Author Archives: WarpRider

Xbox: Games With Gold & Deals With Gold


xbox-one-featured-imageIt’s time to discuss May’s free games for Xbox Gold members.  Keeping in mind, it cost about $60 a year to be a member, the games they have been giving away this year are worth far more than that…but, you have to like them or want to play them to make it worth your time.  April’s roundup was quite nice, featuring a bunch of free games.  May can be considered a little on the light side comparatively speaking since there are only four games including one from April that is still on the list.  But, when given free stuff can you really complain?

Here is the lineup for the Xbox One:

Castle Storm Definitive Edition.  Available all month.

Pool Nation FX.  Available all month.

  Read the rest of this entry

Show Review: Opeth in Tokyo 30 April 15: The Full Report


IMG_0582If you have been following A Metal State of Mind, you may have noticed that Opeth gets mentioned quite a bit for one reason or another.  I guess you could say, as a whole, we like them here.  Just putting the bias up front.  This time it’s yet another show review; my first from the island nation of Japan.  The Roppongi district of Tokyo was the setting for the show; my third time seeing Opeth and my first ever concert that actually ended at a very reasonable time.  In short, it was a great night for many reasons and here is a rundown of the evening.

First, I will say that the cost of a show in Japan is more than I have ever paid to see one band.  As a result I will have to pick and choose my future shows carefully.  ¥7,500 ($62.41, €55.75, kr524.30) seems to be the average price from what I have been seeing lately.  The cost was for a standing ticket.  If I wanted a seat it would have cost ¥2,000 extra.  Seems to me being closer to the action would cost more, but I am sure there is a reason to price tickets that way.  Anyway, throw in train tickets (took about an hour to get there), a shirt for ¥3,500 and it adds up to an expensive night out…for one band.  There was also a pre-show dinner for about ¥2,800.  But, for metalheads it’s always worth it to see a band you love. I don’t have to explain this, you know…

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Album Review: Mellowtoy – Lies


PromoImage

Release Date:  20 Jan 2015

Previous Albums:  This is their fourth album

Length:  42 Minutes

Songs:  12

Genre:  Hard Rock

Label:  Scarlet Records

FFO:  Ill Nino, Five Finger Death Punch, All That Remains, Stone Sour, Gemini Syndrome, Disturbed

Location:  Milan, Italy Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Nightwish – Endless Forms Most Beautiful


613dW-xBHFL._SY300_Album:  Endless Forms Most Beautiful

Label:  Nuclear Blast

Songs:  22 (deluxe version)

Length:  2 hours; 38 minutes (deluxe version)

Previous Albums:  Angels Fall First (1997); Oceanborn (1998)’ Wishmaster (2000); Century Child (2002); Dark Passion Play (2007); Imaginaerum (2011)

Genre:  Symphonic Metal

Location:  Finland

I had high hopes for a newly invigorated Nightwish.  Not that Anette’s departure was a blessing, I actually liked Anette with Nightwish quite a bit.  Lineup changes happen and sometimes it is unfortunate. But, after hearing Floor’s initial performances with the band on various YouTube clips I maintained the hope that Nightwish would continue to pump out highly fervent symphonic metal to the masses. I read that Floor was with the band during the recording process which was something new for the band.  This led me to believe things would be just different this time around.  Sadly, the only thing that is different that Nightwish acquired a new singer that’s sounds equally as excellent their previous front-ladies, but the passion in their music seems to be largely absent.  Read the rest of this entry

Album Review & Interview: Southern Front – Death Throes


sothern_front_-_death_throesAlbum:  Death Throes

Label:  N/A

Release:  1 Nov 14

Songs:  8

Length:  28 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash/Death

Previous Albums:  Join or Die (2010); Seasons of Hate EP (2012)

FFO:  Lamb of God, Testament, Exodus, Pantera

Location:  Austin, Texas, USA

For those that feel an album must be of a certain length, Southern Front’s Death Throes is probably going to disappoint you before it even begins.  It’s a quick album and you’ll have to get used to it.  Southern Front is not about pumping their albums full of anything irrelevant.  Therefore, it’s quality over quantity on this one.  It’s just metal and quite heavy metal at that.  I’ll admit it even falls a bit short on whether I would call Death Throes an album or an EP, but for eight songs and the punch they pack, it’s an album.  Following up their Seasons of Hate EP, Death Throes is a no frills experienced mixed with growling (Lamb of God-like) vocals, copious double bass drumming, and enough guitar solos that give them a more thrashy edge. Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Katatonia – Sanctitude (Live)


