Why I am obsessed with Delta Green

I have been long neglecting my blog and for that my non-existent readers I am truly sorry. My ability to word vomit on my computer screen is often sporadic at best and I always promise to change and I never do.  I usually post about music but this is different, this is about my other passion. Tabletop gaming. I am sure you have seen my frequent facebook posts about the current kickstarter. (More on that later)

I was first introduced to the world of horror gaming with Call of Cthulhu by Chaosium about 10 years ago and I really loved it. I am a huge fan of Lovecraft and the Mythos associated with him. It was great, but the handful of drawbacks were the lack of a decent modern setting and some of the trouble with having a party investigating these things not to mention the stretch of imagination it took for character replacement with someone died or went mad. Forget having a long campaign with the setting either. Delta Green solves all of this by placing you as a Government agent secretly and illegally hunting the mythos and trying to protect mankind. It delves into conspiracy and horror like no other system I have seen.  The updated mythos for our time are top notch and truly terrifying on a whole new level. I discovered DG shortly after discovered Call of Cthulhu and I have never looked back.

I had been hoping for an updated sourcebook on Delta Green for post 2001 and I have gotten what I have asked for and more.  Not only are they giving us a fully updated setting, we are also getting a new variant on the call of cthulhu rules. In my opinion after playtesting the hell out of it, they have fixed a lot of the issues inherent in Call of Cthulhu’s D100 system. I love the D100 system but I hear a lot of people have issues with it. Especially with combat. Those issues are more than addressed.  The kickstarter is live now and I hope you take 5 mins of your life and check it out. Spread it to those you think might enjoy it even if you yourself do not. The Kickstarter has been funded but the stretch goals are amazing and will only happen if we reach those milestones.

Inside the kickstarter there is a link for a free basic rule book and if you go to Deltagreen.com there is plenty of material to get you a good grasp on how it works. Also if you are in STL let me know and I can run you a One Shot of it before you contribute to the kickstarter.

Kickstarter Here

When the first season of True Detective aired, I was blown away because outside of X-files this was the closest I had ever seen of Delta Green on television. In a lot of ways it is even closer to what Delta Green is about than the X-Files. 
Delta Green is not about winning. Delta Green is not about survival. It is about the decay of society around us. It is about what lies just beneath the surface and the moral decay of humanity, some of which we see everyday. Delta Green is about The End. Delta Green is about the end and how much of it you get to see before you die.

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Thorhammer- Indomitable album Review

Let us take a brief moment to talk about procrastination. It is a hell of a thing and difficult to manage and something I very obviously have. I am sorry for the lack of general word vomit, what can I say? My life is relatively uninteresting and that makes for less than stellar updates. I  do not normally talk about myself outside of a joking manner but I feel people who actually read my shit deserve an explanation. So for once I will talk serious. I have not been sleeping, and I don’t mean just the occasionally bout of insomnia or I am staying up to late on purpose. Even when I try to go to bed early, if I manage to fall asleep I am up by 1 or 2 am and unable to go back to sleep. This has been going on for a long time now and is negatively effecting my life, I am lethargic as fuck when I get up and even during the hours when I am unable to sleep I find it hard to bring myself to work on anything. Things are starting to get better  ( A bit) The sleeping part not so much but I have been finding it easier to find motivation to fight through the lethargy as of late.  So sorry for the whining let us get to why we are here. NEW THORHAMMER!!!!

Thorhammer

It definitely took it’s time. I am referring to both the debut Thorhammer album and my review of said piece. Life tends to get crazy for me this time of year and on top of the normal day to day things, like chasing toddlers and attempting to not go crazy, I have foolishly added more burden to my pile in the form of a new Doom Band I am starting up and a Screen Play for a film.  October 11th is the day the album Indomitable was made available for public streaming and October 12th is the day this review should have been up.  Of course after such a large delay I have had time to compress and give the album many listens. After almost 5 years of waiting, they finally have a full length release. I previously reviewed a few demo tracks from the album. Check them out here.

I settled down to write this review in the same fashion as I usually do with a 44oz cup of steaming hot coffee and a full pack of cigarettes. Both shall inevitably be empty upon finishing.

Upon listening to it, you can tell immediately they are not just a generic Thrash band, and have most certainly evolved their sound over the past few years. The production is top notch and the art design while unexpected is excellent and better than any expectations. I believe Thorhammer has struck gold with the new lineup.

Here are a few brief thoughts on each track.

