STUDIO DIARY 2002

Friday 6th December, day 15
Author: Henri, Ville & Marko

H: Happy birthday, dear Finland! Today it has been 85 years of independence!!!!!!!!!!! And today is also the day when the mixing of Kivenkantaja will be ready. Only one song to go + a countless amount of different intros and outros… I hope the time is on our side.

V: Henri the producer is working with the last song now, and once he’s finished, there are only two intros plus the epilogue to ”Raunioilla” left. If time indeed is on our side, this shall be our birthday present to our fatherland. As for now, I’m still shivering from the last night’s film, ”Tremors”, where humongous giant worms attacked Kevin Bacon from under the ground! Eeek!!!

M: Hakkaa p��lle, Pohjan Poika!!! This morning I watched a great documentary about the Finnish war veterans who fought for our country during Winter War. Funny old men telling their stories from the isthmus. They had some really imaginative strategies against Russians which I�ve never before heard. Hail to them! Hail to Finland!

OK. Enough patriotic bullshit now. Tonight we�re most likely supposed to raise our chalices to celebrate our Independence Day, sing ”Maamme” perhaps, get totally wasted and destroy the disco downstairs as the motherfucker blasted last night again and we weren�t even warned about that. So, the revenge is sweet, hahahahaaa!

It�s 6.00 p.m. now and I guess this studio diary sees its ”The End” soon as all of the songs are mixed now. Some last fixes to the mix and this thirsty group marches towards the nearest kiosk to have some ice cold beer. M�yr�koirat here we come! Screw you guys! We�re going home! : )

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Thursday 5th December, day 14
Author: Marko & Ville

M: ”The Cousins Sorvali”. Man o� man, aren�t they so sweet fellas now and then. Yesterday night was full of provocation within the band. Ville and Henri were irritating each other with lousy mockeries and I was like ”well Marko, they�re cousins, you just try to ignore them”, hah! Luckily we had some beer to sip and that angry tension banished soon. I was so tired after we�d watched LOTR I went straight to sleep. I wondered if the cousins had some hand-wrestling in the bar downstairs and after that being like ”brothers” again hand in hand, heh! From now on, in this band, you�ve to ask the permission for provocation!

V: Indeed, last night was very epic. While watching The Lord of the Rings, we discussed quite a deal about the world of Tolkien and role playing games, drank a few beers and eventually ended up in that bar downstairs with Henri (but no, we didn’t hand-wrestle there). Now he’s sleeping over his hangover. Ha! And I really don’t envy Ahti either, as he is mixing the 14-minute epic ”Raunioilla” by himself. But I’ll get back when there’s actually something to talk about. Now, some coffee, please.

So, we’ve mixed ”Raunioilla”, excluding the final part, and started working with ”Tuulen Tyt�r”. Henri also made an intro for the album with some christian mumbling and a sample that I created by opening the door. :)

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Wednesday 4th December, day 13
Author: Henri

”You know when they say; Another day, another sausage”, as Frank Zappa nicely puts it on ”Broadway the Hard Way” (1988). I have no single clue what good ol� Frank was talking about, but luckily I can bet my hairy ass off neither did he. The moral of the story? While ”Broadway the Hard Way” is one of the greatest live albums ever made, Emperor�s ”Emperial Live Ceremony” isn�t. Besides, there are so many (supposed) overdubs on the synth-brigade that it really is more like an studio-album in my opinion. Bands shouldn�t fool their audience like that…..Hence there are too much to play for that one guy, figure a playable solution! The moral of the story? While listening to Kivenkantaja�s mix, it seems that we�ll never do any gigs with those songs. There are something like 70-80 tracks used in every song, which is, ehh, quite an impossible thing to do live. Well, we figure something out, as we did also with the last album. Lord Eur�n will be employed as fuck on the stage, but there is no way we wold start to use some friggin� minidisks or cd�s. That just isn�t METAL anymore. It�s more like Elton John. Now pardon my pun, but this guy has been stalking me for the whole week. First I had this weird dream about being Elton�s good friend (*uhhhh…..*) and then there was his gig on television, he in the newspaper, in the music magazine…. there just hasn�t been a single day the name pops up from somewhere. Which is kinda…..spooky, to put it correctly.