489616I am not one for live albums anymore.  I used to always buy them because I felt I was enjoying a piece of the band that I did not have regular access to.  The live setting was raw and mostly unedited back then.  It seemed pure and energetic.  Then, bands like Dream Theater and Opeth (to name just two) went and threw a whole bunch of production into their live albums/DVDs and now my bar has grown accustomed to excellent sound.  How can I go back to bootleg-ish production now?  There is one exception to the rule though.  The (sort of) “unplugged” setting is an intimate atmosphere free of distortion and all around craziness.  More importantly, bands have to rehearse quite a bit because the audience will be able to hear every single nuance of the music.  It has to be awesome.  This is where Katatonia’s new live concert, Sanctitude, comes in.  It is (basically) unplugged, crisp, and sensational.  Of course, the production helps.  Read the rest of this entry

Videogames: Free Stuff on Xbox for the Month of April (2015)


According to the article on Yahoo! Games, since Xbox launched the Games with Gold program, there has been over 100 million downloads.  People seem to be enjoying the Games for Gold deal.  Currently, Xbox gamers can download…for free…Rayman Legends and It Draws a Red Box for the Xbox One and Bioshock Infinite on the Xbox 360.  Not a bad deal at all even if you just download Bioshock. It’s a great game.

April’s new download list should excite some gamers simply for the sheer volume of games that will be available during the month of April.  Six this time.  Of course, this should appeal mostly to those still hanging on to that 360 since there will be more games available for that system.

For the Xbox One during the entire month of April 2015, you will be able to download with your Gold subscription:

Pool Nation FX.  Personally not much for these games, but I do like billiards.  I may squeeze this one on to my hard drive.  Try not to giggle when she says you can “play with your balls.”

Child of Light.  Based on the trailer, it looks like this game is uniquely challenging.  Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Forgotten Tomb – Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love


colour coverAlbum:  Hurt Yourself and the Ones You Love

Release Date:  17 April 2015 (EU); 21 April 2015 (North America)

Label:  Agonia Records

Songs:  7

Length:  51 Minutes

Genre:  Doom/Black/Stoner

Location:  Italy

Previous Albums:  Songs to Leave (2002); Springtime Depression (2003); Love’s Burial Ground (2004); Negative Megalomania (2007); Under Saturn Retrograde (2011); …And Don’t Deliver Us from Evil (2012).

If you tried combining black metal, doom, stoner, and a bit of 70s style hard rock, do you think you could do it?  What could possibly go wrong?  Well, a lot could go wrong.  While stoner rock/metal tends to lean on the hippy, happier, beer drinking side of metal, doom is rather moody and laced with melancholy.  Not always, but mostly.  While black metal is extreme, 70s hard rock is far from it.  Combining all of those elements seems hugely challenging to me and seems like it would be difficult to process as a listener.   Read the rest of this entry

Album Review: Ensiferum – One Man Army


Ensiferum-One-Man-ArmyAlbum:  One Man Army

Label:  Metal Blade

Song:  15 (including four bonus tracks)

Length:  68 Minutes

Previous Albums:  Ensiferum (2001); Iron (2004); Victory Songs (2007); From Afar (2009); Unsung Heroes (2012)

Genre:  Folk Metal

Location:  Finland

I like the opening riff to One Man Army (the song not the album).  It isn’t revolutionary in terms of guitar riffing, but the way it kicks off the song reminds me of early thrash metal; energetic and enthusiastic.  Take away the folk elements from this song and its core is pure speed/thrash metal.  Before you dismiss Ensiferum’s One Man Army (the album) as just another niche folk metal album, think again. Yes, you will hear all of the fundamentals of a folk metal album, but if you take the time to peel away the layers you’ll hear there is more buried between the swords, spears, and pre-battle hymns than you might expect.  And I will say this…the folk parts seem much more tame compared to older albums.

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Xbox Games With Gold Update: Free Stuff


Best-Free-Software1One of the biggest complaints I hear from gamer buddies about online gaming is having to pay for it.  I understand that a whopping $50 to play Xbox online for an ENTIRE year is tough for some people, but they do give stuff away that might help take the edge of shelling out $50 to fry your brain shooting people, racing, or whatever it is you do online.  For Xbox Gold members, it’s that time again to announce the Games With Gold and Deals with Gold lineup.  They have just been updated.  Here is the listing. Read the rest of this entry