Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Omsider

September Omsider is a song (by Norwegian black metallers Taake, which I love to listen to from time to time), meaning something like "September, At Last". I've been saying 'september omsider' all day because it's a month I've been excited about for some time, as it promises a number of entertainment products I have been anxiously awaiting (there goes my tirade from yesterday about the capitalistic industry).

On Friday, two great albums will arrive (well, I hope they are great - the bands are great, at any rate): Amorphis, the Finnish folk / metal band, release yet another album, 'Under a Red Cloud', and the mighty Iron Maiden return with 'The Book of Souls'. Polish Mgla release another album too ('Excercises in Futility') which I'm curious about. On September 11th, Slayer return with the weirdly titled 'Repentless', which I have no high expectations of but which feels like an assured buy anyway, out of loyalty. The amazing highly proficient Nile released their latest work 'What Should Not Be Unearthed' a couple of days ago, but I count them as part of my private September joy because I haven't ordered it yet; what this band is able to do with their instruments is just stunning (and for most people, stunning in the sense that they'll feel they are being trampled by a horny rhino, but I digress). And, my very favorite and mournful band My Dying Bride finally release a new album the 18th, appropriately titled 'Feel the Misery'. They sure use "metal" instruments but their music goes far beyond narrow genre definitions. To my ears, nothing can be better. The only band that still has me all hyped up before a new release. What a month! To think that there are about 100 other metal albums being released in September...it's frankly astounding that so much music is being pushed out in a time where all record companies bemoan illegal downloading.

Closer to this blog's style - fantasy, baby - September will see the release of Sword Coast Legends, a computer RPG set in (you guessed it) the Forgotten Realms, but with a new twist - this game is built to accomodate live role-playing between a GM and players. How it all will work out remains to be seen, and I'm mildly skeptical, but more than intrigued by the possibilities promised. It's like a Virtual Table Top - with graphics. Maybe. It's been a while since we've had a good Realms videogame so here's to hoping it becomes a smashing success so that we'll get more. There's nothing quite like strolling through a fantasy world. It'll be the only 2015 videogame release I'll purchase, so I'm not feeling too bad about throwing money at it. As a successor to Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, it has a lot to live up to, and I guess I already know it won't live up to the expectations fans have.

Also in September, featuring the Realms, is a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Out of the Abyss, which I probably will buy although the story as revealed through spoilers here and there is nothing to be excited about. It will be accompanied by an expansion for the Neverwinter MMO, the aforementioned Sword Coast Legends, miniatures and probably a lot more stuffamagigs that will try to tease more money from me. I'm on the fence. I'm a hardcore fantasy nerd, but I do know that I have enough stuff already and don't really need anymore. But there's this collector buried inside who sometimes comes out and craves fantasy stuff...

All in all, September's going to be a time where it will be hard to draw the line between being a responsible adult and wallowing in fantasy adventuring while listening to some appropriately brutal music - while feeling bad for a whole lot of people. It's such a strange, strange world we live in.

And for A Song of Ice and Fire...another dry month with no news (I expect). Unless you count endless essays on the Hugos as entertainment, of course. Next month, though, is going to bring Westeros back in the spotlight big time! Are y'all ready to buy The Hedge Knight one more time?

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