Friday, November 26, 2010

Destiny's End - Transition (Joe Floyd's Mix)

I’m now going to share a very controversial recording with you: Joe Floyd’s original mix of the second  Destiny’s End album, Transition (March 2000).

Transition cover painting by Brom

Transition CD tray card with art by Brom

Some of my close friends know that the Metal Blade CD release of Transition is actually not the first mix of that recording. Nor is it my preferred mix! Unfortunately Metal Blade decided to send the multi-track tapes over to Germany for a remix after our engineer and co-producer Joe Floyd (Warrior guitarist) completed a killer initial mix at the end of March 2000. Achim Köhler was the remix engineer. Now, I don't know Köhler personally. Metal Blade farmed him the work, and I suppose he had to make a living like anyone else. But all the money in the world isn't going to change the fact that his mix is one-dimensional and lacks the texture of Joe Floyd's. Certain key elements were either buried, chopped or missing altogether. While Dan publicly seemed to like Köhler's work, I recall a different sentiment when I met up with Dan and Mike Grant to get my few copies of the Metal Blade CD in May 2001. Dan was more or less resigned to "that's the way the cookie crumbles" and accepting how it turned out.

I was really stoked with Joe Floyd’s work, and loved the recording experience with him. Joe had engineered and mixed a couple of tribute album tracks for DE—King Diamond’s “Dressed in White” and Dio’s “Last in Line”—in 1999. Joe was always a pleasure to be around, and he managed to help DE finish the album quickly and solidly. Internally DE may have been splintering, but Joe helped keep us on target in the studio. There were very few problems with the actual recording process. It went far smoother than Breathe Deep the Dark. A few times Joe suggested I play some less “graveyard” chords—like in “Vanished”—to keep things more accessible and less dissonant.


Lunch time at Silver Cloud! Me and assistant engineer Rick Carrete, Joe Floyd in the background - March 2000

Joe also offered us some viable gear variables—lotsa guitars and amps on hand at Silver Cloud—which resulted in some different colors and textures that kept Transition from being monotonous. I played a lot of clean guitar parts on Joe’s 12-string Rickenbacker electric (listen to “The Suffering”) and also some 12-string acoustic on my Fernandes Palisades or Joe’s thin-line Yamaha.  Nardo’s bass went through a voluptuously vintage Vox amp. Fat!! (I absolutely love how loud his bass is on Transiton!) Try as it might, the remix couldn’t kill the vintage analog effects I’d committed straight to 2-inch tape. Listen to that lush ’70s ADA Flanger on my solo in “The Suffering” or the rich Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble on my clean guitar in the verses of “Vanished.” 
Why, then, would Metal Blade decide to mess with Joe’s nearly perfect handiwork? I don’t know. I wasn’t there for the German remix. Hell, I’d left the band a week after overseeing Joe’s last days of mixing in Burbank, CA. None of the other DE guys were there for the remix either from what I’m told. That, dear readers, is a travesty in my opinion. If you only knew how DE operated, you’d be aware just how much time and effort Dan DeLucie (the other half of DE’s dual axe team) and I put into the mix of Breathe Deep the Dark. Sure, Bill Metoyer was there to twiddle faders and knobs and Brian Slagel gave Bill instructions, but Dan and I really gave a shit about the process. Our recordings were a reflection of ourselves, and we didn’t want to be half-assed about anything. Similarly, with Transition, Dan and I were in the studio as much as possible during mixing. Dan actually missed the last day, and I was the one who went home with the final mix CD-R and burned it for the rest of the band. I had a nice celebratory dinner with Joe Floyd and a few of his studio friends before heading back to the west end of the Valley. The celebration was a double-edged blade, as the DE splintering was well underway at that point…
I officially left DE around April Fool’s Day 2000. I wasn’t sure if the songs I’d penned or co-written or my guitar tracks would remain on Transition, but I knew I had to get out while the getting was good. I didn’t want to go down with the sinking ship. In the end, the tunes and tracks I’d poured my blood, sweat ‘n’ tears into remained on the album. The band went through the motions for a year, but finally got dropped by Metal Blade and faded out.
In hindsight, the fact that James lived in Houston–while the four DE instrumentalists called L.A. home–kept us together longer than we would have if we’d all been in the same locale. Early on I was kinda disappointed that our singer resided over a thousand miles away, but after a while it worked about for the best. James spent most of his time in Houston and sang Dio and Sabbath covers with some hired guns, meanwhile we had our friend Mike Grant come down to rehearsals and sing for us so that we weren’t just practicing instrumentally. (It got to the point where I felt like Mike was part of our band!) There was terrible tension at the close of our otherwise successful May-June 1999 U.S. tour with Iced Earth and Nevermore. Coming off the road was a hazy nightmare. Dan DeLucie didn’t witness the bad juju. He chose to spend a few days in NY with his family and fly back to L.A. The rented tour van carrying Brian, Nardo, James and I lumbered through Houston for a couple of days, where James got busted in a drug-related arrest. An attempt was made to steal the tour van containing all our equipment. It resulted in a shattered window. The window was the least of our trouble, but it sure was symbolic. We were worried that we wouldn’t make it out to Europe for Wacken and the post-festival tour in August ’99. We feared our singer might be serving a jail sentence. Though Nardo had his share of drug trouble in the early days of DE, I think losing his license and car taught him a bit of a lesson. Nardo’s pot bust at Jaxx in Virginia on the tour was a almost a walk in the park by comparison to James’ whole Houston mess.


