Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening Video Game, Expansion Debut Trailer HD

It didn’t take BioWare too long to get the Expansion Trailer up and running. And it’s in prime HD-quality. I’m liking what I see in the trailer. I hope that Alistair is not the “old favorite” from the old crew that will be joining my hot, sexy city elf Grey Warden. She needs her girl Leliana by her side for this expansion. Though I’m sure she wouldn’t mind having Morrigan around as well.

One detail which BioWare fail to mention in their news release for the game is whether it will be download only all across thee platforms or will players be able to order the game with disc and case and all that comes with them. I’m almost afraid to that Gamestop may end up having a special item and/or goodies aplenty for ordering at their site or store. I’m still more than just a tad pissed off that they cutoff pre-orders for their Mass Effect 2 Collector’s editions. Shenanigans I say!! SHENANIGANS!

If the game will be download only I may need to make some room in my Xbox360 HDD or just plain buy one of them newfangled Elites. Having that Elite means playing this expansion on glorious HDMI connection to my HDTV. March 16, 2010 cannot come any faster. Let’s hope this won’t be the only full expansion for this awesome game that is Dragon Age.

via Dragon Age: Origins: Awakening Video Game, Expansion Debut Trailer HD | Game Trailers & Videos | GameTrailers.com.

No full lengths? No problem: Boris in 2009

I got pretty excited when asked to write an article on Boris. After all, 2009 was their best year since Flood. I’m not kidding. In fact, it wouldn’t even be fair for me to describe their new material. I’d just be spoiling it. Instead let me help you piece it all together. Boris revealed 10 new songs last year, totaling 62 minutes and spread out over six different releases. Four of them were to some extent intended to be pieced together into one. The other two are just too good to exclude. Here’s what to look for:

split w/9dw – Golden Dance Classics (2009 Catune)
split w/Torche – Chapter Ahead Being Fake (2009 Daymare)
Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v1 7″ (2009 Southern Lord Records)
Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v2 7″ (2009 Southern Lord Records)
Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v3 7″ (2009 Southern Lord Records)
Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v4 7″ (2009 Southern Lord Records)

The first two are available on cd, but don’t ask me where. The Heavy Rock collection has to the best of my knowledge only been marketed on vinyl. Volume 4 is only available in a limited edition when you order 1-3 as a package from Southern Lord, and consists of a cover of some 1970 single by a band called Earth & Fire. Volume 4 and Chapter Ahead Being Fake both contain one Boris song, and the rest have two. Now go get all of them. If you’re downloading, note that Luna ends abruptly and Tokyo Wonder Land begins abruptly. While I’m not convinced that the former is by design, I have yet to hear of a version that contains the last few seconds of the song.

As for the order you should experience them in, the Heavy Rock Hits follow a logical progression (with the last track of 1 and the first of 2 being the only real downers out of all 10.) The 9dw split was released first, but Tokyo Wonder Land is definitely not an intro track. The abrupt ending and beginning I mentioned make for a logical transition between the very different styles of the two splits, and the monolithic mindfuck that is Luna would make Golden Dance Classics a downer of an outro, so I suggest Chapter Ahead Being Fake – Golden Dance Classics – Heavy Rock Hits as the most logical order to listen in. At least that’s how I queue them up.

Like I said, I don’t want to go into detail about the songs, because they’re really something to experience, not describe. Suffice to say I consider Boris’s 2009 collection as a whole second only to Flood as the best hour of music they’ve yet recorded. Expect to be blown away, beaten into a pulp, chilled back out, then taken on a roller coaster through the extremities of Boris’s present potential, all the while wondering if it’s one big joke. Enjoy what would have easily topped my year-end list could I call it a singular album. And check out the rest of the splits eventually. 9dw and Torche contribute some nice tunes.

For whatever it’s worth, my favorite tracks are Luna, 8, and Black Original. Tokyo Wonder Land comes close.

Slava for great justice…

Necrosomethingorother here, I’m going to be doing periodic album reviews for a while. My first one involves some rather controversial material, but hey, it’s what’s new in the metal world.

