Watchtower #1

Watchtower: Bandcamp #1

My relationship with power metal has changed at least when trying to review it for this site. At one point I did a power metal Bandcamp series but then ran out of things to talk about. I then did a traditional metal revival series but then ran out of enthusiasm every month. Perhaps this is the split difference as a series dedicated to popular and upcoming Bandcamp metal albums which range from power, traditional, speed, and doom. The unifying force it seems is the quest for escapism and immersion of sound.

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DIMMU BORGIR – Eonian

Dimmu Borgir - Eonian

I love Dimmu Borgir but explaining it may take time. For as much as this Norwegian, once black metal progenitor, has taken criticism for their symphonic style, the more I am drawn to their world. Since the early 90’s, many bands and albums have done what was covered in Dimmu Borgir’s first two records For All Tid and Stormblåst. In terms of black metal history, these two records are not even hearlded compared to the cannocial albums from Darkthrone, Burzum, and Mayhem, Since 1997, however, few bands have covered the ludicrous ground trodden by Dimmu Borgir once leaving their traditional black metal sound.

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DARK STAR – Dark Star

Dark Star - Dark Star 1981

Classic Metal Rewind is a way for me to revisit the past and unearth some heavy and power metal gems that I was either not knowledgable enough to listen to when they were released or not born and thus unable to purchase. Even if I was alive during the time of these releases, there still is the reality that I would have not been cool enough to be in the know of some lesser known heavy and power metal. Classic Metal Rewind is a chance to carve my own history where I am laying in my bed with giant headphones and a stack of great records in my queue.

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Casual Magic: Brawl

Magic the Gathering BRAWL

Fun VS Function I am struggling to think about what this series is and could be and what use it would be for others. I certainly have a lot to say about Magic the Gathering yet I still feel woefully inadequate in my knowledge and analysis over certain topics. Okay, most topics. Over these past couple of years, I have found myself locked in a purgatory between the domains of casual and competitive play for the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Perhaps this is where everyone resides just with…

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Big Metal Month (April)

Adult Swim’s Singles series has been a pretty decent source for sub mainstream one offs from a variety of metal and non metal bands. In 2017, Adult Swin did 52 singles throughput the year from bands like Protomartyr, Thuindercat, The Field, Dinosaur Jr. and just about any band that was pulled from the collective brain of the hip listener. Pallbearer is up for a round following their well received 2017 record Heartless. Expect sullen dispositions and mournful congregations.

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KAMELOT – The Shadow Theory

We are going to be completely honest and say that this is probably my first experience with Kamelot outside of cursory acknowledgement of their name as a power metal band. Checking my mental library, it seems that yes, this is the first album from Kamelot I have listened to. I wish I could say otherwise but I am not going to sit here and pretend to recount facts about their past when I am just pulling them off the internet. What follows is an honest account from someone sort of…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXV

BASIC DS. Life on the Frontier I have been trying to come up with a name for this type of dungeon synth. Over the past couple of months and year I have seen a style of DS that leans towards the raw, lo-fi unrefined, and potentially crude. This primitive style is usually adorned with very simplistic album covers even looking like poorly drawn monsters out of RPG bestiaries. In fact the aesthetic for many of these records are geared towards old D&D dungeon crawls where the theme of fantasy RPGs…

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Worlds Apart: 1d4 Con

1d4 Con

I believe the final numbers, in terms of attendance for 1d4 Con was 297. This tabletop convention held at a Holiday Inn in Martinsburg West Virginia broke their previous attendance by about 20 or so people and the organizers were ecstatic at the numbers. This sort of enthusiasm for growth is the type of thing I enjoy in conventions and even something I seek out when looking for local events that may not be so local. We drove around 2 hours to attend 1d4 Con and while the 3 day…

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XOTH – Invasion of the Tentacube

XOTH - Invasion of the Tentacube

This is melodic death, as serious as last time, but now with a nice line in playful over-expression. Xoth were never slouches lyrically, each track of Hostile Terraforming had something worth hearing in it’s grunting, gritt throated vocals, and invasion of the tentacube is no different. They seem to double down on that this time, and audio balancing means they hover forever at the edge of understanding. Usually close enough for understanding on your second or third listen, but at a first spin you’ll be too awed by the thrumming of the guitars, the relentless drumming and the hearty, ever energetic bass to pay the words much mind.

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Ready Player One (2018)

ready player one

Ready Player One is both the name of a 2011 science fiction novel by Ernest Cline as well as the 2018 film adaptation by Steven Spielberg. What is funny about the gap between the book and the film release is distance we as a culture have traveled in terms of interest and tolerance for referenced material. From the genuine excitement for films like Lord of the Rings and X-men to the almost pitiful pleas for films not based on books, we as a culture have endured the trials of adaptation….

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