Ford Triton V-12 tour van in front of my parents' old pad, post-tour, June '99

When I explained the Houston horror to Dan in SoCal, he said, “I wish you hadn’t told me that.” But somehow Europe went ahead. Post-Euro tour, the four L.A. DE dudes hunkered down to work on album no. 2. We didn’t have to see James. Out of sight, out of mind. We already had a few tunes in the can, “Transition” (written by Dan), “The Legend” (a Dan/Perry/Nardo co-write, with lyrics by James) and my “First You Dream, Then You Die.”
Supporting Mercyful Fate in Houston, TX
Time for the gory details of the straw that broke the camel’s back in 2000… As soon as singer James came up to L.A. from Houston to lay down his vocals for Transition there was friction in the air. Instead of worrying about his vocal performance, James kept badgering me, Dan, Nardo and Brian about some one-off gigs in Texas in April. We knew we were meant to play the Bang Your Head festival in Germany in June, but we didn’t have any other gigs on the horizon. I’m going to digress for a moment, because we’d been down that road before.  James had supposedly organized three Texas dates with labelmates Mercyful Fate in August 1998. Two dates were set for San Antonio at the White Rabbit and one for the Abyss in Houston. We were meant to play the first San Antonio gig on a smaller stage inside the club, then return to the White Rabbit and go on just prior to Mercyful Fate on the big stage the second night. But James obviously hadn’t taken care of business properly (no contracts were ever exchanged), and when the promoter told him he’d see DE back in the small room the next day a massive argument—nearly a punch-up—erupted between the club chap and James. I literally felt what it was like to be two-inches tall, because one of my metal heroes, Solitude Aeturnus guitarist John Perez, was looking on during James’ standoff with the promoter. Dan, Brian Craig and I were the voices of reason and managed to drag James out of the club. We headed straight to Houston. Luckily James managed to call a friend and a spur of the moment gig materialized at Area 51. Brian, our level-headed drummer, took the reins and smoothed things over with MF’s tour manager to make sure Houston was still all right. It was okay, but we were only allotted a 20 minute set. We were just happy to play, regardless of the short set, but we didn’t want a repeat of the lame drama we’d experienced in San Antonio.
At Area 51, Houston: Sadus & the Warlock!
Fast forward to March 2000, and James was gung-ho to put us in the same compromising position as he had in San Antonio in ’98. Dan was the first to nix James’ scheme. No, he wasn’t going to go down to Texas just to do a couple of haphazardly thrown together gigs. Dan had just taken a couple of weeks off his job to record Transition, and he couldn’t afford to take more time off. Certainly Dan’s fiancée Bessie was thinking about kids, a family, and that job was Dan’s livelihood, not a band that was draining his dough. I was fairly against the gigs already, but as soon as Dan spoke up, I rallied with him. James’ response was to say that if Dan wouldn’t play the Texas gigs, he’d just have to get his “buddy Cowboy” from San Diego to do them instead. Now, none of us in L.A. knew or had ever jammed with any guy nicknamed “Cowboy,” but we instrumentalists took affront at the lack of loyalty James was showing to Dan. The technical and complicated DE tunes were not something that a scab fill-in guitarist could figure out in a few days, especially without any full band rehearsals.  The verbal scuffle was going down in the studio office/lounge while James should’ve been singing.

