Saturday, June 4, 2011

Just Like Clockwork: Part 3

This post is a couple days late, but I've been rather busy the past little bit, so here's the finale to my goggle building escapade.

So close to completion...
I glued in all the vinyl to the eyepiece, and put a bit of vinyl on the buckle. I used a basic lapel pin to keep all the vinyl in place. I've poked a hole in the eyesockets to fit the pin in so that the headband can be both flexible and removable from the eyepieces. :D








I'm just being a nerd. NBD.
Done! Everything is glued and pinned in! I've clipped off the tabs of the lenses so now they look like they're a part of the goggles.
It's like that airship is really headed straight for me!











I can mix and match the colours I want for each lens too!












Thus ends my adventure of goggle-making! The next part of this whole ordeal is to get an actual outfit together. I'm still thinking of going for a sort of mechanic look, so I'll need to get a hold of a bunch of pouches and tools for a utility belt of sorts. I'll keep you posted with how it goes!

That's all for now, folks.

Keep being Awesome.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Just Like Clockwork: Part 2

Today's main goal for goggle-making was to paint the eyepieces and start the assembly. Since most of the day was spent waiting for paint to dry, I couldn't start assembling the goggles today. Once I pick up a few more supplies and bits tomorrow, I'll be able to put it all together and then add the finishing touches.

So, for today's shenanigans:

As black as the grim and frostbitten North.
I spray painted the eyepieces a matte black. The entire process took about half a day, because I wanted the paint to be as dry as possible before I worked with it again. You can also see the buckles I am using. The eyepieces will hopefully match them in bronziness.







Drybrushing = <3

I drybrushed the eyepieces with the same paints as the buckles. This isn't the final colour, I added one more layer of gold on top of this.












How you doin'?
Here is all the vinyl that I cut out yesterday, neatly arranged into a somewhat creepy face.


Good...
Now that the eyepieces aren't a ridiculous blue, I'm retrying all the different colour lenses, and green still seems to work nicely, however...
... Better.









I put in the blue and clear lenses, and I think they look much cooler than the green ones. I think it's the contrast between the browns, golds and the blue that make them look so nice. You can also see that I've wrapped a bit of vinyl around the nosepiece. It was simply glued on with Krazy Glue.



That's all that happened today as far as goggles go, hopefully tomorrow I can start putting them together, and they'll be finished by the end of Friday.

That's all for now, folks.

Keep being Awesome.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Just Like Clockwork: Part 1

DIY Design update. I've decided to swap around the order that I'm making my projects this summer so that I make my steampunk goggles first. Why? FanExpo, that's why! After seeing all the awesomeness that I missed at Anime North and remembering the great weekend of Con-G, I'm getting extremely pumped for this summer's FanExpo.

I've decided to get together a steampunk costume for the occasion. For those of you who remember, I went a little steampunk for South Formal, dressing all gentlemanly-like. I'm thinking of going in the opposite direction, and making a sort of mechanic/ engineer/ greasemonkey outfit. I'm going to be making a new set of goggles for this. Goggles that won't fall apart if they aren't sitting on a hat. Goggles that actually fit on my face. Goggles that I can actually see out of. Exciting, no?

I started the project today, so here's what I've got going on so far.

I can see the final product already. :D
I remember catching a glimpse of these "Colour Mixing Glasses" during one of my shifts at work. For $7, they'll do nicely as the base of the eyepieces.










Perfect fit.
I cut out paper templates to fit in the eyesockets. To get the right length, measure the diameter of the eyepiece, multiply by Pi, and add about half of an inch. Mine happened to come out to 20.3cm (8").









Time for some fucking Cosine graphs. Awww yeah.
For the shape, measure about 3cm (1.18") out from the midpoint. draw out a sinusoidal curve connecting the middle to both ends, and cut out.
The "Colour Mixing Glasses" came with 4 types of lenses. Blue, yellow, red, and clear. Since you can fit two lenses in each eyesocket at a time, I also tried out green, orange and purple, and green seemed to be the nicest looking. I just need to shave of those damn tabs at the top of the lenses...



 
As much as I would love walking around at FanEpo with bright blue goggles, I'm going to spray paint them black then drybrush them to look like beaten copper, just like my first pair of goggles. Now, onto the fabricwork!


A leather belt to be used as the headband, and a buttload of vinyl for everything else that needs to look like leather. I might end up using vinyl for the headband since its thin, light and a bit stretchy.



I also have buckles (which are now drybrushed copper) and lots of vinyl cut out. Unfortunately it's late and I'm too lazy to whip out my camera, so I'll be posting up pictures of all that shizz tomorrow along with tomorrow's progress.

