Nine Circles ov…Recent Albums I Only Have Time to Review in One Sentence

9C inbox

Sometimes you hit that point in your inbox where you just want to take the poor thing outside and put it out of its misery.  The glut of things unassigned, unread or untouched is a sight to behold.  We tread in fear of accidentally clicking on a link and having the whole thing fall in on our heads, Romanian hardcode tolling against the latest skate punk out of California busting heads with Australian progressive black metal and whatever the hell that weird buzzing sound is coming out of Europe.

It is, as they say in the parlance of the time, swole.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. I thought I’d try to run through a few recent releases and give them a little space here on the site, and also ease the burgeoning hemorrhage our inbox is suffering.  But time is short, and I can already see the next wave of promos coming in, so we’re gonna make this quick and relegate each release to a single sentence.  Ready? Set? Go!  

Ambassador – Belly of the Whale:  It’s been a while since we got any post-rock that took its cue from the late 90s/early 00s alternative scene, and this debut from Ambassador makes me miss my youth a bit with some solid songs you can actually sing along to.

Deathhammer – Chained to Hell:  Look at that cover and tell me you don’t want to blast your brain with this collection of Norwegian blackened thrash that has everything you could ever want, from high pitched squeals and screams from guitars and vocals alike and an ass-kicking take no prisoners approach to its genre.

Domkraft – Flood:  It’s getting harder and harder to stand out in the field of stoner/psychedelic sludge, but this Swedish band remembers that songs comes before riffs, and are adept at packing both together on a mammoth wedge of rock like opener “Landslide” and the title track.

Infera Bruo – Cerement:  Apparently cerement is the waxed cloth used to wrap a corpse, so a fitting title as any for this New England black metal outfit, who weave progressive and atmospheric elements to craft the kind of black metal that slowly creeps up on you instilling dread with discordant noises and baleful riffs.

Piah Mater – The Wandering Daughter:  It’s not enough that we featured this album in a premiere, a profile and as one of the top entries for Initial Descent; a few of us are HUGE fans of this album and the opportunity to pimp the classic Opeth by way of South American prog/death vibe was a complete no-brainer.

Scorched – Ecliptic Butchery:  The roughshod modern death metal can get tiring for me real easy, but Scorched bring a nasty, slowed-down Cannibal Corpse approach to tracks like “Blood Splatter Eclipse” and inject it with vomitous d-beat and dare I say prog overtones to make it stand out against a sea of faceless peers.

Teleport – The Expansion:  Sometimes you have to go to Slovenia to get a vibrant dose of cosmic black metal that manages to incorporate the spirit of Voivod even as it charges down a very definitive black metal path, who knew?

Terror – Total Retaliation:  I’d say I have a soft spot for this LA punk/hardcore outfit, but the truth of the matter is after fifteen years and six albums there’s still a vital spark to tracks like “This World Never Wanted Me” and “I Don’t Know You” that show how much a great band can pack into only a few minutes per song.

Vanhelgd – Deimos Sanktuarium:  Full of misplaced tremolo picking and vocals from the bowels of a charnel house, the latest from the Swedish blackened death/doom merchants is a little bit “second verse, same as the first ” from previous album Temple of Phobos, but when the music is this dark and chilling I don’t have many complaints.

There.  Slightly less swole…at least until next week’s promos hit.  So much good stuff out there it’s a bit of a crime so maybe we’ll do this again soon.

Until then, keep it heavy.

– Chris


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