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Stormkeep - Tales Of Othertime review




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Reviewer:
8.5

153 users:
8.19
Band: Stormkeep
Album: Tales Of Othertime
Release date: November 2021


01. The Seer
02. The Citadel
03. A Journey Through Storms
04. The Serpent's Stone
05. An Ode To Dragons
06. Eternal Majesty Manifest


Here at Metal Storm headquarters, we like to relax in between all our arduous work as reviewers. Some of us drink, read, or play pool in the lounge room. Radu and I decided to play some D&D when suddenly BAM! All Stormkeep’s members smashed through the door.

Stormkeep: We have come to join this party of yours!
Metal Stormers: Who the fuck are you? Don’t we have guards at the entrance?
SK: Oooh, indeed you have! But we used stealth to pass through. It failed, though, so we used our charisma to charm the guards.
MS: How did you do that? With that book you are holding there?
SK: Yes! The grand Tales Of Othertime sucked the guards right into the book’s world filled with the dark magic of winter.
MS: Well, shit. We gotta admit it. The main illustration of your book here is entrancingly beautiful. It gets your point across quite well. We remember your first volume, Galdrum. The story and gameplay weren’t that developed but it was certainly a really fun session for our party, even though it was short enough that we weren’t sure if it was a full story or not.
SK: So you guys want to get into this new adventure that we created?
MS: This is our turf, man. So we are going to be the Dungeon Masters and you will play to our amusement. Now choose your classes!
SK: BARDS.
MS: What the... all of you? Really? Again?
SK: Really!
MS: I do remember most of you were also in the Wayfarer guild, I remember you had a pretty violent, romantic story last year.
SK: Yeah, you could call that a romance with violence. But what’s your point?
MS: It kind of feels like this Stormkeep guild is a spin-off of that one, is all we’re saying.
SK: If it were so, Lord Dahthar would have already played in that guild as well.
MS: But you! Aren't you Isaac Faulk from the Blood Incantation guild? The Skullcrusher?
SK: That’s Otheyn Vermithrax Poisontongue to you. But yes, and now he wishes to pursue the class of wizard, invoking the powers of the mighty dark lord.
MS: Well, he does sound like a goblin calling forth a wintery storm.
SK: ...But he is also a bard! He is the black wizards.
MS: Goddammit! FINE! You are all bards. Do you retain your skills from Galdrum?
SK: Actually, Otheyn Vermithrax Poisontongue will no longer drum; we have found an orc, Count Victor Wolfsblood, to do it for us. This is because Poisontongue wants to unlock the twin melodies skill that will make him and Tyrannos Apokteino Skiophonos Stormward OP together.
MS: I see. That explains why there’s now five of you. Alright, but beware that I will have to give you a skill check with a -4 in intimidation because the idea and name are fucking cheesy.
SK: What? No they’re not!
MS: If you say so, keepers of the seven storms. Let’s get this started, shall we? Your party is on a quest to enter the Stormkeep and depose the Conjuror. You find yourself at the heart of winter, in the kingdom of Elda.
SK: Where’s that?
MS: Somewhere in Middle-Earth, I assume. Every fantasy series basically happens in some version of it.
SK: Okay, so it’s nightfall?
MS: Nightfall in Middle-Earth, yes. You’re under the freezing moonlight. A seer’s vision commands you to visit the citadel you see in front of you. As you approach the bridge leading to the hellish gates, a troll appears. Encounter it.
SK: We start with a Storm blast spell followed by the bard’s twin melodies of darkness triumphant. We gain a +4 in charm effectiveness as our symphonic melodies work against most troll races.
MS: Alright, roll. But you need a 14 for those riffs to sound kvlt instead of cheesy, because web trolls are especially resistant.
SK: *rolls a 12*
MS: 12 + 4. The troll loses 16 of his 20 HP. It’s his turn. It tries to taunt you by comparing you to the offspring of Bodom. It rolls a … 4.
SK: Okay, we’re gonna need some battle magic to finish it off. Either a rhapsody of flames or a harsh winter symphony.
MS: You are also equipped with an emerald sword that will give an extra +3 to the rhapsody, but only if you drop the flames.
SK: Very well. *rolls an 11*
MS: 11 + 3. Barely on the limit. But you defeat the troll. You enter the citadel. You cheerfully walk inside for a short resupply before you have to take a journey through storms. Adventure awaits. Thus you move beyond the great vast forest and into the Pantheon. There you find a portal. Encounter it.
SK: Our drum orc and the bards of the twin melodies have accumulated enough skill points in the artificer class to carefully build a carriage that has the ability to pass through gates and defensive structures.
MS: Roll for the technical quality of your creation.
SK: *rolls a d20*
MS: 15… Well, shit. Your carriage pummels through the portal of illusions with galloping ferocity. The creatures of the night that guard the serpent’s stone are alarmed and wait for your arrival. You need to roll a 6 or higher to get to the serpent’s stone. Otherwise you end up in the land of the dead, where the corpses sink forever.
SK: *rolls a 9*
MS: The cosmos unfolds. Their secrets and knowledge untold. You have reached the serpent’s stone. An orb within the highest tower of a majestic castle. Encounter it.
SK: We ponder the orb.
MS: The orb tells you of a conjurer, a dark foe, and how to defeat him by releasing the army of dragons from the dungeon. There’s a staircase.
SK: We take the staircase.
MS: You reach the dragon kings. You must persuade them to join your cause.
SK: We’ll try intimidation.
MS: Okay, but if you try it with those clean vocals, it gives a -4 to your dice roll, because you no longer have the choir ability in a dungeon.
SK: Don’t worry, our cleans have an archaic course. *rolls a 12*
MS: 8. The dragon kings are not convinced. You could try to use a synth, since those get a +4 in dungeons.
SK: No, we will play an ode to dragons on a lute.
MS: That… that is an option. Roll.
SK: *rolls an 11*
MS: The Dragon Kings shall rise once more. You depart with the Dragon Kings to besiege the citadel and usurp the Conjuror.
SK: Neat. I can’t wait to get rid of the bad guy.
MS: The cries of battle are deafening. All your previous experiences should have prepared you for this final encounter.
SK: We channel our combined strength and abilities into one last attack. Carrying frost and flame, we ride on! *All five members roll one d4 each*
MS: A combined result of 17 out of 20. Most impressive. The bloody siege reaches its end as you rise victorious. The treacherous conjuror lies dead in the snow. But wait a second. Do you hear that? The merciless winter majestically manifests itself as a queen. An empress, anointed in the ashes of the slain, takes the conjuror’s place as a new despot. You must face a new evil. Beware, brave stormkeepers, for her reign of terror has just begun. THE END.
SK: What?!?! It’s over already?!?! But we must continue! You're gonna end it on a cliffhanger?
MS: Hey, man, we know a good story when we see it. This adventure book of yours is beautifully detailed and charming. We just want to make sure we can play together at least one more time.



Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8





Written on 12.12.2021 by A lazy reviewer but he is so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments

Comments: 18   Visited by: 232 users
12.12.2021 - 22:06
Rating: 9
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
This is one of the most entertaining reviews on this site and I had a great time proofreading it. I did neglect to listen to the album while editing as per your suggestion, but I went and listened to it immediately afterwards and I found it phenomenal. It has a little bit of everything that I love to hear in black metal; not only is it one of my favorite albums of this year after only one listen, it's one of the most exciting first spins of an album I've had in ages. The sheer number of name-drops and references hidden within this review is wholly justified and does a great job of preparing you for the experience. I probably wouldn't have discovered this otherwise, so thank you and Radu for putting your heads together.

Next time I go in for another Bandcamp bulk buy, this is going to be first on the list.
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"Earth is small and I hate it" - Lum Invader

I'm the Agent of Steel.
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12.12.2021 - 22:48
Rating: 9
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 12.12.2021 at 22:06

Thanks a whole bunch for the compliments! I'm glad you loved the album. I was sure it was right up your alley. I'm quite surprised to enjoy it as much as I did. Both my present self who discovered dungeon synth a couple of years ago and my young self who discovered metal through Rhapsody's first 3 album got a huge kick out of this fantastic debut. Really fun music and very well written.

And I don't want to forget Radu. It was a great and amusing experience to work on this thing hahahaha.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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12.12.2021 - 22:58
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I would love to speak about the experience, but my mouth is full of cheese
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
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14.12.2021 - 00:10
Rating: 8
The Galactician

I love this record and I feel like I lived this review. 50 gold pieces and a +1 Pen of Vorpal Journalism for your efforts!
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14.12.2021 - 05:19
prnzokoshiroltra

As a former DM (late 80's/early 90's - former status due to my increasing ADHD ruining/limiting any storytelling ability I may have once had... n yes, in '87 we used the merciless 1st Edition until some of us got a hold of 2nd edition, which is still brutal compared to the concessions of 3rd Edition & on [concessions I concur with - too many bastard DMs, who treated it as DM, Monsters, Illogical Deities/Demigods, and NPCs vs. the PCs]... "I can't venture on this campaign, guys" "why not?" "I traded my HP for weed" "you can be stoned at 0 hit points?" "depends on what connotation of 'stoned' you mean" "neither meaning makes sense in that context!" "what do you want from me, I'm not only high but deceased!" "I guess so... fair 'nuff") o_O anyhow...

