LEGEND

Legend

Legend could only have existed at the moment it did. Given any change in the time or formula and this 1985 fantasy film would most likely not be remembered as it is today. Ridley Scott, the director, had just come off a massive hit with Alien as well as a soon to be artschool favorite Bladerunner a year prior. Tom Cruise was rising in stardom due to Risky Business a year earlier, but had not reached the megafame that Top Gun, a year later, would bring. Tim Curry, well…Tim Curry…

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TWO WORLDS II

Two Worlds II (2011)

Normally, when reviewing a series, I’d start with the first game. So, Two Worlds 1 was the worst game I have ever played. There is literally nothing good to be said about it, we will forget it exists and move on. Two Worlds 2, on the other hand, isn’t actually that bad. The storyline is nothing special, but it does enough to keep you going. You and your sister, Kyra, have been the prisoners of the emperor Gandohar for years. He has your sister because she is the vessel for…

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ALMURIC

Almuric

Brendan: Do you want to start doing some reviews on Fantasy comics? …[echo]… Are you into them? Despite the seemingly sparse existence of contemporary fantasy comics, there existed, at one point, a proliferation of mature themed series that ran in magazine sized publications. Following the success of Heavy Metal, other magazine-style fantasy comics blossomed and existed for a short period including Questar, Ares, The Savage Sword of Conan, and Epic Illustrated. Epic Illustrated was an imprint of Marvel and proposed the same theme as Heavy Metal. While Heavy Metal is,…

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CRUSADER KINGS II

CRUSADER KINGS II

Paradox Interactive have something of a history with medieval games. First came their medieval stabbing simulator, Mount and Blade, and the peasants did rejoice. With their latest offering, however, they seem to be going in quite a different direction. Immediately starting up Crusader kings 2 (once you’ve got past its load times and chanted hymns) you’re greeted by its world map. It’s no surprise then, that the map is perhaps the biggest achievement of this odd strategy title. To call it expansive seems something of an understatement; stretching from Iceland…

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THE FLIGHT OF DRAGONS

The flight of dragons

Oh hey Mrs. Carbon. Since you sat through Krull last week, what do you want to watch tonight? We have the Flight of Dragons or Exc—Oh, I see you are already sitting on the couch and dressed up for this. Yes, that dragon tail is adorable. The Flight of Dragons it is then. If one grew up in the 70’s, 80’s, or anywhere close after that, they probably at one point watched an animated film by the production team of Rankin/Bass. The directorial duo would become renowned for their traditional…

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SHADED EMNITY – Forsaken and Forgotten

SHADED EMNITY - Forsaken and Forgotten (2013)

Playing Underground Extreme Metal in America is tough. If you are serious about it, then chances are you are spending countless hours writing and practicing, thousands of dollars on recording, monthly rehearsal space rent, and equipment all just to play dive bars to 20 people. Still, we keep going hoping for a record deal or a booking agent to swoop you up and take you the mystical metal lands of Europe. There are many times when one may question their dreams, and think of throwing the in the towel for…

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THYRFING – e ödeslösa

Thyrfing - De ödeslösa (2013)

I can do this review as long as I can correctly spell the band’s name. Thyr-fing is a viking black metal band unsurprisingly from Sweden. For as long as the band has been making albums however, their reach has barely breached past marginal. Unlike Amon Amarth or even Bathroy, Thyrfing still remains on the other side of slightly obscure. De ödeslösa is the seventh release from this Nordic obsessed outfit. Let us cross our fingers that this is the one. Thyrfing has a divided history. In 2007 both vocalist Thomas…

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KALMAH – Seventh Swamphony

KALMAH - Seventh Swamphony (2013)

Contrary to what the stark, black-and-white cover art suggests, Kalmah’s “Seventh Swamphony” is a flashy and fun combination of melodic and “extreme” Metal styles. I suppose that this is technically Melodic Death Metal – and indeed it was introduced to me as such – but in many ways it reminds me much more of Power, Symphonic, and even Neoclassical Metal, particularly with regards to the gaudy lead guitars and keyboards that are the driving force behind this music. In fact, the only aspect of this album that is particularly evocative…

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Dark Souls

dark souls

When trying to decide what to write about for my first review, there were a number of possibilities considered. The mighty Skyrim, the metal inspired Brütal Legend, or even an indie title. Then I remembered Dark Souls. I shuddered in fear, then with exhilaration. There isn’t a game like Dark Souls in the world, not one that inspires such dread, but also the drive to overcome its many, many challenges. Dark Souls is the guy who’s in the middle of the mosh pit, knocking out all those who come near…

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KRULL

krull

Alright. Back to a high production standard fantasy film with no kinks in the narrative. Yep. Just knights, maidens, spaceships, and monsters. Sigh. It is going to be like this, isn’t it? Krull is a 1983 sword and sorcery film that leans heavily on the mixed genre of science fantasy. Within the shell of the conventional medieval knight and dragon tale lies a planet invaded by aliens with technology not that far from Star Wars plagiarism. Krull tells the story of two kingdoms who, in their attempt to unite their…

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CHILDREN OF BODOM – Halo of Blood

This article is dedicated to Follow the Reaper, one of my first extreme metal albums, which I listened to numerous times. It taught me the pleasure of distorted vocals and that songs about murder could be fun and exciting. This article is dedicated to Children of Bodom — the brats of death metal. In a recent article I discussed Amon Amarth as one of the gatekeepers to more extreme styles of metal for those trying to get into it. While this is true for many, Children of Bodom was mine…

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AUTOLATRY – Native

AUTOLATRY - Native (2013)

Despite being just four years into their career, Connecticut’s Autolatry are already a well-oiled machine with a very clear musical vision, a unique voice, and the chops to back it up. On “Native”, their second full-length release, the band regales the listener with tales of their home turf’s early history. The band’s sound is very much a melting-pot (nobody tell Varg). It’s certainly Black Metal at its core, but there are so many other influences at play that it’s difficult to identify them all and almost demeaning to the synergy…

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HAWK THE SLAYER

Hawk The Slayer

Did everyone have fun with the surprisingly dense Dragonslayer? Good because we are not stopping for awhile. I do not plan on resting until I can speak, with great confidence, on the state of fantasy films in the 1980’s. Did you enjoy Dragonslayer? Good because in the place of thoughtfulness and paced out narrative which plays on fantasy archetypes, we are now given Hawk the Slayer, a movie that desperately tries to be a part of those same archetypes. Holy fuck 1980, what in the world did you make? Before…

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AVANTASIA – The Mystery of Time

I blame myself really. No, do not try to change my mind. I am here of my own volition. It is not the fact that I am a huge fan of power metal that brought me to Avantasia’s sixth album, The Mystery of Time. It is not even the fact that it is a project pulling together names from Rhapsody, Helloween, Ayreon, Saxon, and Rainbow. I do not really even like concept records that much. No, I am here because I love serialized fantasy and that addiction is best indulged…

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