Saturday, April 24, 2010

New CD Purchases

Hails and pixels metalhead gamers! I recently stopped by the great local metal store in Phoenix; Metal Devastation. To anyone in the greater Phoenix area or about to visit, please visit that store. It is filled with metal goodness from pretty obscure black and death to the more mainstream acts. The T-Shirt selection is fantastic as well. Anyway, here is what I picked up:

Swallow the Sun - Hope

No, this isn't a concept album about Barack Obama, in fact this album came out in 2007. This is the third album from Finnish doom/melodic death metal band Swallow the Sun. I have only heard a handful of songs before but I loved what I heard. Since I plan on attending their show this Monday, I felt I had to know at least some songs from them. The album has a great presence and reminds me a lot of Opeth if they went in a more slower progression style. Vocalist Mikko Kotamaki sounds quite a bit like Mikael Akerfeldt when he growls.

The music isn't too complicated however I feel that the producer could have pushed the vocals up in the mix a bit more. While I don't care too much for the vocals, these are quality enough that I want to hear them.

Moonsorrow - V: Havitetty

I have heard Moonsorrow before from their first album, Suden Uni and enjoyed it immensely. It's a wonderful blend of black and folk metal though the band leans more toward the folk side. This album explores more of that and begins to show a more progressive side with epic song length; two songs on the album clocking in at about 30 minutes each.

I wanted another album from Moonsorrow as I'm seeing them on Monday as the headliners with Swallow the Sun. I hope the show goes great and I can't wait to see them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

If Jason Becker Covered Video Game Music...

He'd probably sound like this guy:

YouTube suggested this guy to me after viewing and/or favoriting various video game guitar covers and they gave me a great suggestion. BKMJMBOX has a lot of other great Final Fantasy covers and medleys. I'll post some more awesome video game cover guitarists in the near future as the scene is just filled with some amazing bedroom virtuosos.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Most Metal Video Games (Part 2)

Hails and pixels metalhead gamers! It's been awhile but here's another installment of the Most Metal Video Games series! Last week I debuted the series with Too Human, a futuristic-cacophony-Norse-Mythology-Diablo style game.. This week's most metal video game is none other than:


The granddaddy of all first person shooters; Wolfenstein 3D and others might have come before it, but no other game revolutionized gaming quite on the level as DOOM. Why this game is metal is pretty much a no-brainer. You are a lone-ass-kicking-soldier against the infinite denizens of Hell with some bad ass space-age and not so quite space-age weaponry like the shotgun and in the sequel, the almighty double barreled shotgun. With it's creative creature designs and fantastic labyrinth levels, it's no surprise why this game helped kick start shareware and make the mod community what it is today. Of course this game also has a great soundtrack even if it is pretty much ripped off.

Bobby Prince, who was originally a lawyer; what he practiced is beyond me as it's not stated on his Wikipedia page, composed the soundtrack. It's been said that due to his law background he was able to get away with much of the copyright infringement because he knew how much constituted substantial similarities to the source material. Personally, even though I'm not a high-priced-city-slicker-fancy lawyer I can definitely hear the similarities between the original songs and DOOM's versions.

Granted most of DOOM's songs play the main riff for a few bars then move that same riff up a few steps to create repetition; at least he took from some great source material. Slayer. Metallica. Pantera. Alice In Chains. Despite the seemingly infringement going on, I have never heard a lawsuit peep from any of the bands. This is particularly surprising as Metallica is involved and we all know how protective Lars Ulrich is about his music. Regardless, the music fits the intensity of the game and it has withstood time by being continuously covered and rearranged by musicians the world over. To close out this post, I'd like to share my favorite medley of DOOM music performed by Finnish symphonic metal band: Epiclore.

Currently Listening To: Black Sabbath - The Mob Rules

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Most Metal Video Games (Part 1)

Hails! Now we begin an ongoing, indefinite length of time to determine some of the most metal video games out there. What makes a video game 'metal'? Well for my arbitrary definition it has to encompass the metal genre. The game has to be aggressive, uncompromising, evil, over-the-top, controversial, cheesy, a breaker of barriers and be fucking cool. Or whatever I decide is a metal video game.

Too Human

What Makes It Metal?

It's Norse mythology with robots! The Norse mythology alone would qualify it as being a metal video game since enough bands dip into the mythos, especially Amon Amarth. Speaking of which, I have no idea why that band was not asked to compose music for Too Human. With song titles like In Pursuit of Vikings, Valkyries Ride, Guardians of Asgaard, With Oden On Our Side and more they were basically a shoe-in for the game!

Instead we get generic metal riffage from 3volution Productions, started by former Fear Factory drummer Raymond Herrera no less. Sure there was some epic music in there but when it comes to action music, Amon Amarth would've fit right in.

Another reason the game is metal is because it's fucking hard. Especially when you're in the Ice Forest and surrounded by Cripplers, Stalkers, Spiders, Skullhammers and other mechanical machinations. However the Valkyrie that takes you to Valhalla is not metal. Well it is, but not when it takes 30 minutes to complete the sequence before you can continue again only to suffer at the lengthy sequence again. And again. And again.

Either way, I did enjoy the flawed game, especially in Co-Op. I was ultimately let down as I was excited for this game ever since I saw a preview for it in an old EGM years ago for the Playstation One. I'd still love to play that rendition of the game.

Into the Pixel Pit

Hails and welcome metalheads and gamers! This blog is for people who are passionate about metal music and video games. On trying to find sites that mesh my two passions, I decided to create my own blog site. On topic will be all things metal. All things video games. And any random bullshit that I decide to post.

I shall put together lists; because that is what the series of tubes demands, reviews of bands and video games, showcase local metal acts and help create the most metal playlists for various types of games.

Be forewarned, while I try to keep an open mind on just about everything, I am extremely biased in what I like about metal and video games. So don't expect to find topics about Slipknot, Static-X, Mudvayne or any other bands that are trying to be passed off as metal. Unless of course they are to be mocked, in which case you will expect to find that as well. Only real metal here and real good video games.