Album Review: Khemmis – “Desolation”

Khemmis - Desolation

Denver’s Khemmis took the fast lane to acclaim on debut Absolution and quickly followed it with the ante-upper Hunted and now return with Desolation which will catapult the band into a stratosphere they’ve yet to see. And it should because it’s THAT good. Take everything that made those first two a success, split it, mix it, swirl it and make it, for lack of a better word, better and you have this album. Weird right? Not really, since in my opinion bands with any salt at all will do their best to better themselves and their craft. Khemmis are hungry and it shows time and again. Here they’ve topped themselves but more than that have truly entered the all exclusive hall of heavy metal legends and with three albums of top quality I can’t see this stopping anytime soon. Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 3 – 9, 2018

YOB
YOB

Another week full of stuff, things, happenings and more stuff. Whatever. But now, a fresh start in the form of new releases and even though the massive quantity of recent weeks has waned a bit, quality takes a front seat. So, what’s up this week?

Oregon’s (and the world for that matter) favorite doom sons, YOB, return with their eighth full length Our Raw Heart and in case you’ve somehow missed it to this point, this is some of their most heart wrenching yet fully realized work to date. Yea, I said it. Feel free to have your own opinion. Nearly as massive but on the death metal front is Tomb Mold with their second full length Manor of Infinite Forms which rides even higher than their debut — is it possible? Yes…and again, insert opinion here. Moving right along with Lago, a band I discovered and developed a huge affinity for back in 2014, return with their second full length Sea of Duress and honestly I didn’t expect this much death metal maturity but I’m fully engrossed once again and happier than a pig in sh…you get the idea. Last up in the opening slots this week is Zeal & Ardor with their amazing combination of black metal and spirtuals with Stranger Fruit and this is where you’ll find something way different from the norm yet something to completely lose yourself in — love this band. We’ve had an already massive showing but as usual there is soooo much more. Stick around as long as you like and by all means, leave those opinions in the comments section below.  Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 27 – June 2, 2018

Hostia
Hostia

It’s June folks. I’m old enough to know better than be surprised at how fast time slips away but…JUNE. Anyway, new metal is why you stopped by and that we have plenty of. Leading the charge this week is the self-titled debut album from Hostia and I can assure you that grindcore / extreme metal aficionados will find plenty of special sauce in this one. Next up is Ghost with their latest Prequelle and this one is quickly filling that ‘feel good hit of the summer’ vibe — clean singing and big hooks glorifying the dark one has never been this much fun. Wait, fun? Leaving it there, you decide. Moving on is Everything & Nothing, the debut from Raum Kingdom which has a very strong Amenra vibe so if that’s your thing, and why wouldn’t it be, get on it. Closing down this week’s top four is Creatio et Hominus from Burial In the Sky which finds the band in forward thinking death metal mode this time out and to be sure, this is a good thing. As usual, there’s a ton more so keep reading and keep exploring. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: YOB’s Aaron Rieseberg on “Our Raw Heart,” defeating adversity and more!

YOB
YOB – photo courtesy of  Jimmy Hubbard

It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this that YOB‘s upcoming eighth full length, Our Raw Heart, is superb. If the band is anything, it’s reliable — album after album. After going through a near-fatal bout of diverticulitis, frontman Mike Scheidt knuckled down to piece together what would become the bones of this album with a vigor that shocked everyone. Once able to share his ideas with drummer Travis Foster and bassist Aaron Rieseberg, the unspoken chemistry ignited.  Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 20 – 26, 2018

uada-band-photo
Uada

I’ve been experimenting with some bottom shelf bourbons as of late. Most of which should just stay at the bottom but I have found a couple of real gems that will be occupying space in my cabinet until everyone else finds out about them and they quadruple in price. And no, I’ll not tell. Anyway, if experimenting with new things is something you do we have a treasure trove of new metal this week. Kicking this list off is Oregon’s melodic black metallers Uada with their second full length Cult of a Dying Sun and they’re still melodic, still crushing but with an extra pinch of experimentation. Next up is Witch Mountain with their first full length since acquiring a new vocalist and yes, she KILLS IT so check out Witch Mountain and see how good their bluesy doom really is. Moving along is Svalbard with their, vicious hardcore / black metall..ish sound and a very important message in regards to the times we live in, new album It’s Hard To Have Hope — not only is the music a kick to the face but the message is a kick in the pants to dust yourself off and fight the good fight. Last up in the opening slots is New Hampshire’s technical (NOT TECH) death metal band Unflesh with their debut Savior which is not just technical but melodic in all the right places AND it’s a ton of fun so hopefully these guys will get signed soon. There you have it, the opening four. But — you guessed it — we have much more in store so stick around. Cheers! Continue reading