Saturday, January 29, 2011

Writing "Castlevania": Episode 5

This episode gets a little more into the song-writing process.  I was still kind of putting riffs together when I recorded this footage.  You also get a glimpse of how this song sounded 3 years ago when I first recorded the demo.  Back then, it was only the idea for a couple of verses and choruses, and it was more based on a minor pentatonic scale.  A lot of these riffs have been laying around for a long time.  I could just never get them to fit together until now.  

Lyrically, I was initially trying to make this an historically accurate song about mummies while also explaining why Dracula has two mummies hanging out in his fucking castle.  It made no sense, so I dropped all of the nerdy historical references; though everything in the lyrics now make an indirect reference to Egyptian mythology.  You'll hear a lot of references to shadows, bodies, souls, the sun, wings, and gods.  All in all, here is my interpretation of the third stage of Castlevania:

Dracula had, long ago, intercepted the spirits (ba) of two Egyptian mummies, which rendered them unable to achieve their ultimate goal of spending their afterlife with the gods.  Dracula instead uses them as slaves to battle anyone that makes it that far into the castle.  It is then up to Belmont to follow through on a double whammy: defeating the mummies so he may advance, while at the same time, releasing their souls from Dracula's grasp so that they may enjoy the afterlife they so desire.  

Just further evidence that I'm looking way too far into this game.  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

D-Rate Update

I finished tracking rhythm and lead guitar tracks on the new and still untitled Descension Rate album.  Seven tracks and 35 minutes.  Bass tracks are currently underway, while drum tracks are being sent down to Richmond for mixing.  Realistically, this thing will probably hit by the end of March or beginning of April.  By then, we'll be ready to record the next 7 tracks for part 2 of the album.  

We also have three shows coming up:

January 30, 2011 - 123 Pleasant, Morgantown, WV
February 19, 2011 - Mountainlair, Morgantown, WV
March 18, 2011 - Peabody's, Cleveland, OH

The March show is a big one (or at least big for us dudes that don't get a chance to play outside of West Virginia much).  We will be opening up for a whole slew of great metal bands: Rotting Christ, Melechech, Hate, Lightning Swords of Death, and Abigail Williams.  Hit up Peabody's for more information:

I've also been recording a sort of "making of" for this album.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it, if anything.  It'll most likely just show up on Youtube in parts, as it will probably include the actual recording process, practice footage, live footage, and other dumb shit. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Updates on Everything Ever

I've previously mentioned a new band/project in the works with some good friends of mine.  I have to put that on hold for now, as I'm really booked up for the next couple of months.  Descension Rate is in the middle of recording our first album in 5 years, and we also have a couple fun/interesting/awesome shows coming up that we need to prepare for.  Plus we all work and go to grad school full time, so my time is quite limited.

It bums me out having to tell some good friends that they need to be a little patient about it.  Our jam sessions were ten different kinds of awesome.  Very laid back, personality-wise, but very intense, music-wise.  The riffs, harmonies, and insanely powerful drumming were just locking in tight.  We all had smiles on our faces, and we couldn't wait to get back into it.  Nick and Mark are still writing on their end, and I'm doing the same.  When the time is right, we'll get back in the swing of things and hopefully play out soon after that.   Because this shit was fun as hell:

Like I said, Descension Rate is in the middle of recording now.  We're hoping to make it a fairly quick process, as the guitar tracks are getting mixed and mastered by our good friend and collaborator down in Richmond pretty much right after we record them.  Guitar tracks are about 65-70% complete.  We've decided to split the 14 songs (70 minutes) up into two 7-track (35 minute) albums.  So, we'll probably get started on the second one sometime in the Spring.

And the Belmont album.  Don't think I forgot about that.  I plan to set some time aside on Monday to demo the next song.  That's one thing that I really can't wait to unleash.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

New "Belmont" Song!

Happy New Year to all! My free time during the winter break is coming to a close, but I kept myself plenty busy. Proof: check out a full demo from my upcoming Belmont album! It represents Stage 5 of Castlevania, in which our protagonist, Simon Belmont, must face Death itself. The lyrics, although draped in Castlevania nerdery, deal with death in a couple of different ways (acceptance of and triumph over), as well as realizing one's own potential in times of trouble. Check it out:

I probably won't get back to Belmont writing for a couple of weeks. I will be recording guitar tracks for the Descension Rate album(s) this week, but I hope to get back into it soon after. I'm officially at the halfway mark!