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April 22, 2013

Temporary Hiatus - April 2013

Hello, everyone.

Apparently, April is one crammed month for me. Clearly, not everything that I posted in the beginning of the month went as planned. Well, one individual can only do and manage so much without knocking himself or herself out.

This said, starting today, I am placing all further activity, especially activity on YouTube, on hold for at least a good month or two. However, I will still post entries for "Who's That Character," "Song of the Week," and other relevant entries given I have some spare time to type one or two paragraphs about whatever topic or piece of news I want to share.

That is all.

Au revoir.

April 20, 2013

Song of the Week - April 20, 2013

Song: "斑 -まだら-" ("Madara")
Artist: Sadie
Album: 双刻の艶 (Soukoku no Tsuya) (2013)


Sadie (pronounced "sah-dee" instead of "say-dee") is a Japanese alternative metal band of the visual kei subgenre and style from Osaka. Formed in 2005, the band consists of Mao (真緒) on vocals, Mizuki (美月) on lead guitar, Tsurugi (剣) on rhythm guitar, Aki (亜季) on bass, and Kei (景) on drums. They have released four studio albums - the first one being 2008's Undead 13+2 and the most recent one being 2012's The Black Diamonds - and a plethora of mini-albums, extended plays, and singles.

The band's style of music, and often, appearance, bear a close similarity with that of my most favorite Japanese bands so far, Dir En Grey, making the band also one of my favorite Japanese bands. Like Dir En Grey's songs, Sadie's songs are usually dark. However, unlike Dir En Grey's songs, which are often complex in structure and vary in rhythm and style from song to song, most of Sadie's songs are usually very rhythmic, straightforward, and often catchy.

Sadie's latest release, released on March 27, is a three-song maxi-single entitled 双刻の艶 (Soukoku no Tsuya). "斑 -まだら" ("Madara") is the first song from the single.

"Madara" starts out with a brief piano introduction and proceeds slowly, steadily building energy beginning with Mao's soft, high vocals and the first guitar riffs by Mizuki, Tsurugi, and Aki about thirty seconds into the song. Mao then demonstrates his low and high notes and his carefully polished death growls shortly before the chorus, which comes a little after two minutes into song. Following the brief chorus, the song suddenly slows down as the piano from the beginning of the song returns. However, Mao revives the energy from earlier with death growls that accompany the guitar and drum work by the rest of the band before proceeding with the rest song in the same way as he did in the first half of the song. Finally, Mao finishes his part by unleashing a final series of death growls before the same, aforementioned piano drops the overall energy of the song once more, and the song ends.

Overall, "Madara" is another great composition by Sadie, for it displays the dark, alternative metal style of music that the band is well-known for.

April 19, 2013

"Who's That Character?" - April 2013 - Answer

Returning from three days ago, who is this?

This character is...

...Knuckles the Echidna.

To download and save:
1. Right click (or control click if you are using a Mac) the image and select "Save Image As."
2. Select the desired location on your computer where you want to save the image, and click "Save."

Download - [1920x1200]

You can alternatively find these wallpapers in the "Wallpapers" section.

The next "Who's That Character?" will be posted in about a month.

Images courtesy of SEGA, Sonic Team, and Sonic Channel.

April 16, 2013

"Who's That Character?" - April 2013

Who from the Sonic the Hedgehog series is this?

Do you know who this is?
Feel free to give your answers in the Comment Box.
The answer [and the wallpaper showing this character] will be revealed in a future post.

You can alternatively find these wallpapers of your favorite characters in the Sonic the Hedgehog series in the "Wallpapers" section.

Images courtesy of SEGA, Sonic Team, and Sonic Channel.

April 11, 2013

Song of the Week - April 11, 2013

Song: "Unraveling"
Artist: Dir En Grey
Album: The Unraveling (2013)


One of my most favorite bands is the Japanese metal band Dir En Grey. Formed in 1997, the band consists of the unchanged lineup of Kyo (京) on vocals, Kaoru (薫) and Die on guitars, Toshiya on bass, and Shinya on drums. They have released eight studio albums: the first one being 1999's Gauze and the most recent one being 2011's Dum Spiro Spero.

