Being into metal can be isolating enough…I remember as a kid in in high school (this would be circa 1990?) having to do a social studies project where kids would sing songs with social or political relevance. I can’t tell you how many kids did Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”
Me? I did Testament’s “Greenhouse Effect.” Being isolated wasn’t a problem after that.
This, of course, is something different. Continue reading
Years before I had heard a single note it was the logo, the way the letters seemed scratched in flesh, sinister crosses embedded in the “N” and “M” signifying something I wasn’t prepared to listen to…yet. By the time I finally opened up to the grand progenitors of grind, Napalm Death, it was during their post-2000 resurgence, and my purchase of their compilation Noise for Music’s Sake led me down a rabbit hole of the most exquisite display of passionate anger and rage this side of the universe. Between 6-second bursts of grind, impeccable artwork, and some of the most biting social commentary ever put to paper, the arrival of a new EP and a new full length on the horizon makes this a perfect time to dedicate a Nine Circles ov... to one of the best bands to ever carry the tag of “extreme” in their music.
Let’s do this. Continue reading
Pretty sure by now everyone is aware of COC’s powerhouse drummer Reed Mullin’s passing. And if not, how about crawling out from under that rock of unknowing. Yep well, I’m a bit sour and out of sorts over this one so pardon me for being candid or loose lipped. See, COC has been a bedrock of my listening habits for many, many years and anytime I had a chance to see them they were like old friends and Reed was always the highlight. Always the brother from another mother. Always the pillar. Anyway, in reflection, I decided the best way to deal would be to put together a 9C ov recounting my favorite COC tracks with Reed on the kit or in the vocals so journey with me through a time capsule of my life and know that COC and of course Reed shared more life events with me over the years than most people have. Music is huge for me but COC is much bigger than just music, hell, they’re the soundtrack that has kept me going. Fly high Reed, love ya brother. Continue reading
So I was sitting around a couple weeks ago, begrudgingly scrolling through some social media platform (while contemplating if this would indeed be the moment the internet finally made me stab my eyes out), when I saw a light far off in the distance. And by distance I mean slightly further down the page. What was this beacon I stumbled upon? Lordi. Mother. Freaking. Lordi. And just like that, inspiration struck.
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