793 A.D- The Raid on Lindisfarne- Sets the tones for the album as a whole, with a long build up and the layers keep building on themselves, this track could be a videogame score from the 90’s. Attack! Oh Shit I am low on health. A great recipe of taking a line and exploring it and letting it evolve naturally. When the rest of the song kicks in it almost takes you off guard as you expect this to be an instrumental, but it is not a bad thing in the slightest. Though it does sound like two separate tracks in the space of one however they work well together.
The River and Indomitable- I previously reviewed these tracks on their EP last year, my main complaints of production have been more than addressed. Both these songs are fantastic.

The Prophecy- Chaotic madness and I do not mean that in a bad way. Jarring this song is a kick in the pants.

Krusade- This track has been in their playlist but it has underwent changes and I might be alone in my camp in thinking this new version is best one out there. The addition of Ian’s guitar work has pushed this into new territories.

Enchantress- With a moody slow pace build up, this feels like they have begun to explore new territory in there musicianship and song writing.  The explosion that comes next is even more effective because of it. The stacked tones of the guitars work so well in this track and the slow pacing moments just push this one over the top. This track is probably my absolute favorite on the album. When the solo hits it kicks you in the pants and makes you want more. The various melodies throughout the track could be a song unto themselves.

Blood Eagle- It starts out soaring as the name would imply and then goes on the attack. The Harmonies during the solo section is very well done and the guitars stack and blend nicely together.

Disease of Thought- The opening hook quickly draws you in. The quick change up and lead line help build towards the 2nd movement seamlessly. The solo on this track might very be well one of the best I have heard this year.

Shallow Grave- The melody and slowed down section that last for just a brief moment push this over the top in terms of song writing.  There is so much going on with this song it could easily be twice as long without feeling long or drawn out. As the concluding track this builds towards an epic finale.
I could go into a technical ramble about each and every song, but I am not going to make that much word vomit for the reader to attempt to translate into human English, but I will say this. The solos are fantastic on each and every track, the tempos and breakdowns are excellent and add to each song. So far my two favorite tracks are Enchantress and Disease of Thought. Do yourself a favor and Download the album for $7 USD Here. It also includes a bonus track!
Or you could be a chump like me and wait for the physical release due out first quarter next year, but I strongly suggest not waiting! Throw some money at these guys, they definitely deserve it.

All in all I give this album 5 screaming coffee addicts out of 5.

Skeletonwitch With Voyage of Slaves and Thorhammer Feb 22, 2014

This most certainly wasn’t the first time seeing Skeletonwitch nor the second, but it might very well have been the best.  First lets take a look at tonight’s lineup. They are accompanied by Voyage of Slaves from Kentucky

http://voyageofslaves.bandcamp.com/

 

and Saint Louis’s very own Thorhammer.  I covered Thorhammer’s new EP a few weeks back but in case you forgot or didn’t listen to it, take a moment to check out their bandcamp page.

http://thorhammer.bandcamp.com/

 

Just looking at this gives me a music boner.

Just looking at this gives me a music boner.

It was especially special for me as I had never seen either Voyage or Thorhammer live as of yet.

Of course no metal show is complete without the fans and they were in abundance, like most shows I go to the first portion before the music starts is always wandering around and seeing all who I know.

Voyage kicked off the night with a fantastic set. Smashing the audiences heads in with a beautiful blend of melody and thunderous rhythms.  Tight and technical they are extremely impressive and can not wait to see them again.

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Next up was Thorhammer. Fast, Heavy and chaotic they were about as Thrash as one can be. Duel Leads from Frontman Kyle McNastybones and Ian Parks proved to be a wonderful sonic attack. Kyle showed himself to be a true entertainer as he mastered the stage.  Few people are as animated as he is behind both a guitar and a mic.

 

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And of course now we have the main event. Skeletonwitch. Normally at most shows I am pretty drunk at this time, but money is tight and I was happy enough just to get to go.  Skeletonwitch was as impressive as ever and it had its share of beautiful moments. From the Crowd spontaneously Chanting YES and Chance Garnette’s reaction to that being a genuine first.  So of course the crowd kept bringing the chant back at every opportunity.  Chance teased the crowd with a promise of seeing us this fall. It was a fantastic conclusion to their 10th Anniversary tour. “St. Louis, thanks for an amazing show! The perfect ending to seven weeks of touring,” the band later tweeted. I wish I had a camera to truly show how amazing their performance was but alas all I have is a semi decent phone.

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My only regret for the evening was not having enough money for some of the sexy Skeletonwitch Vinyls they had but I did snag some cheaper Voyage of Slaves Merch, an autographed copy of  Serpents Unleashed and a Thorhammer button.

