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Messages - NO1SY

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31
1. Robert Jordan is a master world builder.

Spoiler

I have never read a series (other than Lord of the Rings but more on that in a moment) where the fantasy world feels as real and as lived in as with The Wheel of Time. The timeline through the ages is laid out through quotes from books, prophecies, memories in bloodlines, and word of mouth. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have the Silmarilian to complete the lore and legends about Tolkien’s World - although much is presented in the books themselves. But to me, Robert Jordan, greatly inspired by Tolkien for sure, takes this to another level. In the Wheel of Time, you journey through the different nations and locations within. You learn of the multitude of cultures and attitudes of the people everywhere you go. You admire their food, their clothing and their architecture. You learn of their deep rooted traditions and societal norms and their prejudices. From backwater farm to royal palace to mage tower you will be taught the ways of the people that live there, and understand the how and the why of it all as well as the what. This is what makes this series so special - many authors will show you societies and cultures, but usually it is like a 2D backdrop in a theatre production, meant to set the scene a bit while the story plays out in the foreground - Robert Jordan manages to properly and fully immerse readers in this world through the story he tells, by making it feel as if the story itself has to dip and weave through the many obstacles that a living, breathing, uncaring world would throw at it.



2. Immersing readers fully in a world like this is a slow reading experience

Spoiler

As a result of the story itself having the illusion of dodging through the veritable minefield of a living world, thus giving the illusion as if it is barely contrived at all (which is somewhat ironic - more on that later), these stories do not move quickly... I often found myself skim reading through the copious descriptions of inn common rooms and of what dinner was, or of the perspective character describing someone’s calves... just to get back to the motion in the plot. This instilled bad habits as I had to retread pages several times because I had glossed over a character description that would help me later on. In large part this is my own fault for being inpatient and rushing my reading, but also I think that most modern readers will struggle similarly after so many years of being conditioned with faster paced novels and trilogies as opposed to 14 book long epics… I think that there is some happy medium to be struck, where the reader can still be immersed in the world, but with some aspects prioritised over others to actually delve deeply into so as not to disrupt the plot so much.



3. Colourful prose is interesting and captivating... when used sparingly

Spoiler

Robert Jordan proves himself to have deft control over language and pulls from a vast pool of really interesting vocabulary throughout the books. And, because this continues through the narration provided from the character’s perspective, it really feels like Robert Jordan has carved his out his own unique voice in his writing, adding consistency even throughout each perspective (That's not to say that characters do not have their own individual voices as well). However, sometimes it comes across as if he is trying to say something in the most complex way possible and deliberately trying to double the number of words needed to say it... I expected it from Tolkien as LOTR was really just a linguistic exercise for him, but I think that modern authors have learned to be engaging with their use of language in a much more concise way now. In particular, and something that I am very glad authors seem to have moved past now, Robert Jordan’s frequent use of double negatives really grated on me whenever they featured - I do not find it enjoyable to have to untangle convoluted, jumbled wording to get to a mundane meaning. Masterful control of the English Language does not necessitate showing off the most technical writing possible in your work; straightforward language is often the most effective form of communication, and it can still be equally rich and beautifully written.



4. Robert Jordan is a master of multiple perspectives

Spoiler

The Wheel of Time series is not just a story of one plotline. It is, at minimum at any given time, five plotlines woven together into a grand narrative. However, these plotlines have been told through the perspectives of at least 8 main characters, with side threads or antagonist plots woven in through the perspectives of many, many more. What is more impressive however, is that you never miss a perspective change, and each perspective character has their own individual voice. I do wonder why he chose not to give each perspective swap a new chapter… but maybe I’ve read too many novellas where chapters can be as little as one paragraph… Jordan also manages to make following the chronology of events easy for readers, even though on paper it shouldn’t sound like it; when he has to deal with so many events occurring simultaneously all over the map. He has jumped back in time a few notable times to tell the same events from an alternate perspectives, and I always knew which event was being referred to and where the perspective was situated differently in the scene, even if it was two or so chapters on from the initial event (these are long chapters - about 25 minutes solid reading each). Moreover, he uses flashbacks very tastefully and in line with the narrative to great effect - sometimes a character’s present commentary on a past event is the best way to feed the reader that information if narratively there is no good opportunity to show readers that firsthand experience as the story plays out. They can also be used to more naturally hide something from the reader, as the perspective character can be written to dwell on only specific parts of a past situation. Anyways, it is to Robert Jordan’s credit that, in a story of this scale and a world so sprawling, I did not feel lost once in seven books.


