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"It's the End of a Year... There's Another One Coming!"

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With 2011 nearing a close, it's time to compile some best-of lists. I blog infrequently and may or may not post another one, but for this one I'll focus on music. Here are some of my favorite albums that dropped this year, along with some vague reasons why I enjoyed them so much.

Chelsea Wolfe-Ἀποκάλυψις


Beautifully brooding, this album is a trip to hell with the lovely Chelsea Wolfe as your guide. Exceptionally dark and unpredictable, this record is a standout from a female singer-songwriter that certainly deserves your attention.

"Mer"
"Tracks (Tall Bodies)"
"The Wasteland"


deafheaven- Roads to Judah


With "Roads to Judah" deafheaven have created an astounding release of captivating and highly emotional metal-infused shoegaze. While the shoegaze sound is trendy in black metal at the moment, I feel that deafheaven go above and beyond those other bands by creating expansive songs that remain interesting throughout their entirety. Rather than ride the wave of this trend, deafheaven have created something entirely unique that feels genuine.

"Violet"
"Language Games"
"Unrequited"
"Tunnel of Trees"


Altar of Plagues- Mammal



This Irish metal act has released yet another captivating album effectively combining elements of both post-metal and black metal. This took some time to sink in with me, but it has now become one of my favorites from the year. "All Life Converges to Some Centre" gives me chills.

"Neptune is Dead"
"All Life Converges to Some Centre"


Full of Hell- Roots of Earth Are Consuming My Home

Dark, angry, crusty hardcore in the vein of Cursed and His Hero is Gone from a very young band. This is definitely my favorite hardcore release from this year.

"Pile of Dead Horses/Endless Drone"
"The Bed is Burning"

SubRosa- No Help for the Mighty Ones


This female-fronted doom gem comes complete with fuzzy guitars, violins, and even some pop hooks.


"Borrowed Time, Borrowed Eyes"
"Beneath the Crown"
"The Inheritance"


Wormrot- Digre


High-energy grindcore with a heavy punk influence straight out of Singapore. Easily my favorite grind release this year.

"Compulsive Disposition"
"Public Display of Infection"
"Butt Krieg is Showing"
"Principle of Puppet Warfare"


Andrew Jackson Jihad- Knife Man



With witty lyrics that somehow make me laugh and feel like crap at the same time (though not all of the lyrical content is light-hearted, this might be their bleakest album yet), along with insanely memorable songs, this one is a standout.


"Gift of the Magi 2: Return of the Magi"

"Hate, Rain On Me"
"Zombie by The Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad"


The Atlas Moth- An Ache for the Distance


(censored for Gamespot :P )


This is an excellent psychedelic sludge record containing a mash up of many other genres. "Holes in the Desert" rips.

"Holes in the Desert"
"Coffin Varnish"
"Courage"


KEN mode- Venerable



Noisy and gloriously abrasive metalcore, KEN mode is a rising star. This album is excellent metallic hardcore played at its loudest.


"Obeying the Iron Will"
"Batholith"


Cave In- White Silence


Cave In has been all over the place in terms of their sound progression, and I feel like this album perfectly exemplifies this. This album goes into so many directions that it took a few listens to click with me, but once it did I really admired it. There are heavy songs early on that are closest to their earlier hardcore music, but by the end of the album they are channeling space rock.

"Sing My Loves"
"Serpents"
"Heartbreaks, Earthquakes"


All Pigs Must Die- God is War



This band is practically a supergroup, featuring members of The Hope Conspiracy, Converge, Bloodhorse, and The Red Chord. This record is heavy, angry, and merciless thanks in no small part to Ben Koller's manic drumming.

"Death Dealer"
"Pulverization"
"Sacrosanct"
"God is War"


Antediluvian- Through the Cervix of Hawwah



My favorite death metal release this year. While Antediluvian's prior release was entirely passable, this one seemed to come out of nowhere and floored me. This album is crushing and extremely well put together.


"Luminous Harvest"
"...Through the Cervix of Hawwah"
"Scions Of Ha Nachash (Sceptre Of The Burning Valley)"

La Dispute- Wildlife


I was not a fan of these guys before, but this album came as a nice surprise to me. There is some great emotional storytelling in the lyrics and the almost-spoken-word vocals are reminiscent of mewithoutYou, as well as the music itself. There is some really catchy guitarwork.

