The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 1.6

Aug 7, 1998

"I am immune to the pleasures of this rotted world.
And to the pain, they must inflict upon me,
So I can learn to be like one of them.
No fucking way."
- Fireaxe "I Am the Destroyer of Dreams"

"A Dream of Death" has reached the hands of several anxious Fireaxe listeners. Initial reactions are very positive. I'll be putting parts of the official reviews on the Fireaxe website as soon as they are published. Fireaxe continues to gain support world-wide and has now reached four continents. A big hello to all you people receiving the Burning Blade for the first time.

How to order "A Dream of Death"

For those of you still dragging your feet about getting the new Fireaxe CD, here's how to get your own copy:

  • 1. Send me e-mail requesting the new CD and giving your address (if you prefer, you can send your address via snail mail)
  • 2. Mail $5 ($7 if overseas) and a note requesting the Fireaxe CD "A Dream of Death" to the following address. Include your return address.

Brian Voth
21426 Lake Forest Dr. Apt H
Lake Forest, CA, 92630 USA

If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, the CD is free of charge in exchange for the a review. In this case all I need is the e-mail request. Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your magazine with the review in it when it is ready. If you want to exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.

The CD comes with a booklet filled with awesome art, all the lyrics, a picture of yours truly in his studio, and some information about the CD which is given in this newsletter.

Updates to the Fireaxe Website

Some good sites have been added to the metal links page.

Check out the Swedish Metal Inquisition and their lesbian vampire orgy splash picture.

Get into Derek Daniel's "Stormbringer Webzine"

Also check out Brian Russ' BNR metal pages

And take a look at Thrash-head's metal reviews

The page for "A Dream of Death" has been updated and now includes a .gif of the CD cover as well as links to a couple sound samples and links to all the lyrics.

The set list for the Fireaxe virtual concert has been expanded and now contains realaudio versions of "I Am the Destroyer of Dreams" and "A Wrench in the Works" from the new CD as well as the old favorite "Godslayer" from the Unholy Rapture demo tape. Recently added is an MP3 of "A Wrench in the Works". The MP3 is a bit on the large side (5.1 MB) but the quality is very close to the CD. Download it at the Virtual Concert site.

The meaning of the songs - "Forgotten Son" and "The Ancient Track"

Some of you have wrote to me wanting to know what a particular song means. One good use of this newsletter would be to tell you all what the songs mean (at least to me) as well as give some other comments about how they were written and anything else interesting. This issue will look at two of more songs, "Forgotten Son" and "The Ancient Track".

Forgotten Son. This song was written about ten years ago. Originally it was two different songs. The acoustic part and the electric part were ideas for separate songs. I had the lyrics written out for parts of each. The acoustic song was a gentle song about suffering at the hands of another. The feel was one of lament and helplessness. The electric song was very brutal and full of retribution. The feel was one of power and revenge. I saw that merging the two took each song to a new level. Helplessness led to revenge and retribution and finally to victory. The two parts complimented each other wonderfully.

Then there was the matter of a chorus. I wanted to interrupt the sheer brutality of the heavy section with a milder chorus. I wanted there to be few moments of calm within the storm where the person the song is about reflects upon who he is and what he is doing. The change is kind of abrupt, and could flow better, but it works as intended. At the end of the chorus when the heavier part kicks in you can really feel the power.

As to what this song means, there have been several times in my life where some aggressive or oblivious person has pushed me aside or stepped on my will and I had no choice but to take it. We all want to fight back, but sometimes we can't. Sometimes we are too weak and sometimes we are compromised. At those times there is little we can do but wait for our time to get our revenge. You feel like a forgotten son, no parent is there to set things right.

However, revenge comes at a price. To fight against the victimizer one must learn the ways of combat. You must feel anger, and seek to hurt another. You must start a fight where there was none before and in so doing become evil in the eyes of others who see you as a troublemaker. The person the song is about is transformed into someone who can fight back. He is strong and he is feared and he wins out in the end. He pays a price though, his days of innocence are over.

