Games Meet Metal: March 2011

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Between the Buried and Me's The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues: The Riff Review

We've been having a sort of progressive metal renaissance these past few years. Not just in the number of bands or the quality of material, but in the growing success of the bands themselves. Opeth, Dream Theater, and BTBAM are enjoying quite a profitable time, possibly the first for the genre. This has afforded them opportunities that they couldn't otherwise do. In BTBAM's case, it has let them walk away from their old label, sign a new deal with the much more lucrative Metal Blade, and record a concept record split over two EP's.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Straight Line Stitch's The Fight of our Lives: The Riff Review

I've always been a sentimental kind of jackass. Be it doodads, fond memories, or the rotting corpses of my fallen enemies, I tend to hold on to bits of my past. One big area is the music I listen to. I didn't start out with full-on blazing metal. In fact, I was knee deep in the realm of hair bands before The Big 4 of thrash metal showed me a new perspective. However, I still can listen to some of the cheesy 80's stuff and listen to it while enjoying it unironically. Then I got older, and I got into grunge, and I held on to some of that as well. Namely my appreciation for Soundgarden and Alice in Chains. We'll just forget Chris Cornell has a solo career for now.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slayer. Rob Zombie. Exodus. They're buddies!

In fact, they're such good bros, that they're gonna hit the road together this summer! Now don't get your wallets out just yet. It's actually going to be a short tour, with only twelve dates in all of North America. And all those dates are in the, um, northern area. I do know of at least one Canuck who'll be pretty happy about their tour routing.

SLAYERROB ZOMBIE and EXODUS "Hell On Earth" tour dates:

Jul. 20 - Sovereign Center, Reading, PA
Jul. 22 - DTE Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
Jul. 23 - Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
Jul. 24 - Heavy T.O. at Downsview Park, Toronto, ON Canada
Jul. 27 - MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB Canada
Jul. 29 - Credit Union Centre, Saskatoon, SK Canada
Jul. 30 - Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB Canada
Jul. 31 - Rexall Place, Edmonton, AB Canada
Aug. 02 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Center, Victoria, BC Canada
Aug. 03 - Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC Canada
Aug. 05 - Rose Quarter Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR
Aug. 06 - WaMu Theatre, Seattle, WA

Amon Amarth's Surtur Rising: The Riff Review

My first introduction to Amon Amarth was through a metalhead buddy whom I happened to be working with. He had come in to work one day wearing one of their hoodies. The main thing that interested me was how to pronounce their name. I swear, it took me several tries. Sorry, just not up on my Nordic pronunciations. When I asked Mr. Hoodie Wearer what type of metal Amon were, he replied "viking metal." Up until then, I had never heard of that phrase. I my mind, I tried picture what that sounded like:

The sound of barbarians doing as much pillaging and burning as they could?

War hymns sung while drinking an elephant's weight in ale?

A shitload of Viking horns blowing in unison?

The answer turned out to be "awesome." Subsequently, my beard grew two feet.

8-bit Metal Mondays: Start of a New Era

Okay, after a couple weeks of getting my affairs in order, it's time to get back to something of a normal schedule! I'm still quite bummed that the site redesign won't happen for quite awhile, but I'm confident that I can expand in other areas. That was where the video blogs were gonna start happening. The original plan was to have myself and a close buddy yap about stuff at my place, but I realized that it'll be fundamentally flawed. It's not that we're shitty personalities. It's that we can talk for hours at a time, and Youtube has a 15-minute limit. Something like that is more for a podcast, which I would also like to get going this going, free time permitting.

While that slowly goes into play, I would like to still do some videos. Namely, game reviews. I'm getting one together now, but first I have to break my shyness for getting in front of the camera. Not that I fear talking to the masses, but my voice usually ends up an octave or more higher than what it usually is. Must be the power of evil.

As for some bleepiness, there was the release of the Homefront soundtrack that was released last week. It consists of a bunch of metal guys and gals performing covers of war-themed songs. Most of them are pretty by-the-numbers, but two stood out. Here's Periphery's cover of Metallica's One and Dillinger Escape Plan teaming up with Chuck D for Fight the Power.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The PAX Report Part 2

Well, the good stuff has been said. Now let's move on to the weird, the cool, and the crap.


The one thing that I thought I wouldn't be able to touch was actually in vast quantities. The 3DS was in every developer's booth, so long as they had a game or two coming out for it. Capcom had several, EA had a few, IGN had even more up, and Nintendo had the motherload. The system itself isn't much different from a DSi. About the same weight, damn close to the same look, but the graphics are pretty unbelievable. The analog button was tad bit too slidey, but not so much that I wouldn't be able to adjust to it over time.

