Games Meet Metal: 2010

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The First Great Game Pick-ups of 2011

By Nathan Werp, aka Riff, editor-in-chief

So did you watch the VGA's last week? Yeah, pretty tortuous, huh? It just sees that no matter how much the industry wants an awards show (either metal or video games, in this case), the result is just an eyesore to watch all the way through. The skits were horrible, the production was lousy, and the awards themselves were treated with as equal of dignity as my cat's hairballs. Of course, the only reason we bothered to watch the show in the first place were the great game reveals for the next holiday season.

Now, I'm all ready for Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3, and Elder Scrolls 5, but that's still some major time away. Not to mention that a few of the games mentioned are inevitably gonna get delayed. The biggest deal for me is that so much hype is going into the next holiday, that everyone's forgotten that there's a crapton of great games being released in the next three months. So, to serve as both a reminder and a shopping list, here's my five picks for the good stuff of early 2011. Vids included!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

8-bit Metal Whatever Day of the Week It Is

If you live in the midwest, then I know exactly what you've been doing the past couple days: avoiding slipping all over the place. As for me, avoidance of hitting any black ice has also been combined with a busy work week, thank you tons of fucking snow. And that's why there hasn't been an 8-bit Metal Monday this week. Just work work work. Ever had the joy of two 16-hour days next to each other? I do, and "joy" is a stretch of the term.

My winter listening of Opeth has turned a bit more thrashier and thus I've been medicating with Chimaira. Chimaira just says something winterey to me. Maybe because the mythical chimaira had a goat's head. Maybe it's from the band being from Ohio. Or maybe it's because every time they film a dvd, they just gotta do it in the snow. Either way, I say Chimaira need to do Christmas tree ornaments. Their logo would look awesome on a mini-globe.

And now, time for the bleepy. Here's Ressurection from the Ohio boys.


Friday, December 10, 2010

A Tour For The Sick: The Riff Live Review

Saturday, December 4th @ the I-Rock

Well. it's the last show of the year for me and the Michigan crew, and it's surprisingly low key. Not that the bigger venue down the road was hosting a Trapt show and everyone with a pulse decided to go there instead of the superior show here at the stuck-in-the-80's I-Rock. Oh well, some people just have no taste. 

Okay, on to the photo dump!

GAMES THAT ARE METAL: Infinity Blade may make you a Socially Inept Bastard

Infinity Blade was released yesterday for the iphone and has already been certified (by myself) as piece of gaming badassery. Using the Unreal Engine 3 to render its epic fantasy visuals makes for one of the best looking portable games ever. For technophiles the visual novelty alone would be worth the six dollar price tag. But BEHOLD! Infinity blade manages to bring your favorite hardcore gaming tropes like looting, leveling, managing character stats, a huge arsenal of weapons, combine it with a Punch-Out!-like fighting system, and package it all in easily digestible chunks.


Gameplay is streamlined to walking short distances, seeing if you can spot loot and getting into fights. Rather than complicate things with free-roaming sections, you just touch the direction you want to proceed, the enemy you want to engage or the item you want to grab. Once you begin a battle you’ll be swiping and poking your touch screen in every conceivable way to parry, dodge, slice and block. The battle system (as previously mentioned) can be equated to Punch-Out! with swords. Since the action is more based on reading your enemy’s ‘tell’ than pulling off complicated combos, the touch controls are a great fit.



Infinity Blade’s depth is reinforced by a Rogue-like influence. Try as you may, you are not going to take down the big boss, the ‘God King’ (best name ever) on your first journey through his castle. Your inevitable failure means that in 20 years time your son will return to avenge your death. During this second “bloodline” you’ll fight different, more challenging enemies and get new items, but retain the level, gear and money from your previous play-through. To some this design choice may seem cheap, but I’ve been sucked into PSO and Diablo enough times to know that it works for me.

If you have a newer generation iphone, ipod touch or ipad, and six bucks to burn, you may neglect your friends to sneak in little battles with massive adversaries. God King!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering a Great Musician


Six years ago today, Dimebag Darrell (born Darrell Abbott) was playing a gig with post-Pantera thrash metal band Damageplan. This would be his last performance as he was shot and killed while doing the thing he loved most. At the time of his death, the future of Pantera was unknown and he was currently working on the underrated Damageplan with his brother Vinnie Paul. Being unfazed by the breakup of Pantera, it looked as though Dimebag would continue his reign of the metal world.

It's no mystery that Dimebag was one of the most influential guitar players in metal history. His sound is unmistakable and it ruled the early 90s metal scene. The above image is seen on T-Shirts and guitar magazines to this day as his legacy lives on. Aside from being a great guitarist he was also known to be a very humble and a well respected figure in the music industry. He hardly had any enemies which is why his death was even more shocking. So while others are remembering the death of John Lennon, throw in some Pantera in honour of this Cowboy From Hell!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holy Grail's Crisis In Utopia and Wilthered's Dualitas: Another Disturbying CD Review

Our metal mailbox (that's right) was stuffed last week, so today I bring you a double review. This has to do in part because we received many an album to dissect but also because all of the albums we received are already in stores (one for as long as 9 months!). The albums I am reviewing are from two different sides of the metal spectrum but both on Prosthetic Records. Holy Grail is a Power Metal Band out of Pasadena who have just released their debut album where Withered is an Extreme Death Metal band out of Atlanta and this is their 3rd album. I'm going to try my hardest not to compare one to the other but we'll see what happens.

8-bit Metal Mondays (On Tuesday): The Traditional Beginning of the Season

'Tis the season for groping about the snowy weather here in the Wolverine State. Actually, you won't hear any groping from me, as I'm good to go. I just a bunch of pants, I have several warm jackets, and I have a brush/ice scraper combo for my car. Also, I'm quite the fatty lad, so I insulate well. So for winter, I'm READY!! However, with snow in Michigan comes a sense of denial that rivals Bush's second term. People who have lived here for well over 30 years are still surprised that the white stuff still falls on the ground this time of year. Then they bitch and moan about it. Oh, it's cold. Oh, I have to shovel. Oh, it's cold again. Oh, COME ON PEOPLE! Most of y'all have lived in th stat for over 30 years, so you knew this shitty weather was coming! Now grab a shovel and a bag of salt and get to work!
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In keeping with the chilly season, I picked up some bone-chilling Opeth. The Royal Albert Hall performance, to be exact. Over three hours of live Opeth consisting of the entire Blackwater Park cd. Truly epic. So, in turn, here's some bleepy progressive metal from Sweden.

Monday, December 6, 2010

GAMES THAT ARE METAL: Looking back at Metroid: Zero Mission

When the September issue of Retro Gamer (an excellent UK mag for the retro-inclined) ran an article on Metroid: Zero Mission, praising it to high heaven, it got me thinking about the title. I first played Zero Mission shortly after its release and I remember that the game went quick. In those days my Metroid skills were primed from multiple play-throughs of Super Metroid, Metroid Prime and the original NES game. Zero Mission struck me as a streamlined, “my first Metroid” kind of experience. The only thing that really threw me for a loop was the stealth section at the end.


