July 28, 2014

Lyriticus Log 0002: Segregation

Hello again!

Yes, hello again! Yes, you! Hello! I greeted you, now greet me back!

Fine, be like that. Here's your updates. Freaking people...

Blog: Okay, so first thing's first. Reviews and Analyses will be made into two separate posts from now on. As I said before, I want to avoid burnout way ahead of time and having to find something to analyse in every single song or movie will be way too exhausting and, ahem, superfluous.

Album Review: I'm still deciding which album should be the first to be reviewed on this site. I'm looking to do something which doesn't require much analysis but still provides good material for a review. I've kinda decided which album will be the first, so stay tuned for more details.

Life of Pi: The first ever movie review on Lyriticus, up this coming Sunday! So yeah, I really wanted to analyse this movie but as it turns out, I need a lot more time with it to go over the themes and philosophical statements before I can provide you with an accurate analysis.

An analysis is sort of like an essay; it needs a point, a message, and a firm conclusion. I need to make a statement about the movie, not just throw a bunch of esoteric mumbo jumbo into a post, truss it up with a cheesy pun and self-referential humour and then call it a day.

No. The Lyritical Analysis is your home for accurate, in-depth examinations of Pop Cultural works with the purpose of informing, entertaining, and giving you the feeling that you've just upped your IQ points by exactly 3.14159265359 digits.*

*(Nerd joke.)

Lord of the Rings Trilogy: We're going epic soon with the monumental Fantasy, heh, "Epic" series. Or the movie adaptions of the monumental Fantasy, heh, "Epic" series. Whatever. The reviews should be up in September.

And let's just say if you have an ax to grind over the magic themes presented therein, then I have this to say: "Ye shall not pass!"

Nah, I'm kidding. You're always long as you leave your pitchforks at the door and not up my *CENSORED*!!!

Blog Journal Volume 47: The Strolling Expired

Sad News: My System Shock 2 Retro Review is far from finished. It's not scary per se, just nerve-wracking. Okay, I'm a coward, that's it, alright!?

Good News: The Walking Dead Season Two had another episode added to the series and my Review of the Season will be updated and put back up this Wednesday.

Even Good-er News: Batman Arkham City FINALLY finished fownloading. Eh, sorry, downloading. (I was trying to go for alliteration and I failed apicly. Epicly. Whatever!) Stay tuned for the ReMix Review. It's coming very soon and will hit the internet before the end of August. ;)

Goody Two-News: You're still getting that Fallout 3 Review sometime. I have to download it again (-_-#) but you will get it soon enough. Unfortunately, the coming Summer Season of video games are going to distract me from that, so I'll try and review as much older games as I can before then.

Community Question: You know what? I don't care for favoritism, so special shout-outs go to InfamousPotato and The_Rebel14 for their comments. I like the one about electric guitars, guys. ;)

This week's Community Question is: What is your favourite video game soundtrack?

July 27, 2014

"Sail" (Awolnation) - Song Review

This is how I show my love (for music)...I made it on my blog because...I blame it on my ADD-wait, what was I saying again?

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg

Artist: Awolnation

Release Date: January 2011

Genre: Electronic Rock

Verdict: 14+ For Mature Themes

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive


--A line refers to suicide. "Maybe I should cry for help. Maybe I should kill myself..."

Music Video:

--The video features the singer running through a building from a mysterious force, which blows papers around and eventually drags him through the building as he desperately tries to break free from it's grip.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive



Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive



Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive 

--One of the interpretations of the song is that the line "I blame it on my ADD" refers to Alcohol and Drug Dependency and not Attention Deficit Disorder.

Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive 

--An unknown force kidnaps the lead singer in the music video and we briefly see the one-eyed pyramid symbol.


Slightly Downbeat: The song is a bit of a downer song, telling the tale of a man who lost something (most likely a relationship) and seeking to explain why it happened. The song is not dreadfully depressing, and the melody isn't sad per se, just moody and foreboding.

The Lyritical Analysis:

Overview: "Sail" by AWOLNATION suggests that it's about a broken relationship more than anything else, where the man in question tries to explain to his ex-girlfriend why things got so out of control, finding something to blame in the place of his own actions.

The music video, however, takes a much different route, deliberately evoking conspiracy theories such as the Illuminati, UFOs and possibly Mind Control (Albeit in a very subtle manner, if at all.)

"...It was a dark and stormy night..."

Analysis: The video starts off with AWOLNATION frontman and lead vocalist, Aaron Bruno, running fearfully from an unseen pursuer and taking refuge in his house. He closes the blinds and dives under his bed to get a tape recorder.

