Album Review: Bell Witch – “Mirror Reaper”

Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Let us be clear, here at the outset:  if there’s an ounce of honesty to be had when writing reviews, it’s in the unspoken (and often masked) understanding that all of us come to an album differently and subjectively.  Whether my take of an album follows an imaginary herd of writers or not doesn’t matter, nor should it. What should matter is the implicit agreement between you and I – or any writer, for that matter – that what we’re telling you comes from our own experiences coming into the record, listening  to it, and digesting its intent.  I emphasize this because my experience with Mirror Reaper, the new massive single track album by Bell Witch is entirely colored by the time and manner in which I took the album in.

And in that specific set of experiences the album charted a course of darkness allowing me to work through fears and pain and come to a place of peace and acceptance.  It’s a powerful work singular in intent and circumstance, and a signpost in the band’s evolution.   Continue reading

Blood Red: Hoop-Tober 4.0 – Week Four

blood red hoop-tober week 4

Another week of gore and guts and gratuitous violence for you as part of my participation in the annual Hoop-Tober horror marathon.  Small independents like Splinter show how you can be effective without extensive CGI or locations, while Sisters highlight that even back in the day Brian De Palma was locked into the obsessions he would explore in his later and greater work.  The Lure is a bright and gruesome fairy tale that got its hooks in fast and deep, a worthy addition to the Criterion Collection.  Death Line may not have much, but it DOES have the single greatest acting performance in the history of mankind.  And while many folks think the gritty 70s schlock feel Rob Zombie seems to shoot for in all his pictures is heavily inspired by the original, I go to bat and say it’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 that is the real influence for him and others.

Not convinced?  The let’s dive in…   Continue reading

Album Review: Gloam – “Death is the Beginning” EP

Gloam - Death Is the Beginning

Sometimes a band comes out of nowhere and slams you with an unexpected impact.  That was Gloam for me last year with their debut full length Hex of Nine Heads, a fully charged battery of vicious dynamic black metal.  I wasn’t expecting anything else for a while, so while it’s almost too brief a stay, I’m more than happy to put their new EP Death is the Beginning on repeat as many times as needed to get through the day.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Bandcamp Ketchup

Nine Circles ov bandcamp ketchup

Ketchup, catsup, catch-up…it’s all the same here at Nine Circles: stuff is constantly falling through the cracks.  And while we’ll have our annual quarterly round-up from the crew coming shortly, I’ve got enough albums I’ve been digging over the last few months that devoting a Nine Circles ov… column felt natural.  All of the selections below came from my own interest in the band – this isn’t a list of the releases we receive as promos I haven’t had time to review (that list would be immense and frightnening).

So let’s see what’s on the menu…   Continue reading

Premier: Deathcrawl – “Entombed By All the Things We Seek”

death crawl - acceptable level of misery

I’ve never been to Cleveland, but based on the scuzzed-out sludge of Deathcrawl, it sounds like a lost circle of Hell, covered in netted filth of those consigned to its swampy punishment.  I mean this, of course, in the best possible way because based on the band’s upcoming album Acceptable Level of Misery it’s a place I want to visit again and again.  Ahead of its October 27 release we have the exclusive premier of the ripping “Entombed By All the Things We Seek” to prepare your soul for its penance.   Continue reading