In Mordor Where The Shadows Are – Homage to Summoning (2016)

Summoning is one of my favorite metal bands. This is not something I say lightly. Rather, favorite bands are only acquired after years of deep thought and reflection. This Austrian band’s contribution to atmospheric black metal as well as parallel influence in the dungeon synth scene and genesis for a smaller grouping of “Summoning-like” bands has elevated their status from metal act to something mythological. Add to this the band’s obsession with Tolkien lore and one has a legendary act which is all deserving of a tribute record. I feel…

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Dark Basements: Swords & Wizardry in Play by Post

Follow Our Game Here! One of the struggles with an interest in old styles of gaming is finding people to actually sit down and play the game with you. I made mention of my previous RPG excursions into Labyrinth Lord and D&D Basic. Most of the sessions for these games never went past a few meetings as they were intended to just introduce the game to my friends. Also it was hard to sell the concept of a megadungeon and a leveling system that started at 1500 xp. This was…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XIX

December Round Up It is true. I already did a December Dungeon Synth Digest. This is another one. As the year winds down and as people are making lists to show the top X of X, the late releases in December always get cast off or added into next years. This is a moves to make sure this does not happen. With the waining days of December drawing to a close, there are a few more dungeon synth releases that need to be picked before closing the door on the…

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Heavy Metal 2016

I believe that it is safe to say that heavy metal in the year 2016 is getting stronger, perhaps to the point that a divide between good and bad is starting to form. When I say heavy metal I mean traditional metal as it is being distinguished from the more symphonic variety of power metal. This could also include some forms of power as well as speed. 2016 saw a lot of words being thrown around for a style that has been around through ups and downs for decades. The…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XVIII

This Year in Dungeon Synth As the end of the year approaches, Dungeon Synth is perhaps one of the styles which will not care when its albums are released. I believe that myself and a new acquaintance Boss the Ross from Toilet OV Hell are the only ones doing any sort of end of the year list. I feel in a scene this active and this small, one can perhaps travel towards and objective evaluation of this year in dungeon synth. Before that however, we still need to sort through…

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ANTIKYTHERA – Antikythera (2016)

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analogue computer and orrery used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses for calendrical and astrological purposes,as well as the Olympiads, the cycles of the ancient Olympic Games. Melodic death is not a genre that you see at the local level compared to things like black and death metal. Melodic death is usually presented by established and experienced with albums full of polish and gloss. Antikythera is from Los Angeles and has made their entrance into the metal universe with a decent EP clouded by…

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Bandcamp Power Metal Roundup #10

Power Metal Roundup

To be honest, it infuriates me when an album is not available for full preview. I can understand if the album is actually not physically out but I should be honest with my emotions. Perhaps this is because teaser tracks and previews for albums feels like an archaic process that was reserved for a time when access to pretty much everything was limited. Bandcamp preview tracks and announcements feel strange in an era where you could get everything at once as long as one turns their attention to the provider….

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METALLICA – Hardwired … To Self Destruct (2016)

A few years ago, I read through Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood’s Into The Black which chronicled Metallica’s most contested and debated portions of history. This segment of history being the time right after the Black Album up to their infamous collaboration with Lou Reed. Despite the book not being as interesting as its premise, a big take away was the ability for Metallica to self sustain and be a long running heavy metal band who were beyond trying to impress people. When one has reached a certain level of…

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Dungeons and Dragons (2010)

Dungeons and Dragons

When you write a comic for the Dungeons and Dragons game, there are a few things you can expect from the story. As the writers and artist can not drastically change the universe which has been building for a few decades, readers can expect a certain level of uniformity when dealing with the world. Additionally, since the comics have historically acted more as a supplement and possible marketing hook, one can expect characters and setting to not stray too far off the path. When you read a Dungeons and Dragons…

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HAMMERFALL – Built To Last (2016)

hammerfall

What is there to say about HammerFall that probably hasn’t been said in the last decade or so? You all know that this band is a Swedish heavy / power metal outfit that since 1997 has made it their goal in life to keep playing the same type of music they seemed destined to do. Since that time in 1997, HammerFalls has made a similar sounding albums complete with their own armored mascot named “Hector” which has appeared on each cover. Save for 2011’s Infected, every cover has had some…

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DUNGEON SYNTH DIGEST XVII

The New, The Odd, and The Old I have been keeping up with new dungeon synth for about a year and half. By keeping up I mean have gone through pretty much every release that arrives on Bandcamp and pull the ones I enjoy or want to highlight. Recently, I have been separating new artists that I have already highlighted. Dungeon synth has a tendency to have artists releasing multiple works over the course of the year. I actually enjoy this aspect of the genre more than others. So if…

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The Dragon Magazine [Issues 1-5] (1976-1977)

My fascination with tabletop has always been an immersion into fantasy with the least amount of props and tools. A lapse into fantastic places with the use of dice, books, and pens which provide hours and days of entertainment over years has always been intriguing to the point of obsession. Tabletop RPGs offer the creativity, social, and introspective escapism to make it one of my premiere hobbies. As I travel further into the history of RPGS, some of my interests also lie in how this type of game emerged and…

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SAOR – Guardians (2016)

One can rely on Saor for many things. Not only does this Scottish black metal artist have a legion of devoted followers, but the passion which has been welling up inside those fans since 2014’s Aura has been tangible and almost frightening. This is why the announcement and preview of the artist’s third record Guardians has been met with excitement, acclaim, and downright longing from that community. It is hard not to get excited with everyone as Saor has been one of the few artists who has been making new…

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KHEMMIS – Hunted

I know that certain corners of the internet are not as well traveled as others but I am here to tell you that one particular corner is hot with a fiery passion over Khemmis’s new record. This may sound strange as this Colorado based band represented by 20 Buck Spin has done little other than release an esoterically celebrated record in 2015. What in the world would get so many people excited other than fantasy driven traditional doom? Oh just that.

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