Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Projects in the Queue

Once again, a much delayed post. But, I do have news on some projects coming up. First will be my take on Marco Minnemann's Normalizer project. I thought this was a really interesting idea, when I first heard of various musicians composing their own music over Marco's 51 minute drum solo he had recorded in one take. I was busy working on the surround mix for Torn Between Dimensions, and started writing to the first couple of minutes of the solo, just to take a break from re-visiting the first AWWS disc over (and over). Two years later, I've managed to compose to the whole thing - it has been an incredibly challenging and rewarding way to write new music! I'll be finishing tracking over the next couple of months, and hope to be finished early next year with it. For more info, check out Marco's Normalizer page.

The 5.1 Torn Between Dimensions mix will still happen - but the Normalizer project has become my primary focus for now.

I also have the next At War With Self project ideas lined up, and have started writing for that. Manfred Dikkers (AWWS - Acts of God and A Familiar Path) and Alex Arellano (Power of Omens, The Fractured Dimension) will both be on the drums. Without giving too much away, I can say it will be much more focused on polyrhythms and odd time signatures than the past three discs, for sure. I'm really excited to work with Manfred and Alex on the next AWWS disc. There will likely be other guest musicians as well.

I also just finished recording some guitar and mandolin parts for multi-instrumentalist Hassan Iqbal, whose project will have quite a line-up. Check out the info on his Facebook site!

I think that's it for now - thanks for reading! More to come in a few months...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Logical Song

Another very, very long overdue post. Progress is ongoing but slow...eventually the Torn 5.1 will see the light of day. Writing is also in progress for what will be the next AWWS release. In the meantime, here's another cover  - The Logical Song, by Supertramp. As with prior/future covers, Manfred is providing the drums and percussion.

The Logical Song (mp3 at 320 kbps)

Also visit my Soundcloud page for other tracks and the Invisible Sun cover.

At War With Self facebook page

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It's been too long since I've posted an update here. Things have been progressing very, very well with the 5.1 mix of Torn Between Dimensions...and the additional acoustic versions that will go along with it. It will be a bit longer, but hopefully not too much longer!!! I am anticipating having it released the first half of this year. I recently broke one of the fingers on my left hand, so that will certainly slow things down for a while as I try to finish up the acoustic versions.
I have worked on a few cover tunes to take a break from the 5.1 work, and here is one of the covers that Manfred Dikkers kindly provided drums tracks for - one of my favorite Police tracks, Invisible Sun. A couple more covers are in the works.
I've also posted this and the free full preview tracks from each of the At War With Self discs over on Soundcloud - you can also listen and download them on the main site here as well. And check out the AWWS Facebook page if that's your thing.
Thanks again to all of you who have purchased A Familiar Path over the past couple of years - as well as Acts of God and Torn Between Dimensions - more to come in a few months, for certain.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reflecting on Torn Between Dimensions

I figured a new post here was way overdue. First off, thanks to all of you who have purchased my CDs and supported this project - At War With Self is at this time a self-financed, independent operation and every CD sale that comes in is truly appreciated!!! It helps me continue to justify releasing physical CDs. Also, many thanks to the people who take the time to listen carefully to the disc and write a review. Without this sort of support, the pressing and distribution of physical copies of the discs would not be possible.

The end of 2010 allowed me time to think about the course of this project, and what should be next - I am extremely satisfied with the end result of A Familiar Path. For me it really brings together the ideas of merging classical guitar and metal that I had when I first trusted my instinct to combine the styles the way I like to do, and write Reflections back in '94. A Familiar Path is an appropriate title for me as a musician thinking of how I started this, and how it's come full circle for me to realize what I envisioned so long ago.

So where to go from here? I've been thinking a lot of which direction to take with At War With Self. I've been writing for the next disc, and a lot of rough ideas are down. Manfred Dikkers, who covered all the drums and percussion for A Familiar Path, has kindly offered to write drum and percussion tracks for the next set of new music. So the foundation is underway for a new release in the future.

