Friday, 28 February 2014

Album Review : Ayreon - The Theory of Everything

Ayreon is one of Arjen Anthony Lucassen's many projects and probably the one I enjoy the most. Each album is usually a story or certain idea that's brought to life in a Progressive Rock Opera of sorts.
The Theory of Everything is no exception, it seems like The Theory of Everything was influenced by the movies "Rainman" and "A Beautiful Mind" if you go by the lyrical content and theme of the album.
Every Ayreon album usually features a collection of different artists and in "The Theory of Everything" the great singers involved are as follows :

  • John Wetton from King Crimson
  • Marco Hietala of Nightwish
  • Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil
  • Janne JB Christoffersson of Grand Magus
  • Tommy Karevik of Kamelot
Ayreon also used quite a few guest musicians in "The Theory of Everything" including Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer fame and Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater among others.

The album can be split up into 4 large parts each consisting of a collection of songs that follow on each other, in total "The Theory of Everything" has up to 42 tracks in total. Yes that is a reference to Douglas Adams Book "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe"

Enough back story, you are probably wondering how it all sounds, Well If you are familiar with the previous Ayreon albums you will be fairly familiar with it all, yet Arjen has changed things up enough so that doesn't fall into "just another album" category. Of which their previous album 01011001 could be accused.

In the first "part" works as an introduction of sorts to all the characters, their traits, relationships and problems. The second "part" is about the treatment of the Autistic child and the moral dilemma the doctor's as well as his parents face. The third "part" of the album focuses on the achievements and side effects of the treatment as well as estrangement from his family. While the final "part" works as a conclusion of sorts. Musically each part really fits well with the theme portrayed.
One thing that plagues music released in the 2000's and lately is the lack of Dynamic Range, mostly due to overuse of Dynamic Range Compression and as such music sometimes sounds flat. Due to that I will in this review and Future post a picture of the wave-forms of one of the tracks in the album in question to show if there is clipping or not. For more information regarding this Check out this great video on it.

I have set up my audacity to show clipping in songs in RED as you can see there is no clipping in this release.
I really do like this album in general and  if you want to give it a listen, Here is the GrooveShark link.

First Impression Fridays! ~Mark of the Ninja~

Monday, 17 February 2014

Album Review : Alcest - Shelter

Alcest is a French shoegaze band from Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France, founded and led by Neige (Stéphane Paut). It began in 2000 as a black metal solo project by Neige, soon a trio, but following the release of their first demo in 2001, band members Aegnor and Argoth left the band, leaving Neige as the sole member.

This marked a change in style, as Alcest's subsequent releases have more often been described as shoegazing mixing numerous rock and metal influences, including black metal and post-metal. In 2009 the ex-Peste Noire's drummer Winterhalter (now in Les Discrets) joined Alcest's studio line-up, after eight years with Neige as the sole full time member. Since its creation, Alcest has released four studio albums. - Source

Shelter, the fourth album from Alcest is almost none of the Black Metal influences found in their previous albums, and is purely shoegaze. Some fans might not enjoy it, but I do. I still prefer Écailles de lune when it comes to my personal favorite Alcest album, but I have been listening to Shelter quite a lot the past few weeks since it's release.

From the very first track "Wings" to the last "Délivrance" Alcest takes us on a journey of soothing melodies and hauntingly beautiful vocals. One of the tracks, Away, features english vocals instead of the normal french. "Away" also sounds a lot different than the usual Alcest songs we know.

A;cest - Shelter is a great album for current Alcest fans and people new to Shoegaze, unsure if this is for you? Why not try out "Opale"?

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Build 263 aka Dropship for Natural Selection 2 has been released!

Now sadly this doesn't mean they added a new map, but there is tons of new changes and bug fixes which you can check out the complete list, Here!

