TREASURE ISLAND

TREASURE ISLAND

This particular review exists because of my insatiable lust for all things BLACK SAILS. If you’re unfamiliar, that is perfectly forgivable as it airs Saturday nights on the obscure STARZ network with a limited audience reach as a consequence. Nevertheless, the show has garnered recurring critical acclaim over the three seasons that exist to date. Our own Kaptain Carbon reviews the series for Hollywood Metal. The length of time comprising a week is never more apparent than when it separates airings of your favorite show. Last week I filled this…

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DRAGONWOOD

DRAGONWOOD

A deep-seated regret I have in life is missing the boat on Magic: The Gathering. Unlike most D&D players, who seem to have an automatic knowledge of MTG, I have not yet learned how to play this most epic of fantasy card games. Granted, my D&D career was short-lived (5th-8th grade) but I still feel like I missed a turn somewhere. Now that I follow Kaptain Carbon on Instagram, that deficiency is thrown in my face nigh on daily. (The Kaptain is at some Magic Grand Prix event in D.C….

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EINSTEIN’S DREAMS

EINSTEIN’S DREAMS

If ever there was a book that could be classified as prog metal this is it.

Set in Bern, Switzerland, in the year 1905, Physicist Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams explores the literal consequences of hypothetical postulates derived from Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity and some deep thought about the nature of space and time.

The vehicle for this exploration is a series of dreams that occur to a certain youthful patent clerk that take place in the two months leading up to June 30th. The day the journal Annalen der Physik would receive the paradigm-shifting paper. (The third of four he published that year as part of his Annus Mirabilis or “miracle year”.) It’s a quick read, about 140 pages, but that’s all Lightman needed to create myriad of mind bending worlds by modifying the physics of time, space, and entropy.

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SINICLE – Still in Mind (EP)

SINICLE – Still in Mind (EP)

The year was 2011, the place was Hollywood, California. It was a rough time for the metal scene. A significant portion of the local-band-friendly clubs had closed down in the last year and opportunities to play in this once-glorious rock town were dwindling. Among the casualties were The Knitting Factory, The Black Castle and The Key Club. It was into this environment that some buddies and I attempted to buck the trend by starting The Hollywood Metal Concert Series at a small cafe called The Green Room on Hollywood Blvd,…

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KALMAH – Seventh Swamphony

KALMAH – Seventh Swamphony

Well, some months have past without me contributing a written piece to the site and now that Kaptain Carbon is the lead writer, I’m apt to look terrible by comparison. However, I’ll try anyway… With 2013 now ended it’s time to pay homage to the band whose 7th studio release is the one I am selecting as my 2013 album of the year. In a metal world where great bands always seem to feel the need to “evolve” after 2-3 kick ass albums, Kalmah has issued a big fuck you…

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PHALGERON – Cosmic Cataclysms

PHALGERON – Cosmic Cataclysms

Long ago (~3years), and far far away (1/4 mile down the street), I saw a local band called PHLEGETHON open for TYR, ALESTORM and SUIDAKRA on the Pagan Knights Tour at the now defunct Knitting Factory in Hollywood (R.I.P.). I carved out some space to rock on the second level next to my then radio co-host Damon Wang and below us was a packed house of sweaty heathens who were in for a spectacular night initiated by three over-delivering local bands (EINVERA and STATIUS being the other two). This trend…

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IN MOURNING – The Weight of Oceans

IN MOURNING – The Weight of Oceans

I was really prepared to like this album a lot more than the 5/9 may indicate. In Mourning was brought to my attention by a friend and frequent co-host of the radio show a few months ago. We played a track from their previous album, Monolith, on episode 105. That song and album were good and I had high hopes for this new one, The Weight of Oceans. The artwork and name of this album are a 9/9 collectively. Upon seeing it for the first time I thought this was…

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CRYOSTORM – Destroyer of Ardor

CRYOSTORM – Destroyer of Ardor

A pleasant surprise hit our inbox last week as CRYOSTORM sent the sophomore release from their Exeter UK-based melodic death metal outfit. It’s an EP called Destroyer of Ardor, which came out last year. Now I was quite ready to be disappointed when I read “new melodic death metal.” For reasons unknown to me, I’ve had a string of bad luck locating quality new MDM bands. I don’t think the genre is suffering from a lack of good bands, it’s just a big area of growth for metal, and with…

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REVIEW: SVARTBY – Elemental Tales

REVIEW: SVARTBY – Elemental Tales

SVARTBY is a Swedo-Russian outfit hailing from Saint Petersberg, where, apparently, they have wild imaginations… How long did you stare at that album cover? A little right-click “set as desktop background” action perhaps? Elemental Tales, is the 3rd full length effort from these guys and they have yet to disappoint. Thematically, the band delves into the more fantastical side of folk metal with them opting to create their narratives from in-house mythologies and, likely, oceans of vodka. That much is pretty clear from the album art. What’s not clear from…

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MR. FASTFINGER – In Motion

MR. FASTFINGER – In Motion

It’s hard to sit and write this review because this album is so damn GROOVY! As I’ve stated before on Hollywood Metal, Mika Tyyskä is my favorite guitarist. He’s been so ever since I discovered “The Sensei” around the time Hollywood Metal was getting started in 2007. I’ve wasted incredible amounts of time at work playing with the interactive games/lessons led by the guitar-sensei, Mr. Fastfinger, on the band website which doubles as a learning experience. Mika is the man behind the character and his guitar playing ability is second…

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