Tomorrow, I continue with steampunking and listening to my Woods of Ypres heavy playlist.

What, you don't listen to Black Metal during Arts & Crafts time?
That's all for now, folks.

Keep being Awesome.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Album Review: Septicflesh - "The Great Mass"

People throw the word "epic" around an awful lot these days. "Epic Win", "Epic Fail", and "That's Epic" get so overused, we've lost the impact of the word. Princeton University defines epic as "very imposing or impressive; surpassing the ordinary (especially in size or scale)" using an "epic voyage" as an example.

Septicflesh's newest album (released April 18th, 2011) , The Great Mass is truly, in the purest definition of the term, an "epic voyage" of sound and music. Impressive? Absolutely. Surpassing the ordinary? Beyond belief. Blending the powerful genre of Melodic Death Metal with beautiful symphonic and orchestral arrangements, it hits you square in the face with brutal, melancholic and awe-inspiring-jaw-dropping music. So plug your headphones in and let the darkness devour you.


Personally, this is the first release by Septicflesh that I've listened to, despite hearing raving reviews about their last album Communion. After hearing this album, I'm definitely going to give the rest of their discography a listen.

Lyrically, Septicflesh tend to deal with Fantasy and Occult themes, with a tendency to focus on Lovecraftian topics. The complete lyrics for this album are nigh impossible to find online, so I cannot comment on their quality right now. However, the lyrics shouldn't be the focus of this album. Once you start listening to The Great Mass, the first thing that jumps out at you is the use of an orchestra. Rather than using synthesized instrument sounds, Septicflesh went all out, and recruited the prowess of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The classical arrangements never seem out of place, or made to make up for lack of guitar or drums. Septicflesh never recorded a song and afterwards thought "Hey, it would be cool to have some brass right here...", they wrote the songs with the intent of flawlessly fusing the two styles of music, and by John Petrucci, they did.

Bomb-Ass Tracks

The Vampire From Nazareth: Immediately setting the eerie and dark tone of the album, the opening track creeps up with operatic vocals and a haunting violin line to tribal drums and ringing brass of the orchestra up to the full blown brutality of Septicflesh's own memebers. It keeps up this pace for the entire track and ends beautifully with ritualistic chanting.

Think blast beats and tubas didn't go together? Think again.

Oceans Of Grey: This track is the perfect blend of Metal and Classical music.The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra really shines here, with some wailing vocal melodies in the background, giving an unsettling feeling in your stomach the entire time. My favorite track on the album, by far.

Rising: This song embodies Melodic Death Metal. Brutal vocals, soaring lead guitar lines, and driving drums. We're even treated to some clean vocals in the chorus. They aren't perfect, but there's something rather catchy about them.

The best thing to come out of Greece since Kalamata Olives.

Overall Score

9 out of 10 Apocalypses.

Seriously a contender for Best Metal Album of the year. Definitely in the Top 3 of my list so far. The Great Mass is more than a voyage, it's an experience.

That's all for now, folks.

Keep being Awesome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Only Way to Feel the Noise is When it's Good and Loud. So Good I Can't Believe it, Screaming With The Crowd

Since it's been almost 2 months since my last post (time has flown by this semester), I give you a well overdue musical update! A nice review right before the semester is out.

Woo! :D

For those of you who've read (and those of you who haven't), let me tell you/ refresh your memories of my planned musical projects for this semester.

  • Blues/ Jazz duet/ trio
  • Classic Rock/ Blues jam group
  • Electronic/ Ambient duo with my fellow music lover, The Champion
  • Comedy/ parody Heavy Metal project with Mr. Marti
  • Prog Rock/ general musical silliness collaboration band/ group

Now, naturally, juggling the class load/ schedule of an Engineer, five musical projects as well as working every other weekend and actually attempting to maintain some form of social life, not everything was accomplished. Luckily, none of these projects have specific deadlines. A nice contrast to my school life.

Here's what I actually managed to accomplish:

  •  Prog Rock/ general musical silliness collaboration band/ group
  • Starting the newly inspired guitar based Ambient/ Progressive Instrumental project

 Silliness!

The pure chaos which was born from the twisted minds of myself and my good friend The Champion has started to take form. It will be an ever-evolving, never ending project. We've decided to be really obnoxious and name it the Omega Omnidimensional Atomic Wizard Death Alliance. The band is open to anyone to join, as long as they contribute some form of sound to the album.

The album itself is a concept album, based around one poorly oiled chair. As of now, it has a tentative title of Appple Core Circus.We've already recorded some songs/ ideas spanning the genres of Folk, Gypsy Jazz, and Dark Ambient. We plan on covering all our bases with this, jumping from Dubstep to Stoner Metal to Happy Hardstyle to Orchestral and everything in between.

