CANTO: Gatecreeper, Vintersea, Swampbeast, and More

I think this is going to be a pretty massive year in metal, and we’re gonna need it.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Best of 2020: Vincent’s List

Best of 2020

Well that sure was one whole, entire year, wasn’t it?

Like many on this website, 2020 changed a lot of the ways in which I consume new music, and not for the better on my part. The constant thrum of anxiety coursing through my body and mind made critical music listening often difficult, and yet the albums I found this year that I love are some of the best and most affecting music I’ve heard in several years worth of doing this. I went over all of these picks in the end of year episode of our Audio Thing, which I would highly encourage you to listen to here, or wherever you consume podcasts; fair warning that it is a rather long episode, but we worked hard on it and had a lot of fun, so I’d appreciate it if you took the time to check it out. You can consider this main list a companion piece of sorts to the podcast episode. You can listen to me go into detail about the how’s and why’s of my main picks there, but I thought it would be fun to catalog them still, and I threw in some honorable mentions for good measure. Read along after the cut, and a very sincere thank you for another year of readership. I don’t do this for clout and I certainly don’t do this for money, so it means all the more that people take an interest in the things I am passionate about.

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CANTO: Hell-Born, MØL, Thy Catafalque, and More

I can only imagine what wonders will unfold before us this week.

  • We’ll start with Hell-Born, the extreme metal crew out of Poland. They have a new album, Natas Liah, set for a January 26th release through Odium Records. Check out the recently release new track, “Blakk Metal”, which features Nergal of Behemoth.
  • Nuclear Blast has added a new name to their roster. Danish blackgazers MØL have officially signed on with the label. Not too many details have emerged just yet, but it looks like their second studio album, and debut with Nuclear Blast, will be out later this year.
  • Trial (Swe) are releasing a short 2-track EP on January 29th, titled Sisters of the Moon, through Metal Blade Records. Check out a preview here, and feel free to click that pre-order button if you feel so inclined.
  • And lastly, a new video from Thy Catafalque. The new clip for “Napút” can be seen below, a track taken from Naiv, which dropped last January through Season of Mist.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Initial Descent: January 10 – 16, 2021

Fractal Generator

Well…that was a week. And, we’re still here. Crazy right? Whatever. Today’s new release list is a bit longer than the last couple, but we’re getting a slow start to the ‘heaters’ that come through and melt your face off. Bit much? Yes, it is, but who cares. However, there are a few that breach the category. Right, let’s kick it off with dark, sci-fi death metal from Fractal Generator, horror inspired punk/doom from Bloody Hammers who know it’s always the right time for horror, and some gory brutal death from Infected Humans. These three bring the heat, but do peruse the rest below. See you here next week.

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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Chris and Dan count down their Non-Metal Favorites of 2020!

With #BestOf2020 coverage having been fully underway here at Nine Circles for a couple of weeks, it’s time for a bit of a breather. Time to crank down the volume, switch off the HM-2 pedal, and talk some non-metal for a change. If you read Ian’s end-of-year Rainbows in the Dark post and thought to yourself, “boy, I sure would like a two-and-a-half-hour audio version of THAT,” well, reader, have I got the post for you!

A little while back — okay, basically a month back now, because I work in a hospital and doing anything productive when I’m not at work has been a tall order this year — fellow non-metal aficionado Chris Voss and I sat down to talk about our favorite stuff from all the other genres that dropped this year. There’s some shoegaze and some folk, some powerful hip-hop and some super-catchy synth pop. We covered as many bases as we could, for a near Buke-sized amount of time.

So if you, too, need a break from all the heavy stuff, jump on in and check it out. If anything strikes your interest, our full lists are included below the episode audio. Maybe some of the stuff that floated our boats will float yours too!

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