Archive for September, 2016

Anti-Anthem

Posted in Music, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 30, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So! Today has been an eventful day in music – Epica’s released their album “The Holographic Principle”, and if that wasn’t enough, there’s been a lot of other releases today from Sumo Cyco, Civil War and Steel Panther. In fact, Alestorm and Skálmöld also released their collaboration single today, but I have decided to postpone writing about that one for now. However, lets return to three aforementioned.

So, I guess all of my blog readers know what Sumo Cyco is by now. A Canadian band with Sever in the lead that I fell unconditionally and unrevokably in love with earlier this year, they even became the REASON I went to the Butcher Babies show in the end. Today they released their first single of their upcoming album “Opus Mar”, “Anti-Anthem”. As a pledger, I got access to the song a little bit before the public, and I love it.

It’s very typical Sumo Cyco – energetic, in your face kind of song, yet I’d say it’s a little more melodic than we got used to on “Lost in Cyco City”, though that might be just me. The lyrics are also very typical Cyco – outcast kind of song, but “we got no Anthem”… question is though, did they just get themselves an anthem?

So, secondly, Steel Panther.

Today they announced that their new album, “Lower the Bar” will be released on February 24th next year, and along with it, they released the first single and a music video, which is no less than a cover of Cheap Trick’s “She’s Tight”

I think the video is fun. I guess it wasn’t until I actually saw this that I realize how much I miss them, in a way. I don’t regret not seeing them when they were here, but it’s good to see that they are back. I enjoyed the song, I also enjoyed the video a lot. It was a lot scaled down compared to older videos, but the humor is still on top. Love it. I can’t wait for the new album!

And lastly for today, Civil War.

So, on November 4th Civil War will release their new album, “The Last Full Measure”, and today, as the two others, they released their first single “Road to Victory” and a lyricvideo together with it . (Video can be seen here)

So, well, this is very typical Civil War, but I like it, a lot. And what I love about this song in particular is the pre-chorus. Like the “Dogs of War, no one can tame us”, I don’t know exactly what it is about that part that speaks so much to me – perhaps it’s the word “utopia” and “euphoria”, but I think it’s more about it being headbang friendly. The whole song really is, but just.. I love when there comes certain extra heaviness in songs you know? And this one has it.

So, that was a little bit about some of the new releases. Like I said, I’ll get back to you regarding Skálstorm, because else I’d could be sitting here forever writing.

// Sara

 

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Legenden om HammerFall

Posted in Music, Uncategorized on September 29, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

So, finally, like, two years after I bought this book I finished Oscar Dronjak’s biography “Legenden om HammerFall” – which translates to “HammerFall: The Legend” very simply.

When I finally, after my two year hiatus picked up this book again I could barely put it away. I actually had to save the epilouge to make sure I had something fresh in mind when writing this. That’s how capturing it was. The first couple of chapters covers his childhood and upbringing, but very soon does he start to talk about his musical life and what got him started on the journey, followed by a detailed story about every single era of HammerFall up to after Swedish Outbreak tour (meaning, anything happening after “Infected” is not covered).

What I enjoy so much about this book is his way of writing. It reminds me a little bit about my own writing on this blog – very personal to the point where he says things like “And me, whose of normal height” (He’s about two meters tall) and things like that, which makes it very entertaining at times, as it’s inviting and makes you feel almost like you are there with him, sitting there and talking to him. At times, I had to stop and start listening to some of the bands he wrote about only because he wrote so passionately about them. Reminds me a lot of myself.

I get the feeling that this book is very honest. He admits his mistakes and mess ups, and I don’t talk simply about musical such, but personal – as to how they dealt with Patrik losing his brother while on tour as an example. I liked that. I liked to see a person who writes his own book who criticizes himself and his own actions. Aside that, it’s filled with a lot of fun trivia facts about HammerFall, and it’s very rich – at the end of the book Oscar has listed every single bandmember, every show, every supportband – I like that. I really do. And, you know, this is going to sound extremely cliché and perhaps even forced, but as with any other book you ever read, this has sort of made me think of other things. I’m thinking about when HammerFall worked with Michael Wagener, and he did the same thing to them as he did to Lordi, and as well as many other things. I’ve found myself referring to this book ant quoting it a lot. I guess that says a lot, huh?

So, with that said. I really enjoyed this book and would warmly recommend it to anyone who loves HammerFall.

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// Sara

 

Glory and The Scum

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

You know, I’m this person who’s a bit of an in-betweener. I really love productive days, but when it all comes down at the end of the day, I get completely numb even though I know things will sort out so quickly if I simply pull myself together.

First of all – I was extremely worried for my work today. I had three different shifts, and since I wasn’t confident I’d finish the first in time, creating a domino effect making me late on all of them, I had troubles sleeping. But, everything went fine. Actually so good that I’m not even sure if it’s a good thing. It can’t be a good thing when things go too smooth, now, can it?