...this one's a go for checkout, picked up some Blind Guardian n other refs... plus, I thought I was the only one anymore who did these extended themed comedy dialogues/skits good work, as I too found that a fun read. just don't trade your HP for weed nor steed! (but ale or mead - might be ok)
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No one can fend off 100 multi-colored Draculas
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14.12.2021 - 08:20
Enemy of Reality
Account deleted
The album starts with a banger and ends with a banger with a bit of fluff in between. Often sounds like it's a epic heavy/power metal band with black metal vocals on top, and often reminds me of At The Heart of Winter. I dig it, but something tells me their best album is yet to come.
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14.12.2021 - 09:05
nikarg
Mod
Review of the year award from me (if we had one). The band needs to see this somehow. The album is really good too, but it has to compete against a LOT of great meloblack releases that came out this year.
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14.12.2021 - 09:55
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 12.12.2021 at 22:06

This is one of the most entertaining reviews on this site and I had a great time proofreading it. I did neglect to listen to the album while editing as per your suggestion, but I went and listened to it immediately afterwards and I found it phenomenal. It has a little bit of everything that I love to hear in black metal; not only is it one of my favorite albums of this year after only one listen, it's one of the most exciting first spins of an album I've had in ages. The sheer number of name-drops and references hidden within this review is wholly justified and does a great job of preparing you for the experience. I probably wouldn't have discovered this otherwise, so thank you and Radu for putting your heads together.

Next time I go in for another Bandcamp bulk buy, this is going to be first on the list.

I think Rod once wrote Beavin n Boozer head conversation style review, back in a days. I have memory of such thing.
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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14.12.2021 - 13:34
Rating: 5
UnknownCheese

Never read all that, but still more entertaining than the album.
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14.12.2021 - 18:12
JÄY
Metal slave
How on earth do you follow these guys? I can't find a website, FB, insta.... They're in the same city as me and I can't find any info!
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14.12.2021 - 18:40
Rating: 9
X-Ray Rod
Skandino
Written by Guest on 14.12.2021 at 08:20
The album starts with a banger and ends with a banger with a bit of fluff in between. Often sounds like it's a epic heavy/power metal band with black metal vocals on top, and often reminds me of At The Heart of Winter. I dig it, but something tells me their best album is yet to come.

I think my personal favorite is The Serpent's Stone. I got an eargasm the first time I heard the clean vocals on that one. First and alast are indeed a banger though. Really looking forward to a follow up!!

Written by Bad English on 14.12.2021 at 09:55
I think Rod once wrote Beavin n Boozer head conversation style review, back in a days. I have memory of such thing.

You are thinking of my Shepherd review.

Written by JÄY on 14.12.2021 at 18:12
How on earth do you follow these guys? I can't find a website, FB, insta.... They're in the same city as me and I can't find any info!

I became aware of the band thanks to an order I made on VAN Records and I got a promo flyer for Stormkeep's previous EP. But yeah, the band is really fying under the radar which is sad since I think thdir music is great and I unfortunately missed the opportunity to get this album in physical form. Thd prices at discogs are too high. Hope they do re-releases at some point.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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14.12.2021 - 18:48
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Rod yes that is the one. I like those 2 a lot.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
14.12.2021 - 20:55
DarkWingedSoul

Say CHEEESE
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16.12.2021 - 07:53
Rating: 8
Nejde
Philosoraptor
This review is hilarious and very clever. Nicely done The album is great too.
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"You have the right to believe in what you want. I have the right to believe it's ridiculous." - Ricky Gervais
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17.12.2021 - 18:06
Rating: 9
Uxküll

Great review. Love this album.
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"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z: http://metalstorm.net/users/lists.php?user_id=158339
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19.12.2021 - 10:57
Netzach
Planewalker
This review makes me want us to have an award for best review of the year.
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"I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
- Sarevok Anchev
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02.02.2022 - 12:43
Rating: 9
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
I don't play D&D but this was very entertaining to read!

Quote:
SK: We’ll try intimidation.
MS: Okay, but if you try it with those clean vocals, it gives a -4 to your dice roll, because you no longer have the choir ability in a dungeon.
SK: Don’t worry, our cleans have an archaic course. *rolls a 12*
MS: 8. The dragon kings are not convinced. You could try to use a synth, since those get a +4 in dungeons.
SK: No, we will play an ode to dragons on a lute.
MS: That… that is an option. Roll.


I also liked all the references to other black metal classics Well done
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06.09.2022 - 05:23
Rating: 9
tintinb

Great review. Super good album. That dungeon Synth reference was pure gold.
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Leeches everywhere.
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