Watchtower III

Viktor Mukhin Final Land

Watchtower is a monthly digest compiling interesting developments in speed, heavy, and doom albums on Bandcamp. to fit the theme of the site, these albums were chosen for their recent release and also for potential interest with people who are already adventuring in the worlds of fantasy. this month’s feature image comes from Ukrainian concept artist Viktor Mukhin whoese works can be seen here for anyone interesting in getting lost in imagination.

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BONGRIPPER – Terminal

I know I say a lot that these metal reviews are not fitting of the site but as an exception. Bongripper could be the furthest thing from fantasy metal as I can ascertain but we are traveling to the realms of stoner doom and while the genre certainly has its own flair for the fantastic they also have one goal in min which is pure suffocation. Terminal is the band’s 7th record for this instrumental stoner doom act and by the two tracks which total over 40 minutes, they are not giving up the drugs of heaviness.

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Life Beyond The Real: The Legacy of John Bauer

John Bauer Dwarf

If you have paid attention to the Dungeon Synth scene within the last few years, you have seen the work of John Bauer and more specifically his illustration “Ännu sitter Tuvstarr kvar och ser ner i vattnet” (Still, Tuvstarr sits and gazes down into the water). This watercolor was a favorite among Dungeon Synth fans for its vintage quality in fantasy art and the deep folkloric traditions of Swedish myths. The painting came in a collection of other myths which were published in the 1907 anthology “Bland tomtar och troll” (Among Gnomes and Trolls). This painting was popular at its time which was used in a shampoo ad in the early 20th century and later in the 90’s as a cetnerpoint for a nature conservation campaign. For as relativity obscure John Bauer has become int he canon of art and even fantasy art, Tuvstarr has become a beacon for many people to find his work. Even though Tuvstarr has been used in various ways, the lure of imagination and myth is still potent today as it was over a hundred years ago.

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Casual Magic: The Philosophy of Group Hug

This is perhaps one of the first deck explorations I have written for this site and it comes from years of tinkering and playing with a specific EDH strategy called Group Hug. To catch everyone else up, EDH is a format for Magic the Gathering where multiple people play with 100 card singleton deck at 40 life. The games are longer, the cards are crazier, and format has become a paragon for casual players as its regulations is dependent on social politics and in group rules. While the atmosphere of…

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OBSCURA – Diluvium

Oh Obscura. Why are you so entertaining? It was in 2011 when I really got into this German progressive death act and even had the opportunity to interview them for another publication. Since that time, I have been enjoying the band’s work as they make their way across the galaxy much in the same way a colossal malevolence devours star systems. Diluvium is the band’s 5th album and while not changing their main focus from space based annihilation, does continue the quest to make that annihilation as entertaining as possible.

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Watchtower II

Watchtower is a monthly digest dedicated to seeking out interesting and new releases that encompass the sphere of heavy, speed, doom, and power metal. There is less restrictions to what is put in this digest with the only scope being of interest to people already on board with the rest of this site’s content. I am not going to say that one with an interest in fantasy comics, fantastic movies, and certain video games will enjoy everything in this digest but it maybe a safe bet. Artwork for this month’s…

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MTG / D&D: The Ruins of Zendikar

Zendikar is a dangerous world of lethal risks and priceless rewards. From the perspective of its inhabitants, it is a hostile place that seems to be actively trying to kill any creature that has the audacity to live there. The danger is unrelenting. Precarious terrain, cunning predators, and natural disasters on a massive scale all present a constant challenge to survival— as do the unpredictable ripples of change that wash through the plane, known to its people as the Roil. Even the mana that suffuses the land is wild and…

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GHOST – Prequelle

It is difficult to believe that we only four albums into their career. It feels strange as so much has been written on this Swedish heavy metal band that their tenure in the world of heavy metal seems like it should be longer. With so many fans, detractors, press coverage, marketing schemes, and new converts, Ghost should be at least 20 years old. It certainly feels that long.

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Weirding Ways

Out of the Dungeon I believe it is time to say farewell… for now. Since the close of the Dungeon Synth Compilation project, I have found myself unable to harbor the same zeal for discovering new projects associated with this scene with the same frequency as before. This is no one’s fault but rather a migration of interest to other things. Over the past handful of Dungeon Synth Digests, I have found more interest in the fringe and odd sounds found on Bandcamp. These genres can range from experimental, new…

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DARKEST DUNGEON

[Editor’s note: This article was originally published February 18th, 2016. It has now been updated to include video of Luke playing the 2018 DLC expansion] Darkest Dungeon appears, at first glance, to be a game so simple as to be generic; yet another dungeon-crawler so steeped in simplicity that it’s fucking painted. That’s what I was expecting anyway. What I found, down there in the diseased crypts of the ancestral grounds, changed my mind forever. In less wanky terms, it’s unexpectedly deep. The premise, at least, is simple: your uncle…

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The Tomb of Dracula

Alight, before we begin let our get our bearings of what Dracula comic we are talking about. Dracula, the famous literary and film villain everyone has already heard about, got a lengthy stay in a Marvel based comic during the 1970’s. Though the villain appeared in a 50’s comic called Suspense, the modern narrative of Dracula in the Marvel universe began in 1972 with creators Gerry Conway, Gene Colan, and Marv Wolfman. Dracula, as a character based on literature, was used as a way to circumnavigate the Comics Code which prohibited ghastly things like vampires. Tomb of Dracula, as a color comic, ran throughout the 70’s along side a 13 issue black and white magazine publication called Dracula Lives!

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Casual Magic: The Fate of Brawl

I wrote the title a few weeks ago after attending the Star City Games Open in Baltimore. The dire title reflected my thoughts when exactly zero events for Brawl fired over the course of the weekend. In fact, Brawl became a lighthearted joke for most of the open when the announcements looking for players to fire a pod were met with chuckles and banter. Even I shared in the amusement for this format that seemed to be doomed before even beginning. I was one of the few waiting for a…

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