Album Review – Suum / Buried Into The Grave (2018)

Enjoy this Stygian and occult album featuring seven tracks of pure gloomy Doom Metal, masterfully delivered by an Italian quartet that has already succumbed to the dark side of music.

Let’s dive deep into the sluggish and obscure realms of old school Doom Metal to the music by a Italian quartet that goes by the name of Summ, formed in 2017 in the Italian capital Rome. Comprised of Mark Wolf on vocals, Painkiller on the guitar, Marcas on bass and Rick on drums, Suum are releasing now in 2018 the full-length album Buried Into The Grave, featuring seven tracks of pure gloomy Doom Metal, bringing to your ears not only a Stygian sound tailored for the doomed, but also cryptic lyrics about darkness, doom and occultism, being highly recommended for fans of Black Sabbath, Danzig, Candlemass, My Dying Bride, Electric Wizard, and all other bands and artists that have beautifully succumbed to the darkest and most lugubrious side of music.

If there’s rain, thunder and wind, you know the music is going to be doomed, which is exactly what happens in the opening track Tower Of Oblivion. Marcas kicks off this damned feast with his low-tuned bass until the rest of the band joins him in darkness, with lead singer Mark Wolf haunting our souls with his Black Sabbath-inspired vocals while Painkiller fires sheer obscurity through his riffs, with all vileness increasing in intensity until its crisp ending. And their Doom Metal mass goes on in Black Mist, led by the steady beats by Rick while the phantasmagoric vocals by Mark and the heavier-than-hell riffs by Painkiller generate a truly somber atmosphere; followed by Buried Into The Grave, which in my humble opinion is the most Stygian of all tracks of the album (hence, it would definitely make Tony Iommi proud). Not only the vocal lines are deep and deranged, but the combined sound of guitar, bass and drums create this gloomy creature that will mercilessly enfold you just like pitch black darkness.

Last Sacrifice is another classic Doom Metal tune spearheaded by the slashing riffage by Painkiller and the slow but intricate beats by Rick, putting you on a trance and inspiring you to crack your neck headbanging, with the music flowing smoothly and darkly until the end. Then bringing the most acid and somber elements from Stoner Metal and Rock we have Seeds Of Decay, an atmospheric and sluggish creation by Suum with highlights to the rumbling sounds extracted by both Painkiller and Marcas from their hellish strings, whereas in the melancholic and introspective instrumental The Woods Are Waiting we face more rain and wind, going on for a bit too long though (albeit nothing that will make you skip it). And finally, rhythmic drums and scorching hot riffs ignite their last breath of old school Doom Metal, the somber extravaganza titled Shadows Haunt The Night, where Painkiller sounds absolutely on fire during the entire song, adding an extra touch of malignancy and obscurity to the final result.

You can succumb to total darkness by listening to Buried Into The Grave in its entirety on YouTube, by visiting Suum’s official Facebook page, and obviously by purchasing such dense and entertaining album from the band’s own BandCamp page, from the Endless Winter webstore, from the Hellas Records webstore, or from Discogs. Those four skillful Italian metallers not only live up to the legacy of traditional Doom Metal, but based on the high-quality of the music found in Buried Into The Grave, they’re also more than ready to carve their names in the history of such distinct music style.

Best moments of the album: Tower Of Oblivion, Buried Into The Grave and Shadows Haunt The Night.

Worst moments of the album: The Woods Are Waiting.

Released in 2018 Endless Winter/Hellas Records

Track listing
1. Tower Of Oblivion 6:25
2. Black Mist 4:40
3. Buried Into The Grave 4:55
4. Last Sacrifice 5:13
5. Seeds Of Decay 5:44
6. The Woods Are Waiting (Instrumental) 3:38
7. Shadows Haunt The Night 4:23

Band members
Mark Wolf – vocals
Painkiller – guitars
Marcas – bass
Rick – drums

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Concert Review – Rotting Christ (L’Astral, Montreal, QC, 09/08/2016)

No Marduk? No problem at all, as Montreal still got an incredible night of extreme music spearheaded by the best Greek band of all time, the one and only Rotting Christ.

OPENING ACTS: Necronomicon and Carach Angren

marduk-tourFinally back from a lengthy trip to Montreal and Quebec City, it’s time to get the ball rolling again at The Headbanging Moose, and let’s begin with an outstanding night of Extreme Metal this Thursday in Montreal. First and foremost, in my opinion it was a huge lack of respect to all fans who had bought their tickets to see Marduk, Rotting Christ, Carach Angren and Necronomicon Thursday night at L’Astral in Montreal (by the way, what an amazing venue) to inform that Marduk had not received their Canadian working visas on time and, therefore, could not perform together with the other three bands of the night, only a couple of hours before the doors actually opened. I don’t believe the organizers were expecting the decision to not provide the visas to Marduk reversed the same day of the show, and I’m pretty sure most of you will agree with me it looks a lot more like an attempt to avoid a significant loss of money due to tickets being returned and refunded.

