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Game Review: Civilization V: Brave New World

2481848-box_civ5bnwAfter spending nearly a century building a solid relationship with my Mayan neighbors it all pays off as they inform me that their spies have discovered that Napoleon and the French empire are planning on staging a surprise attack on my coastal city of Seoul.  This bit of information couldn’t have come at a better time as I have been guiding my people down the path of culture and science commissioning the building many world wonders and using my funds to search out great scientists.  My military is somewhat of a laughing-stock and as I have ignored the words of my military advisory telling me that the French wield an army that could wipe us off the planet.  Luckily I have been following the path of rationalism and those wonderful rationalists have discovered that through commerce and building trading posts I can also enhance my scientific resources, so let’s just say, the Korean empire has a few coins to rub together.  Which I do and build an instant modest army just strong enough to defend my land from a strong military push and then, since I have already denounced Napoleon a few times in the past for bullying my diplomatic buddies, declare war on the French.  And they fall into my trap.  Filled with the hubris that a massive army brings they go through with their set plan to attack Seoul seeing as that I have just a small defensive army.  What they didn’t know was that I had timed the production in my cities to release a bevy of high-powered units to eradicate them even before they hit my shores.  I wipe out more than a quarter of the French army on their first push taking minimal casualties due to my superior battle tactics and positioning and then push production to one more wave of military units composed of submarines and high-powered ballistas from my superior scientific advantage and then push back to the French shores accosting them of one of their major cultural cities and then south to liberate the French occupied city-state of Milan who will now provide me with and endless supply of cultural artifacts to keep my hard-working scientists happy as I move focus into winning the space race.  Ya, I must be playing a Civilization game.

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Musings of the Heavy Metal Hippie: Parchment Farm by Blue Cheer

blue-cheer-vincebusIf I’m going to be talking often about stoner and doom metal, I think it’s in order to make mention of the genres roots. Two classic bands from the ’60s can be cited as the main kicking off points and have major influence in the 2 genres. Both Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath carry much bearing for the 2, where Sabbath influenced the doom genre a tad more than Blue Cheer, whereas Blue Cheer has stronger bearings on stoner. However without the two to make a whole, these genres would sound much different from how they do today.

Today let’s focus on the stoner side of the hippie metal spectrum with a rocking song from Blue Cheer called “Parchment Farm” off their highly influential debut album Vincebus Eruptum. The first thing you will notice is the immediate fuzzy guitar tones and strong blues rock riffing, a staple of the stoner and doom genres (and without the fuzziness, the southern metal genre). There is also a lot of heavy psychedelic stuff going on which is also another major characteristic of stoner rock/metal, and as you delve deeper into the sounds of Blue Cheer, you will hear they went quite heavy with the psychedelics in other tunes like “Summertime Blues” (the band name Blue Cheer is also taken from the street name of a type of LSD).

“Parchment Farm” is actually a reworking of a folk blues song that was sung in a prison nicknamed Parchment Farm (I’m guessing prisoners were made to make paper), and is about the corruption of the correction facility through the eyes of the prisoner.
Enjoy!! Peace Love and Metal!!!!!!

Song of the Week-Jumalten kaupunki/Tuhatvuotinen perintö

For this weeks Song of the Week, I bring to you, what is in my opinion, an example of perfect writing, perfect production, and perfect everything.  The song that just bleeds with perfection is called “Jumalten kaupunki/Tuhatvuotinen perintö” which is Finnish for “City of the Gods/Legacy of a Thousand Years” by the band Moonsorrow and comes from the album Kivenkantaja(Stonebearer).

For those that are not familiar with the band Moonsorrw, allow me to give you a bit of background on them.  The band was started back in 1995 in Finland by Ville Sorvali and his cousin Henri Sorvali(who is also a main writer and recording member of folk metal stars Finntroll and was also a session member of Ensiferum on their earlier albums, he is pretty much one of the founding members of the modern folk metal scene).  They started Moonsorrow taking heavy inspiration from later Bathory, in which there was the classic black metal sound but drifted away from themes like satanism and all that other evil stuff and shifted to themes of vikings, paganism(not the goat sacrificing kinda paganism, but more the love of nature and respect for all the gods that had created the world around them), and added a bit more melodic sound to black metals tremolo filled thunderings.  As they grew musically stronger elements of the traditional folk music and instruments of their homeland of Finland started to find their way into the music and the duo of Moonsorrow eventually found some people to flesh out the band for live shows(whom are still the same members as of today, but on the early recordings Henri and Ville played all the instruments) and recorded a demo named Tämä ikuinen talvi (This Eternal Winter) and after much success with the demo recorded their first album Suden uni(Wolf’s Dream).  And from there they took off flying striking big in the underground metal scene in Finland.  They are still active today having recently released the masterpeice Varjoina kuljemme kuolleiden maassa (As shadows we walk in the land of the dead).

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