As I write I am acquainting myself with Nokturnal Mortum‘s sixth studio album, leaked Christmas day when I was too busy to notice. The Voice of Steel starts off where the Eastern Hammer EP ended, hurdy gurdies blazing in a mind-blowing intro, and then slowly transitions into some weird amalgamation of pagan nsbm and spacey Pink Floyd guitar solos. It’s still got some battlecry sopilka breakdowns of classic Nokturnal Mortum, the intense tribal drumming that first greeted us on To the Gates of Blasphemous Fire’s Cheremosh, the violin over epic synth that characterized Weltanschauung…
But it also has clean vocals and Pink Floyd guitar solos, and I’m just not sold on them yet. The Voice of Steel is in some ways amazing, in others irritating. It’s a decent album, no doubt about it, but it sure wasn’t what I was hoping for. Nothing would have made me happier than a whole album of the Eastern Hammer remake of Kolyada, and that The Voice of Steel is certainly not.

The album has some real gems, notably Shlyakhom Sontsya. It also has tracks like Moei Mrii Ostrovi that would fit in a lot better on an Amorphis album and just clash entirely with the group’s extremist views. They’re trying to mature musically, but they have to mature mentally first to really pull it off.

Extremism has produced some amazing music over the years. Wrath of the Tyrant, Det Som Engang Var, NeChrist, they all share in common a level of passionate convictions taken so far as murder, arson, or white supremacy. Obviously I don’t have to condone these acts to appreciate their origins, but the musicians have to come to terms with them eventually. Ihsahn seems to recognize his youthful escapades as a childish outlet for his anti-Christian views and now writes more mature music effectively. His album After, another new release, is pretty damn impressive. He can still frown on the Christian culture of servitude without letting it consume him and his innate musical talents. Meanwhile you’ve got Varg writing dissertations on the likelihood of Aryans being an advanced race from outerspace, and I have pretty low expectations of his forthcoming album.

I hear in Knjaz Varggoth’s new music a reflection of this Vargian state of depravity. Their old songs embodied folk, and they believed in it so thoroughly that they took on extremist views, but that was only the lyrical focus. NeChrist was packed with anthems to what the band barely understood, aggression married to mysticism, white supremacy only a catalyst. The aggressive desperation with which they summoned a bygone era made their music a mirror into the past. It was as though the songs they played were ancient melodies shouting, screaming to be heard once again over the clamor of modern rock by any means necessary. I can’t expect another masterpiece like NeChrist, maybe not even something as good as Weltanschauung, but a stylistic evolution means a mental one too, and I hear in songs that combine clean vocals and Gilmour guitars with cries for the motherland the path of Varg, not Ihsahn. It’s hard to appreciate music that’s neither passionate nor mature. The Voice of Steel is not culture triumphant, it’s more like a methodic racial manifesto. Come on Knjaz, either sustain your fire or light a new match, don’t slump into dogma.

For a far more heartfelt nsbm album, check out Temnozor’s 2010 offering, Haunted Dreamscapes.

Confirmed…Dragon Age: Origins expansion due March 2010

Some good news was just sent out from BioWare this morning. I am talking about confirmation of the first major expansion for Dragon Age: Origins. Unlike the usual DLC’s which have been released and set to be since the game came out in late 2009, this exapnsion will include not just a new quest but a new land to explore, new monsters and enemies to fight and a major storyline quest that should take 15 or so hours to complete. As one can see in the images below there’ll be a new dragon to put one’s combat party to test their mettle on.

It looks like one nice new tweak to the gameplay is to help in rebuilding the Grey Warden’s order in Ferelden which includes a new fortress and I’m assuming recruiting new potential recruits as well. Does this mean a player who brings over their character from the original game will be the one to give out the Testing? I sure hope so! Either way it looks like this expansion will be loaded with hours upon hours of questing and gameplay. With new intelligent Darkspawn to fight. An brand-new construct to take on: The Inferno Golem. Not to mention the aforementioned new dragon to kill going by the title of Spectral Dragon.

The game should be out by March this year and that’s just enough time to play and complete Mass Effect 2 when it comes out at the end of January 2010.


Source: http://dragonage.bioware.com/awakening