• 7th of June 2015:

    Melted Space: Ambient (early), Symphonic Metal (later) from Troyes, Champagne-Ardenne, France: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Melted_Space/3540397034

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  • Dear readers of my blog,

    A couple of days ago, I told you that I was preparing a list of my favourite movie soundtracks. I have chosen twenty quite different movies so far. I have written comments and chosen examples for the first ten films. The second part including movies made between 1976 and today will be published soon. I'm also working on a list of video game soundtracks which will take a little bit longer. I hope you enjoy this first part and maybe you will discover a few new interesting soundtracks or movies or rediscover some forgotten classics.  

    Godzilla / ゴジラ (1954)

    When I was a kid and a young teenager, there were exactly two kinds of movies I watched all the time: early martial arts movies with actors such as Jackie Chan, Leslie Chung, Jet Li, Lo Lieh, Yueh Hua and others as well as monsters movies such as all Japanese Godzilla films. The epic, dramatic and classically inspired soundtracks by Ifukube Akira always stood out. Here is an example of his charismatic soundtrack for the first original Godzilla movie.

     Murder, She Said (1961)

    This British murder mystery movie based on the novel "4.50 from Paddington" still has a cult following in Europe and especially in Germany where the movie is still shown on television each year. Since this film is one of my mother's favourite movies, I must have watched it at least half a dozen times. The stellar acting performances by Academy Award winner Margaret Rutherford, her real life husband Stringer Davis and kid actor Ronnie Raymond, the mysterious atmosphere in this black and white film and the great soundtrack that got covered by German Eurodance band Scooter among others, are unique features of this film. Three sequels entitled "Murder at the Gallop", "Murder Most Foul" and "Murder Ahoy!" were filmed in the three years after this initial success. The charismatic soundtrack by Ron Goodwin was mostly played on harpsichord.

    A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    This is not only the name of one of the best and most famous songs by The Beatles but also the title of a movie about them that made them more popular than they already were at that point. The light-hearted British comedy film features many songs that are now considered classics.

     The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

    This is not only one of the most revolutionary movies of all times and probably one of the greatest films ever made but also the title of an exceptional soundtrack written by Ennio Morricone that always perfectly blends in and complements the story. Ennio Morricone is my favourite contemporary composer and has made numerous soundtracks that I could have mentioned in my list: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Thing (1982), The Untouchables (1987) and The Hateful Eight (2015) among others.

     The Graduate (1967)

    This American comedy-drama about an unusual love relationship between a young bachelor and a more mature woman and her daughter has become a classic over the past fifty years. One remarkable element about this movie is its vivid soundtrack which perfectly captures the lifestyle of the late sixties. Simon & Garfunkel's classic "Mrs. Robertson" became a huge success but the instrumental pieces by Dave Grusin are also a blast.

    The Jungle Book (1967)

    The first animated film inspired by Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name is one of the most incredible successes in the history of cinema. The Walt Disney Production about the young orphan boy Mowgli who grows up in the Indian jungle with a black panther, an orangutan and a sloth bear had a budget around four million dollars and made more than two hundred million dollars at box offices all around the world until today. The score by George Bruns, Terry Gilkyson and the Sherman Brothers has become a classic with the most notable tune being the catchy "The Bare Necessities".

     Easy Rider (1969)

    This American road movie has become a classic for anyone who likes highways, motorcycles, rock music and the culture of the late sixties involving a communal lifestlyle and the hippie movement. The soundtrack of the movie featured many famous rock artists and bands such as Blue Cheer, The Byrds, The Jimi Hendrix Experience , The Moody Blues and of course Steppenwolf. 

    Shaft (1971)

    This American action film with numerous film noir elements about a black private detective is a film that perfectly captures the dark sides of an American society in the early seventies. The film also created a new genre called blacksploitation which played an important role in civil rights movements and the emancipation of visible minorities in the United States of America. Two sequels and a television series followed this movie and a reboot is set to be released next year. The charismatic soundtrack by Isaac Hayes won numerous awards such as the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

    The Godfather (1972)

    Based upon the 1969 crime novel of the same name by Mario Puzo, The Godfather and its two sequels became the most popular gangster movies of all times which inspired numerous other films. The first film which is sometimes considered as one of the very best movies of all times is not only famous for its great acting and epic story but also for its simple yet atmospheric soundtrack. The dark, elegant and looming score was composed by Nino Rota. He received the Academy Award for Best Original Score for "The Godfather II".