He holds it up and starts singing into it as he stares out the window anxiously. We see him look over at his wall and we see a very interesting picture, which the video deliberately focuses on for a second or two:

The wall of a conspiracy theorist. Could it be that he was investigating shady activities and got in over his head? And what about the song he sings? Is it all about him trying to show people what's wrong with him, AKA some kind of mental disorder caused by a secret government project?

Whatever the case, the light outside is clearly unnatural, made clear when it basically blinds him by shining through the window, causing papers to fly around in his room with it's powerful force. 

He then takes a moment to himself and stares in the mirror, weighing his options as he reflects on his broken state and his "condition". He wonders if he should cry for help or kill himself, as the lyrics suggest. (The force outside stops his train of thought before he can make a decision.)

The music video might carry that implication that he's been part of a government conspiracy and he was involved in some kind of mind control experiment. He doesn't know how to explain it, so he describes it as ADD. (Come on, ADD is not THAT big a cause of problems.)

The house's front door opens as the mysterious force enters and scans the house for Aaron Bruno. He dives into bathwater in order to take cover from it, but it finds him anyways and drags him away.

At this point, the video segues into a piano solo where Aaron Bruno sings the chorus. The whole scene is dragged backwards towards an open door, the house shaking violently as the force "abducts" him.

The video ends with Aaron Bruno drifting up into the sky as we see stadium lights shining brightly in his face. We never clearly see which force dragged him away, but we do see one last visual...

The tape recorder, leaving behind a message which few will understand, but hopefully will decipher and find out what really happened to the lone abductee. 

His tale ends on a downer, but with a glint of hope because of the one piece of evidence the force failed to erase: This very song, which tells the tale of a man who was in a hopeless situation without the words to describe it or any way to get out of it.

Review of Song:

Years ago, AWOLNATION, a relatively unknown Indie band at the time, released an ambitious song simply titled "Sail" into the world. After spending the most time in the Hot 100 radio charts next to Imagine Dragons' Radioactive, Sail has truly left its mark in the world of music.

The song is a melancholy mixture of blaring synthesizers, a heartfelt piano chord and screaming vocals. The lyrics tell a story of loss, denial, depression and (hopefully) freedom. Aaron Bruno screams his vocals in a decidedly un-Metal way, showing us the deep agony his character wallows in.

SAIL is a very affecting song, reaching straight for your heartstrings with its edgy melody and dreadful atmosphere, yet still managing to end on an ambiguously uplifting note. The cry for "Sail" is not immediately understood, but after many listens, I can safely conclude that it's about SAILing away from your problems.

A whispered "Take me to the pond" by a female voice is also heard amongst the screaming vocals near the messy ending. It could be the strangest cry for help you've ever heard, or the girl in question just wants to go to the freaking pond something bad!

Quality Verdict: Great (B+)

Awolnation shows that sometimes simplicity is best, delivering a slow, yet very effectively moody song which delivers it's message with genuine impact.


Say what you want of the conspiracy angle (although I don't know why you would look at it any other way), it makes the most sense to me personally. And heck, it makes the music video even more interesting than it already was. (Only moderately.)

Secondly, the song is a bit edgy and contains a reference to suicide. This may be a deal-breaker for some who are easily triggered and struggle with a suicide problem.

Otherwise, the song is okay for those who can handle heavier material. Personally, I would say this song should be okay for mature teens, 14 years and up.

Content Verdict:
For Mature Themes.

Outro: And there you have it! The second review on Lyriticus "sailing" off into the world wide web...or at least onto my website feed. Whatever. Hope you guys enjoyed the review, tune in next Sunday for another one right here on The Truth Machine!

July 21, 2014

Lyriticus Log 0001: Welcome to the Machine!

Hello everybody! Apologies for the lack of a review yesterday, I decided to be smarter and wisely put it up a week in advance to give myself time to work on other things. As you can see, things are still pretty rough here, but I want to avoid burnout years down the line.

So sorry to just leave you hanging but I really can't afford to do things at the very edge of the deadline. But not to worry! The wait will be worth it.

"Sail" by AWOLNATION: Review, Content Rundown and Analysis inbound. Tune in Sunday for the review. 
Possibility: Very likely.

Coldplay: While I'm not gonna mention which song by the Britpop band I'll review first, rest assured that it will be a good one. (Which means: It will be any of their songs. :P)
Possibility: It's guaranteed.

Movies: The first ever movie review on Lyriticus will be posted next month. I'll let it be a surprise. >:) 
Possibility: See above.

