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“Critical Mass” Reaches The Masses

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So I’ve been hinting at this for a while – I released a full length album for the first time on August 1st, 2017. People release debut albums all the time, yes, but this is still a pretty major milestone on my end. In the interest of having more vaguely promotional material on the internet, Critical Mass is getting a blog post. Just to get it out of the way – your best bet for purchasing this is on Bandcamp, which has the lowest default price, but lets you pay what you want if you’re so inclined. You should be able to find it on a variety of other vendors, though.

A few bits of trivia you might not already know about this album, even if you’ve been good and purchased this album in order to support its creators:

  • Most of the actual composition/arrangement/recording work took place in early-mid 2016, and the decision to compile things into an album came about a year after that.
  • After doing pretty much nothing in the way of covers through the rest of my career, I started doing a chunk of those as I worked through the content for this album, and several of them lead to DAW/sonic advances that are present on Critical Mass‘s actual songs.
  • This album almost featured some more remasters and remakes from early 2015 or so, but I decided to leave them off in favor of newer tracks once I decided to seek out professional mixing/mastering services. Not to disparage myself too much, but I had good results with that route in the past (read: the Polyhedron EP), so I figured I’d give it a shot again.

With that in mind, some notes about the future:

  • I’m probably going to take another shot at finding bandmembers to expand Planepacked with sooner or later. Massachusetts is pretty damn good for metal, and I’m conveniently located to get people from all over New England by being close to its center of population.
  • Unless something changes, the next major creative project you see from me is probably going to be another book. I wrote 50,000+ words of one for NaNoWriMo 2016, and progress has continued on it since then, if admittedly kind of slowly. I’m hoping to pull off something of a sprint to fill out some of the chunks of that. I’ve already written a teaser for the content of the book, which you can read if you want an idea of the content.

Your normal review schedule will return on August 12th… unless I decide to write an Anatomy of Video Game Music post or something. You usually know what you’re going to get on Invisible Blog, but you can’t deny that there are exceptions.

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The Visual Arts

Recently, I got my hands on a graphics tablet, which makes it much more practical for me to do artwork. That’s kind of the point, but still.

Anyways, a brief history my experiences with art – despite the attempts of various elementary schools to introduce ‘arts and crafts’ to us when we were children, I never really did much in that regard. My parents did buy me quite a few sketchbooks, which I filled up with all sorts of weird things – I remember at one point being obsessed with geography and making maps of fictional regions with rivers named after levels in video games or something. More importantly, in 4th grade, my parents got me some private lessons. I vaguely remember being shocked at how by following the directions of the instructor, I was able to make an accurate reproduction of Mickey Mouse, and that must’ve cinched the deal for me. Those two years saw me trying a wide variety of mediums – colored pencils, acrylic paint, sculptures, pastels, and so forth. My parents, of course, were pleased and got some of the work framed. But then, our family moved, and the lessons stopped – I don’t think they were able to find a good private teacher in our new locale.

Then, in high school, I decided to take art as an extracurricular for two years, and I had a good teacher for that, too. Added to that were improved motor skills, and I produced some more artwork, of significantly better quality (by my appraisal, at least). It became less a thing of rote copying, actually; I gained a better grasp of the actual skills involved with my various mediums. In my last two years, though, I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule, which was kind of unfortunate, but by then, I’d further developed my musical abilities (still limited to performance), and realized I’d developed the ability to write well. Ironically, it was my art teacher who first suggested I was a good writer, and that’s lead to this blog, amongst other things.

I’ve expressed my love of the graphics tablet before, check my DeviantART if you’re into that sort of thing. I initially intended to use that primarily for fiction, but it’s a practical place to build up an art portfolio. I would say I’m still in self-training mode as an artist – working on developing my own voice, picking up the techniques required to express myself, etc. Expand the post to see a random smattering of images.

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