Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guys suck!

Here is my comment to a recent WSJ


It's unfortunate that the Wall Street Journal, which is supposed to be a respectable institution, actually will print this dreck, on the internet or with ink - the very fact that it does lends nothing but credibility to an article which, interestingly enough, has very little - in their perception, "Guys" don't read the news. Maybe they're right, I don't read the news. I was educated when I was a child by the news itself to never watch it again - it's nothing but bullshit
"Police today continue the search for a family of four who went missing last Tuesday", etc. etc. etc.
"4 people died off the coast of Somalia"
Really? Give me a fucking break, you only put this crap on the news because peace doesn't sell, and no one is buying it.
If the intent was to point out a sociological shift in America, it was successful. However, the opinions expressed therein are ridiculous.
First of all, Star Wars is not a movie for people half our age. Twenty-somethings like myself, those of us who grew up in circumstances kind enough to provide us with classic films, grew up watching the original Star Wars movies, or Star Trek - I challenge you to find a 25 year old male in America who can form an intelligent defense for truly respecting the Star Wars prequels - these are a whole different matter unto themselves, and I wouldn't even suffer children to watch them, because they are garbage, save for the few saving graces in Revenge of the Sith. Any Star Wars fan who didn't enjoy seeing Anakin and Obi-Wan's vicious light saber battle across a crumbling hellhole is confused.
To suggest that we are immature, or we pale in comparison to what men once were, because we have passion in something, whether it's science fiction movies, or video games, or rare collectible items that cost ridiculous amounts of money, or consumer electronics, is not only ludicrous, but certainly moronic. Yes, "the times they are a changin" - we have longer lifespans, we live in a completely different world than even our parents' generation did. Blatant facts that apply to 99% of all first world countries are not compelling evidence why the male gender has suddenly become worthless.
I personally live with three guys easily described by the Hollywood propaganda that drives this article - they do exist. I myself have an obsession with action figures or "toys" as "women" would call them; I've spent easily 1000 dollars on them in 2010. I own many video and computer games that I rarely have time to play, an expensive television, a nice car, nice furnishings from Ikea (dispute that if you wish), a diverse bag of friends, most of whom are married and younger than me, or in the process of being married, and I am growing to hate my entry-level IT job as a software engineer/web designer/database administrator. And today, after working my ass off 50 hours this week only to be summed up in my company's improving profit margin during the dead season by some numbers, getting the quarterly "Be my bitch or I'll find a younger, fresher college graduate that will be a mindless American Psycho drone that does only what I tell them and can't think for themselves - which is the crux of existence [you could argue conformity is the actual answer]" speech, and fighting the urge to break my LCD panel in half over my knee for ten hours - all I wanted was some wings and beer. That must make me an un-marriageable, irresponsible, stupid young adult.
Do women ever consider that they are a major contributor to the problem? I personally have stopped thinking about my girlfriend - she doesn't bother to text, or call, the majority of the time. I get scolded if I send more than one text in 3 minutes. Lo and behold, she happens to be in her "pre-adult" stage as well. Maybe you should consider the fact that "GIRLS" are an emerging sociological occurrence as well - ages 18 to 25, they claim no responsibility for anything that doesn't directly and adversely affect them, they do whatever they want, whenever they want, for whatever reason, share equivalent obsessions with bands and rockstars that couldn't care less about them, or revel in idyllic fantasies that will never happen because they ignore what could be a great "guy" with little or no attempt to find out.
Perhaps the very reason we exist in this state is because we have retreated to the mindset that all women our age are immature, flaky, boring excuse makers who are so busy filling their day with what is utterly unimportant and overexaggerated nonsense, that they have consigned to the fact, without any empirical evidence, that we are whatever they think we are. So that, those girls who are actual beings of substance are hidden in the shadows of shallow, stupid bar-hoppers who show more breasts and legs than their face and personality, or they are too busy with their eyes in a computer screen or a book or whatever is that they like to do, appear to us like they don't exist, or have some defect that is preventing them from drifting into our radar. Maybe they are purposely trying not to.
I personally managed to find one of these pre-adult girls that was actually worth all the trouble, despite the fact that she unfortunately was describable by some of the things I've written. And, because she was too busy being inacessible and acting like getting a 9.0 GPA was paramount to the extent that it warranted a new adjective (Yes I realize it's impossible, l2hyperbole), the root of all our conflicts stemmed from her never being able to spend any quality time. Sorry but guys don't mess with that bullshit either if it's someone we truly care about. That was 5 years ago and personally I feel like I'll never care about anyone that much again, that I'll never connect with anyone that well again. To me it's offensive to be tossed into this stereotype with millions of other people that happen to be described by some of the same adjectives. Amy and her comedian inspirer must secretly work at an IT firm that links all these meta-tagged websites together based on a few common words, when in fact they have nothing to do with each other whatsoever.
If you purport there are no good men around, trust us, we're sitting around our big screen TVs with our beer saying the exact same thing about you. You don't seem to need us, and there are many more of you than there are of us. We've passed you the ball, so what are you doing now? You're travelling. And you're crying that the hoop is within your reach but there are people in the way.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saw 6: Free Speech Dies, this Halloween.

