Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Album name: Long Live

Album Length: 47:03

Producer: Fred Archambault

Label: Spinefarm Records 

Genre: Metalcore

Where to buy: Amazon

The kings of Metalcore are back.  After 6 long years they are back with a brand new album that is rock what you know about them.  Hard hitting sounds and Alex's trademark screaming and growling are back in full force.  The band hasn’t sounded this great or powerful since 2004’s “The Curse”.  Gone are the softer sounds and songs along with Alex’s softer singing.  This album is full of growling and screaming that will make any Atreyu fans head pop.  Needless to say this is one album you will want to pick up and listen to over and over again. 
·       Amazing lyrics and vocals
·       Fast, hard hitting music
·       Great price for them coming back
·       Almost too short
·       One song doesn’t really fit
·       Not enough songs

Needless to say if you wanted a full return ala “The Curse” or even “Suicide Notes” this is it in full force and they should be extremely proud of themselves for creating one hell of an album.  If you are looking for softer sounds such as “Lead Sails and Paper Anchors” or even “Congregation of the Damned” then this is not the album for you.  The only song that doesn’t really fit in is “Do you know who you are” it just doesn’t match the rest of the album like the other songs do.

    This is a must buy album.  Especially if you are a fan of the genre or even just a fan of Atreyu, you’ll want this.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


So it’s been while, boy has it been awhile. Well first off I’m now living in Las Vegas and finishing my Journalism degree.  I’m married now and have a beautiful wife, and two beautiful children that I adopted.  I have kind of neglected this blog for a while and I’m going to sit down and tell you all a story.  It’s a fun story, well for me it is.
So I met my wife in the very end of October, early November and from there is where I jump ahead a little to get to the meaty part.  It was December 31st about 1030 pm and we just got back from Buffalo Wild Wings.  I was sitting in my recliner and Betie was sitting right next to me.  I had her listen to two songs that made me think of her.  Those songs where “Stars” by Sixx A.M. and “Skyfull of Stars” by Coldplay.  Right after her listening to those songs I could the tears in her eyes and the gears in her head moving.  It was at that moment I asked her to marry me.  SHE SAID YES!
Fast forward to July 5th of 2015.  I’m standing up on the stage waiting for my bride to be to walk down the aisle.  As music plays in the back ground I am enamored by everyone there and the anticipation of being married to my love.  All of the sudden “You Captivate Me” by Eyeshine which is our wedding song starts playing and I look up and I see this.
My dad and her brother

walking her down the aisle while our wedding song is playing.

So I am incredibly happy to be where I am now.  While this is hard because she is in Great Falls, Montana and I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada going to school full time.  She is busting her butt working 50 plus hours a week and taking care of our boys with the help of my parents and the boys grandparents.  I admire her for all she does. We have our ups and downs but in the end we always pull through and make it just like we should.  She has been incredibly supportive and makes sure I always have what I need or everything that I want ha-ha.  I couldn’t be more proud of her and she is everything I want in a woman.  I will love her to the ends of the earth and will bend over backwards for her as well.

And I would like to send out a special thank you Mark Dunton for taking all pictures of this wonderful day.  To view more of his work check out his website

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Meditation from a friend

     This was a nice piece of advice written by a friend of mine.  All credit goes to Kenzo Keophakdy.  Smart man, he is helping me out along with a few others.  here is the piece he wrote.

