Archive for October, 2010

Your shipment of awesome has been delivered (27 oktober 2010)

27. October 2010

To see that yellow DHL-truck appear down the street and come to a halt in front of the house was just lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five hundred of these, no kidding. They look great, it’s everything that we want. We had them made at DeCDperserij.nl and they did a fine job. Service was great and the work got done within the specified time frame.

They are available for ordering from the band:

info [at] akelei [dot] org

Misha

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Een Droom in 6/8 (25 oktober 2010)

25. October 2010

We’ll let the music do the talking.

Song #3: De Zwaarte (18 oktober 2010)

17. October 2010

This song is arguably the heaviest of the bunch. Electric Wizard’s album ‘We Live’ inspired to write the main riff, ’nuff said. There’s also a chorus of sorts, without singing. Maybe that doesn’t make much sense but it feels like a chorus so that’s what we call it. For this part I recycled a melody from my drone/doom project, adding more layers and rearranging it for three guitars + bass.

The fact that we have three guitar players in the band allows us to play many melodies simultaneously and we try to make the most use of it. So, for example, we can have double leads while keeping one guitar on the riff. Some people have asked us why we don’t use keyboards instead. I think the answer is that we just love this sound more. I really can’t imagine Akelei with keyboards. (Maybe a piano some day, but only a real piano will do.)

Lyrically, this song is a bit detached, not as personal as the others. I had this idea in my head that bad things will always happen in our lives, regardless. There are few warnings and there is no fairness in life. To worry about what may come is a waste of time. The only insight lies in hindsight: learn from the past to answer the questions of today. But first we must learn to accept the way things are. A brave 18-year old girl from Kristiansund put it this way:

“Face your fear. Accept your war. It is what it is.”

Misha

Meer Dan Je Ziet (and a word of advice) (11 oktober 2010)

11. October 2010

The idea for this song started with a melody from almost 10 years ago. There is a crappy recording of a jam session with it that sometimes resurfaced while reorganising cd’s and files at home and it was always nice to hear again. There never was any real attempt to work it out into a song however. So it was left alone for the time being.

Much later, during a period when it came up every time I picked up a guitar or sat down at a piano, I decided that I wouldn’t write another song if not this one first. Meanwhile in my head, the melody had evolved into a ¾ time for string orchestra, which was an entertaining thought but not very useful. It had to somehow work on electric guitar for Akelei.

Keeping the flow (1, 2, 3…), I wrote a part to fit the first one. The new part was interesting because it needs an extra bar to work well. It is also a riff that wants to go on and on, which is something we like in doom. It makes for intros that last longer than the average rock song and, in this case, it really ties the song together. The first half of it anyway.

In the rehearsal room we jammed on another new riff which felt so good that we immediately added it to ‘Meer Dan Je Ziet’, making it a lot heavier in the process. The heaviness felt good too, and allowed for the kind of finale where everything just kind of ‘falls into place’. The end was definitely easy to write, although it may not sound it. It was as if the song pushed it into one direction.

Unfortunately, the lyrics didn’t write themselves. As is the problem with all personal subjects, it is hard to decide on what to share and how. In a way, this very problem was what I started writing about. Lamenting the failure to speak one’s heart when it matters most. The hurt to see the loss it causes. It wasn’t easy. Then, I found truth in a friend’s quote:

“Being careful kills the soul.”

Misha

Verlangen means desire (7 oktober 2010)

7. October 2010

The first song on our album isn’t very new. We have played it on every show with Merlijn and Josha in the band. We figure it’s a good opener because most of our fans know it, especially with a demo recording of the song online for over a year now. It’s also very representative of our style, featuring all of the elements that are so typical of Akelei and introducing some new ones too.

I wrote ‘Verlangen’ at the end of 2006, although the final version came about in 2007. This version owes much to the band’s rehearsal sessions. I wrote older songs like ‘Pijnschrift’ before Akelei even existed so there was no input from anyone else. That changed when we started to rehearse regularly and I got a lot of feedback from Ward, particularly regarding song dynamics and tempo shifts. For ‘Verlangen’ it resulted in restructuring the second half of the song. You can hear an increase in breaks as the song builds up toward the second verse, only to fall quiet again, but not for long. It’s this contrast of heavy/light that keeps the style so interesting to play, certainly in a live setting.

This is also the first of two songs featuring Ward and me singing together. Singing harmonies is great. It adds so much warmth to the music that you can not create any other way. We’re definitely going to have more of these vocal harmonies in our new songs.

As for the lyrics… Well, to put it in Sarah McLachlan‘s words: “I have the sense to recognise that I don’t know how to let you go”. That’s just it, missing the person you love and being unable to let go. ‘Verlangen’ means desire and it does many things. Desire brings people together, breaks them apart, controls their thoughts. And I’m sure that desire can reunite people as well, if only they would allow it to happen. Mostly a matter of putting heart over mind, the mind being a terribly complicated thing that doesn’t want to be understood anyway.

Right?

Misha

Album updates (1 oktober 2010)

1. October 2010

Welcome back! There hasn’t been much news from our side in the last months, but as the temperature drops and the days get shorter, we’re getting back in the mood for doom. (I mean, more than usual.) We did finish the design and lay out this week and sent it to the printer along with the master. And as we wait for 500 cd’s to arrive on the doorstep, I’m going to give you some updates.

First of all: the album’s title is ‘De Zwaarte van het Doorstane’ (translation: the burden of the experience) and it will be released on the 6th of November at this year’s Dutch Doom Days IX in Rotterdam. Yes, the guys from Baroeg offered us a spot on the bill, for which we are very grateful indeed! This will be the perfect opportunity for us to release the album as it is one of the biggest annual events in the scene with doom metal fans coming in from many different countries. We actually played our very first show at the DDD three years ago and got some very positive reactions then. One can only hope that the response will be even warmer this time around.

Second: the album’s tracklisting:

1.       Verlangen

2.       Meer Dan Je Ziet

3.       De Zwaarte

4.       Een Droom in 6/8

5.       Duett

If you scroll down to a post from way back in February, you’ll see that ‘Dwaaluur’ didn’t make it to the final cut. The reason for this is that, after deep consideration, it just felt better as a stand-alone track. The new opener ‘Verlangen’ is more representative of the album and ‘Dwaaluur’ just didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. We still love it though and it’s on Bandcamp where you can download it for free. Demo recordings of ‘Verlangen’ and ‘Meer Dan Je Ziet’ have been online since September but will soon be replaced by the album versions. The changes in the songs are not big but the intro to ‘Meer Dan Je Ziet’, for example, is greatly improved.

And lastly: in the coming month we’re going to upload the album to our music page one song at a time. Every week we’ll publish another track for you to stream, download, share and get to know. Each submission will be accompanied by ‘thoughts behind the music’, reflecting on the writing process and lyrics. We’re very aware that once the album is out, it will be freely available from various other sources anyway, but we hope people will bother to visit our site and get it from us first hand. After we release the physical album at the DDD, we will make it available from our website as well. Stay tuned for more information on that.

For now, we take our hat off to you and pass it around because we’re crazy like that.

Be back soon!


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