I haven't posted in 4 months because there's nothing I am going to bother with. Things have happened like the Nobel Peace Prize which I am pretending doesn't exist at this point but for the most part I've been being constructive and using my new mission-specific blog. Until this. This doesn't even merit an explanation because if you can't derive from the title and one paragraph alone why I'm absolutely correct, you need to be locked in a padded room.
Saw 6 is coming out in 2 weeks. Um...............Saw 5 didn't even come out one year ago and there's already a new movie. It's a "halloween thing."
I'm guessing Saw 6 will just be Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln and the Adams and other great Americans locked in a gigantic Hollywood microcosm and each one faces an incomprehensible patriotism challenge to which the expected answer is the antithesis of all that is or ever was good, decent, or American. In the end they all die a horrible death and a movie producer takes the reigns of the New World Order.

Please get rid of any first amendment protection that allows Hollywood to do what they want. I'm sorry, but this is incredibly unacceptable. Words can not describe this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Empire Total War - F this game

A review for those who actually play Total War.

Oh, god. Where to start with this release. Maybe an intro paragraph entirely unnecessary because the title f the game is self-explanatory . It's the 18th century, a period of colonization and mass emigration, ideological revolution, theological revolution. Revolution, in other words. So obviously the game encompasses the entire western world and leaves the other four continents to serve as land for the raping.

Empire started, in the minds of Total War players at the least, as a dream after Medieval included musketeers and cannons at the end of the game (which i might mention were 100 times more reliable and lethal than any unit in Empire Total War with the exception of quicklime and grenadiers and percussive exploding shells). Everyone went "Oh, hells yes. They should make a game with real guns. And Napoleon." In the mean time, Imperial Glory came out, essentially a carbon copy of total war but with much smaller units, and of course, realtime naval battles, completely identical to the ones later implemented in ETW. Then they showed us pretty screenshots of ships on fire on the high seas and whatnot, showing us that we needed new computers if we hadn't gotten them already. It looked awesome and everyone thought it would be great because, after four successful total war games and and four expansion packs, how could they possibly go wrong this time?

Oh.....creative assembly. I used to believe in you. To put it briefly, I wouldn't buy this game if Sega sent a truck full of games, girls, energy drinks, Pocky, enough materials to build a BD's on my street and staff it from which I would receive all profits, and my own personal contingent of Creative Assembly developers to both a) Give me a job as either a programmer or a game media designer with their company and b) stand gaurd while i play the game and endure me throwing stones at them every time something pisses me off and c) a sixteen thousand dollar Alienware machine to play it on. Unless of course my friends peer pressure me into doing it so we can kill each other and strangers online, which is granted.

Empire Total War is without a doubt the biggest pile of fail I have ever seen come out of the gaming industry in 20 years, and trust me, I'm including incredibly nightmarishly awful games like ET, Cyberia, Shenmue, Summoner 2, Mechwarrior 4, you name it. And no, it's not because it's a terrible game, it's because it's a horrible misrepresentation of what Creative Assembly is truly capable of, which is to say briefly, far greater than this game.