Boy, it really seems that I am bored. Or how many studio-diaries have you seen lately, which turn into self-torturing confessions about a British fag? Neither have I. What�s wrong with me??????

Well, Unohduksen Lapsi took some time, as we worked with it for almost three hours. However, it turned out to be very good-sounding, and that is the most important thing. Hopefully we won�t run out of time….. Some serious arguments about the clean vocals in the chorus were also faced, and thus if some of you find them too low in the mix, you can always blame me for that, heh. What�s next? Jumalten Kaupunki, I presume. Five hours left of the day, so I think there shouldn�t be any problems to keep the schedule.

Which was true! Jumalten Kaupunki is 99,9% ready and it sounds GOOD. A bit different approach, as there are some ”interesting” stuff, heh. 😉 You�ll hear…..

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Tuesday 3th December, day 12
Author: Henri

Well, dear diary, you guess how we spent our saturday night. It�s beerz and metal! And after that we took the local disco by storm. Someone throw a half of pint of *something* into me while I was taking a dump and I tried to hunt the asshole down for the rest of the evening, which consisted of half an hour. Meanwhile we sang Oppi Fjellet in the discotable and yelled some grunts to the local morons. I don�t think we�re welcomed into that bar for some time. The next morning was, needless to say, a bit dizzy. Ville was fighting dragons, Stefan and Robert couldn�t get their car started because of the extremely cold weather (I suppose) and the other residents of the hostel looked on us like we had caused a WW3 or something. Well, maybe that has something to do with beerbottle-caps-to-the-lamp-shade-basketball, javelin with a plant, listening Autopsy at FULL volume, singing patriotic songs (!!!!!) and taking some gayporn pictures (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) , shouting and destroying everything. We had fun, heh, and by sunday me, Ville and Marko took those 170 empty bottles of beer we had from the weekend�s little fun to the store and earned 17 jewros. Very cool! The rest of sunday and monday were the MOST BORING two days in my life ever, staying in the hostel and watching S�ndagsbingo and 7 movies. (including an excellent film, ”the Barbarians”, which starred the 80�s wrestling stars, ”the Barbarian Brothers”.) I also bought some finnish ”real-life-crime” magazines second hand, called Alibi, which were great!

But back to the work. It is now tuesday, and all the foggy memories of the metal-filled and booze-related partying are left behind. We are now mixing the album, and I STILL have some of the software synths to record….. ”Fucking Windows 98”, as the South Park movie puts it politely.

We�ve actually done something!!!!!! The title track, ”Kivenkantaja”, is now mixed and we�re now working on ”Unohduksen Lapsi”. We have only an hour left for today, so I don�t think we manage to do the whole mix today, but tomorrow it should be ready before the noon. Meanwhile I did 95% of the soft synths (Hurra!!!!!) and ate some ”delicious” meatpies. Never again…. *shiver*

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Sunday 1st & Monday 2nd December

Two days off…

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Saturday 30th November, day 11
Author: Marko & Stefan

M: Uuuhhh! Last night we spent with some serious drinking with Stefan, Robert, Janne and the band of course. Enormous amounts of beer was drunk during that session at our place we�re staying in. We listened some good Swedish death metal bands like Dismember, Bloodbath, Grave and many others and discussed about Finnish and Swedish homosexuals and we had great time altogether, hah! In this morning we all had (and i still have) very bad hangovers but we managed to crawl to the studio after Henri had shitted two times and yelled to me as being the boss who has the permission for knocking like crazy on people�s doors early in the morning (everyone got this? that�s alright, me neither!)

