26 February 2011

And More Impatient Fans Leave...

(Obviously, not mine.)

I know I was thinking this for at least two years, but I think it's 97% official: I AM THROUGH WITH EVANESCENCE.

The very band that made my music taste the way it is today has been going through hard times for the past few years. After they fired guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray departed back in 2007, Evanescence went through a very long hiatus. Although they replaced their drummer, the band deprived the fans with news on their situation. Only small little notes saying "we're working on new material" about once a year kept very little security; furthermore, the official website has now blocked out their news and tour information, showing information to those who signed up for the newsletter.

And then... these came along.

HOWEVER!!!!!!!! According to this site, http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=53310, Evanescence started recording BACK IN FEBRUARY 2010!!!!!!!!!

I'm no expert in the world of music, but the last time I checked, one writes music before recording it. How can one perform a play without know what his character is and what the story is about? How can one count when he hasn't learned the numbers? How can one write a thought without coming up with a thought?!

So, here are my few opinionated ideas as to what the hell could possibly be going on:

1. Evanescence has no direction.
The fact that they have been in the writing process for so long can be a sign of laziness or a lack of motivation. I am sure the band members have their own issues and dramas within their lives, but a musicians job is to perform and create music. For five years now, the books continue to sit on the shelf and gather dust. The band can easily be compared to a sick patient on life support: pull the plug, or let it live. The only problem is when to let it die or let nature take its course. But if a choice isn't made, it might be too late.

2. Evanescence is antisocial.
I sure gave Three Days Grace crap loads of grief for playing the "oh, we'll be recording soon" game for two years, but at least an album came to be by the end of 2009. At the same time, however, the band gave nice little updates a few times per year. Evanescence, however, refused to say even one small little "hello," to update their website, or to give a sign that things are okay. Communication is an important factor in all relationships. If a company refuses to keep the customers happy, the buyers will go someplace else. That is what happened to me back on Valentine's Day of 2009.

3. Evanescence is planning something huge.
And to this, I sincerely hope the band does not pull any ridiculous jokes on the loyal fans who waited for so long.

To add some cushioning to myself, I have been looking up the band for a long time, and, I have found very insufficient information about what is going on. Sending bread to a starving child once every few months doesn't help his condition very much, you know?

But whatever is going on, I agree with Ben, a commenter responding to the Kerrang! article:

"They have actually pissed me off because we have been kept in the dark about this. No evanescence.com update since last winter. No tweets or updates from Amy. Makes me pissed, and almost want to say fuck them. But I can't. I can't wait to hear the new album. Just hope it was worth it and that they start treating their fans better. If it happens again, I won't ever buy their shit again. (unless there is an IMMACULATE excuse for this type silence). Stop the bullshit Evanescence."

Well... I have other bands to invest in. It's a shame that only a handful of their songs are still listenable for me. But the bright side? They aren't We Are the Fallen. *shudders*

23 February 2011

'Sweep: Book of Shadows'

(CREDIT: book by Cate Tiernan.)
Rank: 1.9 out of 5 <- missed the mark

This time last year I was in the middle of writing two essays on witchcraft, and one might say the broad topic fascinated me. Wicca, spells, earth-based magick, it doesn't matter. I really doubt I would ever engage in it, but there is much I can appreciate from this practice. At this point I think I could ramble on about the European and Salem witch trials until you lost count of the sheep in your mind's eye.

I had spent time researching through nonfiction to learn about earth-based practices and witchcraft, but I never had the chance to find a fictional book about it. Sure there were TV shows about witches such as Charmed and Sabrina, but I wanted a good book about it.

Well. My wish was sort-of granted.

The Sweep series tells of a teenager named Morgan Rowlands as she explores into the world of Wicca with her friends. They learn it through Cal Blaire, a patient and accepting witch who is proud of his family's traditions. Because this is the first book, it dives into Morgan's self journey as she warms up to Wicca and impresses everyone with her talents. Predictably, of course, her parents start to fear her because of her involvement in "dark arts."

There is more to the story, but I forgot about 75% of it.

Nothing about it stood out and sticked to me long enough to continue to invest in this series. Although the author does write very well about her doubts and concerns about this new path, Morgan appeared to be an obvious Mary Sue. A Bella Swan type of Mary Sue. When she's not telling us about what she learns in her free time, she thinks about how wonderful Cal is. Cal and his "perfect nose," his "beautiful olive skin," and his "riveting, ageless, gold-colored eyes." Well, at least Cate Tiernan didn't describe the skin as "incandescent."

