DRACULA (1931)

dracula

Arguably one of the most defining films in the Universal horror cannon is Dracula. Actually, come to think of it, Dracula is one of the most definitive horror films, if not characters, in cinematic history. This article is a part of an ongoing Summer series reviewing classic and forgotten horror films of the 30’s and 40’s. The last article was dedicated to Lon Cheney’s portrayal of the masked hunk, aka the Phantom of the Opera. Tod Browning’s 1931 adaptation of the 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker is…

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FAERY- LEGENDS OF AVALON

Faery - Legends of Avalon (2014)

It was something, in this world of endless press releases and instant news, that the first I ever heard of Faery: Legends of Avalon is when it popped up on the steam store. Faery advertises itself as a series about exciting, pitched and old-school turn-based combat against gigantic and terrible monsters, and I’m sad to say that if that were its intention, it fails in almost every area. In its defence, I will say that it’s turn-based, and would have been considered awkwardly old-school about ten years ago . Almost…

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ARCH ENEMY – War Eternal

Before I heard the new Arch Enemy album, I was worried. These guys have been going forever and, though they’re hardly strangers to changes in line up, adjusting to a new front woman (especially after 14 years) is never going to be easy. I’ve quite enjoyed some of their old stuff, and this development, coupled with the new guitarist (Nick Cordle, it’s his first album with them too) made me a little concerned. It’s one of the few times I’m totally happy to admit that I didn’t have any idea…

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MUNIN

Munin (2014)

Mythologically speaking, Odin the Norse God-king was flanked by two ravens, Muninn and Huginn. I say this because, other than a bit of feathery hinting, I can’t remember a single instance of modern Odin that involved them as distinct entities. It seems the attention span of developers is just long enough to make the raven connection, but besides surrounding him with a flock of the cackling bastards there’s never been much attention given. This is excepting the fantastic “Age of Mythology”, but that came out 12 years ago and holy…

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LECTRIC LEATHER – Lectric Leather

The internet is a wonderful place for, if nothing else, the exchange of ideas and heavy metal bands that were forgotten in the sands of time. Compilations and reissues are sometimes akin to time capsules that house great talent, not so great talent with really fun records that have aged gracefully, and not so great talent that did not age gracefully but hilariously. Lectric Leather was a speed metal band from the mid 80’s who have little information to their name. Aside from “formed in the summer of 1985” and…

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ANCIENT BARDS – A New Dawn Ending

I feel my missing out on Ancient Bards was more due to their name being so similar to other bands, such as the progressive metal band Anciients and about 100 other bands with this word in the beginning of their name. Ancient Bards should stand out as this Italian symphonic metal band has an incredible sound, including operatic tendencies that are not unlike other Italian symphonic metal bands whose members also appear on this record. A New Dawn Ending is the band’s third album in a very short career, which…

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PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)

The Phantom of the Opera

The 1925 silent film Phantom of the Opera stands as an important film in the horror genre despite it not really being close to the first horror film created. Several instances of what would be horror in film were already made by this point in history, including George Melies Le Manoir du diable in 1896, F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu in 1922, and Japanese experimental films like Shinin no Sosei. Phantom of the Opera, despite not being near the genesis of horror film, still stands as one of the most iconic…

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INCANTATION – Dirges of Elysium

First of all, I need to ask you to take a look at the cover of this album. Not just glance at it, but take a good long fucking look. Pull that shit up full screen if you can, but only if there’s nobody with a weak heart behind you. If you’ve fully absorbed that album cover, you already know what this band’s going for, and I’m just here to let you know that yes, they succeed. Go forth and suckle at the pustulent nipple of black metal. And know…

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FALCONER – Black Moon Rising

When it comes to Falconer, I’ve always felt a little different from most of their fans. For example, my favorite of their albums is Armod (this is the moment where we separate the readers familiar with the obscure Swedish group from those who aren’t). It was a weird album for them, a departure from their usually Power Metal heavy sound to a more Folk Metal melodic style. While I’ve always got time for Power Metal I’d be lying to myself if I said I didn’t prefer the less intense, folksy…

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EQUILIBRIUM – Erdentempel

There’s something special about listening to a song with its vocals in a foreign language, isn’t there? Perhaps it’s the exoticism, the sound of a human’s vocal range divorced from meaning, and without the long, sustained notes of typical scales. It’s a complex sound, and one hilariously difficult to replicate accurately without knowledge of the language. There’s a complexity to language, singing especially, that’s simply unattainable without it, and a beauty to language that can only really be reached by those who can’t understand it. That’s my excuse for not…

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SINICLE – Still in Mind (EP)

The year was 2011, the place was Hollywood, California. It was a rough time for the metal scene. A significant portion of the local-band-friendly clubs had closed down in the last year and opportunities to play in this once-glorious rock town were dwindling. Among the casualties were The Knitting Factory, The Black Castle and The Key Club. It was into this environment that some buddies and I attempted to buck the trend by starting The Hollywood Metal Concert Series at a small cafe called The Green Room on Hollywood Blvd,…

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television review: CROSSBONES [S1 E1]

CROSSBONES [S1 E1] Aired: May 2014 Produced By: Rudd Simmons Directed By: Ciaran Donnelly Starring: John Malkovich, Richard Coyle Website: IMDB Score: 5/9 Hammers Just to warn you, I’ll be spoiling this show with reckless abandon, but like a really good painting or a really bad tattoo, it’s not something you can describe with generalities. With Game of Thrones season 4 enjoying record viewing figures, it’s unsurprising that a litter of mediocre sort-of-historical dramas have been spawned for us to fawn over. NBC’s latest offering Crossbones is probably the most…

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SANCTUARY- Refuge Denied

Sanctuary’s debut record is inevitably tied to its producer Dave Mustaine, who worked on this record in the space between Megadeth’s Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? and So Far, So Good… So What! In fact, the story goes that members of Sanctuary went to a Megadeth show and partied with Dave Mustaine in a hotel room. Mustaine was shown the band’s 1986 demo and was so impressed he offered to produce their album. I know, it sounds like something that doesn’t remotely happen anymore. As the story continues, Mustaine also…

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ELVENKING – The Pagan Manifesto (2014)

If you’ve never heard of Elvenking, it’s probably helpful to think of their music as the kind of thing you might find in a renaissance fair in either heaven or Germany. Possibly both. It’s Folk Metal – pure but (thankfully) not simple, with typically ample technical and lyrical complexity to keep your attention. Thank the God’s that Elvenking are one of Folk Metal’s most interesting bands because they are essentially alternate reality historical re-enactors exploring the most boring race in all of fantasy. In a world where Hobbits are weed-smoking…

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