In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
In today’s edition of Second Circle we take a look at the latest releases from grind legends, who happen to share a magnificent collaborative past (Gridlink, Hayaino Daisuki) and have now reached stunning creative apexes with their respective new albums. Whether it is pure serendipity or part of a divine plan that these albums are released on the same day only adds to their allure. So let’s dive head first into the unhinged brilliance of Takafumi Matsubara and No One Knows What The Dead Think. Continue reading
Since 1992, which saw the release of The Law, Exhorder has been out of reach in the sense of new material. And each restart was foiled before any steam could build for a real reunion/reformation. But that hasn’t stopped their legendary status from staying intact and growing or the hopes of new material, one day. Now, that day has come and that new material is Mourn the Southern Skies. 27 years is a long time. Things change, fans change, technology’s changed and music consumption has changed drastically but the band’s basic penchant for biting thrash metal hasn’t changed a bit. Mellowed sure, but the basics are still there and it’s damn good to have them back. Continue reading
Some of you may know me as Nine Circle’s resident screamo apologist/evangelist. In the past, I’ve tried to work mention of albums in this style into my larger body of heavy music writing. Yet screamo has always been my favorite brand of hardcore, and I’ve always believed in screamo’s ability to stand on its own, even if its name still seems, at least to me, to be considered a dirty word. So, since the good folks of this website give me the freedom to write about what I want (they will come to regret this eventually), I decided to do something about that. Welcome to Chaos is Me, a monthly column where I will be listing off my favorite screamo releases from the past month (and beyond, as you’ll see below). August was the perfect month to kick this off as we got two absolutely gigantic albums dropping in back-to-back weeks. Without further ado, let’s do this… Continue reading
When a band releases the kind of fire breathing EP like Vitriol did with Pain Will Define Their Death, either one of two things will happen on the follow up full length; 1) said band spent their wad and fall flat or 2) said band capitalizes on the promise of said EP. And sometimes a third thing happens; said band emerges as the future of its genre. Vitriol triumphantly do the second and third things on To Bathe From the Throat of Cowardice, their debut full length and maiden voyage for Century Media who picked them up off the strength of a playthrough video. ‘Future of its genre’ may appear strong but this kind of extreme death metal lives off the backs of a select few elder statesmen and as these greats age touring slows, releases slow, and we’ll eventually be left with their amazing discographies and no forward motion. George Jones once asked ‘who’s gonna fill their shoes?’ and in this case it’s Vitriol who have made one of the best extreme death metal releases in recent memory. Continue reading
Gonna admit to some bias here — I am a huge fan of Hope Drone and their unique style of blackened post-metal. I’ve been waiting for Void Lustre for longer than I’ve known its name. As soon as I saw the announcement I started hammering on Josh here at Nine Circles to find me the promo. When he delivered, I dropped literally everything I was doing (I was supposed to be finishing the Falls of Rauros review), hit play on the album, and immediately wrote out my stream of consciousness reaction, which forms the basis for this review. Cloak of Ash tore me apart and put me back together broken, and I was sure that it was an album that would be impossible to top. I was wrong.