Your beloved drunken viking choir had turned to a hangover choir from heaven. As all of us suffering headaches we still did our most beautiful choirs ever. Man o’ man they sound godly shivering! Stefan and Robert also contributed on some songs with their best Finnish pronounciation :) Mitja just sang the lowest clean vocals in heavy metal ever recorded! 99 % of the material has been recorded now so the gang of sore throats shall finish this day and march to the nearest kiosk to buy some heavenly Lapin Kulta (as Stefan calls it!) and party on again! Kippis!!!

S: Damn what a hang-over. The whole bunch is looking quite pale today actually :-) I wonder why, hehehe. The studio time today was dedicated to laying down the choir parts for the whole album and it sounded really powerful. We also got to hear 3 of the new songs, namely ”Unohduksen Lapsi” (Child of Oblivion), ”Kivenkantaja” (Stonebearer) and ”Jumalten Kaupunki” (City of the Gods) and it sounded fucking good I must tell you. These were just rough mixes so the final product will sound even more powerful – if that is possible!!! I did some shouting for the title track also and it was damn fun. Plus me and my bro participated on some handclaps for a none-album (cover) song. You will get to hear this probably on some compilation or something I guess! You’ll be quite surprised I think :)

Again the evening was conducted in true metal style with loads of beer and a lot of metal on the stereo! Everyone got pretty damn drunk and we had a crazy time to say the least. There is a lot of photo evidence from this night and I guess you will get to see some of it on the website soon :) That which isn’t STRONGLY classified of course, hehehehe.

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Friday 29th November, day 10
Author: Henri & Stefan

H: While Ville is making the best vocal tracks ever, I concentrate on those soft synths. Damn I love Rhodes!!!! :) Soon some mean Swedes, particularly Stefan and Robert Lejon, will participate on our little session, and after a couple of hours Marko, Lord Eur�n, Mitja and our official drunken Viking ™, Janne Perttil� are coming here by plane. The night will be spent with LOTS of beer. But enough of that, I still have tons of stuff to play until the day is finished.

S: Me and my brother arrived at the studio around four o’ clock and were greeted by Ville, Henri and Ahti (the producer). We got to see Henri lay down some accordion parts and then the rest of the gang arrived. At 7 we left the studio and went to buy beer at the closest store. The evening was spent in great style with lots of metal blasting on the stereo and lots of beer making its way down our throats. Indeed a great end to the day :)

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Thursday 28th November, day 9
Author: Henri

Yes!!!!! I finally managed to play all the main synths! (Now there are all the software synths and my E-mu module left…) There was some time for my excellent out-of-tune-sounds-like-gay-clean-vocals, so some of them were also recorded. After the studio we watched a Swedish document of Messiah Marcolin and the ”re-union” of the mighty Candlemass, and noticed that every second Swedish tv-person must be gay. We also watched the movie ”Ravenous”, which kicked ass.

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Wednesday 27th November, day 8
Author: Ville

The gods made heavy metal… and they saw that it was good!! After the glorious MANOWAR heavy metal show yesterday, I recovered strength for a few hours and took an early flight back to Kemi. Even though I still have rather good heavy metal vibes, I must admit that it feels a bit weird to be back here after a week of homely comfort. Umm yeah… to the question: what is happening here? Henri is recording synth and it is planned that I will soon begin torturing my poor throat. But now, some coffee, please.

Two hours later. The first take for the verses has been recorded, and I’m planning to conquer the vocal cabin again this afternoon for some overdubs. Henri is now replacing some missing acoustic guitar parts and I am about to eat mid-priced beef.

So many hours later. Henri completed the missing (steel-stringed) acoustic guitars and recorded synth for one more song. I did a full second vocal take and tomorrow I’ll be deciding which one to use and where.