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

    Based upon the musical stage production "The Rocky Horror Show" from 1973, this eccentric movie mixes comedy elements with horror passages and science-fiction settings. The movie itself is a parody of several science-fiction and horror movies from the thirties to the sixties and broke a lot of taboos, especially due to its sexual content involving homosexuality, transsexuality and the mocking of traditional relationships. This colourful, daring and revolutionary movie still has a cult following all around the word forty years later. The movie and the charismatic musical are still played in front of cheerful, disguised and participative crowds in cinemas and theaters around Halloween. The original soundtrack produced by Richard Hartley which was often covered included famous rock artists like Meat Loaf. 

     

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  • Dear readers,

    Yesterday, famous British bass guitar player, guitarist and singer Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister died in Los Angeles at the age of seventy. He died four days after his birthday, got diagnosed with cancer on Boxing Day and died peacefully only two days later. The musician who was involved in famous rock and metal bands Motörhead and Hawkwind started his career in different small beat, blues and rock bands around Stockport, Conwy, Manchester and London such as The Rainmakers, The Motown Sect, The Rockin' Vickers, Sam Gopal and Opal Butterfly in the sixties and seventies. He got famous for his work in Hawkwind and especially in Motörhead. He also wrote songs for other artists, for example Ozzy Osbourne and the Ramones. He collaborated with a wide range of artists such as German punk Icon Nina Hagen or German industrial rock band Emigrate. What made him famous were his stunning career that led him from a broken lower middle class family to a renowned international rock star, his honest attitude to pursue his dreams and play his music without any compromises despite important health issues, his unique down-to-earth approach to fans all around the world, his wild lifestyle including sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll and his music that represented everything rock 'n' roll was, is and will be about. He became a celebrity despite or maybe exactly because he was an authentic, incorruptible and simple anti-hero many people could identify with. Lemmy became a living legend who was featured in numerous movies, series and video games. Until today, bands of almost any genre cover his songs or cite him as an important influence. Apart of parts of his music that I enjoy from time to time, I liked his friendly, grounded and smart attitude towards his fans, the fact that he pursued his dreams no matter what and that he was the living example that even a nobody can become a living legend with a lot of passion, perseverance and work. His self-destructive lifestyle may have been debatable but Lemmy lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed every bit of it and that's what really matters in the end. Tonight, I will blast some of his most famous songs in his honour. Rest in peace!

    Here comes a short chronological selection of a few great songs from his bands and collaborations.

    "Dandy" by The Rockin' Vickers (1966)

    "Horse" by Sam Gopal (1969)

    "Ground Control to Pilot / Ejection" by Robert Calvert (1974)

    "Motorhead" by Hawkwind (1975)

    "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead (1980)

    "Iron Fist" by Motörhead (1982)

    "Killed by Death" by Motörhead (1984)

    "Born to Raise Hell" by Motörhead feat. Ice-T & Whitfield Crane (1993)

    "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." by The Ramones (1997)

    "Shake Your Blood" by Probot (2004)

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  • Dear readers!

    As most of you know, I like attending all kinds of artistic and social events, I adore discovering new things and I appreciate visiting new places. It shouldn't be a surprise to you that I attend many concerts as well and this year, I went to see at least twenty-one shows as far as I remember. If there hadn't been so many great sports events such as the CONCACAF Champions League run by Montreal Impact FC and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, I would have probably attended a few more shows. Some concerts were amazing, most were great and only a few were a little bit disappointing which makes a very positive average. There was nothing as outstanding as Black Sabbath in 2014 but it was still a great year for shows. That's why I created a list of all the concerts I attended and made a few comments on each event. By the way, I've already purchased tickets for a few concerts in early 2016! Stay tuned! Great times are ahead! 

    1. Septicflesh, Moonspell, Deathstars @ Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, Montreal (May 14th) 

    Comment: All three bands were amazing, the location was awesome, the merchandise section was huge, the atmosphere was a blast and I was there with a good friend. 

