Saor – Forgotten Paths

Even though Andy Marshall began his Saor project in 2013, it was not until 2014, with the record Aura, that I feel it really caught the interest of the greater public. This project combined the very familiar structures of atmospheric black metal with an almost reverent devotion to folk and atmosphere. Aura’s wild and meditative cover encapsulated the music which was also both wild and meditative. With the release of 2016’s Guardians on Northern Silence and now the release of a new record on AvantGarde, this once semi obscure black…

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Avantasia – Moonglow

At this moment, I have written two reviews on Avantasia and their records since 2013. This will be number 3 which means I have spent 6 years embraced in the loving arms of this power metal ensemble. Compared to some of the other music which catches my interest, Avantasia is incredibly wholesome and reminds me of the best times I have had with other bombastic heavy metal and hard rock. Just the fact that the opening track “Ghost in the Moon” has shades of Bat Out Of Hell era Meat…

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Ravnica Underworld: Krenko’s Way

This is a continuation of my thoughts and feeling about the D&D MTG campaign my group is beginning. My group is comprised of interested players who have had little to no experience with the system. What they do have, however, is knowledge about the campaign world which is the city planet of Ravnica. What Wizards has done is thrown our group a rulebook that will make our dreams possible and begin a long campaign in the underworld of Ravinca. There was a lot of questions on how this was going…

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ANCIENT BARDS – Origine (The Black Crystal Sword Saga Pt 2)

Ancient Bards - Origine

I feel my attraction to Ancient Bards comes in part with my love for Rhapsody and all of its iterations. I also feel Ancient Bards has perhaps endured the comparison to fellow Italian symphonic power metal band once or twice. Let us make this one more for old times sake. Origine is the followup, conceptually, to the Ancient Bard’s 2010 debut The Alliance of the Kings – The Black Crystal Sword Saga Pt.1. I mean, we could probably throw in their 2008 demo entitled “Trailer of the Black Crystal Sword…

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Thor the Conqueror (1983)

Thor the Conqueror

Trying to find information on Thor the Conquerer is difficult as this 1983 Italian film isn’t an obscure cult classic rather a forgotten artifact from a time when cheap movies were being made at an extraordinary rate. It is evident within the first few minutes of the film that the production value, acting, narration, and pretty much everything else is going to be on the level of a high school project. It is also evident at the first battle scene, that this movie is going to be for certain audiences…

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Temple of Mystery Records – Trapped Under Ice Vol. 1

Trapped Under Ice

When it comes to metal, Canada has a distinguished legacy and a thriving contemporary scene. From Voivod, Anvil, Exciter, and Annihilator to some of my personal favorites like 3 Inches of Blood, Unleash the Archers, Striker, The Order of Chaos, and Blood Ceremony, Canada has been sending heads banging for decades. Now Temple of Mystery Records shines a light on some of the lesser known ranks of the Great White North metal legions. Trapped Under Ice Vol. 1 is a compilation boasting ten tracks from a diverse roster of underground…

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Watchtower VIII

Watchtower VIII

This month’s image…along with the entire 2019 set of article will come from Tim White. White was born in the UK and spend most of the 70’s make dozens of illustrations for well known and obscure publications, from the cover of Salem’s Lot by Stephen King to the cover of UFO UK. Tim White has a career of fantastic paintings from the awe inspiring to the ridiculously awesome. I am also spending the first installment catching up with things that I either missed from last year or am not just…

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Ravnica Underworld: Beginning The D&D MTG Campaign

ravnica

The Guildmaster’s Guide To Ravnica (GMGTR) is perhaps one of the best things which could be published for our current Magic The Gathering (MTG) / Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) group. I mean, how could Wizards have done a better job at tying my two special interests together? Perhaps combine it with my love for science fiction? Perhaps in the future. This recent supplementary book ties in the plane of Ravinca, all of its collected history, and general lore for proposed adventuring using the 5th Edition (5e) ruleset for D&D. It…

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Sorceress (1982)

sorceress

“The evil wizard Traigon must sacrifice his firstborn child in order to maintain his powers. This prompts Traigon’s wife to run away after her twin daughters are born. When death is near, she gives the girls to the warrior Krona, who has promised to take care of them and raise them to be exceptional soldiers. Twenty years pass, and Traigon begins to hunt for his daughters to make good on the sacrifice, and the twins, now skilled in warfare, are forced to do battle with their father.”

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Aquaman (2018)

It has been a while since I wrote a movie review to the point of being nervous if I still knew how to review a film. I do not think I ever knew how to write a review rather I just enjoy throwing my opinion out regardless if people want to to hear it. The last film I reviewed was the Indian epic Balhubali and before that the Spielberg retrotrip Ready Player One. There have been a handful of movies I could have done before the newest DC superhero movie…

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Heavy Metal 2019: Upcoming Releases

moonglow

As we say goodbye to the year 2018 and hopefully now amass our actual lists of 2018, it is time to rush ahead and look at all of the awesome albums set to be released in the early part of 2019. This list does not constitute all of the albums but it does amass the popular release which everyone will most likely be discussing. Use this list as a bookmark or reason to go through back catalogs in preparation for the new work. Heavy metal never sleeps and neither should…

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Stoner Roundup at the New Year Corral

Happy New Year to one and all, and welcome to the flipside. Dragging anchor today? No problem, I’ve got your back. Stoner metal, as the name would suggest, is the perfect soundtrack to a day spent in bed nursing a hangover, and 2018 saw no shortage of sun-baked desert riffage. A few made my Top 25 list, but many more were deserving of some shine. Time to remedy that. So order some takeout and soothe your aching noggin with some fuzzed-out grooves that you may have missed out on last…

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The end of an era: ANACHRONAEON – Everyday Chronicles

Anachronaeon - Everyday Chronicles

In late 2007, around the time that my fiend Damon Wang and I were getting Hollywood Metal off the ground (back then a radio show on 99.3 FM, a short range local station in Hollywood, CA) I happened across an obscure Swedish melodic death metal band called ANACHRONAEON from Västerås. The song that captured my attention was “The English Wizard” from their first full length album As The Last Human Spot In Me Dies (2007). I was obsessed with this song for months… still am. With it’s weird harmonics and…

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