Right now I am sick and tired of the "gorgeous lover-to-be" type of guys in any form of story. Flawlessly beautiful men suck, and it's pretty true when a typical guy takes a look at the character and either laughs or runs away from girls who drool over it. Cal felt too perfect, too nice, and too laid back; maybe I overanalyze too much, but I could sense something was not right about that guy. Or maybe I don't believe in the "soul mate/true love" concept due to the shallow execution of it in books.

Furthermore, there were so many characters, whom I could never remember, and 176 pages isn't enough to properly establish a unique coven of at least ten teenagers. It's sad.

The points I will give to this short book is the information about Wicca seemed pretty interesting, though kinda made-up, on the author's part. (Wicca is such a broad umbrella.) Perhaps it was the only thing that kept me going and kept me interested. Otherwise, this is a weak and slightly-below-average book.

Meanwhile, I can happily watch Willow Rosenberg continue to study and practice witchcraft and not worry about plot in Buffy... Maybe I should shut up about that now. lol

22 February 2011

Final February Update

Soooooooo. Like the new layout? :)

This has been a rather slow month for me with my blog updates declining and the homework piling high with advanced classes and a term paper. *dances for joy* However, I am planing to make more reviews, especially when I have unexpectedly came to love Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the past week. So I will add my few cents on what I think about it as I continue to catch up on the modern times. Perhaps next month will be a new kind of madness: you all can obsess about basketball and I'll rant about why I am stuck on the vampire bandwagon.

But to save the trouble:

Edward, meet Spike and Angelus. Spike will put you in a straightjacket and force you into a grinder. As for Angelus... well... there will be chainsaws, fangs, claws, maybe backup from a Slayer...

Quite frankly, Twilight still sucks in my blunt opinion. I'll regurgitate the same reasons other haters made in a future rant.

March 2011 is Vampire Month on Rants From a Fangirl... WHOOOOOT!!!!!!!

20 February 2011

Make the Old Youthful, and the New Legendary

'ello all. It's been a while. Hopefully your Singles Awareness Day was wonderful. Mine was just great as I coped quite happily about not having someone to snuggle. :P

But anyway... RANT TIME!!!!!


A few months back, I did a review on Let Me In, which is a remake of the Swedish film Let the Right One In. Other than the slight title change from a piece of advice to a demand and different names and location, there are absolutely no changes to the Swedish film. I find Let the Right One In to be a better quality film not just because it's a foreign movie, but because the plot ran smoothly, the characters were more interesting (the cat scene = epic win,) and the atmosphere was amazingly dead on creepy. The American counterpart, on the other hand, strayed too far from the book and moved so slowly that The Return of the King felt as short as a 30-minute cartoon show.

Part of me wonders why remakes happen. Is it because we're too lazy to read subtitles in a foreign production? We don't want to enjoy a story from a different environment? Or is it to make money?

Sometimes I just hate asking a question in which the answer is in my face.

What has inspired me to write this rant? Well, here's melinapendulum for you:

After watching this, I finally had enough curiosity to climb out of the millionth rock I have been buried under since my childhood. When it came out, I was too young to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And for the past few days, I have been living off this series in my free time. Though I am about halfway through season 3 and I love the Buffy universe so far, I must protest to rebooting any aspect of this franchise.

Though Melina said it was the TV show that was being remade, entertainment articles have told that the plan basically is to remake the preceding 1992 movie. However, I, like Melina, find no reasonable excuse for a reboot. Like she said, the main show and the Angel spin-off ended about 6-7 years ago and the story is still continuing in the comic books. To allow a reboot now is comparable to remaking the Naruto anime so it can be more ACCESSIBLE to viewers of Americans cartoons.

Can there be anything nice to hope for in this impending mistake? Well, perhaps a reboot can fix some really silly 90's special effects with our modern stuff. (Seriously, the corpses and the vampire bites were hilariously fake. XD) Um... ... ... ... ... err... ... ... well... ... ... at least the movie doesn't have the rest of the well-loved cast from the show! (I can't really see anyone replacing some of my favorite characters *cAoNuGgEhL* *WcIoLuLgOhW* *cGoIuLgEhS* without destroying them.) What else? ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... hmm... ... ... ... I've got nothing.