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Tuesday 26th November, day 7
Author: Henri

By accident, I bumped into Mitja at Helsinki-Vantaa airport, who was waiting his friends to pick him up in an hour for school. He was pretty tired, as he had woken up at 4 a.m. to definitely catch this plane home. We drank some mugs of coffee in the bar, Mitja left to school and I transferred myself into the waiting-lobby just to find out that the plane would (once again, because of the weather) be late for half an hour. After all, when I finally got into the studio again, I was an hour late from the schedule. So….work, work, work! Playing some leads, acoustic guitars, fighting with Mitja�s nylon-string guitar (which, despite of my continous attempts, couldn�t stay in tune for 10 seconds… I think this studio-session has been cursed by the Gods of Tune themselves.) and finally recording the synths. After the studio, I bought some dinner (Cold and not-so-tempting meatpies, surprisingly. I�ll never eat them again after this studio-trip!) and went to the hostel. After Seinfeld, Friends, Sex in the City and a couple of hours of Lords of Chaos ™ I was dead tired. So, sleep!!!!!!!

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Monday 25th November, day 6
Author: Henri

Mitja recorded all his guitars today, while we others were in Helsinki. I had some problems home with the synth-repairement office, as they had FORGOTTEN to fix my precious Korg on time. However, they managed to do it in a couple of hours, which was nice. Meanwhile in Kemi, Mitja was hurrying to the airport to catch the 17:55 plane (the last one for the day) to Helsinki. He came 15 minutes too late and didn�t make it to the check-in. Having to spend also this evening in the hostel, he was so pissed that he drank all my beers I left there. Crap!!!!!!

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Sunday 24th November
Author: Henri

A day off for everybody!

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Saturday 23rd November
Author: Henri

Uhh…. hangover. My mother picked me and Marko up from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport as we travelled home for the weekend. Mitja stayed in the hostel, practicing guitars and watching television.

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Fridayday 22th November, day 5
Author: Henri

The day started 10:00, as usual. After nourishing breakfast (meat and coffee) we started to record all the rest of the additional percussions, including shakers, tambourine, snare rolls, mallets etc. Tomorrow we will leave this freezing doom (-25 celsius!!!) and travel home for a couple of days. Well, except for Mitja, who has to stay here for the whole weekend. Now who�s laughing? :) Before our departure, we have tons of percussions to go, some twanging guitars, acoustics and the omnipresent accordion, so there really is no time to chill. But what the fuck (buttfuck?), I discovered the sauna and I will take some advantage on it until the day is finished. Even the True Vikings ™ must wash themselves sometimes, heh.

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Thursday 21th November, day 4
Author: Henri & Marko

H: Dear diary. I hate hangovers. Cheap German beer should be forbidden by the law…. Anyway, my guitar didn�t treat us well, as I faced continous problems with the tuning. However, all the rhytm guitars are now recorded! Hurra!!!! Ville left us this morning to continue his university studies, and comes back in next wednesday. Meanwhile we are now recording some additional rythm guitars as well, including some ”Sunlight”-sound, heh. Watch out with that distortion!!!!

M: We just ate some really hot Mexican chili and listened to Henri�s out of tune guitars. Now he�s playing some of the songs again, hah! I�ve developed myself at Hooligans. I�ve stormed the first two levels succesfully! Oi!

H: All the rhytm guitars are now completed. Marko started to add his percussions and after this me and Mitja will check all his guitarparts together for the last time. Things are developing! Today includes also maybe a movie and some soda. Never again that German beer. *shiver*

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Wednesday 20th November, day 3
Author: Henri, Marko & Ville

H: For some reason I didn�t feel so good this morning. The weird part is that I didn�t have a single sip of beer yesterday. Actually, I haven�t had beer since last friday. Well, next friday it shall be fixed! Anyway, last evening went nicely, arguing about politics, which Marko hated,heh. After that I started to read Lords of Chaos, amusing myself with Cunt Christmas� ”intelligent” comments. Excellent!

Fuck, this was supposed to be a studio-diary, and not some ”what did I read last night”- column. Well, I start again.

