This is the first album I wrote and recorded, and was finally recorded in the summer of 2003. Most of the tracks started life as demos and I had recorded a small demo CD which used a few of the tracks in quite a raw form. I was just starting to get used to recording techniques and the whole album was a learning experience. It was the first time I had ever written any music, especially for the guitar, and I spent a lot of time making sure it was exactly how I wanted it to sound. It is the most important project I have done. I was heavily influenced by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani at the time, and this type of playing is prevelant throughout the album. I used every technique and style i could think of and tried to make the album as musically colourful as I possibly could. The only problem I have with the album now is the programmed drums, I had used an old Boss DR-1 to program them and they sound a little stale now, but I was pleased with the freedom they had given me to record the music I wanted. I used an Ibanez JEM7BSB, Ibanez RG470, and a Schecter 7-string guitar for the guitars, all recorded from an old karaeoke microphone direct into a Tascan 8-track cassette recorded. I had to bounce a lot of the tracks to make room for all the overdubs. I used a Marshall combo amp.
'The Eternal Thinker' - This starts out with some wave and seashore samples, bringing in a clean guitar intro. The clean guitar section here has been used in a few other tracks in bands I have been in. The track slowly builds towards a tapped guitar section, which merges three different melodies into one line. A transcription of this section appears on website Chopsfrom hell.com. This piece serves as an intro to the album.
'Chemical Forest' - This is the heaviest track on the album, and uses my Schecter seven-string guitar for the main guitar riff. This riff was also used when I was a part of the band EverRain, for a track called 'Ephedrine'. There are lots of wild guitar parts and solos, and quite a few overdubs on this one.
'Fall From Heaven' - an interesting structure to this track, and I played the main guitar parts twice and panned them hard left and hard right. I used a Whammy pedal for the sections after the verses when the drums drop to half-speed.
'Spirit Of Life' - this is all clean guitar, and has a 'swing' type feel to it. I had written the main guitar riff long before this ever became a piece of music, and I built the rest of the track arounf this riff. It uses a similar whammy bar technique I then went to use in the backing guitars for 'Listen To Me' from 'Edge Of Nowhere'.
'A World Away From You' - this has the feel of a power ballad, with a powerful guitar melody and strong guitar parts. I used the wah pedal for some verses, and the track is mainly written in 7/4 time.
'Rainbow Tears' - This is probably the most upbeat track on the album, it has a very bluesey Satriani-type feel to it. I harminised a lot of the guita parts, and this track I think demonstrates a large variety of rock guitar techniques and styles. In the final section I sowly decrease and increase the tempo of the backing, while the main guitar plays some hybrid-picking type lines over the top, and this was one of the more tricky things to record on the album.
'Ordinary Day' - this is also quite an upbeat track, and I used a lot of my own voice for the talking bits in the background. I had the idea of doing something unusual and manic, as if it was being played in front of an audience, and the crowd cheers can be heard during the solo and nearer the end of the track. The guitar parts were quite difficult to perform and I remember doing quite a few takes on this one.
'Mind Trap' - this quite a simple track, there is just one guitar throughout playing variations on the main intro riff. There are clean guitars in the background played through an auto-wah effect.
'Promised Land' - this is the second ballad type track on the album, and has a strong emphasis on melody and harmony.
'Don't Let Me Go' - I spent a lot of time working on the tone of the guitar for this track. I played my Jem through a Boss GT-5 patch which had the smallest amount of distortion, and I used, the middle pickup of the guitar. The main guitar riff consists of a chord followed by a tap-slide, and then a double-stop type riff. This guitar tone gave me the freedom to play chords and solo lines without really compromisong either to any large extent.
'Silver Pearls' - an unusual track with some more unorthodox guitar techniques used in the verses. I used hybrid picking and tapping to outline the melodoes in the verses. This track is more progressive in its structure and feel than the other tracks, and is the only track that has a fade-out.
'Reflection' - this is just one guitar played through a tap-delay effect panned hard left and then right. It is all tapped harmonics, and I put a few tap-slides in there too which gives a nice effect.
Click the links below to hear each track