But best of all... SUPPOSEDLY the actress playing Buffy might be Heather Morris. From Glee.... ... I have never watched Glee (and I intend to stay this way,) but I have seen far too many commercials about it. Now that I know what this chick looks like, my forced attempted at staying positive for the reboot has diminished greatly.

What I fear the most about this reboot is the possibility of it being Twilight-ized beyond repair, or the remake will be so successful that the entire show will be remade as well.

Let me make my stance clear right now. If you miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer so badly, search on Youtube, turn on the TV, or go to Netflix... AND WATCH IT. Or hell, buy the DVDs or box sets! You don't need to reboot something that is still so young. Furthermore, just because vampires are still loved, why do you have to dig up and re-pretty every single dead, but loved vampire stories that are perfect as they are? I hate to be mean to Anne Rice fans, but why not reboot Interview with a Vampire? Why not remake Queen of the Damned? That was a strange film that went so far out there, the tightrope walker fell towards earth, 1,000,000 kilometers below.

At this point and time, I can only conclude that people are feeding the vampire craze and milking the pecuniary benefits from it. Furthermore, I am now starting to believe that everyone is suffering from ADD. We cannot put up with material that is even two years old without thinking of redoing it. We offer a two-yeared successful tweeny pop wonder, who will fade in less than a decade, the chance to write an autobiography. We give a particular politician her own family reality TV show. And her very own daughter is supposedly going to write her own book too.

It seems that anything slightly old must be primed and up-to-date, while the new must be treated like a long-lasting legend.


12 February 2011

Singles Awareness Day Is Near! >:P

Just a HIM song that I loved so much this year: "In the Arms of Rain"
The original is beautiful, the acoustic version is sweet, but this... is breathtaking in my opinion.
Enjoy or avoid. Pick your poison. :P

Happy Early Single's Awareness Day. :P

'Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapters 1-13

Try saying that title five times in one breath. :P
(CREDIT: to owner. Music by HIM. You get the idea...)
Rank: 4.5 out of 5 <- a Valentine's Day treat

Just because I had this urge to celebrate it's being out for one year, I am excited to play nothing but my favorite band's music on Valentine's Day, and I must change from the explosive previous post to a more uplifting one... I present to you... Screamworks, the album that might as well been my gift for being a fan for one year.

Tenebris wrote a review of this last year, so maybe I'm copying her again, but I want to add my few cents. Though I disagree with her view on the album, I finally have the guts to admit, after many months of confusion, that HIM truely fell a few steps back. However, I am not completely sure why, so I have no idea what rank I want to give this right now. Maybe by the end I will know.

The good news is that this was the first HIM album without Ville consuming a drop from a beer bottle. Being sober for almost three years now, he looks and sounds better than ever (something we all needed after the last album.) Screamworks in a way represents his returning on a lighter path, though still pessimistic. Hence the line, "here's to the pain, the light of the oncoming train" from the epic "Ode to Solitude."

But before I transform into a drooling female fangirl praising and blabbering about Ville until you want to punch your monitor.... THE ALBUM ITSELF:

This sounds more like the old HIM again. After the more mainstream Dark Light with no Linde guitar solo action and the depressing Venus Doom, however with badass and epic instrumentals, this is the more melodic (Deep Shadows), melancholic (Love Metal), and energenic (Razerblade... but nowhere near as nausiating *wink, wink*) sound. "In Venere Veritas" is "The Funeral of Hearts" if it was a cheery celebration on a pirate ship; more upbeat, but a little morbid lyrically. Meanwhile "Love, the Hardest Way" reminds me a lot of Razorblade Romance, as blasphemous as it might sound to some. "In the Arms of Rain," hands down is one of the best songs on Screamworks, made me happy with a good old "WTF" moment in the beginning; and "Ode to Solitude" is badass and epic, almost like many tracks on Venus Doom. As a whole, the majority of the songs were very well written and performed.

Heck, even my dad really liked this CD.