Anyway, Necronomicon, Carach Angren and Rotting Christ didn’t disappoint at all and put up a sensational show from start to finish, minimizing the pain we all had to endure due to the absence of the main band of the night. The first band to hit the stage was Canadian Symphonic Black/Death Metal horde NECRONOMICON, who after over a month on the road were finally back to their hometown to once again spread darkness over their beloved city at a packed L’Astral. Promoting their latest (and kick-ass) album Advent of The Human God, the band led by the talented (and also really cool guy) Rob “The Witch” Tremblay played a well-balanced mix of old songs with new demolishing tunes such as I (Bringer of Light) and Crown of Thorns, letting every single fan at the venue with a darkened heart and a huge smile on their faces. After their performance, Rob stayed at the band’s merch booth taking pictures with fans and selling high-quality T-shirts (really good stuff for only $25 each) and CD’s, which by the way are being re-printed already due to the high demand by fans worldwide. It’s so good to see bands like Necronomicon succeeding like that in an era where very few people buy physical music, and even better to see that when they play live they can transfer all the obscurity and potency of their music to the stage.

Band members
Rob “The Witch” Tremblay – vocals, guitar
Mars – bass
Rick – drums

img_1735After a short break, it was time for Dutch Horror Metal act CARACH ANGREN to haunt L’Astral with their theatrical and blackened performance. In case you know nothing about this excellent band from the city of Limburg, in the Netherlands, I highly recommend you go after their material because it’s not only very professional, but also unique and exciting. Furthermore, things get even better live, as all band members make sure they offer their fans a true depiction of their diabolical music. While Namtar kept smashing his drums and Ardek built a Mercyful Fate-inspired atmosphere through his keyboard notes, it were frontman Seregor and guest guitarist Jack Owen (let me say the presence of the famous ex-Cannibal Corpse guitarist was a huge and awesome surprise for me) who stole the show with their precise performances. I believe everyone at the venue loved the concert by Carach Angren, with songs such as When Crows Tick on Windows and Killed and Served by the Devil proving once again the fusion of theatre and extreme music, like what Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir do, always has a very positive impact on any live audience. There was even a wall of death close to the end of their show, which always translates into greatness for fans of demolishing music like myself.

Band members
Seregor – vocals
Ardek – keyboards, orchestrations
Namtar – drums 

Guest musician
Jack Owen – guitars 

ROTTING CHRIST

img_1744As aforementioned, we did not get Marduk, but who said the night wasn’t superb even with that unforeseen letdown? Well, that was only possible thanks to the flawless performance by Greek Black/Dark Metal titans ROTTING CHRIST, a concert that I personally recommend to anyone who loves violence and groove blended with history in heavy music. Call it tribal, ritualistic or warlike music, what Mr. Sakis Tolis and his army delivered to the fans in Montreal was beyond magnificent, with Sakis inciting every metalhed at the venue to “fight” in the circle pit. It was a neck-breaking, mind-blowing metal extravaganza that only a distinguished band like Rotting Christ is capable of delivering, leaving every single person in the crowd absolutely thrilled during their entire show.

I simply loved their precise mix of old classics, like the infernal The Sign of Evil Existence and Non Serviam, more contemporary tunes like the bestial 666, and brand new songs from the excellent Rituals, such as the hypnotizing chant Ze Nigmar, the delivish and rhythmic Apage Satana and my favorite song of the new album, the aggressive and energetic Elthe Kyrie (even with the stunning female vocals by Danai Katsameni not being live for obvious reasons). Nobody seemed to care about the fact that very few parts of the songs were sung in English, with most of their setlist being sung in Greek and other languages. The ritualistic and demonic aura of each song, played to perfection by all band members (in special by guitarist George Emmanuel, who was on fire during the whole concert as if he was possessed by an evil entity), was all that Rotting Christ needed to dominate the hearts, minds and souls of every fan at L’Astral.

img_1749I already nurture a lot of respect for Rotting Christ, but after what I saw in Montreal that respect grew even bigger than before. When you see a gorgeous girl that unfortunately has to be on a wheelchair (probably for the rest of her life) due to reasons beyond our control having an absolute blast the entire concert, getting totally mesmerized by the band’s powerful and primeval music, you know the band has something special in them. There are things only heavy music is capable of doing, especially bringing together all types of people it doesn’t matter how the person looks, the gender, religion, race or anything else. Unfortunately as I was still in Montreal until yesterday I couldn’t see them in Toronto Friday night, but I’m sure their Torontonians fans got exactly what they paid for: a stupendous concert of extreme music, perfectly fired by the most important and influential Greek band of all times. Put differently, next time Rotting Christ visit your city, don’t even think about missing the chance of seeing them live. Period.

Setlist
Ze Nigmar
Kata ton Demona Eautou
Athanati Este
Elthe Kyrie
Apage Satana
Grandis Spiritus Diavolos
Konx om Pax
666
The Sign of Evil Existence
Noctis Era

Encore:
Non Serviam

Band members
Sakis Tolis – vocals, guitars
George Emmanuel – guitars
Van Ace – bass
Themis Tolis – drums

Album Review – Necronomicon / Advent of The Human God (2016)

Behold the descent of the human god upon humanity to the symphonic and scorching Black Metal delivered by the most prominent Canadian horde of all time.

