Poetry & Song: “At A Loss” and Autumn’s “Alloy”

Do you listen to music while you write? Has a specific song or music artist ever influenced one of your stories, poems, etc.? This has happened with a number of my published poems. Thus, Poetry & Song is a limited-run series where I share one of my published poems and the song that “helped me write” it. I also offer insights into why I chose that particular piece of music, as well as any other inspirations for the poem.

With the past two Poetry & Song posts, I’ve realized – or, rather, remembered – how personal some of my sources of inspiration have been. Today’s is no different. A few times while writing this post, I felt… well, uncomfortable, but not in a negative way. It wasn’t so much the idea of sharing the story behind this poem, since other people in real life already know it. Rather, it was the act of revisiting that inspiration, and reliving the warring emotions tied to it, that made a heart-wrenching situation from the past fresh again.

So, yes, “At A Loss” isn’t a happy poem. Neither is the song that helped me write it. But what makes this Poetry & Song combination unique is that, together, they provided some much-needed insight on an unraveling friendship. If it makes any sense, this post chronicles the first time I learned an important life lesson from my own poetry.

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Five Years at Sonic Cathedral – A Retrospective, Part 2: Artists #15 through #11

As you may already know, I’m celebrating 5 years of writing for Sonic Cathedral by counting down my 20 favorite artists covered at the SC WebZine. I revealed Artists #20 through #16 last week. Today, it’s time to reveal #15 through #11. So let’s continue!

By the way, a big apology that the artist photos in the previous SC Retrospective article. I’m not sure what happened in the uploading process, since they were all of decent size to begin with.

NOTE: If you’d prefer to catch the daily version of the countdown, please visit and “like” my official Facebook page.

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Time for a Facelift – and More Updates!

Good evening!

Once again, it’s been a while since my last site update. But, I hope this one will be worth it. First of all, maybe you noticed that my site looks a little different… And you’re correct! I hope you like the new theme, “Dusk to Dawn.” It’s similar to the previous theme I’d been using, but a little darker in color. Let me know what you think by commenting on this post.

And now, here’s a quick summary of all my Sonic Cathedral activity since my last post.

For interviews (click here to go to the Interviews page):

  • My latest interview is with American-born singer/songwriter Amanda Somerville, who has just released her first metal album under the stage name of Trillium. Maybe you might know Amanda for her choir and backing vocal work with metal bands such as Avantasia, Kamelot, and Epica – or maybe you know Amanda from her pop/rock solo work. Either way, Trillium’s debut album, Alloy, marks a new and exciting era for Amanda. This interview shows not only how thrilled and passionate Amanda is about her work, but also how incredibly funny she is!
  • In October, I talked to one of the most promising symphonic metal bands I’ve heard all year: Divine Ascension, out of Melbourne, Australia. This band mixes their love of movie soundtracks with progressive and power metal influences. The result is DA’s debut album, As The Truth Appears. Guitarist Rob Inglis and singer Jennifer Borg discussed the making of this album, as well as the band’s origins, their music video for “Answers,” and how the band almost went for a male singer instead of a female.
  • Also in October, I interviewed two members of the Swedish symphonic metal band Ultimate Fate. Singer Jennie Nord and drummer/grunter Ola Olsson spoke at length about their recently released EP, Beyond the Horizon, as well as their band’s unique blend of classic heavy metal and symphonic influences. They also commented on their experience as one of many bands in the famous – and crowded – Gothenburg metal scene.

And for CD reviews (click here to go to the 2011 CD Reviews page):

  • Autumn’s Cold Comfort, which sees the Dutch alternative metal band taking a more progressive and melodic turn in their music. Not everyone will love this next phase of Autumn’s evolution, but I consider Cold Comfort to be the band’s “richest and most intelligent album to date.”
  • Divine Ascension’s As The Truth Appears, which (as I implied earlier) is one of my favorite symphonic metal albums this year. DA takes the guitar-driven approach of power and progressive metal, complements it with symphonic arrangements, and lets a singer with a musical theater background take the reins. Perhaps it’s no surprised that I said, “[P]eople should – and will – talk about the Australian band that’s a new rival to Epica, Nighwish, Within Temptation, and other symphonic heavyweights.”
  • Losing Scarlet’s Learning to Bleed, one of the heaviest albums I’ve ever reviewed. Imagine Five Finger Death Punch or Bullet For My Valentine, but with a firecracker of a female singer. It’s in-your-face, rebellious, even a little violent (musically speaking). That’s why I said this album is”… a far cry from the complex and sweeping styles you’ll hear from European bands – but Losing Scarlet is an American band, playing distinctly American metal music. And, they play it with balls and fire.”

That’s about it for now. I do have plans to update the Poetry section soon, as well as an idea for a new poll. So, stay tuned!

~ Sara

EDIT – 11/14/2011: Somehow I forgot to enable my comments when I posted this last night. Now you should be able to respond to this post. Sorry about that!