Album Review: Siniestro – “Arctic Blood” (EP)

Siniestro - Arctic Blood

Blackened thrash, a term to these ears that goes together like bacon cheese burger or Imperial Stout (or PB and J for the kiddies).  Such is the musical stylings donned by Sweden’s Siniestro, who have arrived in time for the holiday season to bring you their new EP Arctic Blood.  The question is will Siniestro’s brand of fast n’ evil up your holiday jeer? Kind of yes and kind of…well, read on. Continue reading

November 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Dire Peril – “The Extraterrestrial Compendium”

PMAOTM november 2018 dire peril - the extraterrestrial compendium

Taking over the reins of this column has been an experience.  As I dove deeper into the ever-evolving mass that is power metal and its many offshoots, I’ve begun to tap back into those things that made me fall in love with metal when I was a kid.  The deeper narratives and mythologies, the technical prowess, all in favor to the all-mighty chorus – these were the things that shielded a troubled awkward kid growing up afraid and uncertain.  And as my life as a 45-year old man takes another sharp turn to the afraid and uncertain I’ve been leaning hard into those things that provided comfort before.  Since getting the promo for The Extraterrestrial Compendium, the debut full length from power metal super-duo Dire Peril, I’ve been struck with just how effective the album is at balancing grace and power, despite the pedigree behind.  For that and so much more it was a no-brainer it would be the November Power Metal Album of the Month.    Continue reading

Album Review: Master – “Vindictive Miscreant”

Master - Vindictive Miscreant

It’s all right there, before a single note is played.  It’s there in that extra syllable Paul Speckman injects at the end as he bellows “You’re nothing but a vindictive miscreant!” It’s a burst of disgust, dripping with vitriol tagged onto “miscreant,” a venomous punctuation before the guitars burst in.

It’s all right there, but what is it?  It’s Master, doing what they’ve been doing for 30 odd years, and not losing a step with new album (in case you couldn’t guess) Vindictive MiscreantContinue reading

Album Review: Realm of Wolves – “Oblivion”

Realm of Wolves - Oblivion

Every so often an album comes along seemingly out of nowhere so that its mark is made even more indelible because of its previous anonymity to a particular listener. For me, Oblivion is one of those albums.  I would encourage anyone reading this review to stop, go listen to the embed below, and then return for the remaining synopsis.  Okay, now that you’ve heard what I’m talking about, lets continue with the review.  Realm of Wolves are a Hungarian band that formed this year.  Even though that’s what the bio indicates and based on what I’m hearing, they must have been doing their black metal woodshedding for some time now. Earlier this year they released an EP, Shores of Nothingness, and now follow it with this debut full length. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Clearing Out the Promo Pile, 2018 Edition

9C ov...Promo Pile

Every leaf that falls from a tree, signaling the beginning of winter and the end of the year feels like it lands as yet another promo I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.  The end of November also marks the time I start flushing out my various end of year lists, creating playlists of contenders and engaging in the massive purge of albums from my computer, releasing albums I’ll never come back to and freeing up precious space on the old hard drive.

But those lost, deserted promos call out to me, begging for another chance to be consumed, to be measured and contemplated.  So think of this edition of Nine Circles ov… as part of the process (or just a cheap sequel to my last post), digging in the dirt for those glints of promise that  – even this late in the year – can change a mind. Continue reading