    2. Epica, Eluveitie, The Agonist @ Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, Montreal (September 11th) 

    Comment: All three bands were great, the location was amazing, the merchandise section quite good, the atmosphere was joyous and I was there with a good friend. 

    3. Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan, Black Crown Initiate @ Mavericks, Ottawa (February 5th) 

    Comment: Voivod were absolutely outstanding and are one of my very favourite live bands and I became a fan of Iron Reagan and Black Crown Initiate which I didn't know prior to the show. 

    4. Volbeat, Anthrax, Crobot @ TD Place, Ottawa (May 13th) 

    Comment: Volbeat were very good but Anthrax were definitely the highlight of the night. The only issue were one or two severe security guards who didn't like seeing some fans having too much fun. 

    5. Godsmack, Sevendust, The Motorleague @ TD Place, Ottawa (October 19th) 

    Comment: Sevendust were a positive surprise and convinced with a sympathetic performance while Godsmack absolutely rocked the stage. I got to know two sympathetic guys I hung out with during the show. 

    6. Rush @ Bell Centre, Montreal (June 21st) 

    Comment: This concert lasted for three hours and the band played around thirty tracks in a perfect manner. Maybe the show was a little bit too long. 

    7. Falco - The Show @ Tanzbrunnen, Köln (December 20th) 

    Comment: I didn't expect that much but the show was authentic, diversified and highly entertaining. I went there with my parents. This is one of the greatest tributes to the late Austrian rapper and rocker Falco. 

    8. Eluveitie, Antlion, Dissentient @ Bronson Centre Theatre, Ottawa (September 10th) 

    Comment: The location was quite unusual but great, the opening bands had a lot of talent and Eluveitie delivered a stellar performance. 

    9. Anvil, A Darker Day, Vyc Vypyr, Aenigma @ Mavericks, Ottawa (April 2nd) 

    Comment: The opening acts were solid and Anvil proved they were amazing entertainers who constantly interacted with the crowd. The guitar solo took around fifteen minutes and was a little bit too much for me. 

    10. Rhythm of Cruelty, Putamen Insula, Maicamia, Nightmare Collective @ Loud House, Montreal (May 15th) 

    Comment: I didn't care much about the main act but Nightmare Collective were a positive surprise, Maicamia were the kind of band that made me discover something completely new and Putamen Insula were absolutely outstanding during one of their very last shows. The location of the concert was very special. I went there with a good friend of mine and had a chat with a couple of fans and musicians. 

    11. Dream Theater, Devin Townsend Project, Haken @ Kunstrasen, Bonn (July 9th) 

    Comment: Haken were a positive surprise and are a band I'm curious to check out and follow in the future. Dream Theater's performance was great but very short and the singer had to battle with a cold. Devin Townsend Project were weird for the sake of being weird. The location was okay and the crowd was rather boring. I still managed to meet a very nice guy and had somebody to talk to prior to the show and during the intermissions. 

    12. Loviatar, Monobrow, The Dark Plains @ Dominion Tavern, Ottawa (January 24th)Annihilator, Shock @ Mavericks, Ottawa (January 20th) 

    Comment: All three acts were great and Loviatar have become one of my favourite bands. The location could have been better and the bands started their show way too late, almost around midnight. 

    13. Joachim Witt, Staubkind, Whispers in the Shadow, Heldmaschine, The Other, Vlad in Tears, Aeverium @ Castle Rock Festival, Mülheim an der Ruhr (July 4th) 

    Comment: Aeverium were a great discovery for me, The Other have become better and better over the past years and Joachim Witt's show was very unusual and highly entertaining. The location and the merchandise section were absolutely amazing. My father and I had a lot of fun spending the entire day over there. The weather was extreme around forty degrees and I guess we both drank close to seven Liters or so that day. Staubkind were not my cup of tea at all. 

    14. Solstafir, Ancient VVisdom, Musk Ox, Aenigma @ Mavericks, Ottawa (April 24th) 

    Comment: Solstafir's performance was enchanting, hypnotizing and unique. Ancient VVisdom were a great discovery and I listened to their last album quite a few times by now. The other two bands weren't my cup of tea.  

    15. Alestorm, Swashbuckle, The Dead Crew of Oddwood, The Night Watch @ Mavericks, Ottawa (February 4th) 

    Comment: Alestorm were entertaining as always and the opening acts were good without being outstanding. 

