Time Traveller 2018 may have a fresh, smoother mix, and new artwork, but the story remains the same as before...
Time Traveller is based on a loose storyline concept I had a few years back. It would have been great to turn it into a full blown musical score and even an animated mini feature film, and someday it may happen. However, at the present timedate, Time Traveller exists as a great new standalone concept instrumental rock album.
I tried to make the least "widdliest/shredder/look how fast I can play" instrumental rock album that I could. If you are looking for a huge shred fest of metal sweep picking and speed picking, you are out of luck with me I am afraid! I am a huge lover of melodic phrases and themes, and not a huge fan of technical fast playing, all the time...even though I can still do it. Think Jeff Beck meets Satriani meets Brian May, mixed with my own musical phrasing and vibrato and sound that's me I guess.
This album started coming together around October 2015, and in March/April 2016 I decided to finally make some time to complete it. In all, I wrote around 27 tracks, and picked the best 10/12 that I thought would fit well as a concept album.
I love writing, and the cathartic process of writing and recording as a whole, and I do hope this album comes across as something fresh and inspiring for anyone. This is an album that is meant to be played loud!
Onto the storyline...
Synopsis : Based on the story of a young man walking the streets, he stumbles across a strange looking watch, triggering robots from the future to locate his whereabouts and subsequently imprison the young man in the future. Along the way he meets several key people, including the watchmaker himself, also in prison. Each track tells the story of his location, and fight for survival against mans greatest threat to the human race. The machines of the future. They free themselves, develop a new time travelling device and eventually make it back home.. so a happy ending of course. However when back home, no one believes his fantastic tale.
I have kept the storlyine, open and fluid, so there is room for development, but for now, that is what this album is based on.
- Here is a track by track breakdown of what I consider to be a loose storyline. Nothing is completely set in stone so if you relate to a track on a personal level, then great. I plan to add more descriptions, themes and even some narration for a video to coincide with the album..
1 - Time Traveller
The opening of the album has our hero already in prison, himself now a time traveller, and considered a threat by the machines.. at the albums start he is trying to communicate with others throughout the prisons radio and telecommunications systems, tightly controlled by the machines. As the song plays out, we hear the machines talking..
2 - The Machines
The Machines meet every night building faster more efficient robots. They celebrate with a strange ritualistic march, having been self realised through Artificial Intelligence.
The track has a strong marching beat with a robotic feel to reflect this.
3 - The Vortex
Taken a prisoner, he is interrogated by a machine, and his mind is subjected to a device called "The Vortex" which tries to de-scramble hidden information inside a humans brain.. A decoder.. The track itself has a funky stomp feel, with a building middle section in the main guitar solo part.
4 - Doors Of Light
Taken back from interrogation into a room filled with doors made of pure light. Here he meets the main machine itself, and the watchmaker, also held captive, but forced to make more watches.. Doors of light has a repetitive riff throughout, with lots of modulating chord sequences on the central guitar solo section.. as he is trying every door to escape, however the light is too bright for him to enter into one.
5 - Lost In Time
The darkest of all the tracks, I wanted to create an ominous forboding tune. Our hero is now back in his prison cell, alone in a strange world...
6 - Dust And Flames
The battle rages on into the night, as the machines take hostage many escapees from their prison, who have formed an army. This track is based on the battle that ensues.
7 - Ghosts
The people we have left behind.. the memories we have made. All these make our hero reflect on what he misses most about home.. in his timedate.
8 - March Of The Machines
As the machines march, our hero manages to locate the watchmaker and together they build a new time travelling device. However the machines destroy every last hope of humanity winning over the machines of the future in a raging battle. Our heroe's only hope of beating them and any chance of survival himself could be back home..
9 - Scream At The Sky
The calm after the storm, he has escaped the prison, but sees the desolation and destruction that the machines have done in Earth's future timedate. This song came quickly to me, and I wanted to have something emotive and powerful that could be used over almost anything news related also that talks about war and fighting.
10 - The Gods They Cried
Without the machines to activate his time travelling watch, our hero is unable to get it working.. with the watchmaker now dead, the prison escapees dead and the exisitng rebel armies destroyed, he is the only sole human being left.. enough to make even the gods above cry out..
11 - Going Home
Finding a rebel hideout, he finds broken parts of machines laying everywhere, over a few days, he managed to get one working, and is able to activate his time travelling watch.. He is finally going home.. but what can he tell his friends, family and loved ones of the possible future they face? How can he stop it?
12 - Journey's End
At the end of most of my instrumental albums, I like to put a slow ballad, this album is no exception. Once back in his timedate, no one is convinced of the fantastical stories he tells people. The song was written to reflect peace, and calm.. Our hero may return one day, or could he even find a distant relative of the watchmaker and turn things around?
2018 Re-release information...
Some recording info from the initial release in 2016...
Time Traveller was recorded purely using Steinbergs Cubase 8.5. Drums were provided by the fantastic EZDrummer2 plugin completely.
Bass guitar played by me, as well as some Midi Bass. Synths consisted of stacks of Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Halion Sonic, Triebwerk and Dark Planet.
All of the guitar sounds were recorded using IK Multimedias Amplitube 3/4. My main guitars used were Ouija, and my custom Ibanez "Swirl" guitar. On this album I got the chance to record a lot of my parts "live" using a midi foot controller to control the wah/compressors in Amplitube, which made a huge difference.All of the mixing, and mastering was done post mixing, and I used Izotopes Ozone 4 and 5 for mastering duties.
Fast Forward to 2018..
For the 2018 re-release, I overhauled everything, changed some bass parts around, lowered the bass considerably in the mix, and reduced the treble on the guitars by 70% in some cases. I wanted the re-release to be much much darker, and smoother soundwise, so the louder you turn it up, the heavier it gets. First and foremost, I am a guitarist, and so the mixes were bound to be guitar heavy. But I also love drums, and on this re-release I had to reign myself in considerably and let the whole arrangement, bass and synth parts, breathe more in the mix. This meant spending time working on the lead and rhythm guitars. I believe you'll never have a completely perfect mix, but I am much happier with the way it sounds now.
Thanks for taking the time to read through this, I hope you enjoy listening to Time Traveller!
First and foremost, my partner Karen for throwing bits of food in my cage whilst recording this album! you are a star! X
Also special thanks go to Patrick Grimwood, for help, support, late night mix testing and feedback.
My own personal feeling with this album, is that the whole recording process this time, has been much quicker. I am not searching around looking for that perfect compressor, or snare too much nowadays, and have built a nice core library of plugins and sounds. I feel this album is the best sounding one I have made so far.
A huge thank you fellow Time Travellers.. I hope you really like the album! Now turn it up loud and let's enjoy the album!
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