The majority of the game is a modernized summation of the original NES Metroid. But the story continues! Samus escapes planet Zebes and after being shot down and losing her gear, she is forced to infiltrate a Space Pirate ship to retrieve her suit. You go from being a powered-up badass, to a speedy, but vulnerable vixen.

My original experience with this addition was pure frustration. In 2004 tacking on a stealth element was a played-out misstep, one that I couldn’t believe a Metroid game was making. The design choices left me dumbfounded. Why would Zero Mission take a series built on exploration, and player expression, and make its conclusion a linear battle of trial and error?



My recent romp through Zero Mission led to a reconsideration of my condemnation. The first chunk of the game didn’t turn Metroid into a ‘baby game,’ it streamlined it in a way that was both faithful to its roots, and forward thinking. The level design was so thought-out that an experienced Metroid player would naturally make speed-run-like decisions. Backtracking for items is an option, not a requirement, and the wall-jump is available from the beginning allowing for sequence breaking. Furthermore, the game requires the amount of player-precision that one would expect from the platforming and battles in a Metroid title.

When I came upon the Zero Suit stealth section I was ready to hate it. I was immediately spotted by space pirates, but rather than resigning to death, I booked it. Flying through the space pirate ship with a crowd of enemies amassing behind me, the section became a thrilling chase rather than a frustrating mess. Samus was vulnerable, but remained a badass. And when her fully-powered-up suit was retrieved the space pirate slaughter was all the sweeter.

My original ‘meh’ reaction toward Zero Mission was influenced by my personal definition of a Metroid game. I had played the series to death, and frankly, I was probably sick of it. Things played out differently this time. What previously seemed like linearity, struck me as clever design, and a tacked-on exercise in frustration became an exciting chase. With my mind in a different place, I found an appreciation for what could be the last great 2D Metroid.

Sony Ericsson to release a PlayStation Cell Phone!?!

Image from Engadget.com

Kotaku has a couple videos of a dude playing with, what may be, a PlayStation Phone prototype. Upon reading the article (and other articles about the device) it looks like they will be basing the phone off of the Android 3.0 platform. The phone would have the ability to download games (I would assume past PSP titles) and possible connect to the PlayStation network. I guess the idea is that this device would primarily be a portable gaming console first, and a smart phone second.

I'm not one for either market; I've never owned a portable gaming system in my life and my phone is pretty basic. I don't find the need to be connected to everything wherever I go and I can't play games while hunched over a tiny screen. So Technofiles, is this device something that you're interested in?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Keep your eyes on The Schoenberg Automaton

Here's a well kept secret from Australia's metal underground: The Schoenberg Automation. Not only do these guys get mad props for referencing one of LCTR's favorite 20th century composers, but they offer up some of the most relevant technical metal I've heard this year.

I became internet buddies with these dudes over the past year, so when they completed their three song demo they were cool enough to hook me up. The Schoenberg Automaton immediately bring to mind "Catch 33" era Meshuggah, and Car_Bomb, but round out their sound with a lot of legit death metal riffery. The vocals match the stop-start syncopation and abrasive nature of the band with ease.

I've only heard the three song demo, but the production and material are strong enough to place these guys amongst Australia's best. Definitely a band to keep your eyes peeled for!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blast Beats and Boss Battles with Darkest Hour's Ryan Parrish!



(BB and BB is back yet again, and this time we bug Darkest Hour drummer Ryan Parrish! Hear some news for their new album under the E1 label, nudity, and their new guitarist's nerdy side)

GMM: You guys are in the middle of your Legacy Tour. Have things been running smooth so far?

RP: Oh yeah, it's been good. We're all having a really good time here. All the bands are as cool as shit, so it's been a good time.


GMM:  For this tour, you're doing a greatest hits collection from your entire musical career.
Was it hard picking the final set list, or are you changing up night after night?

RP: It was tough getting the final set list together, but we're more or less playing songs we know people like as well as playing some we like but have never played live, so it's the culmination of the two.

GMM: So, perhaps a lot of earlier stuff?

RP:  Yep, we're pretty much doing two songs from every record.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dead Rising 2 Case West A Go With Pics!


It's no mystery the tongue bathing I gave Dead Rising 2 and it's downloadable prequel Case 0. Plus, you might of also heard the sound of their balls bouncing off my chin. Hell, i couldn't help it. Dead Rising 2 is such a great improvement over the first game in the series that it deserves the ass kissing. However, for quite some time, we've been promised  a sort of epilogue, where DR2's protagonist Chuck Green teems up with DR1's Frank West to infiltrate a chemical plant.

Well, the wait is almost over, as Dead Rising 2: Case West is popping up in December! It's an Xbox 360 exclusive, so you PS3 owners are just bummin for now. Chuck returns with his weapon making abilities, and Frank brings the camera back. Thankfully, Frank'll be able to click more than just zombies in ....ugh, "erotic" positions. (Christ, you don't know how much it pains me to type that.) Now, he'll be on the hunt for secret intel that'll help convict a pharmaceutical company of the outbreak in Fortune City. 

No word on an exact date or price for the pack, but I'm guessing somewhere around 800 points. In the meantime, feast your eyes on all this buddy cop still image stuff, after the page break.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Mayhem Fest and Warped Announce Dates WAAAAAAAY Early, Offer Ornaments and Socks

In wanting to get parent's cash while they're in Christmas shopping mode, both the Mayhem festival and Warped Tour have made their tour dates available mega ahead of schedule,along with the opportunity to et some holiday-themed ticket packages. While I appreciate the idea of preparing everyone ahead of time, these bundles just seem a little left of center.

The Mayhem packs come with a beanie cap and an actual Christmas ornament that you can hang on your tree. The ornament has a double purpose, as it also allows early entry into the venue. Yeah, that's gonna be on funny sight: just tons of kids with holiday memories in their hands, itching to get inside. The Warped Tour has a similar package. You still get an ornament, but instead of the beanie, you receive the worst Christmas gift of all: SOCKS! Not just regular socks, but ugly as hell Warped branded socks! Perfect for that douchebag hipster in your family whose footwear was lacking in irony.

You can look at the Mayhem gear here, while the nasty Warped stuff is here.

However, if you're just interested in dates, you can just click the next page button there, and go nuts. If the tour router is reading this, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for putting the Detroit stops of both tours a month apart. Last time, it was less than a week between stops, and that shit tired out my old fat ass.

8-bit Metal Mondays: I guess their bank accounts are finally empty.

So, after about four years (which is forever in metalhead years), System of a Down are getting back together. They released a press statement that sad that they were happy to be back together and still buddies and friends and drinking partners and tag-team partners and a bunch of other lovey dovey crap. I'd say that the boys are just looking to get some respect back, as well as make back a bunch of money on failed endeavors. Serj's solo career started off hot, but fizzled away quicker than alka-seltzer in water. Then there was Scars on Broadway, who were just absolutely horrible, and cancelled their tour just in time to let us not hear them. Make no mistake about it, these guys need SOAD back together, at least for a little bit, just to earn back some cred and Benjamins.

As for their future quality of work, I remain heavily skeptical. Hypnotize and Mesmerize weren't exactly artisitc triumphs, and the live shows that followed were a major letdown. Toxicity was their peak, both in album and live show quality, and I just don't think they can top it without putting a hella amount of work into it.

Ah yes, time for some bleepiness. How about a Zelda tribute that was mistakenly given credit to SOAD, but was really by some nobody? Listening to the song structure and vocals, it's pretty obvious how a mistake like this can be made.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Legacy Tour-The Live Riff Review


After a few good months of non-concert going, I finally got off my fat, lazy ass and trecked out to downtown Detroit, within the confines of the Majestic Theater to witness the Legacy Tour. An odd combination this time around: a band I've heard very little of, two I've never listened to, and one I've listened to for a long ass time. Still, it's great variety, and I'm all fired up to get my eardrums pounded.

First off, how about an official photo dump? Show opinions after the pictorial mayhem.


Monday, November 22, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays: Sticking Knives in Inappropriate Places

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is one addictive game. Ever since I picked it up last week, I haven't been able to put it down, thanks to the vast variety of missions. Okay, kill a couple of corrupt guards to help an orphan, destroy a war machine, assign other assassins to missions, help the courtesans with an unruly noble, follow a questionable priest, or just go looking for a shitload of treasure. This damn game is gonna keep me busy for a couple months at least. And with nothing on the gaming radar until late January (except for the Mario tribute package, but that's more of a re-release), I'll be playing this sucker until the bitter end.

To keep with the Assassins's theme and this week's dose of bleepiness, I went searching for some fan-made trailers with metal soundtracks, Some were pretty good, while one forced Evanescence upon us. Eh, no child's perfect. So now, here's one set to some As I Lay Dying.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Souls of Black

Just Because....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays... and yet it's Tuesday.

Yeah, yeah, a day late with the main weekly column, but I have a damn good excuse: I've been researching and price checking means for what will eventually be a NEW SITE DESIGN!!! While I like the simplicity and bare-bones-ness of the site as it stands, it's just not gonna grow into something bigger in it's current state. And growing is what I want! The time frame is gonna be a bit, as I would like to hire a graphics artist to help with the redesign and even do some some new stuff.

Anywho, bleepy metal! This one comes as a suggestion form a gamer gal who was really into the old school Castlevania games. Imparticular, the first one. The nearly impossible to beat one. And the tune is from level 5, the level that still gives me nightmares for it's sheer difficulty.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Warped Tour 2010 Photo Dump!!

One of the big things left hanging over my head since life started kicking me in the balls this past September is catching up on uploading a ton and a half of pics from a couple of the festivals me and my photo lady Sheila Chase attended over the summer. Well wait no more for half of them at least are now up. Our Warped Tour pics have finally been posted, and they're quite they're quite the awesome lot.

All photos by Sheila Chase and Nathan Werp.

Alkaline Trio


Dillinger Escape Plan


Every Time I Die

Suicide Silence

Whitechapel

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Ocean's Anthropocentric: Another Disturbying Review

When I did my review of The Ocean's Heliocentric CD I mentioned that they had a follow up album called Anthropocentric being released in November. Looks like the folks over at Metal Blade and The Ocean came through and Anthropocentric will be released in stores today. I was really impressed with Heliocentric and I jumped at the chance to give Anthropocentric a listen. I haven't had a chance to listen to The Ocean's back catalog so I expected this album to be a lot like their previous released. That was a bit of a mistake on my part.

Monday, November 8, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays: It's a Technical Issue

Most of the links supplied for the site go through an app call Twitterdeck. This helps plug stories on Twitter, Facebook, and a few other social sites. Except Myspace, because Myspace sucks. Well, last week, something broke in the system, and what posts we were making weren't flooding out onto the interwebs the way they're supposed to, so i had to do some HTML work. Since I'm no programmer, this took awhile. Oh, like, I just finished today when I started last week. As for now, consider this edition of 8-bit Metal Monday as a bit of a test primer to see if the links are up and working again.

Of course, we have to give some bleepy stuff to the links as well, ya? So, here's Powerglove's rendition on the theme from Zelda.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays: Final Fantasy Frustration

So, today I decided to try and finish off the second half of Final Fantasy XIII. You know, the supposed GOOD half. About a couple of hours in, I run into a boss character. No big whoop, beaten plenty before. Well, this jackass has a one-hit kill move that he whips out at total random, and he always aims it at the party leader. In FFXIII, if the party leader dies, the game is kaput. This bastard just kept doing that shit to me, and he generally uses it right when he's about to lose. Really, what a jip. I'll beat him one of these days, but just....  Damn you, Square-Enix, just damn you.

To get in a better mood, I picked some bleepy metal cover that rips off the boss battle music from FF VII. Yhat game may be dates as all hell, but at least the music stands up good.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: The Riff Review


By Nathan Werp, aka Riff, editor-in-chief



Definition of "trepidation"

1. archaic; a tremulous action: tremor

2. timorous uncertain action; trepidation about a new job

3. the feeling one gets when they are going to play a reboot of a storied franchise, where everything they originally loved gets ripped out.

That's about where I stood with Lords of Shadow before I booted it up. I just had a bad feeling I wasn't going to like the new direction. At first, that seemed like that was gonna be that way.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beneath The Massacre's Maree Noire: The Riff CD Review

I really really like guitar wankery. It's near top of "Awesome Thing I Can't Do" which also includes diffusing bombs, nailing Monica Bellucci, and having good handwriting. So, anybody else who can demonstrate this skill with some form of passion is generally my new hero. Sometimes guitar wankery does come off as being a bit pretentious *coughMALMSTEENcough*, Beneath the Massacre don't seem to have that problem. These Canucks just sound like they're talented guys who want to legitimately  show off their skills..... as fast as they possibly can.

System Divide's The Concious Sedation: Another Disturbying Review

I'm a little late on this review but that shouldn't stop me from telling you about the debut album from System Divide. The album was released back on September 14th by Metal Blade records and I have to say that it's pretty impressive. For labeling sakes this band is an "extreme modern metal/melodic death metal band comprised of members from Israel, Belgium and the USA. One of the lead singers is Sven de Caluwé from European death metal band Aborted. System Divide was formed when Sven married Miri Milman who was the lead singer of the Israeli progressive death metal band Distored. That's about as metal as a love story can get! The rest of the band is made up of Michael Wilson on guitar, Andrew Lenthe on bass and Mike Heller on drums.

Monday, October 25, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays: Late Edition

That damn Castlevania game! I was determined to finish the sucker today, but what I thought would be a quick olay turned into hours of boss battles and tricky puzzles. Not to mention the final fight, who I will say is called "Bob Smith" just so there's no spoilers. But when you do get to him, you'll shit bricks. In other words, blame an awesome game for today's late 8-bit.

