TWISTED TOWER DIRE – Wars In The Unknown

Getting into Twisted Tower Dire maybe more complicated than most people are willing to venture. This of course doesn’t matter if you have already been into the band prior to 2019 or never hearing anything from this band except for this record. Twisted Tower Dire has had a long history of contemporary power metal with members weaving in and out of bands like October 31, Walpyrgus, While Heaven Wept and even the maligned Arghoslent. If those first three bands ring any bells, it is a good indication on where Twisted…

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Dungeon Synth Meditations: Chaucerian Myth

A few weeks ago, Out of Season contacted me to write a reflection on Chaucerian Myth’s The Canturbury Tales. This 2016 record is seeing a CD reprint and the label wanted thoughts and musings about the record for the booklet. I was more than happy to take a walk down a nostalgic path. I was also pleased to write about dungeon synth again as the sound still interests me after a brief sabbatical with other things. I do not think I will ever write monthly digests again but reflecting upon…

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WARRIOR PATH – Warrior Path

When I read Greek power metal band Warrior Path featured vocalist Yannis Papadopoulos from Beast In Black, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed since I did not know who Beast in Black was and it was being used as a selling point for Warrior Path. I was also embarrassed as Beast in Black was a Nuclear Blast release with an impressive traction before realizing that band also had a recent release in 2019 so I feel like less of a pretender. The reason I am talking so much about this…

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE – The Eighth Mountain

rhapsody of fire the eigth mountain

Walking into the 12th studio album from Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire can be done in two ways. the first, and perhaps easiest is to enjoy the sound of triumphant power metal centered around the beginning of a new narrative. The second, and perhaps more interesting, is to step back and take int he dramatic history of a band that started with an almost different set of members and two narratives and over 20 years ago. We will, of course, choose the second road as the saga…

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Watchtower IX

This month’s Tim White image is a gorgeous image depicting two figures reveling in their apparent solitude among lush alien foliage. The cover was used on 1992’s Exile by Michael P. Kube-McDowell though the synopsis “The surviving witnesses to an alien encounter have been sentenced to exile for two decades, and now one man is ready to listen to their forbidden memories” does not feel like it fits the cover image. Regardless, Kube-McDowell’s Trigon Disunity trilogy recieved much praise in the 1980’s as well as a 1990’s trilogy of Star…

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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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Rotting Christ – The Heretics

To begin this review, I think it is safe to stay in the current era of Rotting Christ. To discuss their entire history would require a longer article as well as a more in depth knowledge about the band none of which I can supply. I am certainly knowledgable about the bands current albums as well as watershed albums such as Thy Mighty Contract which is not only regarded as a classic in the black metal scene but in development of the hellenic sound which typifies certain Greek acts. If…

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AVANTASIA – Moonglow

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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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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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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Heavy Metal 2019: Upcoming Releases

avantasia 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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