2012 - 34613
- Mastering and mixing by Collin Davis at Imperial Mastering Studio in Pacheco, California.
- Production by Trond Nicolaisen, Andreas Stenseth and Tomorrow's Outlook.
Label: Battlegod Productions.
The album was released in digipack format. The album is already on sale on Battlegod Productions official website. You can purchase there, 13,99€ plus the shipping costs.
Andreas Stenseth (bass), Mike Haid (drums), Charlie Zeleny (drums), Sami Saarinen (guitars), Michael Harris (guitars), Øystein Kvile Hanssen (guitars), Mike Gorham (vocals), Norman "Ski" Kiersnowski (vocals), Scott Oliva (vocals), Graham Bonnet (vocals), Michael Kiske (vocals) and Trond Nicolaisen (manager and composer).
The cover art was made by the Finnish artist Kirsi-Maarit Salonen (Official site). Trond commented: "I did some very rough sketches for Kirsi Salonen and she did a great job making my ideas come alive".
Kirsi-Maarit Salonen said to me: The meaning of the cover is much more described by Trond than me, I nearly made the cover by his instructions. The speeding of the car on such cliffs and danger around it symbolizes the passion they have as a group, and how they trust the car they are driving and never look back. This is the way I remember him telling me, but I can be bit off too, as the cover was created in 2007. Have no idea what the polar bears were about though, haha!
Trond Nicolaisen explained the meaning: "The car in the picture... it's "The White Lightning" - my old car! It broke down sometimes in 2007. We got really sad, so we wrote a song about it, he-he! "White Lightning" was the first song that we ever recorded with our project. You can pretty much say that "W.L." brought Tomorrow's Outlook to life.
While riding my old car through the norwegian mountains, often under terrible weather conditions, we sometimes faced strange and dangerous situations. The demon creature on the cover, the cliff etc.. they all symbolize the dangers. I'm not exactly sure why we added the polar bears, but I think it was because we wanted something typical norwegian in there. Kirsi, a talented artist from Finland, she then drew the bears, he-he..
"34613", which was the reg. plate on "The White Lightning" - is the title of our debut! It's also the title for one of our instrumental tracks on the album. If you read the reg. plate in "leet" language (which is a nerd-language primarily used on the internet), "34613" stands for "Eagle". The "leet" language originated in the eighties, and it's an alternative alphabet for the English language. "Leet" uses various combinations of ASCII characters to replace the latinate letters: 3=E, 4=A, 6=G, 1=L, 3=E --- 3-4-6-1-3 --- E-A-G-L-E".
Logotype design and conception was done by Isis Sousa.
Booklet, CD Label, Digipack & Jewelcase Inlay Design & Artwork by Isis Sousa, Matti Kuusniemi, Kirsi Salonen, Andreas U. Hellebust and Per Stenseth.
Here are some images of the promotional shoot with Andreas Stenseth and Trond Nicolaisen.
Kiske about Tomorrow's Outlook
Michael Kiske about this collaboration: "The song I did, 'The Ethereal Dream' was a very nice and fresh tune. Since I am in a real band now (UNISONIC), I won't be doing many projects like this anymore in the future, but there has always been very good stuff among it, and that's one of the better ones.
Song by song
Here are the comments, history and explanations of Trond Nicolaisen, song by song.
It was the first song that we ever recorded for our project. The music was composed by Andreas and I did the lyrics. W.L was recorded in early 2007, and became the song that brought Tomorrow's Outlook to life. I had never been in contact with SKI (Norman Kiersnowski) before, but through e-mails I asked him to sing lead vocals on this track. I only knew of him through his incredible vocal performance on Deadly Blessing's "Ascend From The Cauldron". Fortunately this became the beginning of a great friendship and collaboration. The same applies to the story of the highly skilled guitar-player Sami Saarinen, who laid down the guitar track for "White Lightning". We found him through the Finnish leather-thunder-metal-steel parody band King'O'waR. The first version of the song had Elad Fish playing the drums. They were later re-recorded by Mike Haid. All the guitars were originally recorded by Sami, but the acoustic tracks were later re-recorded by Michael Harris.
Gate To Freedom
Gate To Freedom was the next song to be recorded. It was recorded during the summer of 2007. The music was composed by both Andreas and I. I also wrote the lyrics. GTF is the only song on the album featuring Scott Oliva on lead vocals. We also had never talked to Scott before we invited him to do some session work for our project, but we knew he was the right guy. We really loved his work on the DEBUT album of Wind Wraith "The Fortune Teller's Gaze". We didn't have a regular session drummer by then, so we asked Uli Kusch from Helloween fame if he could lay down some tracks with us. But the search for a more permanent solution finally led us to Atlanta, GA and the performing/recording artist Mike Haid. I didn't know much about Mike at the time, only that he was a great and versatile drummer, working as a music journalist for Modern Drummer Magazine and playing with guitar virtuosos like Michael Harris and David Chastain. Mike later put us in contact with his friend Michael Harris and that's how we got to know him and why he's also playing on our DEBUT. The first version of "Gate To Freedom" didn't have the vocal harmonies either in the verses or towards the end. They were recorded at a much later time by Mike Gorham. Mike was the third singer to be introduced to our project.