Now, onto a bit of bummer news. GMM faves The Ocean were the target of fake cops in Spain. Long story short, the fake fuzz stole €6000 from the guys. For a support band, that's a fucking fortune, and boy are they hurting. They're continuing their tour with the Dillinger Escape Plan in Europe, but they are extending a hand to their European fans for some support. They're asking that anyone who pre-orders their newest cd, "Anthropocentric", to include a €5 donation on top of the cd price. In return, they'll send you a copy of the actual police report, as well as a lovey dovey thank-you letter signed by the band. Order the cd at this link: http://www.pelagic-records.com/shop.

In support of the band, we're going non-8-bit for this week, and just playing a great track from The Ocean. Here's Firmament.


Coheed and Cambria w/ Fang Island: Another Disturbying Concert Review


Coheed and Cambria along with a couple other punk/rock/metal bands played at the Garrick Centre last night here in Winnipeg. I've been looking forward to the show for quite some time as I am a big fan of Coheed and I've never had a chance to see them perform in concert. I'd hope that everyone knows of who they are by now, but they seem to evade the spotlight which I think works in their favor. I find them to be a very unique band and I really enjoy the multi-media aspect of their art. For the uninformed, Coheed and Cambria write concept albums that are all part of one, huge storyline. Claudio Sanchez is the driving force behind the narrative and he has been able to expand his creativity into a comic series called the Amory Wars. The story Claudio's created falls under the science fiction drama but it includes parts of his personal life as well. Being a pretty big nerd, I picked had to check this whole thing out and I've been a fan ever since.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Covers: Paying Tribute or Cashing In?

So I recently picked up the Deluxe Edition of Disturbed's latest album Asylum and they have recorded two covers for the release. One was U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and the other is Judas Preist's "Living After Midnight." The covers themselves aren't that bad and Disturbed is known for recording and releasing cover tunes having previously done "Shout" and "Land of Confusion." So far, the new covers that they have recorded haven't been made into radio singles, and I honestly didn't know they existed until I got the record. But at this stage of the game do we still expect Disturbed to record a cover for every other album? I just feel that they are doing it to uphold some sort of reputation rather than actually paying tribute to a particular artist. Also, the songs that they chose don't seem to fit with the narrative of some of their other tunes so I don't really get where they're coming from.

Now obviously Disturbed isn't the only metal band to record and release a cover and I'm not trying to pick on them but their latest album sparked this little rant. Children of Bodom have covered Britney Spears (among others) and Steel Panther recently covered the Backstreet Boys which was done more for comedy sake than anything else. Opeth have covered Deep Purple and Alice and Chains but these songs were released as bonus tracks and I consider them more to be tributes than grabbing a quick buck. Killswitch Engage released their cover of "Holy Diver" as a single and that brought them a lot of attention especially with the recent passing of Ronnie James Dio. Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne released entire albums of cover songs and a lot of the tunes chosen were songs that were highly inspirational to them instead of songs that were highly popular. When the songs were released as radio singles they became popular but I still feel that they were recorded as an act of tribute.

Tribute albums are all over the place and there are a lot of bands that participate in them to add a bit of their flavour to some of the bands that got them interested in music. Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and White Zombie all have tribute albums out there and most of them are a collection of music that have been recorded independently but sometimes they gather artists together specifically to record covers of these tunes and then the final result quietly makes its way onto store shelves.

For the most part I enjoy cover songs and I enjoy when bands play a cover live or record the odd cover here and there. But generally I find that when a band releases a cover song as a single, especially a song that everyone knows, I see it as a cash grab and I lose a little respect for that artist. The music that they cover doesn't really bother me and I think it's awesome when a band can cover a song that's very different from the genre of music that they normally play, if they can pull it off that is. I hope that Disturbed doesn't intend to release "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" as a single, but I have a strong feeling that they will.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blast Beats and Boss Battles with The Murderdoll's Wednesday 13!!

(At long last! The lost interview with Wednesday 13! This was conducted at the Mayhem Fest while Wednesday was promoting the Murderdoll's new record, "Women and Children last." We were on a tight time limit, so this inter is gonna be a bit short. Shortly after the show, real life kicked in for me pretty hard, and the interview ended up languishing on my hard drive for a couple months. Well, not anymore! It's a bit dated, and a tad short due to lack of time, but it's still a keeper!)

GMM:  The Murderdolls reunion and new record all came about in a pretty short amount of time. Was that the original plan, or is a testament to how well you and Joey Jordison work together?

Wednesday: It did come together quick. We didn't even really know, ya know? 5-6 years now we've been talking about it. "Let's do it now." "Ah, we don't have time."  And then a year before the record the conversations got serious, and six months before the record they got real serious. Then it was like, "Okay, we're gonna do this now. What's your schedule?" "I'm free, you're free, let's see if we can record it in March." We had 30 days to make it in, but we had 6 years worth of songs to work with, 50 to 60 song ideas. Then we went into the studio with 30 finished songs, and we were like "Yeah, we love these songs!" Then we started to hack them down for the cd. But once we tracked the first few, we knew what were keepers for sure. And then we just started to let everything cater around them and create the sound. We had to do some cutting so the whole thing didn't sound like 10 different bands.

In the end, we didn't want to come out and do part two of  the first Murderdolls record. we wanted the people to guess, to have no idea what to expect from this record. It's heavy, then it's sleazy rock, then it's heavy again, then it's fun.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday 13 interview delayed until tomorrow

Sorry people, had a mini-crisis today. Tried to type it all up, but work is creeping up behind me, so I'll have to finish it in the wee hours of the morning. Tomorrow, for sure. In the meantime, wet your appetite on some Murderdolls videos.




Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dead Rising 2-The Riff Review



By Nathan Werp, aka Riff, editor-in-chief


This review is brought to you by the Taco Bell XXL Chalupa! Just in case you needed that extra little bit of taco oil to bring you to your maker, then the XXL Chalupa can do just that, and cause your liver to fail as well! Oh hell, what am I saying? Damn thing shouldn't even be called food. I say re-classify it as an artery clogger and be done with it.

Anywho, Dead Rising 2. As I stated way back in my Case Zero review, I hated the original Dead Rising. The photo taking, the ridiculous outfits, the psychopaths with the silly amount of health. It just all got to be too much, and I gave up on the whole thing when I got half way through. I didn't care about the series anymore, until I gave Case Zero a try. Then hope was re-instilled in me. Then I got the full game.

That hope was fully realized.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

EVERY. RPG. EVER!!!!!!!

Sometimes, Facebook is truly worth having. Today is one of those days, as one of my "likes" posted a flowchart of the general plot line that has been in just about every console rpg since the early 90's. If you're like me and bore through a shit ton of rpg's in your teens, then this thing should look awfully familiar. Especially the trick final boss bit.

Click on the pic for a larger view.

Slipknot's (sic)nesses: The Riff DVD Review


So, another break for Slipknot, another dvd release to mend the time. Unfortunately, this is also the last time that anyone will hear Paul Grey with the band, who passed away earlier this year. Containing footage of Paul's last ever performance with the band on a headlining set at Download, as well as a new behind-the-scenes documentary directed by Shawn Crahan, and a collection of videos from "All Hope Is Gone", this is quite the posthumous release for someone very key to the band sine it's inception. Can it hold up to all of Slipknot's previous dvd releases?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Last Chance To Reason Sign to Prosthetic Records!

