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Sarah Longfield – Disparity (Season of Mist)

This is not a metal album, but it deserves a review here because it is odd, and because it is creative.  The music also has a lot of impressive guitar playing, so those who might get a whiff of something commercial should be glad that even if this were a mainstream offering, guitar is prominent, not absent, as it is in pop.  I must state that this cannot possibly be a contrived commercial album but I can understand if you detect some aspects that of hit music, but the execution is just too bizarre for simpleton mainstreamers to embrace.

Each song is a different adventure into Kookoo Land, so it’s not like one tune can define the album.  The part of me that loves novelty music is stimulated by what I hear, but so is the musician, and of course, I can’t help but admire the exploration and creativity.

I will include a sample here, but you should understand that this is only one song.  I didn’t find a video for one of the more dexterous songs, but I suppose that if nothing of this sample resonates with you then you will probably not be a good candidate for the reward of the rest of the album.

Beyond Creation – Algorythm (Season of Mist)

This is a well-produced technical death metal album, and I enjoyed listening to it, but there are some things that are a tad gay.  The vocals sometimes stray into the high-screeching zone, which is not very masculine.  It’s what one would expect to hear from someone who was bitch-slapped.  But this is not the only band that features this vocal approach.  I don’t know where it started, but it must stop.  If vocalists want to show range, then they should learn how to sing.  Help end this womanly screeching.

My  other gripe is the straying into adult contemporary music.  The only reason why I like this is because I also enjoy novelty music, but it gets tiring when it is in almost every song.  The bass seems to think it is smooth jazz at times.  Again, it’s fun, but it takes me out of the heaviness.

Aside from the gayness, there is a lot to savor on headphones.  It is almost dizzying at times for there is a lot going on.  Some of the segments are quite rich.  This is no simple record, even though there are some moments that have mercy on the ear that tries to follow what is going on.  It’s a record that requires repeated listening.  I haven’t invested the time for that magical moment of complete familiarity to occur, but I assure you that I will attain that level.

Crucified Santa T Shirt

A colorized version of Bill Zebub’s “Crucified Santa” shirt is now available.  For a limited time it is $18 in America (includes shipping).  Sizes SMALL-5XL, and Ladies Baby T in S, M, L

Email bill@billzebub.com for more details on ordering.

If you prefer, you can get the original black and white version.

This art was originally for Issue #7 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine and drawn by Jim Walls, under the intruction of Bill Zebub (Bill Zebub came up with the concept, and Jim Walls executed it).  The colorization was done by Bill Zebub.

Crucified Santa T Shirt
Crucified Santa T Shirt

Maniac – Caroline Munro

This is an old movie that I had not seen until this anniversary 3-disc edition.

The enjoyment that I derived from viewing the movie was to see how things were done once upon a time.  The gore was humorous.  It seems that, back then, fake blood looked more like red paint in a child’s arts and crafts class rather than an attempt at a simulation.  Flesh was rubber – it stretched, as is seen during a decapitation.  But the funniest gag is the blood squirting from behind a knife – the side of the blade that you don’t see.  I keep hearing that this was once a shocking image, but I disagree.   When I was a kid, I didn’t know the exact method for the gag, but I had fun putting ketchup on the side of a knife that a person wouldn’t see, and I pretended to cut my arm, so I don’t see how this was innovative or scary.

I don’t know if this period of movies was just giving the viewer the barest essence, as if it were a play.  I thought that this was why older TV shows show just a red dot when someone gets shot, but after talking to a detective, he said that there is no blood spurt – people bleed internally.  Yes, there are exceptions, but it seems that the modern way of having squibs is just as silly as the gore of yesteryear, or yesterdecade, ha ha.

There are two unrealistic things about the movie.  One is that Caroline Munro’s character would be involved with the slob who plays the maniac.  The more striking error is that the maniac is asexual.  All serial killers are sexual predators, whether the victim is alive or dead.  This is the problem with many movies – there is only surface level knowledge.  However, there is some merit to the maniac being stuck in a childhood experience.

