.

here i want to write a bit about doom music, as a huge part of the music i listen to can be counted to this category. in general, it can be characterized as slow, heavy music with dark lyrics, dealing with depression, death, despair, gloom, dying, doomed/unhappy love, and despair. it appears in various shapes, blended with many different genres, including death metal, ambient, noise, gothic music and jazz. even though non-metal doom music does exists, most of doom music is probably metal.
(note that i like all the bands i mention here quite alot, except probably the older stuff of celtic frost which, i have to admit, is mostly unknown to me.)

one of the more traditional doom metal bands is candlemass, with their 1986 album epicus doomicus metallicus being a major landmark in the doom metal genre. the album is opened by the song solitude (“please let me die in solitude”) which is, in my opinion, one of the best doom songs.

an important crossover doom genre is death/doom which is, surprise!, a crossover between death metal and doom music. usually a bit faster than other doom styles but still being way slower than usual death metal, it features death growls, sometimes mixed with clean vocals, and certain playing styles from death metal such as fast double bass kicking. two bands in this genre i like are swallow the sun—one of my most favorite bands; see here— and novembers doom. notably are also the older works of bands as anathema (see here), now playing atmospheric metal, the gathering (see here), now playing progressive/alternative/trip rock, and sentenced—another one of my most favorite bands; see here—, who later turned to more gothic doom or plain heavy metal, before disbanding 2005.

out of death/doom, another doom crossover called funeral doom developed, by slowing down the music, resulting in something which is as slow as a funeral march, hence hinting where its name comes from. besides the lack of speed, the music is even heavier, but also features more ambient like parts. two bands in this category are tyranny and unholy (see here).

related to funeral doom is drone doom, abstracting even more by reducing to a kind of minimalistic music, mainly consisting of a stream of drones, i.e. very long lasting notes, while often lacking traditional music structures like rythm or melody, with vocals often so distorted that they are barely understandable. the songs usually last very long, from something between ten and twenty minutes to sometimes filling a whole cd with one song. two important bands in this genre are sunn o))) and boris (see here).

another doom genre which is pretty detached from metal is doom jazz or noir jazz, a blend of doom music and jazz. the only example i know is bohren & der club of gore, a german band who started mixing jazz with hardcore and ambient, resulting in some kind of doom music. later, when their guitar player left, they replaced him by a saxophonist, turning the band completely into a jazz ensemble. their current style is a very dark kind of jazz, without vocals, somehow almost more ambient, somehow similar to funeral doom.

a lot of other more experimental acts exist, like early the 3rd and the mortal (see also here) stuff, which can be described as experimental/atmospheric doom, or the zürich based metal legend celtic frost, whose last album monotheist could be in parts counted as a certain kind of avantgarde/experimental doom.

another, more “standard” doom metal approach is gothic doom, a mixture of doom with gothic metal. my favorite in this area is type o negative, and in particular their most depressing album world coming down. some bands which i would also count into this category are tiamat, lake of tears and later sentenced. tiamat evolved more to gothic rock and had included also different influences besides gothic doom. sentenced began with death/doom, switching to more gothic doom and finally more to a kind of heavy/gothic metal. lake of tears, whose origin lay more in the death/doom origin, went through a change between several different genres; the albums which fit best as gothic doom are headstones, a crimson cosmos and forever autumn, all being somehow different to each other.

the third movie for today—and the last—was november (imdb), a psychological thriller. on the dvd case, it was described as “in the style of mulholland drive and lost highway,” what made me pretty curious. well. while watching the movie, it reminded me of these two, alone several other movies. here’s the whole list:

  • various david lynch movies, for example mulholland drive and lost highway, as, well, they have a very similar style, allowing own interpretation, being completely mystery. with the difference that this one has a ‘solution’ at the end.
  • jacob’s ladder and the sixth sense, because of not knowing what is going on and whether the protagonist is alive or dead.
  • memento, for leaving the viewer in total darkness about what happened.
  • π and fight club, because of the way many things were shown.
  • fight club and hide and seek (the first dvd i watched today), because of signs of schizophrenia blurring the reality.
  • run lola run, because of the different story versions which were told.

when reading at wikipedia, it was funny to see many of the movies i had to think of…