Casual Magic: The Fate of Brawl

I wrote the title a few weeks ago after attending the Star City Games Open in Baltimore. The dire title reflected my thoughts when exactly zero events for Brawl fired over the course of the weekend. In fact, Brawl became a lighthearted joke for most of the open when the announcements looking for players to fire a pod were met with chuckles and banter. Even I shared in the amusement for this format that seemed to be doomed before even beginning. I was one of the few waiting for a…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XXXVI

Dungeon Synth Digest XXXVI

Yes, I know. That picture is amazing. The above image is from the Basic Dungeons and Dragons module CM5: Mystery of the Snow Pearls. The numbering comes from the Companion set of Basic D&D as Companion was intended as an expansion for characters level 15-25. The acronym BECMI lays out the level progression and supplements for characters with Basic Rules supporting character levels 1 through 3, Expert Rules supporting character levels 4 through 1, Companion Rules supporting levels 15 through 25, Master Rules supporting levels 26 through 36, and Immortal…

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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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