We’re about to hit the mid-point of the year, and as ever the amount of quality releases seems to increase with each passing breath. I’ve spent some portion of attention to 183 metal releases so far, and in a year where I find my personal tastes drifting more and more away from metal there’s always something that manages to pull me back in. So far there doesn’t seem to be a particular genre or style pressing its nose against the Trend Window™ (unless you count the amount of sax going on I guess…) and I’ve been surprised at the sheer variety of music pulling at my nerve endings these past six months.
So similar to last year, consider this edition of Nine Circles ov… a snapshot. It’s a measure of a point in time, personal to me and indicative as to where my head’s at halfway through the shitstorm that is 2018. And since that’s probably all the justification I’m going to give, so let’s do this. Continue reading →
In the next few days the solstice will arrive, marking the longest day of the year before making its inexorable tread back to darkness. So why not listen to some of the music the Nine Circles staff have been blasting in an increasingly futile attempt to impose some semblance of order into our chaotic lives? There’s a mix of a number of different sounds this week, running from hardcore and black metal to country and whatever we’re classifying Zeal & Ardor these days (besides excellent).
Grab a beverage, make sure your sunglasses are snug, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel here so you can treasure these playlists forever like a parent with severe attachment issues. As a creepy dude on an island once said, “Be seeing you.” Continue reading →
Our fearless editor Josh is away on vacation, no doubt depleting whatever town will have him of all their bourbon and listening to a fair amount of Waylon Jennings. That’s how our man rolls, but in the meantime he left me the keys to the kingdom that is Initial Descent!
Which means I get to tell you that the titans of British stoner metal Orange Goblin are back with revolution #9 The Wolf Bites Back, and it’s a raw, chunky blast of hard rock and blissed stoner goodness that will have you quaffing heady ales and adding as much denim as your closet will hold. Hoth return from a galaxy far, far away to bring their second full length Astral Necromancy, a concept album that, reading between a few lines has me believing this just might pick up with the progeny of the main character from 2014’s Oathbreaker, so if that was your jam you’re probably going to fall for this as well. Elsewhere Dave Ingram (Ex-Bolt Thrower) and company are back on the third release from Down Among the Dead Men. The crusty death on …And You Will Obey Me recalls some of the best old school flavor while pushing past the kids with a deep and brutal modern production. Finally if I were to pick a little something off the radar to bring to your attention it’s the hazy, occult doom soaked gaze of Frayle, whose debut EP The White Witch eschews stoner mentality and instead infuses its doom roots with a hypnotic vulnerable attack that shows some incredible promise for the future of the genre. Plus there’s a kickass Portishead cover, so what are you waiting for? Let’s get into it and let us know in the comments what’s been making your ears go crazy. Continue reading →
In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.
When in doubt, take a cue from Bard himself. Or herself. Or whoever it is we suspect Shakespeare to be this week (I’m only a quarter of the way Rosenbaums’s The Shakespeare Wars). Anyway, for this edition of Second Circle we’re focusing on new EPs coming out this week so let’s take the plunge and check out the latest spaced out black metal of Progenie Terrestre Pura and the wallowing psych-tinged doom of Frayle. Continue reading →
I don’t know if the fact that Seattle, WA melodic black/death band Hoth derived their name and much of the narrative content of their songs from the Star Wars franchise helped or hindered their career. Bands have forever taken inspiration from the media they love, and galaxies far, far away and don’t seem so alien when compared to the veritable glut of bands and albums trading favors off well-established fantasy literature. In the end more often than not it’s a framework to hang some righteous riffing on, so the question really should be: does new album Astral Necromancy, regardless of its conceptual conceit, adorn itself with worthwhile bling or is it all just tricks of the light? Continue reading →