Daily Archives: 07/02/2012

SongPop – or how I forgot to hate Facebook in the name of play.

Fragile sense of identity, meet your nemesis – Facebook game/mobile app/compulsion du jour, SongPop….

Here’s the thing – I don’t see the point in Facebook.  It is, perhaps, an age thing.  I don’t have hordes of friends that I have to keep up with at all hours of the day.  Being constantly appraised of my peers’ doings and disasters is not really of that much consequence to me.  I use young Master Zuckerberg‘s social network to primarily snag the odd MP3 or see a film trailer quickly.

When it comes to social networks, I’m the very definition of a cheap date.

To my point, which does exist – SongPop is a Facebook game.  Or deliciously addictive virtual candy – I can’t quite be sure.

Pick a category, guess five songs quickly, win virtual coins.  Repeat until it calls to, unbidden, like some phantom paramour from gothic fiction, at all hours of the day.

It’s a bit addictive – thank the great Flying Spaghetti Monster that I don’t have a Smartphone capable of running the SongPop app – because that would be a very bad thing indeed.

It’s things like SongPop which make me forget that Facebook is massively wrong and a terrible thing – kudos, humble game developers.

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Power Metal Album Artwork Meltdown – Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody – “Ascending to Infinity”

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How’s THAT for a slice of absolute nerdy awesome?

Formerly with Italian neo-classical, gloriously hatstand, cinematic metal merchants Rhapsody of Fire, Luca Turilli is now doing his own thing with his own outfit, Rhapsody, and blimey,  if he hasn’t delivered one of my favourite records of 2012.  Bravo, Maestro!

Oddly enough, I’ve only heard bits of Turilli’s former band (which is weird, as their brand of ultra-nerdy, movie soundtrack, classically influenced, deeply European metal is very much my kind of music), so this album was my first real introduction to what Turilli can do with choirs, metal instrumentation, grandiose storytelling concepts, admirably straight-faced voice overs and the proverbial kitchen sink.

Favourite songs on the record so far – the lovely ballad “Luna”, “Dark Fate of Atlantis” (so gloriously O.T.T!), “Clash of the Titans” and “Tormento e Passione”, but I predict that this is one of those records where you end up having a new favourite song each time that you listen to it.

Not an album for fans of subtlety, metalcore, or songs which get to the chorus promptly, but very much a record to cherish if you have any love in your heart for preposterous prog, virtuoso instrumental solos, tunes which sound as if they should be the soundtrack to a mega-budget Epic Fantasy movie (it certainly does the business if you’re reading any of Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s ‘Shadows of the Apt’ series) and grandiose musical ambition.

I suspect that Luca Turilli doesn’t entirely inhabit this rather dull plane of existence in which we find ourselves and I’m quite delighted that he’s making this kind of wholly unfashionable and blissfully bonkers metal.

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