Watchtower V

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 image comes from Magic the Gathering with an older set called Return to Ravinca. The image, illustrated by Svetlin Velinov, depicts the Simic Guildgate which is one of 10 gates to the guilds which rule over Ravinca. I could explain more…

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SATAN – Cruel Magic

Satan - Cruel Magic

Satan has perhaps the most iconic name in heavy metal history — not because they are the most iconic band in metal history but rather Satan is a pretty big deal. This is what happens when you name your band first and retain a legacy that overshadows all of the other black metal acts with the same name. 1981 saw the first demo from UK heavy metal act Satan and since that time, this cult followed act has retained the rights to being the coolest Satan. It also helps when…

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Watchtower IV

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. As always I also try to highlight an artist and their work in the realms of fantasy art. This month’s picture is of a striking landscape whose creator has been completely severed from the picture. Through numerous searching I can not find the…

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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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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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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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Big Metal Month (March)

Amorphis is a band who I totally know and respect for their early contributions to a subgenre and know almost nothing of their recent work. Queen of Time is the band’s 14th record since 1992 and marches closely to 30 years for the band being active. Queen of Time also sees a return and reformation of most of the original members for Amorphis which is funny considering how far this band has gone with membership. “The Bee” is an oddly named song but sees Amorphis where they feel most comfortable with a sound that is both harsh, melodic, progressive, and spotless in its production.

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Big Metal Month (February)

This is the third single from Judas Priest’s 18th album Firepower. The previous singles, “Firepower” and “Lightning Strike”, gave longtime fans and people who havent listened to metal since the 80’s something to look forward to to as both songs shook off the lethargy of previous records. “Never The Heroes” shifts down in terms of tempo but is still just as strong as previous singles even more so when not looking at the lame lyric animated video.

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Big Metal Month (November / December)

Big Metal Month was a new idea I had to keep up with some of the giant labels in heavy metal releasing new albums from well known bands. Since I have chosen to spend all of my time with dungeon synth and things no one else cares about, it is surprising to see some of metal’s biggest releases pass without notice. Big Metal Month also sounds like a comic book which comes in an oversized magazine with lots of pictures. This obviously makes me happy. Please use this column to…

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NE OBLIVISCARIS – Urn (2017)

ne obliviscaris urn

I remember Portal of I when it came out in 2012 and the massive amount of hype this band got surrounding unorthodox yet seamless approach to extreme music. It seemed like a new era of music for some. I was not around for their 2007 demo which seem to follow the same cycle of hype and foreshadowing to great things. Urn is Ne Obliviscaris’ third record celebrating 10 years of releases and as 2017 comes to a close, this band reminds everyone that they have a firm hold in the…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (July)

Heavy Metal July

As always with this series, I enjoy highlighting art, mainly from Frank Frazetta, but also celebrating other popular works that could possibly align with the sound of traditional heavy metal. Case in point, pulp fiction. If we are going to be more specific than the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Though this writer has many works collected in his career, the name Boroughs is enshrined to two characters, John Carter and Tarzan. The later is where our picture comes from and not from Tarzan but his progeny Korak. The painting…

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Popular Metal Radar (July)

I think I am always going to be destined to write roundups or at least be drawn to them. Processing music is a daunting task and for as many things which come out every week it is difficult to keep up with them or peak people’s interest in everything. Already this site has a dungeon synth and a traditional/speed metal roundup which is delivered to a small niche and loyal audience. What is funny about spending so much time in niche pockets is often not hearing larger releases. I tried…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (April)

I think it is going to come to the point where my choices for Frazetta paintings are going to delve into the racy selections. Before we go full nudity with images how about we slip into adult artwork with this wonderful 1967 painting called Apparition. From the limited amount of records on Frazetta paintings, I can not find any magazine or book cover that this painting is attached. This does not mean this painting wasn’t used for something, rather, any connection is lost. What we do have though is a…

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