of people and problems

I had actually discovered this particular interesting specimen a while ago already. From randomly surfing DarkLyrics.com. Vengeance Rising – one band name that makes you want to check their stuff out, right?

Turns out they were a militant Christian thrash/death band of the late 80s / early 90s, and their lyrics were just ridiculously preachy – at their mildest. Here’s an official video for the actual track (doesn’t exactly qualify for a title of a “song” IMO because I honestly don’t understand the appeal of that sort of songwriting and this rather lazy approach to “harsh vocals”). Think of it as of a curiosity.

The funniest thing is that the mastermind of the band later got oh so disillusioned in the church, quit and started waving the “anti-Christian” flag instead, with comparable fervour.

Reminds me of all those “teen crushes” and “phases” that people are supposed to be ashamed of when they “grow up”.

I just can’t take any of this seriously.

Yeah I did grow out of the whole “classic rock”/”traditional metal”/”glam metal” fandom (basically, “pop rock of the times gone by” fandom) – but that actually happened because I had always felt this church-like zealotry flourishing in there so I could never truly connect with fellow fans on a personal level, and, what’s worse, I saw musicians themselves either buy into it and go all diva-like on us, or exploit this veneration in a very cynical way. Let alone the media who, being media, used all that pseudoreligious imagery in their publications so as to unabashedly milk the fanbase by reinforcing their delusions. You know the groove, “this mag has a great article on [insert name here]” – “yay what an awesome mag! we’re buying every issue from now on!”

I still do listen to some of that music (which managed to stand the test of me getting into early music and opera, haha), but I’m happy not to have to interact with the rabid fanbase anymore. Yes “rabid fans” is a collocation in my world. Unfortunately. Those fans who make _me_ look as if I were normal. *shudders*

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not exactly nothing new

In black/folk/viking metal, a “one man band” is a longstanding tradition. A one woman band, though, is somewhat of a novelty to this day, and this is what Vermilia is.

You could say that the song per se does not break any new ground at all, musically speaking, and I would agree. However, the way I view this genre is different. I find this whole black/folk sound relaxing. Honest. Even the obligatory “black metal shrieking”, it’s not an athletic sort of singing. It just sounds soothing to my ears.

So what I want from a project like this is flow and texture. And Vermilia has got that in spades. After all, even though gender doesn’t matter, actual biological sex does, in terms of what a singer’s instrument actually sounds like. I happen to prefer female voices in general, and especially when it comes to that “shrieking”.

Get the digital single on Bandcamp, pay what you want/can afford!

Another plus is that the lyrics are in Finnish and do not concern any specific religion or ideology. Too often, black/folk metal will deal with “Satanism”, militant “paganism” or plain out Nazi crap. I hope no-one needs explaining why I don’t like Nazis, to put it mildly. So, the religious angle is to be found behind the cut. Clicky click for the curious ones!

Continue reading “not exactly nothing new”

this interview…

…basically answers the “why” that concerns me falling in love with Metal Church damn fast. There is another “why” that you have already heard, but it has no real answer.

Kurdt Vanderhoof’s interview for the Vintage Guitar magazine explains why to me, Metal Church sounds like a punked-up Rush jamming to NWOBHM on steroids: because these are exactly the ingredients that went into concocting the primary songwriter’s idea of what good music is, y’know.

The funniest thing is that I grew up on basically the same stuff, myself, just that the punk component was mainly local, Russian.

Thankfully I’m young enough to have an extra layer of idols, haha. Keeps things different.

I can’t say that Kurdt Vanderhoof is my favourite bandmember as a person, though, – he’s whined a bit too much over the years about how “computer-generated” music is oh so bad and how the metal scene is in a sorry state. Well, he will often clarify he means the US scene, but good grief… I mean, the Russian metal scene isn’t exactly a stellar one. So I know what it’s like, to have virtually nothing “homegrown” to be proud of, in the field you care for.

But here we seem to have this English-speaking superiority mentality at play. That is, many European metal bands will say they love their US/UK peers. I mean, Hansi Kürsch is a Metal Church fan as it turns out (best-kept secret of the millennium, yup).

On the other hand, I have never seen a US/UK metal musician say they are familiar with the European scene and love it. Definitely not to the point of giving examples.

