Nine Circles ov…Vince’s Mid-Year Favorites

Hello. Been a while, hasn’t it? Every year feels like it’s passing us by faster and faster, but the overwhelming amount of things to process this year has already made it impossible to fathom that 2022 is halfway over. If you are curious as to what music has been keeping me grounded for the last six months, now is as good a time as any to check in and see what the standout albums of the year are, as far as one humble author is concerned. Down to business then…

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 238 (7.2.2022)

In the United States a lot of folks are celebrating Independence Day, which falls on July 4th. Myself, I’m celebrating a Monday off and an extended weekend in the woods with my family as I contemplate life, the universe, and everything, to crib from a certain Douglas Adams.

Oh, and I’m kicking off this 238th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with an awesome band I just discovered: Kryptograf. They deal in some crazy psychedelic stoner doom rock straight out of Birmingham 1970 if you catch my drift. Great stuff. I may have also thrown in some vintage Darkthrone because I just got my limited edition white vinyl of A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Elsewhere Anton is repping Pelagic Records hard with tracks from Psychonaut and Hiroe, as well as a new cut from Conan. Vincent brings the madness with new music from Alexisonfire, Pianos Become the Teeth, Gaerea, and another cut from the fantastic new release by Inexorum. Finally Josh is going to wrap it up today with a host of great extreme music, including cuts from Werewolves, Spirit Adrift, Peelingflesh, Mongrel, and the newest single from Bloodbath that is so damn good I bumped it to the top of the playlist.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 237 (6.25.2022)

“But wait, Chris! What happened to Episode 236 of the Nine Circles Playlist?!”

Sometimes playlists are just too wild to be contained on the webpage of a humble music blog. Even now, if you listen closely between the high pitched whine of the street lamps you can hear the fading tremolo picking and blast beats of a runaway playlist, foraging on the remains of boy bands (rest in peace, BTS) and the tattered remnants of forgotten 00s dub step. If you love something, set it free…but if you simply forget to post something at least make the story fun.

Anyway, let’s talk about the much more present edition, which is literally below for you to relish with your favorite accoutrements. Josh is kicking it off with the latest from Megadeth…maybe the best song they’ve done in 15 years or more. And if that doesn’t rock your world, the new Krisiun is even more brutal. Followed with a hefty dose of Lorna Shore you should be off to a great start. Anton gleefully shoves some Antigama, Aenaon, and Xenoglyph to ensure you have 100% of your extreme intake complete. Vincent gets a massive track from Scarcity on and is slowly fulfilling an unspoken promise to feature every track from Bloc Party‘s debut in the playlist. Hera fuels my nightmares with something called AWS which I am assured is not Amazon Web Services…unless it is? She also has White Ward, Apocalyptica, Leprous, and a great collaboration between Trent Reznor and Danny Elfman. Ian brings in some great new music from the likes of Wake, Saor, and Russian Circles, as well as a classic banger from Alexisonfire to celebrate the release of their new album. Finally Angela returns as a voice of calm and serenity, giving us soothing lullabies from the likes of Deathwhite, Silent Majority, Stay Inside, and Aptera, which I’ve also been enjoying immensely.

As for me? I’ll end the playlist this week with a few tracks you can expect to see me review in the coming weeks.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

Album Review: Alexisonfire — “Otherness”

I distinctly remember when Dogs, the last release of new material from The Great White North’s own Alexisonfire came out; I remember being so stoked at how raw and aggressive and downright nasty it was and being so excited for what could possibly come next from that EP.  Well, what came next was a breakup and very little else for years on end.  Then came 2019, new material and the hope of a new full-length release, but even then, it still took a few more years to get to this point.  But here we are.  Otherness is more than just an exercise in cashing in on the hype of reforming after a long absence; it is a mission statement and a path forward.

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Initial Descent: June 19-25, 2022

Andy Marshall of SAOR

Man, it’s been a while since I did one of these. I think I pulled a muscle just typing that last sentence. But, our fearless leader Josh is taking a very, VERY well-deserved vacation, so you’ve got me for this edition. I’ll try not to disappoint too much. Lucky for you, (maybe?) there are some bands I know releasing stuff this week! We start with Saor, who returns with full-length No. 5, Origins. I still fondly remember the early days of this blog, when Corey and I didn’t know about folky black metal and thus promptly had our minds blown by the band’s then-new album, Aura. Good to see ’em back. Let’s see, who else… oh! Khold! Pretty sure I know them! The Norwegians return with their first full-length slab of black metal in almost eight years. Not into black metal? How about some good, old-fashioned Swedish death? Well, good news: Paganizer is also back this week! We also have a highlight that… isn’t really metal, per se, but still kinda exciting: the first reunion album from Canadian post-hardcore legends Alexisonfire. That’s just four highlights, so you know what to do from here: hit the link below and peep the full list!

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