Nine Circles ov…a 9C Review Preview (aka my Vacation Playlist)

9C metal vacation playlist

That’s right, folks…in a few short hours I will be on a plane and getting out of this god forsaken hell hole where it’s already stating to snow AGAIN and heading South for warmer climes, cooler waters, and copious amounts of alcohol – copious in this instance meaning maybe 1-2 drinks since I’m old and sleepy and my liver won’t stand for much more than that at this point.

But fear not!  Our lovely editor has made sure I am not forgoing my Nine Circles duties, and has loaded me up with  a ton of music to start digesting so when I get back I can get back to sharing what’s hot, what’s not, and what’ll curl your toes with glee or disgust (who am I to judge?).  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I give you a purview of a few things on my radar over the next few weeks.  Does this seem like a quick ploy to bang a column out before I leave for vacation?  Sure!  Does it matter?  You be the judge!    ___

King Witch – Under the Mountain:  Falling in the kingdom of doom/rock populated by great bands like Witch Mountain, and Acid King, I want to say King Witch is the blending of the two previously mentioned bands, but initial listens show a real flair for the hard rock – guitar pyrotechnics are favored, and if tracks like “Beneath the Waves” and “Carnal Sacrifice” are any indication, I’m going to be spinning this a lot poolside. (February 9)

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Eigenlicht – Self-Annihilating Consciousness:  If all I told you as this was coming out from Gilead Media, that’d be reason enough for excitement.  As it is, Eigenlicht’s long awaited debut is a brooding, holing beast of a record, epic atmospheric black metal that understands how grace can coincide with fury.  I’ve had the pleasure of already listening to this for a month or so, but plan to dedicate some serious time to it with a margarita in hand.  (February 16)

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Harakiri for the Sky – Arson:  Harakiri for the Sky’s III: Trauma was a huge surprise for me in 2016, so I was already pumped for whatever they would do next.  Arson lives up to the promise, subtly tweaking the formula to accent different moods and moments without sacrificing any of the driving heaviness that make their music so impactful.  When you combine this with Eigenlicht coming out the same day, black metal fans are going to be very, very happy. (February 16)

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Arkheth- 12 Winter Moons Comes the Witches Brew:  I’m not even going to pretend to know what that title means, but it was enough to make me immediately grab the promo. Initial impressions are all over the place, as is the abandon of the music.  Shades of Cradle of Filth without the constraints of popularity, if that makes sense.  There is some serious, almost Zappa-esque craziness here and I am down with it.  (February 20)

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Apostle of Solitude – From Gold to Ash:  I don’t remember who recommended Of Woe and Wounds to me, but I immediately dug the dark High on Fire vibe the album gave me.  My first listen of the opening track “Overlord” from new album From Gold to Ash does nothing to dispel that notion, and that’s a good thing.  There’s a lot of stoner groove in the  doom here, and I’m eager to get into the meat of this record, ideally with a rusty nail both in my hand and pounded into my skull.  (February 23)

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Insect Ark – Marrow Hymns:  I had the awesome pleasure to see Insect Ark live back in November, and seeing HOW the music is created in a live setting only made my appreciation for debut album Portal/Well swell to ridiculous levels.  With Marrow Hymns the commanding skills of Dana Schechter and Ashley Spungin are even more confident, creating hypnotic and dizzying waves of sound that point to a much wider scope.  This one is not going to leave you once you hear it.  (February 23)

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Ondt Blod – Natur:  Oh man…how to describe this?  Post-hardcore mixed with summer radio pop?  I don’t how to convince you that this seemingly disparate mix works (you can try my bud Stuart over at The Sound Not The Word, who gives it a go), but work it does, by fully committing to both components.  If only every Spring can start with this…  (March 9)

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High Priests – Spinning:  Did we tackle any noise rock yet this year?  We’re going to, and High Priests are bringing their angular attack to the front with their debut Spinning.  I’ve been banging my head to opener “Control” for a while now and  look forward to getting in a bit deeper.  Bonus: the band is a trio, which as stated numerous times over my tenure here at Nine Circles is my favorite format, so but also the one I hold the highest standards for.  (March 23)

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Nostalgist – Disaffection:  The further out we go, the hazier it gets.  Which seems fitting for the post-metal shoegaze of Nostalgist, an outfit based out of Seattle pushing some wavy layers of noise that grabbed me when I checked out the sample.  You can do the same, and then come back in March when we review Disaffection in detail.  Right now I’m just planning on this going down smoothly with a couple of burgers and a pina colada on the beach.  (March 30)

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So there you go.  I’m not shirking my duties…in fact, I’m taking them very seriously.  What better way to absorb the brutal, the frost-bitten and cold anguish of metal then by sitting on a rusty chair by the water, watching a bunch of scamps play in the sand?  You tell me, because damn I need a vacation.

-Chris


This is normally where I put something about where to find the above albums, but I’m pretty sure you can figure that out yourselves – the 9C reading audience is nothing if not incredibly beautiful and intelligent and always on the edge of fashion.

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