The Ancient Track. This song is simple, beautiful, and elegant. Surprisingly it didn't take long to write. Once I'd come up with the chord progression the whole song was basically finished. All that was left was a few sweet sounding solos and some lyrics. The singing was key to the song. It had to make the first part sound upbeat and hopeful and the second part filled with sadness and lamentation.

The poem reminded me of New Age religion and discovering past lives. It seems like Lovecraft is telling a story about a man who finds out about a certain place from a past life regression. He then sets out to find that place so he can see it again. On the way there he sees all the familiar things he remembered and anticipates the wonders that lie ahead. As he crests the hill though his joy turns to terror. The world he thought he knew is actually unfamiliar and frightening. His loved past has now become an uncertain future and he is thrust into the great unknown.

I traded demo tapes of a Lovecraftian nature with Robert Ommundsen. He also had a version of "The Ancient Track" on his tape. It was so different from the Fireaxe version yet it also captured the theme of the poem well. His version was not melodic and musical, but sparse and haunting. He used very little instrumentation but was able to create an atmosphere of dread. The lyrics were read rather than sung which gave a feel of impending doom. It was interesting how two people could take two such different approaches to the same poem and make them work.

The Future

There have been several people who are interested in distributing copies of "Lovecraftian Nightmares". Thus it seems that re-recording the songs on that tape, adding a couple more Lovecraftian poems put set to music, and putting them to CD will be the next Fireaxe project. This will improve the quality of these songs tremendously as well as give me a chance to add some things to the songs that I couldn't before due to equipment limitations. But before I get into that project, there's a poem that one Fireaxe listener has submitted that I have promised to set to music. That is first up on the agenda for new recordings since he has been waiting patiently for several months. The song will likely be on the Lovecraftian Nightmares CD.

In the last few months, some possibilities for a project combining Lovecraftian works with original Fireaxe songs in a similar vein have materialized. A theme I had in mind is "Food for the Gods" meaning that WE are the food for the gods. Lovecraftian poetry fits this theme well and Fireaxe is open to the idea of collaborating with people wanting to write lyrics for some of the songs. Also fitting in with this theme are the topics of religious warfare, fundamentalism and ideological conflict. The slant here is that your enemies are food for your gods.

My goal is to deliver music to whoever wants to hear it in whatever way is necessary. Whatever the market demands, I will supply, but I do want to avoid the mass marketing channel. Exposure is fine, but in the modern business, the substance of the music must be altered to match the demands of the marketplace. This would totally defeat the purpose of why I write music in the first place. I write music because it is a way to express my emotions. What I both think and feel goes into the songs. That is the power, Fireaxe is the channel, and any diversion diminishes the emotive effect. This is how art should be.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

Currently Fireaxe is not for profit. I sell the CDs for $5 each which covers the production and mailing costs. For CDs sent out of the country, I'll have to charge $7 per disk to cover the additional mailing cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a CD for free. Since I am not making any money with the current recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as long as you obey the following guidelines:

  • 1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or less, plus any delivery cost. You are not allowed to make any profit with the music.
  • 2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so I can keep track. Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
  • 3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious link back to my website. This includes putting Fireaxe song samples on your site as well.
  • 4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided you are an unsigned band without a marketting tie-in. You are not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
  • 5. You are required to crank the song "I Am the Destroyer of Dreams" as loud as you can at least once in your life. Singing along is optional but highly recommended.
  • 6. You are free to play "The Rack" in school or church or any other institution bent on crushing your will and turning you into a mindless zombie slave of the corporate dominated world. Try not to develop a bad attitude about it.
  • 7. Fireaxe will not be held responsible for the destruction of hopes and dreams that may come while listening to this CD. Also, any subsequent social revolution which follows from this CD is simply not my fault. It's all part of the big picture. Just listen to the disk and you'll understand what I mean.
  • 8. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe song. I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute. On a serious note, if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me if you have no one else to talk to. When I was in my teens the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me. Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You" would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal. I'm just trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that effect on you, please get in touch. You aren't alone.

The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of credit for having written it. I'm open to any methods of distributing my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording label distribution. However, you will need my direct permission to do so or some kind of legal agreement.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

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