Mar
23
2015
2

Middle-earth Monday 63: Ravenhill

tolkien lonely mountain original drawing

Welcome back to everyone’s favorite www.isleyunruh.com Monday feature! Middle-earth being the land of enchantment and wonder that it is, each month I will use my love of fictional cartography to transport you to another time and place. So, why not take a moment to fill your head full of knowledge that will have no bearing at all on the real world?

This month I discuss the dwarven guardhouse on the southern arm of the Lonely Mountain: (more…)

Mar
16
2015
1

Minor Key Monday 63: Sisters of Mercy – Temple of Love


I always have to stop myself when I say I like “all kinds of music”. Because, honestly, that just isn’t true, there is really only one kind of music I like. No, not [just] Black Metal, I’m talking about music in a minor key. I mean, I’m a pretty happy guy, but there is something about sad, sad songs that just does it for me. I don’t dislike Vivaldi’s “Spring” and “Fall”, but I far prefer “Summer” and “Winter” (guess which seasons he writes in a minor key). “Satisfaction” is a fine song, but I’d rather listen to “Paint it Black” any day…you get the idea. Basically, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sting [of soul crushing sorrow and sadness].

This month on Minor Key Monday I discuss a relatively early goth song I recently discovered: (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Minor Key Monday,Monthly Mondays,Music |
Mar
15
2015
1

Mid-month Metal Masterpiece 63: Abhorer – Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt (1996)

abhorer zygotical

Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt is one of those albums that tends to get overlooked because it came about 6 years too late.  By 1996, this kind of first wave black death stuff wasn’t exactly wowing people the way Blasphemy’s Blood Upon the Altar did.  Of course, Abhorer was no simple Blasphemy clone, their own album, “Rumpus of the Undead” was actually released early enough to cement their street cred, and is up there with BUtA on the short list of albums TR00 KVLT metalheads pretend are brilliant.  So who cares that they waited until the mid 90s to release follow up material, albums like Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt are strong enough that they transcend the time of their release.  And besides, they are from Singapore.  All people could do back then was trade tapes, 1996 in Singapore metal time was like 1979 basically! (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Black Metal,Mid-Month Metal Masterpiece,Music |
Mar
09
2015
0

My Favorite Movies 63: Street of Crocodiles (The Brother’s Quay, 1986)

brothers quay crocodiles penis

I’ve always been a little on the fence about experimental film.  I mean, I get it, or at least I think I do, but, at the end of the day, I really just kind of want to watch a STORY.  I’m not saying narrative filmmaking is a more valid means of cinematic expression, I’m just saying, that it sure is a hell of a lot easier to watch!  Like, poetry is great and all, but sometimes I just want to read a novel about an assassin kicking ass!  Ok, sure, I’m being slightly facetious here, but, honestly, if you look over my movie watching history of the past 6 years, you’ll notice, that for such a supposed celluloid snob, I sure watch a lot of “junk” too.  Still, even if *I* claim to sometimes appreciate them, why do most people (myself included a large percentage of the time) find experimental films so hard to watch?  Probably because most people (myself included a large percentage of the time) try to watch them like narratives.  This is bound to leave the viewer disappointed, because, for an experimental film to be truly successful, it needs to be truly incomprehensible.  Disagree?  Read on while I try to explain this position while talking about the Brother’s Quay’s magnificent 1986 stop motion short The Street of Crocodiles. (more…)

Mar
06
2015
0

RE-ZORK VI: Brian VS The Manowarrior

In the early days of computing, before Graphical User Interfaces were commonplace, nerds still needed games to play on their primitive computers. Thus the text based interactive fiction game was born. While the Zork series wasn’t the very first instance of such a game, it was unquestionably the first success in interactive fiction, and phrases like “It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.” remain popular throughout the internet to this day. If you are curious, you can play the original game here:

PLAY ZORK I: The Great Underground Empire

Anyway, in the nostalgic spirit of such games, I now pit my friends, via G-chat, against an interactive fiction AI played by, none other than, myself. For our third installment, we have Brian trying his luck. Brian is a fellow metal head, a former member of my old band Vomit Infestation, an excellent guitar player, and a prolific poster of ice burns in the comment section of this blog.  And, despite some pretty ferocious arguments on how lame the band Manowar actually is, he also happens to be the only person from my high school with whom I still maintain contact. How long will he survive before being devoured by a Grue? Read on to find out! (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Games,Humor,Music,RE-ZORKed |
Mar
02
2015
0

Mailbag Monday 70

Want to have your pressing questions answered by Isley Unruh himself? Send all queries HERE, and I will get to them as soon as I can on a future Mailbag Monday!

Welcome back to Mailbag Monday!  On the first Monday of every month, I take the time from my busy blogging schedule to answer all of my reader’s most pressing questions! Sure, I might have begged, bribed and cajoled my readers into sending me these questions in the first place, but, that still totally counts as reader mail!