Meditation is basically a training method for your mind. When certain things happen to you, your mind generates a certain response whether it be happiness, frustration, anger ect. The way your mind has been inculcated is the path of least resistance and the path it wants to take, and will take unless you know how to mitigate it. Meditation teaches you how and makes it easier to override the process. Who is doing the overriding of this process? Well, that's the million dollar question. But I digress.
So here's what I'm getting at: if meditation is too easy, you're doing something wrong. You might be getting yourself really relaxed, but is it possible that's all you're doing? Not saying it is. I don't know, just throwing some ideas out there and it's up to you to see if any seem to fit your situation.
But as you meditate, your mind wants to grab onto the thoughts and not your breath. The course of least resistance is away from your breath and back into whatever thoughts are vying for your attention. Every time you go back to the breath, you train or teach yourself even, to take the opposite of the path of least resistance. This is coupled with the fact that half the time when you meditate, your mind says, "I'm tired. Stop concentrating on the breath and just kick back and let a guided meditation do most of the work." But every time this comes up you learn to drop it by returning to the breath and not listening to the thought no matter how loud and powerful it can get.
When you first start meditating you have this thought and then come back to the breath. But there's still a trace of this thought floating around in your mind and eventually it pulls you in again. As soon as you realize your back in that thought again, you turn your awareness back to the breath and away from the thought. But then it pulls you in again. And then you drop it again. You do this over and over and over. But as you practice you get better and better and faster and faster at recognizing it. You start to figure out how to do it most efficiently and quickly, seeing and dropping thoughts before they even become thoughts at all.
After doing this hour after hour, you gain a skill. One day you realize that you don't have to be sitting on a cushion to use this skill. I can't really explain how it's done, but it's just something you learn from continually focusing, coming back to, and holding your attention on the breath. It's like if you ever do a lot of push-ups, eventually you will realize, "I can flex my pecs." You couldn't flex them before, and you don't really know how you learned to do it, but now you can just do it.
So when I'm driving down the street and I get cut off, this magnetic, powerful idea pulls at my attention. But I've done this so many times before in my meditation sessions. It's not my first time at the rodeo. I know how to just drop it. I don't need to take that path of least resistance into anger because I have had so much practice choosing not to just take the path of least resistance and get pulled into the thoughts. That said, just because I'm better at dropping a thought process doesn't mean I always choose to. In fact, I still get irritated a lot, but not usually right after meditation.
I think it's more than just being better able to drop unhelpful thoughts. I think it stems form the fact that after you do this process with literally every thought you have and put hours and hours of practice in, your mind almost has this other mode where its immediate reaction is not to get pulled into the thought processes or emotions, but just to let it float by. This is how I feel after a meditation session. It's like my mind is so used to not letting ANY thought or emotion draw me in and start the thought process, that it takes a whole hell of a lot to produce an idea or thought magnetic enough to pull my mind into the old environmental trigger and thought process response mode.
This is why it's odd to me that after a meditation session, you feel like you let thoughts and emotions affect you more. You're mind should still at least semi-be in the letting thoughts and emotions go mindset.

Also, it sounds like you have a lot of stress in your life. Is there anything you can do about that? If I had that kind of stress, it would certainly be hard for me to get out of the thought process and have productive sessions. Not to say you can't. You definitely can, but it just makes it that much harder -- but also that much more rewarding when you can silence the stress.

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Adventure

       So earlier this week some actions were taken that is best for everyone and now I am on my way back to my old home state to see my family and my friends again while trying to maintain all my old friends here in New York.  I will back in Great Falls, Mt within two weeks and will take a week just to my self so i can readjust to that life style.  So in the meantime I will try to update this as much as possible and i will post pictures of my adventure back home.  I am a new person and I look forward to meeting new people and learning more then I ever have before.

      This is a great learning experience for me because i get to learn more about myself while i have some great father son bonding time with my dad who is coming on up here.  We are going to drive back home and enjoy the road and some loud music while hanging out and reconnecting.  It has been almost 2 years since i left home and I really do want to be back.

     While this is hard to do, I also will make me a better person in the long run.  I will miss my best friend and everyone i was able to meet.  

      I will update as soon as I can but dont expect huge reviews right now.

Monday, April 28, 2014

75th anniversary of Batman

                Ahh, today is the day, the big 7-5.  If you are unsure of what I am talking about I am talking about the 75th anniversary of Batman.  It is a huge occasion in the comic book world that Batman has been around for 75 years now.  Batman was created in 1939 by artist Bob Kane and written by Bill Finger when he first showed up in Detective Comics #27.  So in following in these footsteps I would like to point out the top 3 comics that every Batman fan should read in order to honor the legacy of Mr. Kane and Mr. Finger, so enjoy and check it them out because they are some great reads. Enjoy!

                Batman: Knightfall -  In this classic story, Bane escapes from prison in order to hatch his best plan yet, cause a huge riot with the other inmates of Arkham and cause Batman to attack them all so he can break the bat.  Thus a new Batman is chosen who goes by the name of Azrael, and dispenses his own brand of justice.  It is worth a read to any Batman fan and you can see just how much of 90’s cheese and cliché it really is. 

                Batman: Hush – Another great one, also done by my favorite artist Mr. Lee.  This one has Batman fighting a brand new enemy who can take on the face of anyone he knows while he also brings back some old foes and even old friends and heroes to make Batman question who he really is.  This one even goes so far to make it my number one Batman comic and I even own it in my own collection, such an amazing ride from start to finish. 

