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Nearly three and a half years after initially being announced, Marvel and Netflix have finally brought together their Defenders team. While not a functioning unit just yet, the groundwork has been laid out and we’re finally up to Iron Fist, the proclaimed “Final Defender.” The controversy and press around this series has been, to say the least, polarizing, but what does a casual Iron Fist fan such as myself have to think?  

I like the idea of going to shows and seeing a wide variety of bands, particularly in heavy metal. Not every tour needs to be a conglomerate of metalcore or thrash metal on every single run, and seeing different bands on the bill help change things up. So, thus, when it was revealed that Swallow the Sun and Amorphis would be joining an already diverse pairing of Nile and Overkill at Starland Ballroom in New Jersey, it was a complete breath of fresh air.  

Every so often, a band comes along that turns the heads of everyone in the extreme metal underground. Perhaps it be for a revolutionary sound or just general greatness, bands can do this with a single song. Persefone is one of those, and as such have been getting their recognition since the release of 2013’s Spiritual Migration. Now with Aathma, the band are aiming higher than before, yet still playing it safe enough to appease their growing fanbase.  

In the day and age where literally everyone is trying to start a cinematic shared universe, Warner Bros. has already failed on their first attempt by many viewers’ standards. Almost acting  in the opposite of DC’s approach to announcing and developing one, Legendary has teamed up with the same company to develop the newly-dubbed Monsterverse, taking it slow with Godzilla in 2014 and, now, Kong: Skull Island. So does it work?  

Woah.  

Combining a low end reminiscent of High on Fire and the crustiest of crusti-punk attitude and fervor, and hailing from C Rage Records, today’s filth is the self-titled “Recluse” by Recluse.  

  The deathcore titans in Suicide Silence are back. You know that already, right? Between the numerous articles and coverage this new self-titled album has been getting, as well as the fact that their initial fan base has been in hysterics, everyone seems to be paying attention to it. To put it lightly, (and to get right to business) this album is causing a firestorm, and if it weren’t for the inclusion of clean vocals and the nu-metal influence at play, it probably wouldn’t be causing as much of a stir as it currently is.  

Japan has a style unto itself when it comes to metal, and ultimately the number of bands from the East that find success overseas are small in number. While true, that does not reflect the quality of music coming from Japan, and Serenity In Murder are a perfect example of what more bands in the symphonic side of the genre should be accomplishing. With The Eclipse, the band’s third album shows them fine-tuning their sound, and in a quick 40 minutes accomplish what many bands take twice as long to do across two discs.  

I’m not even going to try and hide it: I had the most fun in The Lego Batman Movie than I’ve had in a DC movie since Man of Steel. Riding off the hype that was The Lego Movie, the Batman from that film makes his return in the fashion you would expect: narcissism abound and a meta sense of humor that would even make Deadpool jealous. Yes, Lego Batman is certainly going to be a hit, but it’s the fact that it’s better than all the DCEU films that should make everyone turn their heads in curiosity and astonishment if they haven’t already.  

There’s nothing about Tool that isn’t shroud in mystery and secrecy. How many secrets are present on Lateralus? Are they even playing in a real time signature? Is their fifth album even going to come out at all? While the latter may never be answered, one thing that can strike the fans odd is how little they know of their frontman. It’s true, though, that Maynard James Keenan keeps a low profile when it comes to his personal life, and he has gone to great lengths to do so. A man of numerous accomplishments and ventures in his life, it only seems appropriate that a book would chronicle all of it.  

2002’s The Ring is responsible for a trend in Hollywood during the turn of the century, in which J-horror film remakes were going to become a point of focus for film studios. The film, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts, is an intelligent, atmospheric, and well acted adaptation of the 1998 Japanese film that set a high standard for these remakes, of which it hasn’t been met since. The likes of The Grudge, Dark Water, and others have been adapted for the American screen, and even The Ring’s own sequel couldn’t touch what had been accomplished with the remake. Rings, however, tries to stick to what made the first one work, but unfortunately can’t capture that sense of dread, mystery, or emotion... 

January has the tendency to bring out the worst of movies. This known fact contrasts the large numbers that the box office makes during the month of December, especially in recent months with Star Wars making a return. However, with a cult following and a debatably long break between films, the Underworld series rears its head and makes a return, using this empty time frame to cater to its loyal cult following. Never one for the critical reaction and one solely for the fans, Underworld: Blood Wars makes its best attempt to keep the series going and continue what the previous films started.  

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