Initial Descent: February 5 – 11, 2023

In Flames
In Flames

Super Bowl week is upon us. Does anybody even care at this point though? Look, I’m as big a football fan as that drunk dude you knew from that local bar you used to go to but even I know this one will be a snoozefest. Anyway, it’s finally time for new In Flames even though we’ve heard half the album at this point, BUT that half we’ve heard sure does sound like the days of yore from these melo-swedeathers. So yea, big time ready for that preorder to land. Next up we’ve got some absolutely vicious black metal from Terrestrial Hospice (seriously, this thing is a beast) and a death-power-symphonic-core-operatic chip shot from Dragoncorpse. Indeed, that’s a lot going on and it is quite different, so if that’s your thing be sure to check it out. And as always, there’s several more in the list below worth your time and hard earned money so go explore. See you here throughout the week.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Russkaja — “Turbo Polka Party”

If I look back on it, maybe even without realizing it, two people that have had a profound impact on who I am as a person would be my grandma and Weird Al Yankovic.  The one and only thing that unites them is their love of polka, and I remember showing my grandma Weird Al, thinking she would be blown away; she aggressively didn’t get it, and it’s hard to separate the music from the parody, but when you do, you find that the punky polka is the best part of Weird Al’s discography.  On Turbo Polka Party, Russkaja embrace the fusion of bouncy polka bops and ska-punk for the final time in their eighteen year career.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 269 (2.4.2023)

Thanks Fearless Editor Josh™ for holding down the fort last week! I’m back to traveling again for work which means not only was I away in Dallas which was colder than New York last week, but I also picked up the convention crud. But they say nothing cures the crud like a nice whiskey and some metal, so let jump into this the 269th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, kicking off with some of what kept me entertained while I was away: WuW, which might be in the running for my favorite release of 2023 so far. Their new album L’orchaostre just came out so be sure to jump on that post haste, whodoncha?

From there I’m gonna be generous and let the staff take over. We got some classic prog-infused Enslaved, new music from Fredlös and Lamp of Murmuur, a fossil from Grouper, some classics from Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne to honor the man upon the news of his retirement from touring, and then just a ton of metal, including Boris, Yob, Burial Hordes, Atonia, Maggot Crown, Siege of Power, Terrestrial Hospice, Black Math Horsemen, Thrice + Holy Fawn and a ton more.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week…

Chris

Nine Circles ov… Enslaved Deep Cuts

If there’s one thing to know about my musical taste, it’s that Enslaved is my all-time favorite band. If Enslaved has one fan then I’m that one, if Enslaved has no fans I am dead, you get the idea. From the early days of lightning fast riffs and blast beats galore to the masterful blending of black and prog metal that has defined (but not constrained) them for over 20 years, and the multilayered ways in which Norse mythology and mysticism present themselves in their lyrics and album concepts, Enslaved encapsulate everything I love about heavy music. Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson prove time and again that the band they founded as teens in 1991 will never compromise or tread the same paths twice, yet always remain consistent. With the release of their sixteenth full-length album Heimdal almost upon us, there’s no better time to revisit nine realms of the Enslaved saga.

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Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2022

Best of 2022

Writing this list in particular is always one of my favorite points in the year.  It’s the time where I get to look at everyone else’s list and go “hey, I should have included that too!”, and it gives me a chance to go back and look at all the stuff that I have missed out on listening to in favor of obligations, lack of time, lack of brainpower, or simply not being able to turn off Origins like I know I need to.  It’s always good to take one last look back on everything before we properly usher in the new year and new releases with it, so let’s jump into some of the things that I am currently kicking myself for not giving more attention to.

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