Sometimes you make a snap judgement on an album. Sometimes in the heat of the moment with the hype and the accolades you convince yourself this or that record IS deserving of a place on the list. Sometimes that record takes the place of a record you find yourself listening to constantly years later.
It happens. Even when your annual end of year list(s) top out at close to 50 records after all the hemming and hawing is over with. And so for this edition of Nine Circles ov… in preparation of the 2020 end-of-year ranking I look back at my past lists and find nine albums that, frankly, I made a mistake on.
Each year I take a break from writing about metal on this site to regale the 10-12 of you who read Blood Red with reviews on horror films from every corner of the globe. Different sub-genres, different themes…vastly different modes of execution.
Kinda like metal, no?
Anyway, I’ve managed to vaguely keep up with some of what’s been going on in the extreme metal scene a bit, with different sounds catching my ears when I wasn’t knee-deep in Evil Dead homages and terrible, terrible remakes of mediocre horror films. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to say a few (very few – I’m tapped at the moment after writing over 16,000 words on horror movies) words on some metal that wasn’t coveted here on the site, but managed to stick in my ears long enough to register as something I dug.
Without further ado, let’s dive in. Continue reading
It’s August, which I feel is enough time to start building the argument that one of the releases destined to end up on my 2020 EOY list is a compilation of demos that were originally released in 1990. One of my “safe places” during this shitstorm that is the current world politic has been retreating to the sounds that made me fall in love with metal, metal that moved beyond the hairspray and whirlwind solos that attracted me in the first place.
With that in mind, I want to focus this edition of Nine Circles ov… on the absolute treasure trove that is Divebomb Records (not to mention parent company Tribunal Records). The work they’re doing releasing obscure and oftentimes unrecognized early metal gems—not to mention some great packaging when it comes to physical releases—has been exemplary, and the chance to highlight some of the many, many great pieces I’ve found digging through their Bandcamp page is one I couldn’t pass up. Continue reading
There is a certain danger inherent in this kind of Babe Ruth-esque shot calling when it comes to mid-year lists. I myself am already guilty of attempting to label something my pre-emptive ‘Album of the Year’ and then almost immediately finding something I like more that takes its place. Twice in this case. But on the other hand, in an effort to buck my natural instinct to focus on only the worst aspects of my existence, I would like to acknowledge the albums that have made the first half of this year worth being present for. It’ll be quick and dirty, and I make no claims that this will represent me six months down the line when AOTY Season rolls around, but if you’re interested in what I’ve been enjoying so far in 2020, read about it under the cut in this Nine Circles ov… edition.
I don’t think anyone expected the world to be where it was when 2020 kicked off. To even attempt to put into words the surge of feelings around a global pandemic that refuses to go away, a wretched history of systemic racism, brutality, and ignorance being exposed and reckoned with in the streets all over the world, and everything else the first six months has brought to light is reckless and futile for me right now. I continue to watch, listen, and learn as much as I can: to actively be part of a solution instead of passively being part of the problem.
In the moments between there is music, and if there’s even a glimmer of light right now, it’s in how good 2020 has been with regards to metal. So let’s see where my penchant lies as we cross the halfway mark of year that feels like forever. Continue reading