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keskiviikko 30. joulukuuta 2009

11. Foreversong

The song described


Foreversong ends the High Time album. It was the obvious choice for the last song from its lyrics and general feel. The song has basically two separate parts. First one is the faster side of the song and the latter introduces the chorus in a slower and more atmospheric beat. Foreversong starts with a funky keyboard melody solely that reminds some old game music (Megaman from Sega or similar). Suddenly all the instruments kick in very heavily and fill the melody. The song is very energetic until the end of second chorus when the mood changes more calm with a highly effected drum loop that sounds from distance and Vesa's guitar melodies that take the song perfectly to the C-part of the song with calm vocals. Then the song kicks in again to the chorus that differs from the earlier choruses by its arragements and finally take High Time to its end.


How it all started


This song has been in the making from summer 2008 I think. It has changed a lot during the process. This was one of those songs that really had to build itself up slowly but surely. Some parts of the vocals we heard for the first time in the studio. It was really nerve wrecking, not knowing at all what it would sound like but luckily it sounded great. In general the High Time sessions were much more challenging as we had new songs that we wanted to include on the album but weren't 100% ready when I for example played the drums for album. Very challenging but extremely rewarding.


-Henri
Yeah, the Mega Man song. :-) Something strange happened with this track. It didn´t feel like a strong song to me; I wrote 2 or 3 different (bad) lyrics for it and nothing worked. Its first demo version did not sound very good, and at some point I was even half-way hoping that this song would not be on the album. But then Jappe wrote more melody to it, the song got its final lyrics, we succeeded perfectly with the C-part and the vocal lines in studio, and all of a sudden it was fantastic. Now this is my favorite song of the whole album. Insane!
-Tero

10. A Walk On A Broken Road



The song described
A Walk On A Broken Road is the ballad of the album. It is a tragedic yet hopeful song that has incredibly great atmosphere. The song is quite calm from the beginning of the end moving forwards with base synth and orchestrations and Jarmo's voice. The middle part and the ending bring a tragedic feel with touching keyboard melody and drums that sound like they come from miles and miles away echoing with the wind.


How it all started

This song was one of the 4 songs that we demoed in 2007 summer. It was originally a band version with pretty much same vocal melodies but the similarities end there. We wanted to try out a different approach for the album as we felt the song could work extremely well with very simple arrangements. Of course we were worried if that was a good idea or not, but it's hard to describe the feeling when I heard Jarmo sing this one in the studio. I knew that these changes made the song incredible.

-Henri


This is definitely the most special track on the album. In the demo stage it was a power ballad with more or less typical band arrangement, but at some point the decision was made to make a completely different version of it for the album. The instrumental tracks of this song are almost 100% synths. It was kind of funny -- we of course always record all the basic drums, bass tracks and rhythm guitars first in the studio sessions, but this song has none of those. So all the time there was this one title standing in the tracklist and nothing was done about it, until Jappe came in and crafted the song by himself.

-Tero


I remember this songs arrangement divided opinions and there were some arguments too. :) Well that happens sometimes. I think this "ambient" version fits well to this album because it's again.. something new what we haven't tried before. Jappe "Vangelis" M. did nice arrangements with his Casio (tm) keyboard. (check below..) -Vesa







9. Quicksilver

The song described


Quicksilver is also one of the newest Excalion songs. It is not the heaviest song on the album but definately one of the most melodic and catchiest songs. Quicksilver is very synth based song and introduces lots of great keyboard melodies and sounds you've never heard on Excalion albums. Some of the songs vibes definately come from 80's rock (even from synth pop) and heavy scene and these are the things that make this song sound really fresh. Believe it or not.

The song starts quite calmly with a hi-hat pattern and cool sounding keyboard melodies that finally blow to full band beat. This song is all about great sounding vocal lines that have been made for Jarmo to show of his great voice. The chorus could be the most melodic of all Excalion songs.


How it all started


This one is a quite new one from this Spring. I remember Jappe making me ready for the song before introducing anything. He said "I'm not sure if you will like this one. It's possibly the catchiest song ever written...maybe too catchy for a heavy album". :D

Sure I liked it... a lot! Jappe showed me the chorus and played the vocal melodies for it. It was great! Those who are interested can find one part of the last chorus in the studio diary videos!!! Go check it out!

