Nine Circles ov… Colin’s 2023 So Far

We’re already coming close to the halfway point for 2023 and since I’ve had too much going on to actively seek out new music recently, I figure it’s time to highlight albums that have made some degree of impact on me over the past few months. Aside from one or two exceptions I don’t expect many of the albums here will join Enslaved and Dødheimsgard on my AOTY list; nevertheless, they deserve a shoutout, even if the wheel isn’t being reinvented.

I’ve made sure to select albums that haven’t been featured on the site yet (aside from popping up in our weekly playlist or mentioned on the AOTM podcast), so let’s dive in with a chronological look at what 2023 has had to offer so far.

Continue reading

Album Review: Blaze of Sorrow — “Vultus Fati”

Atmospheric black metal isn’t necessarily an oversaturated genre, but with so much out there it’s not always easy to discover new music that stands out — but what are some of the musical traits that do separate the wheat from the chaff? Ability to balance both melody and heaviness, dynamic songwriting, incorporating outside sounds, and naturally the atmosphere are a few things that come to mind. Blaze of Sorrow tick all these boxes with their seventh full-length Vultus Fati, a truly triumphant album that may prove to be some of the best black metal released this year.

Continue reading

Album Review: Spectral Lore — “11 Days”

After an extremely fruitful 2022, with five albums under five different projects, RABM’s most prolific musician Ayloss has returned to his paramount project. 11 Days is Spectral Lore’s first release in almost two years; a four-song, 44-minute EP alternating between metal and ambient tracks depicting the harrowing journey of refugees across the Mediterranean, a trek which has claimed over 25,000 lives since 2014. With powerful music as heavy as the subject material (and lyrical themes to match), Ayloss has crafted a scathing indictment of the EU’s immigration policies alongside what is some of the strongest material under the Spectral Lore moniker so far.

Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Wuodan’s Wunde and Old Wayfarer

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

The uniting theme of my inaugural Evcharist seems to be allusions to the One-Eyed God. So go ahead and raise your horns, grab your walking stick, and let’s journey to ancient times via black metal and mead with Wuodan’s Wunde’s Es glimmt empor aus ewger Nacht and Groennfell’s Old Wayfarer.

Continue reading

Album Review: Woods of Desolation — “The Falling Tide”

Woods of Desolation - The Falling Tide

I actually told myself the last review I wrote for the site was going to be the last new album I would review this year.  Not for any grim or tragic reason, it’s just list season, I told myself I was going to start early and focus on that instead of scrambling to get them in like I always do.  But then, of course, there is a new Woods of Desolation album mucking up my well-thought-out plans.  I couldn’t pass up this chance though, and I’m relieved that I didn’t.  I knew my year end list wouldn’t be safe from The Falling Tide, and I was right and then some.

Continue reading