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Ben Richardson

The new (open) world order

YEAR IN GAMER 2011: Red Dead Redemption dominated, but Elder Scrolls vs. Skyrim dazzled and Mineshaft's open world was wondrous

Sequel smackdown

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Eagerly, and maybe not so eagerly, awaited upcoming video game releases

Doom resurrection

With Last Rites, veteran metal band Pentagram finds a new beginning

Facing the right way

LA Noir impresses with expressions

Fantastic fantasy

Dragon Age II is as elaborately polished and stage-managed as its predecessor was rough-hewn and idiosyncratic

The road, Thorrior

Music journalists are from Mars, Valient Thorr is from Venus

Otherworldly energy

Bound by an unbroken spirit, Neurosis returns to its early days to forecast a future

Game over(load)

YEAR IN VIDEO GAMES, TAKE TWO: Games have gotten better -- and there are many, many more of them.

Headbanging history

YEAR IN MUSIC: Pentagram, Accept, Stone Vengeance, St. Vitus -- metal went back to the future in 2010

Joystick to the world

Holiday Guide: Gifts for your favorite gamers

Slough Feg’s Mike Scalzi talks metal, philosophy

November 8, 2010
(For a review of Slough Feg's latest, The Animal Spirits, go here. Read on for an interview with the band's guitarist-singer, Mike Scalzi.)San Francisco...

Local metal review: Slough Feg’s “The Animal Spirits”

October 27, 2010
All good heavy metal strives to challenge the listener, pushing buttons and boundaries. Some of its most successful incarnations make people downright uncomfortable, achieving...

Falling for Fallout — again

Feelin' lucky? Fallout: New Vegas chases the apocalypse to Sin City

Armchair generals unite!

Civilization V will suck your present life into the past

Space is the place: The Sword’s “Warp Riders”

August 29, 2010
Once a metal album has surpassed a certain threshold of ambition, it is obligated to begin with an instrumental intro track. If said album...

Gods of Distortion: The Interviews (Part Two)

August 5, 2010
Check out Ben Richardson's story on the Southern Lord Mini-Tour in this week's Guardian. Here, he talks with Mike Dean, bassist and singer of...

Gods of Distortion: The Interviews (Part One)

August 5, 2010
Check out Ben Richardson's story on the Southern Lord Mini-Tour in this week's Guardian. Here, he talks with Southern Lord founder and Goatsnake and...

Worth the wait

Starcraft II took a while to get here, but the new version is right on target

Gods of distortion

Southern Lord's metal brigade makes another most excellent leap forward

First-person shooter

High-brow meets joystick in author Tom Bissell's Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

“Cell” out

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction hews to dogma -- and limps to a conclusion

A roar from underground

The Missing Link unites nomads to forge metal connections beyond scenes

Pentamiligrams: Pentagram deliver the wrong dosage of rock

March 25, 2010
Between the pre-salers and the at-the-door buyers, Pentagram fans shelled out around $20 each for the DNA Lounge show Wed/24. Though the complications of...

From Russia with … mutants?

Metro: 2033 is a little rough around the edges, but still impressive and haunting