Kill Again was the last original song to be recorded in the year 2007. We were at the time thinking about releasing the three songs ("White Lightning", "Gate To Freedom" and "Kill Again") as a MCD/DEMO along with a cover track yet to be recorded. But as time went by we wrote and recorded more songs and we finally decided to do a full-length album instead. The lineup on "Kill Again" was nearly the same as on White Lightning, the only difference being that we had invited New York City music director, producer and session drummer Charlie Zeleny to play with us. I wasn't very familiar with the guy and I hadn't touched base with him before, but we really needed another session drummer. I already knew that he was on a recording with Ron Jarzombek (Watchtower) and Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse) so I figured out that if he was good enough for their projects, then he would definitely be good enough for Tomorrow's Outlook. These days Charlie actually performs with famous acts such as Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess and Deep Purple/Rainbow's lead singer Joe Lynn Turner. The music on "Kill Again" was composed by Andreas and I, and like previous tracks I took care of the lyrics myself. They were slightly changed right before the vocal session with SKI as he didn't like the lyrical content. So we just changed a few words in respect of his faith and beliefs. The synth part in the refrain was actually the original vocal melody made by Andreas, but it was later changed by me. I think it was his idea to still use it in the refrain as a subtle melody.
Red Rum was recorded late 2007/early 2008 for an upcoming "Baptized In Blood" tribute to Lizzy Borden. We were asked to contribute with a track by metal maniac Lon Patello, a longtime friend of SKI and also founder of the true/power metal label Metallic Archangel Records. We quickly accepted the offer from Lon, and to create a buzz around the release we got in contact with legendary hard rock singer Graham Bonnet (Rainbow/Alcatrazz/MSG). It was a pleasure to announce the guest appearance by one of our all-time favorite vocalists. "Baptized In Blood" has been in the works for many years, but it will hopefully see the light of day sometime soon. The tribute compilation will probably still be released through Lon's label Metallic Archangel Records. Other bands that are expected to appear on the CD include: Deadly Blessing, Faith Factor, Timelord, Solemnity, Cypher Seer, Silence, Emissary, Ligeia, Stronghold, October 31 and Hounds Of Hell. Watch out..beware!
Doubt is a tribute to computer game music composer Chris Hülsbeck. Chris has definitely been a great source of inspiration for us. He became famous with his soundtracks for milestone games such as The Great Giana Sisters and Turrican II. Doubt is a re-arranged version of "The Wall" theme from Turrican II. This track was re-recorded several times. The first version was called "Slaves Of Christmas" and it had Steve Demetrician playing the drums. The vocal parts were back then true to the original Hülsbeck-melodies and the lyrics were dealing with Christmas themes. But no matter how much Andreas and I loved Slaves Of Christmas, the song was soon taken to a whole new level with the song-writing talent of Mike Gorham, the latest addition to our project. Mike was another one of SKI's friends, so we have a lot to thank him for. The final version of Doubt was recorded early 2009 and it has Mike Haid on drums and Sami Saarinen on guitars.
The Ethereal Dream
The Ethereal Dream was recorded in 2008/2009. This was the second song featuring the talents of Mike Gorham on a collaboration with Andreas and I. A rough lyrical concept for the song was partly born already back in 2003 when I was working on a tune called "Dream Island". Mike enjoyed the theme a lot and he decided to take my ideas to the next level. He then put all his talent and effort into writing some of the best lyrics and vocal melodies I've ever heard in a song before. He had really outdone himself this time. We loved the final result so much that we decided to try and get one of our all-time favorite singers to do a reprise of the song, for the end of the album. It was beyond our deepest imagination that we could really get Michael Kiske (EX Helloween) to participate on the track, but like they say: "If you want to win the lottery you have to buy a ticket!". So that's what we did. And it didn't take long before Kiske got back to us through his manager, Sebastian Vollmer. And after a little back and forth he finally accepted our offer. What a pleasure it was to announce the guest appearance by another one of our all-time favorite vocalists. This was definitely one of the biggest moments in our life. MICHAEL KISKE EX HELLOWEEN-AVANTASIA-NOW UNISONIC WITH MASTER KAI HANSEN!
Liquid Scream was also recorded in 2008. Once again we asked our metal brother across the pond, SKI, if he could lay down some vocals for our project. This time around he also wrote the lyrics and all the vocal melodies. The music was composed by Andreas alone, but when he wrote this song he was heavily influenced by another of Chris Hülsbeck's tunes (which I had been humming to lately). The track was from Turrican II and it's called "Traps" (Level 2 Theme). I did some of my own experimenting on this track, where I mixed my vocal ideas with the original Hülsbeck-melodies, and they sounded killer together. I could almost hear Graham Bonnet belt out his typical vocals over this track. I love his singing style so much and I'm probably very influenced by how he arranges vocal melodies. The stuff he did with Alcatrazz is a good example ("Jet To Jet", "Hiroshima Mon Amour", "Island In The Sun", "Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live.." etc). Great stuff! Michael Harris did all the guitars for "Liquid Scream" but the rhythm guitars were later re-recorded by the highly skilled local guitar-player from Cyclophonia, Øystein Kvile Hanssen. The subtle synth part in the refrain was my idea and it was added right before the final mix.