Blog Journal Volume 46: Schedule Change

So I've noticed that I'm delaying far too many reviews for my liking, and I've come to a crossroads: Things get very exhausting having to put reviews up every single week and I have two ways to resolve that:

1. Close down the blog-no wait, only one option...

1. Post less frequently, but with more quality.

The latter...ONLY option is what I chose. As such, Reviews and Content Rundowns will now be posted on a BI-weekly basis and not a EVERY-weekly basis. Basically, every other week. I won't post this week, but I will post next week, and then not the week after that...

I'm sorry for the reduced frequency, but I'm just one man and I have a lot of things happening outside the blog, not the least of which is my new site which needs attention.

However, these updates will still be posted on a weekly basis, since they literally take five minutes to type out. Plus, I plan to make a Community Question/Discussion every week in this Blog Journal posts to inspire conversation and keep things going even when reviews aren't being posted.

Thanks to all of my faithful blog readers for sticking with me through all the ups and the downs, and I hope that things improve even more. Mark my words, this will do the blog good. I promise. :)

Community Question: Well, let's kick things off with a question which I'm sure will inspire a lot of discussion as well: What is the first ever video game you ever played, and what was your experience with it?

I'll pick a random comment to be featured in the next Blog Journal as a little shout-out to those who participate. But even if your comment's not featured, just know that I still appreciate it just as much regardless. 

July 16, 2014

The Wolf Among Us Content Rundown

Telltale's latest self-help guide to discovering the "wolf" within has arrived! Now in it's Fifth Edition!

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: Mature Gamers Only (For Brief Heavy Suggestive Content, Frequent Strong Language and Bloody Violence

Release Date: October 2013

Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, OS X, PlayStation Vita, iOS, PC

Genre: Adventure

July 14, 2014

Blog Journal Volume 45: The Lone Wolf

The Wolf Among Us: With the stellar season reaching it's conclusion, I have to say that this was the most surprising hit of the year for me. Not that I doubted Telltale's abilities, I just...

Okay, I doubted Telltale's abilities. The Walking Dead Season One was lightning in a bottle. And you know what they say about lightning, right? No, not "It hurts when it touches you." I mean, it doesn't strike twice. In the same exact way. I mean. Yep.

Whatever. Just tune in Wednesday and you'll have the final Content Rundown of The Wolf Among Us. :)

System Shock 2: I've finally decided upon another Retro Review, this time of the legendary System Shock 2. Some of you have suggested Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, rest assured that game will be done soon enough as well, but in the meantime, I hope you'll be pleased with a review of System Shock 2.

Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time: YES, it will be done. I made a section for it. It's 'ficial now, okay? :)

Batman Arkham City: Oh, South Africa, land of slow internet and much crime, can you get any freakin' worse? Sorry people, this one STILL hasn't finished downloading, but it will soon. Otherwise I'll have to enlist Batman's help to finish the download, because it IS happening.

Other Site: My other site, Lyriticus, has launched and is open for all to view! Check it out if you're interested. It only has one review thus far but that problem will be solved pretty soon. :)

July 13, 2014

"This is War" (30 Seconds to Mars) - Song Review

Hello everybody! Welcome to my new site Lyriticus. This is the first of MANY songs (and later on, movies) which will be reviewed here at The Truth Machine. This post will also serve as a "tutorial" to show you what the site is all about.

Why did I choose "This is War" to be first song reviewed? Well, the title is so appropriate considering the conspiracy nature of Lyriticus, and it also has a lot of interesting themes to discuss in the Lyritical Analysis below.

All in all, it should make for an excellent showcase for my new blog and why you should stay tuned for (hopefully) years to come. Now, without further adieu, let's get reviewing!

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Album: This is War (Studio Album)

Artist: 30 Seconds to Mars

Release Date: March 2010

Genre: Progressive Rock

Verdict: 14+ for Mature Themes and Brief Strong Language (Music Video Only)

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive


-Some references to war and the like, with a line referring to a "fight to the death" and a moment to "live" and a moment to "die."


-We see footage depicting war, with explosions and gunfire, people panicking, buildings and vehicles being set on fire, and footage of a soldier firing a flamethrower. 

The video ends with a bunch of military vehicles flying around, crashing on the ground as soldiers fire at them. They eventually collide into each other to create a huge formation of wreckage.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive



Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

The song itself doesn't contain any swear words, but the music video contains a very clear singular use of the F-word.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive 


Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive 

Lyrics: References to a Messiah, Martyr, and the ending states the protagonist doesn't believe in a "God", sin, peace, war or anything else, only the truth, "light" in "ourselves" and our own existence. (Possible atheist overtones. More detail in the Analysis...)


