WAR OF THE VIKINGS

War of the Vikings (2014)

I thought this would be Dark Souls 2. Truly, I did. I’d readied my pen, overclocked my graphics card and oiled the supplication cat-o-nine-tails my wife uses to whip me every time I die. I’d even specially bound my book of hymns to Velka in human skin (baby skin, obviously) ready for the Gregorian chanting the local choir agreed to do for me in exchange for the pastor’s daughter, safe and unharmed. But, thanks to a combination of motherfucking-Amazon.com (a nickname I insist all readers start using in their day-to-day…

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BETRAYER

Betrayer

Native Americans don’t get a lot of attention in video-games if you think about it. I mean, the protagonist of interactive b-movie Prey was one, and so was the head of one of the totally forgettable Assassin’s Creed games (and thus somewhere between 1 and 6) but aside from that, there’s nothing that comes to mind. Out of those two, only one really deals with the whole “being a native American” thing, the other putting that aside for sci-fi mumbo jumbo and cheap mystical bullshit. I’ll let you decide which…

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CIRITH UNGOL – King of the Dead

Cirith Ungol - King of the Dead

Note: I thought it would be interesting to take a tour through the history of power metal classics and underrated gems to compliment the reviews from newer bands. To start my trip through these sacred halls,I need to come to terms with Cirith Ungol. For the longest time, Cirith Ungol’s album covers, which were done by Michael Whelan, enticed me while Cirith Ungol’s actual music just baffled me. It was an ill fitting blend of traditional metal and proto-doom with a voice that whipped the dungeon ceiling. It took me…

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THE MAGIC SWORD

The Magic Sword (1962)

Looking over the different decades of fantasy films seems to show a pattern. The 1980’s is the decade that usually stands out in people’s mind as the classic period. Personally, I have found the 1980’s, following the success of Conan the Barbarian, to be a fertile ground for both surprising hits and forseen disasters. The 1990’s, in contrast, has shown itself to be the period when fantasy films were in decline. The 00’s, for further comparison, a time for renewal and refocus. I have always thought of whatever came before…

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QANTICE – The Phantonauts

Qantice, on the surface, appears to be just another power metal band whose destiny lies in the symphonic exploration of fantasy and science fiction. This is fine, as there is an audience exactly for this niche genre. This French band, however, seems to have gone above and beyond what is expected of a power metal band. Qantice’s first album was complemented by the science fiction novel “Qantice, la Cosmocinésie ou les Remuements des Mondes” in 2012, which continued the story heard in the band’s first album The Cosmocinesy. Yes, this…

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THE PHAROS AT ALEXANDRIA (1975) – Roy Krenkel

pharaoh lighthouse

Roy Krenkel was an American illustrator who was a contemporary, and colleague of fantasy titan Frank Frazetta. Krenkel, along with Frazetta and Al Williamson contributed cartoons for the growing speculative market created by EC Comics. Krenkel’s work can bee in issues of Weird Science, Incredible Science Fiction, and Weird Fantasy and had a savage world charm all of its own. Krenkel’s mastery over black and white detail complimented the strange stories which were written for a strange demographic of teen and young adult fantasy enthusiasts.

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SOUTH PARK – THE STICK OF TRUTH

South Park: The Stick of Truth (2014)

Southpark: The stick of truth is, at it’s heart, a game about larping. That’s “Live-Action-role-Play”, if you’re not in the know, and it’s on the sheer “metal as swords” power of larping at we’re looking at it today. Because larping is epic as shit. And don’t say you haven’t fucking done it. If you’ve ran up and down your street with a stick at some time in your life, pretending to fight dragons (and our latest reader demographic statistics show you’re doing that RIGHT FUCKING NOW) then you’ve larped. And…

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MOUSE GUARD – The Black Axe

Mouseguard

This is a review of the third volume in David Petersen’s Mouse Guard. It also may be a possible summary and introduction for others not familiar with one of the more interesting fantasy comics in recent years. If one hasn’t read this story, stop here and go out and read it. I am going to be discussing the plot of the story and wouldn’t want to ruin anything for you. On the surface, Mouse Guard is a simple story of medieval life and warfare just on a tiny scale with…

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EXMORTUS – Slave to the Sword

Exmortus

[Full disclosure: I have a relationship with Exmortus in that we have crossed paths several times on the Los Angeles and Seattle metal scenes and I have hosted them on their national travels. I feel the rating is justified but as with anything you read about here, please listen and see if you agree.] Back in the olden times of 2009, I attend a show at the Black Castle in Los Angeles. Most of the bands on that show are now signed and doing big tours, but two stood out…

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GOAT SIMULATOR

The world is changed. What was once is no longer. I can forgive you for not noticing, of course. Today was, in appearances at least, much like yesterday. But I must tell you, this is an illusion. The truth is far stranger. You see, last night, while you slept (or more likely, considering our demographic, drank and marauded) a single flake of the infinite fell into our world. Today is not like yesterday. The game has changed. “The game” in this context being Goat Simulator. You herd. When I first…

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