March Of The Demons
March Of The Demons was composed by Andreas and Øystein. It is definitely one of the highlights of the album. Øystein wrote the lyrics and recorded most of the guitars on it. He also worked out a sketch with some concrete ideas for the vocal parts. We tried the song out with a few different singers, but the song always seemed to take a different direction, and we found ourselves missing the magic we first heard in the sketch. After a listening party, long after the final mix and master of the CD, we decided to abandon what we had thought would be the final version of MOTD. I had talked to our metal brother, SKI, who previously had rejected to work with us on this song because of the lyrical content. In order to help us move forward with the release, he agreed to do the vocals. SKI did a fantastic job, making the melodies stay true to the original ideas we had. The magic was definitely back and the song finally lived up to our expectations. Mike Haid recorded the drums for the song back in 2008 and I remember him telling me this was one of the most kick ass songs he had ever recorded.
As Darkness Falls
As Darkness Falls is the intro of 34613. The reason why this opener blends so well with the next track on the album, is that some parts of the intro were actually composed for Gate To Freedom. For some time this was just an instrumental piece of music, but just before the final mix we asked Mike Gorham if he could be creative and add some choruses to it. We were stunned when we found out that Mike had turned the rather short intro into a complete song with vocals and also interesting words. Mike Haid played the drums for this track while his friend Michael Harris recorded all the guitars. In the end we had to remove the last part of Michael's solo as it made some vocal parts disappear. "As Darkness Falls" was recorded late 2009/early 2010. The music was written by Andreas and I.
34613 is the only instrumental track on the album. It was composed by Andreas and recorded late 2009 with Harris on guitars and Haid on drums. Andreas didn't have a name for the track so he asked me to come up with something. I thought it would be cool to name the track after the reg. plate on The White Lightning. Especially since when I closed my eyes while listening to the composition, I could almost from somewhere above follow the car ride through the Norwegian mountains, facing all sort of dangers. And I'm not talking about dangers like in the humorous references on the front cover, but terrible weather conditions such as avalanches, freezing temperatures and also slippery and snowed-in roads. We were listening a lot to Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizards In Winter" at the time when Andreas wrote this piece, and even if you can't hear any similarities, that tune clearly inspired him to write an instrumental for the album.
A Song For You
A Song For You was another collaboration between Andreas, Mike Gorham and I. Andreas and I did the music together while Mike wrote the lyrics. Some parts of this song is actually based upon melodies I was playing around with for a different song. Andreas then made my ideas blend nicely together with some of his ideas, and voila! Mike then took the song to the next level with his incredible sense for vocal melodies and strong lyric writing. "A Song For You" was recorded late 2009/early 2010. The lineup on this track was exactly the same as on 34613 and "As Darkness Falls". But right before the final mix we also had Øystein record some additional guitars. He plays a very subtle guitar melody in the verses and he also does some rhythm guitar towards the end of the song.
Glass Mountain was the last song to be finished for the album. It was recorded in 2010, but it was actually composed three years earlier. "Glass Mountain" really shows the damn good song writing of Andreas and the pretty cool collaboration between him and I. I'm just so happy that I could work together with him on this tune. I only spent a couple of hours working out all the vocal parts to a midi file. The ideas just hit me like a rock. I realized from a very early stage that there were no others than Master Graham Bonnet who could do this song justice. Glass Mountain needed his strong voice and his peculiar singing style. It was so cool to work with Graham on this song. He was very down to earth and a great person. We have already been talking about doing some more collaboration in the future. Maybe we can get him on the remake of Hülsbeck's Traps (Level 2 Theme) from Turrican II. The guitars for Glass Mountain was recorded by Sami Saarinen and the drums by Charlie Zeleny. Like on the rest of the album, Andreas did all the bass.
Trond Nicolaisen commented about the sample with Kiske vocals: "It's only a test mix. It's gonna sound huge once we are done with the mix. Michael did a great job on this track!"
Trond Nicolaisen last update: Our debut, 34613, it's finally starting to take shape. These days we are working on the last two songs for the album. One of the songs will be featuring the legendary hard rock vocalist Graham Bonnet (RAINBOW, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, ALCATRAZZ, IMPELLITTERI). We just posted a rough demo version of this track (a clip with no vocals) on our official MySpace page.
Check the official Myspace of TOMORROW'S OUTLOOK to hear a few samples and the new mix of 'Gate To Freedom' and 'Doubt'.
The Ethereal Dream by Mike Gorham
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