I first came across Dir En Grey when I first began studying the Japanese language. Although I wasn't familiar about the language at the time, I soon found myself listening to them more because of their unique sound. Unlike most other metal bands that I often listen to, Dir En Grey's musical style, since the band's inception, clearly continues to evolve after every release. The next release always sounds different to a specific degree compared to the previous release. The band's first releases introduced their experimental and progressive rock sound that was more akin to alternative rock and pop rock, which appropriately accompanied their visual kei outfit at the time. In the following years, the band started to incorporate particular aspects from other music genres into their music, such as electronic, industrial, oriental, and the death metal, nu metal, and metalcore subgenres of metal. The visual kei outfit they initially wore slowly dissipated, and their overall sound grew darker and heavier. Additionally, Kyo's vocals, which encompass a very wide range from low, death growls to very high screams, are another highlighting aspect of Dir En Grey's sound. Kyo's vocals strongly tie with each song's overall mood and tone, and most importantly, the lyrics, most of which Kyo wrote, which regularly implicitly discusses about usually controversial and sensitive topics. In short, Dir En Grey, because of their gradually changing musical style, is a progressive, experimental, and perhaps, avant-garde, metal band.

Anyway, "Unraveling" is the opening track and the only new song from Dir En Grey's latest release from last week - a mini-album or extended play identically titled The Unraveling. A moderately-paced song that displays the band's current musical style and sound, "Unraveling" starts simple, all of the band performing what they do best - Kaoru, Die, Toshiya, and Shinya provide the shreds, riffs, and rhythms that make this song interesting to listen to from the get-go, and Kyo focusing on clean, high vocals. The overall tone of the song is similarly dark as Dir En Grey's previous release, "輪郭" ("Rinkaku"), but heavier like most of the band's most recent songs. A little past the beginning of the final half of the song, Kyo carefully lets everything out with his signature screams and the overall energy of the song immediately heightens to the end. In short, "Unraveling" is a song that is clearly and exclusively Dir En Grey's. Although the song shares the overall darkness and heaviness from most recent songs, its groove clearly labels it as a new song.

April 9, 2013

Updates: April 2013

Hello, everyone.

April is another busy month for me, so again, don't expect any significant activity on YouTube from me. For blackblur7, with all in-game music from Sonic the Fighters posted, I will return to Sonic Unleashed and post the in-game music that I haven't posted initially, which include the music played in the boss battles, Gaia Gate, hub continents, Tornado Defense segments, and the "Werehog Battle Theme." For blackblurX, I don't have anything planned.

Also, I hope some of you are aware that I take soundtrack music requests - of course, given that I have the particular soundtrack album or the particular song. Any song from almost all of the soundtrack albums of the Sonic the Hedgehog series of games is guaranteed. On second thought, I don't think I clearly mentioned this before...

In [very] late news, I thank everyone for garnering more than 10,000 subscribers for blackblur7. Thanks for the continued support as I do my best to maintain this as a source for music from the Sonic the Hedgehog series and a few others.

Outside of YouTube, once again, I'll be checking and updating the music files and their accompanying download links of all of the soundtrack albums I have posted here. A few of you reported to me about some errors and mistakes in the metadata of some of the music files in some of the soundtrack albums, so I will get to work in correcting all of them carefully and posting all of the soundtrack albums again as soon as possible. Therefore, some download links to the soundtrack albums will not be able starting around this time. I will put up a banner displaying which soundtrack albums will not be available at the time. Thank you all for the patience and cooperation.

Also, I will start posting a series of weekly blog entries, simply titled "Song of the Week," of which I share and introduce some of my favorite songs in my ever-expanding music library. Often, I might post about some of my favorite music albums and musicians, such as when I posted about Circle of Dust's debut album and second album, Brainchild.

That is all for now, I think.

See you all again soon.