WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)

White Zombie

It is time to depart the realm of Universal based horror films to somewhere else. While all recent horror reviews have centered around the iconic films of the early 20th century, as well as gems made from the same studio, there were others to consider. White Zombie, by all definitions and terms, was an independent film that was pieced together with thin budgets and a condensed schedule. The film’s “star” Bela Legosi was hired for an undisclosed amount of money and served as the film’s sole draw. It is not…

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FABLE ANNIVERSARY

This is the fourth time I’ve bought Fable, and I suspect I’m not alone in that. Launching originally for the Xbox in 2004, it sold well enough that the developers decided to re-release the finished version a year later. Naturally, I bought both and then, when the bigger version came to Steam, I bought that too. And you can see just how much I loved it on this very site. Now, marking the fourth time I’ve paid full price for Fable, I feel like after spending what must be in…

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CANNIBAL CORPSE – Skeletal domain

The challenge, when reviewing any of Cannibal Corpse’s stuff, is to try and say something that hasn’t already been said. This is a band with history, goddammit – a 24 year long legacy of meteoric success, of overcoming any and all obstacles. Long neglected by the radio and TV, by leveraging the power of word of mouth, Cannibal Corpse have developed the kind of cult following necessary to overcome national bans of their music in Australia (and even countries who aren’t secretly run by a shadowy cabal of frightened old…

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WEREWOLF OF LONDON (1935)

werewolf of london

Watching old horror films can illuminate certain trends among films that may have been previously missed or latent. Cinema, as well as other forms of art, can be thought of as a projection of present cultural attitudes. The renaissance of cinematic horror, which populated the early half of the 20th century, is as full of transparent fears and desires as it is with monsters in makeup. The character of the Wolfman does not illustrate humanities’ fear of wolves, rather this 1935 horror film continues the theme of horror by way…

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XERATH – III

XERATH - III (2014)

I wish I could open up this review saying that Xerath were a long-time favorite of mine. Admitting that this, their third album since forming in 2006, is the first of theirs I’ve heard almost feels like a sacrilege. I mean, these guys were award winners before they were signed, and they’re from the UK! And they were at bloodstock! These are my people. But I can’t. What I can tell you is that, for approximately 4 hours now, these guys have been one of my favorites. Despite originating in…

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STORMWARRIOR – Thunder and Steele

It is important to note that Stormwarrior, a speed metal band from Germany, has been active for longer than most people realize. In the span of a little over a decade, this band has produced 4 records and been host to one of the most confusingly constant lineup changes of recent memory. Though many things have changed for Stormwarrior, guitarist and vocalist Lars Ramcke seems to be the bedrock of this band, or at least the one member that has remained a constant in this maelstrom of speed metal.

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LICHDOM – Battlemage

lichdom

Lichdom: Battlemage (from here on called Battlemage, because why the hell wasn’t it?) launches entirely on its premise to “make the mage feel like a badass” which, frankly, doesn’t seem like it should need any help. Being the avatar of the obviously nerdy fantasy of “guy reads a lot of books, becomes god” might make him the focus of whispered gags between the fighter and the rogue, but it’s not like they’re going to muster the balls to say them out loud. Not if they value remaining invertebrates, that is.

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DRAGONFORCE – Maximum Overload

First of all, I would like to note that I am about to criticize a worldwide known band, if not one of the most well known contemporary metal bands. Literally, my opinion means nothing when compared to the fame this band has earned through near brilliant marketing techniques. I am just some asshole on the internet. With that said, it is surprising to see Dragonforce’s stock rise and fall throughout this decade.

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DARK FORTRESS – Venerial Dawn

The concept album is basically my white whale – an ancient and fantastic thing that I irrationally hate for its rarity with the same passion I seek it out. Dark Fortress have been something of a salve for me over the last few years; a band that occasionally releases some of the most interesting and unique death metal in the world before disappearing again, locking the ancient oaken doors to their doom fortress and returning to their ritualistic contemplations.

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ASTRAL DOORS – Notes from the Shadows

Astral Doors, as the name indicates, are a band that focuses on old-school cosmic mysticism; the steel tones of heavy metal tempered by the lighter tones of folk. For twelve years now, they’ve looked back, showing through unashamed and single-minded energy that old school metal isn’t dead. The first thing a new listener will notice though is just how much the lead singer sounds like Dio. Because he sounds very much like Dio. The vocal range, the pitch, the energy is very much in the Ronnie James spectrum, which is…

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THE MUMMY (1932)

The Mummy 1932

The Mummy is interesting for a variety of reasons. First of all, it continued Boris Karloff’s reign as the horror heavyweight in yet another memorable film. Secondly, it began a series of unrelated films that featured an ancient Egyptian corpse as the central villain. Last, and probably most importantly, it has little to do with what we think of as the Mummy monster. While the 1932 film undoubtedly has references to the still wrapped corpse brought back to life, stalking around present day, the actual trope of a white bandaged…

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RISEN 3: TITAN LORDS

The Risen games (as we’ve said before) are always pretty lacklustre affairs. They seem to exist exclusively in that space where other, better RPGs don’t – a kind of poor person’s Skyrim, posing as a brief distraction from the fact that we’ve still got a couple of months to go before The Witcher 3. At least, that’s what they always used to be. This new one is, paradoxically, priced higher than Skyrim was at launch, and the same as the third Witcher game. At first I didn’t know what to…

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