Don't get me wrong: It's good enough for me to make 15 gb of room to install it, and spend a LOT of time playing it because my game for whatever reason ran as slow as possible, to the extent that as I did in every total war game, I took over the entire campaign map and then purposely incited revolutions and whatnot just to have someone to fight. Having said that, it's a disappointment and it absolutely does not improve over the first four games in any way at all.

There are new features: Naval battles, garrisoned buildings, DLC, the Road to Independence campaign (which is fun after you're finished literally assaulting forts every turn and losing 800 men for no reason), the technology research tree, which rather makes the game a pain in the ass because the only way to learn it peacefully and quickly is through diplomacy, requiring you to have lots of money, meaning you have to take over everything to get money, negating any point in advancing your technology or in being diplomatic if by the time you finally get rifles you already control the world and the only enemies left are your allies, the united provinces, who have supported you honorably for 200 turns, and achievements.

Unfortunately, this game is likely to be infinitely better for newbies to the franchise than it is for die hard TW fans. We've endured the same relatively awful AI and awful glitches for years and years and assumed they would be fixed to make the new game enjoyable. They weren't and they still haven't been in the three month since I wrote this review.

At least 5 times out of 10, your units will entirely ignore your commands. The other five times, assuming they even attempt to follow orders, they'll likely get themselves killed, such as marching towards an enemy you tell them to shoot, but instead of shooting when they're in range, they just keep walking straight into them. Or grenadiers, which although they are an incredibly useful and awesome unit, are retarded all the same. They have to be within 10 feet to throw their grenades, which is fucking stupid, because they lob their grenades 100 feet in the air and drop them down on an enemies head, entirely unnecessary when you can overhand through a grenade at them from 100 feet away and still kill just as many. Because of the arch, trying to throw grenades at units that are running away becomes a pain, although admittedly using grenades on routing units or moving units is just trying to be mean to them.