The matter was left unresolved for over a week. But by the time mixing was underway, James was pestering all of us again about the gigs. Dan had put his foot down, “No way! I’m not going.” We’d made many previous trips to Texas, the four of us L.A. dudes shelling out money for flights, U-Haul trailers, gas, etc.  Dan wasn’t the only one who had to be back at work early. My boss informed me that if I didn’t return ASAP he’d be letting me go. I was pretty sick and tired of not getting ahead in L.A., considering the horrendously high cost of living. Being jobless intermittently may have allowed me plenty of time to work on music in my late teens and early 20s, but I wasn’t about to be a loser living at my parents’ house at the age of 30. That’s really metal, isn’t it?! It may have been okay when I was 22, but I had just turned 25, and the prospect was pretty grim. I’ve heard there are plenty of metal personalities who are “cellar dwellers” in their folks’ pads, but that’s a pretty sad quagmire. I didn’t want to sink. It was definitely, “Swim ahead!” So, I went back to my “day job” at Sampson Advertising West while we were mixing. James was calling me like crazy at work during the day trying to get me to go (against Dan’s wishes), but I refused to let my axe-wielding bro down. The long distance argument continued that night with James when I got home.

I confronted James about the coke use, that I felt it was really affecting him, to which he replied, "You know Perry, I only do blow when I'm too fucked up at the bar to drive home. You do things that annoy me too, like leaving hairs behind in the shower on tour. Gawd told me he has great things in store for this band."

It got to the point where I felt his tactics were those of a desperate drug addict. James harped that he had to do the gigs, regardless of whether Dan was present or not. He could betray an important band member, apparently, at the drop of a hat just to be worshipped like a god and handed free blow. He had no loyalty to Dan, a guy who had invested so much time, money and effort in making DE a fiercely functional band. Enough was enough already.

James quipped “I paid my dues with Helstar,” and I replied, “But James, I wasn’t in Helstar. Destiny’s End isn’t Helstar. If this keeps up , maybe one of us shouldn’t be in Destiny’s End anymore.” I could look past Dan’s and Brian’s Euro power metal leanings (a la Helloween and Gamma Ray—not my cup o’ tea), but the other conflicts were too huge to be ignored.



Area 51, Houston, TX - Aug. '99
The next day I quit. I had a long talk with Brian and Nardo in the parking lot of our rehearsal studio in Vernon and another with Dan on the phone. Brian and Nardo told me they’d follow James wherever he led them. I wasn’t about to follow anyone blindly, especially irrational decisions made under the influence of hardcore drugs. Outsiders don't realize the music biz is often about all about who you know, who you blow, and especially who you do blow with. Many think blow goes with the territory. Hang out in the toilet with other guys shoving shit up your nose. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. If you ask me, coke is a sure-fire way to ruin a band, a family, a friendship, any kind of relationship... I've personally seen it cause psychotic behavior and wreck lives. Lie, cheat, steal, even from those you love, just to get more and feed the euphoric delusions of grandeur. Obviously Dan disagreed with Brian and Nardo about “following James” to the ends of the earth, but he thought I was overreacting. That was kinda easy for Dan to say, as he hadn’t witnessed the Houston drug debacle.


Taking aim with the '99 B.C. Rich Eagle inside the control room at Silver Cloud, March 2000


With Bill Metoyer's Camaro outside Silver Cloud, Burbank, CA - March 2000
Our old pal Bill Metoyer, engineer of Breathe Deep the Dark, got the email announcing my imminent departure and thought it was an April Fool’s joke. Nope! Months later I saw Bill at a metal gig.

"You're a dick," Bill told me."

"I love you too, man," I answered.