32

Alrighty! So, now that I have started commuting again, I have gotten back into reading. It's amazing what progress can be made with two and half hours journeying everyday, and then a bit of time before bed instead of videogames or Youtube...

The series I picked up (much to the dismay of my wallet...) is one I have been wanting to read for years now:


"The Wheel of Time" by Robert Jordan (and finished by Brandon Sanderson)

Clocking in at 14 CHUNKY books long, each at 750-1000 pages, it is quite the undertaking, but I found myself engrossed in the series before long and unable to prevent myself from buying the next in the series as soon as I finished the previous. And so in the space of 3 weeks, I have stormed through half of the entire series!

Something that I noticed early on was that this series is a trove for learning opportunities - for novel writing, fantasy writing, and just writing in general - so I began reading with a relatively analytical eye, which thankfully didn't detract from my enjoyment. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on the forum and hopefully generate some discussion.

Please note, I have done my best to make this all
SPOILER FREE, so please refrain from any major spoilers in any discussions. I mostly talk about concepts as opposed to story as I think that is more productive, however If people want to discuss story elements that is fine, just please keep it in spoiler windows.


33
General Discussion / Re: Eating Aeroplanes
« on: November 06, 2020, 05:30:00 AM »
Personal motivation is a tricky thing...

I'm not a huge fan of Jordan Peterson or Jocko Willink... but I would be remiss to say that they didn't provide a modicum of decent life advice when they were relevant. They were the big two pushing the "Make your bed" meme a few years ago, and despite everything else I disagree with them on, this piece of advice actually helps I think.

I.e.: If you stuggle with motivation and diligence, then start your day with a task that is small, low effort and achievable. Force yourself to get up and do it every day. Succeeding in one small task can provide the encouragement and motivation to tackle larger tasks afterwards. So the idea is that one small success will cascade into larger ones throughout the day.

If you are unsure that you can trigger a cascade, maybe some varient on this idea can help some people. Perhaps instead of hoping one small success will snowball into larger ones by the end of the day, try tackling a larger challenge right off the bat of a small success. Then succeed or not at that greater challenge, after a time, go and succeed at a different small task, and then either return to tackle that larger task again or try a different larger challenge, and then another small task to succed in, and then the larger task again and so on. Constantly give yourself those boosts in motivation from small successes.

Some people worry that by succeeding in small tasks and not larger ones, you may be wasting your time and not achieve much. However, I think at the very least and even if you fail all of the larger tasks you try to tackle, you are achieving a small level of productivity as opposed to none if you didn't even try to begin with. Moreover, after a while you will have established a new baseline level of productivity for yourself that includes those small tasks as habit, without you having to expend any motivation to even do them, meaning that you should be able to increase productivity over time if you assign yourself new "small" tasks to succeed in - which would actually be larger tasks than the ones you initially began with.

TLDR: Basically just choose something small and definitely achievable to do every day and do it. Starting something is the hard part, but once you jump that hurdle, you should be able to climb higher.

34
Members Workshops / Re: Inktober 2020
« on: November 04, 2020, 04:44:20 AM »
Really cool thread here :biggrin:

@Echo nice job on finishing your daily series! Extremely creative and versatile.

@Super it's been really cool to see how much detail you are able to put into your images now, and then being able to keep them clean and impactful. I can totally see why that one on the 26th took 7 hours! Pretty cute picture though ;D

Well done to all who have stuck through this!

35
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2020
« on: November 04, 2020, 04:35:16 AM »
This is basically the same as FAWN (February Album Writing Month).

Wait....... someone can't spell...... :glare:


No time to do much writing at the moment for me unfortunately... good luck to all who go for these challenges though!