I had a very short drum rehearsals today. I basically just went over the same songs again, picking up extra things I hadn’t thought about before. I’m going to try to structure up my rehearsals better starting from next week, when I have a bit more time to look into lessons, tabs and so on which will make thins A LOT easier.

And thirdly, finally bits are coming together for November tour. First and foremost, bookings has slowly started, which really both excites me and exhausts me. I think it’s in the moment of the booking that it’s just stressful all over – what if I took the wrong date, the wrong hotel, wrong amount of people? So many things can go wrong, and what if I got the wrong concerttickets? THE HORROR. But, when all is said and done, everything feels much better.

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Secondly, I decided to get a new bag for hygiene products yesterday. I saw this lepard bag that has the same construction as my make up bag – you fold it together and zip it up for easy travel, and then you open it up and fold it out, and it has a hook at the top so you can hang it up. It’s going to be soo relieving to be able to HANG UP your hygiene products rather than just stacking it up everywhere and nowhere when traveling, will save time, headache and troubles packing too, as it’s just to roll it up as soon as your done. Convenient for touring, you know.

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And… while at the store, I noticed a book sale, and ironically and perhaps a bit of faith – only one tourguide left, and it happened to be Paris! Since I’ll spend a few days there, I figured I might as well get this one, so I can make sure to maximize my stay there! I’ll sure take my time with this one.

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But for now: Trying to find a hotel that will fit for all three concerts. Headache upcoming.

// Sara

REVIEW: Iron Mask – Diabolica

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 27, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Belgium’s melodic power metal heroes Iron Mask with Dushan Petrossi at the reins hasn’t wasted any time this year: First, they re-released their 2010 album “Shadow of the Red Baron” and then embarked on a European tour supporting Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. Right after tour was finished they started working on new material, as well as introducing new vocalist Valdez. The sixth album is now finished and ready for release, and the result got the name “Diabolica”.

The album opens big – fast, with chewing guitars and cheeky lyrics that are on a fairly common subject – defeating the people who put you down, that doubt you with a “I don’t forgive, I don’t forget”. The album goes a bit up and down – it’s a mixture of fast, light songs, to slow and heavy ones, and it all comes together in the almost fifteen minute long ending song which sorts of serves as a compilation of all the best pieces of the album.

The songs are either accessorized with string orchestras, or shredding guitars, just to get that little extra touch. I think it’s well arranged – you never get the feeling of it’s being too much, which it sometimes has a tendency to do. Over all – it’s a very classic power metal album, even bringing the thought back to Sabaton and HammerFall at certain points. Sadly, it does have it’s weak moments – the titeltrack being the weakest of them all.

For this album, Dushan has focused on more famous characters for his lyrics, and I feel that he’s managed to fit the music to the character – “Galileo” – more on the epic, slower and heavier side while “Oliver Twist” is more on the playful and light side, childlike if you like, despite the lyrics being on the darker side. “March 666” which has a speech by none less than the Führer himself in the middle gives me chills down my spine, not simply because of the speech, but also because the almost intimidating music accompanied to the lyrics. Even “Ararat” – based on the Turkish mountains, have a more oriental touch to it, making this a very interesting album.

With all of this being said, I do think this album is worth a listen. The different elements in the songs keeps the album interesting throughout the album, regardless if you’re a fan of Iron Mask or not.

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(Label: AFM Records)

Ginza I Amazon I CDON

// Sara

 

 

 

 

The Lounge Kittens – Sequins and C-Bombs

Posted in CDs, Music, Uncategorized with tags , on September 26, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

About a week ago, I finally received my long awaited copy of The Lounge Kittens first debutalbum “Sequins & C-Bombs”. I purchased the EP “Just The Tip” already during the tour with Steel Panther in 2015, and I’ve eagerly been awaiting new material from them ever since, and it’s finally here!

Perhaps I should do a small introduction of this band for those of you who might have missed out on who they are: The Lounge Kittens is a trio from Southampton that made a new for themselves by doing lounge music covers of metal songs. Some of their more famous works would be “Duality” by SlipKnot, “Rammers”, a Rammstein medley and “Gloryhole”, a Steel Panther cover.

Sooo, how does it sound? Well absolutely exquisite! It opens seductively and calmly with their rendition of Alice Cooper’s classic song “Poison”, a song I’ve WAITED For them to do! I love how it just builds up throughout the song, preparing us for the next song, which is “Bounce” which is on the funnier side, maybe it’s just me thinking about the video everytime I hear it and Jen jumping around Zan and Timia and it makes me chuckle.

The album keeps a very good pace – it goes ups and down in moods, with a mixture of funny, uptempo playful songs (“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, “Yeah”, that rap part!) mixed with serene and cosy songs (“Love is Only a Feeling”, “Want You Bad”). What made me very happy was to see the inclusion of “Sad But True” “Smack My Firestarter to Outer Space” and the “Rammers” medley. I’ve enjoyed all three of these live, and I’ve wished to have them with me in an iPod, and finally it’s happening! The album was then beautifully wrapped up by “The Beautiful People” where they added a few extra instruments to really get out the entire epicness of the song, making it a strong finish.

