Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2020

Best of 2020

If you remember from last year, I had this to say as I closed my 2019 EOY list:

In the meantime, 2020 looks to be tumultuous as well, but things are looking up, as I have music to look forward to and scream about at some point. Maybe, at the end of the year, I can tell you if I have succeeded in making more selective choices in music.

2020 gave us a roundhouse kick to the collective bollocks, didn’t it? In my case, it kicked me in the face and didn’t let me listen to anything – this pandemic has been bad for my mental health, and it didn’t help that grad school has continued to essentially take all my time and joy away from me. After September of this year, I just went off the radar musically and I found – much to my detriment – that I could only listen to albums I had originally invested a lot of time in. As such, my favorite albums this year are all touchstones of comfort, albums that I enjoyed heavily throughout the year. However, there is an album that made its way through these touchstones and was able to move to a spot that I didn’t think it would reach.

Welcome back to the pit of despair that has exacerbated my depression EOY list season!

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The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Neoclassical Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a while since I wrote something for the column, but I have been doing a lot of work and studying behind the scenes, which explains why there hasn’t been a lot of music writing lately. However, now that I have some time before grad school restarts, I can start talking about music again.

Blessed be thy gods.

For this episode of the column, I wanted to talk about a genre that combines both my love for classical (read: orchestral) music and metal, as I spend a lot of time listening to both genres. While symphonic metal tends to focus more on the vocal and operatic aspects of what we consider classical music to be, we tend to talk about instruments and instrumentation in accordance to their sound in a specific genre or in how they add texture to a song.

It’s time we talked about Neoclassical Metal.   Continue reading

CANTO: Imperial Triumphant, Enslaved, Epica, and More

Imperial Triumphant

Another quiet day in the world of Nine Circles. No matter, there’s always news to share.

  • Imperial Triumphant have announced a new album scheduled for a July 31st release. It will be titled Alphaville and will be released through Century Media Records. You can check out some behind the scenes footage as well.
  • For those anticipating the release of Utgard, the next installment in the Enslaved legacy, you’ll probably be interested in the new details/background info the band shared about the album. It doesn’t drop until this fall (Nuclear Blast), but I am already getting excited.
  • Epica dropped the third vlog from their studio sessions for their next album. This one focuses in on the guitar and bass recording and you can check it out here. For the fans in Europe, there’s a tour with Apocalyptica you can look forward to.
  • Finally, here’s a new music video from The Night Flight Orchestra for “Golden Swansong”. Aeromantic is out now on Nuclear Blast.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

CANTO: Oblivion Access, Cattle Decapitation, Death Angel, and More

PrimitiveMan12.11.3.17

Off to a photo event! Don’t worry, it’s at a brewery.

  • If anyone is/was familiar with Austin Terror Fest, it’s now called Oblivion Access. It will take place next June 5th through 7th and there are some killer bands on the bill, including Primitive Man, Swans, and Converge. And there are many more bands still to be announced. Yay.
  • Cattle Decapitation has a new album out next week. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I will be soon. If you want some more hype for that release, check out this short film from Wes Benscoter for “The Unerasable Past”, which actually features a couple tracks from the new album.
  • I’m going to drop a few new videos at you tonight, just for the hell of it. This next one comes from Death Angel, who released one for “Immortal Behated”. That one is taken from Humancide, which is available now through Nuclear Blast.
  • Finally, Sabaton have released a new track with Apocalyptica called “Angels Calling”. Check it out below. Sabaton is touring extensively in Europe in early 2020, and we told you about the Apocalyptica stuff yesterday. I think.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

CANTO: Ozzy Osbourne, Exmortus, Falling In Reverse, and More

lacunacoil8.31.2

I had to skip Canto yesterday to set up my new, and slightly less mediocre, sound system. Priorities!

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb