HERCYN – Dust and Ages

“Dust and Ages” is the first full album from Jersey-based metalers Hercyn, though I use that term lightly. Their previous work consists entirely of “Magda”, a 24 minute ultrasingle that’s universally adored by the 200ish people who’ve heard it; “All this suffering is not enough”, a collaboration between themselves and “Thera Roya” a different indie outfit who I assume (based entirely off their latest album art) make songs about moon people who explode into fish. Well, that or drugs. Similarly, If you’d only heard “Magda” you might assume Hercyn exclusively…

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BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – Abysmal

To be honest, I really have no foothold on Black Dahlia Murder, other than the fact that a lot of people try to recommend it to me when I mention heavy metal. However, there does not seems to be that much to understand about them, as Black Dahlia Murder seems to be making a career out of a systematic stream of melodic death since the early 00’s. In fact, their album release schedule since 2003 has revolved in 2 year cycles, which puts further albums at 2017, 2019, 2021, and…

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LAMB OF GOD – VII: Sturm und Drang

[Editor’s Note: this release was also reviewed by Luke Maudsley.] It is really easy to use Lamb of God as a target dummy. I mean, for the past 100 years, this band has carried the thickheaded metal legacy that was passed like an aluminum beer can torch from Pantera. Throughout the 2000s, this band has cranked out record after record of middling groove metal that reinforces the stereotypes of heavy metal being the equivalent of a punching bag used to release uninteresting anger. Lamb of God is less like a…

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WAY OF THE SAMURAI 4

Historical Japan as a setting seems to be one that game developers can only take two ways; either you end up with something staunchly historical like the Total War Shogun series or something fiercely proud of its ridiculousness, like Toukiden: Kiwami. Way of the Samurai 4 was perhaps intended as a mix of the two, blending the historical tension of the end of Japan’s isolationism and the influx of British influence with stupid names, absurd voice acting and a legal system entirely based on the threat of BDSM. It’s an…

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KRISIUN – Forged In Fury

Krisiun are a Brazilian heavy metal outfit most famous for their incredible longevity (all twenty five years of it) and their incredibly regular output (all twelve albums of it). Perhaps they keep busy as a way to forget, their industriousness a shield from the memories of one terrible night, all those years ago. Maybe they just love their music and hate their day jobs? It’s a question almost as compelling as how three guys managed record twelve albums without losing their collective grips on reality.

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KATAKLYSM – Of Ghosts and Gods

It’s not uncommon to begin an album like this with a sound bite from an obscure movie used as an inspiration. Usually it’s little more than a conspiratorial nudge for fans in the know, something to let smug dickheads like myself feel vaguely superior about for all those nights spent watching cheesy movies in the nineties when other, lesser fans were out having relationships and developing themselves as people. For this reason, they work best when they’re obscure; there’s a sense of camaraderie to spotting the villain’s monologue from some…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST II

Dungeon Synth Digest II

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. Or even become an expert by default in absence of anyone else who cares. Whatever the case, this genre, that was opened to me by the work of Erang, has led me into a magical world of fantastical ambient music and obsessed musicians who create landscapes within their own heads. There are few musicians attached to this genre, and perhaps even fewer listeners,…

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RED SONJA (Marvel Feature #1-7)

red sonja

Well, it looks like we are going to get into some really nerdy territory, which is actually alright for this type of review. In going through some of the highlights, gems, and forgotten garbage that makes up a basement of fantasy related comics, I have found a genre that interests me despite its quality. Vintage fantasy and sci-fi related material is endearing and comforting despite its quality, and is even sometimes better when hacky and rushed. This may be a terrible way to introduce Red Sonja, but if we are…

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LANCER – Second Storm

Lancer was actually somewhat of a surprise as their second album, Second Storm, came on a streaming queue while I was doing other things. It was not until halfway through the album that I realized what was playing. Holy shit, what is this sound. Holy shit, look at that cover. Holy shit, is this a Swedish band flying at the speed of light, below any known radar detection, all of this time? It is true, Lancer has existed for a couple of years and has been making decent records to…

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ASSASSIN’S CREED – Rogue

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue might not be the most obvious choice for review right now, considering it came out in the far prehistory of about six months ago, but in fairness this is fucking July. Nothing comes out this time of year, so it came down to this or a PC re-release of a 2011 PS3 J-RPG, and frankly, I’m not quite that desperate yet (though come back next time when I almost certainly will be). It is notable for being a pretty clear rip-off of Assassin’s Creed 4, which was…

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LAMB OF GOD – VII: Sturm und Drang

Lamb of God have been through some serious shit since their last album in 2012. So much shit that a combination of legal fees and Randy Blythe’s fatigue sent the whole project into hiatus, which, as we all know, is the band equivalent of booking an appointment with Dignitas. While unquestionably the dude most harmed by the whole fiasco is the guy who fucking died, it’s hard not to see the whole incident as a a bit of apocalyptically shitty luck. In the end it’s probably a good thing they…

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CRADLE OF FILTH – Hammer of the Witches

Oh Jesus, Cradle of Filth, where do I begin? Actually I do not think I can begin anywhere with this British extreme metal band. I say extreme metal because the band has toggled between so many styles that nailing them down into one specific genre is pretty impossible. From death, to symphonic black, to some sort of cathedral spectacle, Cradle of Filth has endured many changes as well as a litany of scorn from the metal community. I am not one to speak for the metal community as a whole,…

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