Rating4

Necronomicon_AHG_2000x2000_Rev_02If the original meaning of “Necronomicon” is a fictional grimoire (or textbook of magic), appearing in the stories by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft, I believe we should refer to what Canadian Symphonic Black/Death Metal veterans Necronomicon offer us in their brand new opus entitled Advent of The Human God as a sonic compilation of evil spells. Discharging a lethal dose of symphonic and scorching Blackened Death Metal through their music, this power trio from the city of Montreal, Quebec takes no prisoners in their battle against religion, and nothing better than their artistic view of the descent of a human god upon humanity to showcase the always negative outcomes caused by our blind faith.

Fans of controversial bands like Behemoth, Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir will connect instantly with the lyrics and themes explored by Necronomicon in their new album, which are in line with what was presented in their previous releases such as Rise of The Elder Ones (2013), Return of The Witch (2010) and Pharaoh of Gods (1999). Featuring a beautiful and ungodly artwork by Canadian artist and musician Filip Ivanović and having bassist Mars debuting on the low-keys, Advent of The Human God is another step further in the solid career of this precious gem made in Canada, which obviously translates into pure awesomeness for fans of extreme music.

The symphonic and epic intro The Descent grows until the tile-track Advent of The Human God comes smashing us all with its blasting beats and dark melody, with the iconic lead singer and guitarist Rob “The Witch” Tremblay firing his deep vociferations in this work-of-art the likes of Dimmu Borgir and Behemoth. And this is just the beginning, because The Golden Gods starts right where the previous track ended, with drummer Rick blasting his heavy artillery of darkness until all instruments join him and all hell breaks loose. In addition to that, Rob provides some wicked solos that only enhance the song’s quality, making the overall result very progressive and obviously thrilling.

Necronomicon - photo - Credit - Myriam Francoeur 6Sounding like if it was extracted from a futuristic horror movie, the symphonic instrumental tune Okkultis Trinity will captivate you and drag you to the underworld, where the ferocious Unification of The Four Pillars will crush your spine and distort your mind, showcasing yet another flawless performance by Rick on drums while Rob leads the musicality with his solid riffs and growls, all nicely complemented by the symphonic elements and choir in the background. And in Crown of Thorns, its “opening of an evil ceremony” morphs into brutal and merciless Black Metal (with huge doses of harmony to give more balance to it), and this sonic earthquake keeps kicking ass throughout the entire song for our absolute delectation.

Leaning towards the musicality by Behemoth, The Fjord is slightly slower but as demonic and aggressive as usual, displaying a great synchronicity between Rob and Rick, which ends up creating an imposing atmosphere perfect for nonstop circle pits and brutal headbanging; whereas the sinister and atmospheric Gaia, another movie-like instrumental bridge, slowly sets the stage for the puissant I (Bringer Of Light), which needs only two seconds to hit you like a lightning bolt. This precise fusion of Symphonic Black Metal and Blackened Death Metal presents a completely infuriated and possessed Rob, who helps increase the song’s effectiveness in special during its powerful chorus. Innocence And Wrath, a cover version for the intro from Celtic Frost’s 1985 cult album To Mega Therion, doesn’t do much for the album as it’s just a short instrumental track, and Alchemy Of The Avatar, a symphonic and melodic onslaught of Black Metal, concludes the album with Rick firing unstoppable beats and fills while Rob switches his voice to a more satanic level and back to his regular deep growls, with all these elements helping the music flow into a climatic ending.

In case you’re from another planet and haven’t heard anything about Necronomicon yet, I suggest you go check their Facebook page, YouTube channel and ReverbNation profile, and in order to get your copy of Advent of The Human God you should visit their BandCamp page or Season of Mist’s official webstore. As aforementioned, the advent of a human god upon humanity couldn’t have a better soundtrack than the unique Blackened Death Metal by this skillful Canadian horde.

Best moments of the album: Advent of The Human God, Unification of The Four Pillars and I (Bringer Of Light).

Worst moments of the album: Innocence And Wrath.

Released in 2016 Season of Mist

Track listing
1. The Descent 1:18
2. Advent of The Human God 5:27
3. The Golden Gods 4:13
4. Okkultis Trinity 2:27
5. Unification of The Four Pillars 3:27
6. Crown of Thorns 4:30
7. The Fjord 4:39
8. Gaia 2:43
9. I (Bringer Of Light) 4:04
10. Innocence And Wrath (Celtic Frost Cover) 1:08
11. Alchemy Of The Avatar 5:14

Band members
Rob “The Witch” Tremblay – vocals, guitar
Mars – bass
Rick – drums

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 416: A

It doesn’t matter if you’re a marauder or even a cannibal, always remember not to mess with Sheriff Rick Grimes.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen A yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd416_01So AMC’s The Walking Dead season 4 is finally over and, after all those flashbacks, introspective moments and just a few minutes of sheer violence (I was expecting a lot more of that, based on what the producers of the show were promising) in the last episode, curiously named only “A”, all fans will have to wait until October to get some extra doses of brutality and lots of answers for many things that were not explained at all, such as where Beth, Carol, Tyreese and Judith are, who will die on the hands of the people at Terminus, and how Rick and the others will escape from that nightmare.

