Album Review: Rhapsody of Fire – “The Eighth Mountain”

rhapsody of fire - the eighth mountain

And so it was written…Rhapsody charged the plains of battle out of Italy, begetting symphonic power metal the likes of which had never been seen.  But lo, the Beast of Trademark trampled forth, and thus Rhapsody begat Rhapsody of Fire, which continued to blaze the sky alight with neoclassical lightning from the fingers of Luca Turilli and the gilded vocal cords of Fabio Lione.  But Fate is a fickle mistress, and in 2011 Turilli left to form…Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, leaving the original Rhapsody, now called Rhapsody of Fire, to continue the charge.  Except that Fabio Lione left in 2016 and is now forming a new band with Luca Turilli called…Turilli/Lione Rhapsody?  It boggles the mind, but fear not, for the original Rhapsody, now called Rhapsody of Fire but missing almost all its original members is still here, and the amazing thing of it all is that their latest album The Eighth Mountain is not only good, but it kicks all sorts of power metal ass. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Mo’ynoq was January 2019’s Album of the Month!

We’re back!

There was just too much going on toward the end of 2018, but the Nine Circles gang is 100% committed to bringing you the best in audio content this year…or least consistent audio this year: I don’t want to promise the farm one episode in!  But back we are with another edition of our Album of the Month series kicking things off with the full-length debut Dreaming in a Dead Language from North Carolina black metal outfit Mo’ynoq. Continue reading

Second Circle: Ghost Ship Octavius and Mortanius

second circle - ghost ship octavius and mortanius

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.

We’re still early in the music season, and it’s been a hot minute since we talked about power metal here on the site, despite my promises to the contrary.  Happily, not only has February started to bring a few promos to the inbox, but it also brought a theme, with two bands whose names end in “-ius” which is enough for me to get off my ass and do a Second Circle.  So without further ado let’s dive into Ghost Ship Octavius and Mortanius. Continue reading

Album Review: Graves – “Liturgia da Blasfémia”

graves - liturgia da blasfemia

Anyone else in the mood for primitive, lo-fi black metal?  Graves comes out of Portugal, and their debut album Liturgia da Blasfémia is exactly that.  Thick, cavernous black metal that howls and drools evil all over the carpet when you let it into your house.  Production that sounds like the engineer had tentacles instead of fingers.  But still with just enough clarity that the intent doesn’t get lost in a wash of reverb and candle smoke.  Know what I mean? Continue reading

Album Review: Soen – “Lotus”

soen - lotus

Soen have always played in that space that blurs the distinctions between genre classification: are they metal?  Rock?  They’re certainly progressive, but are they so progressive to be considered “progressive” metal?  Or rock for that matter?  The good news is that on fourth record Lotus continues to not care about labels, opting to let the emotional core of their music carry through.  Others can opt to argue what it sounds like; to these ears, it simply sounds like Soen. Continue reading