"Harder Harmonies"

"Edward Benz, 27 Times"
"St. Paul Missionary Baptist Blues"


Ulcerate- The Destroyers of All


Technical death metal in every way possible with an emphasis on an incredible bleak atmosphere. Ulcerate is simply an exceptionally tight band, and this album proves (once again) why they are one of the best in the genre. Also, MY GOD THAT DRUMMING!


"Dead Oceans"
"The Hollow Idols"
"The Destroyers of All"


CunninLynguists- Oneirology


There are a few duds here, but overall this is a solid album. It should be said that there is a great use of samples on here with only a track or two that indulge a bit too much.

"Predormitum (Prologue)"

"Darkness (Dream On)"
"My Habit (I Haven't Changed)"


Eisley- The Valley


Eisley continues to bring the quality. If you have never listened to Eisley, this is a great place to start. The music is intricately layered, as is the Dupree sisters' wonderful harmonized vocals. A grand pop album.

"Smarter"
"Sad"
"Better Love"
"Mr. Moon"



Nujabes- Spiritual State



Being a posthumous release from Jun Seba, Spiritual State is a bit of a bittersweet but beautiful jazz-hop experience with phenomenal beats.

"Spiritual State"
"Sky is Tumbling"
"Prayer"


Worthy of mention

Some of these I have not listened to enough to form a strong opinion yet. All of them are great.

Light Bearer- Lapsus

Touché Amoré-Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me

BADBADNOTGOOD-BBNG

Flourishing- The Sum of All Fossils

Trap Them- Darker Handcraft

Raekwon- Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang

Vektor- Outer Isolation

Absu- Abzu

Defeater- Empty Days & Sleepless Nights

O'Brother- Garden Window

Oathbreaker-Mælstrøm

**** the Facts- Die Miserable

Weekend Nachos- Worthless

Death Grips- Exmilitary

Rejoining the Playstation World

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It's been nearly 10 months since my last blog, so here it goes-
A couple of weeks ago I was able to snag a 120gb PS3. I'm having a blast with it, and if anyone would like to add me on PSN, my name is Doomsayer7.

And the game that finally convinced me to get one-



Heavy Rain

I absolutely love this game. It's now tied with The Darkness as being my favorite game of this gen. After playing this, the $300 I spent on the system seems totally worth it for this game alone. Heavy Rain is such an involving, immersive, gem of a game and it toys with every emotion possible. One minute the game gives you a nice, comforting hug, leaving you all warm and fuzzy feeling, and the next it kicks you right in the stomach. You may have just found a clue that could possibly wrap up the investigation of the Origami Killer, and soon after that you're staring down the barrel of a gun, wondering if your character can possibly make it out of this situation alive or if this crucial evidence will die along with you. I knew I would like Heavy Rain; after all, Shenmue is one of my favorites and I am a big fan of quick-time events, but I never expected the characters and storyline to get to me so much. This is a very unique game, and definitely a step in the right direction that people should take notice of.

I also bought this-

Demon's Souls

Now that I've finished Heavy Rain, I'm having a blast with this one too. I've already clocked in over 10 hours of play time, got my ass kicked and died a few hundred times, but this game is very addicting and challenging without being overly frustrating. Demon's Souls reminds me a lot of Monster Hunter, but with more dungeon crawling... which is a good thing. ;)

These last two games I got in the past few days, so I haven't had a chance to play them much-

Killzone 2

I was a big fan of the first... I'm definitely a fan of this one. Amazing visuals, sound effects, and all around gameplay make Killzone 2 one of the best shooters out there.

Valkyria Chronicles

I actually just picked this one up today, but I've already played it a few hours more than I had planned. This game is absolutely beautiful. The characters seem very likable and it has a surprisingly mature story about times of war. The way it combines third-person shooter, rpg, and both turn-based and real-time strategy elements together is very unique and refreshing, as is the cell shaded graphics and bright color palette.

I also purchased my first movies on Blu-Ray, which were Forgetting Sarah Marshall and The Departed. I had been meaning to get both of those on dvd for a while now, but never did. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of my favorite comedies. The Dracula rock opera with puppets was so damn cool, and the scene where Peter sings one of his songs from it in a bar made me laugh harder than I ever have. :P

That's all for now. I'll try to make myself blog more often. ;)
I hope you're all having a great weekend.
Take it easy. :)

Currently listening to-
Iridium by Dark Tranquillity

The Eternal Return!