I must admit the first five minutes were awesome, with that flashback showing our beloved hero Hershel back in the day where the prison was still a safe place, always helping everyone with his words of wisdom, and Rick was trying to be more human in order to become a better father, and then Rick covered in blood a totally away from reality. How did Rick reach that point? When did he snap and why? All that tension and mystery already put “A” well above most of the episodes from the second half of season 4, but unfortunately that didn’t last as long as we were all eagerly waiting for.

Of course, that sequence where Joe and his gang finally find Rick, Michonne and Carl, and the vision of Carl almost being raped by one of the marauders turning Rick into a merciless wild beast, was simply amazing. Our sheriff ripping Joe’s throat with his own teeth, like if he was some type of “alive zombie”, was awesome and showed why he and Carl have survived the apocalypse up to now and, of course, proved once again why the walkers are the least dangerous of all their problems. Rick almost surpassed Stallone ripping a guy’s throat with his own hand in the last Rambo movie in terms of bestiality, but let’s admit it’s pretty hard to be more violent and reckless than Mr. John Rambo.

Anyway, as I said, that scene was too short and Rick, Carl, Daryl and Michonne started the last part of their journey to Terminus. That bite surely turned Rick into a different person, and his survival instincts are now stronger than ever, which could be easily seen in each and every moment before and when the group reached the “sanctuary for all”: he left a bag full of weapons outside Terminus (which will most likely be their salvation next season), and he didn’t seem to trust any of the people there, especially this new guy, Gareth. Well, he was more than right, because when creepy Mary and Gareth offer them some food, Rick sees those strangers wearing Maggie’s poncho and Glenn’s vest and watch, and he then realizes that’s no sanctuary at all.

twd416_02But the worst was still to come, when amidst all the shooting Rick notices they were aiming at their feet and that they were not trying to kill them. Do you want to know why? Just think about the meat that Mary was serving them before and you’ll get it (and probably will be disgusted by that). They end up being caught by Gareth and the others members of that dreadful cult and sent to a train wagon, where not surprisingly they reunite with Glenn, Maggie, Bob and Sasha, and get to know Sgt. Abraham Ford, Eugene and Rosita.

And to end this season in a very exciting way, badass Rick doesn’t seem worried at all with the fact that they’re about to become Gareth and his bunch of cannibals’ afternoon snack. “They’re screwing with the wrong people.”, our sheriff said. Any doubts about that?

And this will be the last review about The Walking Dead on this website. Not because the show is not good anymore (it’s still awesome), but because the focus will be exclusively Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. So unless Rick starts listening to AC/DC during his fights against zombies and other humans in the following seasons, like Andrew Lincoln said he does prior to shooting some of his scenes, that’s all, folks.

A (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 415: Us

And they finally arrive at Terminus.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Us yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd415_01Just one episode to go, and I’m still not really pumped up with season 4 from AMC’s The Walking Dead. I remember that during seasons 1, 2 and 3 I couldn’t wait for the next episodes, but now it really seems they’re dragging the show as much as possible just for (a lot of) money. Besides, many of the main characters have become so boring, like a shadow of what made them so good, especially Michonne and Daryl. Are the writers doing this with them to find an excuse to kill them in the show? And what about that “love is in the air” trend? Shouldn’t they be worried about zombies, food, water or anything else before spreading all that love in a world that doesn’t give a shit about it anymore?

First of all, Glenn’s quest to find Maggie no matter what has been really stupid. He has the right to go after the love of his life, no problem with that, but putting the lives of other people in danger because he’s too stubborn to follow a simple plan or request that would lead him to Maggie but in a relatively calm and safe way is too much. As soon as he saw the signs Maggie, Sasha and Bob left him, he started running like a moron. Why? When did running by yourself like an idiot become a good thing to do in the show? Anyway, he’s lucky that Abraham, Eugene and Rosita are really patient people, and that Tara is so “busy” fighting against her inner ghosts that she doesn’t really care if his ideas and actions are way beyond stupidity.