But now the critiquing time. After viewing the Heartagram Boards and reading on which songs fans liked and disliked, I can think that several fans might agree that the album hits a rough road near the end. To be specific, "Shatter Me with Hope." By far, I have seen more complaints about this song than any other ("Acoustic Funeral" and the two singles come next,) and I agree with them. Something felt "off" about that as well as the afterward songs until the last track. The pacing seemed forced, lifeless, and rather dull. Most times I listen to the first nine songs then skip to the last one, which is a very royal, unexpected treat. But honestly, this is the first HIM album when I frequently want to skip tracks. Perhaps if the songs were arranged in a different order, the overall pacing wouldn't have declined. But really, I am no genius in this.

Another complaint? Ville. *gasp* *dodges projectiles from outraged fangirls*

Yeah. I honestly think that Ville, although thankfully in better health, chose to try a bit of screaming this time (not like Cradle of Filth or even Linkin Park, thank God. O_O) Some songs, like "Disarm Me" and "In the Arms of Rain," were fine with the experimenting, but other times, especially in "Shatter Me with Hope," I wanted him to put duck tape on his mouth. Plus, is it just me, or is 65% of the album nothing but vocals? I think the longest instrumental break is maybe 10 seconds long. Not that such a thing is horrible...

Anyway, I knew this would happen someday, so I'm not too upset, but it still feels odd. Like a kid realizing his idols do not possess invincible powers after all.

Overall, the reception was very positive, but sales... were embarassingly bad. People knew the music, but weren't buying the product. And the band was so excited and hoped it would sell too...
Hmm. This might hint for a later topic on the music industry...

For sure, this is a highly recommended listen. Screamworks is more accessible than Razorblade Romance, though it lacks the "originality" and overall satisfaction that older fans miss so much (you know how it is.) On the other hand this is more enjoyable than Dark Light in my opinion. Like hard rock with 80's influence? Try this out.

Time to celebrate Singles Awareness Day with my favorite band. :)

And to all the fans, Happy Heartagram Day!!!

05 February 2011

February Suckage: STRIKE ONE

Pardon my extreme French, but...

WHAT... THE... F#&%?!?????????!!!!!!!!!!@#$%^&^%$%&^&??????!!!!!!

February is already a bad enough month with nasty red hearts and Cupids flying everywhere, AS WELL AS Justina Beaver's pointless Never Say Never 3D barf fest, but THIS TOO???????!!!!!!!!! The thought of this is horrible enough... BUT I have to sit through the Super Bowl to see this blizzard-hurricane-cyclone-tsunami-tornado-supernova monstrosity of a commercial.

The last thing I needed was to watch any sport on TV for several hours and have the dumbest commercials in the universe to play. Now I have to suffer through this. TT-TT

Dear superior being who created the world (if you exist), wether you are God, a goddess, a bunch of gods/goddesses, or even if it's the devil himself.... PLEASE. When I see this commercial, I hope it is not as retarded as it sounds. A long-reigning heavy metal god AND a two-year tween pop shrimp IN ONE COMMERCIAL is like mixing lemonade, pure sodium, vodka, and cyanide cocktail of death.

Once again, my hope in humanity is continuing to diminish at an alarming rate...

If you don't like football (like myself,) don't plan to watch the Super Bowl, or live in another country and is lucky enough to have no live access to this.... I ENVY YOU ALL.

Now excuse me, I must go into my emo corner, harvest mushrooms, and keep myself from blowing up my copy of Scream and my respect for Ozzy...

01 February 2011

February Update

Dear viewers, for the millionth time, I'm sorry for not being active until the last minute in January. One might say I was preoccupied...

Anywho, back on track. February seems to be the month of love and chocolates while waiting for snow to melt and spring to come back. I quite frankly find nothing grand about this month except with celebrating my being a HIM fan. Do not be surprised if I am a Scrooge-like character in my rants.

Speaking of rants, there are was one I wanted to post up around January 24, but I didn't get around to it. So how about I continue to blacken the red and pink gooey muck this month brings by ranting like a left-winged Nazi-Socialist? Wait... even right wingers do that too. How about "like a loud, obnoxious American" instead? :)

Yeah, the post might be one of the more heated topics that most don't like to discuss over the dinner table, but from a family with a nurse who talks about blood, organs, and nasty wounds, it doesn't bother me. So it's all up to you.

Otherwise, it's the usual. Reviews, rants, updates. Blah, blah, blah. Goodbye. :P

PS - my friend told me about this video, and it's hilarious. I just wanted to share it. (And as one who has played up until that point in the game, I can agree that James is a liiiiiiiiiiiittle dumb. XD)

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