I’ll be glad to be proven wrong. But damn, I really wish Mr Vanderhoof would stop whining and get some youtube surfing done or whatever.

And when it comes to electronic music… tell you what, not every composer of yore was a brilliant instrumentalist. Certainly not to the point of being able to play each and every orchestral part themselves. Again, a computer is what it is, a yet another instrument. It can be abused (cf. autotune), but it can also be the only way for certain people to express themselves. Not everyone can _physically_ play the guitar well, y’know (yes that is personal).

Kinda like digital painting: if you trace a digital photo and sample colours directly from it, I can’t say I’m impressed. But if you just paint the “oldschool” way but with a tablet and a stylus… it’s great.

I have a feeling…

…that some of my online pals don’t understand why I find psychological violence way more dangerous than physical violence.

Because a mindfuck is totally invisible, folks. It’s so damn easy to get away with it. Yes you can get away with physical abuse, but it takes way more effort (or a “supportive” society – which, again, is a result of someone’s fucking with the minds of those people).

Came across this article today…

And it’s just one of many.

I’ve been in psychologically abusive “relationships” myself – thankfully not to the point of cohabitation, but it’s still no fun.

I’ve seen this happen to close friends.

And I’ve witnessed an emotionally abusive family member forever. Like, why do I hate my grandmother? Because she ruined my mother’s life. If you’re lucky to have lived in more or less normal families… then great, you won’t recognise the “trophy child” thing, or anything here.

Narcissists are everywhere. Unless you decide to be explicitly vigilant, you won’t even notice them and their tricks. You hear? I fell to them, too, this ever-perceptive me. At least twice.

And exposing them for what they are… it’s tough.

Tell you what, though. Being physically violent – or at least threatening – has helped me countless times when dealing with all sorts of psychologically abusive scum. No it won’t fix them in the long run. But even a temporary relief may help. I wasn’t always doing it for my own sake, either, y’know.

And don’t forget the magic slap when someone slips into uncontrollable hysterical sobbing, too.

Yes I can hurt people physically when needed. Yes I will often fantasise about as much as brutally murdering some of them. Does _this_ make me a monster?

Well, nope. Because I won’t act on that unless I have a real good reason to.

What _does_ make me a monster is that I am this little manipulative bitch. I do try to keep this side of me in check. Actively. But the truth remains: I don’t get off on abusing people, physically or emotionally, but I do get off on controlling their minds. Even if it’s as innocent as getting people to laugh.

for a semblance of meaningful existence

Listen up, my dear kids and (ir)responsible adults.

You (actual living creatures reading my stuff, not the stolen-photo repost machines that seem to plague my “follower list”) may have noticed I don’t post as much as I used to.

The thing is: I don’t write blogposts for the sake of seeing My Amazing Words ™ in a nice font. Nope. I do a lot of writing for my day job. I see my words in print often enough. It’s nothing special.

I write blogposts to interact with people.

This is what I crave.

Actual honest uninhibited communication is something that is sorely missing from my offline existence – where I have to be all the way careful and considerate so as not to mess up important relationships by hinting at my unconventional religious and political stance. Where I have to stay silent so as not to hurt my elderly relatives by, again, my “outrageous” beliefs. Where I have a single flesh-and-blood friend I could fully trust, but who does not share 125% of my interests either and cannot be there for me whenever I may want to talk, simply because it’s physically impossible.

I am freaking lonely.

// insult to injury: I work with people on a daily basis; I live in a megalopolis; you want “alone in the crowd”, now that’s a textbook case if I ever were one! //

And the way I function is very simple: if I shout out from a rooftop and no-one so much as raises their head to shrug at a screaming idiot and shuffle on, I basically sober up and climb down to disappear into the crowd.

So when certain people here had to focus on their offline existences and stopped posting their stuff and commenting on mine, I kinda lost the incentive to write much, unless it’s some sort of imaginary obligation.

I wonder if there is anyone still here who would be curious to hear more rooftop sermons.

Not necessarily religious or political, y’know. It’s just that these two aspects are always there, permeating each and every step of mine. I don’t want to apologise for that. It’s just a fact.

Does anyone need me? My random rants on 3D nonsense? My random music embeds? Other things I think about but never share for fear they’re beyond boring?

If yes, I would much appreciate it if you commented when I post something you find worth commenting on.

