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.
In today’s edition of Second Circle we take a look at the latest releases from grind legends, who happen to share a magnificent collaborative past (Gridlink, Hayaino Daisuki) and have now reached stunning creative apexes with their respective new albums. Whether it is pure serendipity or part of a divine plan that these albums are released on the same day only adds to their allure. So let’s dive head first into the unhinged brilliance of Takafumi Matsubara and No One Knows What The Dead Think. Continue reading
How do you describe something that defies description at every turn? What does ‘avant-garde’ even mean when you are so far removed from your peers that you don’t even seem to notice them? George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is not necessarily your go-to spirit guide for examining and understanding boundary-pushing psychedelic metal, yet here we are, listening to Waste of Space Orchestra’s monumental Syntheosis and witnessing abstract concepts swirling and coalescing around us. True to Hegel’s dialectical method, concrete meets abstract and both are reconciled to pure absolute during the course of the album, in the sublime manner of an eternally recurring sonic metamorphosis equal parts primal and cerebral. Continue reading
Coming across a previously unknown band that exudes passion and ambition and demands the world to unconditionally surrender and kneel is without doubt one of the most joyful experiences even for the grimmest, battle-hardened veteran of many a metal war. Enter Basilysk, with their debut full length Emergence, driven by insatiable hunger, eager to devour everything within its impact radius. Ageless both in spirit and execution, Emergence forms a rupture in time and space that Basilysk rips wide open with vicious riffs and wildly flailing yet skillfully steered exuberance. Continue reading
Ah, 2018. What an absurd, exhausting and often infuriating ride you were, with death as my ubiquitous companion and co-pilot. You entailed on one hand a near-cataclysmic series of loved ones dying around me in rapid succession, while on the other, an ever-flowing stream of metal that helped make that maelstrom somehow survivable and acceptable for yours truly.
As you, the well-informed reader, likely noticed during the course of the year, and will see again when you read further below, 2018 was a banner year for death metal of all colors and shapes, but most and especially for the boundary-pushing kind that redefines and reconfigures the entire genre. Another type of metal that really resonated with me was one of transcendence and catharsis, of dreamlike journey, cosmic marvel and triumphant rebirth. Overall, the vast array of diverse evolutionary pathways, latest career pinnacles, and dazzling artistic growth and achievement in the field of metal was a compelling sight to behold and a wondrous thing to experience.
As further proof of the excellent and exciting state of metal today, albums worthy of inclusion in the below list continued to be released until the very final days of the year, resulting in perhaps the strongest December release-wise in recent memory.
With this succinct backdrop in mind, I offer the following 23 releases as a tribute to goddess Eris. Continue reading
Greetings! Brother Vincent is currently on a covert mission involving pocket universes, dimension-hopping automatons and exotic parrots so it’s me, Zyklonius, stepping in this week to share and pair the latest sonic and liquid treasures I have discovered. This week’s offering: Ancestors’ Suspended in Reflections and Level Eleven’s Dark Side of Ale. Continue reading