This month I answer the following questions:

  • “What prank and/or operation do you most regret not bringing to completion in college?”
    -Eckert
  • “Are all farts a form of shart?”
    -Danny

So, without further ado, it is time to dig into the old Mailbag to see what kind of things have been on my readers’ minds in the last month! (more…)

Mar
01
2015
0

Monthly Movie Reviews – February, 2015

Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in February.

Stats

(more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Cinema,Monthly Movie Reviews |
Feb
24
2015
0

Middle Earth Monday 62: Ethir Anduin

fonstead mouths of anduin map

Welcome back to everyone’s favorite www.isleyunruh.com Monday feature! Middle-earth being the land of enchantment and wonder that it is, each month I will use my love of fictional cartography to transport you to another time and place. So, why not take a moment to fill your head full of knowledge that will have no bearing at all on the real world?

This month I discuss the greatest river delta in all of Middle-earth: (more…)

Feb
22
2015
3

Why Biopics Blow

citizen_kane_death

 

Since 2009 I have watched every single best picture nominated movie before each year’s Oscars ceremony.  At first it was kind of a “why not, I can endure 10 shitty movies in order to get enough ammo to write a snarky blog post about how much they all sucked.”.  Then, for some reason, I decided to keep up the tradition every year thereafter.  But, this year, I have finally decided enough is enough.  If I want to waste precious minutes off of my life, that is what Facebook is for—but this cycle of watching shitty movies must end!  Still, I didn’t want to completely ignore the Oscars this year.  So, tonight I thought I’d take a bit of time to discuss one of the (many) reasons I dislike Oscar movies so much.  Specifically, I’d like to discuss one of my most loathed film genres.  No, not “new-wave 1980s Chinese coming of age dramas about young girls getting their periods right in the middle of an oppressive regime,” this time I’m talking about “biopics.” (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Cinema,Oscars |
Feb
16
2015
3

Minor Key Monday 62: Journey – Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)


I always have to stop myself when I say I like “all kinds of music”. Because, honestly, that just isn’t true, there is really only one kind of music I like. No, not [just] Black Metal, I’m talking about music in a minor key. I mean, I’m a pretty happy guy, but there is something about sad, sad songs that just does it for me. I don’t dislike Vivaldi’s “Spring” and “Fall”, but I far prefer “Summer” and “Winter” (guess which seasons he writes in a minor key). “Satisfaction” is a fine song, but I’d rather listen to “Paint it Black” any day…you get the idea. Basically, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sting [of soul crushing sorrow and sadness].

This month on Minor Key Monday I discuss one of the many songs that caught my ear from the Tron Legacy soundtrack: (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Minor Key Monday,Monthly Mondays,Music |
Feb
15
2015
0

Mid-month Metal Masterpiece 62: Xasthur – Nocturnal Poisoning (2002)

xasthur nocturnal poisoning cover

I may joke about Xasthur making the same album over and over again, and that may also be entirely true, but, regardless of whether or not Malefic (the sole creative force behind Xasthur) “Vivaldis” things or not, Xasthur is easily one of my favorite black metal bands of the last fifteen years.  And, like the similarly stylistically static Bolt Thrower, Xasthur’s earlier albums have a certain je ne sais quoi that the later albums lack–despite having perfected the sought after aesthetic with each subsequent release.  Nocturnal Poisoning, Xasthur’s first(ish) full length, is one of their best, if you are into that kind of thing.  And besides, no matter what your thoughts are on on the artistic merit of Xasthur, it would be hard to deny that this album is, at the very least, even more depressing than that shirt scene at the end of Brokeback Mountain. (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Black Metal,Mid-Month Metal Masterpiece,Music |
Feb
10
2015
1

My Favorite Movies 62: Bladerunner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

Tyrell-Corporation-bladerunner-sunset

I talk about cyberpunk a lot on this blog.  It is, in fact, one of my favorite things–a thing about which I have thoughts.  Next to the perpetually cloudy winter of Middle-earth, the perpetually orange-tinted pseudo smog-twilight of your typical cyberpunk dystopia is one of my favorite settings.  And no work of art, neither Neuromancer nor Hackers, has done as much to cement the perfect vision of cyber punk as Bladerunner. (more…)

Feb
03
2015
2

Mailbag Monday 69

Want to have your pressing questions answered by Isley Unruh himself? Send all queries HERE, and I will get to them as soon as I can on a future Mailbag Monday!

Welcome back to Mailbag Monday!  On the first Monday of every month, I take the time from my busy blogging schedule to answer all of my reader’s most pressing questions! Sure, I might have begged, bribed and cajoled my readers into sending me these questions in the first place, but, that still totally counts as reader mail!

