A Musical Interlude

Those of you who frequent these pages will know that I’m a metal-head these days, but have roots in Rock, Punk, Rap, etc. In more recent years I picked up a liking for Dubstep and other EDM styles but have always enjoyed electronic music in various forms. As such, I’m typically keeping my ears open for new music from acts that play metal, but I hear the radio here and there or will browse various blogs and find new artists. Enter: GosT. I’m not sure on the pronunciation, if there’s an emphasis on the “ah” or the “oh” sound, so it’s either Gahst or Gohst. Maybe it’s Ghost… either way, it’s an electronic musical act from Finland, classified as either “Synthwave,” “Darkwave” or “Slasherwave,” it sort of defies definition. I originally heard about GosT from a metal website called MetalSucks, and as the title sums things up nicely: It’s the most metal non-metal band you’ll hear all year. I wouldn’t say I always agree with the bands these guys praise, but they seem like they can recognize something special, and I think this band is, despite the fact that you’ve probably never heard of them. It’s silly of me to think that this little blog will ever really help to expand the reach of an international band, but if a couple of my readers find a new album to listen to, cheers.

I just received an email the other day from the band’s Bandcamp mailing list, and it turns out their third album had released. Being on Bandcamp means it’s a name your price sort of option, so if you’re really cheap (or just curious and don’t want to waste money) you can get it for zero dollars (well, Euros actually). All three albums are available, plus an EP, and I recommend them all. As I said they are hard to place, being a band that uses synth-pop sounds like maybe Depeche Mode but melding in darker tones. Some songs are noisy like Nine Inch Nails, some have vocals while others use news clips or slasher movie dialogue samples. Some feels really dancy, while other tracks feel grimey and metallic. I love the diversity between the albums, and even the diversity on individual albums. This artist will keep you guessing. I’ll point you in the direction on where to find the music, but be warned that there is Satanic imagery and or content that might turn some off.

Possessor (2018)

Get it here!

Non Paridisi (Secret Arcana) (EP) (2016)

Get it here!

Non Paradisi (2016)

Get it here!

Behemoth (2015)

Get it here!

Links below each album will direct you to the Bandcamp page where you can download the tracks. I’ll leave you with a full album stream of Possessor so you can check it out. I’ve parked it on one of my favorite tracks on the album.

Enjoy!

All Hallows 2017

Halloween has always been one of my more favored holidays — when we’re kids we trick or treat and get loads of candy, later on in life we attend parties and dress up. It’s a great way to leave reality behind for a night and pretend to be someone or something else. The older we get it seems that we don’t participate as often as we used to. I don’t see the wild Halloween parties raging all night anymore, but we still hold to traditions, don’t we?

I spent part of the weekend in fall/halloween mode. We carved pumpkins on Sunday with the roommates and then started up a fire in the backyard and made s’mores. Drinking around a fire is something I hadn’t done in a long time and it was relaxing!

My contribution to the pumpkin display

This evening we’ll be taking my girlfriend’s son trick or treating and that will be the end of the festivities. I didn’t really put together a costume but found a t-shirt that will keep me on theme with the rugrat. I thought I’d take this time to say Happy Halloween to everyone, and also to share some of my favorite on-theme musical tracks for the holiday. Enjoy!

AFI – Fall Children

The Misfits – Halloween

The Black Dahlia Murder – A Shrine to Madness

The Best Metal Albums of 2015 #Listmas

After making a list in my last post, I remembered why I enjoyed making lists in the first place. I do them periodically on my own, but Listmas is the perfect excuse to make more. So here I am rehashing my idea from last year during this time of making a list of my favorite metal albums of the year. Admittedly I didn’t pay attention to the scene as much this year, so I had to do a little looking around to round out the list. A couple of my favorite bands put out new releases this year, so those were easy additions, but I didn’t really go searching for new music to consume this year, probably because I’ve been so busy with all of the other content generation, and you know, playing games and such. That doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on searching for new music, it was just lower on the priority list for the first time in a long time. Anyway, this year I decided to also pick a favorite song off of each album and include a video for it. So let’s get to it, shall we?

5. Slayer – Repentless

Slayer is a band that most if not all metal bands are influenced by. Part of the “Big Four” that includes Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, they were legends of the thrash scene of the 80’s. They’ve persisted through the decades and still have a signature sound, despite losing some founding members before recording this album. Their dark and brooding lyrics plus anti-religious themes probably won’t sit well with most, but hey, credit where it’s due, they started something bigger than themselves. The title track is my personal favorite, and sounds reminiscent of Raining Blood and other classic Slayer tracks.

