Seven

I’d been toying with the idea of buying a seven string guitar for some time now. Most of the bands I listen to (TesseracT, Periphery, Skyharbor, etc.) all use seven string guitars, and it would be awesome to be able to play some of their songs. Plus I feel reasonably comfortable playing a six string guitar. Minus solos. So last week I walked into Guitar Center and bought a Jackson seven string guitar.

I’m super happy with my new guitar – it sounds incredible, is very comfortable to play, and it looks beautiful.

I’ve currently tuned the seven string to BEADEAD so I can play songs from Polaris by TesseracT. I found a guitar transcription for the entire album and am very slowly working through Messenger and Tourniquet. TesseracT songs are quite challenging to play on the guitar, but the feeling of playing songs by your favorite band is sublime.

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My old Gibson Les Paul on the left, and my new Jackson seven string on the right.

2016 Favorites: Album

My top 20 albums of 2016, in no particular order, are:

If I had to pick one album as “Karan’s Album of the Year” for 2016 I would say that would have to be Magma by Gojira.

When Gojira announced that they were releasing a new album in 2016 the Internet was abuzz with excitement. Me? Not so much; at that point in time I liked maybe 1-2 Gojira songs. However, given the excitement I sensed online I decided to give Gojira (just like I’d given Deafheaven) another chance.

I’m so glad I did.

Gojira’s music blew my mind. The guitar and bass riffs were groovy, dark, and crushing. Joe’s vocals were perfect for the tone of the music. Mario quickly became one of my favorite drummers. The musical atmosphere they created with each album was unparalleled.

In the months leading up to Magma‘s release I listened to Gojira almost every other day.

When Magma finally came out I listened to it on repeat for several days. I fell in love with this record. It was very different from Gojira’s previous releases — it was less heavy, featured clean(er) vocals, and was shorter and more straightforward (in terms of musical composition). But it was still a fantastic, beautiful record. It dealt with love and loss in a way only Gojira could. The picture it painted with its music was sublime. Each song is powerful and evocative on its own, and together they mesh together to create a aural masterpiece.

Island

“If you were stuck on an island and had to pick three songs to listen to for the rest of your life, what would you choose?”

Well. I’m glad you asked. Here’s what I would pick.

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen: This is (in my humble opinion) the greatest song ever made. Freddie Mercury’s mesmerizing vocals, Brian May’s incredible guitar work, the changing sections and tempos — all combine to form a masterpiece. This is also my favorite karaoke song.

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin: The guitar solo is gorgeous.

Master of Puppets by Metallica: This song defines heavy metal music for me. It was the first Metallica song I ever heard and I fell in love instantly. When I started playing guitar this was the first Metallica song I tried to learn. And no, that didn’t end too well for me unfortunately.

What would you pick?