-Henri

I think this one´s working title was "The Smash Hit Single" or something like that. Heh... Really vocal-driven, melodic approach here. 
-Tero

tiistai 29. joulukuuta 2009

8. Lifetime

The song described

Lifetime is one of the newest songs of the album and one of the most fresh sounding songs with its uptempo, groovy and versatile qualities. Lifetime includes lots of variations and parts that differ from each other without never losing its great groove and beat that makes you throw your fist in the air as you hear it. The song hits you right in the face as it kicks in with a fast drum fill exploding in to a heavy and uptempo rhythm that lets you know that this song has a lot to offer.


How it all started

Lifetime was written in autumn 2008 but rehearsed for the whole band only in Spring 2009. We demoed quite a bunch of songs for drums, bass and keyboard in autumn 2008 and built 90% of the songs for High Time. This was one of the strongest ones for me even though it didn't have any vocal melodies for a long time. Jappe planned the melodies quite a while to get the best out of it and in spring he presented the melodies to Jarmo and he sang the demo straight away. Proved to be one of the best songs on the album (I think it's Jarmo's favourite) and one of the most fresh sounding songs that show the best of Excalion.

-Henri
I remember that this song changed very much along its way. The song´s chorus was not initially a chorus at all, but some other part. I also remember that for a long time I had no idea what this song would sound like in the end. Usually you get a general idea already when rehearsing the basic instrumental parts, but this one was elusive. Sometimes it is nice to be surprised.
-Tero 

7. Firewood

The song described

Firewood. What can you say about the song? It is one of the heaviest of the album, extremely rhythmic, has increadibly beautiful keyboard melodies, possibly the coolest verses from Excalion song history, fastest solos from the new album and great lyrics that represent what Excalion is all about.

How it all started

This song built up in summer 2008. I remember Jappe presenting some parts of the song including the chorus and the general feel of the song and giving me free hands to create the rhythms for it. Lots of fun building this one up and was one of those songs you knew you're gonna love from the first seconds. One of my absolute favourites.

-Henri


This song has a somewhat unusual structure. The chorus, or the B part or whatever it is, is more calm than the verses and is not the sole focus of the song. Also something out of the ordinary comes in at the end of this track. This is probably one of those songs that every one of us has been thrilled about ever since the first rehearsals. Well, at least I have.


-Tero

This song sounds fresh because of it's unusual structure. You can also hear some very distant vibes of SyX in this song. But very very distant and I mean guitar parts..

-Vesa

sunnuntai 27. joulukuuta 2009

6. The Shroud

The song described

The Shroud represents also the epic side of the album. The song has a marching feel in many of its parts and a big and catchy chorus. The song kicks in with a marching drum beat and continues with a nice, big and catchy keyboard melody with a heavy guitar riff. As most of the High Time songs, The Shroud gives a lot of space for Jarmo to sing his lungs out and vary the mood of the song from calm verses to fierce C-parts that show the variety and power of Jarmo's voice. The solo represents Vesa's great ability to combine an excellent melodic guitar playing to shredding that leaves no-one cold.

How it all started

I think this song saw the daylight in autumn of 2008. Once again Jappe had laid some basics for a song that he wanted to try out with me and Tero. I remember that we didn't have to struggle with this song that much. The chorus and the theme of the song were catchy as hell so that made building the rest of the song pretty easy. The structure has been the same from the start and we didn't have to make many changes to the song in the recording phase. It just works.

-Henri

All started from the main theme/chorus and they made me feel that there has to be some marching feel in the song. Also it sounded very bombastic and big right from the start. At first I had a little bit different arrangement in mind to the verses, but it turn out great. Now it is more dynamic and rises perfectly towards to chorus.

-Jappe

Like Jappe said I think there was a little bit different arrangement planned for this, but now it's more dynamic. I had some guitar creativity problems with this song, but that happens sometimes.