Talking about Eugene, Tara and Rosita, their dialogues yesterday were for me the highlight of the episode. It was so funny seeing Eugene telling Tara she’s smoking hot, just to hear her replying to him “Yeah, and I like girls!” That was a really awkward moment, and add to that Abraham telling Tara she saw her staring at Rosita’s tits, and you multiply the awesomeness by a million! Unfortunately, that’s all the fun we had last night, because later there was just the action scene inside the tunnel full of walkers, where Glenn almost got Tara killed with his “brilliant” plan, but it wasn’t that exciting in the end.

twd415_02And what about Daryl and his new “friends”? Joe seems to be a pretty straight-forward guy, always going by the rules (if it’s claimed, it’s claimed!) and always telling the truth, so why not get along with him and forget about Beth for a minute? As I said, Daryl is not the same, and I don’t think this is going to end well for him. His childish fight against Len for that rabbit, and then Len trying to incriminate Daryl in that old garage for getting his piece of the rabbit just to be killed by the other members of the gang later, didn’t make too much sense at all. At least things will get a lot better when Joe finds Rick and gets his revenge (or not?) for what rick did in that house he was trying to relax a few episodes ago. Even Rick seems to be too calm, as per that brief moment he appeared in the episode watching Carl and Michonne play in the rails, but let’s hope next episode the good old sheriff is back in action doing what he’s supposed to do: fighting for his life, for Carl’s and for the people he cares about.

Finally, Glenn and Maggie are reunited (thanks to Eugene’s plan to drive to the other side of the tunnel), there’s that stupid scene burning that picture of Maggie (that was totally unnecessary), and after some useless talking they got to the promised sanctuary, Terminus, where they find that mysterious woman called Mary. But is that really a sanctuary? Doesn’t it look creepier than any other place they’ve been? At least it’s the season finale next week, which means something will actually happen, right? Because if not, the second half of season 4 will be indeed a total waste of time.

Us (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 411: Claimed

Will Rick ever have a true moment of peace again in his painful life?

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Claimed yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd411_01This was one of those episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead that it’s hard to reach a consensus if it was good or bad. There was a lot of tension in some moments, some jokes that were not funny at all and could have been left out of the episode, and a detail that might change the whole course of the show but no one really cared about. Anyway, the biggest question in my mind after the first three episodes of the second half of season 4 is: when will our anti-hero/sheriff Rick Grimes have a single moment of peace again?

Before we get to Rick, let’s talk about the evolving friendship between Michonne and Carl. Although there were some really stupid moments, like Michonne trying to make Carl laugh by filling her mouth with Crazy Cheese, it’s nice to see Michonne is finally opening herself to someone, even if it’s a kid. Revealing the name of her long gone baby (Andre Anthony) to Carl was kind of a bold move for our katana girl, as well as protecting Carl from seeing the disturbing scene of the deceased family in that pink room. I’m not sure if getting too close to other people is the right thing to do in a zombie apocalypse (we’ve already seen plenty of examples that it’s not), but to me it seems Michonne is desperate for that, she can’t carry that burden inside her anymore, and Carl might be the best choice in her mind because she will never look less strong or less tough to him as she would to guys like Daryl and Rick. Let’s just hope she doesn’t let her guard down because of that, otherwise we’ll lose one of the best characters in the show.

Then come Rick and, consequently one more time in the show, tons and tons of tension and danger. Is he cursed somehow? It’s unbelievable the amount of pressure the sheriff has to face every single day now. When he finally finds a quiet and relatively safe place to heal his wounds, relax and even read a book, some dreadful assassins, psychopaths and rapists end up finding the exact same place! That was for me the highlight of the episode, even without a single walker involved, which again showed us who are the real threats in this new world. Rick might not have had his moment of peace yet, but his survival instincts are stronger than ever: even when surrounded by merciless killers, he managed to escape without even being noticed. Hiding under the bed, holding his breath and crawling to the other room without making any noise were awesome moves that saved not only Rick himself, but also Michonne and Carl in the end, especially when he decided to run away with them instead of starting a mini-war with those guys. Well, there was that guy in the toilet with his pants up, which makes no sense, but who cares? Killing him almost silently and setting up a “zombie trap” for when he got back as a walker seemed a smart move to distract those assassins, at least for a while.

twd411_02A few hours from where they were in the last moments of the previous episode, Glenn and Tara get to learn a little more about Sgt. Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa and Dr. Eugene Porter. No one can blame Tara for trusting Sgt. Ford (like she trusted the Governor) and hopping on the back of his truck, because anything would have been better than being alone in the middle of nowhere with a knocked-off Glenn, even without knowing if those people were good or bad. Talking about difficult decisions, Glenn’s semi-stupid idea of getting back for Maggie cost them the truck! I understand he’s desperate to find his wife, but fighting with the sergeant while the weird Dr. Eugene was all by himself with a machine gun trying to shoot the “zombies of the corn” was not a good idea at all. Glenn didn’t care that much about the truck and started his way back to “somewhere”: the truth is he doesn’t even know where to start, which means it’s just going to be another “trial and error” mission in the show. At least Glenn and Tara will have some backup, as the sergeant and his team decided to follow him, especially after Dr. Eugene said “Trust me.” to the sergeant when he decided to join Glenn in his quest. And the most important thing here, which was completely ignored by Glenn and Tara after all, is the fact that Dr. Eugene claims to know the reason for the zombie outbreak and also to have the solution for it. All they have to do is get to Washington with the doctor alive and well. But is it really worth a try? I mean, is the doctor telling the truth? Is there a cure, or is he just a complete lunatic? We’ll have to wait until they find Maggie (if they do so), and then see if they’ll get back on track to Washington.