There’s one song that sticks out a bit – “Smack My Firestarter”, which is a fully produced metal song, with a back up band and everything, which is a bit unusual for this piano and acapella band, but I can’t say I dislike it. It was actually rather good!

Aside that, there’s a few songs that my heart pounds for is this one special song – “Africa”. Perhaps it’s my daily love relationship to this song that makes me love it even more on this album, but seriously, they made it so good. So, so good. I literally just stared at the wall when I heard it. I also found “Jump Around” a bit more interesting then the others, mostly because of the added beatboxing. Loved it!

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Overall, this album is just awesome. It’s fantastic arrangements, delicious harmonies with a good mixture of humor in all the right places, and seriousness in all the right places. Well done, ladies!

// Sara

It Snows In Hell

Posted in The Sims, Uncategorized with tags , on September 25, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

Another day of playing The Sims has passed, and… well, there’s only so much progress there can be made in you know, ten or eleven hours, but some has been made! First and foremost: Don’t freak out. I just gave her a complete make over. It’s the same Sim, I promise!

To start off with Aria personally, she wrapped up the Author branch of the career and has now embarked on the last career remaining of the “usual” careers – Entertainment. Because of her current state of aspirations Popularity, more to be exact “Joke Star”, she very quickly embarked on the comedian branch of the career. I bought her the perk of going through the careers faster, and in this case I like it, I’ll see how much I’ll like it with the “Get To Work” careers.

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Speaking of aspirations, she finished two since last – both in the Creative branch – “Best Selling Author” as well as “Painter Extraordinaire”. I don’t know for how long I struggled with the last one… She painted a lot of masterpieces when she was in the painting job, but as soon as I HAD to have masterpieces made, it was as if she simply couldn’t make them. What the hell. She also finished the “Joke Star” aspiration, and are now on the “Friend of the World” aspiration. It’s becoming less and less aspirations to choose from, and I want Family and Romantic to be the absolute last.

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But, on the more exciting note, she finally opened her store. I came down to the store, not remembering at all what I had planned to build, but I used one of the lots to creative a spa store – selling candles, stone and meditation tools. And it was exciting! It was a tad bit similar to The Sims 2 Open for Business, as far as handling the customers, and since she’s alone for now, she’s made quite the profit! I hope to expand a bit more, and perhaps even hire someone one day. And hope they are better than the staff in The Sims 2, haha.

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Well, that’s that for now. The gaming weekend is over and real life starts tomorrow. It has been a very good weekend though. All I wish is for my illness to go away. Like now.

// Sara

 

Down with the Devil

Posted in The Sims, Uncategorized with tags on September 24, 2016 by Sara Hammerzmith

I have spent the last, well, yeah, 24 hours with doing nothing but eating candy, talking and playing The Sims. I might have slept a couple of hours in between, but it’s irrelevant. Kyo and I are having one of our legendary The Sims weekends, and I have waited for this soooo long! To just go away for a weekend and do nothing but playing The Sims without a shame in the world.

So, how has my progress been since last?

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Both a lot, but also not a lot. First and foremost I had gotten myself no less than four new The Sims games – “Dine Out” (which I technically got a few days ago) followed by “Outdoor Retreat”, “Luxury Party” and “Cool Kitchen” stuff packs. I had a hard time choosing what stuff packs to buy, because there are so many I wanted! or actually, in the end I want all of them, but which should I start with? I went with luxury stuff because I love fancy things, and then kitchen stuff more as a necessity rather than what I wanted the most.

I have yet to try them out properly, so I will get back to you about each pack once I’ve tried them a bit better, just to make that a bit clear.

But what’s happened with Aria since last? Well, with her, not a lot. She finally finished her art career, in Patron of the Art branch, and has now embarked on a writing career, where she just in this moment reached level six, choosing the author branch.

She has completed the mansion ambition, and in co-operation with her work, she’s now doing the writers ambition as well. Better to smash two flies at once, no?

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As far as her house goes, changes has been made. At first I rebuilt the yoga center to a sauna, but upon realizing there were some bugs that made it difficult to build up there, I moved the entire thing down to the basement, where I made an entire floor out of health and fitness, like a center. It’s one room with the sauna and a relax part with a couch, one room with work out equipment, one room with bathtubs for mud baths, one room for meditation and yoga, and one room with a bathroom. At least for now. I plan to fix a place where they can get massage as well. I’m really happy with the turn out!

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And secondly, I of course, rebuilt the kitchen. I extended it a bit and gave it a small make over. changed wallpapers and upgraded all of the furnitures. Made me superhappy. I think this is what I’ll focus on – making small improvements with every room as time goes on, rather than look to other houses.

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Before

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So, that is a little bit what’s been going on these past 24 hours. Now, I’m heading off to work, and then back to playing again.

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// Sara