-Vesa

perjantai 25. joulukuuta 2009

5. Bring On The Storm

The song described

Bring On The Storm is the fastest song on High Time. It is also the newest song of the record. As the title fiercely intimidates, the song bursts straight in to business and fast double bass rythm with a very cool guitar riff. With grooving and galloping verses, the song goes to the chorus that follows the fast double bass rythm and the guitar riff of the intro with the lyrics "Bring on the storm, let it rage on"! After the calm middle part and Jappe's keyboard solo the song ends with choruses that raise higher and higher till the end.

How it all started

We were coming fast to the end of summer of 2009 and we had most of the High Time songs ready but we felt that we need still a fast double bass song to make the album whole. We made the basics of the song ready only a couple of weeks before the studio and Vesa rehearsed his guitar parts when we had just started the drum and bass recordings. Jarmo was introduced to the song when all the instruments were already recorded! Jarmo took an hour or two to try out the song and see how it felt and he nailed it to the album. It was extremely cool but at the same time really challenging way of working. Normally all the songs have been ready when we've started the recordings. As Jarmo started to sing the verses to the album I knew that this song is going to kick ass. And it certainly did.

-Henri

I remember Jappe coming to visit me when we were about to start the High Time sessions, and he played this song and put into place the lyrics I had sketched. That´s when I heard the song´s melody for the first time, and the melody sounded great even before any arrangements were there.

-Tero

It was nice different approach to make song like this way. I just got bass and drum tracks
and wrote guitar riffs based on that. And nice surprise (well it's not a surprise hahah) was the first mixdown because I didn't know any vocal melodies. This song is nice fast ride with catchy chorus!

-Vesa

keskiviikko 23. joulukuuta 2009

4. The Flags in Line

The song described


The Flags in Line is one of the most epic songs on High Time. It is at the same time one of the heaviest and catchiest song. Even though it's one of the biggest Excalion songs in the vein of Soaking Ground, the Waterlines-epic, it is still very compact yet versatile song. The intro builds on a heavy riff that guides through the main themes of the song with a very tight baseline by the drums and bass. Followed by a calm verse the song bursts into big and catchy chorus with the biggest choirs of the album. With an extremely emotional yet powerful singing by Jarmo, The Flags in Line is definately one of the must hear songs from High Time.


How it all started


This is one of the oldest songs from the new album. It was included in the 4 song demo tape of 2007. It has gone through small changes since then. The lyrics were modified by Tero a while before entering the studio and the title of the song was changed in the process from September Falling to Flags in Line. This song was always one the best we've written, but it totally exploded in the studio to a new level with fantastic choirs, new and absolutely great lyrics and the orchestrations made by Jappe as well as because of the new solo part that introduced really great twin solo by Jappe and Vesa. One of my favourites from Excalion, if not the best song.


-Henri


Yah, this is propably the heaviest song Excalion has ever written and it starts with guitar riff. Solo part has changed a little bit during the years and I think it's now perfecto. Like Henri said this is also one of my favourites from Excalion.


-Vesa

Actually I don't quite remember how this song was composed. I think that it was first based on the vocal lines completely and after that came the rest. I remember that I was composing and trying to sing the vocal lines outside in the cold breeze. It has one of the best verse vocals that we have. I liked the old title a lot, but the new one is also good.

-Jappe

maanantai 21. joulukuuta 2009

3. Sun Stones

The song described

Sun Stones is the most progressive song on the High Time album. It is an orient influenced song in the style of Dire Waters from Primal Exhale. The song is extremely versatile, it builds on different atmospheres from quiet and misty parts to powerful verses and a melodic chorus. The intro as well as the solo part introduce a very fresh sounds to Excalion with lots of percussions and a groovy bassline that represent essential parts of the song.

How it all started

Sun Stones was one of the most interesting songs for myself as we started to jam this one in 2008. Jappe presented a very rythmic bassline that prooved to be an important part of the song. It was extremely fun to play with other instruments as well and it didn't take long as the song was ready. Big part of the song structure came by improvising session with Jappe and Tero as we just started to jam on the one bassline Jappe introduced. The song just built itself up. This is how it is supposed to happen! One of the best memories of our rehearsing session for High Time definately. We had a bit quiet months before Jappe wrote this one, but the songs started to flood in as we got our rehearsal sessions kicked in well.