No, I don’t hate this movie, and I don’t regret the time I spent watching it.  I liked the spirit of the movie – it felt like a passion project.  The behind-the-scenes extras provided proof of that.  It was a step back in time to see how things were done in those days.  There are also time-capsule elements like rotary phones and cars that weighed a lot more, ha ha.  It’s a peek into the past.

Maniac - Caroline Munro
Maniac – Caroline Munro

Santa Nailed by Jesus shirt

The “crucified Santa” shirt is available for a limited time for $15, shipping included (in the United States).

This was the cover for Issue #7 of THE GRIMOIRE OF EXALTED DEEDS magazine.  During those days, printers were horrified by the art, and three vehemently rejected the job before one did so in secret, but the art was stolen ( or destroyed) by the printer.

Bill Zebub is colorizing a version of this shirt,, but for now, this art is available for you to wear with pride.  Email bill@billzebub.com if you are interested.

Grimoire #7
Grimoire #7

WARREL DANE – Shadow Work (Century Media)

Listening to this album inflicts the same sadness as when I see “The Crow” because I know that this will be the last offering by the artist.  It is ironic that Warrel sings, “Mother is the Word for god” – a line from the movie “The Crow” (and it is sorrowfully coincidental that I recently met the writer of the graphic novel prior to hearing the song).

It is hard to hear “Kill me in my dreams” – I wonder if Warrel was conscious when he died.

The guitar on this album seems imitative of Jeff Loomis at times, a tad shameful, not so much for the mimicry, but because the style isn’t why I like the music – it is, and always was, Warrel’s voice that carried the tune.

There are some new approaches, however.

It doesn’t seem necessary to review this album – it will be heard out of respect, curiosity, or a friend’s insistence.

I am grateful that enough was salvaged to finish this final work. Another Great One is gone, and I  see no replacements for those we lost.  Farewell.

 

Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE (Blue Underground)

I had not seen the movie until now,  so I have no nostalgic blindness that makes me overlook the stupidity.

This movie is one of the reasons why horror is considered a low form of cinema.  There are too idiotic parts to make this anything but a dalliance.  Perhaps that is all that one wishes in a horror movie, but there are some horror movies that are cerebral, or that provide more than cool shots here and there.

Before I begin ridiculing the movie, I would like to point out that there is one very good aspect, and that is the inclusion of nudity.  It comes from a time when there wasn’t as much fear to show the female form.

Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE
Lucio Fulci’s ZOMBIE

Another positive thing that can be noted is that the zombies in some scenes appear to be dead.  Their faces do not change expression, which makes them appear undead.  I favor this depiction, but of course, the movie has zombies that look like someone was reading too many newspaper pages and smudged ink in their faces.

The action is ridiculous.   Molotov cocktails are prepared.  When thrown, inside a dwelling, of all places, they miss a gang of zombies completely.  While the fire burns, another bottle is hurled, but the shot that was previously in flames now appears as if no fire had ever occurred there.  This happens again.  It was so stupid that I actually laughed.

The zombies are noisy and lumbering retards, but they manage to appear like ninjas, suddenly and silently behind people who are on guard.  There is also a zombie in the ocean who adroitly fights a shark.  The funniest straying from zombie behavior is when a woman’s hair is grabbed, and she is pulled into a shard of wood.  If a zombie just goes around biting people and acts retarded, how would it suddenly devise such a tactic?

This brings me to the behavior of the humans.  Older movies like these seem to show people as idiots who forget self defense when there is a monster.  A woman is grabbed only by a few strands of hair, and as her face is pulled toward a sharp splinter of wood, all she can do is look at the object in total stupidity and fear.  If you ever play-wrestled a girl, you know that they are masters of squirming out of any hold.  So this legendary scene that reportedly horrified audiences was actually a source of laughter for me.  It was just too stupid to be taken seriously.  I would use it in a comedy, actually.