    16. The Agonist, Obyrne, Ominous Eclipse, Accretion @ Ritual, Ottawa (February 26th) 

    Comment: The location was quite cool, the three opening acts were sympathetic without being amazing and The Agonist delivered a quite good show. 

    17. Iron Man, Muffler Crunch, Loviatar, Longhouse @ Mavericks, Ottawa (August 28th) 

    Comment: Iron Man were solid and are a band I'm curious to check out and follow in the future. Loviatar were great as always and the other two opening acts were solid but nothing more. The crowd was very lame that night which is actually a constant problem at that location. 

    18. Exterio, Prieur&Landry @ Le Petit Chicago, Gatineau (September 26th) 

    Comment: The energizing rock duo Prieur&Landry were a very positive surprise and I supported them by buying their first album. Exterio's show was sympathetic but nolthing extraordinary in my book. The location was nice and I had a chat with a few nice people in the crowd. 

    19. Dark Tranquillity, Insomnium, Signs of Chaos, Greylights @ Mavericks, Ottawa (January 10th) 

    Comment: Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium were good but not as amazing as I would have expected. The opening acts were of an average quality. 

    20. Alcoholica, Eyedolls @ Mavericks, Ottawa (January 23rd) 

    Comment: Both bands were entertaining cover bands that played a few rock and metal classics. The crowd was disappointing an donly a handful of people were there. 

    21. Alcest, Abigail Williams, Emma Ruth Rundle, Today is the Day, Inherent, Destroy Clocks, Peronicus @ Mavericks & Cafe Dekcuf, Ottawa (September 24th) 

    Comment: The seven bands played on two different stages in the same building which was somewhat confusing. The crowds in both places were mostly lethargic. The merchandise section was poorl equipped. Abigail Williams were a great discovery and my favourite act of the night. Today is the Day are usually not my cup of tea but their show was cool. Alcest were rather disappointing and despite liking their kind of music I wasn't able to get into their show at all. Emma Ruth Rundle was the worst artist I have seen on stage this year. 

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  • Dear readers of my blog,

    The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve is always very popular for a look back at the past year. Over the next few days and weeks, I will publish a few texts about things I've discovered, enjoyed and experienced over the past twelve months.

    I decided to start with a list of my favourite songs of the year. Some people believe I'm just listening to old stuff which isn't true since I have listened to more than forty records that were released in 2015 and that's without talking about numerous songs I've heard in movies, on the radio or that people showed me. I have a very eclectic taste and I'm always open to discover new stuff but a look at my final cuts makes it rather obvious what kind of music I enjoy most.

    Instead of writing too much or posting an exaggerated numer of videos, I decided to choose one single appropriate adjective for each tune. If you're interested, there are many ways to find these songs on the internet. Feel free to share your favourite songs of the year with me, to suggest new stuff to me or to comment on my blog. Without further ado, here are what I consider my twenty favourite tracks of the year so far.

    1. Ghost - Deus in Absentia (mysterious)

     

    2. Moonspell - Domina (romantic)

     

    3. Pantommind - Searching for Eternity (enchanting)

     

    4. Lindemann - Yukon (melancholic)

     

    5. Leaves' Eyes - The Waking Eye (epic)

     

    6. Amorphis - The Four Wise Ones (experimental)

     

    7. X Japan - Born to Be Free (emotional)

     

    8. Voivod - We Are Connected (futuristic)

     

    9. Sound Horizon - 檻の中の箱庭 (electronic)

     

    10. Iron Maiden - If Eternity Should Fail (dark)

     

    11. Psy feat. CL - Daddy (funny)

     

    12. Sam Smith - Writing's on the Wall (elegant)

     

    13. Anthrax - Evil Twin (furious)

     

    14. Les Trois Accords - Joie d'être gai (uplifting)

     

    15. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät - Aina mun pitää (angry)

     

    16. In Extremo - Loreley (joyful)

     

    17. Subway to Sally - Mitgift (sinister)

     

    18. Empyrium - Unite (appeasing)

     

    19. Sevendust - Thank You (powerful)

     

    20. Babymetal - Road of Resistance (melodic)

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