This month I answer the following questions:

  • “Do you have any stories about playing D&D with the jocks?”
    -Chad
  • “What are your thoughts on biological warfare in the workplace?”
    -Chris

So, without further ado, it is time to dig into the old Mailbag to see what kind of things have been on my readers’ minds in the last month! (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Humor,Mailbag Monday,Monthly Mondays |
Feb
02
2015
0

Monthly Movie Reviews – January, 2015

Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in December.

Stats

  • Movies watched – 9
  • Movies that were new to me – 4
  • Masterpieces that didn’t make the list of Monthly Masterpieces – 2
  • Monthly Masterpieces – From Russia With Love

(more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Cinema,Monthly Movie Reviews |
Jan
27
2015
0

Middle Earth Monday 61: The Barrow Downs

barrow downs map

Welcome back to everyone’s favorite www.isleyunruh.com Monday feature! Middle-earth being the land of enchantment and wonder that it is, each month I will use my love of fictional cartography to transport you to another time and place. So, why not take a moment to fill your head full of knowledge that will have no bearing at all on the real world?

This month I discuss the undead infested burial mounds of the Dúnedain: (more…)

Jan
20
2015
2

Minor Key Monday 61: King Dude – Holy Land


I always have to stop myself when I say I like “all kinds of music”. Because, honestly, that just isn’t true, there is really only one kind of music I like. No, not [just] Black Metal, I’m talking about music in a minor key. I mean, I’m a pretty happy guy, but there is something about sad, sad songs that just does it for me. I don’t dislike Vivaldi’s “Spring” and “Fall”, but I far prefer “Summer” and “Winter” (guess which seasons he writes in a minor key). “Satisfaction” is a fine song, but I’d rather listen to “Paint it Black” any day…you get the idea. Basically, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that sting [of soul crushing sorrow and sadness].

This month on Minor Key Monday I discuss another one of my favorite folk artists that sounds like a more depressing Leonard Cohen: (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Minor Key Monday,Monthly Mondays,Music |
Jan
15
2015
2

Mid-month Metal Masterpiece 61: Midnight – Satanic Royalty (2011)

midnight-satanic-royalty

I don’t think it’s fair to heap abuse onto Midnight for being unoriginal.  Sure, they might all be card carrying members of the Venom fan club, but Midnight’s music, and infectious energy, is really quite unique: a nasty mix of first wave black metal, speed metal, and NWOBHM that will absolutely delight you if booze, denim, leather, and poor life choices are your raison d’être.  It took them a while to finally put out a full length, but 2011’s Satanic Royalty is more than just an amazing piece of cover art, it’s one hell of a beer soaked slab of angry, high-energy, blackened, speed, nwobhm music too. (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Mid-Month Metal Masterpiece,Music |
Jan
13
2015
0

My Favorite Movies 61: Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)

Red River arrow shot look

All the classic Westerns strike a different chord with me.  My Darling Clementine is pure poetry, Stagecoach is like witnessing the birth of something new into the world, Rio Bravo is like a laid back summer memory, and Red River like the pure distilled essence of storytelling, the kind of film they would make outside the walls of Plato’s cave.  It is the kind of storytelling that leaves a lump in one’s throat at the perfection of its script–and that’s even taking into account a perhaps, slightly, maybe problematic ending.  It is a film that is so good that I’m not afraid to break my often broken “one film per director” rule in this monthly feature. (more…)

Jan
05
2015
4

Mailbag Monday 68

Want to have your pressing questions answered by Isley Unruh himself? Send all queries HERE, and I will get to them as soon as I can on a future Mailbag Monday!

Welcome back to Mailbag Monday!  On the first Monday of every month, I take the time from my busy blogging schedule to answer all of my reader’s most pressing questions! Sure, I might have begged, bribed and cajoled my readers into sending me these questions in the first place, but, that still totally counts as reader mail!

This month I answer the following questions:

  • “Why Nazi music?”
    -Shena
  • “Is your website still down?”
    -Silas

So, without further ado, it is time to dig into the old Mailbag to see what kind of things have been on my readers’ minds in the last month! (more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Black Metal,Humor,Mailbag Monday,Monthly Mondays,Music |
Jan
01
2015
3

Best Metal Albums of 2014

High Spirits album of the year

Another year of actually listening to new metal down, and I’m happy to report it was another year of quality finds!  There weren’t any real standouts like Peste Noire and Satan’s new ones last year (too many of this year’s picks either repeat previous, superior works, or completely ape previous, superior bands), but I still found more than enough to recommend on this yearly top 10 list.  As usual, I gravitated towards stuff that sounds like it was either recorded in a really tacky hall of metal straight out of an Australian’s nightmare, or recorded in the trunk of a really shitty car.

Here, in as close of an order as I can get them (the exact order and even albums will undoubtedly change over the next few weeks as I get more time to listen), are the ten best (mostly) underground metal albums of 2014:
(more…)

Written by Isley Unruh in: Black Metal,Music |

Powered by WordPress | Copyright © www.isleyunruh.com, all rights reserved | Contact |