Right. So this obviously fell apart. I’d rather not use this space to keep trying to justify why I have or have not done something that I said I would do so I’m canning it. Not the whole thing, just the structured daily posts. I’m going to keep posting but tying myself into a daily review/photo was difficult and, quite honestly, pointless. There will still be reviews. There will still be photos. But only when they are worth posting for their own merit.

As far as the whole Smarch madness thing, well it was an ambitious project. Too ambitious for its own good. Only nine days in and not everything has gone according to plan. Here’s the status of my endeavours:

Pro –  I still haven’t had a drink or smoked weed. Haven’t had the urge to. I’m definitely going to continue with this as it’s been great for my brain, liver and wallet. The not drinking especially. When I think about how much money I must’ve spent over the last 12 years on alcohol? Crazy. I’ve been eating breakfast, which is great. That’ll continue. Writing up my thoughts about music has been great too. I hope to continue the mini reviews of most new albums I listen to. Photography? Well, I’ve taken about as many photos as I always do, which is quite a lot I suppose compared to most people. That’s not going to change. I’m not going to try and put stuff up everyday. It’ll go up when it’s good.

Con – I haven’t really had the time, inclination or weather to start running again. Exercise needs to be given some thought. I lasted two weeks without WoW before I reactivated my account. There’s just too much going on in that game for me to stay away. My flatmates and I are planning on putting together an arena team, which is part of the game I’ve never experienced, so I had to get back in. School comes first though but that’s not really an issue, school is awesome. It’s so good to be back. I love all my classes and they are my top priority. Also, if I said I hadn’t had a cigarette recently I’d be lying out my ass.

So there it is. I’ve got a bunch of ideas for this blog and posting everyday has been inspiring. I’ll be here.

Photo of the day

It has long been a goal of mine, as a keen photographer and aspiring entomologist, to take a really good photo of a live ant. Today’s offering is far from ‘really good’ but it’s one of the best I’ve taken so far. My camera, and camera skills, need improvement. This is probably an Iridomyrmex sp., commonly known as the meat ant.

Album of the day

Rat King – Larva

Had this one for a while and finally gave it a spin today. Rat King are an experimental/ambient industrial act from India. When I first read about this album, comparisons were made to Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile and I’d say that’s a fair call. Larva is the most interesting ‘industrial’ album I’ve heard in a long time. It’s dark and atmospheric with some surprising melodies and overall is a very enjoyable listen. I’m keen to check out their previous releases if I can find them.

Picture of the day
More things from the beach.

Album(s) of the day
I listened to a few albums today, so here’s my thoughts.

Enochian Theory – Evolution: Creatio Ex Nihilio

Well, this album slipped straight through my head leaving no impression whatsoever. I guess they sound like Porcupine Tree? It was good enough that I didn’t turn it off but I really don’t have anything else to say.

Panopticon – Collapse

This is more like it! Panopticon is a one-man black metal outfit from Kentucky. There’s a bunch of buzz around this release at the moment regarding the political leanings of the creator. Black metal is often associated with right wing extremism (case in point, yesterday’s Nokturnal Mortum and many other Eastern European bands are accused of National Socialist leanings), however Panopticon is a leftist/anarchist band. The lyrics are critical of US government policy and there’s soundclips and such to back up the political message. Also there is bluegrass. Folk music and black metal go hand in hand but it is usually a European style of folk. Mixing in American folk/bluegrass is not something that’s been done before (as far as I’m aware) and it works very well. The more traditional black metal sections are great too, atmospheric and harsh just like we like it.  Worth a listen for its distinctiveness.

Dismal Lapse – Eon Fragmentation

Woah. This one took me by surprise. This is some sick as fuck tech death. Skillful songwriting, complex rhythms, time changes aplenty, and balls to the wall groove to boot. A great album, especially considering it’s their debut and they’re only a trio. It’s not original but who cares when it’s this good?

Proper day post coming later but I wanted to put some thoughts down now. One of the reasons for attempting to post everyday and in particular to write a review everyday was to practice actually writing. I’m not a very good writer. I find it difficult to put my thoughts into words and being that I am just starting my second year of university, writing is pretty important. So far what I’ve written has been pretty average. I see myself doing all the things in a review that are straight up cliched and terrible. My style of reviewing is still in the ‘this but this, this but this’ category that GFW Radio (quite rightly) bagged the shit out of. I also use way too many adverbs. That’s fine. The whole point is improvement, and I’m trying. I don’t expect to be great straight away. Hell I don’t really expect anyone to be actually reading this. Just wanted to make that clear.

And in case anyone does read this, feel free to recommend an album for review. I’m only reviewing albums I haven’t heard before and so far they’ve all been metal, but I’ll give any genre a proper listen.