The Riverfront times with their infinitely better camera man snagged some sexy pictures for your viewing pleasure. I am actually surprised I am not in the background of any of them.

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/slideshow/skeletonwitch-at-the-firebird-40943637/

 

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Late March Update

Yes, I realize I have been way way behind in my posts. It has been a busy couple of  m0nths for me, but intrepid readers worry not. You have not one but two concert reviews incoming and several album reviews as well. The concert reviews should be up in the next day or so.

I will leave you with a  picture of my ugly mug to haunt your dreams.

Ugly mug

I need frakking coffee

 

Not another end of the year best of list of Music…..

Creating a top list for the year is always difficult. I mean seriously it is like slamming your head into a wall coated in acid.  I would much shoot my self in the foot than face it each year, but alas the voices demand it. I am now currently editing this as I needed my beloved Maker’s Mark to steady my hand and nerves at this monumental task.

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 Usually the start of a good night, not this time. 

This year I was only able to narrow it down to 11. This is also the first year I went outside my standard of using only the more melodic metals. My rules no EP’s, Live Albums, Reissues, etc.  Otherwise you would see Mister Devin Townsend at the top of the mountain. His Retinal Circus is beyond fantastic. Check it out here.

And Here.

Alright enough with my mild DT obsession.

The top 5 are in order of my favorite albums, while the remainder are in no particular order. Disclaimer, You may not agree 100% with my list and that is fine. I am not looking for approval, if I was I certainly would not be looking for it from you, you, or you so just sit back and take a listen. I am sure there is plenty of music on here that most of you have not heard before.

11. Blood Ceremony The Eldritch Dark

Like a love song to the early days of metal, this embodies a modern twist to the 70’s. I literally kept a smile on my face the entire first listen through.  It made me feel such nostalgia, that I knew when I revisited this years music for this list it would most certainly be covered.

10. Inquisition Obscure Verses For The Multiverse

Not going to lie, this was my first exposure to this band and definitely not disappointed for discovering them. The whole album is well crafted and each track builds off the last. The final two tracks Inversion of Ethereal White Stars and Infinite Interstellar Genocide blew me away.

9. Chthonic Bu-Tik

Returning to my list again this year is Chthonic, with another brilliantly crafted piece of art. Crushingly heavy and beautifully melodic. The use of traditional  Taiwanese instruments and music is fantastic.

8. Aosoth- An Arrow in the Heart

This album is called An Arrow in the Heart and that is exactly what the guitar tone in this albums does, blows you away. I am not sure how they created it but damn am I impressed with how suffocating and crushing it is.

7. Subrosa- More Constant than the gods…

Beautiful, haunting and well designed. This album has everything going for it. The Vocals on it are subtle as they are powerful. Conveying intense levels of emotions. The Sludge/ Stoner genre is a personal favorite of mine and this is an album I will be coming back to for a long while.

6. Anciients- Heart of Oak

This band immediately impressed me with their Full length debut. It at first felt like listening to Mastodon but fresh however it wasn’t long into the album before they developed their own sound. Keep an eye out on these guys, they will be around for a while.

5. Witherscape- The Inheritence

I am a Swanö fanboy  so my expectation were astronomical and this album did not disappoint! The perfection of Extreme Metal and Progressive melodic metal. This album is fantastic.

4. Ghost BC- Infestissumam

Chances are you have heard this album or at least a few songs. There is also a large chance you are suffering from overplayed or overrated syndrome, and that is ok. It just goes to show you how widely successful this album is and it does deserve it. I love this album, maybe more than their previous release.  

From the opening riff of Infestissumam all the way to the end of Monstrous Clock. This album takes you on a sublime ride of grove, occult and psychedelics.

3. The Lions Daughter/ Indian Blanket- A black Sea.

Okay this album would have blown past my radar if it wasn’t for the fact I am friends with certain people on Facebook. This album is a magnificent pairing. Combining the Metal of The Lions Daughter and the Americana Folk of Indian Blanket, both fantastic bands in their own right into a unique, brilliant and magical combination that leaves us begging for a sequel.  This is a first for me as I have never had a local band make my top list and definitely not the top 3.

