Nine Circles ov…”Fixing” The Metal Hammer 40 Best Black Metal Albums…Ever?

fixing black metal

* 8/29 mea culpa: After some robust discussion online I’ve added a new paragraph addressing in part the thorny issue of including “problematic bands” in a list such as this.  Providing proper context is always important, and I failed to do that.  The fault is mine, and I hope the added commentary helps clarify the choices made.

Ah, social media…where would we complain and spit our vitriol over “Best Of” lists if we didn’t have you? Last week’s ire in a buttercup came from Metal Hammer‘s list of “The 40 Best Black Metal Albums Ever” — a post that at its heart really just outlined 40 really good to great albums influential to the genre over the course of three decades. Compiled and with commentary by Dayal Patterson, a man that knows a thing or two about black metal, the article (I’m guessing titled by parent company Louder/Future Pic to generate more clicks — successfully) instead served as fodder for other sites to call out and complain over as well as get the always sensible metal community to froth at the mouth over what was and wasn’t on a list that in all reality serves as a pretty nice introduction to the early evolution of a now expansive and diverse genre.

Well, for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. we show that we’re not above our own cheap commentary, even if it’s at our own expense…   Continue reading

Premiere: Anchorhold – “Five Weeks”

Anchorhold - From A Father's Son

Atmospheric black metal can take many shapes and forms, that much we’ve definitely seen and heard in the recent past. But when the subject matter deals with the decline and eventual loss of a loved one, it takes on a whole new meaning as well as provide a bottomless canvas to document the harrowing experience. This is exactly what Jimmy Sisco (Platoon 1107, Absolved) did with his project Anchorhold after his father was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. From A Father’s Son, due out August 10 on The Fear and the Void Recordings, is a four track documentation of the human side to this process and unfolds in an extremely stirring maelstrom of emotions. Today, Nine Circles is pleased to bring you a premiere of the EP’s third track “Five Weeks.” Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Wayfarer and Seafarer

Receiving the Evcharist

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy.  This week’s offering: Wayfarer’s World’s Blood and Three Weavers Brewing Company’s Seafarer Kolsch-Style Ale.   Continue reading

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: Svalbard – “It’s Hard to Have Hope”

svalbard it's hard to have hope

It’s hard to have hope.  In no time like the present do statements like this ring true.  On both a micro and macro level, it can seem at many times like the world is falling apart.  Music is something that should be a comfort to all, yet even scenes that are supposed to be welcoming to all those society pushes to the fringes are plagued by the same bigotry and gatekeeping that they are supposed to fight against.  When even this comfort is denied, optimism seems like an impossibility.  Enter Svalbard, and their new album It’s Hard to Have Hopethe soundtrack to you dusting yourself off and fighting the good and necessary fight for the future we all deserve. Continue reading