We've since exchanged friendlier pleasantries, but I rarely hear from Bill. To this day I don't think Bill will forgive me for bailing DE. I dig Bill as a person. He's generally an easy-going bloke with a good sense of humor. To top it off he holds a special place in metal history. But in terms of my overall recording experience, I enjoyed working with engineers like Joe Floyd, Chris Kozlowski, Andreas Libera and Michael Hahn more than Mr. Metoyer.

From Dan there were repeated pleas of, “Come back to DE and metal magic,” but I was through. I wasn't receiving any support from a single Metal Blade "officer" or my bandmembers about James' antics. No amount of carrot-dangling was going to make me reconsider. My departure from the band was clean. I was more disappointed that I didn’t see two of my fave ’80s metal acts, Manilla Road and Watchtower, than not playing with DE at the Bang Your Head festival in June 2000.
There you have the whole sordid mess, people. There were serious issues that kept reoccurring in DE. You can definitely see it in rock and metal bands of far greater stature. Sometimes the culprits go to rehab and still don’t resolve their problems. The old rock cliché. Drugs and ego. That said, there were some benefits of having James in DE. He is the kind of high-ranged singer that fits the sort of metal we played. Undoubtedly DE would not have had as many opportunities with a different singer. Some DE fans level harsh words and unfounded rumors in my direction without knowing the facts. DE was conceived as a team, not four sidemen backing a singer. Look, I’m a fallible human being too! I’ll be the first to admit it. I was pretty young when I was in DE, and I didn’t always have as much worldly experience as the other guys (most of whom were 10 years or more my senior). Regardless, I’d already seen enough of the effects of hardcore drug-induced nonsense to last a lifetime. Some think it’s funny. Yup, it’s a real laugh riot, the concept of choking on your own puke a la Jimi Hendrix or Bon Scott, isn’t it? What a way to go out, joining the fabled 27 Club!? Become an icon, all while drowning in your own vomit! Two guitarist friends of mine died of drug complications between the ages of 19 and 21. Always a sad reminder of wasted lives…
Me? I’ve always been determined to continue playing music and experiencing different parts of the world. I made a decision and stood by it. I didn’t grow up in a convent, and I love kickin’ back with my mates over some tall, frosty beers. But I don’t get euphoric and think my shit doesn’t stink or that I’m the ruler of the universe, ya know? There are a lot of musicians out there who shred me to pieces. I realized that eons ago and am very humbled! (Maybe I had a chip on my shoulder in my high school days but that wore off fast!) Here I am, over a decade after bailing DE, still playing music. I’m more than content to do my own thing, on my own terms. It doesn’t pay my bills, but music (metal!) flows in my veins. I play guitar and sing in Falcon. I like to joke that I’m my own worst enemy. If I shoot my mouth off, I have only myself to blame. :P
Insults to Transition injuries? Though I played all over the album my credit appears in tiny fine print on the rear panel of the booklet. That was, without a doubt, the price I paid for leaving when I did. Oh well! So be it! Bill Metoyer is erroneously listed as mixing engineer on on the tray card, though Bill only assisted a little with the triggering of the snare drum. The real assistant engineer on Transition was Rick Carrete, a smokin' guitarist, who did some amazing work on cutting Nardo's bass tracks. Rick briefly played in Bruce Dickinson's solo band when Adrian Smith had other commitments. I took part in the Transition photo shoot at Silver Cloud, but there was a second shoot without me. No offense to Eric Halpern, who is pictured in the CD booklet. He helped DE through a few gigs, including the aforementioned November to Dismember, but he didn’t play a note on Transition. I saw DE once live with Eric, and he did a decent job as a fill-in. Both Dan DeLucie and I have corrected many metal journalists and webmasters on the Transition credits. People still get it wrong to this day. Dan further explained to me nearly a year after I’d quit DE that Metal Blade had lagged on paying Joe Floyd both for his engineering services and the studio time for the sessions at Silver Cloud. I was extremely bummed for Joe, who was a breath of fresh air amid the lameness of the cutthroat music biz.
Thankfully, Mr. Floyd eventually got the funds he was due, even if the fans got what I believe is a very lackluster remix. Part of me was like “I don’t care!” I wasn’t going to move backwards and worry about all those negative vibes. I had my post-DE metal band Artisan to worry about. I’d decided to leave DE, and my decision was final, despite the fact that James was asking me at the November to Dismember festival in San Bernardino, CA, in 2000 whether I might write some songs for the band or rejoin. The answer was a resolute “no way, José!” Another part of me definitely wanted folks to hear what I felt was the one and only true version of Transition. I was always quick to hook friends up with CD-Rs of Joe Floyd’s mix. Now the time has come to share it with the metal community at large! Compare it  with the "actual" CD and see what you think!