If you read those last couple paragraphs and facepalmed (see figure 1), laughed at our stupidity, or couldnt even figure out what I was trying to tell you, good. We've done our jobs.

Figure 1

Guitarness!

I've been up very late (or early, depending on how you look at it) recently, and I've usually been playing guitar in that time, picking, fretting and tapping into the wee hours of the morning.

That spike is known as the Br00t4l Hour.


I've discovered that Dave Weiner (guitarist in Steve Vai's backing band) has a youtube channel where he posts different licks, riffs and guitar lessons every week. I've beecome rather fond of them, and they've re-inspired me to pick up my guitar and just play, irrelevant of what comes out the speakers. This inspiration mixed with the brilliance of the newly discovered band Earth creates some very satisfying results.

I've decided to try and make a low, melodic and airy track as an experiment one night, and this is what I came up with:


I was told it makes great makeout music. That wasn't really what I was going for with this piece, but hey, I managed to enhance some form of emotion. As a musician, I'm pretty happy with that.

I plan on getting another track done in the same style (hopefully at least 3 minutes long) as well as a cover of Andrea Bocelli's Time To Say Goodbye arranged for only guitar. If worst comes to worst, I'll just cheat a bit and use a backing track. :P


Concertness!

This summer is going to be fantastic as far as concerts go! I've got two planned up immediately after I'm out of school. On the 27th I'm off to see Progressive Metal kings Symphony X with a legendary opening lineup of Powerglove, Blackguard and Borealis! Thursday the 28th is going to be a night of pure 80s Speed Metal! [insert ludicrously high pitched 80s Metal wail] Canadian metallers Cauldron are going to rip up the stage with the fantastic Holy Grail and Skull Fist! (Also Canadian!)

Hopefully throughout the summer I'll be able to head to more concerts before I hit the Heavy Metal Mecca of Ontario: HEAVY T.O.

It's going to be two days of being Metal as fuck with my buddies in downtown Toronto. Awwwww yeah. The lineup for this festival is to die for, including Slayer, Testament, Megadeth, Opeth, Motorhead, Mastodon, Anthrax, and Rob Zombie...















...












...










Even Batman approves.





MOAR UPDATES

It's the end of the semester. Holy balls. I've got one exam on Thursday and my final one this coming Monday, and then I've finished my first year of university. It's been an incredible year. I can't even begin to descibe how I feel about this. I've already seen off one of my closest friends earlier today, and I'll be seeing more off by the end of the week.

I'll save the emotions and whatnot for another post. I'll try and churn out another one before I head home fro the summer.

That's all for now, folks.

Keep being Awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Official: I'm An Uber-Nerd.

As a member of the collective community known as South Residence, I'm invited to attend the end-of-the-year formal known as (surprise, surprise!) South Formal. The theme for this year's formal has been declared "Gotham City + Gothic Elegance".

Gothic Elegance, you say? In my ears, that sceams "Steampunk". So myself and my good friend known as The Champion have taken it upon ourselves to become Steampunk brothers for this event. I've decided my costume will include a top hat with goggles made of brass and leather, my suit (complete with snazzy vest) and hopefully a cane for extra classiness.

Since I didn't forsee myself making a blog post about this I don't have many "making of" pictures, so I'll just post what I have. :D

Eyepieces
The eyepieces were made of:
  • Piping cover
  • Copper circle... things...
  • Drape/ blinds rope feeding... things...



Strap + Buckles


Headband strap was made of:
  • Random buckles found at Canadian Tire
  • A handle from a reusable shopping bag




  

And the finished product (with top hat):

:D



"Evening, Mentlegen."

Huzzah! I love being a nerd.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Album Review: Korpiklaani - "Ukon Wacka"

Finnish Folk Metal giants Korpiklaani released their latest album Ukon Wacka on February 5th of this year. I'm a huge fan of Folk Metal, and this album is nothing but that.

All of the lyrics in the album, save for the one cover song are in Finnish so I can't really comment on the depth of the lyrics. Knowing Korpiklaani, they're probably as deep as a puddle. "Ukon Wacka" is a pagan festival where a special brew of beer was made and was consumed in great proportions. With a title like that, the album does a good job of having a traditional folk sound while still keeping a solid amount of metal still in there.

Bomb-Ass Tracks

Louhen Yhdeksas Poika: The oppening song off of Ukon Wacka kicks so much ass. Personally I enjoy Korpiklaani's fast, upbeat songs to their slower more melodic songs, and this song thrashes pretty hard. There's also a totally badass fiddle solo in it.

