MASMORRA #1 – A Dungeon Synth Zine

MASMORRA #01 First Published: March 2015 Publisher: Romulo Score: 7/9 Hammers This year I have talked a lot about Dungeon Synth. An absurd amount to be precise. I think I have talked about Dungeon Synth more than other genre at my first acquaintance with them. This all happened because I stumbled upon Erang, which led me to his private Facebook group, which led me to multiple albums of ambient electro medieval music, which led to the short stories and maps, which led me down farther into this weird cavern of…

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An Obituary for Sir Christopher Lee

It is difficult to be a part of the fantasy and metal community and write a memorial for Christopher Frank Carandini Lee for many reasons. First of all, it is slightly emotional since the longtime actor and musician has been a part of both fantasy and metal culture for quite some time. Aside from making his own silly metal records, Lee provided the voice for Rhapsody’s introductions, primarily as the role of the Wizard King on the 2002 record Symphony of Enchanted Lands II. Additionally, the actor is perhaps best…

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CAIN’S OFFERING – Stormcrow

I’ve never understood super groups. I mean, of course I understand the coming together of a group of fantastic musicians to form a great, new whole, but surely that’s what all bands are? Insisting that your group is superior (and what else does the word “super” insist?) simply because you’re all already successful seems a little big smug, especially if you consider just how few of them are any bloody good. This is one of the many things Cain’s Offering do differently. A simple merging of Timo Kotipelto of Stratovarius…

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THE VARANGIANS

History is filled with tons of drama, blood, gore, and probably more blood. It is no wonder that heavy metal draws on history as inspiration for some of the greatest songs of all time. I can really only highlight one example, but suffice to say, history is filled with badasses, archvillians, and crazy stories. Just turn a Ken Burn’s documentary on and crank up the tunes! The Varangian was the name given to a group of river vikings that ruled the Kievan Rus’ (modern day east Russian Federation) and developed…

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ARMORED SAINT – Win Hands Down

Armored saint are a band with a mildly troubled past, in much the same way that testicular torsion is a mildly uncomfortable condition. Emerging doused in hairspray and clad in leather during the eighties, they’ve struggled in and out of existence more times than Marty Mcfly’s extended family, and for about as long. After a 1983 formation, they put out some real heavy metal before disbanding again in 1993, when lead vocalist John bush left for Anthrax and the rest of the band just left. Since then they’ve wandered back…

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THE WITCHER 3

3 games in, and I couldn’t tell you why they’re called “witchers”. They’re not witches. Though they do do magic, they don’t call it magic and it’s nothing compared to the pan-dimensional shit actual witches pull. What they do do is murder magical animals. They’re actively working to remove magic from the world. That’s the opposite of what a witch is, but they don’t even try to murder witches. If Geralt, the titular witcher, is an example, they spend more time getting friendly with witches than killing them. The only…

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PARADISE LOST – The Plague Within

After 14 albums, you might expect to know a band pretty intimately. You can expect to have a good idea of what they do well, what they don’t and, more importantly, you can expect them to have a good idea too. Other than the occasional accident, 14 albums is enough to know whether or not you’re the kind of band that sings solemn hymns about the destruction of hope or the kind that who punctuates their stage shows with gigantic hydraulic penises. It’s a fine line but the sooner a…

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CONAN THE BARBARIAN

conan the barbarian 1970

If you have been a loyal follower of Hollywood Metal, you will remember my review of the of the Savage Tales of Conan, which was a magazine comic run in the mid 70’s by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor Smith. Savage Tales, which would later be Savage Sword, was sort of a party for the two as they were not chained by the comic code authority. Why did they do this? Well, it is hard to say, but it was probably because they spent 5 years prior making the squeaky…

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THE CROWN AND THE DRAGON (2013)

Jesus, I really do not want to be negative but these current fantasy films are sort of making me this way. I am always timid when it comes to criticizing music albums, but find myself more desensitized toward films. although just as much hard work goes into a film as an album, the blame for bad cinema can be spread over a larger party including director, writers, actors, editing, and just about everyone involved. This may be the case for The Crown and the Dragon. I will even track down…

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