Whatever Gordon Gano’s been doing to preserve that awful tenor of his should be patented, because, like on last year’s EP Happy New Year, he’s never sounded better. That idiosyncratic wail is as fresh as it was on the eponymous record of yore. It’s funny even critiquing a band like the Violent Femmes, it’s kinda like critiquing Orwell, Miró or Shakespeare: What can I say?
The 2016 incarnation of the Hitman franchise is one of the first big names to try out the episodic model for its new game, and it’s a great fit. Hitman is well suited for the episodic approach since the focus isn’t a narrative that you want to barrel through quickly to get to the ending, it’s a series of elaborate, self-contained locations where you practice your trade as a silent assassin.
Since its original 1982 cassette version has the distinction of being the jump-off point for Metallica’s worldwide fame. Now 34 years and 13 volumes later, Metal Massacre 14 compiles a new wave of artists all sharing a true metal mindset. There’s no post-metal, deathcore or any of the myriad metal subgenres represented here – it’s strictly old-school denim and leather stuff, which gives it a nice cohesion (and is probably a clue to the preferences of Primordial’s Alan Averill, who compiled this volume).
Enter the Gungeon jumps into the fray with its own offbeat genre soup, and it’s particularly tasty: A bullet hell roguelike. You guide one of four characters through increasingly difficult, randomly generated floors of the titular Gungeon, clashing with enemies that spew all manner of bullet patterns at you.
On its release day last month, Street Fighter V was missing a ton of features, from a promised Story Mode to any meaningful training challenges to even Arcade mode. All of these features are planned to arrive in the next six months, as well as six new characters on a monthly basis. It’s not cool or acceptable that something so half-assed was pushed out onto store shelves, but dammit, when you play the game you’ve just gotta shake your head and give them a pass. It’s that good.
With decades of genre-defining black metal under his spiked belt as the frontman for Norwegian legends Immortal, one wouldn’t think Abbath had much left to prove when he struck out on his own. But that’s not at all what it sounds like on this eponymous debut record, which roars out of the gate like razor wind through a snow-covered forest.