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On a recent visit to my itch.io account, I was greeted with a recomendation to try A Stranger Comes Calling from Oh, a Rock! Studios. The FMV point and click adventure game, which stands as the first entry into the Awkward Steve Legacy, was interesting enough in plot to grab my attention for a let’s play. Watch as I coach along Steve in his decision as to whether to go to the door and greet the person(s) he wasn’t expecting.

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BarbarianFist-TheWhorelordComethSlider
Barbarian Fist is a relatively new act hailing from Oslo, Norway, having come together back in 2012. Outside some live shows, there has been a good deal of silence from this camp until recently. 2013 saw the release of a two song demo, then, earlier this year, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Alexander Mora (Goddess), bassist Per Georg Krokstad, and drummer Petter Haukaas, went into the studio to lay down the four songs that would make up their debut full-length effort, The Whorelord Cometh. Unfortunately, this independently released outing had slipped under the radar for most since its release. But, does it deserve to go unnoticed, or is this actually something fans of the style desperately need to check out?

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Jason W. Walton is a name fans of Agalloch and Self Spiller will immediately be familiar with. However, some may not be aware that he also had put together the band Nothing. This project issued four full-lengths and a few miscellaneous efforts over the years, calling it a day back in 2003. However, in 2013, writing began again, leading to the birth of a solo project that shares his name. For 2015, we find the master musician working his magic on two pieces of dark ambience titled Mara, which is being released through Red Orchard Records. But is this new venture a more personal one, or is it nothing but random noises strewn together with a hope that they’ll all fit?

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Soilwork-TheRideMajesticSlider
Soilwork, one of the more important figure heads within the melodic death metal style since their formation in 1996 (one year after carrying themselves as Inferior Breed) continued to grow, change, and even step away from their signature sound over the years to allow a modern rock influence. However, it has been made clear they finally have a grasp on how to work it into their signature sound following their 2013 double album The Living Infinite. But, after spoiling fans of boh modern and classic Soilwork on that effort, the outfit returns with their 2015 release The Ride Majestic, their tenth full-length release, poised to try and do it once more. But does this recording further the evolution we saw on their last effort, or does this one take a few steps back?

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Diemonds is a Canadian hard rock group that came to be back in 2006. The five-piece started things off with their self-released effoert In the Rough in 2008, which peaked the interest of Underground Operations who picked them up to issue the follow-up album The Bad Pack in 2012. Both of these recordings have also seen release on cassette (2011 and 2012 respectively), as well as a vinyl version of the latter. For 2015, we find the female fronted act breaking out with Never Wanna Die, which is being handled by Napalm Records. But has the band continued to grow and nurture that relatively young sound, or does this new effort find the group taking more steps backward than forward?

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