Equally as annoying is the fact that, just like the Aztecs in MTW2, the natives are insanely overpowered. They run far faster than your units, and do far more damage, and their cannons actually work better than yours a lot of the time. However there fortunately is a bright side to this as they do tend to break morale without too much effort, whether they are your own units or enemies. The natives are way overpowered and too fast, but occasionally so are the other factions. Like the Sarmatians in RTW, the Marathan units easily raped so many of my units the first time I went to India, it got to a point where I literally had sent an expedition to India (as it is a requirement for Britain's victory), three full armies with my two best 10 star generals, full of top level elite troops, thinking they could at least gain a foothold and hold off until I sent reinforcements, seeing as it is a ways away. They all got systematically raped by the AI's new perseverance. The same thing happened in France, but worse. I sent an army to place-hold my position for 1 turn before i could get more armies there to support it, across the English Channel, and as soon as the turn ended, the French attacked me 9 times in a row, losing each battle until they finally killed my army by attrition.
The AI is far more aggressive this time around, though still somewhat retarded. As I said, the same thing happened in India, which finally pissed me off. Losing three 10 star generals and thousands of troops made me rather angry: I literally sent 30,000 men to India after-wards, and trained over 10,000 more after conquering it. The first 30,000 conquered all of available Asia, 10,000 of them dying in the process through battles and through strategic blunders on my part, such as splitting my fleet into multiple single ships to carry so many armies (a strategy that worked well in previous Total War titles, unless there were ships right near your fleet). Speaking of, shipbuilding is an arduous process this time around and you simply can't wait 4 turns for two ships. Unfortunately, as the AI is far more aggressive, it also literally violates the programming of the game.
The AI will, at whatever point, literally spawn armies on the spot if you invade them. You'll march on Paris and you'll be able to SEE the city and see that it only has 2 armies, and then they will attack you the next turn with 10 armies. Granted Paris can train about 5 units at once in the beginning, that's no explanation for 15000 troops coming out of nowhere. It's like Barbarian Invasion except that the entire tribe springs forth from the nitrogen in the air or something this time on the spot.
It's pretty though, that should make up for it, right? Despite the common sense needed to realize how much better the game looks, some reviewers seem to overlook the fact that the graphics engine is very much revamped from MTW2. I play all the Total War games regularly and I can easily tell how much better ETW looks than MTW. The smoke effects, heat distortion, explosions, quick-lime, musket fire, cannon fire, fire fire, shading, and water look beautiful, even on low graphics, which I'm using. However this comes at a price because the performance of the game is notably awful.
For those using AMD processors, I wouldn't even bother installing. You be the judge, as this makes no sense to me: The first time i played the game, and the machine I'm currently using, is a Pentium D 805 dual core running at 2 ghz, with 1 gb of DDR2 667 and a 7950 GT OC 512mb GDDR2 card. The game runs absolutely fine NOW on this machine, but the first time I did my Britain campaign where I took over the world, the AI turns (with ai move turned off obviously) would literally take MINUTES. The battles run fine of course, but the Campaign map is god awful. The computer I'm writing this on is brand new (though by no means a monster) - Turion X2 2ghz, 4 gb DDR2 800 mhz, geforce 7150 with 1900mb ram. The game runs absolutely horribly on this computer, on low graphics. The campaign map however runs perfectly fine - on this machine. Frankly, the campaign map is absolutely stupid in this game. Every single object on the map has a shadow and moves with the wind, that's thousands of trees, making it laggier than hell.
Speaking of the campaign map, it's actually much better this time, from a game-play perspective, ignoring the performance. Instead of everything being in the city, the parts of your region are spread out. Colleges and churches and shipyards and farms and the like are their own towns. and you control everything that develops. Also, new towns automatically grow in your regions according to the growth rate in the region and nation, which is affected by technology and tax policies and your government. The campaign is now two turns per year, i assume it was the only way to make the game last relatively long, since it seems to crash at 1829. The campaign map is the same as always, with the addition of those great changes. There are the same stupid quirks about it, as well as new ones. For example an army will still, instead of marching straight to a spot right in front of them, decide its better to go in a 5 turn march in a circle to get there. Or for instance, when an army gets off a ship, they have no move points, which is also stupid. There are some neat things now, like if a fleet is carrying an army, you can tell that fleet to attack anything on land and it will know to tell the army to do it. Unfortunately, the campaign play seems stifled this time. It is a race to control trade resources and make money and its hard to make money it seems now because everyone already has dibs on the trade theaters by the time you get a trade ship there, and you don't want to declare war on the entire world at once, do you, especially without any money. The first time i played and took over the entire world, by the time I had 50 or so provinces, I was raking in serious money. I make about a million per turn on my old Britain campaign. I don't know how i did it: all i did was gain the colonies first and then capture Paris, which eventually had a population of 200 million. In my new campaign, I'm lucky to make 5000 money in a turn. I have no idea what the deal is.
Also unfortunately and imo, downright stupid, you can't cheat in the game anymore. At all. You don't necessarily need to cheat, but cheating was in the first 4 games and frankly it was nice to be able to increase the population of your towns in less than 500 turns, or actually have an army. Another stupid thing missing since MTW2 is AI controlled reinforcements. Granted that in RTW the AI would often get your 10 star generals and elite troops killed, the fact that you could have EPIC battles with tens of thousands of men was amazing. That's how i played all of RTW. I actually used realistic legion sizes of 12000 men and marched several armies around as one army, the way it went in real life. It's so retarded now that your reinforcements WAIT for your first 20 units to die before they enter the field, when the enemy can have 30000 units or more if they want.
The absolute worst part of this game is the fact that it's based entirely on Steam. Valve and their quest to control the gaming market is frankly pissing off everyone I know very quickly, and now I'm pissed off too. The only purpose Steam serves for this game is to piss off those people who pirated the game, as all patching and xfire use is done through Steam. Total War players have downloaded their own patches and taken care of their own game for over a decade, we don't need steam. Fuck steam. Also, the Special Forces pack became available for free, as did the Elite units of the west pack, like a day after they announced it. Or it will be free when the new patch comes out. They didn't think it through when they put the game on the steam network, especially if DLC becomes free after people paid for it.