See that little flashy thing near the top of the website? Ever click it? If you haven't then you should of a long time ago. It leads to Last Chance To Reason's Myspace page and a selection of their awesome tunes. LCTR's drummer Evan Sammons has done a few columns and a tour diary for the site. Come to think of it, I'm still kicking my ass for not seeing them when they came through to Detroit. Sorry dude, I think work screwed me over that day. Next time for sure.

Touring their asses off has finally paid off for the band, as they are now the newest act under the Prosthetic umbrella. hey, you don't get much better of a record label than Prosthetic these days, so things should work out just fine. In celebration of their future success, here's a little bit of their live show, straight from their Youtube account.


8-bit Metal Mondays: A Looooooong Week of Cleaning

The more astute of you may have noticed that the site went silent all of last week.  That would be because the homestead needed a major cleaning job. The house is gonna be re-assessed by an inspector next week for a new mortgage. In the long term, that could save me thousands in house payments, thus putting more money towards awesome stuff. So, yeah, it sucked not having anything up last week, but gaining thousands of dollars takes precedence this time around.

Okay, onto beeswax. I had previously mentioned finally nailing down a concrete schedule for columns. Well, I think I finally have it sorted out. Take a gander:

Monday: 8-bit Metal Mondays as usual. Plus, Monday is usually my day off, so I'll reserve this slot for concert reviews as well. None till November, unfortunately.

Tuesday: Official cd or dvd review day. This week is Slipknot's (sic)nesses.

Wednesday: Game Review Day! Once a week, every week. This week it's Dead Rising 2, the reason I STILL haven't finished Halo Reach! Damn zombies always up in my shit.

Thursday: Blast Beats and Boss Battles, GMM's interview column returns! This week, a lost interview with the Murderdoll's Wednesday 13 form this summer's Mayhemfest.

Friday: Riff's Rants, where I sound off about whatever pisses me off at that particular moment. This week, 3-D.

Of course, the other guys will post when they have some free time. Also,  if there's some interesting news bits, I'll sound off on it.

Now, let's pray to Gilbert Gottfried that this is able to stick for good.

Okay, onto some bleepiness! Black Label Society is coming through on a tour full of awesomeness next month, with Clutch and Children of Bodom in tow. Not too sure yet if I can even go, but there's no problem with me dreaming, right? In tht respect, here's Fire It Up off of BLS's Mafia record.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Down's Diary Of An Angry Band: The Riff DVD Review


Ah, the Down DVD. This thing has garnered so many release dates and speculations as to why it kept getting delayed, that it would make Duke Nukem Forever blush. For those of you not in the know, here's the scenario in a nutshell: Down sign to new label, want to release DVD through them, former record label says they have legal first dibs, Down calls shenanigans, litigation, litigation, blah blah blah. In the end, Down just bought the rights to all the audio and video and just released the sucker themselves. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bring Me The Horizon's There Is A Hell I've Seen It, There Is A Heaven Let's Keep It A Secret: The Riff Review


Congrats are in advance order for Bring Me The Horizon, as I believe they have secured the longest title in cd's this year! Congrats, guys! Okay, let's quit with the jokes and get to business, shall we? I don't want to piss off their album cover person. Look's like he (or she?) is a little upset with the whole "keyhole in the chest" thing. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays-Getting Things In Order

Whoa, what a messed up week last week was! Hey, deja vu! The week before that was a mess as well! This week is looking a bit messy as well, but at least it has a bit more structure. In that the beginning is screwey, but the end pads out quite nicely. One thing that has truly helped is that my head cold has lifted! I swear, every time I get sick, my imagination and writing skills all go a big fat derp. Now that the fog has lifted, I'd like to start catching up on things here (finally!) and get centered into a good schedule for the first time in a long time.

Anywho, onto bleepiness! This week, we travel to England and listen to some Bring Me The Horizon. Just listened to their newest cd, and it's a real mosh crowd pleaser. A review should be up sometime this week. Until then, check out a bleepified version of Chelsea Smile.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Remembering a Great Musician


24 Years ago today Cliff Burton met his tragic end. Metallica's tour bus was travelling through Swedan when it hit a patch of black ice which caused it to lose control and eventually flip over. Cliff and the band were enjoying the success of Master of Puppets which is arguably Metallica's best album to date. Money was starting to roll in and Metallica was slowly becoming a house hold name when it came to metal. Cliff's sudden passing was a big blow to the band as he was a primary writing force and inspiration to the rest of the guys. Before joining the band, Metallica was mostly concerned at playing hard and fast and Cliff introduced them to a classical music approach to make some of the most iconic metal songs of all time.

Cliff's legacy still lives on with "RIP Cliff" shirts being seen at virtually every metal show you go to as well as Metallica playing his signature songs like "For Whom the Bell Tolls." Take some time out of your day to raise a shot and salute one of the greatest bass players of all time.


8-bit Metal Mondays: Head Cold Condition

Be glad you don't live in Michigan right now. Autumn began overnight last Friday,as the temperature went from 88 degrees to 49 in the span of a few hours. It's made my internal barometer go SWEET FUCKING JESUS!!!. Of course, when that happens, the congestion comes right along with it. Then the sore throat. Than the coughing. Then me downing throat lozenges like a hillbilly in a meth lab.

The not-so-fun offshoot to this is a simple formula: when Riffie sick, Riffie no able to thinkie. So this week's bit of bleepiness is literally the first thing I find on Youtube. Then it's off to the store to bulk up on Dayquil and vitamin C.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Band Of Orc's Warchiefs of the Apocalypse: The Riff Review


After interviewing lead singer Gogog, I was asked by A Band of Orc's PR guy if I wanted to take a stab at their debut ep. Sure, I said. Hell, I'm not gonna turn down free tunes any time soon! Well, the package containing said cd was something of a, well, surprise. Long story short, it was meat. Stringy, disgusting meat. It probably wasn't even of this earth. Taking the "wrapping" off, I encountered a glob of puss, that smelt faintly of carrots and vomit. In the center of this puss, lay the cd, thankfully factory wrapped. But in the cd case was a note. A bit of a warning. The writing was nearly unintelligible, but I could vaguely read out that if I didn't review the cd in time, I would be introduced to the wilds of several orc women. Not wanting to see or smell the netheregions of  a lady devil, I decided to type up my review post haste. The things you do to protect your naughty bits. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sony thinks I'm a girl.

This ad popped up in my inbox today.


Guess it's time to start losing weight. The manboobs are beginning to fool some people in the worst possible way.

Chimaira's Coming Alive DVD: The Riff Review



I am, what you call, an unapologetic Chimaira fanboy. I became a fan of theirs on their first U.S. tour, and have been following them ever since. I still say their best show was when they co-headlined with a not-yet widely known Lamb of God. I've bought every cd and dvd of theirs on the release day and have only missed a couple of their shows in the Detroit area. So, yeah, me likey them very much.