Last but not least, Carl seemed really sad for “losing” Judith back in the prison, judging by his reaction after mentioning the name of his little sister while having breakfast with Michonne in the beginning of the episode, right? But it seems Rick, Carl and Michonne will soon find Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika and especially Judith at Terminus! Will that be one of the best moments of Rick and Carl’s post-apocalyptical lives, as we all expect? Maybe not if we think about what happened during Rick’s dramatic escape: was that guy in the bedroom really dead or had he just passed out? Because if they meet again somewhere, maybe (just maybe?) it will be at Terminus, and they won’t feel happy at all to see the sheriff after what he has done in that house. In my opinion, our sheriff’s well-deserved “vacations” are not going to happen so soon.

Claimed (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 409 (Mid-Season Premiere): After

Carl is growing up, while Michonne goes shopping for new pets.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen After yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_409_01“After” all the killing and devastation from the previous episode, and of course after Rick’s whole crew was split in smaller groups of maximum three people, it was more than expected that the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead yesterday was going to show us what happened to some or all of our beloved characters. Well, the first ones selected were our sheriff Rick, his son/savior Carl, and the badass Michonne, each one going through a complete different journey even being almost in the same place.

Although Rick was almost killed by the Governor and lost Judith to the walkers (or maybe someone else?), I believe Michonne’s path was the most arduous one here. First, our katana girl goes back to the prison in search for either a zombie Governor, a zombie Hershel, or any other zombies or survivors that might still be there after the war. The Governor was dead for good, and any glimpse of hope we might have had to see him as a walker was gone thanks to Lilly shooting him in the head (unfortunately , she didn’t miss the shot). However, Hershel’s head was still there, moving, trying to bite some fresh meat from a living person: a superb job done by Greg Nicotero’s team I should say, but another extremely sorrowful moment in the show. I don’t know which moment was more melancholic: if Michonne having to kill Hershel’s zombie head, or Daryl having to kill his zombie brother in the last season. Anyway, in the middle of all that suffering and destruction, Michonne chose to get back to her basics, which was symbolized by her two new “pets” and by her walking among the living dead as if they meant no danger at all.

That was the original Michonne we all got to know during the show, but then we were able to see a side of her character that everyone has been eager to know since day one: how she became Michonne. Not that she wasn’t Michonne before, but through her nightmare (which was a lot stronger than any flashback) we could see somehow what happened to her, how her life was before the zombie apocalypse, her child, her lover becoming a zombie, her katana mixed with regular kitchen knives, everything showing us how human she used to be. After that nightmare, she was about to go crazy, just wandering around like any walker, but fortunately the vision of a “zombie Michonne” (a zombie walking beside her that kind of resembled her) made her get back to reality, slay a whole herd of walkers, cry a lot, and choose to get back to her previous path with Rick and the others. It was amazing to see her “road to recovery”, and kudos to the awesome Danai Gurira for an outstanding performance.

twd_409_02And then, we have Rick and Carl. Or should I say an almost dead man walking and his angry son? Rick was horribly wounded and beaten, but even so he was worried about Carl and wanted to protect him. The problem is Carl didn’t see that: for him, his dad was pretty much dead, and every atrocity that happened to them and all the others was Rick’s fault. It was sad to see Carl blaming Rick for everything, while the guy was trying to stay alive with all his injuries, but that’s how a relationship between father and son has always been, right?

Anyway, Carl is growing up and becoming a man, facing zombies by himself and fighting as an adult even being just a kid. When he said “I win” to that pile of zombies he killed I’m pretty sure he was saying that to himself and to life in general, trying to prove to the whole world a new man was born. Of course there was that incident with that zombie that got his shoe, and that huge can of chocolate pudding, but we cannot blame him for acting like a teenager sometimes, even if it’s in the middle of a zombie outbreak.

And last but not least, that final scene with Rick moaning and crawling as a walker after being asleep for hours and hours, and Carl crying for not being able to shoot him, was really touching. Of course Rick was not dead and was not a zombie, we all knew that, but the mere thought of having to kill his own father was too much for a kid trying to be a man. Well, some people might ask why he was able to shoot his dead mother in the head, but not Rick, which is a damn good question. In my opinion, Carl couldn’t do it for a very simple reason: Rick is not only his father, but his hero, his protector, and his reason to live. Without Rick there’s no Carl, and vice-versa, and it will be really exciting to see how their relationship will grow in terms of loyalty, respect and love. And that, my friends, is how a boy becomes a real man.

After (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 408 (Mid-Season Finale): Too Far Gone

The darkest days have arrived for Rick and the other survivors.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Too Far Gone yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_408_01I’m still shocked with everything that happened yesterday in The Walking Dead’s Mid-Season Finale. That was absolutely EPIC, and I don’t know how the producers will be able to surpass what was done last night in any future episodes and seasons. There was a lot of good dialogues, emotion and vengeance for fans that love a good storyline, and total fuckin’ annihilation for fans that love every drop of blood that falls in the show.

