Album Review: Phal:Angst — “Whiteout”

The great strength of the post rock/post metal genre lies in it’s malleability. The genre thrives on its ability to incorporate traditionally non rock influences, such as film scores, electronic music, dub, or modern classical, into the traditional rock band set up. Once incorporated, the idea is that these sounds can stretch or transform the traditional ideas of a rock song. A band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor might turn an album into a symphonic piece with the song becoming movements in the piece. Meanwhile Sumac with each album seem to leap further and further into freeform noise. Even a band like Mogwai, who at this point are more of an alternative rock band than post rock, still utilize weird time signatures and aggressive volume in their music.  All of these bands still utilize the traditional rock band set up (guitar, bass, drums) but they’re moving the structure of the rock song and album into entirely new territories. Phal:Angst’s new album, Whiteout, however, bills itself as “industrial post rock.”

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Best of 2022: D. Morris’s List

Best of 2022

2022: The Year I came back… to writing about music that is. When the year started, I had no plans to write about anything and now I’m writing for Nine Circles. It feels good to write about music again, especially heavy music. Putting together a best of list felt like cramming for an exam, especially since I just started here. There’s excellent albums, not on here, that I purposefully left off because my fellow Nine Circles writers would mention or because they were similar to albums I simply loved more. Here are 15 heavy (and heavy adjacent) albums I loved in 2022 in alphabetical order.

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Album Review: Born A Ghost — “Stairway to an Empty Room”

Born A Ghost - Stairway to an Empty Room

Born A Ghost’s new EP Stairway to an Empty Room is a heavy album. Given that this review is being read on a heavy/extreme music website, that seems obvious. Why write a review for an album of easy listening? The songs on Stairway to an Empty Room will sound familiar to fans of bands like Neurosis or Inter Arma. While not too musically different than their influences, Born A Ghost perform this kind of music very well. 

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Album Review: Elder — “Innate Passage”

Elder - Innate Passage

To steal a quote about another band from the late great DJ John Peel, listening to a new Elder album is always different and always the same. It may be familiar but there’s always something different to be found. Every album is its own unique journey. It may be easy to go “Ho hum, Innate Passage is yet another excellent Elder album,” but doing so ignores this is a phenomenal album.

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