review: BLACK SAILS [S02E01]

BLACK SAILS [S2E1] Aired: January 25, 2014 Produced By: Michael Bay Directed By: Steve Boyum Starring: Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Luke Arnold Website: IMDB Score: 5/9 Hammers [yop_poll id=”48″] I completely forgot I had watched the entire first Season of Black Sails until Brendan, the editor, told me about Season 2. I believe this is standard practice to release one season in a year, but the space between the close of Black Sails Season 1 and the premiere of Season 2 feels like an eternity. If I remember correctly I…

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THE CROWN – Death Is Not Dead

Death Is Not Dead is a big deal for the Swedish outfit for a couple or reasons. Firstly, it marks the (hopefully) triumphant return of their original vocalist Johann Lindstrand but perhaps more importantly it’s also the first new thing they’ve come out with in four years. Interestingly, the last thing they released, “Doomsday King” was itself a comeback album after a three year hiatus, which makes this difficult to classify. Is this a comeback to the comeback? The original vocalist is back, replacing Stalhammar who replaced him after he…

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HERCULES (Le fatiche di Ercole – 1958)

HERCULES

It is difficult to argue the grand scope of this 1958 film. First, it was a large production, drawing on various myths and unrelated Greek Mythology, featuring the oiled physique of bodybuilder Steve Reeves. Secondly, Hercules was the refinement, if not the genesis of the Peplum film genre, which saw an absurd amount of Italian sword and sandal films produced between the 50’s and 60’s. Seriously. Looking at the list of costumed biblical, Greek, Roman, Viking, and swashbuckler drama that was produced before the rise of Spaghetti western is near…

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GAME OF THRONES

Game of Thrones

First of all, I should make clear that this is a game for fans. There’s almost no effort made to introduce the world and its characters, and the main selling point is the opportunity to interact with several characters from the show (as voice acted by the shows actors, to a consistently high standard). If you’re not a fan of Game of Thrones, and specifically the TV show, this unapologetically isn’t for you. If you do like the show, though, read on. It’s pretty great. (The game is, I mean.…

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SYLOSIS – Dormant Heart

There’s surprisingly few bands brave enough to release an album this soon into the year, presumably because dick-head reviewers (like myself) might use this as an excuse to name an otherwise mediocre effort “the worse I’ve heard all year” without making mention that it was also the best. But should a pompous ass (also like myself) decide to mar you “the worst” it might rear up to bite me in the ass six months down the line. Sylosis was brave enough. They’ve got reason to be confident. As an England-based…

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BATTLEROAR – Blood of Legends

As 2014 closes, I have yet another release from late spring…of last year. Damn it. As hard as I may try, I will never hear everything from a given year during that same year. Battleroar is from Greece and fills out their sound with six capable members. Seriously. If you have a full time violinist in your band, there is no time to waste dancing around the issue. Battleroar is here to drag its audience to the lonely altar of 80’s power metal with a massive calvary.

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DUNGEON OF THE ENDLESS

Dungeon of the Endless

Going through the year, there’s always going to be mistakes. Titles missed, opportunities lost, paths not chosen. It’s a sad reality that you can never do everything right (except in Dragon Age, where you can get a perfect play-though with only minor internet cheating). So I’m taking the time this week to look back to something I missed, the endless dungeon crawler “Dungeon of the Endless”.

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BATTLE BEAST – Unholy Savior

Battle Beast is a band from Finland that has won a couple of Wacken Open Air contests in the past. This fact seems to follow the power metal band wherever they go, and it is hard to fault them for it. The contest draws together winners from each participating country, after an initial battle (what is a battle?), for a 20 minute performance during a side event at Wacken Open Air, which is judged by three “industry” insiders. The bands are responsible for their own travel and have to fight…

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NORTHLAND – Downfall and Rebirth

Northland were the first band I wrote about on this site, and as such have a special place in my heart and my CD collection. That was a year ago now, and the album was three years old then, so you might have been forgiven for thinking they’d stopped recording new stuff. It’s not that they haven’t been busy, they’ve become something of a regular on the European festival circuit since then, but the lack of a second album could have been a bad sign. A band that runs low…

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CAMELOT 3000 (1982)

I mean, why wouldn’t you read a comic called Camelot 3000? Just by the title, one already has the tone, style, and pretty much all of the plot beaming like a beacon before even stepping foot into the story. Projecting a past legend into the future comes with many expectations, none of which will be able to walk the line of seriousness for long. From the opening pages of Mike W. Barr’s miniseries, Camelot 3000 typifies a pulp adventure by traveling to the furthest reaches of familiarity and ridiculousness. I mean, why wouldn’t I review this type of story? It has knights in space.

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