Here is a few of the big changes

  • They added an in-menu Gather system
  • You can know wear the badge of your favorite clan in the current NS2WC
  • They Fixed power nodes not blinking red on minimap when being attacked and many other issues
  • Added ammo bars for the Marine Commander to nameplates
  • Added low light graphics quality option, for the people with older PCs
  • Added a new vote which tries to balance teams using previous round and hive stats, I know the stat tracking in Build 262 was less than great so kinda interested to see if this fixes balance issues.
All in all I'm still glad to see an indie developer like Unknown Worlds Entertainment busy trying to improve on Natural Selection 2 even though they are developing a new game too!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Featured Youtubers for the Month of January 2014

I decided to List all the Youtubers I've featured on the ReefTV Facebook Page in a montly basis as to keep the list shorter than it would have been, if I did it the same way as the 2014 list.

But I'll stop there as the real reason you are reading this is to see the list! So here it is! The list is in no specific order and each of the Youtubers have been chosen mostly because their videos had something I enjoyed in them.

First off is @cithryth a let's player from New Zealand. Here is her series on Lord of the Rings Online Her love for the game is evident in her videos and she is very well informed of the lore of the world.

Secondly is @JoeParlock a fun guy that is always friendly and willing to help out when needed, there are some great videos on his channel, here is his Of Orcs and Men video

Thirdly we have @fairweathergame they do some comedy based let's playing on some new and classic games like Goldeneye. Check out their Lumino video here

And then there is @ThrowbackGam1ng still a fairly new channel with only retro game content. Check out one of his old retro zelda series here

and lastly we have @HazelNuttyGames a Snazzy Lady with great enthusiasm in her videos! Check out her channel trailer here

Check out these great people! I'm sure you won't be dissapointed.

First Impression Fridays! Loadout!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Check out the new! SONATA ARCTICA - The Wolves Die Young

"Pariah's Child", is out on March 28th via Nuclear Blast.

With the release of their new record »Pariah's Child« coming up, Finnish Melodic Metal quintet SONATA ARCTICA have now put out the official music video on the track 'The Wolves Die Young'. The video is available to watch here:

Commented frontman Tony Kakko: „ 'The Wolves Die Young' was pretty much born to be a single. And it is. It also paved the road for the rest of the album. Set a mood in a way. It just felt real good to start with. 2014 is a year of a wolf."

The video shoot for 'The Wolves Die Young' took place in January 2014 at Sibelius House in Lahti, Finland. The clip was produced by Patrick Ullaeus of the Revolver Film Company.

More on »Pariah's Child«:

Studio trailer 1 featuring drummer Tommy Portimo, click here:
The second one with Pasi Kauppinen can be seen here:
And their 3rd studio trailer, featuring Elias Viljanen, here:
Studio trailer number 4, featuring Henrik Klingenberg.
Watch it here:

On March, 28th the new SONATA ARCTICA album »Pariah's Child« will be released.

The tracklist reads as follows:

01. The Wolves Die Young
02. Running Lights
03. Take One Breath
04. Cloud Factory
05. Blood
06. What Did You Do In The War, Dad?
07. Half A Marathon man
08. X Marks The Spot
09. Love
10. Larger Than Life

The album was recorded and produced by the band at "Studio 57" in Alaveteli, Finland. The mix was done by the band's new bass player Kauppinen.

- Source is NuclearBlast

Outlast Complete Walkthrough

So Outlast, the hit survival horror game from RedBarrelGames has been out for a while on Steam, and also recently released on PSN. And you were looking for a Walkthrough or you are too Afraid to continue. Then this blog post is for you.

I have already fully recorded and completed the game, and uploaded it all for you guys and girls on Youtube.
From the Very First Episode, to the very Last episode.

So click on this link and enjoy!.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Technicolor TG589vn V3 Router(as supplied by MWEB) and Zyxel WRE2205 Wireless Extender Review

I have been a Mweb Uncapped adsl client for a while now and the other day I recieved a phone call about a new FON enabled router with Wifi extender for free, it seems new clients also get this.

So I obviously said yes, as the best things in life are free, and here is my impressions of the products after using them and setting them up.

First off you might be asking "What is FON?" well this is what the official site has to say

"Fon is your Global WiFi Network.
It's built by people just like you.

Fon members share a bit of their home WiFi, and in turn get free access at millions of other Fon hotspots worldwide.

Joining is easy. All you have to do is buy a Fon WiFi router and plug it into your broadband connection. No monthly fees!

Or, if you live in a country where Fon has a telco partner, just sign up with them to become a member."

