Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Dark Tenor: Symphony of Light

I don’t normally critique music but I recently came across an album that I thought was fantastic and wanted to share. The name of the album is Symphony of Light by The Dark Tenor which is available now. I bought it off after I saw him perform the Ukrainian and United Kingdom national anthems at a Klitschko/Fury. I was immediately struck by the performers signature dark mask and his band of musicians that wore similar attire. It was more operatic than anything else but once the music started, he had my full attention.

After hearing what a fantastic voice he had, I looked up the album and was immediately hooked after hearing the song River Flows on the Edge. Some albums are known to have its weak parts but that’s not the case with this album. Virtually every song keeps the listener wanted more, even the songs that aren’t in English. Not much is known about him because he’s still virtually new but he has a strong following on social media and is currently popular in Europe. Here is the run down on the performer and the album.

The Dark Tenor is a German performer but the album is in English for the most part and is sung extraordinarily well. The music itself is sort of a classical-modern age crossover with music from a wide range of well-known melodies. For a performer who wears a black mask and calls himself dark, the album is rich with emotion and religion. With a whole band of musicians behind him, the album delivers an uplifting experience for the listener from start to finish. Other songs that should be mentioned are Haunted Hearts, The Hunger, Heart of Gold and Miserere.

River Flows on the Edge is my personal favorite and is about a welcoming transition into the next phase of existence. Haunted Hearts comes in second by telling the story of someone who has the worst pain possible after carrying nothing but regret. The Hunger is the third describing the ambition of the performer that is not only personal but universal as well. If none of these three spark your interests, then this album isn’t for you. There are plenty of sites that can introduce you to samples of the album.

His work can be found on Youtube and other platforms where you can hear music, it’s well worth your time.  Right now he’s currently performing only in Europe but if a tour ever comes through the United States, then make sure you get a ticket because I know that I am. The Dark Tenor has a fantastic voice and this album ranks as one of my favorite albums of this year. I listen to a wide range of music from Dragonforce and Alicia Keys to Disturbed and Luke Bryan so to some, my ear may not be as tuned as others. This has been my opinion on the album and it’s a positive one, Symphony of Light is well worth your time and money.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Star Wars: A New Beginning

Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally opens this weekend after the long wait of speculations and theories. Arriving on opening night for the 10 p.m. show, there was a line of people who had been there two hours early and yes, some of them were in costume. Ever since Disney bought the franchise from creator George Lucas for 4.4 billion dollars, fans were anxious to see how Disney would use it to their advantage. Last night it became clear that like Marvel Studios, Disney is creating a new chapter for the next generation of would be Star Wars fans while paying tribute to the previous films. For everyone who is a fan, this film was a sign of relief as the end of the film received a standing ovation from the audience.

Taking place decades after the events of Return of the Jedi, the remains of the galactic empire form a new faction that’s determined to bring back the control it once had over the galaxy. Lead by a new Dark Lord with his apprentice, Kylo Ren, they spread throughout the galaxy and attempt to regain control. Using what’s left of their power, they construct a weapon that surpasses the power of the infamous Death Star and use various methods to rebuild their army to combat the republic resistance. A storm trooper of one of those methods regains his humanity and devises a plan to escape the empire and try to regain a life of his choice. In his escape, he stumbles upon a mission that he believes could be his way out but only pulls him further into the conflict.

While the conflict is happening in the stars, on the planet Jakku, a scavenger meets an unlikely ally who helps to save a droid that contains information that’s critical to the survival of the republic and what remains of the Jedi order. The past returns as the present moves on and identities are revealed that seal the fates of characters. With the balance of the force in jeopardy, a new hero will rise after a mystery is solved that ends the newest chapter of the beloved saga. A chapter that foretells a prophecy that Kylo Ren can’t allow to happen as he himself is struggling to live up to his lineage.

Most fans were excited with the direction that J.J. Abrams was bringing because of the success he’s had with the Star Trek films. J.J. Abrams did justice with incredible action sequences, intense fighting and a gripping storyline filled with twists that drop jaws. At certain moments the film becomes predictable and in a way resembles Star Wars: A New Hope which is its downside. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because J.J. Abrams was able to use the formula to restart a franchise that needed a facelift. This is the film that Star Wars fans have been waiting for since Return of the Jedi.

Famous characters show up to make the audience laugh, new character to love and relics of the past show up to make the audience go “Aw.” With a running time of two hours and fifteen minutes or more like two hours and thirty if you count the commercials, it felt like it wasn’t enough. When the Star Wars film started out, it was created using models and trick photography to make it larger than life. Now fans get more than they ever could with the gift of modern technology and this film was great to watch in 3D. Star Wars: The Force Awakens gets a 9 out of 10 because while it’s using a similar plot, there is an original story around it and it’s a fantastic start.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Personal Belief

When I was young I was always told that you needed to be born in a rich family to have it made. It's sad because these days you're lucky to be born into a family at all.