I am open up for any sensible interaction. I am fine with being challenged and disagreed with, as long as it’s expressed in a respectful manner. Hell, I may well end up converted to your case if your arguments are good enough, for all I know.

PS For random music embeds, clicking the little star – the local wp “like” – if you enjoyed the song would be enough. But if you listened and didn’t understand why the hell I would ever play this – or why I said something unfavourable about the song in the body of my post, while you enjoyed that aspect – it wouldn’t hurt to ask. Because I will explain. No judging, just sharing. Simple as that.

you may’ve guessed by now…

…that youtube is a major thing in my music life. It is. Has been for over ten years actually – a lot of those whom I listen to now I discovered on youtube. 2006 gave me Chastain and Lizzy Borden, and that was only the beginning.

When they introduced the “recommended” thing, I basically gave up on trying to follow metal newsfeeds like Blabbermouth – since those shower you with everyone and their uncle’s dog, when youtube’s spy algos usually work quite damn well. There was a time when facebook could work as a personalised feed, but it has changed for the worse since. Kinda like once myspace was useful, over ten years ago, but not anymore; it’s the same with fb. So basically, it’s youtube all the way today for me.

this is me

Silver Fox ’85, the official toon version. The fur and hair textures aren’t exactly designed for closeups, but I’m including one just for the sake of vanity.

I’m obviously keeping the character to myself, but I will tell you what went into the making of it =) The base figure is Krystal, and everything else apart from the hair, the skirt and the belt is a freebie, like Krystal herself. Well, the lace on the shirt comes from Transmap-O-Matic which I got from Michele’s old storefront at Rendo, and I cannot recall if Michele did ever put it up for free or not… Either way, most of the textures can be found here at Michele’s blog.

And here is Krystal and a load of her clothing, while this ShareCG page hosts the texture resources I used for the base to make the fur (Blacksmith3D is very handy for fixing the seams, but the rest of overlays I painted in the good ole trusty Paint.NET). The tail is the Bushy Tail also found on the LittleDragon pages. The bracelets were also part of a freebie pack, but I cannot recall what it was called ATM.

The paid-for clothing items are fairly old, so I don’t know if they’re available anymore. Regardless… The skirt is from here with a texture from this pack, and here’s where the belt is from. Then… The hair is this one. It’s still available, and inexpensive.

Eyelashes are made in LAMH, and claws are simple deformed spheres parented to the fingers.

Now, whenever I have more free time, I should dig out my classic “patriotic scene” with the carnations in the colours of the Russian flag, and have the virtual me pose with them for a new forum/Rendo/dA userpic.

 

 

 

ridiculous

I always want to “fit in”. Like everyone. We’re all social animals, “humans” or “elves” or even “wolves” (and foxes). The cats maybe aren’t. I can’t tell. I’m not a cat. I just love them.

But I never do. I’m always clashing with this or that group. Never on purpose; never to be “special”; it just happens.

Say, I am a lot of a feminist. But apparently not a “real” one because – again – I am not “fat-positive”. I am pro-fitness. Neither do I believe in the crappy adage of “all people are beautiful” – nope. For one – here’s an exception: I’m definitely not beautiful on the inside because I am thinking all these things and even saying all these things out loud; and while I am not exactly ugly physically, I am not a “beauty” either. I do my best to look good because I think it’s part of respect towards others. That’s that. I will always use concealer to cover up my stupid couperose (diffuse redness and spider veins) and acne (yes I am thirty, but adult acne is a thing; and don’t think I haven’t invested into treatment… I am forever on meds, but some cases are just bad), same as I will use deodorant. Which I wish more Russians would do, BTW. Deodorant is apparently considered a luxury item here.

There are a lot of ugly people in the world. And that’s okay. Deal with it. Live with it. Where’s the ugly pride movement?!

Okay *cynicism alert*, maybe fat-positive feminists _are_ the ugly pride movement. Sorry. I’m bad like that.

I have fat friends. I am okay with them looking the way they want. I know it’s not easy to lose weight for a lot of people (I struggled myself). But I don’t want anyone to discourage promotion of fitness and sports simply because it offends the fat-positives. It’s just wrong to send the “hey, you’re overweight and that´s okay, don´t do anything” message. Being fit carries way fewer health risks than being obese.