4. Thy Art is Murder – Holy War

Thy Art is Murder is an Australian death metal band that I discovered this year. I guess that goes against what I said in the opening paragraph of this post but discovering them was a good thing. The title track from the album is dark and gritty, but paints a picture that resonates within me. The video helps to drive that message home. Good shit. My only complaint is that the mastering of this album was a little light on bass, so it doesn’t thump as hard as it should, but it’s a great album nonetheless.

3. Lamb of God – Sturm Und Drang

Lamb of God has been putting out commercially accepted metal for a decade plus now, and it still feels like they have more in the tank. Not only are they sounding tighter and more polished than ever, but this album feels less repetitive than previous efforts. Still, if you’ve heard one LoG album, you’ve pretty much heard them all. If you like them, you’ll like this one. If you aren’t a fan then don’t expect something different here. It’s still a great album even if you don’t think so.

2. Revocation – Empire of the Obscene (Remaster)

Though technically not a new album for 2015, Revocation’s Empire of the Obscene was re-released this year, so it counts. It’s also their first effort as a band, so it was one of those things you couldn’t find unless you knew where to look. With the remaster you get the demo release that sounds like a brand new album, and because I hadn’t heard it before it was like getting one. I love this band, with their combination of thrash and death metal that just shreds.

1. The Black Dahlia Murder – Abysmal

There was a time when I had a favorite band. They were my favorite band for years and years, but then they took a turn for the worse and I just couldn’t stomach their new direction. I vowed from that day on that I wouldn’t ever declare another single band as my favorite because the same result could come about. Since then, I’ve had a handful of bands from differing genres that I would consider favorites, but if you put a gun to my head and made me choose, The Black Dahlia Murder would be it. Somehow each new release impresses me more than the last, and nothing ever feels rehashed. These are truly creative guys and I love everything they do. The album’s opening track is above and I just love how it builds in intensity before blowing your head off and then maintains that high threshold for the remainder of the song. Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

See something you don’t like? Did I miss something? Do you hate metal? Let me know in the comments!

15 Awesome Covers

It seems every few months I come up with another idea for a list of things that I enjoy, or feel others would find interesting. During last year’s Blaugust, I made a list of 25 of my favorite Sega Genesis games, as the system’s 25th anniversary hit at that time. This year I don’t have a similar holiday-of-sorts to inspire this list, but having touched on a non-gaming related subject yesterday, I decided that I’d do the same today. This time instead of TV, we’re talking music and more specifically, cover songs. I combed through my entire music library to give you 15 of my favorite cover songs! I do have mostly punk and metal leanings, so this might not appeal to you all, but I know some of my readers enjoy similar music, and if nothing else it’s something to experiment with. Who knows, maybe I’ll introduce you to a new band. I have a knack for this sort of thing. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Here’s 15 awesome cover songs, in no particular order!

The Song: The Hanging Garden
By: AFI
Originally by: The Cure
The Video:

The Song: War Ensemble
By: As I Lay Dying
Originally by: Slayer
The Video:

The Song: War Pigs
By: Cake
Originally by: Black Sabbath
The Video:

The Song: Take This Job and Shove It
By: Dead Kennedys
Originally by: David Allen Coe
The Video:

The Song: Sail
By: Devildriver
Originally by: AWOL Nation
The Video:

The Song: TNT
By: Dynamite Boy
Originally by: AC/DC
The Video:

The Song: Supertouch/Shitfit
By: Hatebreed
Originally by: Bad Brains
The Video:

The Song: I Turn to You
By: Machinae Supremacy
Originally by: Melanie C
The Video:

The Song: Tainted Love
By: Marilyn Manson
Originally by: Soft Cell
The Video:

The Song: Minor Threat
By: Pennywise
Originally by: Minor Threat
The Video:

The Song: Imagine
By: A Perfect Circle
Originally by: John Lennon
The Video:

The Song: Danger Zone
By: Psychostick
Originally by: Kenny Loggins
The Video:

The Song: In My Eyes
By: Rage Against The Machine
Originally by: Minor Threat
The Video:

The Song: Dyers Eve
By: Revocation
Originally by: Metallica
The Video:

The Song: American Nightmare
By: Tiger Army
Originally by: Misfits
The Video:

