The End of Time and Other Bothers Review – Zimbellina

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The End of Time and Other Bothers is a new podcast coming April 15th. I got the awesome chance to listen to the first episode and I feel like such a lucky girl. What a lovely gift to wake up to!

So, firstly to be totally honest I didn’t know how I would react to this podcast as it is a role playing game being played in real time over the episodes. I’ve never played a real life role playing game like D&D, I’ve never even been in the same room as one being played. However, I’d love to learn it’s just not something that ever crossed my path. Until now. The End of Time and Other Bothers is like a D&D game but in the world of Alba Salix. There are two other Alba Salix podcasts, Alba Salix and The Axe & Crown, this is the third release by these world builders.

Sean the GM does a wonderful job building up the world. He leads the characters through their worlds, building up piece by piece, until you can have a fully imagined world. He’s fabulous at his job and really pulls you into the world he is building.

The other main characters, Blat, Darcy and Eggerton, are very well built up over the first episode. Blat, a half demon, is introduced first, is a file clerk who works in the bottom of a main building in the main part of Steadfast and it’s through him that we learn of the big event of the episode which I won’t say because that would ruin the surprise. Eggerton, a flightless fairy, is then introduced while he’s in the middle of getting ready for a big presentation that gets turned on its head by his nemesis very quickly. And finally Darcy, human cafeteria worker, is introduced. She’s quirky and interesting, I’d keep your eye on her she seems important. There is one other character but I’ll let you learn about that one on your own.

I’m so excited for this to launch. It is funny and surprisingly captivating. It is just like an audiodrama but it’s unfolding as you go in a way that audiodrama’s don’t really feel like. This feels different, like anything could and does happen. It adds drama and excitement to the show. I didn’t know what I expected going in but this was very good and I expect it to be a huge hit with the audiodrama and role playing communities. At least we’ve only got a little bit left to wait! Definitely get on this once it releases.

5/5 slightly singed stars.

Mars 2060 – The Colony Files Review – Zimbellina

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This podcast is a hidden gem of an audiodrama. I haven’t heard much about it but then maybe I just don’t run in the right circles on Twitter. Anyway, the first season of Mars 2060 focuses on the first set of astronauts to set up a habitat on Mars and study the planet. A second ship filled with supplies and more people comes about a year later. The story is told through a series of interviews by two people, Jenna and Megan. Megan is on Earth, interviewing the team on Earth and those who returned with the second ship when it went back to Earth. Jenna is on Mars and interviews both those from the first and second crews.

At first everything was going fine for the first crew then people started getting sick. A lot of people were falling ill but they couldn’t work out what was causing the illness and they couldn’t contain it. This happened when the second ship was on it’s way to Mars but wasn’t quite there yet. The sickness had to be contained and they needed to find the reason everyone was getting sick before the second ship landed. The second ship had orders that they weren’t to disembark if the sickness was not contained and they had to turn around and go back to earth.

“Mars is unfriendly. We are at work here everyday.” 

At first the major worries are psychological, such as anxiety and depression, but they had psychologists on Mars and they found ways to deal with this adequately such as with music or in extreme cases with medication but medication was not used a lot. These people were chosen to be able to withstand a lot of mental and physical strain. They were well trained and eager to do their jobs.

Some people were up there to search specific rock formations on Mars. The ship is divided into people who believe the rock formations are made by aliens and those who think there is either not enough evidence for that or they believe the formations are naturally made. The divide is not extreme, but it is there.

There is an interesting unfolding of the story through the interviews. Slowly with each interview more and more is learnt by the listener but at the same time more and more questions are raised. The interviews make you feel part of the crew and you feel what they feel as they explain the different reactions they had to landing and living on Mars. For example, there is an underlying questions of whether or not there were once aliens on Mars. If there was what happened to them? Did someone make the rock formations? And then there is the sickness that takes over the crew. How are they getting sick and what can be done to stop this sickness before it takes over the entire crew?

I listened to this in one go, so I don’t have a standout episode for you today because it seemed to me to be just one story. The voice recording is outstanding, the story telling is realistic and there are recognisably human moments even in such an inhuman place as Mars. The story quickly descends into a tense, mesmerising tale, told tantalisingly slowly, giving bits and pieces of the story before changing track and focusing on something else. This way of storytelling can sometimes be frustrating but all of the storylines in this audiodrama are so interesting you don’t mind being pulled from one storyline to another. It ends on a cliff hanger, but luckily I have been told there will be a second season. I cannot wait to see where this story takes me, it’s wonderfully told and everyone involved in the making of this podcast should be very proud of what they have produced. Loved it!

