BEHIND THE RIFFS: CUTTHROAT GAME

How did the songs of Across the Acheron came to be? Let's take a look behind the riffs.


CUTTHROAT GAME
Music & lyrics: Janne Hietala
Working title: 2IN1

Song of the year.

Jupe

This is a song that I stressed the most about before its release. That's because I sing some of the clean vocals (the low ones on the beginning of the 1st verse + pre-choruses) and I really don't like my clean voice. I think that "retarded altar boy" is a pretty accurate description of my head voice. I can pretty much reach the same high notes Mikko can, but Jesus Christ it sounds horrible when I do it. So when I sing example tracks of the vocal melodies before Mikko takes over those... Damn. Mikko doesn't have that beautiful guidelines to listen during the vocal recordings.

Anyways, at least I can form a slightly better noises from the lower end. And in this song it felt like a bit deeper voice than Mikko's was needed to those mentioned parts. So as we were kind of running out of options we ended up using those lines sang by me. After the song's release it was a relieve to notice that people actually thought that Mikko is singing the lower parts also. So either the quality drop (after all the studio magic) wasn't that notable or Mikko also sounds horrible.

I think this chorus is the best one that we have released. Good vocal melodies (and a good performance from Mikko, like can be expected). It's also surprisingly dangerous. Because it so happens that I "broke" my hand while recording rhythm guitar for it. I just have a pretty violent way of playing and the chorus is continuous downpicking on a constant phase... And I guess I was in a bad posture, the hand muscles weren't warm enough or something. According to doctor I got myself a tennis elbow and my hand didn't feel the same over a year after that.

Nowadays the hand feels pretty much normal, but sometimes when I cause extra stress on it I can still feel that there's something wrong with it. So yeah, nice. Well done. This would be so much better story if the injury would have happened with Cry Wolf or some other more brutal song. "Yeah, the riffing is so brutal that my hand almost fell off". But no, I managed to more or less severely injure myself with some "let's hold hands and sing together" -chorus. Not getting any street credit for that.

Cutthroat Game represents the softest side of Rifftera, but at least it still contains many killer riffs - in my not at all biased opinion. The riffs may not be that brutal, but they are fun to play from the bouncy intro to the interlude's Iron Maiden -double guitar harmonies. The fast part on the interlude feels like it should be played backs against each other on a top of a mountain while the whole thing is filmed from a helicopter. Unfortunately there was no room in our budget for that kind of music video.

Naturally guitar solo takes the main spotlight in the outro, but I recommend also taking a notice on the drums on that part and how the pattern Ville plays grows towards the end. Nice spices.

The working title comes from the fact that I had a couple of separate song ideas which I then merged and got this song as a result. So lyrics are not about having a threesome.

Janne


THE COMMOTION TAKES ITS TOLL
VOICE REPEATS YOU ARE ALONE
I COULD RUN BUT I WOULDN'T GET FAR
NO MATTER HOW I TRY I CAN'T HIDE MY SCARS

I AM WEAK BUT I HAVE TO PLAY STRONG
PRETEND I FIT THE MOLD

I WISH FOR ANOTHER WAY
THAN WALLOWING IN PAIN
THAT IS EATING ME INSIDE
BUT ONLY IT FEELS RIGHT AND KEEPS ME ALIVE
I PAINT MY SELF-PORTRAIT
WITH DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREY
UNTIL OUTER SHELL DECAYS
I WILL HIDE MY TRUE FACE IN THIS CUTTHROAT GAME

I STAND IN A LINE
LEADING BACK TO WHAT I LEFT BEHIND
I COULD RUN
I COULD TRY
I COULD RUN
BUT I WOULDN'T GET FAR

THE GAME WAS RIGGED RIGHT FROM THE START
I WOULD NEVER BE ENOUGH

I WISH FOR ANOTHER WAY
THAN WALLOWING IN PAIN
THAT IS EATING ME INSIDE
BUT ONLY IT FEELS RIGHT AND KEEPS ME ALIVE
I PAINT MY SELF-PORTRAIT
WITH DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREY
UNTIL OUTER SHELL DECAYS
I WILL HIDE MY TRUE FACE IN THIS CUTTHROAT GAME
IN THIS CUTTHROAT GAME

I WISH FOR ANOTHER WAY
THAN WALLOWING IN PAIN
THAT IS EATING ME INSIDE
BUT ONLY IT FEELS RIGHT AND KEEPS ME ALIVE
I PAINT MY SELF-PORTRAIT
WITH DIFFERENT SHADES OF GREY
UNTIL OUTER SHELL DECAYS
I WILL HIDE MY TRUE FACE IN THIS CUTTHROAT GAME

BEHIND THE RIFFS: CRY WOLF
BEHIND THE RIFFS: EYE OF THE STORM