As I mentioned last week here, there was no way that the combination of the Governor and a tank could end up in a monotonous episode. From the very first minute, he showed us he was totally consumed by rage and would do anything to kill Rick, Michonne and everybody else. He was so crazy that he didn’t even kill Michonne and Hershel at first, because that was too easy. Kidnapping them and using them to blackmail Rick was a pretty wise move, and the way he “hypnotized” all his new crew to attack the prison makes him an excellent candidate for any election.

However, when he realized Rick was never going to give up the prison, he grabbed Michonne’s sword and prepared to decapitate Hershel in a last attempt to make the sheriff surrender. Well, Rick was too stubborn tough for that, and the Governor knew his plan was not going to work. As soon as he pronounced the word “LIAR”, just as he saw in that sign attached to a decapitated body in the previous episode, I knew it was the end for our one-legged hero. I must confess that I cried a little with that scene, especially by seeing the desperate reaction of Maggie and Beth, and after by seeing the partially beheaded Hershel dragging himself on the floor, trying to go somewhere but actually knowing he was going nowhere. And then, the Governor finished what he started. That was one of the saddest moments of the show so far without any doubt.

Just when you thought that was enough, there comes Lilly with a dead Meghan on her arms, previously bitten by a zombie by pure and total lack of attention from herself, her mom, the Governor and anyone else from that camp. Why going to war and leaving a child behind like that? That was a huge price to pay, but it seems the Governor didn’t care too much about her as he cared about Penny, by simply shooting the dead girl in the head with no remorse. That was the moment when any vestige of humanity in him was gone and his tyrannical side exploded. Poor Rick for having to fight him that way, and what’s even worse, with a wounded leg.

twd_408_02“KILL THEM ALL!”, the Governor said. All Hell was breaking loose, with a war between Rick and the Governor, all the walkers attracted by the sound of gunshots and explosion, the prison falling to pieces, and the desperate cry of the survivors. Rick was going to die, and everyone else was going to die too, if it wasn’t for the toughest woman on Earth, Michonne. Fortunately she got back to “normal” and instead of smiles and jokes, there was our warrior piercing the Governor’s body with her sword and saving Rick. But she didn’t kill the Governor, she simply let him to die and become a walker, which would have been an eternal punishment for him. Well, Lilly didn’t allow that, by shooting him in the head and ending the life of one of the most frightful characters in the history of TV and comics. That chess piece on the ground with the eye-patch, being stepped by a walker, was another epic moment in The Walking Dead.

In the end, there were so many deaths and so many survivors taking different paths that it’s difficult to predict anything that will happen in the second half of the season. What happened to Rick’s baby, Judith? Was she sadly eaten by a walker, or saved by one of the survivors (maybe Michonne or Tyreese)? Where are Maggie, Beth, Tyreese, Sasha, Bob, Lilly, Glenn, those kids that shot Alisha in the head (a perfect shot, by the way) and everybody else going now? What about Rick and his (one more time) savior Carl? Where is Carol? This show is just getting better and better.

R.I.P. Hershel. And the Governor, well, may his soul rot in Hell. When The Walking Dead returns in February 2014, we’ll finally be able to see how Rick and the others will survive their darkest days on Earth. It won’t be easy, not at all, and I can’t wait to see it.

Too Far Gone (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 407: Dead Weight

Now the Governor we were all waiting for is back for real!

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Dead Weight yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd_407_01This post is going to be as fast as the Governor when killing people due to the amount of work that is, well, killing me. Last night we learned a few lessons while watching episode 7 of season 4 from The Walking Dead, most of them taught by our “friend” the Governor, who simply deceived all of us last week with that “I’m Brian and I’m a good person” character. It took him only 5 minutes this week to throw all that garbage away and get back to what he really is: a violent and gruesome man who will kill absolutely anyone that stands on his way or tries to fool him. And it’s amazing to see him back in action like that.

The first lesson was to avoid at all costs playing golf with a crazy man you abandoned to death in the past. In fact, you shouldn’t do anything with that guy, because he will kill you for sure. That was the last lesson learned by Martinez, right before becoming an afternoon snack for a bunch of starving zombies inside a pit. Why the hell did he think the Governor was going to accept all his new rules and become one of his henchmen? Did he really think he could have more power than the Governor? That was a really stupid decision, but at least he died having some fun, playing golf after drinking some beers. Goodbye, Martinez! You were a great guy, especially for having the honor of being killed by two of the most badass characters in recent history: the Governor and Chev Chelios (if you know what I mean).

The second lesson was that there’s no such thing as a safe camp in The Walking Dead. Just forget about it. If you join some campers, you’re either going to be killed by other humans or devoured by zombies, and we had both examples during last night’s episode: first with the mysterious death of all people in that other camp, and then by Meghan almost being eaten by a walker that appeared from out of nowhere. Even the prison is not really safe, as we were able to bear witness in the past few episodes. In my opinion, moving on from place to place is the best you can do to survive because this way you might face some trouble, but at least you won’t be waiting for all the trouble to come to you.

