Exploring Ixalan

Forward I have always wanted to do more Magic the Gathering content on this site but have found myself unable to frame a good concept. For the past couple of years I have predominantly played Commander (EDH) with various plunges into Pauper, Legacy, and Modern formats. Even though Magic has taken up a large portion of my life, I felt in no way informed enough to write articles on the subject. More so, the amount of content and things I wanted to talk about was so vast, I could not…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation IX: Trials in the Shadow Realm

This is not only the 9th volume in the dungeon synth compilation but the third chapter in an ongoing musical narrative. Back in the early part of 2017, an idea for a dungeon synth compilation was raised both on the Facebook page as well as the dungeon synth forum. Not to have conflicting or competing compilations that could possibly be confusing for some, the two were consolidated, planned, and released together. At this moment, there are three volumes released seasonally with one being traditional, one being experimental, and finally one…

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Dungeon Synth Compilation VIII: On Old Misty Roads

Before we begin I find it important to mention the breaking up of music into two volumes. Aside from being practical in having two volumes instead of one 2 hour compilation, the split between the two is purely aesthetic and done at the whim of the compiler. Since the beginning of these compilations the music was grouped between the more traditional and the more experimental. This does not mean that the artists themselves chose that distinction rather it was grouped that way based on the selections. Given a different set…

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Big Metal Month (September)

Mastodon returns to us with a short EP which is following their 2017 album Emperor of Sand. The difference between these two releases is Cold Dark Place is a stripped down minimal version of Mastodon with a steel pedal guitar as the primary instrument. While I have had varying views on Mastodon since basically their beginning, Cold Dark Place is an interesting diversion for the band who has had varying successes with experimentation over the course of their career.

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Dungeon Synth Compilation VII: Tome of Lost Worlds

Tome of Lost Worlds represents the 7th compilation made in 2017 and the start of a the third round of seasonal collections of new dungeon synth. Since starting this project, I wanted to showcase new and recent works from a variety of artists who are either entering into the genre or even working on new material. The series has naturally fallen into three volumes which have become the traditional volume, the experimental volume, and finally the narrative volume. Tome of Lost Worlds represents the traditional volume or at least the…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXVIII

If there ever comes a time in my life when I do not listen to dungeon synth (DS), I will look back on it as a genre that give me much more than the music everyone thinks about. DS is related to so many weird and outsider genres that just by association, it offers walking paths to some of the more fringe genres of electronic music. This digest is set up in a way that it leads with some of the more popular traditional sounding music and eventually unravels into…

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Modding D&D Basic

D and D Basic

Alright. History first. “The Haunted Keep” was a beginner scenario planted in the 1981 Dungeons and Dragons Basic Rules Set. The editions of Basic D&D would be released in colorful boxes which would be distinct alongside the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks. Basic D&D was intended to offer a stripped down ruleset that would eventually lead into higher levels with the advanced books. The Haunted Keep was a starter dungeon intended on teaching would be Dungeonmasters how to make up their own adventure as it gave the barebones of a…

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Pathfinder Log: Edge of Anarchy

Pathfinder - Edge of Anarchy

This is the start of a diary / log of of sorts revolved around running the Curse of the Crimson Throne campaign using the Pathfinder RPG system. This is not my first time game mastering an RPG game nor is it my first Pathfinder game. What this is though is my first time running a planned adventure as I have spent the past couple of years running homebrews which used loosely collected Pathfinder and D&D 3.5 rulesets. This is me trying to play it straight and for my players. This…

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SEPTICFLESH – Codex Omega (2017)

Septicflesh - Codex Omega

Before we start this review. I must give thanks to Spiros Antoniou (Seth) for not only having an AMA on r/metal rather than other places on Reddit but answering most of the questions from fans including mine about the alien latex suit they wore for promo shots. the name Septicflesh carries weight in the extreme metal world for being one of the more recognizable names in the atmospheric / symphonic death genre mostly because there are only a handful of bands actually employing the style. Even if this wasn’t the…

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Diminished by Nightmare: The Phantasmal Architectures of Monsù Desiderio

Throughout my writing tenure at Hollywood Metal, I have always been into art — specifically fantasy art. While there is much to discuss on contemporary fantasy art, I have found myself drawn to the fantastic works of pre fantasy — meaning fantasy before it became fantasy as we know it today. Since the mid 20th century, fantasy has taken on certain tropes and stylistic markings that we can easily identify something belong to the fantasy genre or at least near it. My interest in pre-fantasy comes from fantastic artworks made…

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Heavy Metal 2017 (August)

As we seen with most of our cover images, this painting by Frank Frazetta, titled the Norseman and made in 1972, graced the cover of the inaugural volume of Flashing Swords magazine which was an anthology of sword and sorcery and other weird fiction. The first issue had stories from Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, and Poul Anderson. unlike other publications which sort of butchered the original composition,. Flashing Swords was unique in the fact that the entire Frazetta painting was given a nice black frame which allowed the picture to…

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Big Metal Month (August)

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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