If you have a 5000 dollar computer with three way SLI each using a 2000 dollar video card and liquid nitrogen cooling and 12+ gb of DDR3 then I recommend this game. Otherwise, fuck that. Wait till it's like 15 bucks on Steam sometime. In 2011. After Napoleon has come out and thoroughly disappointed everyone again.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Windows 7 Fail

I've always been a supporter of Microsoft. That's not to be confused with a fanboy. I frequently curse and wish death upon Microsoft and it's employees when their shit goes wrong, which, when it's happening, seems like all the time, but in reality it's not. However there is an underlying network of stupid decisions and bullshit that Microsoft and other major IT companies have done that all comes together so beautifully to make you angry enough to say, smash your head through an LCD display, or break your keyboard in half, or whatever.
So when I get fucked out of responding to the Windows 7 RC survey 2 days after the beta ends, that royally pisses me off. I had good and bad things to say about 7. Very good things. And then literally an hour ago Seven decided to take a shit on my pc and now I am utterly pissed off in multiple different ways.
First and most egregiously, the schedule Microsoft sent us was wrong. Not just the dates were wrong, the information was fallacious. First of all, the beta did not warn us 2 weeks in advance that it was ending. Second of all, the beta does NOT shut down every 2 hours. It stays on, whilst incessantly warning you that there are 0 hours left in the beta. Then without warning, without asking, it simply bluescreens your computer in the middle of whatever you're doing. There's a difference between blue screening and shutting down, please learn it Microsoft. I'm trying NOT to smash any of my computers or equipment right now so I'll be kind and I won't go on a brutal rant about it. Needless to say, it is fucking stupid that you would close down the survey 2 days after the beta ends. Do you honestly think we have all the time in the world on the 4th of July, or, ANY weekend, to immediately devote to the survey? I didn't even get to use Seven for but 7 days because my old laptop wouldn't cooperate with it. The first thign I did when i took my new laptop out of the box last wednesday was install 7. I had that much time to use it for real; off-line computer usage....theres no such thing. A computer is worthless without a network.

Part II


Microsoft is largely to blame for this, but the smaller companies are definitely not innocent. I don't care how much money it costs, how much paperwork, if you have to sell your soul. Make your shit work with Windows. Microsoft, make your operating system work with other peoples shit.
Now of course when you buy a computer from a company, which is mandatory if you get a laptop unless you actually want to build your own, which is still from a company, or you have too much time and access to hard to get materials, you get your OS preinstalled and the drivers already work. So, in the event that you have to reinstall or install a new OS, you are probably completely fucked, like I am now. They don't offer recovery CDs anymore because you are expected to use upgrade features and all this complete bullshit, which no one is doing. I'm not putting Vista and Seven on different partitions, I don't want Vista. So now I either install Vista and use it offline until Seven comes out (AKA NOT ACCEPTABLE) or use RC 7 until I end up breaking my laptop from the bullshit that I put up with. Because HP is too cool to provide functional wireless drivers for their products. And wireless/network drivers are the only drivers that matter; once your net works windows will do the rest for you.

