The Nine Circles ov…80s Death Metal

morbidangelearly

In any form of art, there’s something magical about the “early works,” those seminal points of origin that set the course for wider narrative. It’s like the moment when the archaeologist finds and examines the fossil that ties together the map of disparate species. Or like the literary researcher who finally reaches the shelf with all the old texts, dusts them off and sets to work. Early extreme metal is a lot like this. There’s that turn around 1985 when you hear bands start to pull away from classical heavy metal. The guitar and bass picking patterns change, the vocals begin to lose their pitch, and the double-bass drum steadily becomes more important. Certain records appear and you realize, “wait, this isn’t really thrash anymore is it?” Buckle up and ride with us through The Nine Circles ov…80s Death Metal. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Things to Look Forward to in 2019

darkthrone

#1 New Darkthrone.

#2-9 see #1.

I kid (kind of).  There’s a ton of stuff to look forward to this year, just as there is every year.  But rather than do the usual “Most Anticipated Albums” post I thought for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I’d run down the list of everything I’m looking forward to regarding metal in the Year of Our Dark Metal Overlords 2019.   Some might be albums, some might be experiences or just things I’d like to see happen.

But yeah…really I just want new Darkthrone.  Let’s jump in. Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

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* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.

I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest.  On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better.  But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable.  And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day.  Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Clearing Out the Promo Pile, 2018 Edition

9C ov...Promo Pile

Every leaf that falls from a tree, signaling the beginning of winter and the end of the year feels like it lands as yet another promo I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.  The end of November also marks the time I start flushing out my various end of year lists, creating playlists of contenders and engaging in the massive purge of albums from my computer, releasing albums I’ll never come back to and freeing up precious space on the old hard drive.

But those lost, deserted promos call out to me, begging for another chance to be consumed, to be measured and contemplated.  So think of this edition of Nine Circles ov… as part of the process (or just a cheap sequel to my last post), digging in the dirt for those glints of promise that  – even this late in the year – can change a mind. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Recent Albums I Only Have Time to Review in One Sentence

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Sometimes you hit that point in your inbox where you just want to take the poor thing outside and put it out of its misery.  The glut of things unassigned, unread or untouched is a sight to behold.  We tread in fear of accidentally clicking on a link and having the whole thing fall in on our heads, Romanian hardcode tolling against the latest skate punk out of California busting heads with Australian progressive black metal and whatever the hell that weird buzzing sound is coming out of Europe.

It is, as they say in the parlance of the time, swole.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. I thought I’d try to run through a few recent releases and give them a little space here on the site, and also ease the burgeoning hemorrhage our inbox is suffering.  But time is short, and I can already see the next wave of promos coming in, so we’re gonna make this quick and relegate each release to a single sentence.  Ready? Set? Go!   Continue reading