Ask most people what their favorite Iron Maiden album from the Bruce Dickinson era is and you’re likely to get a lot of “Number of the Beast” answers or “Piece of Mind” or perhaps even “Powerslave.” I love all those albums, but the one I go back to the most with Bruce at the helm is Brave New World. So many good songs, I found it hard to only pick the five I did below.

The Wicker Man


Brave New World


Out of the Silent Planet


The Thin Line Between Love and Hate


Dream of Mirrors (One of my favorite Maiden songs)

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As mentioned previously, I’ll be launching my new series, The Epic of Andrasta and Rondel, at some point next month. The first book, The Cult of Sutek, is currently with my editor.). I’ve already revealed the cover and description to the The Cult of Sutek.

Today, we get to see a map of the world of Untan. Each book will have this map as well as a secondary map. The secondary map will provide the details of the country or city where the bulk of each book takes place, while the world map below gives the reader a general sense of where countries, oceans, etc. are located.

A special thank you goes out to my wife, Leah, who created the map for me. It far exceeded my expectations.

Let me know what you think!


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One of my favorite Thrash albums. \m/

In Union We Stand


Deny the Cross


Wrecking Crew


Power Surge

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The Last Dragon is one of those movies that is so awful, it’s good. It’s also the rare movie where you can’t help but hate the protagonist and route for the villain. Sho’nuff has everything Bruce Leroy does not, charisma, presence, catchy one liners, and a much cooler name.

Sho’nuff Tribute



A very underrated Judas Priest Album. The first three songs below are actually some of the heaviest stuff they’ve done. And yes, I’ve excluded Diamonds and Rust…only because I’ve featured it before on my blog.

Dissident Aggressor


Starbreaker


Sinner


Here Comes the Tears

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When I was a kid, I unfortunately didn’t ready much fantasy. This is because I really didn’t know the genre existed as no one I knew read it. Therefore, most of my fantasy consumption resulted from films (i.e. the Conan movies, etc) which later drove me to find Robert E. Howard as an adult and finally be exposed to something I had always been looking for.

With that being said, I did read the fantastical as a kid. However, this mostly revolved around mythologies such as King Arthur and Merlin (loved these stories) and the ancient myths of the Greek, Roman, and Norse pantheons. When you think about it, isn’t the story of Jason and the Argonauts really just a Sword and Sorcery tale?

Anyway, the stories I loved the most involved Hercules. I read anything and everything I could find about him. I also watched every movie about the character from as far back as the Steve Reeves and Reg Park films (pretty good for their time) to the Lou Ferrigno atrocities and the Arnold Schwarzenegger B movie that is worth watching if only for a good laugh.

The problem I had with most of these movies was that they never really focused on the stories already there. Well, finally it seems that Hollywood is going to get it right. The new Hercules trailer (starring The Rock) came out the other day and I’m as giddy as the 6th grader who read the same novelization of the twelve labors four times in one school year.

Finally, we get the twelve labors (or at least part of them in a flashback), and finally we’re going to see the troubled character I remember and felt connected to as a kid.

I haven’t been this excited about a movie in a long time. Hopefully, it doesn’t fall flat.

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When a Hard Rock band puts the word “rock” in the title of their song, it automatically gets classified in the rock anthem category in my mind. Most of the time it works (You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll, Let there be Rock, etc.).

However, occasionally this falls flat.

April Wine wrote a song that has some pretty good music. However, they gave it one of the worst names I’ve ever heard. I Like to Rock.

That’s it. Replace the word “like” and it would be alright, but the word “like” lacks the passion it seemed they were going for. The lack of passion is even more prominent when the chorus isn’t belted out so much as it is sung in a slightly higher volume than someone’s speaking voice. Just listen for yourself.

April Wine - I Like to Rock

To make matters worse, the actual lyrics for the song are awful. It reads like someone making things up on the fly. No coherency, no flow, no story. Just blah. See below.

Well alright, somethin's got you goin' tonight
Doin' all she can, it's alright
Come on can't you see
That when we all let go
We get high on rock 'n' roll

Journey to the stars, rock 'n' roll guitars, yeah
I like to rock, some like it hot, baby
I like it, you like it
I like to rock, I like to rock

I can sing, that's the kind of life for me
Want it loose and fancy free
Come on then let's go
And it'll be alright
We can rock 'n' roll all night

Journey to the stars, rock 'n' roll guitars, yeah
I like to rock, some like it hot, baby
I like it, you like it
I like to rock, I like to rock

Ooh, I like to rock
Some like it hot, baby
I like it, you like it
I like to rock, I like to rock

See? Awful.

So, here’s my stab at writing the lyrics to a song with the title “I Like to Rock.” It is far more amusing if you imagine it sung by Michael Caine as I keep doing. Ha.

Verse 1
My word
Is that a guitar?
Well grab it
And throw it in the car
And is that
a set of drums?
Gather them up
You can beat them while I strum

Chorus
I like to Rock, I like to Rock
Wherever we are
All the ladies flock
I like to Rock, I like to Rock
By jove, I like to rock

Verse 2
We’ll go down to
The local bar
Play on stage
And get money for our jar
We’ll play all day We’ll play all night
We’ll get the crowd amped
Everyone will feel alright

Repeat Chorus

Guitar solo

Verse 3
I do enjoy
A good bass line
And that power chord
Makes me feel just fine
Just don’t bring
Your silly keytar
Otherwise
We’ll never be a star

Repeat Chorus 2x

By the way, that took me like 10 minutes. Admit it, that was far more entertaining than the original lyrics.

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