I was lucky enough to see the release show and watch this album played live, I hope they perform together again but that is definitely not a strong possibility. Perhaps if more people buy this album it will encourage them to work together on a more full-time basis.

https://www.facebook.com/thelionsdaughter

2. Ayreon- The Theory of Everything

What can I say other than Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a bloody Genius. After a bit of a hiatus from his Ayreon project after Y, he has come back strong with this release. While some of the lyrics and dialog is a bit campy at times, he isn’t afraid to start a new cycle in the series with a strong and unique offering. If you like Rock Operas and/or prog rock this is most definitely for you. Bringing in classic and new greats alike this is most definitely a star-studded affair and a love song to music in general.

1. The Ocean- Pelagial

What can I say about this album that hasn’t been already said. It is a brilliant concept album taking you deeper into both The darkness and claustrophobia of the oceans depths and deeper into a souls psyche. Brilliantly executed.

As with every year there were more albums I enjoyed that for one reason or another didn’t make the list. Perhaps they came out too late in the year or I didn’t discover them early enough to make a major impact. Perhaps they were amazing but overall I expected more from the band based on previous releases. Whatever the reason here is my list of Honorable mentions.

12. Ihsahn- Das Seelenbrechen- Great album! I think I just need more time to digest it.

13. Blackfast- Starving out the light: A brilliant album that almost made my top list but definitely worthy of an honorable mention. This would have been number 12 or 13 had I drawn the list out.

14. Cathedral- The Last Spiral

 

15. Huntress- Starbound Beast : Definitely had some of the best tracks this year and almost certainly the best video for Zenith

16. Ulver- Messe I.X-V.II.X

17. Castivet- Obsian

18. Fister- Gemini As with Blackfast this would have been next on my list had I continued to draw it out. Great concept album. Inspired by Dead Ringers, which is now on my to watch list.

19. Ruins of Belvervast- Blood Vault

20. Domovoid- Oh sensibility

Most of these albums problem was that I am such a music addict I continue to checking out more and more albums. My top list grew to about 30 at one point before I started narrowing it down.

Alright that about wraps this up for 2013 we can all return to our regular scheduled programing. I am sure all of you were completely thrilled by my list. I am sure it has been the highlight of your night if not week. I am sure you are asking yourself why no sarcasm and funny pictures you obviously stole the idea from Cracked.com the answer is simple. BECAUSE. Now I am going to bash my head with a lemon wrapped gold brick.

Oh in case you were wondering about the bottle of Makers Mark at this point. Glad I don’t get hangovers.

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Yeah… I had to do a lot of editing today….

Delayed! Absu in Saint Louis

61-atlgThis particular review, much like most of my posts are long well past overdue.  I know, I know you are clamoring for my beloved top ten(ish) albums of the year. Where the hell is it? Sorry but it is not as easy as it sounds. There were so many fantastic albums and this is the first year I didn’t stick to one type of genre, so my list is all over the place.  Not to mention both my children’s birthdays have happened in the past week so obviously that slows my productivity down. I figured I would get back into the swing of things with a nice short review of a show that happened at Fubar on November 11th, 2013. This was one of the few times I get to escape the dungeon I call my house and the wardens I call William and Serenity hah. Thanks to my friend Megan for helping me get out that night.

If you are not familiar with Absu they are fantastic Black Thrash Metal Band from Texas and probably one of the best of their genre in the United States. Their lyrics and albums focus on the Occult so that is always a huge plus in my book and this is the first time they have came to STL!!!

Coming into this show I had a pretty good idea what to expect as I have been listening to Absu for a while and was familiar with two of the opening bands.  If you haven’t been to Fubar at 3108 Locust Street, St. Louis 63103 before you should probably rectify that. Good lights and sound and the employees rock. They have a fairly decent beer selection and are reasonably priced.

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Tonight’s bands included Xaemora, Eternium, TERRA CAPUT MUNDI, VII and of course Absu.

Xaemora hit the stage first and honestly blew me away. They hit me by total surprise between their crushing rhythms and beautifully constructed melodies. Between their moments of utter desolation and euphoric highs they made a fan out of me. IMG_20131111_200208

They were exceptionally polished and had a fantastic stage presence.  Brilliant Atmospheric Black Metal and, you can check them out on facebook here.

https://www.facebook.com/Xaemora

My friends Eternium hit the stage next, which reminds me I need to write a review on their first full length release that came out earlier this year.  They hit the stage sans Markov who is the founding member, vocalist, and  Lead Guitarist of the band as he was currently trolling the west coast Markoving with Alestorm.  So while a unique performance it was most certainly not their best. The other members filling in the various roles that Markov normally filled actually worked well except on the guitar end. Some of the leads were a bit off and the guitarist they brought in for the show was not 100%. However that being said they still delivered a bone shattering show with very few hiccups, the main objections I had is only because I am a nitpick and refuse to lie for the sake of journalism, unless you buy me drinks.  IMG_20131111_204937 IMG_20131111_205005 IMG_20131111_205027

https://www.facebook.com/EterniumOfficial

The 3rd band playing was  TERRA CAPUT MUNDI. They are a very tight ass band that makes me think of the early days of Thrash and Black Metal. Not sure why but they most certainly do.IMG_20131112_082748 IMG_20131112_082926 IMG_20131112_083018

