Party.San 2017 impressions

Party.San 2017 is over and except for the weather it was great, my personal muscial highlights were these:

Humiliation

Humiliation from Malaysia were not a surprise to me, I knew of them beforehand, but what did surprise me was their exceptional live performance. They were headlining the tent/underground stage and absolutely deserved it.

Bolt Thrower (RIP) has left a tank-shaped hole in the Death Metal scene, and here is an aspirant for the throne, at least in the live department.

If you like groovy, mid-tempo Death Metal that is very reminscent of mid-to-late era Bolt Thrower, check them out:

Nile

The Sultans of Swing? Nope, the Pharaos of Death Metal. Nile played a short, but very sweet setlist, with a surprising focus on old material. “Sacrifice Unto Sebek” has become a classic by now.

The highlight of this one was “Unas, Slayer Of The Gods”. Due to the length of this song the band very seldomly plays this live, so I was very pleased to hear this. The blaring war horns in the middle of the song are so powerful live.

Check the song and album out here:

This would have been the best gig of the festival, but it was simply too short. I would have liked an encore with a faster song, like “Lashed To The Slavestick” or “Winds Of Horus”. On the other hand, I am glad that they have finally decided to leave “Black Seeds Of Vengeance” off the setlist. The chorus is good, but the rest of the song lags behind other offerings from the gods of egyptian Death Metal.

Demilich

Sadly, I could not convince my friends to watch Demilich with me. This is a fairly unknown band from Finland, who released exactly one album, “Nesphite”, about twenty years ago.

They played a mix of songs from that album and it was great. I feared that the sound would be muddy, due to the complexity of the material, but they pulled it off rather well.

Look here for dangly riffs and vocals in the lowest guttural register, to my knowledge, this release contains their entire back catalog, said album and the demos:

Cryptopsy

Aaaand another Death Metal quartett. I went into this concert with very low expectations, because I do not like their newer material very much. So I was positively suprised when they simply played my preferred album, “None So Vile” (1996) almos t from end to end.

Angular, razor-sharp riffs, mixed with mosh-parts and bass slapping, go here:

Misc

Other than these, I greatly enjoyed Candlemass (gotta get those first albums at some point Oo) and Mantar (two guys were enought to fill out the big stage), and for some reason the weather was so bad that I am starting to get a cold right now… blargh.

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Force Post

So, this space has been quiet for a few weeks.
This does not mean I have been lazy, on the contrary, I have been writing a lot, but nothing I can post here (details below).
(Looking at my evernote “blog” folder, I actually have 23 partially finished articles. Oops.)
So instead, have a little Smörgåsbord of things:

Synthwave / Electronic concerts

A few weeks ago, we went to a Perturbator concert, and I´ll have to say it was a bit of a strange experience.

Never having been to an electronics/synthwave concert of any kind, I was expecting people to stand in front of the stage like a crowd standing in front of an altar. Some people dancing/moshing.
Like a heavy metal concert, except replace the 3-5 musicians on stage with James Kent tapping away at a keyboard or laptop.
99% of my expectations were met. (There was no moshpit.)
This is very weird.
The music was great, obviously.
A whole lot of songs were played within the ~60 minutes (!) the concert took and some of them were shortened harshly, but that didn´t matter. I think it takes guts to slice such huge chunks out of a piece of music and still have it work, without the sense of something missing.
But still, weird.

Nephilim RPG

“Nephilim – Occult RPG” is the reason I haven´t been writing on here recently. It´s a pen&paper RPG from the 90s, and I am currently writing a campaign for it, which will start soon.

The cliff notes on what it is about:

The player characters are so-called Nephilim, magical energy beings that incarnate into living human beings (Think of the Goa’Uld in Stargate, minus the disgusting worm.).
Their golden age has past, and they are forced to live amongst human society, in the shadows. Their goal is to reach Enlightenment and leave behind the mundane human world, and each of them must find their own path for doing this.

The cool thing is that it plays in our world, so the role-playing part is made a lot easier, since everyone is familiar with the workings of the world already.

Add magic.

Add sinister secret societies like the Illuminati and the Templars.

Add reincarnation.

Boom!

You might read some more about this in the near future, I am having a lot of fun thinking up scenarios and characters for this.
The source material in the book is so very rich with content, the characters basically write themselves.
There are plenty of motivations for characters and conflict (violent and non-violent alike). Even player characters get built-in motivations (Walk the golden path, create an alchemical oven, aquire spells from ancient books, and of course, do not get killed by hateful secret societies and much more.)

I think this makes it a lot more interesting than the typical “You meet in a tavern, then go out to a cave, bash some goblins or loot a magician´s tower.”

Fun fact: I actually have a hard time writing the campaign in german, probably because my exposure to fantasy and fiction is in English about 95% of the time.

Thrawn 2

I have recently finished listening to the second part of the Thrawn trilogy, “Dark Force Rising”, didn´t like it as much as the first.
That is mostly because my criticism of the first part stands, the rebels (or the new republic) keep stumbling around the galaxy, resolving plot points along the way.

In fact, the galaxy feels more like a medium sized city, with the protagonists driving from one end to another and randomly bumping into the same people again and again.
I´ll have to rewatch the movies at some point, to see if this is Star Wars in general, or only the Zahn books.
Also, Luke has apparently levelled his intelligence and wisdom down. I really didn´t like the scenes where C’baoth “teaches” him.

Hitchhiker 6

Last week, I have begun reading “And another thing…”, the 6th part in the “Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy” series. So far I am about a hundred pages in and am not very engaged by the book.
The original series had a lot of inherent humor, and this feels more like a series of jokes. Especially the “Guide notes” feel very forced.

My question is: Why did we need this book? I think it´s greedy. No “Let´s make some money with this series”-greedy, but “I don´t want Hitchhikers Guide to have an unhappy ending”-greedy.
This is unnecessary, the original ending was fine, and absurd end to an absurd planet in an absurd universe.

Of course I´ll finish the book and hopefully it gets better, but so far, I am very lukewarm on this.

So, 22 posts left in the stack.
– Rane2k out