possibly the best lighting-related tutorial out there


Yes it says “Poser”, but whatever software you use, you should read this. Maybe even “must”.

Oh yeah, Iray fans: do ditch the DAZ 0.1 as the “SS multiplier” value. Or you will never understand what “sunny 16” is, even though you do have a phys cam model built in.

<3 <3 <3

This song is dangerously close to being my favourite song of all time – at least, one of the two BG songs I’m literally obsessed with, the first one being Bright Eyes. But I swear half my youtube history is bootleg live shots of Prophecies.

And now this! Awwww.

Check out the story about how Frederik Ehmke was putting the vid together!

And here you can get the singles (and older stuff) in FLAC format! C’mon, nothing beats lossless.

Oh, and now that the Bards are hinting they’re not going to tour for the next couple of years after they’re done with the summer dates, what does it mean? Yes. Yes. Don’t say it out loud, lest it be jinxed.

speaking of melodies to latch on

The classic Rage period had those aplenty, both in lead vocal melodies, in guitar parts, and in orchestral parts as well. Yes they had quite a lot of orchestrations during that time  – which is basically “nineties plus”, ending with Soundchaser (2003). Soundchaser I would personally call a “transitional” kinda record – they were trying to become kinda heavier, which isn’t bad per se, it’s just that the melodies got somehow downplayed in the process and not supported throughout the whole instrumental fabric anymore. Maybe this is why there is a backlash against Smolski, but I don’t get it. It’s not like you can publish any material under the name “Rage” without Peavy looming over you. They’re both to blame, if anything.

But when there was Smolski, there was hope. The dude has DA TONE ™, and while yes he can shred along with the Dario Lorinas of this world, he can also play those coveted oldschool melodic leads.

I just can’t seem to really like the contributions of the new guitarist, Marcos Rodríguez. The 2016 record seemed to be written in a way that attempted to mix “classic” and “new” approaches, but here’s the thing: the attempt didn’t exactly work IMO. Either the problem is the new dude’s less bitey tone (even as compared to the tone Schmidt had in the early 90s, yes – he had a damn powerful one), or again, the general structure.

There is a new record about to be released, and here’s a promo vid for one of the songs.

The good thing about the song is that it seems to be melody-centric, and the riffing supports the vocal leads relatively well. Notice the “relatively” thing. I’m trying to figure out if it’s my bias or something more objective. The guitar tone here is definitely on the wimpier side, but maybe this one is supposed to be the ballad? // as ballad-y as it gets with Herr Wagner, sure //

How does it stand against the original studio version of Set the World on Fire?


oh, those least-favourites of mine

There’s always someone who likes them enough to shoot an official video =)

To be honest, it’s one of those songs that appear to be primarily designed for live performance. Energetic and all.

I’m not exactly keen on the way they end the chorus – let’s call it “an aggressive hook”. Okay this sort of approach is in line with older (pre-Howe) material, but those songs were generally straightforward stompers on the whole. Here’s an example (yeah that’s Mike again because my throat starts to hurt when I listen to more than one David Wayne track per week).

an academic exercise

I don’t know about you, but I find the institution of cover songs and the situations where a new vocalist in a band sings some older songs quite a useful educational tool.

So, let’s see what we’ve got here: that old Metal Church ballad, originally recorded with David Wayne. Whom I never liked when he was alive (to the degree that had solidly kept me out of the fandom for all those years, hehe), but in hindsight, he was great at what he did. It’s just that the only singer who does those “screams” (aka switching into head voice for a single kinda optional high note above the high tenor C) and doesn’t annoy the literal hell outta me is Lizzy Borden – who often managed to actually integrate those notes into the melody so that they wouldn’t feel completely arbitrarily slapped on just for the sake of showing off.

And then, we have another studio version recorded about twenty years later with Ronny Munroe, who must have been the most misplaced vocalist in history. I mean, a lot of the bands I grew up on, be it classic rock or Euro metal, switched singers like it’s nothing. This obviously creates rifts in the fandom and fuels holy wars. But often, objectively speaking, it’s all fine musically, just different.

Now, I don’t know what Mr Munroe did before Metal Church, and I don’t even want to. Because he painted himself into a corner with them: let’s just say it’s bad enough that his vocal cords barely close, and even if he is capable of shining doing a totally different type of material, I don’t care. That’s how off-putting the impression is.

Those were studio versions. Recently the band put out a live recording with Mike Howe, and let’s just say that while it’s a good one performance-wise, the sound quality of it isn’t exactly the same as, say, that of Blind Guardian’s live recordings. There’s a chillingly powerful version of this song on there, but it doesn’t seem to be on youtube. So let’s try their Rockpalast-2016 appearance – where Mike does lure the audience into singing most of the chorus, but delivers the rest with so much focus it’s scary.