Monday, May 17, 2010

Most Metal Video Games (Part 3)

Hails and pixels metalheads! I know it's been quite a while since the previous installment of Most Metal Video Games, just stuff in real life and sheer laziness. I make no promises to keep a better schedule other than try for a weekly installment until I run out of potential candidates. Of course the past day has been pretty bleak for metal with the loss of the almighty Ronnie James Dio. We shouldn't mourn his loss but celebrate his contributions to metal as a whole. \m/

This week's most metal video game is the Guilty Gear series.

The moderately popular Japanese fighting game is loaded with various metal references in the characters and the music. Daisuke Ishiwatari is a bit of a renaissance man by designing the characters, penning the story, providing voice work and composing the music of the Guilty Gear series. He makes no shame of his love of metal and hard rock by naming characters after bands such as Venom, Slayer, Testament and musicians such as Zappa, Axl Rose (Axl Low), and Cliff Burton (Kliff Undersn).

Backed up by the metal/hard rock influenced characters is the hard hitting soundtrack. Instrumetal goodness filled with solid headbanging riffs and searing leads make this one to be occupied in one's iPod for some time. However between the various incarnations of the game, it can get a bit tiresome as the songs start to recycle motifs and while this is a common practice in order to save time and money, it makes it a chore to listen to in the long run.

Guilty Gear has a very diverse cast of characters and some very unique character designs; some of the best I've seen in recent fighting games. You have a guitar wielding witch. A tall shape shifting man with a bag over his head. And a man who can conjure up cue balls to shoot at you with his cue stick.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of fighting games and have little patience for their nuances but I certainly respect the good ones and this one is one of them. While the game has not reached the popularity of Street Fighter or Virtua Fighter, it is still heavily played by those looking for a great fighting game experience. The uniqueness, wackiness, and numerous of references to metal this game makes it a very metal video game.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lost In Shadow

I'm always on the look out for games that do something fairly unique. This game looks like it's going to be an interesting take on platformers; the play of light and shadow and how that directly influences your position on the level. Looks like a good one to keep an eye on.

RNC Less Metal Than You!

Well it's not every day that you hear about death metal on a fairly popular news show, unless it's about how a couple of idiot teenagers allegedly raped and murdered a girl whilst listening to Slayer or Judas Priest. Of course those bands are hardly death metal, but what do they know? Rather than sensationalize death metal in the typical way, Ms. Maddow seems to think that the presence of the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida will stir up some controversy. I doubt it. I haven't heard much of metal musicians, much less from death metal, participating much in politics. Sure some the lyrics of the mentioned bands in the clip, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Obituary, Six Feet Under and Deicide, might feature some political awareness, but they tend to lay within the blasphemous or the tongue-in-cheek gore-horror-movie shtick.

Maybe if Schuldiner was still alive he might make some comments about it. However I wouldn't be surprised if Glen Benton of Deicide would say something about this. He seems crazy enough and out spoken enough to say something about this. C'mon, this guy burned a cross upside down on his forehead. It's scarred there for life. You'd have to be a crazy mother fucker to do something like.

Oh well. I doubt anything will come out of this. I do wish she mentioned Morbid Angel and some of the other influential Floridian death metal bands.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brian Posehn - More Metal Than You!

I really haven't followed Posehn's career but I do know of him from the Metal By Numbers video he did and some of his bits on Mr. Show and the Sarah Silverman Program. When the new video single, More Metal Than You, came out and I found out that he was coming to the Valley, I was stoked! The video is pretty awesome of course:

I saw him live and he is fucking hilarious! He did not do a whole lot in the way of metal references but he had fantastic delivery and just all around great jokes. I'll have to pick up his albums soon.

Finntroll, Moonsorrow, Swallow the Sun Concert

Hails and pixels metalheads! Sorry about the delay in between posts, just got a bit lazy and some shit going down in real life that I might go into later. Anyway here is a catch up post for the concert involving Finntroll and Moonsorrow.

The concert was over at a restaurant/bar in Mesa called UB's. I've never been there before but it's a decent sized venue; about 100 capacity. The opening band was a local one called Adavant whom I've seen prior when I saw Eluveitie. Not a bad folk metal band, though a bit odd considering they originate from the Valley of the Sun and not the fjords of Scandinavia. Their songs are typical singing about drinking, celebration and the glory of battle. And of course they have a female singer, who I saw while they were taking down their set and complimented her band on a great job and how I saw them previously. Apparently that was a different female singer and she was the new one. My bad.

The second band was a thrash metal band from California called Bonded By Blood. Really great riffs that reminded me of early Exodus, Overkill and a bit of old school Kreator. Every single riff was mosh and headbang worthy. The only negative I had with the band was the singer. He wasn't lacking energy or anything it's just that his vocal styling didn't seem suited for the brand of thrash metal they were playing. I think a more shout style like Tom Araya or psuedo-growling of Miland Petrozza would fit better. There was little between song banter and what bit was there was commenting on the stupid anti-immigration law that Arizona passed and they joked that they might get deported. This band I'll keep an eye on.

I took a personal intermission to refuel my metal gut with some Whataburger. I came back in time to catch a handful of songs of Swallow the Sun. They're not a bad live band, though I think I enjoy them more on the record than live.

After them was Moonsorrow. Tons of energy and the audience enjoyed them immensely. Unfortunately sleep started to overtake my body and I had leave half way through their set. Perhaps next time I'll down some coffee or energy drinks to compensate. By the way, I left with a pretty awesome Moonsorrow tour shirt.