Transition shot by Alex Solca
 
Right click and "save as" on the links below to download the MP3s!
'99 B.C. Rich Eagle Archtop
Dan’s science fiction tune about humans being overthrown by self-aware computers and machines with an intro from Colossus – The Forbin Project. We started playing this live nearly every date on tour in ’99. Brian’s ever-present double-kicks set the frantic pace for the rest of the album.
Dan’s galloping tune with lyric input from James. Sorry guys, but “scopic” still isn’t a word! :P Some of my fave DeLucie riffage is in this tune, including the early Fates Warning-like pre-chorus and the Savatage-like bridge. As with much of the album, I used my 1999 B.C. Rich Eagle Archtop custom. 
Another DeLucie-penned tune with a very neo-classical intro. Lyrically it’s pretty grand in its cosmic scale. Dan was getting way into his SF, and I was going more human in the lyric department it seems.
1967 Rickenbacker 330 12-string
This started as a couple of acoustic parts bassist Nardo brought to the table—which wound up in the bridge. For the first couple of weeks of our U.S. tour we had Nardo’s battered Jasmine acoustic with us, and that gave us something to work on when we had time off. Dan and I added the bulk of the heavy riffs and refined the the mellow bridge. Brian, as usual, helped arrange cohesively. In keeping with Nardo’s Middle Eastern vibe—he’s from Iran—I slapped a wahed-out melody similar to the one I wrote for “Idle City/The Fortress Unvanquishable” in the intro. Notice how different the middle section was originally! The remix has James voice pitch-shifted down to an unnaturally low tone. Sorry, but that’s not what we intended. Dan, Joe Floyd and I spent a lot of time on a vintage Mini-Moog to get a cool nuclear explosion sound for the heavy bridge, but it was excised from the remix for no apparent reason. Also listen for my final chord, struck on the 12-string acoustic. This one is a cautionary tale about the endless vicious cycle of war and absolute political power corrupting absolutely. The lyrics were a collaboration between me, Dan, James, with a few ideas from Nardo (“Throw in Babylon!”).
A pumping power metaller about the Big Bang theory by Mr. DeLucie.
Dan wrote the music to this one for Crescent Shield, then a side-project he was forging with vocalist pal Mike Grant. Crescent Shield is now Dan’s main thing. Anyhow, James heard the demo and loved it so much that it received the full DE treatment instead. It became our big power ballad, complete with Dan’s beautiful acoustic work and my Maiden-like arpeggios during the chorus. Dan joked that it’s the only DE song about “bitches.”
I wrote the lyrics and music to this tune as a tribute to one of my fave authors, Cornell Woolrich, and his bio-bibliographer Francis M. Nevins. The title itself is one Woolrich coined but never got around to using. Nevins dubbed the Woolrich biography First You Dream… two decades after the author’s death. It’s an existential set of lyrics encapsulating many of the bleak beliefs and themes found in all of Woolrich’s gritty and grim crime tales. Part of the tune is in an odd key, and I chucked in some jazzy octave chords and melodies for good measure. Dixieland it ain’t, but I wanted to do something different. The remix removed some tasty texture from the album: the guitar in the intro was fed into a modified 1970s Marshall head as a contrast to our Mesa/Boogie Mark IVs. My second fave guitar solo is on this track. 



