Happily Sorrowful

H.I.M.’s new album, Tears On Tape, brings with it all of the melancholy sweetness fans have been craving since their last release, Screamworks: Love in Theory and in Practice. H.I.M. never fails to reignite the haunting sense of the abyss in their music.

Tears on Tape has been a work in progress for some time for the band ever since the group’s drummer, Mika Karppinen (aka Gas Lipstick), suffered nerve issues and put the future of the band – and its music- on hold. But thankfully our love, Gas, is “a-ok” according to Ville himself and the band has set up tour dates here in the good old U.S.A.

With the ever-present feel of impending doom the album is a throwback to the bands of the day. Referencing Kiss and Black Sabbath, as well as many others, the group pays homage to their personal inspirations. And it’s more than just with eyeliner! From church bells to general sounds the band does once again exactly what we like; they apply rock to your greatest fears. They make even the deepest black holes seem bright. Thus taking their seemingly infamous symbol to its core of yin and yang.

So I’ll give this happy sorrow a ten for, yet again, giving me the cheerful blues.

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A for Ingenuity

Paramore’s latest self titled album, which was released April 5th of this year, is a new side of the band we have yet to experience. It gives you many different styles of music and takes their punk rock sound to new limits just before exploding through them. Most of the critics have given very positive reviews, one of which calls Hayley Williams ‘ballsy’. I totally agree, by the way.

Some, however, are typical haters. And here’s what I have to say to that; Paramore’s latest release takes risks! If you remain in the same box you will not last as an artist. Pushing yourself as an artist is crucial to your career. I applaud the decision to take on various styles of music. Music is a universal language and obviously Paramore recognizes this and embraced it. From periodic sounds to trying new things, this band is not afraid to take leaps of faith. Also, Hayley’s voice and the rocking tunes keep with the punk rock style of music.

Ultimately, music is about having fun, experiencing new things, and leaving an impression. And I believe they have left a major impression. They are redefining themselves and rocking it out while they do so. I give their album a ten for ingenuity.

Injustice: Gods Among Us

This game is pretty freaking cool!

Set in a comic book world your favorite DC heroes are sent to an alternate dimension. When right and wrong are less than clear anymore.

This game is much like Mortal Kombat in that it is your basic fighting game. With unique basic and combo attacks for each character and villan. You have some characters that are more small and agile (like the Flash) and others (like Solomon Grundy) who are more strength oriented. But you also have folks like Raven who are the exception to the rule.

In the game you move through a storyline as if you are part of the comic. And for every metaphorical moment of “POW” or “BAM” you are the one inflicting the movement. Yet, it is not real cartoony looking and each battle arena attributes its own useful breakables you can punt someone into. You don’t get that long video clip where you’re saying, “Gee, I wish I was putting the hurt on instead of the AI”. Instead you are playing every vital moment of battle.

The character lineup combines all of the classic DC characters such as Batman, Robin, Solomon Grundy, the Titans, Shazam, and many others. Also, there will soon be add on characters released (one of whom I believe is Lobo).

I like that there is not much gore like you’d find in some of the MK games, and most of your movement is realistic. The animation is very well thought out and the movements are clean. Now, there are backgrounds that include more adult themed pieces. For example, in one of the areas you’ll find a theatre that boasts ‘Live Nudes’.

I must say that discovering each character’s special attack is cool. I mean, when a freaking shark comes out of nowhere…. Not to mention the more you play the more you unlock new clothing options and such. Also, each character has its approximate villain. One of which I was insanely pleased to find in this game.

I would not say this is a kids game. Though it is entertaining and fun to kick your friends’ butt at.

I would give it on a scale of one to ten an….. eight.

This game is really fun and tries to make Aquaman cool. So try it out!

Skylanders Giants

An expensive habit, as my older brother called it.

This game is really fun! Anyway, moving on to the legitimate stuff…

I’ll admit I jumped right into Skylanders Giants, (it was all we could find).

The story begins with Kaos being on the loose and using the Skylanders you must catch him. Each Skylander has his/her own benefits and there are many areas in the game dedicated to specific character styles. (I.e. Rock, Air, Fire, Death, Earth, Water, etc.) The game seems to be very cartoony and geared towards kids, however many adult gamers have invested in this addictive series.

Each character comes as its own figurine. Each figurine saves all of its own game data. So, say you leveled one of the characters then removed it from the game platform. That character still retains the level when you replace it on the platform. This seems handy except when your life gauge runs out you must remove the figure from the platform and use another character.

The playstyle is slightly annoying. For example you can fly only to find that to reach certain areas you must use a bounce pad. And if you are playing with multiple players you can’t venture too far from player one.

But why is it so expensive? Because, like I said, some locations are geared towards specific characters. Also, you now have the ability to play as not only the Skylanders but as the Giants. And the giants have their own abilities as well. Not to mention each character is unique and they light up in neat ways. I’m a girl and I love color so this fascinates me to no end.

So now, when your kid begs you for more Skylanders it’s difficult to refuse. My brother enjoys this game as much as my nephew. It’s a game for all ages. The battles are amusing and the enemies are just as silly. There are puzzles and brain teasers.

So on a scale from one to ten I’d give it a……. seven.

Honestly….

I know I’ve been MIA recently and the short version is that I’ve got allergies really bad.

So! Where are we now? Let me give you an honest entry.

Since The Host I have been doing very little reading. I have also been re-thinking my whole take on my blog. I’ve decided that it is unfair to promise certain reviews and not come through with them. Instead any major literary endeavor will be listed as Mystery Books. Things like Les Miserable, Dracula, Wuthering Heights, etc. shall be alluded to as such Mystery Books because with my current schedule it is easier to keep up with YA Fiction than it is the classics. (Imagine early mornings and late evenings, thus is my life.)

So, I truly apologize for anticipated reviews that have exceeded any decent publication time.

Now for the good news!

In music:

HIM Has officially released Tears On Tape here in the U.S. as of yesterday. Paramore’s NOW came out recently as well.

Books:

Jane True is expected to return to us May 28th 2013. Daylight (A Timeless Series Novel) will be out on May 20th. With All My Soul came out on April 1st.

I have the following book reviews still in the works (for serious): Finale By Becca Fitzpatrick and Before I Wake By Rachel Vincent. Add the to-be-released books to this list as well.

I have two Mystery Books in the works as well, but no promises.