-Henri

Yeah this song represents really new sounds for Xcalion. Lots of percussions and even a little bit of wah wah "funky" guitar.

-Vesa

The idea of the song came up from a synth sound. I tested some new sounds and there was some groovy sound that inspired the intro theme. The scale of the intro made clear that there would be some orient feeling. The song basically built up around the theme. I had some different choruses in mind, but right after we played the one that sticked, it was clear that we had the winner. Tero's lyrics reflect perfectly the atmosphere of the song.

-Jappe

This album's little prog monster. We spent much time arranging its tricks and hooks. It would have been easy to mess this one up in the studio, but we managed to get the song to work perfectly.

-Tero

lauantai 19. joulukuuta 2009

2. From Somewhere To Anywhere

The song described


From Somewhere To Anywhere is as close to ROCK Excalion has ever been to. The song is as catchy as hell and builds on groovy vocal melodies and the motto: "Simple is brilliant!"



How it all started

This song goes way back. I think it was written straight after the songs of "Waterlines" and rehearsed before the second album was released in 2007. The song was made as a demo in Summer 2007 with three other songs. 3/4 made it to the album "High Time". This song has gone through least changes from the point it was written by Jappe. Some lyrical changes and a couple of slight changes with the chorus vocals melodies.

Funny to remember way back thinking that we have played this song in three different rehearsal spaces. Not easy to find stable place to rehearse for a heavy band! heh

-Henri


This song was a long time in the making, it is the oldest song on the album. I have liked this one from the very first day. It is our stadium rock song.

-Tero

What can I say? A simple forward going song. First song I wrote after Waterlines sessions. Composing started from the chorus as usual. Some minor changes were made before the studio. In the demo there was a different intro, but I wanted to some song have a guitar solo in the beginning and this was obvious choice.

-Jappe

This song is played with drop C tuning which creates certain heavy feeling. I remember jamming this song in our rehearsal place and it sounded good. This song has quite a lot of guitar solos but thats nice... (or is it?? :D)

-Vesa

perjantai 18. joulukuuta 2009

1. Enter a Life

The third Excalion album "High Time" will be described here with additional information on how the songs got started and what the creation process was like.


The song described

The album opener "Enter a Life" is a catchy and energetic uptempo song that was immediately planned to kick start the album with full blaze.
The song starts with a short drum intro and kicks in with a highly melodic theme. The song is pretty simple in its structure, but has extremely nice vocal melodies and catchy guitar shredding in the solo part.

How it all started

This is the weirdest place songwriting has ever begun for us: the lyrics of the chorus. I had the lines, and just for fun I mailed them to Jappe and asked him to make a piece of music to them, and he wrote a whole song. This was an obvious album-opener from the start.

-Tero

I remember discussing with Tero that he had written some of the best chorus-lyrics up to date. Instructing Jappe to write as good melodies.

The second memory of Spring 2009 is that us three (Tero, me and Jappe) are driving away from the rehearsal place trying to sing the chorus as Jappe had just finished writing the melody for it. I'm sure it didn't sound that good sung by us three (Boychoir) but it felt really good and we knew the song would be one of the best we have.

-Henri

We had a different approach with this one. Usually music comes before lyrics. Tero said to me that he had good chorus lyrics in his hands and I thought that lets do the process different this time. The lyrics were inspiring and in no time I had the whole chorus ready and a vision of what kind of song this would be. When I had the song structure ready we hit rehearsals to work on this puppy. After tightening some loose ends it was ready for the rest of the lyrics and for the demo session.

-Jappe

keskiviikko 2. joulukuuta 2009

Mastering High Time

Let's bring you all up the speed of what's happening at Excalion camp.
High Time is currently at mastering studio and we just got to hear the first songs ready. Sounded extremely good and now were waiting anxiously to hear the whole album.

The artwork is now done. It was made by an extremely talented Spanish guy. We hope to reveal the cover artwork and the release date (which will be quite early 2010) soon. Our ex-bassist Timo Sahlberg took our new photos some time ago and they turned out really good as well. Next we'll start looking for possible gigs of course!