Tequila: The first single off the album, terribly catchy and damn awesome. Much like Beer Beer and Vodka, this song is (surprise, surprise!) about pounding back drinks. All in all a great song.

Vaarinpolkka: Folk Metal instrumentals are always badass. Always.

Iron Fist: Yes. This is a Motörhead cover. Yes it's as awesome as you expect it to be.

Pictured: Korpiklaani. Not Pictured: Gallons of beer and hard liquour.

Overall Score

7 out of 10 Pints Of Ale. 

There's not much to say really, other than that it's a totally solid album. Can't wait to hear what they crank out next, and I hope to seem them tour in Canada soon.


2011 In Music: A Preview: EDIT

  • Cauldron get a re-evaluated score of 8 out of 10 Leather Jackets.
  • Children Of Bodom get moved onto the list of "2011 albums I don't really care about".



Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 In Music: A Preview

I've recently been informed of a fair few new albums that are coming out by some of my favorte artists. Now, since I'm bored and I'm procrastnating writing an essay, here are:

The New Albums In 2011 That Make Me Giggle And Bounce Up And Down Like A Little Girl

 Korpiklaani - "Ukon Wacka" (February 5)

Here come Korpiklaani with more beer-guzzling-shot-taking-forest-adventuring Folk Metal. Since it's technically released in Canada already, I'll try and post a review of it soon. I've already heard their newest single, "Tequila", And it rocks pretty damn hard.

Excitement Level: 7 out of 10 Pints Of Ale

Cauldron - "Burning Fortune" (February 14)

Cauldron is a Canadian power trio of pure 80s NWOBHM. For those of you who don't know what the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal sound is, check out Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Their last album "Chained To The Nite" was tons of fun to listen to, so I hope they stay on track with this album too. By the sounds of it, things seem to be going great.

Excitement Level: 6 out of 10  Leather Jackets

 Moonsorrow - "Varjoina Kuljemme Kuolleiden Maassa" (February 21)

Another Moonsorrow album with a title thats too much of an inconvenience to say. I haven't heard a bad Moonsorrow song yet, so I expect this album to be filled with the same viking-fueled, ass-kicking Folk Metal as the rest of their albums.

Excitement Level: 9 out of 10 Small Sacrificed Animals

Scale The Summit - "The Collective" (March 1)

Prog-Heads, unite! Our gods, Scale The Summit have returned with promises of new soundscapes for our ears! If The Collective is anything like Carving Desert Canyons was, I'll be locking myself in my room listening to it over and over and over and over...
 
Exitement Level: 13/8 Time (Get it? It's an odd time signature joke! Man, I need to get out.)

Children Of Bodom - "Relentless Reckless Forever" (March 8)

To be honest, I don't know if I'm going to like this one. I wasn't a fan of their last album Blooddrunk, but I've loved pretty much most of the rest of their discography. I've taken a listen to the song "Was It Worth It?" off of Relentless Reckless Forever, and I wasn't that impressed.

Excitement Level: 5 out of 10 Drunken Alexi Laihos

Amon Amarth - "Surtur Rising" (March 29)

Words cannot describe how excited I am for this album. Twilight Of The Thunder God was mindblowing, and I can't wait to see whats in store for us next. I have a feeling that upon the release of this album, "Viking" will become a profession, animal pelts and armor will be "in" in the fashion world, and everybody will be carrying swords. But that's just me.

Excitement Level: 10 out of 10 Battleaxes

Obscura - "Omnivium" (March 29)

Sorry. let me repeat that.

Obscura - "Omnivium" (March 29)

Didn't catch it?

Obscura - "Omnivium" (March 29) 

Again.

Obscura - "Omnivium" (March 29) 

WHAT?! A new Obscura CD and a new Amon Amarth CD?! Out on the same day?!

Best. Day. Ever.

Excitement Level: 10 out of 10 Imploding Nebulae

Other Releases Of The Year

These albums either don't have an announced release date, or are still only rumour. But still, they're definitely worth a mention. As per most lists, I'll bold the ones I deem extra awesome. I'll also list how excited I am for the release.

Arch Enemy  (8/10)
Cynic  (10/10)
Devin Townsend  (7/10)
Dream Theater (7/10)
Gojira (7/10)
Ihsahn (8/10)
In Flames (9/10)
Judas Priest (7/10)
Kreator (8/10)
Lamb Of God (7/10)
Mastodon (9/10)
Megadeth (8/10)
Meshuggah (10/10)
Nightwish (7/10)
Opeth (10/10)
Rush (9/10)
Testament (8/10)
Tool (9/10)

Looks like its going to be a fantastic year for music. I hope you're as excited as I am for this. Thats all for now, folks. Keep being awesome.