I’m not actually able to get to my pc today, so I’m not sure how I’ll be able to upload a photo.. Hmm.. Perhaps I can get away with just a review? Today’s album might be worth it.

Album of the day year?

Nokturnal Mortum – Голос Сталі (The Voice of Steel)

First impressions: Holy shit. This album is mindblowingly good.

The city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine produces some great black metal. It’s a unique scene that gives me a raging hardon. So of course I’ve heard Nokturnal Mortum before, but on this album they completely destroy it. Epic folk melodies, perfectly harsh production, never a dull moment. At times the pace slows and the guitars move seamlessly from folk to blues to progressive Pink Floydian riffs to almost an almost new age sound and it all works so well together. I’m sure you won’t understand, but this will be one of the best albums of 2010.

WordPress apparently has issues with posting my entry from yesterday. In fact, WordPress often has issues with publishing my posts. Lovely interface, simple to use; except when you hit ‘Publish’ and it freezes while loading or it just takes you to your list of posts. I thought it may have been because I used a swear word; tried censoring myself, still no luck… It wasn’t a very good post. Maybe WordPress can tell and is sparing the world from it?

Later: Ok, I seem to have gotten around this issue by publishing the draft from the WordPress iPhone app! O_o Maybe the issue is Chrome?

As it is obviously going to be difficult to take a worthwhile photo everyday I’m now just going to choose a recent photo that I like and publish that. I’ll still be carrying my camera around everywhere and attempting to take photos but forcing myself to do a new one daily is going to get old very fast.

In other news, I love RSS feeds and Google Reader. I must be subscribed to well over 300 different blogs, the best of which can be found in my blogroll. One of the great things about Reader is its recommendations. Every couple of days I’m presented with a bunch of blogs that I may or may not be interested in and I’ll go through them and subscribe to any that present good content. (Side note: One way in which to NOT get me to subscribe to your blog is to clip your feed to show only a tiny excerpt in my reader. There are only two sites I put up with this from: Penny Arcade and Deep Sea News.) Today I found a great vegan blog called Taste Better which is currently full of tips about eating well and cheaply; two things I’m trying to do right now!

Picture of the day

Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) and Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) at Woodman Point, which is my new favourite place to go snorkeling and also happens to be the closest beach to my house. In the background is the industrial area of Kwinana.

Album of the day

Divinity – The Singularity

Divinity are from Canada and play fairly melodic, mildly progressive, death metal. The Singularity is a solid album if you like this sort of thing. I detect a lot of Devin Townsend influence, specifically Strapping Young Lad, and perhaps a hint of mid-period Fear Factory? An enjoyable listen but doesn’t really do that much for me. I prefer much harsher vocals and if I wanted to listen to SYL, I’d listen to SYL. These guys can obviously play and write a decent tune, however melodic death metal is not a genre that is doing well these days.

I am tired. Also, there is no way I can take an interesting photo everyday. Drinking a lot of tea and went to the beach today, hence:

Picture of the day

My new drug and some stuff i found at the beach.

Album of the day

Finntroll – Nifelvind

Now, I fucking LOVE Finntroll, they are one of my all time favourite bands. Unfortunately, they have gone through too many lineup changes and used up most of their best ideas long ago. Nifelvind is an awesome album, no doubt about it, it’s just not as good as their earlier work.

Ps. I swear I published this last night…

Well it’s day one of my crazy scheme and it’s been a bit of a rough start. I wasn’t quite fully prepared for this. Lack of breakfast and ridiculous heat made for a very tetchy day. Considered throwing it all in at least once. I have to work on my morning appetite and eat breakfast everyday. The heat also provided little inclination to go running. I might change my goal of running four times a week to doing some sort of exercise four times a week. Gonna head down the beach in the morning and do some swimming.

Picture of the day

Bit of a cheat today. I took these two up at Jurien Bay on the weekend. The first is Chuck. He lives up in Jurien and I miss him. The second is a Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus) that was caught nearby (and subsequently released) just so I could get some glamour shots.

Album of the day

The Red Chord – Fed Through The Teeth Machine

The Red Chord play a well written blend of grind, tech death and metalcore. On first listen through I found it enjoyable, if a little forgettable. There are some great solos, nice tasteful breakdowns and an emphasis on the metal over the core. It’s all over relatively quickly. Second time round was when I realised how well it is all put together. This is a great album though for the life of me I couldn’t say much more about it. Nothing really stood out. It’ll go into the iPod rotation but it didn’t leave a lasting impression. 7/10

This is Kasabian. He lives with kelfen.

I have also updated my blogroll. It’s now a list of my favourite blogs from across the broad spectrum of music, photography, animal rights, WoW, politics, skepticism, science and plain awesomeness.