“The option of quitting was taken off the table the day we launched.”

5/5 red and dusty stars.

True Crime Guys Review – Zimbellina

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True crime guys

True crime guys, Michael and Lorne, offer a range of crimes to choose from. They cover heavy hitters like Bonnie and Clyde and lesser known stories like the death of Colleen Ritzer. They lay out the story in a logical manner, telling the tale of the death in chronological order, adding in details about the killer as they go. It’s obvious these two have done their research.

The boys go into a lot of detail and don’t shy away from the gory stuff but they don’t use it in an exploitative way, they just relate the facts of the case as it is. They are very easy to listen to and their voices are quite soothing. I’ve fallen asleep to them before. Not because they’re boring obviously but because their voices are so nice to listen to.

They add in extra stuff about themselves when it’s relevant, such as memories that the crime calls up but these asides are always relatable and they quickly get back to the story without getting too distracted.

Standout episode – The tragic death of Colleen Ritzer. This episode focuses on the story of school teacher Colleen Ritzer who was killed violently on school grounds. The boys take a deep dive into the background of not only the victim but the killer as well. The killer has obvious mental issues, probably relating back to his childhood. The hosts go through all the things in the killers childhood which could have affected him to the point where he raped and murdered a teacher. They don’t make excuses for the teenage killer but they do go into the possible reasons why he did what he did. The boys talk about a lot more in the episode but I don’t want to ruin the episode for you because it’s well worth a listen.

You’ll want to binge listen to this podcast and they have a good amount of episodes which means more hours of binging! They don’t get boring, they keep what they talk about fresh by talking about different kinds of killings and adding in the more famous cases with the lesser known cases. They also cover recent cases as well as past cases which keeps things interesting.

Overall I give True Crime Guys 5/5 stars! Keep it up guys, your work is greatly appreciated.

Extraordinary Stories Podcast – Zimbellina

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Extraordinary Stories Poscast

I have to admit I’ve been a loyal fan of ESP since almost the beginning. I’ve enjoyed the host, Baz’s successes over the past year and loved every second of it. Baz is all about telling an interesting story. Not all his episodes deal with true crime but they are all about extraordinary people. Or people doing extraordinary things. He concentrates on the story and is a natural born storyteller. You’ll be transfixed once he starts talking. His voice is also quite soothing so it’s good to listen to to unwind, even if the subject matter is not relaxing, his voice lulls you.

Here you’ll find stories about people you’ve never heard of before. Although the older episodes deal with some familiar names, Baz looks out for stories which have not been told before on other podcasts and you know you’re going to get something original when a new episode drops. He goes the extra mile to find new and interesting stories and people to talk about.

Baz has also started dropping mini episodes mid week which is fantastic for fans like me who can’t get enough. These mini stories are just tiny snatches of amazing stories. The latest one, Attic, was about a person who decided to live in someone’s attic without the home owners knowing with a tragic end.

Stand out episode – this is so difficult because I’ve loved all of the episodes. But to choose one to introduce people to the podcast I would choose Episode 26: Twists, Turns and Truths. This is a story about an abusive husband who would throw hammers at his wife and also hurt his children. The wife reached out to family members so people knew what was going on and she finally files for divorce and the husband leaves. His children do not want to talk to their father at all. The father on the other hand says he has never been abusive. And the judge agrees with him. He says there’s no evidence of abuse. There are no physical marks or scars etc. Baz goes into the idea of evidence of abuse and how one would document that. The judge argues that the wife is lying and turning the children against the husband. Now the husband has been convicted for road rage, a bar fight and stalking. So he’s shown to be an angry man. However the judge rules against her, tells her to leave the house and leave the children with her abusive husband. And then things start getting even trickier. I won’t ruin the episode for you. This was just the first 10 minutes of the podcast. It’s well worth a listen.

Baz has a way with words and knows how to tell a story for maximum drama and interest. He’s a lovely guy who just wants to tell stories. This podcast should definitely be on your subscribed list. 5/5 brilliant shining stars!

American Crimecast/ Out of the Shadows podcast review – Zimbellina

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Out of the Shadows Podcast

This true crime podcast is hosted by a private investigator, Shane, which means he has access to information that most podcasters don’t. He delves deeply into cases to get to the answers behind the crime. The host has a soothing voice and is very easy to listen to. He’s also a very intelligent investigator, asking questions I wouldn’t even think of to ask. Which is why he’s a private investigator and I just review the pods!