Dear diary, things are evolving. Ville is playing bass in the studio room, Marko is changing strings for his 12-string acoustic guitar and I am writing this nonsense here, listening to ”Kivenkantaja”�s demo versions to learn something. Mitja should arrive today, but he hasn�t called us yet. Maybe he is dead? Hope not. After all, Dead wasn�t so good singer. Now excuse me while I kill myself.

Woo-hoo! Mitja just arrived! His cellphone ran out of battery so he couldn�t call.

M: Because it�s Wednesday it means that there�s fucking disco at our hotel and that means we have to listen to that god-awful r&b-shite all night long as the ”music” penetrates the walls. Ok, we�re of course trying to revenge that the best we can with loud metal & lots of beer! If we�re lucky we could start a fight or something with those disco fags, hah! Oh well, time to go for shopping some ”m�yr�koira” (12-pack). Tomorrow Henri will start to record his guitars while suffering bad hangover. I really don�t envy him!

V: Yepp, eventually I managed to record the rest of my bass lines today. Finding the right kind of distorted sound took it’s time, but what the heck, it was worth it! I still don’t think it’s the time to get a hangover for tomorrow, as I’m leaving Kemi by 6 o’clock’s plane, but rest assured I can be very relaxed this evening. Perhaps I’ll even have a beer! Dear diary, I’m signing off now and won’t be writing until next wednesday.

H: ”Fuck, fuckety,fuckfuckfuck”, as Eric Cartman would have put it. I faced some major troubles with my guitar because of the Floyd Rose- bridge -and BEHOLD- suddenly there was nothing but incorrect tune all around me. Meanwhile I fix the guitar Marko records some percussion overdubs so that there won�t be any waste of (precious) studiotime. Which, by the way, ends in 5 minutes. Tomorrow will be a new day with better luck for me, I hope. As ”Blastra Mer!” from Thyrane came around, I suppose we will have to face a couple of beers somewhere. Lo!!!!

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Tuesday 19th November, day 2
Author: Marko Tarvonen & Henri Sorvali

M: Yesterday night we spent with Braveheart (naturally!). It�s the movie that gets better and better every time we watch it, heh! Today I did the rest of my drum parts and I�m very satisfied of the result. Very pompous rhythms! Heavy as hell! Now I think I�ve deserved a few beers (although my part is not over yet, there�re 12-strings and lots of percussions to record).

H: My mother has her birthday today. Good luck for her! And speaking about luck, we seem to have some. It seems that Ville will start to record his basslines today, which means that we are already one day ahead from the original schedule! Meanwhile Ville recorded all the fretless bass-parts, me and Marko spent three hours very professionally, wanking around by playing ”Hooligans Storm over Europe” (Oi!, anyone?) and trying to install Doom 2, Blood or Warcraft 2 into the studio�s second computer. The rest of the day was spent by cursing Windows 98 for not obeying our missions to play the abovementioned games. Well, tomorrow is a new day and we well start recording more bass, which means more Hooligans!!!! BEER!!!!!!!!!! Oi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Monday 18th November, day 1
Author: Ville Sorvali

Yesterday I and Marko arrived here. Getting to the plane was a bit of a problem, though, because I had adjusted myself an hour late of reality. Anyway, we’re here now. Henri arrived this morning and we started with setting up the drums. Or actually, Marko and Ahti (Kortelainen, our engineer) did that while I hassled around and Henri installed programs on the computer, so that he could use some analog sounds and shite while recording his synth. It took some hours to find a suitable drum sound and by 4 pm we eventually got to set up the necessary guitar and bass equipment. That means we still had 2 hours for the drum takes, and yes, we even recorded the drums for two songs, ”Unohduksen Lapsi” and ”Jumalten Kaupunki”. Blastmor and Avather of Thyrane-fame visited us and we drank loads of coffee. Tomorrow we plan to record the drums for the other tracks and then it’s my turn.