Upbeat Somewhat Aggressive Rock: The song features a moderately heavy guitar riff and screaming vocals at certain points. The lyrics are also upbeat, but are clearly aggressive and suggestive of violence.

The Lyritical Analysis:

Before I begin, let me explain what this section is for newcomers: This is where we analyse the selected work for double meanings, symbolism, hidden messages, as well as explore the themes presented within the work.

This section will take a SECOND look at a music video or movie and show you the things that you may have taken for granted or missed upon initial viewing. We will also show you selected symbols and what they really mean.

PS: This section is up to you to believe or dismiss. I accept full responsibility for misinterpretion or hyperbole. If you have even the smallest conspiracy theory allergy, then avoid this section.

PPS: This section is not, and never will be, limited to conspiracy theories. All types of themes are explored. We dig deep and present what we find, no matter what it is.

Peace out, bro.

Right from the start, the video makes itself very clear: It's a WAR song promoting PEACE. Basically, FIGHTING so that there's no more FIGHTING. Yep.

War......War never changes.

After a bit more war-y footage and lyrics, we get a very interesting flash across the screen. This flash occurs several times throughout the video and shows that the ending might not be just a stroke of randomness:

If you can't read past the obnoxious logo placement, the text says:
"Unclassified Analogic Attack"

This flash establishes that the video is an analogy. And based on the chaos towards the second half, it can't be anything else. What is the analogy? Well, let's keep going...

We see a couple of political statements, with JFK depicted as a "truthful" president and George Bush Jr. depicted as being George Bush Jr. We then get a break in the middle where Jared Leto (Lead Singer of 30 Seconds to Mars) gets out of his Humvee to investigate something "weird"...

After walking into the middle of the road, rather foolishly I might add, Jared looks up in the sky and sees a "few" military vehicles flying through the sky over them. Yes, you read that right: Flying. Military. Vehicles. Yes, helicopters too, but tanks and Humvees as well.

Pictured: Your average Battlefield 4 Deathmatch.

When gunfire doesn't stop the huge vehicles from flying over them, the soldiers eventually drop their weapons and watch as the "Instruments of War" all collide together to form a structure. 

Before we get to the end of the video, let me backtrack: Flashes of political figures such Gandhi, Stalin and JFK are seen throughout the video. These flashes are used to show that the message of peace goes into the territory of politics and beyond the war zone.

The video also states it's about peace. How does that peace come about? Well, the lyrics refer to the protagonist believing in the "light" and not in a God or sin. If you look at the lyrics, it's clear that the singer believes that mankind and some kind of "light" will usher in peace. What is the "light"? Let's go back to the video to find out...

The structure is finalised as the soldiers watch on in awe. While the structure forms, we hear the aforementioned references to the "light." When the metal formation reaches it's finalised state, we clearly see what it is. 

A metal castle? An aircraft carrier? A UFO?

Nope. See for yourself:

...All of the above?

A pyramid. Built from the ashes of war, with a new wonder rising from the ashes. (Like the Phoenix?) And after all this mumbo-jumbo about believing in the "light", what could this possibly refer to? 

Ever heard of The Illuminati? (Just say "YES". You know you have...) That secret organisation every slightly insane person rambles on about?

If you don't know what the Illuminati is, it's an alleged group of people who rule the world from the shadows, hiding behind political figures and embedding their symbols in Pop Culture. The symbol of the Illuminati is the One-Eyed Pyramid, which you can find on the back of the US One Dollar bill.

What does Illuminati mean? "Enlightened." 

Light = Enlightened? By believing in the Light, does he mean believing in the Illuminati?

In a Nutshell: The video depicts the end of war creating a new "Wonder" of the modern age, built from the wreckage of war after peace is ushered in. The pyramid can be seen as a reference to the Great Pyramid of Giza, which just so happens to be a "Wonder" of the ancient world.

So the whole song can be interpreted as a new dawn after the darkest of nights. Order from the Chaos. A New Order created from the wreckage of the Old Order. Ushered in by the "light" of civilization. (The Illuminati?) As to what the light is, well, we can only speculate.

Review of Song:

Right from the start, things are different. As opposed to bringing in the "big guns" from the start with loud Rock and Roll, 30 Seconds to Mars choose instead to begin the song in a rather subdued tone, with Jared Leto almost whispering the lyrics.

As the song moves on from the hushed intro, the song heats up and brings in almost robotic vocals to imply that this is indeed war. The guitars heat up as Jared Leto screams that it's time to "fight", at which point the song breaks out into Rock and Roll, but with reserved energy, as the singer warns everybody that they will "fight to the death."