Monday, September 20, 2010

8-Bit Metal Mondays: Not a Good Week, Opinions, and an Anniversary

Wow, what a messed up week last week turned out to be. First was the return of my insomnia, coupled with the usual goofy work schedule. But the big metaphorical sledgehammer came when I found out that my father, who I haven't seen or talked to in a good 16 years, was found dead earlier that week. That pretty much took the wind out of me. The rest of my time was spent trying to get my head straight while our family tried to figure out what our next step was.

Big ups to Sturby for covering me on the Metroid: Other M review, as my thoughts were truly elsewhere. Still, I was able to play through it,  so here's my two cents in bullet point form:
-Good story marred by bad voice acting
-Good graphics, yet vanilla scenery
-Excellent combat!!!!!
-Challenging boss fights
-Still didn't feel like a true Metroid game, thanks to how you earned your power-ups
-Too short!
Also, good on Team Ninja for holding back on the jiggle physics. I suspect they'll compensate for that in Ninja Gaiden 3.

During all the drama, I missed that Games Meet Metal is officially a year old! You may throw the colored confetti of your choice into the air now. While there were bumps along the way, I am glad what the site has accomplished so far. Building relationships with the bigger record labels, getting to know some good pr people in the music business, and giving a few of my buds a chance to spout their opinions. In the coming year, I hope to build the website to an even bigger status. Maybe move to Wordpress, a dedicated server, and maybe even get that damn podcast going that I've been wanting to do for so long.

The real big thing I hope to accomplish would be trips to both PAX events and E3 next year. PAX would be the easier route, as they're not press exclusive. E3 is, and that might take a little more work to get into.

Okay, time for this week's bit of bleepiness. Since I'm still on a bit of a Metroid high, I might as well throw out some Metroid Metal yet again. Here's the band doing a live live dealio at PAX 2009.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Metroid Other M: Another Disturbying Review

I talked it over with Riff and he wants me to take the take over writing a review of Metroid Other M for the site. I suggested we try doing recording a video of the two of us talking about what we liked and didn't, but the might Riff is a little busy these days. So, that will have to wait until we're a little more organized and I take it we'll have to test a few things first to get all the kinks out. Aaaaaaaaanyway, on to the review.


Metriod Other M is the latest game to be released in the Metroid franchise of video games. This game is meant to be a return to form after Retro Studios took the classic platforming of Super Metroid and turned it into a FPS/Platformer Hybrid type of game with the Metroid Prime Trilogy. I don't think this game was meant to disrespect those games as they were all critically and commercially acclaimed. Nintendo handed the game over to Team Ninja which I think surprised the hell out of a lot of people. Team Ninja is of course known for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive games. A lot of people cracked jokes that Samus would be getting larger breast enhancements instead of suit and weapons upgrades and I admit that I was really wary of what would happen to my beloved Samus this time around. So how did Team Ninja fair exactly? I'm glad you asked.

Monday, September 13, 2010

8-bit Metal Mondays: Hail to Halo

Well, the day has finally arrived.At 12:01 AM tonight, every 360 owner worth their salt is going to their gamer dealer of choice to get their copy of Halo Reach. It's an ever-lasting battle between 80's macho heroes complete with one-liners, against an evil alien force who happens to know the English language a little too well. I will be joining the masses tonight, but not until I complete a 10-hour work shift that will guarantee my suckitude on multplayer tonight.

In honor of Halo's release, here'a a bleepy version og the game itself.


Friday, September 10, 2010

DJ's All Time Favorites: Kid Icarus


Arguably Nintendo's most overlooked IP, going nearly 2 full decades without a new installment. It got its start on the original NES, released alongside Metroid which was met with more success. The two games were designed by the same team, had similar game infrastructures, and even shared an enemy. One thing Kid Icarus lacked was the sheer isolation and haunting atmosphere that Metroid is known for. In its place was a cartoony, Nintendo-esque spin on Greek Mythology, having as much in common with its source material as Legend of Zelda did with Celtic Mythology and Medieval European culture. It had the aesthetic and imagery, but it had almost nothing else in common with Greek Myth. Pit fought many absurd creatures that you will never find in the Odyssey or Illiad, such as Eggplant Wizards (i.e. annoying bastards that could turn Pit into a walking eggplant), and he even had his own credit card. All this works in its favor, because what fun is life without a little imagination?


I was introduced to Kid Icarus about 3 years ago. This was around the time that the series was beginning to receive more recognition, largely as a result of Pit's inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I already had a soft spot for Greek mythology, as well as platformers and Nintendo's more whimsical approach to game design. So despite its age, Kid Icarus seemed to be right up my alley. What made it stand out the most was its varied level design, including its vertical scrolling platforming levels, and lopsided difficulty. Pit may have a pair of wings, but he is not able to fly until much later in the game. The first 3 stages are pure brutality, with enemies flying at you from all directions as you carefully leap across tiny ledges. It can get pretty frustrating, but the subsequent levels do a good job of justifying the uphill battle, as they are vintage 2D platforming bliss. The music is really bouncy and fun too. The game shifts back to sheer madness once you reach the fourth and final section of the game, though. Also, Pit's arrows won't travel very far in the beginning. You can get upgrades later, much like the aforementioned Metroid.



The game was only a mild success and was almost completely eclipsed by Metroid. There was a sequel, titled "Of Myths and Monsters", released for the Game Boy in 1992. It seemed as though it would become a regular series for Nintendo, just like Zelda and Mario before it, and they even had an SNES version planned. However, the plans were aborted, and the series lay dormant for nearly 2 decades as Metroid became one of Nintendo's biggest properties (despite its limited popularity in Japan). But as of this past E3, it looks like Nintendo is once again taking its criminally neglected franchise seriously, even going as far as positioning it as a flagship title for the 3DS launch window. I remember the big stupid grin I had on my face during the Uprising trailer as Pit lept into action, apologizing for his long absence ("sorry to keep you waiting!"), and then proceeded to kick all kinds of ass on screen. It's about damn time, Pit, ya fuckin' jerk!

On another note, can anybody come up with a better name for my blog series than "all time favorites"? It just seems really plain and corny, in my opinion.

So, remember that Powerglove cd review?

You know, the super advance copy? The one you can go to by clicking here? Well, Saturday Morning Apocalypse finally has some cover art to show for it, in the form of a teaser Youtube. The video makes me think of three things:

1. The change-up look makes me think about Halloween III. You know, no Michael Myers, but plenty of pumpkin masks that produce meal worms.

2. That's about the distance I usually sat from the tv while I watched my Saturday morning soaps.

3. That distance is also how I ruined my eyesight, thus why the kid's seeing all that messed up stuff in the room. Or maybe he just smokes crack.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Riff's Rants: Duke Nukem Vs.... Axl Rose?