36
Manga Writer workshop / Re: HALLOWEEN 2020!
« on: October 31, 2020, 07:16:37 AM »
I will begin with a short piece I wrote as a prologue couple of years back (I would write something new if I had any free time nowadays...). Rather than let it rot, abandoned, may you find some entertainment with it.

Happy Halloween everyone!


NECROMANCER

Necromancer

The sounds of battle were lost amongst the trees of The Fogwood, south-west of the capital, and so were Sir Wallace and his unit. It was perpetually gloomy in here, making it hard to track the time of day, and a thick fog forever lingered throughout, seeming to cling tight as they waded through it. The men’s pace had been reduced to a crawl as they cautiously crept up to every shadow lurking in the endless murk. But, as was the first and the fiftieth, each was just another bloody tree. Moreover, so tightly wound were they that they started to attention at every little sound that cut the silence. The noises always seemed to be to be right behind them, no matter how far away its source truly was. It was getting difficult to even see the man  tiptoeing an arm’s reach away.

What an unholy place... Sir Wallace shivered, ... gives me the f*cking creeps. He was an older knight now, had seen his fair share of squalid, post-siege cities and crow-torn battlefield aftermaths, but this place churned his guts something fierce.

And why was he even here in the first place, trekking through this forest of nightmares? The Crusade was practically won. The Holy Army of the Avestran Mainland should be knocking on the Heathen King’s bedchamber door right about now and negotiating the surrender of whatever goes for this backwater island’s poor excuse for nobility. He should be there too, with his men, feasting and drinking and sampling from the local ladies so thankful to be saved from their godless existences by such an honourable knight. Spoils of war and all that. After such a display of righteous and divine power, the rest of the misled insects on this patch of dirt would soon come scuttling into the light to accept the grace of the true King, and the true Gods, all by themselves. And he wasn’t convinced that even insects would choose to live in a place such as this.

But the Clerics were worried about this, as of yet uncharted, part of Thadia. So here Sir Wallace and his soldiers were, at their whims, scouting for the source of whatever forest critter had managed to spook the most capable holy warriors Avestra had to offer.

By this point, however, he was beginning to wonder if this forest would ever end. He was getting exhausted, and his joints ached from hefting his shield and keeping his sword at the ready. With no guiding lights able to pierce the canopy above, nor landmarks of note in sight, perhaps they were walking in circles. Sh*t... he tensed at the thought, what if we cannot find our way back? At least in this fog his men couldn’t see the dire look on his grizzled face.

A cry from his right caused Sir Wallace to jump. Forcing the tension to release its chilling grip on his chest, he stood for a moment to let the tumbling moths in his stomach fly away on a slow exhale. Internally chastising himself for his descent into cowardice, he began to march for the source of the wail.

“Gods damn me if I’ll be afraid of any more trees in the dark...” he grumbled to himself as he pushed past trembling men along the disorderly line.

It wasn’t long before the sound of sobbing led him to the young man; collapsed to a slumped kneel, shield and spear shed on either side. It was Harper Grace, the son of some poncey baron who wanted the recognition for his family serving in the conquest.  All the brat’s usual bravado was lost, replaced by the air of a broken toy soldier. Sir Wallace was marching up to the whelp to make an example of such pathetic display of weakness, but stopped dead in his tracks when a sickening crunch beneath his foot caused his skin to crawl. Probably just a fallen twig you old foo- What he saw beneath his foot unnerved him. He lifted his gaze slowly, peering round to the front of the boy. Clutched in Harper’s shaking hands was a cracked and muddied human skull, caved in from where the poor kid had likely trodden on it.

“Wha... What is th-this place C-Captain?” The young soldier managed to whisper between weeping and snivelling breaths, before raising a quivering finger to point out ahead of him. As if in mocking response, the fog that insidiously enveloped all of their surroundings thinned just enough for Sir Wallace to make out the horror that lay before them. The entire forest floor ahead, from the rib he had snapped in twain underfoot to the furthest tree in the haze, was covered completely in a macabre blanket of bones.

The fear had gripped Sir Wallace so firmly that he barely registered when the first three of his soldiers cried out as they were cut down. The noise of his own panicked breathing and pumping blood threatened to drown out all other sounds. He could just about make out the blubbering of Harper as his tears began anew. The snotty noble had screwed shut his eyes, held his hands fast over his ears, and curled into a ball in the muck of the forest floor in a feeble attempt to shut out the horror surrounding him.