First off the Zyxel WRE2205 Wireless Extender is a small, easy to use device that easily connects with the push of a button using WPS. If you want to use it with a different Wireless SSID than provided by the router, or want to connect to a non WPS enabled router, the guide here can help you.

The TG589vn V3 Router is feature rich with including but not limited to FON, 300mbps Wifi, WPS, VDSL as well as ADSL connectivity and 3g Backup via USB.

Setting up the TG589vn V3 Router from Mweb is as simple as plugging it in, and waiting a few minutes then it's setup and ready for use. Unless you are like me and prefer having your own personal SSID and want to setup port forwarding and such.

One can easily get the Manual by asking @mwebguy on Twitter and changing the SSID is fairly process. The same with port forwarding.

I do have a few issues with the TG589vn V3 and Zyxel WRE2205 though, first off I am currently using an Asus DSL-N12E adsl router which although it doesn't have FON and VDSL support, has a much larger WiFi coverage and allows me to setup DMZ and QoS among other things. Which I do use.

The Zyxel WRE2205 also doesn't have nearly the coverage as my current wireless extender the Edimax EW-7415PDn.

I also found the Wireless network speeds a bit faster on my current Setup of the Asus and Edimax compared to the TG589vn V3 and Zyxel WRE2205 pair.

Does this mean I will never use the TG589vn V3 and Zyxel WRE2205? No, I'm glad MWEB supplied me with these 2 devices free of charge, as I now have an already set up pair of Router and Wireless Extender as backup, in the case that lightning destroys my current Router and Wifi Extender pair. And if it wasn't for my current gear I would probably have been quite happy with the TG589vn V3 and Zyxel WRE2205.

Thanks again to MWEB for supplying it's customers with another great service.

Anime Review : Go! Go! 575!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Mind Sports South Africa shows their professionalism again

It has come to my attention after seeing this tweet.

and following the related link, that MSSA is once again being the professionalism organization that they are by handling queries with calm and precise answers. (okay I'll stop the sarcasm now).

It saddens me to see one of the few E-Sports organizations in our Sunny country handle things in such a bad way. I'll attack a screenshot below incase the comment gets deleted. Luckily there is still DGL.

Is it too much to ask for someone like the MSSA to be clear about the criteria used to determine the rankings of each country?

Anime Review : Aria

Top 5 anime from 2013

Monday, 10 February 2014

Fix for audio delay when using HDMI in windows 7 or windows 8

If you are tired of the small delay before a sound starts playing on your HDMI connected sound device in Windows 7 or Windows 8, Be sure to check out this useful application called AVR Audio Guard .

It works by sending a silent signal over HDMI to your sound device to keep the connection active. The application is free and non intrusive on PC resources.

Making finding Album Art Easier

If you are like me, and enjoy having album art for all your digital music, but you are tired of either scanning in the art yourself or searching for it on google.

Try out this nifty Open-Source application Album Art Downloader. It uses a list of extensive databases to find the correct album art you need to complete your digital collection. It even integrates with your foobar2000 playlists, so you don't have to manually put the album art in the album folders.

Hope this helps!

2013's Featured Let's Players

Here is the complete list of all the Youtubers I featured on The ReefTV Facebook Page in 2013.

I usually feature a youtuber that has content I enjoy and the list is in no specific order. Check out these talented guys and girls. The list will consist of the Channel Name and a Video From the Channel.

  • Geek Remix                                              
  • TheAFrowJow                                          
  • SwordfishPlays                                          
  • Fraggin' Aardvark                                      
  • Razorhog444                                             
  • The D-Pad                                                
  • GRNCeleryStick                                       
  • Ph4tso                                                      
  • EngeKomkommer                                     
  • HeadacheHeroes                                       

Remember to support these talented people, and keep your eyes on the facebook page for more featured youtubers every Friday!

Welcome to ReefTV

First post of my first blog,

This is the official blog for the ReefTV Youtube channel. Where you can find yours truly doing the following:
 * Let's Play series
 * First Impressions videos on PC games
 * Reviews of Anime
 * 4x4 Offroad videos.
 * Gameplay montages and many more.

I hope you enjoy your stay!