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Just got this in the mail today and, being the Darkest Hour fan that I am, I thought today was a blog-worthy day!

What can I say. It's an excellent cd. While I was pretty bummed to hear that Kris Norris had left the band, the album totally exceeded my expectations. While the definitive melodic soloes that Norris brought to the table may be gone, the band returns to their heavy roots established with So Sedated, So Secure and The Mark of the Judas. Their new guitarist, Mike "Lonestar" Carrigan does not disappoint in the slightest, and John Henry's vocals are definitely better than ever before.


That is all. ;)

Songs for the week #2

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Since this month is shaping up to be a ****ing horrible month, here is what I have been listening to so that I may vent. ;)

1.) My Sweet Shadow by In Flames
2.) Legion by At the Gates
3.) Aces High by Iron Maiden
4.) Miscarriage by The Black Dahlia Murder
5.) Soulfly V by Soulfly (This song always calms me down for some reason because it reminds me of a rainforest. :) )
6.) Closing on the Day by Darkest Hour
7.) The Last Dance Massacre by Darkest Hour
8.) A Breath Beneath by The Absence
9.) Wolves by Machine Head
10.)Bullet Ride by In Flames (Pretty much have this one on repeat when I'm in my car)

Officially Passed Up My Old Account

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So I have finally passed up my old account in well...everything. Since I haven't blogged in a while, I thought I would just go ahead and do it now. I'm finally past level 19, and I have had more posts, union/friend invites, etc. in the last few months then I have my entire gamespot history. I'm sure if it wasn't for those invites I would probably never use this site. ;)

I figured I would "borrow" the music list idea from some friends who have been doing this, and you know who you are. :) Here are some songs that have been stuck in my head the past few days.

1. Sand and Snow by Light This City
2. Two Weeks by All That Remains
3. Clenching the Fists of Dissent by Machine Head
4. Days Without by All That Remains
5. Crusher by The Haunted

I really like All That Remains new album, even though it is a lot different from their other stuff. Well, that's all for now.

A new TV for the bedroom...and stuff

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I finally replaced my 27'' Magnavox in my bedroom. This television was nearly 20 years old and had been stuck by lightning in the past. Since it was finally starting to conk out (honestly it has been a damn good TV), I bought a 22'' HD LCD. Nothing amazingly spectacular, but I love it. It has an unbelievably clear picture when compared to the last TV in there. I've been spending most of my free time playing the 360 on it :D .

Earlier today I got a haircut. I'm not vane at all when it comes to hair, clothing, or anything really. Usually I have always had my hair buzzed really short, but this time I had not had a haircut since November. I pretty much felt like a douchebag because I haven't done much with it. So today I got it trimmed a bit.

If I ever get around to it, I'm going to try and write a Bourne Conspiracy review, and maybe an Alone in the Dark one since that game catches a lot of heat when actually I loved it.

Get Carlos. Trap Carlos. Kill Carlos!

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I finished reading The Bourne Identity today and it was an excellent book. I would even say it is one of the best action/suspense books I've ever read. Robert Ludlum did a great job of writing a novel in 1975 that you could read now and think that the story took place in present day. It revolves around Jason Bourne, an amnesiac who uncovers clues that he is actually a super assassin known as Cain. He finds out the hard way that the world's most enigmatic assassin, Carlos, is gunning for him. I really don't want to go into the story anymore than that because the book is filled with suspense.;) Ludlum's character is very memorable as Jason is tormented by a past he can remember nothing of, is torn apart by painful flashbacks and phrases, and grows attached to a certain someone. The book is very different from the movie, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of the movies because of that.

I Hate Spyware...

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At the beginning of this week I started having problems with spyware, viruses and such that my antivirus programs weren't doing much about. Finally when they were picked up by my protection programs, there were over 40 counts of all sorts of viruses. They destroyed all of the links to my C drive, making me think that my C drive was completely gone when that wasn't the case, and when I went to do a system restore it turned out that it had wiped all of my recovery points except for the day I got this spyware. So I gave up on trying to take care of it myself because normally I don't have to wipe my computer clean, but today I had to. So now I'm pretty bummed that I had to start all over because I lost the 3,000 songs I had in iTunes, and I had a lot of pics of good times that are gone. I was an idiot and never thought of backing these pics up on photobucket or something like that, so I guess I learned my lesson there. But not all of the week was bad I guess. I got to page 150 in The Bourne Identity today, and wow what a great series. So far it's a really awesome book.
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