Nine Circles ov…Black Metal in 2019

belzebubs

Peek behind the curtains, look in the crevices of dark corners unexamined by light and that’s where I’ve been finding some of the best music of 2019.  Last week we took a stroll through some of the best power metal to strike sword and shield this year, and the chance to do the same with black metal was too good to pass up.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… we’re going back into the dark to look at the some of the best the genre has proffered for our alien oblations, keeping away from the big hitters (but DAMN I dig that Abbath) as well as any we might have already mentioned on the site or the podcast. Don your cloak, grab your candelabra, and let’s journey into the dark night of black metal, 2019. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Power Metal in 2019

Gloryhammer 2019

It’s been a hot minute since this site dove into the hallowed halls of power metal.  Sure, there was that Rhapsody of Fire review a few months ago, and if you’ve been listening to our monthly Album of the Month podcast we can’t stop talking about how great the latest Gloryhammer is (seriously, it’s great…so much so that we’re not even including it in this post but giving it the header.  Run, don’t walk to check out Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex), but this year’s been a bit of a slog regarding content, let alone content for that most triumphant of genres.  So let’s rectify that with this edition of Nine Circles ov…and talk about some of the great power metal in 2019. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…2019: A Mid-Year Report

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Anyone feel oppressed by the ridiculous heat blasting through the Northeast?  It almost makes you want to take a month off of writing for a website.  I kid, but in truth I needed some time because the amount of quality metal that has been coming out this year has been INSANE.  Label faves like Season of Mist and Gilead have been routinely hitting it out of the park, but great music has been crawling out of every nook and cranny, and it’s dizzying to be caught up in the middle of it.  I had a list of about 14 I wanted to throw on here, but in keeping with the nature of the column I stuck to nine, all released this year before 7/1, and all on Bandcamp, because dammit let’s support artists with dollars, not fractions of pennies (plus it makes the formatting nice).

So here’s a glimpse of where my head is currently at.  We’ll see where these land come end of year, but right now they’re red hot and in constant rotation in my ears.  Onward. Continue reading

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