The few games that I sampled looked fantastic! Street Fighter IV was pretty damn faithful to it's console version, but it was presented at a weird view, where the camera was placed behind the fighter's back. This was probably done so as to show off the 3D effects a bit better. (Speaking of which, the 3D works best as long as you keep the intensity down to a minimum. Otherwise, your eyes will go batshit.) The other game I tried was Steel Diver, a submarine game which was really nothing more than a glorified tech demo. Still, the 3D looked very nice, and the graphics were good. Just not SFIV good.

Speaking of good looking and popular games......

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The PAX Report Part 1

Finally, at long last, let's talk some PAX! Sorry for the long wait, but losing your job can cause quite a bit of drama among those you live with. Never mind the fact that they don't have any jobs to speak of, but that's neither here nor there. Plus, add in the fact that I was starting to turn into a miserable jackass made things even more of a joy to be around. Now I have my head on straight, and I'm ready to yap about PAX!

This is gonna be divided into two posts. The first one, for today, will center on what I thought was the best of the show, as far as booth presentation and games being show. The next post will be a ton of smaller observances, as well as a few things that stunk. Don't worry, we're mostly in the category of "win" here.

And now, the best of the best!

Friday, March 18, 2011

An Update On What's Going On

Well, hello folks! Sorry to keep y'all in the dark for awhile there, but things have been happening in the real world that have drawn my attention away for a bit. First off, I did attend PAX East, and it was a blast! However, I was dealt a blow to the stomach when I learned that I had been fired from my day job while I was on my trip. Yeah, let go while out of town. Real fucking ballsy. That kind of killed my steam a bit and turned the trip into a bit of a downer. Plus, the planned renovation of the site is gonna have to be postponed indefinitely until I get back on my feet again, financially wise. So, I've been using this workless week to catch  up on a ton of housecleaning, as well as filing for unemployment and filling out a new resume. Ugh, I hate doing resumes.

However, since I might not be a part of the working force for a bit, that leaves you, the reader, at the benefit of my free time! There's been a lot of stuff brewing in my mind for a while now, I just haven't had the time to implement them. But now I do!. So, stay tuned to next week when I'll be throwing to you all the lovely PAX photos i had taken, as well as a possible video blog or two with a few friends of mine!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A few things before the big trip

So, with Pax East finally about to breathe it's almighty fire upon us, I figured I'd do one more post before I get on the plane Wednesday morning. My big goal of the show is to be multimedia friendly as possible. Not only for prosperity sake, but to also watch the bufoonery I get myself into. Since my experience with traveling is barely there, I'm sure there will be plenty of spots where I will ponder why I didn't ride the short bus to school, and you'll get to see it all. I'm also gonna try to do daily blogs, but the possible lack of sleep may hamper things.

If you haven't already, like/subscribe/do whatever with the following links to make sure you don't miss a moment.

Monday, March 7, 2011

8-bit Metal Mondays: It's here! It's here!

Well, almost here. Friday is finally gonna be PAX day, and I'm flying out on Wednesday. The whole thing is really exciting. I haven't been on a plane since I was 5 years old, so this will be like new to me. Hell, it'll be like a carnival ride! It goes up, it goes down, you gotta wear a seatbelt, the baby's whining, the kid behind you is kicking the seat, the cart hitting your arm  if you have an aisle seat...... okay, so this has the potential to suck hard. However, I have high hopes that I'll arrive safe and sound.

Just gotta hurry my ass off and make that connecting flight in Atlanta.

In keeping with this week's activities, this week's bleepiness is some live Metroid Metal from the west coast edition of PAX, circa 2009.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Darkest Hour's The Human Romance: The Riff Review

Growing up. Getting wiser. Smarter. Maturing. We all do this, it's a part of life. But boooooy do bands love talking about it. We've grown. We've matured. We're a tighter. I moved out of my parent's house. i grew my two front teeth in. Yep, musicians love talking about how much they've grown up. The main problem here is when they try to describe the sound of their newest cd as "grown-up" or "mature". Then you listen to it, and it sounds almost like the crap they already did two years ago, except perhaps more radio friendly.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The PAX East Schedule for GMM

While something like this list is more appropriate for a cell phone list (and it will be in the near future), writing it down is always a better way for my noggin to remember things. Plus, it gives you, the reader, a little preview what to expect when I start writing up everything from my trip to PAX East. For the record, I'm gonna be as multi-media friendly as possible, so expect a lot of activity on GMM's Facebook and Twitter accounts. I've also opened a new account on, which is a live streaming service, so expect some use out of that as well. Anyway, onto the schedule!