Slowly, and still struggling to comprehend, Sir Wallace staggered about-face to meet his attackers, but he found himself smothered in fog once again. Alone, save for the weeping boy at his side. He knew his men were fighting all around, yet he felt completely isolated. All he could see through the veil were vague and writhing shadows. Beading sweat trickled down his brow and stung his darting eyes, but he dared not close them despite how much he truly wanted to.

Any chance of finding the little fight that he truly had left in him drained away when Farris, the unit’s second in command and best sharpshooter, collapsed backwards out of the fog, landing at Sir Wallace’s feet, dead. His already ugly mug was stricken with an immortalised visage of pure terror. It didn’t take a Cleric to determine how he had died, even in his stupor Sir Wallace could clearly see the rusted sword sticking skyward out of the man’s chest. But it wasn’t that which broke the knight’s final threads of resolve. It was the hand that held the weapon. A bloody, blasphemous hand of bones. Stripped bare of skin and all but a few strands of rotting flesh, and yet holding together even without any sinew. Frayed and ragged scraps of a sleeve dangled from the bowed bones of a forearm; a forearm detached from the rest of the body but still moving, swinging at the wrist as if trying to dislodge the blade. And so Sir Wallace knew the enemy.

Gods... was all he could manage to think as he almost drunkenly wheeled himself around and around, uncertain as to from where he would be assailed. And then he saw it. Dim light off in the distance, breaking through the trees. An escape.

He trudged forward. Partly delirious with fear, partly delirious with hope, he made his way clumsily towards the light. He was thankful that there were no bones littering the ground anymore, for he surely would have stumbled on them. He just dragged himself on. Pushing past tree after damned tree. The light grew brighter and brighter through the fog. He could hear the rattling and clinking and grinding of his pursuers behind him. From the sides, the same tumult. The air was tightening, the fog thickening, the claustrophobia setting in. But as he stumbled onward, by the grace of the Gods or by sheer luck he was never beset, and so he did not deviate, did not look back. He dared not look back.

And then, all of a sudden, there were no more trees. There was no more fog. No more unholy noises. Sir Wallace was free.

Stood on a hill at the edge of the Fogwood, the tired knight could do nothing but fall to his knees and gaze in relief over the quaint little coastal village that huddled below him, untouched by the war. A semblance of focus returned to his vision as his fear slowly drained from him, though it taxed him now for the energy it had provided for his escape. Despite how much he wished to feel the gentle sea breeze that lightly stroked the lush green plants around him, his body felt completely numb after the bombardment of sensations he had struggled through just moments before. So he just tried to see.

The waters lapped lazily up a sandy beach of a natural bay. The sun was setting in a sky of pretty reds and oranges, and it cast long shadows, reaching inland towards him, from the simple wooden houses that meandered along dirt paths. One shadow fell upon him, however, from atop the same hill.

It appeared that Sir Wallace had stopped at the rear edge of a well tended garden belonging to a large manor house that stood proud just off to the side and ahead of him, overlooking the same view. It was an interesting building of a style unlike anything back on the mainland, defined most prominently by the two tall spires pointing skyward from the top, one from the tall pillared porch that sheltered the grand entrance at the front of the house, and one in the far corner that rose from a circular three story tower. The dark tiled roofs were steeply slanted and punctuated by several ornate chimneys. Most of the windows were tall and thin affairs that were arched at the top, save for those that were part of the two story sets of bay windows that flanked either side of the entrance, which were squared so that their walls could be topped with decorative parapets. It was built of large grey, stone bricks and there were several displays of expert masonry in exceptionally carved arches and capitals all over the facades, only ever obscured by Ivy that climbed up the one flat wall closest to him.