There are other silly bits of action and behavior, like when a person driving a jeep to escape zombies isn’t paying attention to the road.  In front of him there is a zombie.  Instead of running over it, the driver reacts as if it is an insurmountable barrier, and then he drives out of control and slams into a tree after a minute.  Why didn’t he use the breaks.  To make matters more silly, a backseat passenger tears the front of his ankle.

The story elements are ignorant or boring.   Perhaps the special effects at one time were considered good, but I found them to be funny.    I watched the movie more an an outsider who was trying to see this as someone from the past would have, but I had to change attitude and view it as a comedy.  There was no substance, nothing nightmarish, and nothing interesting, side from the exquisite form of the topless actress.

Fallout 76

When I played Fallout 3, I wondered why there wasn’t a massive multiplayer world like World of Warcraft that was set in a post-apocalyptic world similar to that of Fallout.

When Fallout 76 was announced, I felt like a dream came true.  But the dream became a nightmare.

The disappointment was immediate., however,  I forced myself to play because I hoped that the disillusionment was just a matter of me not being accustomed to the changes.

The social aspect was retarded.  When I encountered the first actual person, he communicated with the equivalent of an emo-gee.   By the way, anyone who uses an emo-gee when writing to me is immediately dismissed as a simpleton.  Adults use words.

I was a fool for expecting the social experience of World of Warcraft.  I don’t expect games that are played on consoles to bear the same text-chat of the Blizzard game, but the emo-gee limitation was almost enough for me to take the disc out and sell it.

I had imagined bands of people grouping together to become raiders, protectors, and other options.  There was not even a hint of this. In the time that I have been playing, the only interactions have been the handful of retarded emo-gee communication, and the three times that I was attacked, which seemed more like player boredom than malice.

The social aspect was non-existent.

The worst part of the game is a nag to eat and drink.  I don’t know why the game forces a player to do this.  When Grand Theft Auto introduced that, it made me hate the game.  But it is far worse in Fallout 76. You get nagged EVERY 10 MINUTES !!!  You even get nagged when you are in combat!!!  This is not an exaggeration.

Yes, I would have complained if I had to eat and drink even if it was a nag once a week.  Why not have a nag to defecate and urinate?  The game is not realistic.  I fall five stories without a scratch in some areas, and in other areas I fall ten feet and die.  My character can hop up five feet, but cannot walk over a small branch (I have to jump over that tiny obstacle).

I tried to love the game despite the frustration and disappointment.  There were a couple of hours when I pretended that I know nothing about Fallout games and that I was in a Walking Dead episode, but the nag for eating and drinking kept taking me out of the pretend -reminding me that the game isn’t anything like I thought it would be, and even there were no predecessors, this game is just a time sink.

I stopped playing because I realized that it’s not going to get better unless there is a new game and I get a refund for what I have suffered.

Bill Zebub Black Friday

Fans have asked for a crazy sale, and Bill Zebub answered the requests.

To claim one, Email Bill (at) billzebub (dot) com

 

You get an assortment of Bill Zebub DVDs and at least one Blu(e)ray -30 Titles for $150 if you order between now and November 23.  If you order in Saturday, price jumps to $180 (but it is still a great deal), and a Sunday order is $200.  Shipping is included in that price, baby!

This is a great way to immediately hyper-expand your collection, or you may do as people usually do – you buy this assortment with the intention to give the movies as gifts.  Maybe one of your favorite people gets all 30, or maybe 30 people each get one movie.  If you are in the corporate environment and get caught up in the “secret Santa” tradition, give your chosen recipient a Bill Zebub movie and you will never be forced to participate again.

If you are a fan of Bill Zebub’s work, it is highly likely that you have friends who also appreciate independent film.

If you request, these movies will be autographed, or you can request them to remain shrink-wrapped.

If you are outside of America, you get the same price, but the discs will wrapped in foil as one puck – no plastic cases due to ridiculous shipping cost (Seriously, it costs $80-ish to ship this box overseas, so the out-of-case option must be the one, but you get free shipping).

The first 10 people get at least one out-of-print movie.

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