Initial Descent: January 19 – 25, 2020

midnight 2017

Last week I was reminded that it’s always the small things, the seemingly inconsequential details that usually make the biggest impact. So much so that I’m still thinking about it. Translation here: put an emphasis on the small things and little details, trust me. Any way, NEW METAL is why we’re here and this week is the first ridiculously memorable one of 2020 so take notes. Or just read and click. Whatever. Moving on, we’ve got raunchy and raucous new stuff from Midnight, caustic blackened noise from T.O.M.B., technical death metal (not tech-death) mastery from Defiled, and sweepingly epic experimental metal from Nero Di Marte. Get some. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 112 (1.18.2020)

playlist - mixtape

We’re back on a regular format today.  No more eulogies from me, thankfully.  Instead, we’ve just got our weekly assortment of whatever great tunes we’ve been jamming.  This week, I throw in some new Cult of Luna, which I enjoyed a lot more than its one hour and twenty minute run time would have had me believe I could, Anton throws in the new single from Sutrah which he’s been gushing about to anyone with ears around these parts, and we have a few picks from a site newcomer who you may or may not be hearing more from very soon…

Until then, enjoy.

– Vincent


Receiving the Evcharist: Body Void & Keeper and Raspberry Blush

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations. Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Body Void & Keeper’s Split and Mikkeller Brewing Company’s Raspberry Blush.

Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Neil Peart

neil peart - rush

It was always hard to communicate how large Rush loomed in the schema of my musical worldview.  Maybe that was because despite their retirement in 2015, there was a sense they would always be there: three goofy Canadians with a terrific sense of humor that also happened to write some of the best, forward thinking rock music of all time.  Always exploring, always looking ahead, the “Three Gods of Maple Leaf Prog Rock” as Dan called them felt immortal.

And then Friday we got the news: Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for the band, passed away January 7th from brain cancer.  It still hurts to write and see those words, because the thing I’ve slowly been coming to learn about my love for Rush, the things that keeps repeating in my head aren’t the riffs but the words.  That’s where I fell in love with the band.  The amazing riffs and absolutely exquisite drumming came later.  The outpouring of love for Neil and the band and the music and the words…it’s incredible to read, providing a chance to dive back in and listen with fresh ears, ears sadly made fresh with the loss.  And so for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to add my voice to the chorus, and take a moment to set down the music and words that resonate with me, to remember and celebrate a life that impacted me more than I realized.

Which is always the way, isn’t it? Continue reading

Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2019

Best of 2019

The Dark Souls franchise may own this title, but Aldia’s got nothing on me.

Last year around this time I made a statement, hoping that I would take it easier on the album listening; however, I also said that it would be for naught, as my 2019 release calendar was looking great and I was so excited about it.

However, life has a way of kicking you in the bollocks. Continue reading