Master Volume mod 1971 Marshall 100 watt Super Lead


 8. The Legend

A DE team effort between me, Dan and Nardo for the music. I wrote nearly half of "The Legend," including the chorus and the dual guitar harmony. We were all very big fans of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, so the intro and verses were a tip of the hat to metal masters Kim Petersen, Hank Sherman and Michael Denner. James threw some lyrics over it which I’ll leave you to discuss amongst yourselves. Dan whipped out an Adrian Smith-like lead with a lot of feeling in this one.
My tune about the perils of drug addiction. Originally I called this tune "Solar Winds," with lyrics adapted from a poem I wrote in 1993 called "Rush of the Solar Winds." Because we already had too much clean-tone guitar, I canned the spooky clean intro. Lyrically, Dan and Brian objected to my omnipresent theme of individuality. I whapped out a new set of lyrics and under a new title "Requiem," loosely based on my old guitarist friend Jesse Wenick's peripherally drug-related death. The line "you had a choice of paths to walk, a choice of graves to dig" gave way to the less generic title. James changed some of my lyrics around (he tried to coerce me into "Drowning in Shame") and added a few lines of his own. It was a lot like having Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling singing my anti-smack lyrics on the Falcon tune “On the Slab.” I recall using my 1976 B.C. Rich Eagle for one of my two rhythm tracks on this one. Had some trouble with the bone nut, so only got to use it on a coupla tunes.

Gibson Vanguard GA-77RV
An epic and very personal track I brought to DE. Another power ballad you say?! How could it be? Two on one album?! I originally wrote it on a guitar tuned to C#. I had the axe tuned low for doom metal jamming with my old metal bro Aric Villareal. I’d been listening to a lot of Solitude Aeturnus and had fallen in love with the post-psychedelic L.A. band Red Temple Spirits on the road in May ’99 (many thanks to friend Natalie Vlahovic). On one hand I was thinking demented gothic, and on another there was a very commercial AORish tinge like Journey or Boston. The third alien hand was progressive, thanks to all the wacky arpeggios and chord inversions. The sort of stuff Alex Lifeson did/does in Rush. I used Joe Floyd’s 1960s Electro surf guitar (a lot like a Rickenbacker) through an ancient Gibson Vanguard combo with spring reverb for the clean parts. The title and lyrics are pretty ironic, considering I bailed DE after it was recorded. In a nutshell, this one is about kids having to live up to the expectations of their parents and other authority figures. I borrowed some horror imagery from H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Outsider” too. My favorite solo of the album is on this song. I played slow and with a lot of emotion. Dan’s closing harmonized solo is melodic Neal Schon-like gold. I even told James to think Steve Perry all the way on the outro! Nardo’s tasty bass fills stand out in a big way. The demo version of “Vanished” bears my “graveyard” chords, instead of the more melodic offerings on the finished product. The demo will be coming to a blog near you soon!

Michael Whelan's rendering of "The Outsider" in the window.

 
Aric "The Prophet" Villareal and me - May 14, 1999


Transition photo courtesy of Alex Solca


The Transition Cutting Room Floor
Two songs never made it past the embryonic stages during the Transition sessions. One was Dan’s “Separate Strains,” based on the Walter M. Miller Jr. science fiction story “The Ties That Bind.” The lyrics were a Dan/Perry co-write. There’s a full demo of “Separate Strains,” which I’ll post in the near future. The other, my tune “Rise and Defy,” was demoed instrumentally. Drums and a scratch guitar track were started but abandoned at Silver Cloud. In a rush, Dan sent the original cassette to James in Houston without making a backup copy. It was lost.
Transition photo by Alex Solca
Transition disc

Transition was released in the U.S. on March 6, 2001. I met up with Dan DeLucie and Mike Grant for dinner at the Northridge Mall to get my few contributor copies of the American and German versions of the CD. Seeing as my thanks list wasn't included in the booklet, I posted it on my personal site and am now publishing it here. I don't want anyone who helped, especially during the tours or the recording, to feel left out.