The song goes quiet after the rather loud section, but with more emotion than the last quiet part, the echoes of the preceding lyrics reminding us of this. We hear more whispered vocals, but with increasing "urgency" this time. The chords of the instruments reflect this.

After this, the song declares it's time to "fight" once again, and seemingly repeats the loud section we heard just a bit earlier, but this time it segues into a triumphant, military march. The singer whispers again, but this time he tells us that the war is won.

The song crescendos with chanting backing vocals, before breaking into another repeated rock section, which ends with yet another triumphant section, with the song screaming that the war is won, the climax victorious and uplifting.

At this point, the song tones itself down once again, ending on a rather "peaceful" note.

My Thoughts: It took me a while to warm up to this song with it's Progressive Rock style, which is the usual for me with just about all kinds of music. (Coldplay in particular, which has since become my favourite band.) 

But after listening to it about 5-10 times, I can safely say that the song is very well-made and presents it's message with style and elegance. It may not be my absolute favourite song, but it does stick out in my mind a lot.

For me, it's never "love at first sight" when it comes to music. It takes a while to warm up to new genres and sounds. But once I do, it's a strong "love" indeed. And it's a "love" that never fades...

...Yes, I'll save you a seat at the wedding.

Quality Verdict: Great (B+)

A smart rock and roll song which goes beyond "noise" to create a thinking man's song, even if the song is not particularly groundbreaking or innovative.


Now that I've finished the review of the song, let's just take some time to consider the video: Yes, the Illuminati seems like a "crazy" concept. I won't lie, it does seem the average person.

If you don't want to believe that the video can be interpreted as promoting the Illuminati or even alluding to it, then that's your business. However, do take into consideration that there are things we aren't aware of. Many conspiracy theories have been brought forth which seemed crazy and then later turned out to be true.

Before you dismiss things, make sure to be a sceptic. A true sceptic is not a "denier" of anything. He or she takes the evidence with a grain of salt, goes over it and after careful consideration, accepts or dismisses it, yet keeping a door open just in case it turns out to be true.

It's easy to deny, it's hard to investigate and prove something to be false. If you want to be a true sceptic, do the latter. And if you made it this far into the review, take note that this is our Modus Operandi in regards to conspiracy theories and everything else:

Question Everything. Deny Nothing. (Yes, yes, that's a hard thing to do. But we aim to make it our goal to never dismiss nor believe everything put on the table before us.)

Content Verdict:
For Mature Themes and Brief Strong Language (Music Video Only)

Outro: Annnnnnnnnd that's it! The first ever review on Lyriticus is done. Well, there might still be some fine-tuning-of-details along the way, but this should be pretty close to what you guys can expect every week.

Conspiracy theories, content rundowns, deep analyses, short and to the point reviews, a breezy tone and an overall sense of fun, this is how the site will be.

In any case, I'll see you guys next Sunday (July 20th) with some more Lyritical goodness! Oh and don't forget to check back next Monday for updates. Not tomorrow, the next Monday. (July 21st)

Peace out!

...Just don't fight to make the peace happen, okay?

July 09, 2014

Half-Life 2 Full Review

Hail to the King, baby...

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg

Verdict: Caution Advised (For Strong Gory Violence and Moderate Horror.)

Release Date: November 2004

Developer/Publisher: Valve

Platforms: Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, OS X, Linux.

Genre: First-Person Shooter

July 07, 2014

Blog Journal Volume 44: Happy and You Know It? (???)

Half Life 2: Well, at the time of publishing, I'm not at home just yet but I should be within a few hours. When I'm back, I should go and finish this game and the review by extension up for Wednesday.

(Yes, I just instructed my future self to do something. Whoa.)

Batman Arkham City: Unfortunately, I wasn't home to finish this download, so it's still gonna be a week or two before the ReMix Review is done. Don't worry people! It's coming...soon...ish...

Retro Review: I'm out of ideas for old games to review, so if there's any games that came out before the year 2004 you guys would like me to review, post a comment below and let me know!

Other Blog: Yep, I'm finally putting up another, yet similar, website this Sunday. Be sure to stay tuned for more details. And don't worry, I'm going to make a very nice schedule so I can work on both and not burn myself out in the process.

July 02, 2014

Wolfenstein The New Order Content Rundown

Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who-oh wait......that's NOT what a "Wolfenstein" is?


Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg

Verdict: Mature Gamers Only (For Strong Gory Violence and Brief Sexual Content.)

Release Date: May 2014

Developer: MachineGames

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows.

Genre: First Person Shooter