In a way, Lower the Bar is the perfect title for the new Steel Panther album. You see, whether consciously or not, that’s what they’ve done on two consecutive albums now, following the two relatively lights-out records (Feel the Steel and Balls Out) that broke them out. Album No. 5 is still unmistakably a Steel Panther record — and, to its credit, one that boasts a couple of absolute panty-dropping tunes — but something’s just amiss this time out. Continue reading
I’ve always found it very easy to talk about the things that I like. It’s part of the reason why I got involved in writing as a creative outlet; I love discussing my passions and I usually have an easy time describing the things I enjoy. It’s rare that an album leaves me completely speechless, yet now I am faced with just such a scenario. I strive in all things to be professional, however, so I am going to give my best attempt to tell you why Falls of Rauros‘ Vigilance Perennial will very likely be one of the best albums you will hear all year. Continue reading
Deafheaven has become one of my favorite live bands for many reasons. I’ve seen them numerous times over the past few years and they have always delivered great performances. Hell, I saw them twice in one day during Chicago Open Air last year. But what I’ve respected as much as anything else is the diversity of the lineups they perform with. Tribulation, Envy, Carcass, Between the Buried and Me… the list goes on and on. Varying bands from varying forms of metal, one tour to the next. This lineup at the Paradise Rock club a couple weeks back, featuring the likes of Emma Ruth Rundle and This Will Destroy You, might have been the most intriguing (or curious) yet. Continue reading
The relationship between music and darkness is as old as memory. Certainly the first humans to look up into the vastness of the night sky must have intoned some kind of hymns to the black, whether in abject fear or awe. The swirling dark is practically synonymous with metal — just check the number of band names with the word “Dark” or “Night” or “Black” in them. But true darkness lives in thought, in reflection and circumspection, and Junius have over the course of their recorded output gazed further and farther into the abyss, and Eternal Rituals for the Accretion of Light, their latest and concluding album in a conceptual trilogy is a dizzying ride through the human spirit as it confronts and moves past the specter of death. It’s also a hell of an album. Continue reading
And like that, a quarter of the year has gone…
I swear it feels like the amount of music released increases exponentially year to year. What’s even more surprising is how much of it is actually pretty damn good. Metal had a great showing in 2016 and judging by the first few months it looks like 2017 has the potential to be even bigger. I’m sure it’s obvious, but as much as we want to cover everything in a timely fashion… well, we are but a few humble writers in a veritable ocean of albums, and the waves are only getting bigger. You can see the quandary, no?
NO? WHADDYA MEAN, NO?!
Well, for the sake of our sanity humor me, please. The Nine Circles staff are Scaling Mount Purgatory to bring you a few albums we missed in the hopes you don’t do the same. There’s something here for everyone so tag along as we begin our ascent. Breathe the rarified air, take it all in, it’s worth it.