Over the past few years, I've gotten heavily involved with listening to music in surround format - getting my hands on all the DVD audio, super audio and DTS mixes I can find. The ability to take stereo mixes to 5.1 is something I'm very intrigued by. The new King Crimson surround re-mixes of Red and In the Wake of Poseidon are currently in heavy rotation and kicking my ass! Listening to Deep Purple's Machine Head in 5.1 makes me take back the idea that I would never want to hear Smoke on the Water ever again. It's truly an incredible format.

I have a very specific idea for the next AWWS release - and it will be released with two discs - a CD with a stereo version, and a DVD containing a DTS surround mix. As I've been writing the new material with the surround format in mind, I decided to take some existing tracks to see how this could work- I re-mixed a couple of tracks from A Familiar Path to 5.1. Then I decided to dust off the tracks from Torn Between Dimensions, which have been sitting untouched since the discs's release for a number of reasons.

Going back through the tracks on Torn Between Dimensions and listening to all the drum and guitar parts that are difficult to discern in the stereo mix, due to the dense layering and nature of the compositions, I realized that the 5.1 format is a must for this music. Similar to my idea for the next new set of tracks for AWWS, the re-release of Torn Between Dimensions will have a re-mixed stereo version and a DTS format surround mix. There may also be some acoustic versions of some of the tracks added for this release, as some of these songs were originally written for two or three classical guitars (The God Interface was originally an exercise to incorporate some of Leo Brouwer's classical etude techniques into my own compositions, as his studies are still very inspiring for me to listen to).

Re-visiting Torn Between Dimensions was way, way overdue and this format is the perfect reason for me to do it now. I hope to have it released by end of this year, with a new AWWS disc to follow shortly thereafter.

I hope to have another post within the coming months to provide an update on timing for the release, as it gets closer to completion.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Familiar Path-Reviews Posted, New Collaboration

New reviews for A Familiar Path are available in German, French, Italian, Norwegian and English. Direct links to reviews follow - pdf versions can be accessed at the reviews page on my site. See details and press info below the reviews links for ordering directly from me through Paypal (signed copies available), or through the following distributors: CDBaby or (links below).

A Familiar Path was also featured on the gagliarchives radio show and recently placed on the weekly top 20 list. Thanks to all of the radio stations and magazines, websites around the globe that have supported A Familiar Path and included it on their playlists or reviewed the disc.

In other news, I just finished recording acoustic guitar parts on a track called Irreversible Damage for Slovenian guitarist Grega Habic. Check out the track and Grega's very fine work at his myspace page!

Review links:

Sea of Tranquility (English) (English) (German) (German) (German) (German)
hooked on (German) (Italian) (Norwegian) (French)
music in (French) (French)

A Familiar Path is the third chapter of At War With Self, which is a return to Snelwar’s roots as a musician that maintains the concept of the project changing for each release. The original concept in which Snelwar combined classical guitars into progressive and thrash metal has been re-visited and fully realized with A Familiar Path. The new incarnation of At War With Self features Manfred Dikkers, who joins Snelwar again from the Acts of God sessions on drums and percussion. The tracks on A Familiar Path are “the heaviest, most aggressive and accurate version of what I’ve had in mind for combining metal and progressive influences with classical guitars” says Snelwar. Instrumental tracks such as a hybrid half-classical, half-metal rendition of a Heitor Villa-Lobos guitar study, the Slayer-meets-King Crimson aggression of Concrete and Poison and Diseased State, a new rendering of Reflections originally featured on the debut Gordian Knot disc and the guitar shred of The Ether Trail, are balanced with the vocally-centered title track and Ourselves. A Familiar Path is accompanied with artwork that completes the emotion and intensity inspired by the 42 minutes on the disc.
A Familiar Path was released November 2009.

The full track Reflections is available for free download, and preview clips available below:

Or, stream the entire disc at

You can order the disc directly from me through Paypal for $10 USD (shipments to US), and $20 USD (outside US). The different rates include postage, and account for my shipping costs from the US. All CDs will be sent first class air mail (typically 3-5 days US and 5-10 days OUS).

I have had some people inquire in the past about getting a signed copy of the disc - if this something you're interested in, just let me know when placing your order, I'd be glad to do so.

Alternate Purchase links:

Through CD Baby ($10 USD):

At War With Self: A Familiar Path

The disc is also available through the following distributors (please contact me if interested in distributing the disc):
Just for Kicks (Germany)
Synphonic (U.S.)