How To Destroy Livers And Survive.

You know those moments when you realize something has gone horribly wrong?

That thrilling "heart attack NOW and minus 2 years of my expected life span"- thing which feels like being kicked in the stomach? Don´t we all just love that feeling. I started my trip to Kemi with that particular seizure when I realized my wallet isn´t in my pocket where it was supposed to be after yesterday evening.

After throwing papers, clothes and whatever around our house, cursing very loudly, my spouse finally realized that it´s still in her bag as I asked her to store it due to my lack of pocket space.
Gotta admit I felt a bit stupid. Well, luckily I was to spend the next days in as stupid company!

And this is how it goes, ladies!

Captain´s log, Sunday 7.11.2010 13:30 EST.

With the audial evil of Nifelheim cranking from the car stereo, the road trip to hell was finally ready to start! Markus was driving, Ville (who blatantly stole the front seat!!!!!) was handing me cold beer and I was just feeling tired due to yesterday´s party at the Spinefarm´s new Label Manager, Mr. Teemu Suominen. Kudos for him and may he follow the footsteps in the neverending list of record label people Moonsorrow has driven crazy during the years.

So, the weather was nice and after 300 kilometers, the Koskenkorva was cracked open.

At some point the snow started to be more and more present, and suddenly we were in the middle of snowy wastelands. Did someone mention Fallout?

Then, the bad weather started....

....And we still had 400 kilometers left. Fucking ace! After several hours, Black Metal, politics and bad humour, we found ourselves from Kemi at 23:00. Check- in, unload and FOOOOOOOD!

Except that there was no food left and the restaurant was closed and we had to buy hotdogs from the front desk. The glamour of Rock´n´roll- lifestyle!

After unpacking a full studio monitor setup (two pairs of nearfield monitors and a subwoofer), a couple of laptops, ethernet hubs and all that geeky stuff, our mobile "studio reference concentration camp" was finished and we spent a couple of hours abusing Spotify, having some beers and going to bed...ahem, 4:30 AM.

Captain´s log, Monday 8.11.2010 9:30 EST.

5 hours of sleep? Really? We didn´t drink so much alcohol we´d get a hangover but the tiredness was quite crushing to be honest. However, after several mugs of coffee, omelette and fresh orange juice at the hotel breakfast we were ready to hit Ahti´s studio after 4 years of absence!

Yeah, well, nothing had really changed there. It felt like whatever year 2001 again. :D
We started with the basic sound and tweaked the drums for the first half of the day. Then I drank more Red Bull, destroyed the guitar sound and mixed the rest of the first song while Ville and Markus were smoking cigarettes and having a couple of beers. Then Ville tweaked his vocals, Markus was supervising we get angry enough sound and we finally laid down the first mix of the first song! Hurra!!!

After the studio, we went to the store and bought beer. Then the boys went to the sauna and I played World of Warcraft.
Then we did some test- mastering with the first mix in order to find out how it will behave on the final hand (yes, we are professionals ^^ ), decided to tweak it a bit more tomorrow and went finally getting some food. We found out quite fast that there is only one place that serves food after 22:30 in Monday evenings and it´s Jatan (Satan?) Burger...after walking 5 kilometers in a -10 degree snowstorm.

When we got back from our late "dinner" at 0:15 AM we had a couple of beers and watched old Finnish commercials from Youtube. Classy!

Captain´s log, Tuesday 9.11.2010 9:30 EST.

Another morning, another plate of omelette. And coffee! When we arrived to the studio, Ahti had decided he doesn´t still like the drum sound yet, and was tweaking it a bit more. During our "test- mastering" session yesterday we had also noticed some overall sound thingies that need to tweaked a bit and we had to take care of those too.
I did some overall balance tweaking with the drums after Ahti had done his stuff and we decided to make the sound a bit more violent. Ville´s vocal tracks were especially a bit problematic to fit to the final mix due to the extremity of certain frequencies.

Yeah, I save you from boring technical details. The sound is propably the most heavy and evil we´ve done, Ville sounds like he´s dying most of the time and the drums sound extremely good without using a single trigger anywhere. As usual. *grin*
After doing some reference testing and mastering in our hotel room in the evening, we felt the overall sound was superb and made a list of some small things we want to change before it´s final. Then tomorrow we´d just do those changes quickly and proceed to the next one.

After food we were watching shitloads of old Finnish comedy from Youtube and had a couple of beers. What a surprise for everyone? Yllätä itsesi- vedä läskit!!!!

Captain´s log, Wednesday 1o.11.2010 9:30 EST.

More snow! More omelette! More of the same song! More cheap beer and Red Bull!!!!
Is this a fucking Groundhog Day?

After two hours of intensive work (including notes like "Jörkkien tasaus", "Mummojen levitys" ja "Kuminauha on KVLT, älä koske siihen) we called the first one FINALLY ready and had now officially the first song 100% mixed. With all the basic sound now finally done, it was easy to hop on to the next one with the same settings.
It only took me about 4-5 hours to mix the second one into a shape it could be called somehow ready. While Ville and Markus were watching extremely absurd amateur videos from Youtube which were based on a Finnish soap opera "Salatut Elämät" and having some beers, I was desperately trying to figure out which of the 12 choir tracks is so badly out of tune. Life is fair, isn´t it! :D

We got the "first take of the second song" finished at 6 PM and went to the hotel to test it there. It sounded surprisingly good, but there is still at least 4-5 hours work left on that one. We´ll see. At 8 PM I packed my gear and headed to the airport in the snowstorm in order to catch a plane home while Ville and Markus were planning to go drinking, "this time for real".
I got home before midnight, slept 10 hours in a row, and realized I´m horribly late from work.

Captain´s log, Thursday 11.11.2010 9:30 EST.

So, due to my office- work- and family- related mundane life I was leaving Kemi a day earlier than the guys by plane, and they will start driving to Helsinki by Markus´s car on friday morning. Last day of the studio this week (we do 4 days this week) will mostly consist of putting the rest of the songs into the same "channel presets" than the others, a.k.a. the "shitty dog´s work no- one wants to do". :D I´m sure they can do it just fine with Ahti.

We will take the night- plane to Kemi with Ville and Mitja on sunday evening and if everything goes right, we´re supposed to get to the hotel just 30 minutes before the bar closes at 1:30 AM.
On monday, we start with omelette, snow, tiredness and Red Bull and continue living that cycle until friday when we should be finished.

More updates next week, peeps.