quarta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2008

Top 5 albums of the year

Because everyone loves lists ant top tens (or top fives in this case), I thought of going back and seeing what bands made the best music this year. Here it goes, in no particular order:

Eluveitie - Slania

I can't recommend this album enough. A fantastic blend of folk music, heavy guitars and growling vocals more common in the heavier sub-genres of metal, this cd just blew me away. In fact, I think that, despite it being released earlier in the year, I still listen to Bloodstained Ground and Elembivos pretty much everyday. Truly spectacular songs.

Mudvayne - The New Game

A late entry in the year, this album is the successor to a personal favourite of mine, the amazing Lost & Found released back in 2005 (and which sadly brings back some bad memories along with the awesome music). Overall I didn't like this one as much, despite the overall sound being the same (still a departure from the first Mudvayne albums), but it still has some good songs. I personally love Scarlet Letters, which ironically is somewhat beautiful and tragic at the same time.

Slipknot - All hope is gone

Looks like this year marked the comeback of many old-time favourites. I have to confess that at first I really didn't like Slipknot's latest effort, but with time the album kind of grew on me. It's heavier than Vol. 3 - The Subliminal Verses (which is a good thing for many but not really for me, I liked that cd), but still not as heavy or as raw as the first album (still my favourite to this day). It really is kind of like a cross between Iowa and Vol .3, really. Anyway, what really sold me on this was the song with the name of the album. This is really Slipknot at its best, powerful and angry and heavy and...fuck, it's awesome!

In Flames - A Sense of Purpose

I talked about this one already so I'm basically going to repeat myself. At first I didn't like this album at all, but after repeated plays I started to appreciate all that it had to offer and now I end up listening more to it than the predecessor, the awesome Come Clarity. The Chosen Pessimist is as epic as in Flames have ever done, Drenched in Fear sends chills down my spine and if there's anything I have to criticize this album for is not having the songs from the EP in the regular edition. Eraser, Tilt and Abnegation are some of the best songs of the special edition and truly deserved to be in the regular edition as well. Now you know, if you have the album but never listened to these songs, do it, now!

Elvenking - Two Tragedy Poets

The surprise of the year. The last album by Elvenking, The Schyte, didn't really impress me, but this return to the roots (or so say the fans), with impressive duets between the two vocalists and more acustic instruments than electric ones was already a favourite even after just one play (and you know how rarely I like an album after just listening to it once). The first track reminded me of Eluveitie, which is saying a lot, and the rest just... I don't know, it's so different from what I usually listen to, but so awesome at the same time. A truly fantastic work (and probably the only one my esteemed readers will care for...).

quinta-feira, 18 de dezembro de 2008

It's Christmas, it's Christmas, la la la la la...

The title makes more sense in Portuguese... (it's a Christmas song) Anyway, update time! The exams are finally over (finally!), although I still have a project to do for Book and Publishing History (that sounds weird in English, doesn't it? Maybe I translated it wrong...) and I'm fucking sick! Fucking tonsillitis, it's the same shit every year... And the doctor didn't even gave me an antibiotic... (not to mention I waited two hours to be checked in 10 minutes...)

Other than that life is good at the moment. Sort of... I'm definitely in a bad luck streak when it comes to hardware. My PC is starting to break (poor bastard, it's been 4 years of intensive (ab)use), my PS2's laser finally wore off and now the bitch doesn't read anything and, to top it off, my Xbox 360 got the RRoD. AGAIN! I can't fucking believe this shit! The first time I was like "ok, nothing to worry about M$ will take care of it". The fuck they did! Only one year has passed and this shit happened again. On the same console! (I know it's the same because of the serial number). Shit...

On the other hand, yesterday I occasional passed by a GAME store (they just recently started popping up over here, before we had no major retailers, only independent shops) and OMG what did I see? A used Xbox for 50€! That's as cheap as they get here! I couldn't resist so I passed by today to pick it up and it really seems to be in good condition, looks like the previous owner barely touched it (it has practically no scratches and only a handful of gamesaves on the hard-drive). It came with two controllers too, although I had to pay an additional 10 euros for those (still pretty cheap).

Right now I'm preparing to mod it because, you know, given the awesome potential of the system, having an unmodded Xbox is practically a sin. Wish me luck (I so hope my bad luck streak as finally passed, otherwise I'll probably brick it when trying to mod it...).

Edit: Great success! I managed to mod the sucker! :D Here, take a look at the process:

segunda-feira, 1 de dezembro de 2008

PS2 Hidden Gems

Sorry for the lack of updates recently, but I've been really busy with college stuff, with tests and presentations and all that stuff, not to mention, of course, my book (459 pages as I write this!), so it's hard to update this blog.

Anyway, check out this article over at Racketboy if you haven't already. It's probably the biggest article in the Hidden Gems series so far and I was really surprised to see so many games I've never even heard of before. I have no problem admitting that my ego, as a...hu-hum..."videogame expert", suffered a little with this. But still, what surprised me the most was the fact that the almighty Racketboy asked this humble servant to contribute with a couple of descriptions to the article! Fuck yeah! I hope you like the descriptions of Drakan and The Mark of Kri, those were the ones I wrote :)

See ya!