What do you guys think about cover songs? Do you think they can improve on the originals, or do they ruin them? Do you think people copy songs because they love them or because they want to make a quick buck on someone else’s hard work? Let me know in the comments.

blaugust_2015_logo

State of the Tweet

SotT

I’m starting a new feature/column (whatever you want to call it) here on the site, for weeks like this one, where I spent more time playing video games or doing real life stuff and didn’t post anything for a few days. I always have something to say, but sometimes it’s not enough to put into a post. I suppose if I made a post every time I had a small thought, I’d have more posts written, but it’s my preference to write a bit more each time I’m going to post something (or there needs to be some pretty pictures to break things up). Twitter is the king of short posts, limiting you to 140 characters, and so there are periods of time that I don’t post as much here on the site, but I’m still usually tweeting. As such, there are times when I’ll throw out tidbits about what I’m doing, share something entertaining, or just get into debates of opinion on various topics on Twitter, and the blog will stagnate. I’m sure you’ve seen posts in the past where I have embedded something that I previously posted on Twitter, and this post will be no different, though it will be focusing on that completely, as a round-up of sorts, as to what I’ve been doing instead of blogging. I guess this also gives me a space to vent smaller ideas without devoting a whole post to them. Let’s notate now that this feature won’t be a weekly event, it won’t have any set publish time. I’m reserving this column for weeks like this one only, so if you notice I haven’t done any posts for a while, rest assured there will be updates like this coming. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

I’ve been playing a shitload of Ultra Rapid Fire mode in League. It’s so much fun playing extremely broken champions. Anyone can feel like the hero of the game, and not any one champ is broken — they all are. I’ve played Hecarim mostly, and as you can see above, I’ve had some success. There’s a couple other games that went like that, but I have lost with him once, and lost many times with other champions. The tanky/bursty champions seem to work the best, but I’ve seen some carries wreck faces as well.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Psychostick on this blog before, but they’re a “humorcore” band that I’ve enjoyed for a few years now. Humorcore would best be described as metal music laced with jokes and humorous lyrics. It had been a few years since their last album came out, and they recently had a crowdfunding campaign to create this album, which is actually not as good as some of their previous work. I was kind of disappointed with the album as a whole, however there are some gems on it, this song in particular.

I was on a metal kick that day, and ended up on MetalSucks (see link on sidebar) and went down the YouTube rabbit hole. I was never a huge fan of the show friends, but if you were alive in the 90’s you’d have to try pretty damn hard to avoid knowing the show, it’s theme song, or the names of most of the actors involved. Hearing this metal version of the theme song cracked me up.

I hadn’t mentioned it to this point, but you may have noticed the new button-link on my sidebar. I added it in last night, and now’s as good a time as any to let you know about that addition, and what it is. Scree, of The Cynic Dialogues, formed this guild called Obsidian in anticipation of the release of Crowfall. He wrote a whole series on his blog about it, and I have since joined up. To get some practice in and to coordinate our tactics, he’s decided that we should play some ESO PvP in the meantime. Luckily, I just started playing ESO. I did have to roll a new Nightblade in the process, but this time of a different faction. I’m also rolling with the bow this time around, but will add in some dual wielding after hitting level 15. More on this as it develops.

It’s almost May, and that means the NBI 2015 is going to be starting soon. I have already volunteered my services that I provided last year, and we’re hoping to have another great turn out this year. More on this will be talked about in the near future.

I bit the bullet on one of the recent Humble Bundles, and Outlast was one of the games included. I technically already owned it, but it was via Playstation Plus and I believe it was for PS4, so I haven’t ever actually played the game. I tried it out the other night and it really is fucking creepy. More jump scares in short periods of time than I’ve seen in a long time. Wish I would have played this sooner, it would have been included in my list of favorite horror games.

Also part of the bundle, the remake of Shadow Warrior was a game that flew under my radar completely. I was a fan of the original Duke Nukem games from way back in the 90’s, but that was about the only thing I ever played that 3D Realms made. I do remember seeing the original Shadow Warrior back in the late 90’s, but I never actually played it. Missed the news about the remake, but when I saw this I knew I had to have it. Such a good looking game, the mechanics, the story, the humor, it’s right up my alley. As I mentioned in the tweet, I’m going to write about my playthrough of the game, will probably be a multi-part series. Look for the first part of that shortly.

That’s it for this edition. Let me know what you think about this post idea, and if you’d like to see more like it in the future.

#stateofthetweet #gaming #roundup