Well, it's finally gonna happen. Announced at PAX Prime in Seattle over the weekend, the biggest piece of vaporware in existence,  Duke Nukem Forever, will be released in 2011 for the 360, PS3, and PC. Finally, after 13 years of original developer 3D Realms doing fuck knows what with all the money many a publisher gave them to finish the damn thing, Duke was ripped from their arms and gracefully given to the tech heads of gearbox Software. And look at that! They had a playable demo! You had to wait two hours to play the thing, but it does truly exist.

Wow, 13 years for the development of anything these days feels like a lifetime. Unless it's a mission to Mars, NOTHING should take 13 years to make, especially when the product in question is mostly about one-liners and titties. And yet, this did. The real funny thing is that Duek Nukem Forever is actually arriving quicker than another famous doomed project. One that cost a record company $13 million. One that made all but one of the band members leave. One that took 17 FUCKING YEARS!!!!!!!

You might of heard of them.

And you might also be shocked that both project's pasts are eerily similar.

Holy Shit!

From Dream Theater.net

To all of our loyal fans and friends: It is with profound sadness -- regret -- we announce that Mike Portnoy, our lifelong drummer and friend, has decided to leave Dream Theater. Mike's stature in the band has meant the world to all of us professionally, musically, and personally over the years. There is no dispute: Mike has been a major force within this band.

While it is true that Mike is choosing to pursue other ventures and challenges, we can assure you that Dream Theater will continue to move forward with the same intensity -- and in the same musical tradition -- that you have all helped make so successful, and which is truly gratifying to us.

Fans and friends: File this episode under "Black Clouds and Silver Linings." As planned, we begin recording our newest album in January 2011, and we'll follow that with a full-on world tour. "The Spirit Carries On."

All of us in Dream Theater wholeheartedly wish Mike the best on his musical journey. We have had a long and meaningful career together. It is our true hope that he finds all he is looking for, and that he achieves the happiness he deserves. He will be missed.

This makes me a very, very sad man.

Portnoy has said a few times that he was thinking about walking away and a part of me still thinks this is a joke, but another part of me knows that it is true and Portnoy will no longer be a part of Dream Theater. One of my friends thinks that Dream Theater's future will be fine as their sound tends to change a lot with each album. But I am more concerned with their live performances as Portnoy was a huge part of each show. He would gather video to use during the songs, and he even came up with the setlist before each show. And nevermind his stage presence. If you've ever seen Portnoy perform live in concert you know what I'm talking about. The guy gets the crowd going more than everyone else in the group. I don't think Dream Theater will ever be the same.

I wonder if the money that he's making with Avenged Sevenfold is the reason why he's leaving. I joked that Portnoy has probably made more money with A7X than he has with Dream Theater (and all the other side projects combined). Consider that A7X's newest album debuted at No. 1 and that their latest single has been at the top of the rock and metal charts since it's been released. Dream Theater never had anything like that, even in their glory days back in 1991-1993.

EDIT: I retract my statement about the money. Link to Mike Portnoy's statement on his website:

Monday, September 6, 2010

8-Bit Metal Mondays: It Can't Be Blast Beats All The Time

Sometimes, you just gotta turn the guttural vocals down, chill with the insane guitar solos, cool down with the praise for Satan, and listen to some non-metal. I generally turn towards the English prog-rock stuff, like Radiohead or Muse. Lately it's been more Muse, as I've been listening to Black Holes and Revelations a hell of a lot lately. But give me two days, and I'll be digging for my copy of OK Computer.

Anywho, bleepy Muse it is this week. Knights of Cydonia is a go!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dead Rising 2 Case 0: The Riff Review

By Nathan Werp, aka Riff, editor-in-chief




I hated the first Dead Rising. Literally, I despised it. What I thought was going to be a mass zombie extermination turned out to be a game of dress-up written my George Romero. Go on, get yourself looking like a silly Japanese robot to clean out the undead! Fun, right? At first, yes. Then, the crap starts shining through. Super-hard bosses, an unforgiving time frame, that damn picture-taking gimmick that I loathed, and my biggest complaint: no great variation in weaponry. Our poor war photographer was left with a major lack of varying weaponry, thus making every encounter feel way too similar. Apparently, dressing up like a clown ad other things was supposed to make up for it all. Not for me, it didn't. After trying my hardest to stick with it, I gave up. I was bored. I was apathetic. I didn't want to see zombies for a long time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blast Beats and Boss Battles w/ A Band Of Orc's Gogog!

(Ladies and germs, the height of "metal" has been reached. I give to you A Band Of Orcs, and they are, well, a band of orcs. With lead singer Gogog leading his hellborn minions, expect mass eviscerations across the country sooner rather than later. Yet, surprisingly, these blood-soaked warriors seem to like their video gaming! I decided to shoot a few Q's to Gogog, and here they are, in all their answered and  misspelled glory. But first, how about a video for their track, Into The Maelstrom, eh? Just to show you what you're getting into.)



1. Can you give a quick history of how the band came to be?

Many, many moonz ago, more than 2, father’s father’s father
stole many she orcs and traveled to a part of Hirntodia where the land
was not dry and the elf not all hunted out, there the gore stained ax
tribe was formed and the goblins living there were all enslaved or
eaten.. After that orcs discovered metal and band wuz only choice.

2. Band of Orcs is the total opposite from other fantasy
character-based bands. Normally, its a princely looking fellow with
nicely quaffed hair and a glass shattering voice. A Band of Orcs is
totally the other way: looking like the bad guys and giving praise to
bands like Suffocation, Morbid Angel, and Slayer, What made you want to
sign to the evil side?

This human describe food. Why he think orcs not want evil? Us orcs!

3. Band of Orc’s video for Into the Maelstrom is of the most epic
displays of metal I’ve ever seen. Fire, lava, blast beats, hot chick
sacrifices, and plenty of legions of followers. How were you able to
cram so much awesome in there with out the universe imploding?

There are at least seven universes inside the video. It more hard to
keep extra universe from exploding out than all going in.

4. The orc costumes look pretty intricate, especially the armor and
teeth. Who designed the outfits?

Orcs take armor from dead enemies on the battlefield. Who design your
ugly human costume?

5. Alright, gaming questions time! You guys make no mystery of your
gaming past, listing D&D, Blizzard Software games and Gary Gygax on
your band’s Myspace page. How has gaming in general influenced the
band?

Gamers not run fast. Many have nice extra layer of fat that crisp so
good when you roast it. And many gamers already come pre-scented, no
need to add any more seasoning.

6. Speaking of Blizzard, there’s a whole mess of stuff coming from
them lately. Starcraft II, the WOW Cataclysm beta, and Diablo III
sometime before the end of the world. Had a chance to get into any of
the new Blizzard goodness?

Gore stained axe tribe has survived many blizzards and will always do
that with much fire and, meat and blood.

7. How does a busy band like Band of Ors even able to get in valuable
Dungeons and Dragons time?

It like chess. We capture nerds and geeks and put them in the dungeon
to play D&D. You human wizards all have horrible magic. Not once
has human used the magic scrolls we give the wizards or cast any
spells. They just cry and get eaten by the otyughs. If that was not
funny it be boring, humans try so small.

8. Any console gaming being done? Maybe slashing apart legionnaires in
God of War III? Perhaps killing a high dragon or two in Dragon Age?