I hate you Microsoft. I really do. Scratch that, the entire computer industry.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Honestly when this movie was being promoted I completely disregarded it and I gave absolutely zero craps about another Street Fighter game or movie. Obviously Street Fighter was a good game and it's the only one of their game franchises Capcom hasn't betrayed utterly yet, but a second, unrelated film wasn't really an obvious choice for any Street Fighter fans. So I didn't actually watch it until now, because of that, and because even as a miniscule Street Fighter fan as I am, I was disappointed they didn't choose someone Chinese, or with giant thighs that could crush my entire body like a steamroller, or bigger breasts, as she is illustrated in every game and picture that has ever existed.
Kristin Kreuk, as everyone remembers, is the slutbag from Eurotrip that sex's everyone, including Matt Damon, so I don't think anyone believed she can act, but she's definitely hot. Well that's me I like girls that look like her. Legend of Chun-Li definitely proves otherwise though. Admittedly none of her lines or scenes are deep, sincere examples of a great actress but in comparison to the original Street Fighter movie, it's definitely good. The movie holds together well and with a believable plot and characters, and even throws in the good old hadouken, though they made her fireball reddish instead of blue. Speaking of that, the movie definitely includes her signature moves: the jebus kick, the fireball, and others that I remember from Street Fighter II. As far as other SF characters go, Bison is of course the enemy, and this time he's played by what's his name from Band of Brothers, who did a good job in my opinion. Vega as well is in the movie, though he's kind of a punk assassin and not too good at his job (I'm not sure what his character is supposed to be really because I'm not a fan), and Ryu makes a cameo in name at the end of the movie.
Action scenes in this movie, unlike the first Street Fighter, actually seem feasible and are believable to people watching, at least to me. I didn't feel like I was watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Physics Book , which makes me happy. And at the same time I didn't feel like it was a nonsensical video game where people throw fireballs constantly. Plenty of guns and shooting and killing are abound in this movie, but not at a retarded Punisher rate, and there are definitely some surprisingly disgusting parts, though they aren't shown fully. All in all, Legend of Chun-Li is definitely a legitimate movie and far better than the original 90's Street Fighter live action film.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fuck American Companies

This economy and the American corporate culture and environment is WORTHLESS. If you didn't realize that yet I'm sorry to be the bearer of shitty news but it's been the truth since before I was born.

There is NO corporate responsibility in this country anymore. I'm not even talking about major important shit anymore. Fuck that. Fuck Ken Lay, Enron, Tyco, GlobalCom, Adelphia, AIG, GM, all of these assholes. Let's not even necessarily focus on you worthless wastes of semen anymore.

The American product is worthless and useless. We live in a consumer environment with no accountability whatsoever anymore. You can't even use software because the nature of multi-threaded (aka good) software programming necessitates that there are entirely random and practically inexplicable bugs in the code that an entire team of programmers that wrote it cant even figure out.

Not only that but then there isn't even an ATTEMPT by the firms to support their products and offer the slightest bit of help to end-users. Are you fucking kidding me? If a google search, the documentation, and the companies technical support fail to even ACKNOWLEDGE the existence of your problem, than what the fuck is the point of your company? What the fuck is the point of your tech support when it doesn't even exist?

And why the fuck are you people not upgrading TEN YEAR old software to work with Photoshop CS4? ITS NOT EVEN NEW ITS BEEN OUT FOR LONGER THAN CS3 WAS BEFORE THEY UPGRADED.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Alestorm – Captain Morgan’s Revenge

Alestorm – Captain Morgan's Revenge


Originally I had seen and heard of this band "AleStorm" through iTunes and CDNow's (I refuse to refer to it as Amazon as the original companies URL still navigates the page, obviously for customer continuity reasons. Don't get me wrong I love Amazon) respective "related artists" and "customers also bought"features. And every time I saw it I said to myself "Well it's related to bands that are most certainly good and indefinitely worth purchasing and listening to, do I really need more motivation?" Regardless, due to being pre-occupied with something or other or just lazy, or a combination of both in addition to other things, I never got around to buying or downloading their first album until the last two weeks. Captain Morgan's Revenge, their major label debut with Napalm Records came out in January 20008, it's now April 2009. As odd and shallow as it may seem, at the point when I discovered this album, I was literally basing music purchases and downloads upon the quality and appeal of the album's cover art, which isn't necessarily a fallible strategy when it comes to metal artists because most metal artists have beautiful artwork on their albums, and those same artists typically end up being the most worthwhile to listen to.

I won't go into the band's history as this is a review of this album, not of the band itself, but as a debut album review I must discuss as much of their style and a brief history of the artist as is required to establish a familiarity. Alestorm hails from Perth, in northern Scotland above Edinburgh and Glasgow, and were formerly known under the name of Battleheart, the original title of the band when it was formed in 2004. As aforementioned, iTunes and Amazon (I use these two because they're the only mainstream music services worth trusting. Don't get me wrong, there are many free music services that are quite astounding.) associates Alestorm with bands such as Firewind, Mastodon, Tyr, Turisas, which all play a genre of music that reviewers are calling "battle metal", and considering it's the name of one of Turisas' albums as well as several metal compilation albums featuring these bands, in combination with their actual musical style, it seems to work for me. Also, I'm not sure if the major music services make this assosication, but I would most definitely associate Alestorm's musical style with that of Korpiklaani and similar bands like Eluveitie.