The next lesson is so basic that we almost have an example in every single episode: extremely good people cannot survive a zombie apocalypse. It doesn’t matter what they do or who they are, if they are too good they will either die or get someone they love killed. Last night we saw Mitch’s brother, Pete, trying to be some kind of Good Samaritan, and then ending his days on earth as an underwater zombie. Of course people have to protect their families and friends, but that doesn’t mean they have to be good, right? I hope Michonne sees that as soon as possible, because her current “happy version” won’t be useful at all when the Governor attacks. I have a feeling she won’t do it, she seems too happy now, and because she’s chilling out so much the Governor will have his vengeance against her before she notices his presence.

twd_407_02And the final lesson was that, despite all the violence and madness, there’s still time for love in The Walking Dead, although we know the ending is never good for both parts. We saw the Governor and Andrea, Rick and Lori, Glenn and Maggie, and now we have the Governor and Lilly (doesnt’she look a lot like Maggie?) and, surprise, Tara and Alisha (it’s interesting to see a lesbian couple in the show now). As Martinez said a few moments before being hit in the head with a golf club by the Governor, he wasn’t ready to get married or have a family again in that world, and normally when one of the characters says something like that it’s because it’s true. We all know those couples are not going to last much longer, and that the pain they’ll suffer for losing someone they really love is a billion times worse than anything else. We saw what happens when the ones you love become zombies, when they reached that cabin in the woods last night, right?

In summary, the Governor has a new family, a new camp, new soldiers, even an expanded new version of his “aquarium” for walkers, and his thirst for revenge is back in full swing. Besides, he has a fuckin’awesome tank now, like in the comics, so it’s time for things to get as awful as they can be for Rick and his crew! Let’s get ready to say goodbye to some of our favorite characters next Sunday during the mid-season finale.

Oh, I almost forgot about the last and most important lesson: Cogeco sucks here in Toronto. I pay them to watch just TWO HOURS of TV per week, and guess what? It wasn’t working last night during the entire episode of The Walking Dead and later during Talking Dead. Great job, Cogeco!

Dead Weight (FULL EPISODE)

The Walking Dead Review – Episode 405: Internment

According to our “hero of the day” Hershel, a sad soul can kill quicker than a germ. However, not as quick as Rick and Carl together.

***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

If you haven’t seen Internment yet, I suggest you scroll down to the end of this post first and watch the entire episode before reading the rest of the text.

twd405_01Holy shit, the intensity of this episode was insane! I don’t even know where to start (maybe by saying that there was no sign of Carol?). There was so much going on at the same time, so many characters giving outstanding performances, that it will be hard for the producers to surpass Internment in terms of action and adrenaline. And regarding our friend Hershel, he was a total badass dealing with walkers, kids and the virus, all at the same time, and finding time to even make some jokes. I think he deserves the “Spaghetti Tuesday” on Wednesdays now, if they can find some spaghetti anywhere.

From the very beginning of the episode, I bet everybody was worried about losing Hershel (to the walkers) or Glenn (to the virus), although we knew somehow those two would survive. The thing we didn’t know was how they were going to make it through all that chaos, and both were great, especially Hershel. This was HIS episode and nobody else’s: he showed everyone he’s not only a wise man, but he also has the heart of a lion. The way he handled everything, from not killing people/walkers in front of the kids to risking his life to save Glenn, was amazing. It was interesting to see an episode so full of action and tension without Daryl or Michonne, who would usually be in the middle of the fights and action scenes. Hershel is now the official “badass one-legged grandpa” of the crew, his lonely tears at the end holding his Bible were touching, and from now on we know the group cannot survive a single day without him.

twd405_02And what about that “zombie massacre” provided by the dynamic duo of Rick and Carl? That was probably the start of a beautiful partnership between father and son, something that we have been all expecting from them since the TV show started. The look Rick gave to Carl when the kid was annihilating all those walkers with a machine gun was so cool! It was almost possible to see a very proud father pointing to his son and screaming to everybody else “You see him? You see how strong my son is? That’s my boy!” Let’s wait to see what happens next, but if the show follows the comics, this partnership will become stronger and stronger each day, guiding The Walking Dead to a “Rick and Carl” exclusive storyline, with no one else included except for the herds of zombies, of course. Based on what we saw last night, they’re more than ready for that.

One thing is certain: they have to leave the prison as soon as possible. It’s not a sustainable environment, everybody is dying, and the fences are not holding the walkers anymore. There was an important message last episode when that guy said he and his girlfriend do not wait until a place goes bad, they simply move on. I hope Rick gets the message really soon and they get out of the prison, which despite being an important “character” in the show, is turning into a hassle for everybody inside.

And last but not least, just like almost every episode of The Walking Dead, when we thought everything was fine and everybody was safe and ready to toast some marshmallows outside, there he was. The Governor is back (even if it was for less than 5 seconds), and as I said, it’s going to be brutal. I cannot wait for next week’s massacre episode.

Internment (FULL EPISODE)