The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Amorphis was May 2018’s Album of the Month!

We’re well into a new month, so that means we’re back with another chat about our favorite album from the old month! For this May-2018-edition of “old-month,” that album is Amorphis‘ spellbinding new set, Queen of Time. (Or, as one Chris Voss, might refer to it, Queen of Bee.)

Whatever you call it, it’s the Finnish legends’ thirteenth album to date, and we here at the blog were all pretty taken with it. (This time out, “we here at the blog” translates to: Dan, Corey, Chris, Vince, Hera and Mark. Josh S. wanted to be here, too, but Google Hangouts had other ideas and wouldn’t let him in. SO MUCH FOR NOT BEING EVIL, AMIRITE?)

Anyway, we all got together this past Sunday to discuss the album and are thrilled to be bringing that conversation to you now. Jump on in and take a listen!

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Second Circle: Progenie Terrestre Pura and Frayle

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.

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit, And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief.

When in doubt, take a cue from Bard himself.  Or herself.  Or whoever it is we suspect Shakespeare to be this week (I’m only a quarter of the way Rosenbaums’s The Shakespeare Wars).  Anyway, for this edition of Second Circle we’re focusing on new EPs coming out this week so let’s take the plunge and check out the latest spaced out black metal of Progenie Terrestre Pura and the wallowing psych-tinged doom of Frayle.   Continue reading

Album Review: Hoth – “Astral Necromancy”

hoth - astral necromancy

I don’t know if the fact that Seattle, WA melodic black/death band Hoth derived their name and much of the narrative content of their songs from the Star Wars franchise helped or hindered their career.  Bands have forever taken inspiration from the media they love, and galaxies far, far away and don’t seem so alien when compared to the veritable glut of bands and albums trading favors off well-established fantasy literature.  In the end more often than not it’s a framework to hang some righteous riffing on, so the question really should be: does new album Astral Necromancy, regardless of its conceptual conceit, adorn itself with worthwhile bling or is it all just tricks of the light?    Continue reading

Album Review: Yob – “Our Raw Heart”

YOB - Our Raw Heart

We count time in moments, not minutes.  Minutes are an easy subdivision, a common agreement to note the objective passage of time.  But we never objectively pass time: our “time” is made up of moments that can feel like a second or a lifetime.  A minute is nothing without the events that fill it, and those events can warp and distort our perception of time in the best and worst ways.  All of which goes to say that what for us may feel like about four years since Oregon titans of doom Yob released an album, it can never match or compare to how long it must have felt for Mike Scheidt and company to release Our Raw Heart, a piercing catharsis that seeks to make sense of the tumultuous events of Scheidt’s recent past, and not coincidentally some of their best work to date.   Continue reading

Album Review: Eye of Solitude – “Slaves to Solitude”

Eye of Solitude - Slaves To Solitude

Summer is approaching, and we all know what that means: it’s time to listen to music that makes you feel some relief as you feel sweltering heat on your skin. As someone who generally hates warm weather, nothing makes me more irritable than lying in a puddle of my own sweat and wishing for my own death. With this in mind, Eye of Solitude’s newest album, Slaves to Solitude, delivers top-notch funeral doom that works their aesthetic to new ground. Continue reading