The UK and France share the Channel Tunnel, aiding the daily movement of cargo, passenger vehicles and persons from the island to continental Europe. Fairly straightforward right? Trains run under the same stretch of water, again fairly straightforward? Sure. So what about a 92km (57.2 miles) trek underwater as a way of moving from A to B?
Well this is exactly what the Finnish and Estonian ministers have in mind (having signed a memorandum of understanding; thus leading to a cooperative research initiative between the two nations to better understand the pro's and cons of the said project) to bring both Helsinki and Tallinn much closer, opening easier access and decreasing time spent on the water travelling between the two cities; or for the bolder driver travelling via Russia.
Of course the tunnels in question could bring long-term economic prospects to both nations, not to mention the potential for a Guinness World Record as the 'longest underwater railway tunnel', so here's hoping that at no point during the transition between the planning and constructing stages that no 'steam' is lost.
Naturally enabling a more-direct service would give cargo greater ease of access to pass through the two nations and to the designated final destinations. In addition the proposed railway will link up to another rail line which as the diagram shows will connect the Baltic nations, Poland and Germany together, thus enabling as said greater ease of access for cargo to travel across Europe in this case.
According to Railway Technology, the proposed 'trains could reach speeds of 250km/h, significantly cutting the commuting time from the current two and a half hours by ferry down to only 30 minutes per journey.' (http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurehelsinki-tallinn-rail-tunnel-a-future-european-link-4827400/), so this asks the question, how could this help the lives of the Finnish and Estonian peoples, in particular musicians?
Well for those touring and gigging, not only would it bring the possibility of next-day gigs happening off the cuff but also because the estimated travel time is only 30 minutes, then bands and musicians would not have a long wait ahead to catch the ferry or take the unconventional trip through Russia.
Furthermore this would help the fans reach either country to see the bands they want to see play more easily, instead of leaving to get to a gig over three hours prior to it starting. Plus if they plan to adopt the same style of transport used in the Channel Tunnel, then bands touring from outside of and across Europe on coaches would certainly feel the benefits through cost, time and as said twice previously ease of access.
Granted this venture is set to make its first proper steps between 2025 and 2030, but let's face it, technology is advancing at such a rate that by the time this connection is made, continental underwater railways might be a vision in-sight, could you imagine Europe connecting with Africa?
The Helsinki-Tallinn Tunnel will be built into the public transport systems in both countries with
Finland's Central Railway station and Helsinki airport and Estonia's traffic network at Ülemiste receiving the revolutionary transportation links. Of course it will be an expensive venture clocking up at around 9-13 billion euros (between £7-£10 billion), but with travel journeys estimated to take 30-40 minutes, that is a decent investment if you think about it.
But this there any more benefits to musicians aside from just quicker travelling and simpler logistics? Well OK say there was a delay in movement, or the train stopped, those with guitars could easily strum a note or two and thus give passengers an insight into their music. Of course music equipment would be easier to ship, thus potentially reducing shipping and handling fees. It avoids having to go into Russia and consequently needing a Visa due to the Schengen Area covering most of Europe except the UK, Russia, Ireland, South-Eastern and parts of Eastern Europe.
It also would help not only musicians, but people in general travel without the worry of the weater outside that otherwise could cancel ferries as it would be underground.
Whatever the future holds for this ingenious project, here's hoping it comes into fruition, helps musicians and the peoples of Finland and Estonia in genera, but on a greater scale bring together both countries' remarkable metal music scenes and nations respectively.
There is a whole host of socio-economic and cultural benefits and drawbacks stated on:- http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurehelsinki-tallinn-rail-tunnel-a-future-european-link-4827400/
We all know about heavy metal or at least we all should, you know that the metal music genre started out in 1968 with Black Sabbath kicking it all off in the industrial city of Birmingham, not only did they kick off the heavy metal sound properly but coincidentally through their dark and gloomy lyrics they delivered Doom Metal.
How is it that such a powerful and monstrous music genre has been the most global sound with over 100 countries being represented by it and yet no one has looked in beyond the lyrics, ok so now you're going to say 'what do you mean by that, come one we sing to them and we already know what they mean you idiot!', question is do the lyrics understand you? Consider that a juxtapose to the original hidden question of whether we can actually decipher a song's lyrics to find it's true meaning and or can we actually learn from metal music?
Global Metal Apocalypse examines a couple of carefully selected metal bands across the globe of whose prominence in either the international scene, local or underground scene has exceeded their own expectations and ideally bands whose lyrics focus on a specific theme or set of themes and not just the human emotions; anyone can sing about happiness, sadness, anger and other emotions including hyper sexual activity aka orgasmic happiness.
So where do we start? Simple. England...
Eastern Front. An English Black Metal of whose sub-genre is dubbed 'War Torn Black Metal' specifically focuses their lyrics on exactly that, the Eastern Front in the Second World War. So consider them as a band teaching history that was never taught in your school, with songs like 'Unleash The Panzer Division' and 'Dvenadtzat Kilometrov Ot Moskvy' leading the front line, some have called this band NSBM and naturally they refute this claim, in fact GMA cannot work out how they are anything related to NSBM!. However, referring back to the educational note, catch one of their live sets and their theatrics set the stage remarkably through the use of search lights, barbed war and other props and make-up pertaining to the darkened times of the Eastern Front. Forward March!
Oh how the Finnish love their metal, they were practically born out of the womb with an instrument attached, it runs in their veins and so does the cold harsh winters. Sure Lordi may have nabbed Eurovision through their emphatic 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' but Wintersun capture the true feeling of the Finnish environment and climate through their spine-chilling mix of Power Metal-cross-Melodic Death Metal composition, so in retrospect of their lyrics what you can decipher is the feeling of being in a cold and bitter land and amusingly entering the brain of Jari Mäenpää as the lyrics also tend to expand into space and time, but retaining that distinctive icy feel to their music, Wintersun are not just a Finnish Metal band, they are the pioneers of the umbrella genre 'Winter Metal'.
Heading into Asia, you can't exactly blame ChthoniC for paying attention to bands being connected to their own country because as far as Taiwan's most successful metal export is concerned there is a message everyone should know, that being Taiwan has had a dark and disturbing past. For example take their album 'Mirror Of Retribution' and read the inset, it explains the terrible battles the Taiwanese folk were involved in against the Chinese of whom still lay claim to Taiwan and yet the rest of the world see Taiwan as an independent country (GMA steers clear of politics). But the fact being ChthoniC incorporate traditional Taiwanese music into the foundation of metal and through that they use the Er-hu, a Chinese violin (called the hiân-á in Taiwanese), so effectively distinguishing them as the masters of Oriental metal (a term that covers most bands in Asia and North Africa of whom utilize traditional instruments for a more oriental sound, this sound differs evidently as when you compare ChthoniC to the likes of Myrath, Orphand Land and Melechesh the sounds are totally different).
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