                Batman: A Death of the Family -   This one takes place in the new 52 continuity and uses all of the bat family in order to rope the viewer in.  After a year of the Joker thought to be dead, he returns with a brand new plan to rid himself of the Batman family so it can only be him and the bat.  While trying to kill off other members of the family, Batman makes a startling realization of his own.  Such a great read that it deserves to be in every collector’s collection.

                There you have it, the top 3 batman storylines that everyone should read.  Just in time for the 75th anniversary of the Batman. Have a great night all.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Writers!

            I wanted to switch gears a little bit today because for the past week all I have done is talk about the artists of the great comic books we read and enjoy.  The thing is though, without a great writer the comic is nothing more than a fancy art book.  I want to keep this one very focused and on track so I want to talk about my top 3 writers for comic books and why you should check out at least one of their comics at some point in time.

            Brian K Vaughn – He might not have a very recognizable name but he is one of the top writing talents in the comic book world.  He wrote the very successful Y: The Last Man, Young Justice, X-Men, and is currently working on a new comic called Saga.  He has been around the comic industry ballpark and has worked for DC and Marvel before switching gears and heading over to Image where he has complete control over what he does.  His current comic out right now is more of a science fiction comic where it is Star Wars meets Game of Thrones.  Without his writing style and the moral conflicts he puts into his stories, they would be nothing more than general run of the mill genre filler.  His also wrote for the TV show Lost and is currently writing for the new show Under the Dome.

            Geoff Johns – Right now Mr. Johns is one of the biggest writers at DC comics due to his popularity on the Green Lantern run he did for a couple of years.  He has been so successful with his runs in the comic market that he was promoted to a new position created at DC comics just for him.  He is also an avid screen writer and has written episodes for the current TV show Arrow and he even wrote a few episodes for Smallville.  Right now he is currently writing a line of Superman comics after his 20 issue run of Green Lantern. 

            Todd McFarlane – He is very well known in the comic industry not only for the creation of Spawn, but his legendary run of Spiderman from the late 80’s until the very early 90s.  During his run of Spiderman, he the one credited for bringing Venom into the Marvel fray and because of his story work, he makes it so you sympathize with the villains in some small way. 

            Those are my picks for my favorite writers and why you should care or even just check out some of their work.  Tomorrow is a big day and I hope you are all prepared for it is going to be a blast. Only 75 years in the making.  Until the next time.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Alex Ross

           Ahh, I have been looking towards writing about this artist for some time now, not only because I believe he is one of the most famous of the comic industry, or because I wanted to learn to draw better like he does, but because of his ultra-realistic approach to comics and the heroes and villains he draws.  He has drawn almost every hero and villain out there and works for everyone.  He is not known to stick to own company and will draw for everyone just for the love and the craft of it.  I am going to talk about my top three favorite works by him and why you should care about them.
            Kingdom Come (1996) - During the 90’s DC comics was going through an identity crisis and they were doing everything possible to stay relevant and stay ahead of the comic industry, they killed off Superman, they broke Batman and brought a new one in, they killed the Flash and Green Lantern, they brought Superman back but made him electric based and two Supermen (red and blue).  They looked in Alex Ross and he thought of a new miniseries where he took the existing roster of the DC lineup and created his own universe where all the heroes where much older and seasoned.  Why this one worked so well was because of his art.  The ultra-realistic design showed the detail in each hero, Superman older with grey hair, Batman using an armored bat suit to keep him fighting.  It showed how much a toll fighting crime takes, and what happens when a new generation of heroes rises up and doesn’t have the same morals as the old generation.

            Captain America #600 (2009) – Alex Ross lent his art style and skills to this amazing issues of Marvel’s Captain America.  In this pivotal issues, it has been one year since the death of Steve Rogers when he was killed at the end of Marvel’s Civil War storyline.  Steve’s former partner and semi-enemy James “Bucky” Barnes aka the Winter Solider, takes over as a new Captain America.  He then starts to unravel a plot where maybe the original Captain isn’t dead.  His art helps lead this action thriller into new territory where everything isn’t as it seems and some friends are enemies and some enemies are friends. 

            JLA: Secret Origins (2002) – Another DC comic, I know what you are all thinking, “he is obsessed with DC, what do you have with Marvel?”  To answer your question, nothing!  This one takes all the classic heroes you know along with a few others and gives you all one shot stories about each characters secret origins.  Again this one is done in his art style and makes each hero look realistic and makes them look like it could be you or I.  Do yourself a favor and check this one out.

            There you have it.  Three great comics done by Alex Ross and three reasons why you should read them.  If there is anyone you would like me to talk about comment down below or email, tweet me at @BrendanB1990 or facebook me at The Gavel.