ICED EARTH – Plagues of Babylon

In all honesty, I could do this review without discussing Iced Earth’s history. This is somewhat of a bold statement as the band has steadily been putting out material since the mid 1980’s. Jon Shaffer, who served as the band’s primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist, is now the sole surviving member who has seen, through the decades, a cast of changing musicians. Iced Earth, one of the later entries in the United States Power Metal scene, has seen its sound change slightly through the decades with 4 different vocalists, 7…

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BEASTMASTER III: The Eye of Braxus

beastmaster III

Oh for fucks sake, they didn’t make another one of these did they? -Everyone It is important to note that on the Wikipedia page, Beastermaster 3 is said to be the television sequel to the 1991 cult classic Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time. I feel that they either meant the first one or someone is off their rocker. A third possibility was that I did not understand the quality hidden in a movie with Dar driving a car in Los Angeles while the main villain goes clothes shopping.…

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PERSUADER – The Fiction Maze

You know what, Persuader has never gotten the amount of attention their records deserve. This Swedish power metal act has managed to duck grand attention despite having a consistent output until the early 2000’s. The band’s last record, When Eden Burns, was way back in 2006 and despite the jump in time, everything sounds pretty clean and pretty well put together. The truth is, after all the time passed since their last album, I was expecting a band that sounded like they just woke up from a nap. Imagine my…

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Film Short – EXORDIUM

Exordium

Something our editor, Brendan, became really excited about in the late hours of 2013 was a short animated film by Gorgonaut, entitled Exordium. December is usually a busy time getting things ready for end of the year lists and travelling for the holidays, so Exordium got shelved until now. This is not to say that this brief piece of animation is not worth anyone’s time. In fact, in terms of animation, and perhaps ones interest in fantasy, Exordium may be the best 8 minutes of your day. Exordium was created…

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THE BANNER SAGA

The Banner Saga (2014)

THE GODS ARE DEAD. “How’s that for a fucking cold open?” the writer to Stoic’s The Banner Saga probably said before preforming a backflip while clad in full plate armour and making a slam dunk with a morningstar. With an introduction like that there’s precisely no risk of fucking around. It’s not just a bit of nietzschean fuckery, either. This is a world of old Norse and paganism. They’re not philosophising on the death of the gods, they’re witnesses. It’s entirely possible the only reason nobody’s going door to door…

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AXEL RUDI PELL – Into The Storm

Axel Rudi Pell is both a person and a collective noun. The name describes not only the lead guitarist of German heavy metal act Steeler but also his solo project, which established after Steeler dissolved. Though Pell’s new project didn’t reinvent Steeler’s sound dramatically, Axel Rudi Pell, the solo act, has outlasted Steeler and everyone’s expectations on how far a fantasy based traditional metal act could go. If you ever needed a band to root for, place your bets on longevity. Into the Storm is Axel Rudi Pell’s 13th album…

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KALMAH – Seventh Swamphony

Well, some months have past without me contributing a written piece to the site and now that Kaptain Carbon is the lead writer, I’m apt to look terrible by comparison. However, I’ll try anyway… With 2013 now ended it’s time to pay homage to the band whose 7th studio release is the one I am selecting as my 2013 album of the year. In a metal world where great bands always seem to feel the need to “evolve” after 2-3 kick ass albums, Kalmah has issued a big fuck you…

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FROZEN HEARTH

Frozen Hearth? More like frozen desktop! With your expectations suitably lowered, I will begin. Seriously though, I want to start by making it pretty clear. This is the worst game I’ve ever reviewed for this site. It fails completely and in almost every possible manner. It’s about as entertaining and intuitive as life as a medieval peasant, with just as much senseless, thoughtless and fucking inexplicable death. Not in game, I mean. There’s no fucking challenge to be had here, even on “hard” difficulty. I got bored pretty regularly, which…

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THE LEGEND OF HERCULES

the legend of hercules

Hercules is the now popular name for a myriad of difference legends and myths that have sort of been amalgamated into one idea. Since I always like to draw parallels between world mythology and comic books, Hercules could be thought of as Superman, where different writers and creators add to the growing narrative and through group storytelling, we are left with one sort of hazy idea. The idea Hercules portrays is a hero finding strength in the power of the gods and becoming a champion to the mortal world, whose…

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TITAN SOULS

Titan Souls (2013)

As a little free game coming out at the end of the year, Titan Souls seemed doomed to obscurity. That’s why I picked it. It’s of the “tiny guy vs gaint lumbering things” genre which, since I made it up just now, has only two games in it. This is a shame, because it’s by far my favourite of all the genres (the five genres being games about killing a hundred thousand people in first person, games about killing a hundred thousand people not in first person, games about not…

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TOP 5 Albums of 2013

AGATHODAIMON - In Darkness (2013)

I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the world of heavy metal is suffering from an identity crisis. Popular styles of loud rock like deathcore and djent have splintered the community; capturing the hearts and minds of the youth while being almost universally despised by older fans. The “true metal vs. false metal” debate has seldom raged as vigorously as it does now. Thus, when I was thinking about my favorite releases from this year it was concepts like personality and sense of self that were at the front…

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VOIVOD – Target Earth

VOIVOD - Target Earth (2013)

The innovative Canadian quartet known as Voivod faced almost insurmountable odds going into the creation of their newest release, “Target Earth”. To begin with, the band had expended the last of founding guitarist Denis D’Amour’s leftover recordings during the creation of their 2009 release “Infini”. These demos, recorded by Denis prior to his departure from this world in 2005, were, admittedly, not really indicative of the “classic” Voivod sound, but to many people he was the man most responsible for that sound and a Voivod without him was inconceivable. Additionally,…

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47 RONIN

47 Ronin

My wife is going to dislike this article. I feel her only defense for the new Samurai fantasy film is enjoyment. Maybe that is stronger than whatever I am about to say. 47 Ronin, the film, was a gamble to begin with. First off, a large american movie studio was attempting to portray a popular Japanese folk legend not as a historical drama but rather an action/fantasy film. While the film chose to cast popular Japanese actors, it also gave the reins to an inexperienced director with an astronomical budget.…

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