The podcast changed its name from American Crimecast to Out of the Shadows. The podcast focuses on cold cases and bringing them “out of the shadows” and giving them the attention they deserve. The host deals with a range of different cases, from disappearances to murders to whether or not Jim
Morrison faked his own death. Steven goes through the case in a logical way making it easy to follow who everyone is and what’s going on. He has a lot of guests, which is interesting and brings a different perspective to the podcast.
He uses a lot of primary sources such as interviews with people involved in the case and a lot of audio clips and phone interviews. Sometimes the audio on the interviews is a bit choppy but not much can be done about that if the connection is bad. It’s all still understandable so I don’t see that as a big deal.

Standout episodes – The Mysterious Death of Cindy James Part 1-3. This is a very interesting case where a woman was found bound, with a stocking around her neck and a lot of drugs in her system. She said she had been stalked for years and there were a lot of scary incidents before her death. But the police believe it was a suicide, and that she hadn’t been stalked at all but was doing it all herself. A medical examiner is asked for her opinion in the Part 1 and she argues for the suicide aspect. In Part 2 Steven talks to a psychic detective and gets her take on the crime. She argues that Cindy was murdered after being terrorised by someone. In Part 3 we get Steven’s take on this case. I’ll leave you to listen to what his arguments are. All in all this is a very intriguing and different case.

Overall this is an excellent podcast, well written, well produced and very engaging. The cases are unusual, not the ones that podcasters usually focus on. This makes it even more interesting to listen to. I can’t recommend this podcast enough, definitely 5/5 stars!

– Zimbellina

 

Hey Down In Front Review – Zimbellina

Hey down in front

This is a conversational podcast. They chat mostly about movies. Three friends who all have an interest in movies get together and chat about movies while they watch a different movie every week. To be fair I don’t get to watch too many new movies and watch more tv than movies so I didn’t know all the movies they were talking about over the episodes I listened to. But I picked episodes that I had seen the movies of so I had a point of reference.

They talk about the movie and it’s sequels (if any) while the movie plays. So you can hear the movie in the background but can’t quite hear it and so you can’t really follow the movie. They talk a lot about various issues about the movie, whether it’s good, getting more into the background and discussions about the movie. They’re quite harsh on some movies I think but people are generally polarised by movies, you either love or hate them mostly.

The hosts talk a lot about cinematic aspects of the movie, like the score, the shots, the actors. Sometimes you can tell where they’re up to in the movie.

Stand out episode – Jurassic Park. I love this movie and watched it a lot with my son when he went through his dinosaur phase so I could follow along to where they were quite well. They talk about how they made the dinosaurs, half CGI and half realistic puppets and people in suits (for the raptors). They talk about all the merchandise that came along with the movie like video games and such. They talk favourite lines which is fun. My favourites are mostly from Jeff Goldblum. It makes you want to be in the room with them to discuss the movie though which is a bit frustrating to listen to but i assume you can interact with the hosts on twitter and such after you listen to an episode.

They point out plot holes and talk their way through the movie, making jokes and laughing at silly things in movies. They don’t take themselves or their movies too seriously which is an interesting break from those who get very frustrated with talking about their favourite movies. They don’t always agree but that doesn’t make them angry at each other which is good. They joke and talk and it’s like having a beer with the guys while watching a movie you like.

Thinking Sideways Podcast – Zimbellina

Thinking Sideways Podcast

5/5 stars

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Thinking Sideways mostly deals with weird and mysterious happenings. The hosts cover a wide range of stories, history and mysteries. They go through the story in chronological order which helps with complicated stories. They have smart insights into intents and motives, such as when talking about killers. The three hosts have a great chemistry together and never talk over each other which is great. This means there isn’t a chaotic feel to the pod which can happen when you have a higher number of hosts. Going through the theories shows these hosts intelligence. They go through theories and posit different ideas, which I really enjoyed. They obviously do a lot of research and know a lot about a wide range of topics which makes the debates and conversations very fulfilling and full of facts.

Standout episode – The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve been into Poe since I was young so this was a favourite of mine. I’ve never looked into his death in much detail but I’ve heard rumours of it over time. Learning about it properly was good, even though there’s still mystery surrounding Poe’s death. The records are sketchy so there’s a lot of mystery and speculation around Poe’s death. He didn’t die in the gutter drunk though which is what I thought happened before. The story was changed a few times but you’ll have to listen to the episode to know what the stories are! They also go into his life so it was a really well rounded, well researched episode.

I really appreciate the way the stories are all told in the same way, in a sequence that stays the same. It’s an interesting and easy way to listen, it gives you all the history you need and then goes on to the theories and everything else. The hosts give well thought out answers to questions and have done their research. And they’ve been going since 2013 so there is an immense back log that I’ll be making my way through as quickly as I can. 5 big ass stars! Great mystery and weird happenings pod!