Album Review: Naglfar — “Cerecloth”

naglfar - cerecloth

Man, 2005 was a crazy year for me and metal.  It was the year I re-engaged with the genre, and the more extreme side held me vice-like in its grip.  If it had a cool cover and logo I grabbed it, and paramount in those random grabs was the melodic black metal of Naglfar.  The mix of heavy, black and melodic was an immediate hit, and they’re still a band I turn to when I want something immediately catchy and aggressive.  New material has been a long time coming, but now we are diabolically blessed with Cerecloth after eight long years, and it doesn’t miss a step, picking right back up on the traits that made the band one of my gateways bands back to the genre. Continue reading

Album Review: Twilight Fauna — “Foundations”

twilight fauna - foundations

The thing I keep coming back to listening to the latest from Twilight Fauna is that title.  I’ve found over the past few weeks of isolation that when I reach for music I’m looking for different things than I used to.  I want connection, I want an experience that reassures me that we’re here, that we’re together.  The music Paul Ravenwood has created over the years always provided that connection, but nowhere is that intent, that essence, as crystalized as it is on Foundations.  More than being a new apex in the band’s catalog, it feels like the true foundation upon which Ravenwood will build moving forward. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Random VNYL Metal Records

9 circles VNYL header

It started about two years ago, and I have our Fearless Editor Josh to blame.  For Christmas I received a flat, square cardboard box containing a creamy white edition of the self titled album from Succumb.  I didn’t have a turntable…yet.

Two years later and I have a hefty collection spanning a plethora of genres, largely thanks my inability to stop my subscription to VNYL, a curated record subscription service.  Every month I get three albums created to my tastes based on my listening history on Spotify as well as my Discogs collection.  It can be hit or miss, particularly with their metal selections, but every time I start to pick up the phone to cancel another batch comes in with a surprise that makes me think, “Damn…maybe I should hold off another month.”   So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…let’s dive into nine curated metal selections sent to me and see if they’re truly reflective of my listening tastes.

As always, let’s do this. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Consuming Metal in Isolation

quarantine

Being into metal can be isolating enough…I remember as a kid in in high school (this would be circa 1990?) having to do a social studies project where kids would sing songs with social or political relevance.  I can’t tell you how many kids did Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”

Me?  I did Testament’s “Greenhouse Effect.”  Being isolated wasn’t a problem after that.

This, of course, is something different. Continue reading

Video Premiere: Habu — “Whirlwind”

habu band

I may be jinxing myself, but it’s possible we’re heading into the warmer weather early.  Even if we’re not, my brain yearns for it, and with it the tight, melodic kind of rock that UK trio Habu bring to the table on “Whirlwind,” the leading track off their forthcoming album Distant Thunder.  I’ve made no secret of my love for the trio format, and the way the band combine to show off a potent combination of musical chops and tight songwriting craft recall the way Counterparts-era Rush could carve a swath of righteous melody without sacrificing some rigorous riffage.  Nine Circles is proud to premiere the video, which will hook itself into your ear for the foreseeable future. Continue reading