DARK SOULS II – The Crown of the Sunken King

Dark Souls II

Does anybody remember expansion packs? Oblivion’s “Shivering isles” comes to mind. A whole new slice of game was standard fare for $15, back in the day, complete with new places to explore, lore to discover and enemies to best. Does anyone remember DLC from the same era? Motherfucking horse armour, a $2.50 packs which included (in its entirety) fucking armour for your fucking horse. It didn’t do a single god-damn thing, including armour your horse. It looked like it did, but as any LARPer will tell you, “Put down the…

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SOVENGAR – Vindicta et Gloria

There’s something quite special about new folk metal albums, especially those coming from new folk metal bands. Perhaps it’s just me but I’ve often felt that there was something melancholic about the state of folk metal itself. As a genre, it’s always been one for unashamedly celebrating the past, but it seems often like a genre in danger of slipping into it. A combination of irregular release schedules and the rarity of big name folk-metal bands add up to the impression that this is a genre that could be wiped…

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VLAD THE IMPALER

Vlad the Impaler (2014)

What is a game? A miserable little pile of activities. But enough referencing… let’s review. Oh wait, are you looking for the game’s website? Does not exist. Also, everything about this game is impossible to google. So let’s review “Vlad the Impaler”, a new game that arrived as suddenly and mysteriously on Steam as you might expect a vampire to and heralding just as much confusion. Except it’s not really a game. Like the legendary aspect of its Transylvanian namesake, it’s not that which it appears. Sure, it looks like…

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EMPYRIUM – The Turn of the Tides

It’s been difficult, when dealing with Empyrium, to know which tense to use. After their 2002 album Weiland, they announced themselves done with recording. Then, four years later, they released a retrospective (which took a form not dissimilar to a greatest hits album) featuring a bunch of re-recorded songs. At this point I realised that they weren’t a band to be trusted, and filed them deeply away in the cluttered vault of my mind, labelled “monitor quietly”. Then, four years after that, in 2010, they announced a comeback, and a…

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FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

Frankenstein 1931

Reviewing classic horror is entertaining in two ways. First of all, one is exposed to underrated gems such as last week’s The Old Dark House. Secondly, one is forced to reconsider classic movies that may not have held their value throughout the decades. I guess it is time to talk about Frankenstein. When we reviewed Dracula, there was much to discuss about not only the original literary inspiration but the stage adaptation that served as its modern incarnation. Frankenstein is very similar to Dracula in that its literary roots lay…

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THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932)

the old dark house

This is a continuing series reviewing classics and gems of the universal horror group. The universal horror group was a series of American horror films that were popular in the early to mid part of the 20th century. The classic cast of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and the Wolfman have become iconic in the annals of cinema. While the aforementioned characters and their respected movies have become iconic of the Universal horror group, there were other films made at the same period and by the same studio.…

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DEMONIC RESURRECTION – The Demon King

Bless wicked Amaymon, but that’s a hell of an album cover. I mean, look at it, it’s got everything; fire, swords, a whirling vortex leading to a furious, bow wielding Vishnu. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from tattooing the whole thing onto my chest tomorrow is the fact that I’ve spent too long playing DnD for me to consider a warrior dual wielding scimitars as anything more than target practice for a guy with a bow. (I was originally going to make an “archery smurf” joke, until I realized…

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ABYSS ODYSSEY

ABYSS ODESSEY (2014)

There’s something distinctly metal about the word “abyss”, isn’t there? Technically speaking it means little more than “big ole’ hole”, though admittedly only in the same way that portal means “door”. It’s the kind of word that’s only really used in real life to impress, if for no other reason than the rarity of humongous magical pits. Fortunately, a big magical pit is the subject of this game, so you can’t accuse the devs of inaccuracy, at least.

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WOLF – Legions Of Bastards

It can sometimes feel like an easy job, being a reviewer. There’s always a temptation to be overly harsh, slipping out of the shadows to smear somebody else’s favorite band with shit before disappearing like a faecally obsessed assassin. It starts to look a little worse when you consider we contribute no more to the world than a couple of interesting euphemisms for shit and the possible salvation of ten dollars. Occasionally it gets so bad that they’ll start thinking themselves important enough to compare themselves to an assassin, deluded…

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JUDAS PRIEST – Redeemer of Souls

It is almost unnecessary to introduce Judas Priest. This British band has played a monumental role in the evolution of heavy metal, not just in the sound but also the culture surrounding it. I refuse to believe anyone reading this is not at least familiar with the name Judas Priest. No? You are a fucking liar and I know it. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Judas Priest, you could spend a few weeks listening to everything released between 1974 and 1984 and be pretty set with…

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BANISHED

banished

The city builder has been much maligned in recent years. With the release of the new and disgustingly, abysmally broken Sim City and that fact that, despite all its flaws, it still sold relatively well, it’s tempting to assume there’s no alternative. In the same way that the only bar in town can start mixing snot in with its pints and scorpions in its pies without going out of business, Sim City felt no real fear when they decided to strip out a bunch of features and acted like it’s…

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WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM – Celestite

Wolves in the Throne Room is a bit personal for me. I came of black metal age with the band’s 2007 record Two Hunters and have followed this atmospheric/ambient/Cascadian black metal band ever since. Personally, I have found the band’s focus on ecological themes and cosmic transcendence to pair well with black metal’s harsh aesthetics. Wolves in the Throne Room made a solid three album trilogy on Southern Lord Records ended by the krautrock influenced Celestial Lineage in 2011. It is now fucking 2014 and I have heard some shit…

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VINTERSORG – Naturbål

Much like a woodsman who’s been caught in a forest fire, taken refuge in a tree and discovered hornet’s nest, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess many of you don’t speak Swedish. I certainly don’t. Any yet, here I am again, reviewing an album the lyrics of which I can’t understand and you probably haven’t heard of if you’re not into under-appreciated Swedish bands whose recent albums all focus on the four classical elements. If you think this all sounds absurdly pretentious, don’t worry. It…

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ADVANCED DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS (1988)

This is the second Dungeons and Dragons comic from the late 80’s I have decided to review. The first was the Forgotten Realms comic, which ran for two years from 1989 to 1991. At the same time, TSR, Inc., the original owner of Dungeons and Dragons property, published what seemed like an endless series of related comics. There was a comic based on the Labyrinths of Madness module, the Dragonlance setting, and who could forget the one based on the space fantasy campaign Spelljammer. There was also the general comic…

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