TITAN SOULS (Part 2)

Titan Souls - 2015

This is the second time I’ve reviewed Titan souls. if you’d like to know what I thought of the luddum dare free version, click here. This is a game in which a small, silent protagonist of unclear motivation wanders the ruins of a massive empty world, hunting down and dispatching a number of strange and improbable beasts to advance a plot they cannot fully comprehend. Whether or not you imagined the hero riding a horse is a good way of testing which classic I just described had a greater effect…

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An Obituary for TERRY JONES

I remember Maryland Deathfest in 2013. I was excited to see Pagan Altar and brought a notebook to write down stories that came to me during their set. Though it was sunny and mildly warm in the blocked off street corners, there were few things that could sway the atmosphere of a band that dedicated themselves to classic, hypnotic doom. This was not an afternoon in downtown Baltimore, rather high Autumn among the lush rolling hills of antiquity. I remember the crowd cheering when the band took the stage, followed…

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LEPROUS – The Congregation

I don’t tend to listen to albums before I decide to review them. Obviously, if there’s something grotesquely wrong with the music after a first listen I’ll write it off, but otherwise I grin, bear it, and try to think of an interesting way of saying “this sucks” in 500 words or less. I don’t mention this because Leprous suck, because they don’t. I mention this because I decided to review them based entirely on the strength of their album art. Because their album art is, quite clearly, two bird…

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SIRENIA – The Seventh Life Path

Sirenia, depending on who you ask, is either a Norwegian gothic metal band or an order of passive aquatic mammals more commonly known as sea cows. They’re an odd amalgamation of synth, heavily produced artificial sounds and choral singing – the band that is – whose greatest achievement is to somehow make all of that feel perfectly natural. With all these elements, like grafting a mighty death laser onto a and gentle sea cow, if it’s handled correctly it’ll at least be interesting but if you fuck it up, it’s…

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HAND OF FATE

Hand of Fate

The trick when describing something like “Hand of Fate” is to keep yourself from talking solely about what it’s not. It’s a card game, except not really, what with the third person combat ultimately deciding most of your fate. It’s an RPG, except you don’t really level up or travel anywhere, and spend most of your time collecting cards. It’s a dungeon crawler, except you spend the entire game sat at a table, watching a hooded man with a voice like honeyed pork smugly performing card-tricks and occasionally calling you…

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KORPIKLAANI – Noita

Korpiklaani is, in my limited understanding, the gritty reboot of the band Shaman, which in itself was the gritty prequel to Shamaani Duo. Either that or the band’s name changes signal a change in composition and direction while maintaining a solid link through their core musical style and membership, but honestly what are the chances? My money’s on the first thing. What’s important is the nature of that direction, and thankfully Korpiklaani is on to a winner. Despite what their unwieldy name might suggest, they’re the masters of energetic, light…

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KAMELOT – Haven

Alright, Kamelot. I recognize that name. It is power metal. Spelled with a K. Oh Jesus, they have 10 albums and have been around since 1995. Oh, fuck, they are not from Europe like I originally thought. Goddamn it, this is going to be a really awkward review. If you are wondering at all why I am reviewing Kamelot after clearly having no idea who this band is, it is only because I feel progressive and power is insular in its celebrations and associations. Unlike doom, black, and even death…

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television review: BLACK SAILS [S2 E8-E10]

BLACK SAILS [S2 E8-E10] Aired: March 14, 2015 – March 28, 2015 Produced By: Michael Bay Directed By: Clark Johnson / Stefan Schwartz Starring: Toby Stephens, Hannah New, Luke Arnold Website: IMDB Score: 6/9 Hammers If anything can be summarized by my series of reviews of the Starz television series, Black Sails, it is that it is unpredictable, similar to a violent ocean that throws its viewers to and fro. By the close of the second season the show’s producers allowed everything to fly and characters to meet logical conclusions.…

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WILDERUN – Sleep at the Edge of the Earth

Well, this is it. There have been discussions and wonderings of when American folk metal was going to become a thing and I guess it is here. Though the black metal act Panopticon sort of took the mantle of bringing folk struggles and quasi anarchism into the metal arena, Wilderun fully embraces American lore and turns it into something that oddly sounds like European folk metal. No matter. Wilderun attempts to dive deep within the lush burrows of the American countryside to celebrate the diversity of the United States with…

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UNLEASHED – Dawn of the Nine

Unleashed

Upon starting up the opening track, I was immediately assaulted by familiarity. I don’t know where, or how, but I was overtaken by the sense that I’d heard this before. A run through of the usual suspects, from Candlemass to Testament, offered no answers, and further listening didn’t help either. Every now and again, I’d find something I thought would be a perfect match, most notably Judas Priest’s “Battle Hymn” and Testament’s “For the glory of…” but side by side nothing fit. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is…

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IN VERBIS VIRTUS

I tried to learn Latin once, for reasons I can’t remember but probably had something to do with being a tremendous nerd. I bring this up because, after having played this game for about two hours, I started having Rosetta Stone flashbacks. “In Verbis Virtus” doesn’t exactly try to discourage the association, what with naming itself in Latin and marketing itself as a “fantasy adventure” in which you cast spells using your “real voice”. Not real magical spells, obviously. Think of this as being akin to Rocksmith, only using gameplay…

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