The Double


Let's Play - Shadowgate - Part V

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You know, there was a time when beards were a rarity in the world of heavy metal music. Lots of hair, leather and spikes but facial hair was pretty hard to come by back in the day. Scott Ian of Anthrax developed some impressive chin whiskers and Kerry King of Slayer grew himself a mighty goatee. Nowadays, a formidable beard goes part and parcel with the heaviest of heavy metal and helping to sustain that trend is UK band Krokodil, who's modus operandi is "mostly beards and riffs".

Australia has a long and proud musical history, both in terms of bands who have come from there and bands who have gone there to play.  The people of Australia are clearly in full support of the musical arts, particularly rock and extending into metal.  Still, for all that exposure and support, death metal is rarely thought of as a genre born Down Under.  Set to try and break that stereotype is Hadal Maw, a fast-rising death quintet hailing from Melbourne.


If I didn't know any better, by listening to enough heavy music, I would swear that the gods of rock and roll are the same ones worshiped by the Vikings. Rarely have there been songs written about the Greek and Roman gods, not that they didn't have some twisted stories that could make for interesting heavy metal, but something about the Norse has made them to go-to deities for metal bands. Skálmöld takes up their heritage, as many others have, with a bombastic style that pays tribute to those gods, while making us all feel a little bit more like an avenging warrior along the way.

Metal bands are cannibalistic. I don't say that in the sense of a Cannibal Corpse lyric, but in the sense that it's hard to find new metal bands popping up that don't have members of already established bands in them. It seems like practically everyone plays in three or four bands, which is great for fans of those players, but not so much when it means every band begins to sound even more like every other band. The members of Asphyx have been guilty of this, populating their main band, along with Hail Of Bullets and Grand Supreme Blood Court, and now Soulburn.

In Part 4 of our Shadowgate Let's Play, we face off with the pesky Goblin that confronted us at the end of part 3! Plus, we delve deeper into the Castle as we uncover more mystery and more story line! Our quest grows more dire, the deeper we go and the portents hint and something big and evil yet to come.  But, our satchel is over flowing with unlit torches and various pumpkings, so at least we have that going for us. 

After years of quiet (and some would argue disquiet,) from the collected musicians that made up KYUSS, there’s been a huge burst of productivity in the last eighteen months.  First, Vista Chino, which is essentially the pioneers of desert rock under another name released their ‘debut’ album “Peace,” to rave reviews.  Earlier this year, vocalist John Garcia released his self-titled record and now Brant Bjork returns with another band and has released a record under the banner of “Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band.”


This past Friday, I picked up a new game and it took over my weekend!  On November 4th, Nicalis released a reboot of The Binding of Isaac and it's turned out that the improvements they've made over the original game are pretty big indeed.  When BoI originally came out, it was a game developed in Flash and it showed its limitations.  The controls where there, yet game pad support wasn't.  The graphics, though basic in their pixel art glory, showed some rough edges as well.  With this remake, we have a whole new game engine!

Here's a question... what if, instead of Ian Gillan, Black Sabbath had replaced Ronnie James Dio with a female singer? And not just any female singer. A female singer with power and soul who really knew how to belt out a lyric.

I think we have our found our answer in the form of the band Avatarium.

Avatarium is from the country that never seems to be short on new and interesting metal acts, Sweden. Hailing from Stockholm, they bring with them a sound that's part metal, part blues and a whole lot of intensity from vocalist Jennie-Ann Smith.

The adventure continues as Casey delves deeper into Castle Shadowgate! What lays in wait? You'll have to tune in to find out.

Alternative rock, or what passes for it these days, is not something I keep apprised of, so much of the rock music the greater populace knows about are the sorts of bands that have slipped past my radar. Trail Of Dead, as I will shorten the name for the sake of my sanity, are one of those bands that for whatever reason I have never had the opportunity to experience. I have heard the name countless times, and it seems like I have known their music, but I haven't.

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