There was, but orcs not have enough TV. Them keep break when us kick
it.

9. Pop quiz: You’ve been given the pleasure of knocking off one of the
good guys from the Lord of the Rings novels. Who do you kill, and how
would his evisceration go?

Edward Cullen. Slow.

10. What are the immediate future plans for A Band of Orcs? A full
U.S. tour, hopefully.

Orctoberfest, finish writing album, conquer Nevada and take all the
gold from the casinos.

(Feel like you need more orc-laden bloodlust in your life? How about travelling on over to Abandoforcs.com, and check out oRc tower? While you're there, nab yourself a copy of their debut ep, Warchiefs of the Apocalypse. Do it, or your sister becomes dinner!)

Sturby Returns! Part 2: Video Games

Summer is usually a slow gaming time for me as I tend to spend a lot of my time outside instead of in front of my TV. However, Winnipeg has had some pretty terrible weather during these last couple months so I have had the chance to sit down a burn through a few games that I've been meaning to play. I have yet to get my hands on a copy of Super Mario Galaxy 2 or Sin and Punishment 2 but those are on my must play list so hopefully I'll be able to get to them sooner rather than later. But, here's a break down of what I played in the mean time.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8-Bit Metal Tuesdays: Welcome to Sleep Deprivation

On Sunday's, I generally pull an all dayer at my main job. It can be hellish, but it does leave me plenty of free time during the regular week, as all my hours would be accounted for already. Well, I did the same thing this week. Pretty rough day, with the super warm temps outside clashing badly with the heat on the inside. Still, I got though it, went home, and prepared for my day off.

Then my phone rings at 8:30 AM.

One of the other managers had an emergency and needed to take care of it ASAP, so that meant I had to come in. After pulling an open to close. After only a few hours sleep, because I always fall asleep late. You can see where this is leading.

So, after working my shift, I was barely even alive. The body needed sleep, and it needed it now. So I fell asleep at 8:30 PM. Jeez, I haven't crashed that early since grade school. However, in the end, I benefited. I got Tuesday off, which meant I got to mess around with the new Metroid and the Dead Rising prologue. Oh, and the Vanquish demo. Haven't gotten far enough in the previous two to form a proper opinion, but I will say this about Vanquish: picture Gears of War turned into a bullet hell shooter.

Of course, it was after I turned off all the electronic fun for the night that it dawned on me that my tired ass didn't do and 8-bit Metal Monday. So now, Ima make up fo dat! I've been looking over the schedule for PAX this year, wishing ever so much that I was there. Even their concert area, which usually goes toward the real geeky stuff I don't dig, is featuring some rock and metal. Case in point are the Mini-Bosses, who rock out to bleepy 8-bit classics on real instruments. They're no Powerglove, but they're good in their own right. Here's their version of the Contra theme.

Sturby Returns! Part 1: Concerts

Greetings all. It's been a while and I want to let you know that I am still alive after the summer months. Between a vacation to Florida and going camping every weekend I've been one busy guy! Since I'll have weekends to myself (more or less) these days I will have time to get back to doing the things I love; playing video games and talking music (and watching hockey when the NHL starts up)! That's not to say that I haven't been playing any video games or listening to some sweet tunes but now that summer is over there will be a whole lot more to discuss. Since I mostly do concert, video game and music reviews I will be splitting up my recaps into two parts for each category just to keep things nice and tidy (and so I can produce more posts for the site cause I'm crafty like that). So here's a look back at some of the concerts I attended this summer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Give Unto The Bone Marrow Registry, For Nergel Will Be Pleased


The big news this week has been Behemoth front man Nergel's recent diagnosis of advanced leukemia. It's so far along that the poor guy needs a bone marrow transplant ASAP, or things won't be looking to good for the Polish metal giant. Fuck me, man! How many hits can the metal world keep taking? Peter Steele, Paul Gray, and Dio are already gone this year. Shit man, Dio was dead six months after his diagnosis, and his cancer wasn't looking too life threatening. Now with Nergel's cancer being advanced, and Poland's health care system not necessarily tops in the world, what's a blackened lord of evil to do?

Well, there isn't much he can do except wait for a viable donor, but there is something YOU can do! Visit Marrow.org and go get yourself registered to be a bone marrow donor. All it takes is three cotton swabs on the inside of your mouth and you're done. You'll have the rest of the day free to denounce God, play some Mario, or gleefully jerk it to midget porn. Plus, if Poland allows an international registry, then maybe there's a chance you can help Nergel keep throwing Christians to the lions for just a wee bit longer.

Free Music Via E-mail: The Dual Riff Review

Every so often, I get sent a promo cd from an unsolicited source. Generally, it's just a band member. Usually, the music is pure drek. The biggest senders are crap black metal bands from the back woods of Europe who sound like they've never listened to a Mayhem record. However, I do get a decent one here of there, and today I'll share a couple of them with you.

Enemy Logic hails from the very young metal scene of Ireland. You'd think there would be more metal streaming out of Ireland, what with alcohol consumption being a key ingredient in both the country and the music. But I digress. There's metal there, it's hungry, and they're recording. EL's second album, Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind is what I was sent, and it is definitely a young band learning the ropes. Their metalcore/dethcore style is very American influenced, right down to the mild use of effects here and there.

I say there's true potential here, but I do have a couple gripes. First is that while the metalcore style may help them stand out in Ireland, they may just look like another member of the "cool metal kids" crowd with the outside world. That will definitely be a bad mark if Enemy Logic ever plans on doing some massive touring. If EL is lucky enough to make a 3rd record, I say it would be time to start branching out musically so that you can differentiate yourself from the crowd if they ever tour abroad.

My second gripe is that the album has an odd sounding mix. I say that when the 3rd album comes around, invest some good money in a really good mixer. Breakdown sounds like it has the guitars to high and the drumming too low. I think the drums are the best part of the cd and need to be showcased more.

Other than those two gripes, I say that Enemy Logic are well on their way in the metal world. Wanna check them yourselves? Go to their Myspace and make your own opinion.

 
Next up is Journal, who hail from Sacramento, California. Their latest, Unlorja, is an 80- minute magnum opus of math metal, prog elements, and SURPRISE! Lots of inspiration from video games! Yes, it's another in the awesomely growing trend of combining games and metal! However, at first, it doesn't look as if there is a connection.

At first, the band sounds comfortable enough touring with Between The Buried and Me and maybe even being signed to Sumerian records. The schizophrenic pace just keeps you guessing. Then you get a 2-minute interlude of beautiful music. If they're channeling gaming, then I'd say the interludes are inspired by mid 90's Enix Super NES games. I swear a few of them could be tossed into Actraiser or Soulblazer and they would totally fit.

Here's hoping Journal gets a nice record deal in the near future. Their sound is ready for some good production, and with some decent tour support, they could make a name for themselves. I highly suggest you visit their Bandcamp page, give their songs a once-through, and cough up a few bucks for Unjorla.

And just in case you guys are reading this: TOUR MICHIGAN!!!!