BLACK SAILS [S3E02-05]

I have talked at length, and possibly ad nauseum, about the complexities that makeup the Starz original series Black Sails. Only by stopping for a moment before jumping into a marathon session of the third season did I begin to appreciate what those complexities are. Black Sails is a prequel to the children’s story Treasure Island, and even though the story has some mature elements, it is still a far cry from the violence and deplorable climate of Black Sails. However, for this reason, one can take solace in the…

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DREAM THEATER – The Astonishing

Written by “not the biggest Dream Theater fan.” I feel that reviews from the neutral are important in album assessment. Being excited about an album is certainly fine but too much can cloud perspective. This is especially true for bands with deep fandoms, and sometimes hyperbolic polarity in terms of praise and criticism. Dream Theater is a band with a very long history, and because of this history, has almost become intertwined with the genre of progressive metal. Over the course of a few decades, this American band has released…

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Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #2

In an effort to keep up with power metal as much as other genres this year, I have decided to comb through Bandcamp each month and listen to a variety of albums pulled from it. It is my hope that by the end of this year I will reach some sort of opinion on the state of power metal. This will be, of course, subject to whether or not the album is on Bandcamp, which may only paint a select portrait but I can only do so much. In fact,…

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AVANTASIA – Ghostlights

Re-reading my review on Avantasia’s 2013 The Mystery of Time shows a reviewer who didn’t really enjoy power metal but was pleasantly not annoyed by this one. This is certainly different than how I feel today. Before the release of Ghostlights, the sixth album by Tobias Sammet’s rock opera collective Avantasia, the song “Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose” was released as its single. The reason why this song is important is it changed the template of what was expected from Avantasia, as it drew inspiration from, at least in my mind, Meat Loaf and his way of making melodies. With that being said, Ghostlights is not Bat Out of Hell IV, and while that may be a disappointment to some (mostly me) this album is a pretty fantastic record none the less.

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FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE – King

Fleshgod Apocalypse

How can you ignore a band called Fleshgod Apocalypse? Why would you ignore a band called Fleshgod Apocalypse? What is a Fleshgod Apocalypse? These are the questions that keep me up at night. There doesn’t seem to be an answer either. At best I can imagine some towering form of coalescent meat, squirming and squealing and shitting in one of the dimensions the other gods avoid, trapped forever in the celestial equivalent of the bad part of town. Why you’d name your band after that is truly beyond me. Why…

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Dungeon Synth Digest VIII

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. Dungeon Synth was offered to me by the work of Erang and has since led me into a magical world of fantastical ambient music and obsessed musicians who create worlds with sound and imagination. There are few…

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DRAGON’S DOGMA

After finally having wandered onto PC after years of lonely console exclusivity years, Dragon’s Dogma is probably a little too late to take advantage of its audience. The kind of people who are going to buy it now, four years on, are the same people who’ll compare it to things like The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition despite it being significantly older. Predictably, it doesn’t do all that well from that comparison. The Witcher 3 was of such ludicrous quality that it practically reinvented the western PRG, and Dragon’s…

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BEORN – Time to Dare

My first impression of Beorn’s latest was a good one. Not because of their bizarre, music box-esque intro, but the album cover itself. There’s not a lot to be said against anyone with the pure obsidian grit to take a fucking galleon off a jump like it’s your dad’s Ford Mondeo. There’s the same kind of inventive recklessness you’ll immediately recognise in their music too. Star Ocean starts like it was ripped straight from the heart of the nineties. A weird, almost techno intro that wouldn’t sound out of place…

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