Why the rant:

Apparently someone protested over this ad campaign because it promotes “negative body image” or something. Hell. This model may not be as ripped as I’d like all models to be, and her hips are too femininely wide to comply with my personal idea of “beauty”, but she IS physically fit.

You want “negative body image” – come to Russia where most females just starve but never exercise, since the slightest muscle definition is viewed as “masculine” here, and it’s the worst slur a Russian female can hear, “You look like a man”. And I have witnessed horrible cases of female fitness models and athletes who post their photos online being subjected to damn witch hunts here. Especially if they have short hair. Unfeminine! Burn the witch! This is, like, I can’t find the words to describe how wrong that is.

My own hair’s on the longer side, but that’s not for reasons of “looking feminine”. It’s just because it’s way more manageable that way. Yes. I told you, I’m that “different” it hurts.
Hurts to laugh. Cuz I’m laughing.
If somewhat bitterly.

the health hazards of being cynical

I’m a cynic when it comes to 3D content (not only that, of course, but other aspects of my cynicism aren’t relevant for this post).
I will buy stuff I need from a vendor whose other products are clearly aimed at pinup artists, to put it mildly (two words: Perfect V4). I will download freebies of the sort I’ll never pay money for (I don’t buy pose presets, but I do have quite a few free packs installed, and I don’t mind bundled pose packs either; I will even use them for tests/studies, although I always tweak).

But there is one particular freebie outlet that makes my blood boil, and that’s the ‘DS Creative’ fanzine.

If anything, I should vow to dl their freebies and then delete the PDFs immediately, sans flipping through the pages, like, EVAH. Or better yet, abstain from partaking of said darned freebies. ‘Tis not like my runtime is lacking in something, y’know.

There is a thousand little reasons for my disliking that mag (one being their inability to filter out the instances where newcomers call DS ‘DAZ’ for short… DAZ is the company, y’know), but some things totally tick me off, and that’s… Correct. Ignorance.

Amazing self-aggrandizing ignorance.

Whenever someone starts talking ‘serious render stuff’ on those pages, I’m left with two options: facepalm and headdesk.
Continue reading “the health hazards of being cynical”

I have a problem with ignorance

It’s probably my biggest problem and no-one else’s. But I’m irked beyond belief every time when I see people being only 5% invested in things they allegedly care for.

Online communities and members thereof. Some of them repeatedly misspelling screennames of others. Not knowing publicly available information about important members of said communities (think gender – most people take their gender rather personally…), all the while calling themselves ‘fans’ of said important members.

The next thing happens on- and offline. Someone is an expert in a certain area. A pro. Gets good money for said expertise. Somehow becomes deluded into thinking it means expertise in all related areas. Spreads horrendous  misinformation, as a result.

Someone says they have a hobby. Artwork. 3D stuff, for instance. Uses a particular program exclusively. For years. Neglects half the features that would’ve made his/her/whatever’s life much easier. Says the features are too complex to master, or something.

Writers who inadvertently turn their shows and books into fully fledged Théâtre de l’Absurde by deciding they need to get something or someone Russian on the page or screen.

Et cetera.

Tell y’all what. It’s okay to be clueless about stuff that is new to you.

But if said stuff pops up repeatedly in your life; if you find it burrows its way into your job or beloved pastime; if you can’t just shrug it off; then by all means roll up your sleeves and get to work on making yourself a better educated specimen of all the humanoid races currently found on the planet Earth.

Because if you don’t, your ignorance screams that you plain don’t care. That you are disrespectful towards said stuff, since you would not condescend to invest your precious time into a single google search even.

I never saw this attitude in the subscribers of this particular blog. But elsewhere, unfortunately, a lot.

PS “Learning difficulties” are a lame excuse. I’ve seen brilliant writers who are diagnosed with dyslexia. Disabled people doing professional sports. Damn, I have learned to do things I never thought I’d be able to, simply because I realised I had to, either for my job or simply to respect myself. And if I can do something, anyone can.

Just make that damned effort.

PPS Although my screenname is likely to hold a record when it comes to being misspelt by others, and even though folks assume the Silver Fox to be male, it wasn’t me I was referring to as suffering from that sort of attitude. I am not an ‘important member’ of any community. Neither do I care what gender others think I am. I have none actually; I even tend to forget my physiological sex sometimes.