Games Meet Metal: October 2010

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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:

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


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.