The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Metallica’s “…And Justice for All” turns 30!

and justice for all

On Saturday, Metallica‘s landmark album, …And Justice for All, will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Originally released in 1988, the album is notable for many things: for the band’s exploration of its progressive side; for their foray into music video-making, with “One”; and of course, for the near-complete lack of low-end through the entirety of the record. (#justiceforjason #woke #replacementbassistsneedlovetoo)

It is also notable for being an enormously successful and influential album, and a tremendous cap for the band’s unimpeachable early-era. So, naturally, we wanted to talk about it.

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Throwback Thursday: Happy 55th, James Hetfield!

papa-het

I think my new goal for these pieces is date-matching to Thursday, plus or minus a day or two. It’s just too damn hard lining stuff up exactly. Why am I telling you this? Oh yeah, because Metallica frontman James Hetfield turns 55 tomorrow, but we’re gonna discuss it today. Sound good? Good. Let’s jump in. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Absu’s “Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” turns 25!

absu-barathrum-vitriol-cover-art

I think this is the first time since I’ve started doing these Throwbacks again that I’m actually nailing an album look-back post down on its actual birthday. Progress, folks! Anyway, today we’re here to celebrate Absu. Over close to three decades, the world’s come to know these Texans as a pretty much unimpeachable institution of black / thrash metal. But on their debut full-length, Barathrum: V.I.T.R.I.O.L. — which turns 25 today — the then-quintet actually leaned more toward death metal than anything they’ve done since. Unsurprisingly, there was still a healthy amount of theatricality to it. Even less surprisingly, it’s still worth your time. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: In Flames’ “Clayman” turns 18

inflames-clayman-album

Though they’re little more than a punchline these days, it’s hard to overstate just how important In Flames were in my journey into metal fandom. As I began my crossover from nu-metal kid into “the real shit” — sometime around eighth grade — the Swedes were one of the first contemporary bands to really hook me. At their peak, they hit every note I wanted to hear: the sense of melody I’d come to appreciate from classic artists like Maiden and Priest; a heaviness that, unlike nu-metal, didn’t feel clownish; and most importantly, an almost unfairly catchy presentation of both those component parts.

And it’s thanks to that last point in particular that Clayman was the first In Flames album to hook me in. So in honor of its 18th birthday this past Tuesday, let’s take a look back at it.

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Throwback Thursday: Milestone Anniversaries for Death and Gorguts!

ITPObscura

So, can we talk about how tricky it can be finding post-worthy anniversaries for specific dates on Throwbacks like these? I tried looking back through and finding cool stuff that’s happened or dropped on June 21, and…couldn’t find much of anything I felt like writing about. Damn you, history.

BUT…break outside the strict adherence to post-date alignment, and suddenly, things got easier. After shifting the search parameters to include “+/- a day or two,” I came almost immediately upon two death metal classics: Death‘s Individual Thought Patterns, which turns 25 tomorrow; and GorgutsObscura, which crosses 20 on Saturday. THROWBACK TOPIC DECIDED.

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