Wednesday, May 26, 2004


They describe themselves as "melodic power metal", I'd be more inclined to say "neo-classical progressive metal", but genres and labels are rarely accurate when applied to music.

Anyway, the bottom line is that Kamelot are an excellent, high quality metal band who include lots of orchestration and keyboards in their work.

Every album since "The Fourth Legacy" in 2000 has been brilliant, with their latest effort "Epica" being the brilliantest of all. If you like great melodic metal and album covers featuring beautiful girls then Kamelot are the band for you.

Kamelot - Official Website

Monday, May 17, 2004

Only A Week Away

It's now only a week until the release of the new Ayreon album The Human Equation

Every review I've seen of it is raving about how good it is. That's not surprising when you consider the brilliant past work of Ayreon's creator, Arjen Anthony Lucassen. From "The Final Experiment" to "Space Metal" he has produced consistently superb music.

I'm counting down the seconds!

Monday, May 10, 2004

War and the Western Tradition

I was recently listening to a recorded lecture by American Philosopher L. Ron Hubbard in which he described a key difference between the Eastern and Western viewpoints.

When mankind in the northern hemisphere was developing, the people in the East had to contend with a pretty rough environment - desert, barren lands, rugged mountains, freezing winters, monsoons, poor food supply, etc., etc. So they developed a philosophy of endurance. If you could endure you could survive.

A recent example of this was a Chinese man whose boat lost its engine in a storm and drifted out into the Pacific (this was off the coast of California). He was thought to have died. Then after months and months his boat drifted relatively close to the coast of Mexico and he was picked up by the Life Guard. He'd lived by collecting rain water to drink and by catching fish. He had endured.

Mankind in the West developed a different philosophy. They had plentiful game, plenty of shelter and a relatively gentle climate. If you could get close enough to an animal to hit it with a club or a spear or whatever and you hit it hard enough, then you ate. So Western man developed the philosophy of strike an overwhelming blow.

A recent example of this philosophy in action is the Iraq war. The US went in with the idea that all they had to do was strike an overwhelming blow and it would all be over.

The only trouble with the "overwhelming blow" idea is that it may work well when you are hunting animals, but it fails when you are dealing with a country made up of millions of human beings. Following this philosophy to its ultimate conclusion would require that you kill everyone in the country to bring about peace. Not a very desirable outcome.

We must hope that someone in the US Government manages to snap out of this Western tradition of "stike an overwhelming blow" and that they realize how unworkable it actually is.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Politics in a Cynical Age

We are bombarded daily with how bad it all is. The news media seems to revel in it. So it's easy to get the idea that all politicians are liars and con artists who just say whatever they have to so they can capture our vote.

Well, I just want to point out that the news media are of the opinion that they have to have controversy, harm, big names, sex and other such nonsense in their stories or we won't read or listen to 'em. So that becomes the diet we are force fed. The truth is that the liars and con artists are in the minority and most politicians are there because they want to make a difference for people. So when the BS starts flying in the months leading up to the election, just remember that.