In the Flesh: Ash Borer, Volahn, and Shataan (January 23, 2017)

ash-borer-show-flyer

The Black Twilight Circle is a name that many familiar with underground black metal hold in high regard, and for good reason. Both the sheer amount of releases and the quality of these releases from the insular Los Angeles based acts brings acclaim from around the world, and to be able to live close enough to catch these various acts often is one of the best things about living in Southern California for me. So when I found out that two of the Circle’s best acts were opening for Ash Borer, an all time favorite of mine, there was no way I could miss out on that experience. Hosted once again at the Complex in Glendale, CA, this night would hold three memorable performances from some of the best black metal bands around.

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Best of 2016: Vincent Martinek’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Hey all. This has been a great year for music, made better because I got to share so much of my thoughts about what I was hearing with you, alongside the rest of the Nine Circles crew. It’s been a pleasure to work with some of the most talented people I’ve had the honor to know. Thanks to Dan and Corey for getting me started, to Josh Stewart for being a phenomenal editor, and to all the amazing people I do this with whose writing inspired me to better my own. Here’s to many more. And now that the sap is out of the way, on to the tunes.

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Best of 2016: Chris’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

End of the year, ladies and gentlemen. The time when lists flow like liquor at an office party, where the online community comes together as one gargantuan digital animal to do what it does best: nitpick, subtweet, and throw so many accusations of pandering, overrated and “hipster” picks that come December 31st we’ll all be sick and tired and never want to do this shit again.

Until next year, of course.  When we’ll do it all over again. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 27 – December 3, 2016

Ash Borer
Ash Borer

We’ve officially breached December which means Christmas is right around the corner and I assume you’ve gotten your Abbath snow globe? WHAT…no? Do it. A new month and another week of great metal here on Initial Descent. And if you’ve been paying attention we have had almost a years worth of stacked releases each week. Which should make this years round of best of lists very interesting. Anyway, on to this week which has Ash Borer back with the ridiculously good Irrepassable Gate and honestly what this band does with black metal is jaw dropping, Maligner gives us a thrashingly good time on Demon, Obscure Evil is still plying their massive death metal chops on Void Fumes, progressive metallers Arriver bend time and ears on Emeritus, and Flidais fly the flag for power metal on Kazador. If that was all we had it would be a huge week but we have so much more for you to dive into and dissect so hop to it, after the jump. Continue reading

Album Review: Ash Borer – “The Irrepassable Gate”

Ash Borer - The Irrepassable Gate

You’d think being a musician would count for something when it comes to reviewing an album. Listening to a piece of music while simultaneously deciphering the method of its execution would surely provide some deeper insight into the multitude of layers enveloping the latest blackgaze project, or the frenetic syncopations of the current tech death band hitting the scene. Truth be told, it’s more often a hindrance than a help: you get distracted trying to dissect what’s happening instead of just listening, hearing what’s happening and simply committing yourself to the artistic aims of the music. Luckily Ash Borer is here with The Irrepassable Gate to remind us in blistering fashion music is meant to be voraciously consumed, mainlined in hypnotic delusion rather than picked apart and categorized in technique and time signatures. Continue reading