Second Circle: Mountains Crave and Device

Second Circle

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.

Here’s the way it usually works.  Our illustrious editor gets in dozens and dozens of promos each week that he puts up on a Google doc for the writers, who converge like a pack of wild dogs,  starving and scrabbling to get a cut of the juiciest meat.  That’s how it usually works, but every so often you just come across something else, whether it’s an obscure band you found in you Bandcamp collection one day because of a label subscription with an AMAZING cover or a surprise drop from a band saying goodbye.  In this edition of Second Circle we’re stepping away from the promo box to alert you, however briefly, to the wonders of Mountains Crave and Device.  So let’s find those comfortable pants you wear when no one’s watching and dig in… Continue reading

Second Circle: Pink Muscles and Ruin

Second Circle

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.

If there’s a common theme to this edition of Second Circle beyond “Here are two albums that fell through the cracks” I’ll leave it you to figure it out.  On the one hand we have Pink Muscles, a noise/punk collective with a serious bent toward out there horror and angular riffing; on the other we have Ruin, a grimy old school death outfit whose names may be hidden but wear their influences on their sleeves.  So get your hip waders and your aluminum foil hats, folks.  Shit’s about to get weirdContinue reading

Second Circle: The Ruins of Beverast – “Takitum Tootem!” and “Exuvia”

Second Circle

The Ruins of Beverast have been a ride-or-die band for me since the first time I heard them.  Their career spans fourteen years and (now) five full length albums, during which time they have never been anything but unapologetically their own entity among the metal scene.  Whether it’s the crushing doomed black metal of Rain Upon the Impure, the full-on riff assault of Blood Vaults (which I will go to bat for every single time, nay-sayers be damned), or the re-shaping of classic songs by Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode on Enchanted by Gravemould, Alexander von Meilenwald has built a legacy on daring experimentation that wins his music either shining praise or confused head shakes.  For my money, the Ruins are a band that I can turn to time and time again, no matter what I am in the mood for, and find something that satisfies me.  I’m extremely pleased then, to be able bring you a double feature of new material from this cult classic: an EP, Takitum Tootem!, and a new full length, Exuvia, that both showcase the entirety of their sound, and feature some of the best material in the band’s illustrious catalog. Continue reading

Second Circle: Vanum and Druid

Second Circle

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 case it hasn’t been apparent in the (holy shit) six months since I started writing for Nine Circles, I love black metal. The scope and variety of tone it can encompass without losing that ineffable quality that qualifies it as “black metal” is amazing to me, and so today’s Second Circle turns its light on Vanum and Druid, two bands working on opposite ends of the spectrum yet still to these old and tinnitus-afflicted ears hewing to the cry of the black. So pancake on that corpsepaint and let’s dig in.    Continue reading

Second Circle: Engulfed and Condemned

Second Circle

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.

Not only has the start of So Many Good Releases™ commenced in the metal world, but I’m losing an hour come tomorrow morning (no matter what our overly enthusiastic editor says about “gaining our days back”) so getting a chance to listen/absorb/transform back into words every single worthwhile release has become a bit of challenge. We here at Nine Circles are making plans to address that in the near future, but in the meantime I’ve got you covered with another Second Circle, this time featuring two death metal releases worth checking out by Engulfed and Condemned. So brush up on your vokills and let’s dig in.   Continue reading