Sir Wallace was captivated by the harsh grandeur, and was content to simply stare until he became aware that he too was being observed. A lady, draped in a dark dress of several layers, looked down upon him from a second story window in the mansion. A sense of duty welled back up inside of the knight. The dead march this way, I must warn them! he thought as she walked out of view. But he found he had not the strength to move. No... that’s not right... The lady strode gracefully out from the grand entryway, a lithe silhouette framed by the perfectly carved pillars. But for as breathtaking the sight, Sir Wallace was disturbed. Why can’t I move? What binds me here?

He forced his gaze down to his limbs, which felt so detached, and whimpered. He was held, grasped by hands that should have been dust, by hands held together when they should collapse, by hands that gripped like a vice when they should have toppled away. Sir Wallace tried to struggle, to shake free, to lash out, but they had unholy strength. The skeletons stood sentinel over him, unmoving, pinning him in place. And there weren’t just the four that held him. The entire treeline around the Manor was haunted by the dull blue, ethereal glow that hung in their eyeholes. A ragged army ripped from time, outfitted in various states of decay.

As the lady glided across the neatly cropped lawns towards Sir Wallace, the weathered knight did the only thing that he could think of in that moment to seek salvation. He began to pray. Not the vacant words he regurgitated in communal services as a shallow show of faith, nor the borrowed words he calculatingly utilised to rile his soldiers into a zealous fervour during the war, but, for the first time in decades, true prayer. Through quivering lips, he invoked the graces of every God he could name within the pantheon written across the night sky in the constellations that shone down upon all the world. The words were nothing more than a quiet mutter, but their heartfelt sincerity somewhat overcame his shame and embarrassment, calming Sir Wallace’s pounding heart and erratic breathing.

Ten paces away, the lady had stopped in her tracks. She tilted her head slightly to one side as she beheld him inquisitively, her left eyebrow slightly raised on her beautifully crafted face. The red of the sun filtered through luscious and cascading white hair. But Sir Wallace would not allow himself to be distracted.

“... Graaft, He who built the mountains skyward from the land, and He who forged the body as a vessel for the spirit, temper my body upon your mighty anvil so that I may be durable in the face of insurmountable forces. Zalimandar, He who breathes life into the shell and blesses the miracle of birth, fill the cracks in my spirit so that no rot may take hold...”

As the words poured from him and he allowed himself to believe them, as if he were witnessing divine intervention, the unholy horde surrounding him slowly backed up, step by step, then faded away for good into the gloom of the woods. He struggled to continue as a lump formed in his throat and the relief washed over him, as the last of those haunting orbs disappeared in the dark and he felt their oppressive, blasphemous glare no more. Perhaps the vice-like grip of his captors had slackened a little too? He would praise the Gods forever from this day forth if they could secure his freedom, he just had to call on them a little longer.

“Morgiana, She who melds perception and opens the mind’s eye, allow me to see through the illusions of my foes meant to mislead or break my resolve. Hart, He who is the shield that protects the faithful and the sword that smites the wicked, may you empower my arms to wield my faith with a sure grip as you exemplify. Bal-”

The Lady flitted to him in the blink of an eye and flutter of black velvet, and he was immediately robbed of his next breath and words. Her skin was silk upon her perfect cheekbones, powdered with a delicate rose blush. Her verdant eyes put the most exquisite emeralds to shame and her lips were an artistically contrasting crimson. Her nose couldn’t have been carved better from marble. In all his years Sir Wallace had never seen a person more stunning. His eyes began to wander down a long neck and a well proportioned corseted chest. A long, elegant glove hugged from her upper arm all the way down to the hand at his chest, a hand that clasped the hilt of a dagger.

He looked back up to her face in disbelief, the loveliness of her smile at odds with the deed she had committed. With her free hand she caressed his cheek and drew his gaze up until she was pointing at the sky. The last light of the sun was doused in the ocean on the horizon, revealing the night sky. A starless, godless sky.

“Welcome to Winter’s Glade.” The melody of her voice was saccharine, in equal parts sultry and sickening. She drew his dismayed gaze back from the void to her, and for the first time he saw. For a fleeting moment he caught a glimpse behind the thin, intoxicatingly gorgeous veneer to a spectral visage that he knew was her true self. A withering, desiccated being more husk than person. Sunken eyes, cracked lips and thin, disheveled hair betraying the centuries upon centuries that she must have walked the world. And within the ghostly figure, there writhed the faces and formless bodies of hundreds of tormented souls; coalesced into one, forced into servitude, feeding her life.

