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A brief Helion / personal update (w/ full finished songs!)


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Howdy fellow bottomdwellers!


It's been a while since I've posted anything worthwhile on this forum, but at least I have a good excuse - I've been spending my time making music instead of talking about it ;) .


As some of you know, my band Helion has been working on a new promo-CD, and things are getting closer and closer to the point where we can say "we're done!". The purpose of the CD is to get our new sound across to the world, and to make an actual recording with the new lineup. Because we're not in it for the dough, we'll be sharing the finished product for free on our website when the time comes. Actual pressed CDs are for marketing purposes only.


Our guitarist and chief despot Jaakko has been keeping a quick studio diary which can be found here , check it out for the inside scoop.


We also have a few sound clips from the upcoming songs on our site - Song 1 and Song 2 , check them out if you want to hear what Helion 2K5 sounds like. If those clips aren't enough for you die hard fans out there, shoot me a PM and I just might be able to hook you up with a bit more ear-candy...


So much for band stuff, I'll give you a quick personal update as well.


I think I'm more of a musician than I was, say 6 months ago. I don't mean that I've gotten any fancy chops or anything, but the progress has been more in the creation of music-department than actual technique. A lot of that has to do with spending time with different instruments - 4,5,6-stringed and fretless basses (for me they're all different animals and bring out different ways to express myself), electric guitar as well as some keyboard stuff.


The problem for me was that I had a lot of musical ideas, but no way of getting them out from my head and into something concrete. Now when I grab the right tool for the task, I can get most, if not all the ideas out from my head to make room for new stuff. There's a big difference in telling someone what something should sound like and playing it yourself. This is mostly noticeable in guitar parts - previously when making new music I always "requested" our guitarist to play something I wanted to try, and while it usually was pretty close to what I had in mind, it wasn't 100%. Now I can play the part myself, and then let the "real" guitarists do their magic on it - that way the initial idea is what I had in mind plus it's made even better by someone who knows the instrument way better than I do. I struggle with words a bit here, but I'm sure you guys know what I'm trying to say. :)


So, the lesson of the rant above is that don't limit yourself to only one instrument - get the right tool for the job. Music has become a lot more interesting to me after I purchased a decent guitar setup. Am I a guitarist? No. Would I play guitar in a band? Maybe just for shits and giggles. Does playing guitar allow me to find new ways to express myself? Damn straight! The same thing goes for fretless and fretted bass too to some extent.


So now that the instrument/idea -side is taken care off, the next logical step for me is to make it possible to preserve my ideas, and combine the different tools at hand. What does that mean in reality? Simple - I'm in the process of building a light digital recording studio which I can use to get my ideas on "tape", and to develop more complex interplay of the different instruments. With today's digital equipment it's relatively cheap to get a proper setup going for this kind of stuff. My new Apple Powerbook should arrive shortly, and as the spring/summer progresses, I'll be adding more stuff to the setup (more stuff = yey! ;) ), like a Pro Tools LE audio interface, some proper monitors etc. This lightweight setup will also benefit my band as well, as we'll be able to use it for our own twisted (mainly pre-production) purposes too. I've also been toying with the idea of making a bass driven solo album, with a soundtrack-kind of feel to it...


I think that's enough torture for you who read all the above, I'll try to contribute more to the forum instead of lurking around (I've been on "read not write-mode" for quite some time now), and I'll keep you updated on the CD-project too!



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I've downloaded the songs, and look forward to the new sound.


I have shared your struggle to get ideas out of my head (I don't have very many, but still...). Given some time, I'd take piano lessons because I think that would be how I'd think and express.


Congrats on taking this step to be more of a creator.




Acoustic Color


Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Word, my brutha.


Thanks for the update. I look forward to listening to Helion version 2K5.


I've been happily learning more guitar surreptitiously through my daughter's lessons. I completely agree that knowing how to play more instruments is a benefit to one's personal musical progress.






Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I like the new sound. It would fit my tastes perfectly if it had come out about 6 or 7 years ago. Not really my cup o' tea anymore but excelent execution. It's good to listen to stuff that wouldn't normally be in my CD case.


Some elements of it remind me of Savatage.


I love the bass solo in Shadow of the Sun. Wonderful subtlties to your sound.


Congrats on finishing it...it sounds great! :thu:

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Wow- savatage- THat's a reference I didn't expect. As my shredding brother would say, RTFOTMC!, although I'm not big on cryptic messages of that ilk.


Excellent tunes- as I stray from most commercial, guitar-oriented rock (you know the kind- the music that could be played no matter what isntrument is missing, as long as the guitar is there), I find myself moving toward, among other things, more orchestrated rock such as you and your countrymates Nightwish. I'll be looking forward to more of it, Pernax...

...think funky thoughts... :freak:
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I like alot of the musical themes in "Black Inside"; and the same with some of "Shadow Of The Sun". "Reconnect My Life" didn't do anything for me until the chorus kicked in; the different textures make it better, and do what a hooky chorus is supposed to do. Overall I'm not thrilled with the rhythm guitar tones; which is why I prefer "Black" and "Shadow"; much more varied tones and arrangement to offset the guitar. My friends in Under Command would like this, especially the drumming. A hint of Pain of Salvation in there? Anyway, the writing and performances can't be argued with; good production, too, for this genre. Singing is ok on it's own (for this style); but the occassional harmonies really add a lot.

Keep it up!

"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)

NEW band Old band


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Originally posted by Pernax:

Check 'em out and tell me how you feel... and the how you really feel .[QB]

DISCLAIMER: Not something I would normally listen to: I had to be talked into listening to Metallica (which I did gain some respect for afterwards). So, the best I can do is compare you to them (I hope this is not insulting). Also, I listened through some crappy headphones.


Another thread here talked about "frequency masking", especially how loud distorted guitar in a mix can make it hard to hear anything else (well, that's one way of paraphrasing it). I think this is evident on the recordings: the vocals are fighting to be heard, the keys are relagated to the background, and the bass is almost indistiguishable at times. Now, granted, you can't have this type of music without in-your-face LOUD distorted guitar. (Can you?) So I don't know if you really want to change anything. However, I'd like to hear the keys a little more, and everybody could drop down a bit whenever the singer is singing, IMO. (After the "ganged" guitar/bass play the main riff a couple times, it's "old news" -- we've already heard it -- and they can back off so the listener can hear the things that are changing [vocals] or different [keys].)


I'd also like to challenge you to come up with a bass part that at least at times departs from the guitar in either pitch or rhythm, if that isn't too blasphemous for your genre. ;)


Other than that, I think you guys did a very good job! I know how hard it is to put together a cd, even when you're "just the bass player". If you're also the songwriter, that's even harder. The precision is there, and everything sounds professional. I like your sound better than most of what I would term "metal" that I hear on the radio (and then quickly change the station). For me, I think I connected best with "Reconnect My Life".


Again, my apologies if I don't quite understand the genre and my comments are totally off base.


[QB][sNIP]I've also been toying with the idea of making a bass driven solo album, with a soundtrack-kind of feel to it...[sNIP]


I would really like to hear this, as I am also working on my solo cd. (Mine does not have a soundtrack-kind of feel to it, though.)
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Hmm... I definitely think you're pushing for a heavier vibe here. IIRC, you have a new vocalist, right? He adds to the atmosphere of the tracks. Also, I like the way you guys use the synth sounds here. Just enough to enhance the songs, without overpowering them.


I won't say much about my personal life here. I've detailed that a bit in my online journal. (Some entries are viewable to certain friends only, for personal reasons.) That's all I will mention, for now. Life in general has been pretty good for me recently.


Lately, though, I think I need to start with using a written journal again. One that won't crash on me... :D

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