Hollywood Metal Staff – 2015 Album of the Year Selections

Every year the staff at Hollywood Metal puts forth their selections and runners-up for album of the year. They are as follows: . . . . . . . Kaptain Carbon Runners up: SULPHER AEON – Gateway to the Antisphere BLIND GUARDIAN – Beyond the Red Mirror LEVIATHAN – Scar Sighted GHOST – Meliora Luke Maudsley Runners up: AMIENSUS – Ascension BEHOLD! THE MONOLITH – Architects of the Void NHOR – Momenta Quintae Essentiae Brendan Biryla Runners Up: AMORPHIS – Under the Red Cloud BLIND GUARDIAN – Beyond the Red…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST VI

One of my dreams is to become an expert on dungeon synth, or at least talk about it enough that people think of me as an expert. you are here because someone, probably me, has talked enough about this strange little genre that at least enough interest has been piqued for further investigation. This genre was opened to me by the work of Erang and has led me into a magical world of fantastical ambient music and obsessed musicians who create worlds with sound and imagination. There are few musicians…

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The Hollywood Metal Top 5 games of 2015

It’s years end again; the days get shorter, the night gets longer, small gods the world over brace themselves for eternal night that’ll never come. It’s in the darkest part of the year, a grim reminder of why so many ancient religious picture the world falling to snow and ice rather than fire. As that snow falls and the world itself seems to die around us, we’re filled with that most human of needs: the need to blindly fantasize about the past and figure out which five games are adorning…

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TRIDDANA – The Power & the Will

Argentinian power folk. To someone new to the scene it might seem more a random collection of words than a descriptor, like tartan language potato or French military victory. The connections ain’t obvious. Thank the gods then for Triddana, the Argentinian power folk group who seem determined to teach the world that you don’t have to come from a country whose main exports are snow and beards to make some thunderous folk metal. Musically, they lean harder on the bagpipes than any group outside the Scottish army. It’s a truly…

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MORDHEIM – City of the Dammned

Mordheim is the latest in the seemingly endless parade of Games Workshop tie-ins that the recent Vermintide: End Times was part of, but while that game was an enjoyable tie-in that took full advantage of the setting without feeling held back by it, that’s an exception to the rule. More often than not they seem to be uninspired dross churned out by whichever studio was lucky enough to bump into GW in a bar while it was still on the rebound after the end of Relic studios. Almost all of…

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Power Metal I Missed in 2015

Every end of the year I try and round up all of the power metal albums that have come out over the year and that I have listened to, then I try to make a judgement on them in list form. This never works. This does not work because I do not listen to nearly enough power metal compared to other genres. I am not the person to ask regarding high profile power metal that could be added to the canon of contemporary releases. What I can do, however, is…

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SUBLIME EYES – Sermons & Blindfolds

Sermons and Blindfolds is the second major release of Norweigian Metalers Sublime eyes, the largely (and unfairly) unheard of band hailing from Stavanger, a town I can only imagine was founded among the frozen bones of an ancient wyrm. Norway’s full of them, I imagine. More important is the question of whether Sermons and Blindfolds does them justice; Dawn of the Defiant was an underappreciated gem of Melodic/Thrash Death Metal and, though I’ve somewhat lost track of them in the five years since, seeing Sermons released drew me back in….

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Light of the Fire: An Interview with the Dungeon Lore Foundation

Me suddenly owning 65 dungeon synth recordings from one obscure Russian label was an accident. I do not know if Bandcamp was having a sale but there was an option of owning everything released by Dungeon Lore Foundation (DLF) for the modest price of 15 dollars. If you had been following any of my fanaticism on dungeon synth, you would figure that this was the deal of the year. It was. 15 dollars is sometimes the price of one record so having 65 of the same thing seemed to be…

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Conan (2004)

Beginning to talk about Conan makes me want to take a large breathe before speaking. This is because I do not know how much people already know. If you know that this character is a pulp creation of Robert E Howard from the early 20th century then we are off to a good start. If you know that this character was at the center of a world created by Howard and did a large part in developing the sword and sorcery genre then there should be no need to worry….

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST V

Dungeon Synth Digest V

One of my dreams is to become an expert on dungeon synth, or at least talk about it enough that people think of me as an expert. you are here because someone, probably me, has talked enough about this strange little genre that at least enough interest has been piqued for further investigation. This genre was opened to me by the work of Erang and has led me into a magical world of fantastical ambient music and obsessed musicians who create worlds with sound and imagination. There are few musicians…

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WARHAMMER – The End Times: Vermintide

For reasons that probably involve an endless lust for cash, Games Workshop recently murdered their entire fantasy setting in a tide of snivelling rat. This made a lot of people very unhappy and has widely been regarded as a bad move. This is partially because that was a world with a rich and involved lore that now no longer exists, and partially because its fans had spent hundreds of dollars and hours building a plastic army that is now worthless in the current world. That and the addition of fucking…

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SWALLOW THE SUN – Songs from the North I, II & III

I personally heralded the movement to digital, pay per song download as the best thing to happen to music since the invention of the electric guitar; while there will always be something incredible about well formed albums as a whole, buying one in a pre-digital world was always a risky business. Not only were you lucky to find the one you wanted, assuming you weren’t after whatever was in the charts that week, there was a good chance the one song you’d heard that convinced you to purchase was the…

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PANOPTICON – Autumn Eternal

I would never have thought Panopticon would fit within the scope of Hollywood Metal. As you are probably aware, Hollywood Metal is in the business of celebrating metal that can be defined as “epic.” Panopticon is an American black metal project that has as much interest in liberal social and political views as it does in American folk music. While this does not sound like it fits in with other metal bands who write about dungeon crawling and viking lore, the two approaches can be similar. By the closing notes…

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NHOR – Within the Darkness Between the Starlight

“Within the Darkness between the Starlight”, aside from being the eternal realm of the old ones, is now the latest release from ambient folk, atmospheric black doom metaler and notorious adjective hoarder Nhor, and the first thing I noticed upon picking it up is the album cover. Their cover is immediately reminiscent of the illustrations you used to get in old Lord of the Rings novels, with greyscale forest bleeding upwards into a chaos of branches and a tiny figure who seems lost and alone, even though, as far as…

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