As his warmth was drawn into her, he felt himself join them.


**





37
Manga Writer workshop / HALLOWEEN 2020!
« on: October 31, 2020, 06:57:01 AM »

We live in a dark and troubling time, such that tonight, a night used to festivities and house-parties galore, may be an unsettlingly solitary experience for many Raiders.

And so, I invite anyone who finds themselves unnerved by the quiet, or bored of the trashy horror flick you have watched 13 times before, to bleed their creative juices onto a page and create something new and hideously terrifying.

Write, draw, or both and fill our 2020 tome of horror this Halloween.



(I apologise for the damned watermark...)

38
Music / Re: What are you listening to
« on: October 27, 2020, 06:14:59 PM »
Welp I've been so freakin' busy that I missed posting a music update for last week... In terms of new music, for me, there wasn't too much to talk about really, but bits and pieces worth checking out:

Some new albums:

Sevendust - "Blood & Stone": I'm going to admit, I'm not sure what I think about Sevendust in general really. I think they are very good musicians, and they successfully combine the heaviness and syncopation of Nu Metal with the soaring anthems of radio rock without the cheese. But I just don't seem to gel with the sound that they've landed on with that combo. It just feels one crank away from being heavy enough, and so close to being musically there but just missing the mark for me. Their old songs like "Black" and "Denial" had this grunginess and brutality to them that I don't hear anymore. Even though I think that their sound and musicianship is more refined now, I'm just not into it as much anymore. Also as much as I enjoy when Lajon growls and crunches his vocals, after he featured on the epic "Mob Mentality" by Earthside, it's just hard to not want him to do more prog stuff. (Sevendust are actually quite well liked in the prog sphere for some reason!?)

FEVER 333 - "WRONG GENERATION": Well I give you 3 seconds to work out what this album is about... As on the nose as Jason Aalon Butler is with his lyrics in this project, I cannot deny that FEVER 333 are high energy. I actually quite liked their 2019 album "STRENGTH IN NUMBERS", which was a much more melodic venture despite being just as politically charged as always. But when "BITE BACK" built throughout those first two verses, which reminded me more and more of Letlive's "Fake History", I was getting super excited to hear the rest of this new release. What came after was not quite what I expected... but there was plenty to enjoy: "U WANTED A FIGHT" has a Rage Against the Machine quality to it with it's repeated lyrics; "FOR THE RECORD" is a high octaine punkish explosion; "LAST TIME" is surprisingly sombre and pretty (but WAY TOO SHORT!); "SUPREMACY" is a very cool hip-hop track (for a rock fan who knows nothing about hip-hop...). Not much of a fan of the more rap-centric tracks however. Other than the riff of the "WALK THROUGH FIRE" chorus, I could take or leave those...

Some new Singles (see if you can spot the current musical trend in rock/metal...):

Architects - "Animals": The first single off of their upcoming "For Those That Wish to Exist" is very different to anything Architects have done before. Processed electronics play a large role in this new sound, but, unlike a lot of times, they don't sound misplaced or dis-tasteful. Sam's vocal delivery is less harsh and more melodic than any previous record, but the delivery still sets this moody dark tone. The chuggy riff is super catchy and enjoyable in-and-of itself, and still heavy despite lacking that classic Architects technicality. I'm looking forward to this follow up to 2018's very emotional "Holy Hell", but I hope that they decide to bring along some of the old "Hollow Crown" sounds in this release to go along with the new.

Bring Me The Horizon - "Teardrops": If anyone had told me that I would be listening to and really enjoying post-2013 BMTH I would have called them crazy, but it's 2020 and here we are... This upcoming album "POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR" might just bring me back. This is their heaviest song in 7 years, whilst maintaining a lot of the new melodic sound that has exploded their popularity. To be honest I wasn't much of a fan of their particular Deathcore sound, not until they went more Metalcore in 2010 and again in 2013 with "Sempiternal", save for a few select songs on "Suicide Season". Still it's nice to hear a bit of that bite coming back to their music now. They even have a properly screamed bridge and a full on drum fill!