Perry's thanks: My parents, my bro, Richard (good luck in Chi!); my grandparents, Harry & Evelyn Blaufarb (RIP); Sandy (RIP); Mike Bear,  Ana "12-string acoustic Death" Greco and Matt (McMetal) Conley; Ed & Teresa Laing; Rob Preston; Mark Greenbaum; Ike Henry; Aric "Relentless" Villareal; Donald Sidney-Fryer; Scott Briggs; S. T. Joshi; Al Gullette; Ben Indick (RIP); MDG3; Elan & Emily Hekier; Bill and the crew at Sampson; Bessie Mantas (DeLucie); Oli Grosshans, Matze Straub, Gerrit Mutz, Jens Sonnenberg and the Sacred Steel crew (for saving the day @ Wacken '99); Verena Jerabeck; Rich & Lucy Walker (Solstice & The Miskatonic Foundation rule!), Chuck (RIP), Steve, Shannon, Scott & Death/Control Denied; Tony, Frank, Frankie & Bang; John Perez & Solitude; Juan Garcia and Bernie Versailles (thanks for the tuner @ Wacken!) from Agent Steel, The Nevermormons; Eric Goerisch; Michael Wolf, Jimbo, Johnny Tolarski & Mesa/Boogie; Jeff Wagner; the Protodudes; Kurt Farrow; Jim Powell; Sandy Feeser; Derin & Susan "Metal Mom" Argon; Conan Hultgren; Greg Hultquist, Damian Smoklo; Denis Recendez; Mel "Bassbitch" Sisneros, Glenn Watson & family; Oren Yaniv; Mike Scalzi & Slough Feg; Michael Kohsiek (Sacred Metal); Rob Garven, Greg Lindstrom & Cirith Ungol; Brian Harris; Mark "The Shark" Shelton and Manilla Road (Up the Hammers To Stay!), Mike Nevins & Cornell Woolrich (noir!); Frank B. Long. A big special thanks to all the DE fans for their headbanging support. It is not the beginning, nor the end!

6 comments:

failsafeman said...

Wow, Joe Floyd's mix really is a hell of a lot better than the "official" one. The flat production compared to the debut was one of the first things I noticed when I listened to Transition for the first time, and this feels a lot more organic. Also there were a lot of small changes I heard, like on "The Watcher" Rivera's background screams during the chorus are deeper and sound better, rather than sounding like metalcore screams as on the album version. I always thought that detracted from an otherwise cool song, and I guess it turns out the band didn't even intend it to be that way.

From now on I'm definitely going to be listening to this mix instead of the album version. Thanks for uploading it, there might not be a lot of people who notice but the connoisseurs very much appreciate it.

P said...

No prob, Failsafeman! Joe Floyd's mix of _Transition_ needs to be heard by more DE fans. Would be cool if someday it was released officially, but I wouldn't hold my breath. There are so many vocal parts that were ruined by Köhler. He couldn't touch too much guitar stuff. Dan and I were very hands-on during mixing with Joe. We always knew how we wanted tunes to sound and what types of effects and vibes were needed to achieve that vibe. We were also pretty involved with Bill Metoyer and Brian Slagel during the mix of Breathe Deep. To the point where we probably should've been credited. Hindsight is always 20/20... "Production" is an often misunderstood word. Production refers to everything from the method of recording and choice of gear to choosing which takes to keep and knowing when to have a musician re-record parts with bum notes or poor timing. The production of Transition was definitely better than Breathe Deep. Transition is a very "big" analog recording. We all played better, used top-notch gear and got some cool contrasting tones that kept all the instruments separated. Joe Floyd being a musician was a big plus. Although I and a lot of other folks think some of the songs are probably more memorable on Breathe Deep, there's no denying that Transition benefitted from a very pro production. The songs were strong, but the production of parts of Breathe Deep struck me (and I was on the inside) as almost demo-like. Cheers again! P

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for all your words and input of the DE era. I always felt 'Transition' never got it's proper due, it is a killer cd from start to finish. Being use to the remix version I have enjoyed and took a liking to it, as it's the only versuin my ears have heard till now.

The original mix is much warmer and less compressed, I like the guitar tone on the orginal Floyd mix better.
Both mixes are different, but both contain great songs, guitars, vocals and drums.

Thanks for sharing these gems with us...I have now been listening to the orig Floyd mix since I downloaded it, a warmer more organic mix easier on the ears, and how it was meant to be heard. thanks again

P said...

Cheers for the comment, my anonymous visitor! There will be more rare DE material to come. Stay tuned!

P said...

To my recent Russian visitors from rock-video.net: You've got the credits for Transition wrong on your forum. Eric Halpern did not play a note on any Destiny's End release. Get it straight, people!

jack gibbins said...

F'n record biz, eh?!?! DE fan, but I love Falcon!!