Unfortunately to anyone who doesn't necessarily listen to those specific bands or metal in general (though I don't know why you would be reading the review instead of just listening to it first if that were the case, I'm glad you are trying) that doesn't necessarily tell you anything. Hopefully the following comparisons will give you a clue but if all else fails I may just resort to some actual descriptive abilities. Alestorm, to me, sounds like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Metallica, Blind Guardian and Korpkilaani had a cross-over dream with each other and it turned into a band. If you ever wanted to hear the inherently cheery and entertaining sound of Flogging Molly or the Murphys set to a faster, metal, exclusively fictional (Pirates aren't fictional obviously, though at this point the popular European kind are) rhythm, I'd have to say Alestorm is exactly what you're looking for.

Musically, Alestorm is exactly as complex as you would come to expect from underrated and less mainstream metal artists these days. Like Blind Guardian, In Flames, Iced Earth, Korpiklaani, Hammerfall, any metal band you can think of that doesn't play the "death" metal style, every song by Alestorm is rich with sound. Their actual instrument line-up isn't any more erudite or versatile than the standard metal band, featuring the typical three instruments and a keyboard, but it doesn't stop them from making each song sound distinct and different enough to be memorable. Their songs range from Dragonforce-style epics (minus the absurd amount of intertwining guitarists) replacing tales of Dragons with accounts of plunder, sailing the high seas and booty, to less serious modern day pirate sea shantys that wouldn't feel too out of place on a Flogging Molly album.

In an age where pirates are romanticized in Hollywood films, video games, novels, and inaccurately used to refer to distributors and illegal acquirers of copyrighted material, debuting to the world with the concept of Scottsh pirate metal is actually a rather intelligent commercial endeavor. Most people in our age group (18 -25), including those younger and older, are quite fond of pirates. Whether because of Disneyworld's ride, its' awful movie trilogy, or because of their strong ideological convictions about file "piracy", people identify to some extent with piracy or are at the very least entertained by it. In addition, with their second album coming out, the recent international Somalian pirate incident and the ensuing South Park parody have done their share to keep pirates fresh on the public's mind.

Other reviewers have mentioned the two potential problems with Alestorm's success and future as a musical artist. I think most legitimate of these two concerns is the Dragonforce scenario, or what some people believe to be the case with Dragonforce. They came out and they were awesome and then almost immediately people said "Okay that's enough, shut up, just shut up with your three guitars and your dragons" and as soon as Dragonforce was "popular" they were immediately "crucified" by public opinion. Maybe that is the case, I don't pay attention to trends in the music audience, I just listen to music I like, because that's what music is for. Second, others have stated that they feel Alestorms style is built too much upon their colleagues in the power/folk metal genre, which honestly is quite irrelevant because that happens with every new band. In time they were chisel out their own unique style, their second major label album hasn't even come out yet.

All in all I absolutely love their first album and as I wrote this I listened to their second album, and loved that just as much. The song that stands out the most to me from Captain Morgan's Revenge is "Wenches and Mead", for its jovial tone and in my opinion absolutely hilarious subject matter. Not because I objectify women and I think it's funny to refer to them as wenches (though you have to admit it's funny to hear the word wenches in lieu of the more offensive bitches, come on) but it's just a funny song when you consider that even though it's supposed to be a pirate thing to head to a tavern for mead and wenches, it stands the test of time both a thousand years before the height of piracy and today, centuries after the supposed extermination of piracy. Could we as males ask for much more? It's quite simple.


A wench by my side and a jug of mead,

these are the things that I most need,

so I sit back and sing this song

and drink and party all night long.

Hey hey, I want more wenches,

hey hey more wenches and mead,

hey hey I want more wenches,

lots of wenches is what I need".



Yarr, ye be buyin this cd, ya hear me landlubbers!