Atreyu - "Save Us": Following the departure of frontman Alex, I was wondering how Atreyu would sound. Turns out, much the same, although the screams in the verses have reduced to short barks as opposed to actual maintained passages. A sign of the times I suppose. Atreyu's sound has transitioned over the years, along with a lot of other bands (including those in this post), as they have for sure grown as musicians. But it just doesn't grab me like "The Crimson" did back in the day.

Bad Religion - "What Are We Standing For": Well, if I wanted a pillar of solid unwavering musical rock to hold on to as I struggle against the current currents of sonic transitions, I could ask for no better band to provide it than Bad Religion. Just shy of 3 minutes of straight up melodic punk music that's hooky and poetically political and old-school but with a nice new school production polish. I love this band.

As for an Oldschool album:

I have found myself listening to a lot of System of a Down - "Toxicity" recently. What a colossal and defining album. From start to finish this album captures this crazy, unique sound that still feels fresh to me almost 2 decades on. Each and every song is a hit for me, and I jam out on drums to "Chop Suey" and "Toxicity" all the time. And "Aerials"! What a way to end an album.

39
Welcome Center / Re: New Guy Introduction
« on: October 24, 2020, 07:47:55 AM »
Welcome to MangaRaiders :)

You have to contribute a certain number of posts in sections outside of the Break Room to be able to post links or email addresses. I would not post anything too personal however.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy your time here and I look forward to reading some of the stuff you decide to share.

40
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2020
« on: October 20, 2020, 07:44:50 PM »
Spring rolls and ginger ale, that classic combo!

Oh man I love peanut foods way too much... pad Thai, peanut cookies, peanut butter cups, peanut brittle, PBJ sandwiches... I don’t know how you survive Echo!?

So many choices for food though, I really struggle choosing. Grilled Halloumi... Loaded Nachos... Classic Neapolitan Pizza... I have always wanted to try the big leg of meat that you roast over the spit in the Monster Hunter games...

Lego, don’t kid yourself... you would bring a bottle of vodka... and then not share it! :biggrin:

41
Develop Your Story / Re: another world [story idea]
« on: October 20, 2020, 05:20:18 AM »
Heya cosmbin, welcome to MR!

Another example of this I can think of is the Marvel 1985 comic series from back in 2008 (where a boy starts warping reality and pulling heroes and villains from his marvel comic books into his universe), or sort of Marvel's Avengers & New Avengers run into Secret Wars (where the marvel multiverse is collapsing and the main marvel universe ends up in direct contact with the Ultimate universe (the one closest to the cinematic universe)). But I can't think of any better than the examples Operative13 brought up... Maybe the Fate series?

Your idea is basically reverse-isekai as they said.

Anyways, I think the hardest thing from a writing perspective will be to make the distinction between "real" characters and "fictional" characters, as to readers they are essentially all fictional! The other thing to consider is that you do not have property rights to any actual manga/anime characters... so if you don't want this to just be a fan-fiction, you will have to essentially create your own original "fictional" manga and anime inside this fictional "real" world in your story. I have seen this done well in other ways however, particularly in slightly meta series like Tiger & Bunny and The Boys. But basically, for this kind of thing to work, readers have to care about the "fictional" characters and their stories (or the circumstances surrounding them) as much as the "real-world" characters in your story.

At the moment, the plot you have is very vague. You can either just move straight into writing and see where this broad potential takes your story, or you can work out a more solid plan before you start.

42
Music / Re: What are you listening to
« on: October 18, 2020, 10:21:48 AM »
Well, Lego, that's what you have us for! I like to imagine we are the music arm of MR radio; Manimal brings you the rock classics, j-pop/rock, and r&b/pop hits; and I bring you the obscure rock and metal tracks... now all we need is someone to pick up the electronic and radio-rock slack!