They have a sense of controlled chaos on stage. You can tell they are very tight and are popular as hell for a reason, most certainly need to see them again soon.

http://www.facebook.com/terracaputmundi

The biggest surprise of the night was the band VII whose vocalist actually gave me goosebumps, exceptionally talented and I predict not long for this local scene. They have a sound while staying absolutely true to metal will appeal to the mainstream fans of metal. So unlike other bands that leave Saint Louis take a moment and remember this city, sorry back to the review.IMG_20131112_081426 IMG_20131112_081225 IMG_20131112_081554

Their music sounds like a modern love letter to classic metal without sounding cheesy or overplayed. They have the beginnings of a sense of theatrics on stage which when applied correctly really goes a long way.  This was their first show and it was impressive and this was also the first time I have seen a crowd chant “one more song” for a local band. Sadly the sound guy told them no.

http://www.reverbnation.com/l7l

The main event: The Live Ritual of Absu, or at least it would be except we had a massive gap of dead air between VII and Absu and then after the sound check had another long gap of wait time before they hit the stage.  My ride Megan was starting to get tired and I was unsuccessful as drunkenly finding another ride home I did manage to get her to stay for part of the set and it was glorious. Pure metal ungodliness.IMG_20131112_080957 IMG_20131112_080825 IMG_20131112_080625 IMG_20131112_080740 IMG_20131111_234110

I sincerely hope they come back to Saint Louis sooner rather than later. Perhaps in 2014 they will release Apsu and go on another American Tour.  They call their shows Live Rituals and they do not disappoint, I have not felt energy like that outside of a ritual circle,  since the last time Therion came to Saint Louis. Live Ritual is an excellent term for it and one I may have to borrow at sometime in the future.

NEXT TIME: I either Scream at the computer about The Lions Daughter/Indian Blanket Release or finally post my top list of 2013.

So what are some of your favorite shows of 2013?  Also why do I continue to waste time vomiting words on a screen when the only one who reads it is the janitor who has to clean up afterwards? We have questions and you have answers but the answers may not be to the questions that we have.

Almost upon us…

With the dreary winter months ahead of us  and the sheer beauty of Krampus behind us what is there to look forward to?

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We are what your children dream of every night

Well there is  the joy of Christmas and the lovely discussions that accompany each and every drunk family gathering. The veiled ( and sometimes direct) insults to you and your way of life.  There is the debauchery of New Years and all the regrets and consequences from our actions of the night before. There is the First Annual naked snowrun.

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Seriously why isn’t this a thing. Join me Fuckers.

And of  course there is the 3rd annual top 10(ish) albums of year list by me. Normally I would have the list done with by now but this has been a tough year. Strong competition and too much alcohol and not enough coffee. I have finally picked a top 5, that leaves me with about 15 other choices to fill the other 5(ish) slots. I am going to give you a word of warning. This year does not look good for long standing and prominent bands. In my top 5 I have 2 relatively unknown bands and gasp one is a strictly local band. I don’t play favoritism, I just call them as I see them. Now don’t get me wrong sending me a nice shiny press kit with your newest release will go a long way and will guarantee a review and a listen but I can not be bought except with coffee and whiskey… fancy and together.

I should have final selections finished tomorrow or the next day. My progress has slowed due to a sickness in the family and a lack of ability to blast loud music all morning long.  That and I hate you. Not you. YOU.

Also I will stress this a second time. Send me a Physical copy of your newest release. ( LP, EP, Vinyl, Demo, what not) and I will actually listen to it and write a full review of it. I will be constructive and wordy. If I like it I will make others want to listen to it, if I don’t I will tell you why I don’t and give you the option of me not posting the review for public consumption. Extras and goodies in the package will get placed on top of my listening queue. Just saying. Click here to find out where to send your release for review. All releases will be eligible for my top 10 list each year. Keep that in mind. I know I am no one important, just a guy who loves metal and typing on the magick box in front of him but come on free exposure. Why the hell not right?

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Send me shirts in fat guy size. Clearly I have no clothes to wear.