SpecMusicMuse Review—Axe Giant, The Wrath of Paul Bunyan, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Midnight Syndicate
One of the problems with reviewing soundtracks is that it can be very difficult to determine how the songs fit the film if you haven’t seen the film. Although, trailers can be somewhat helpful in that regard:
As interesting as the film seems, I have to say I find the soundtrack to be more enjoyable. And the music, alone, is enough to make me want to watch the movie. In that sense Midnight Syndicate does the film justice with Axe Giant, The Wrath of Paul Bunyan, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.
On their own merit, the songs are everything you come to expect from a Midnight Syndicate CD: dark, moody, and oh so spooky. If you’re easily scared, you might want to listen to this soundtrack with the lights on so as to avoid nasty little things like heart attacks. If you enjoy a little music while you read, then you definitely want to add this CD to your Midnight Syndicate collection then kick back with a good horror novel.
In short: get it. You won’t regret it.
Best to listen to while reading: any Horror that takes place in the suburbs or wilderness.
While Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn Series contains some dark elements, Hellscapes Volume 1, a collection of short stories that all take place in Hell, is his first contribution to the Horror genre. There is variety to the stories, for Hell ends up being different for each main character, based upon that character’s psychology and the manner of deeds that led him or her to Hell. At the same time, they all share a similarity in that each character starts off not knowing he or she is in Hell. In that way, the stories reminded me a lot of The Twilight Zone TV series.
But of all the characters, Jared, in “Drowning in Tears,” was the only character I felt any real sympathy towards. All the characters in the other stories more than deserved their fates, and because of that, rather than feel any fear, I found myself rooting for the minions of Hell, instead. Despite the visceral elements and the horrific torment they go through, it really didn’t feel like Horror to me. More like Dark Fantasy.
There was, however, some good character development involved. Even the most despicable characters didn’t feel like cardboard cutouts, at least (however, if you’re aware of the New World Order, and those involved in it, some of these characters will be quite familiar to you despite the name changes). And it felt quite refreshing to see these evil bastards get their come-uppance.
So if you’re looking for something scary, as in Nightmare on Elmstreet scary, this collection might not be for you. But if you’re a big fan of The Twilight Zone, or would just enjoy reading about certain sociopathic power elites finally getting what they deserve, then Hellscapes is the collection for you.
Best to listen to while reading: anything from Midnight Syndicate, Slayer, Megadeth, or Helloween.
Having not read any of the novels, Chronicles of Ave, Volume 1, is my first introduction to Stephen Zimmer’s epic fantasy world. A collection of short stories, Chronicles of Ave provides a rich and diverse array of lands and cultures from the view of heroic characters as they partake in adventures and quests against the forces of darkness.
I greatly enjoyed the stories and loved the characters. The Trogen, Marragesh, in “Into Glory Ride,” was by far the most interesting. My only problem with “Lion Heart” was the main character’s name (Sigananda? Signanda? Siganda?) kept getting spelled differently, which almost threw me out of the story. Almost.
Of the stories, themselves, “Winter’s Embrace” bears a theme vitally important for current times as it delves into the very nature of faith, itself. It would be the best of the stories, but the Trogen in “Into Glory Ride” steal the whole show (so to speak).
Overall, Chronicales of Ave, Volume 1 is a mut-have for any fan of epic and heroic fantasy.
Best to read while listening to: Iron Maiden, Enya, and Loreena McKennitt.