That said I think I may have something you may appreciate Lego:
After 10 years, Pendulum have returned with new music! They have released two singles: "Nothing for Free" and "Driver". The former is the "electronica-rock", almost riffy, style with vocals that I love Pendulum for - in the vein of "Propane Nightmares" and "Witchcraft" - while the latter is their full on drum-and-bass fare like "Slam". Listening to these tracks has given me decade old nostalgia, but also made me wonder what Pendulum's place in the modern music scene really is... Their brand of drum-and-bass sound seems to have all but been left behind by the electronic music industry and electronic music listeners alike, in favour of more lo-fi, chilled out tracks. I hope that their slightly alternative niche in the rock scene doesn't feel dated also by the time that they release a new album...

Another band that is giving me nostalgia vibes is Smashing Pumpkins, but more in the "I'm gonna go listen to their old hits" kinda way. They've pre-released just over a quarter of the tracks from their upcoming 20-track album "Cyr" and I just don't know...  Well, one of my mates, who used to be just about the biggest Smashing Pumpkins fan in the world, had this to say: "As with a lot of their new music, it's good, but it's just not the same...". I'm inclined to agree really. The title track "Cyr" is hooky and reminds me a bit of Eurythmics. "Anno Satana" has a kinda R.E.M sound to it. Every song is solid, but I think it just doesn't sound very Smashing Pumpkins to me anymore, not in the same defining way that "Bullet with Butterfly Wings", "Zero", or "Cherub Rock" does...

In a more positive bout of nostalgia, I have been re-listening to James Iha's other music project with A Perfect Circle, thanks to a recent Rick Beato video that went through the music theory of "Weak and Powerless". This song is phenominal, definitely one of the best to come out of the band's earlier work, following "Judith" for example. I must admit, their latest, more accessible, work in 2018 captivated me a lot more often than their previous albums did... there is a lot of weird stuff back there to dig through, but once you do, there are several really awesome tracks to find.

On to some more new stuff: Daniel Tompkins, vocalist of TesseracT and one of my all time favourites, has another solo album coming up this year. His previous solo album last year had been a slightly progressive, mostly electronic endeavour that was fairly soft but very interesting. This new track however, "The Gift" featuring Matt Heafy of Trivium, is anything but soft! It still sees Tompkins showing off his signature vocal control, and brings out the best of Matt's vocals also, but I couldn't help but grin when I found myself headbanging to the breakdowns and layered growls. It's not as groovy as TesseracT, nor thrashy as Trivium, but a super enjoyable half-way point between the two.

More and more I am delving into the melodic side of black metal, and more and more I am finding albums to enjoy. New and noteworthy is a new track "I, Pallbearer" off the upcoming album by Harakiri for the Sky. I'm not exactly sure if this is technically black metal... but it's noisy, distorted, has growls, and has blast beats aplenty so...!? The thing is, through all of the noise and distortion and blasts in this song, a really soaring, uplifting, even beautiful melody has been layered in and cuts through, just elevating the song to new heights. In a lot of ways it's reminiscent of "Sapphire" by Alcest.

Lastly, and unsurprisingly given the state of the world this year, new music has been flowing from Zeal & Ardor. First is "Vigil" - a sombre, moving track. Next is the blistering and furious "Tuskegee". "Trust No One" is doomy and bluesy and maybe the most refined Z&A has ever sounded. And "Wake of a nation" is industrial and hypnotic and dark. Manuel Gagneux displays just how versatile he can be with this project. My only wish is that he would more often find ways to fully fuse all of his influences - Blues, African American Chants, Gospel, and Black Metal - into one coherent sound. Not that I dislike the variety each song brings on his albums, but I think that there is real magic to be found if everything were to be seemlessly melded together in each song as opposed from one song to the next.

43
MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2020
« on: October 14, 2020, 01:02:52 PM »
:party: :party:

Blueberry pie! Banana bread!

No... I’m not jealous... or hungry...

44
FanFics / Re: Bleach MR: Memories Unto The Dawn
« on: October 14, 2020, 11:37:29 AM »
Well Lego, looks like you commented right on time!

Kaimetsu-tekina Mangekyo no Raiouoni!
Definitely not procrastinating....

This is also a case study in how straightforward Champion Subclass Fighters are...

Also some of the numbers might need a little tweaking...

:tongue:


45
FanFics / Re: Bleach MR: Memories Unto The Dawn
« on: October 14, 2020, 03:53:49 AM »
:biggrin:

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