Album Review: Thy Catafalque — “Naiv”

Thy Catafalque - Naiv

For over twenty years, Hungarian/Scottish experimental metal band Thy Catafalque have been working tirelessly to posit just how far one can push the genre of metal before it becomes something entirely new and outside the range of classification entirely.  Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and sole member Tamás Kátai is back with Thy Catafalque’s ninth album Naiv, which he classifies as “the least metal material in the history of the band.”  Aided by a slew of new and returning collaborators, this album certainly stretches the idea of what metal is capable of, while still being plenty heavy and assaulting. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Schammasch was November 2019’s Album of the Month!

Episode 33 of The Nine Circles Audio Thing is for the November Album of the Month pick which is Hearts of No Light by everyone’s favorite avantgarde black metallers Schammasch. The house wasn’t packed but we still had an amazing roundtable about an amazing album. Speaking of just how amazing it is, we featured this thing on our collaborative Top 9 of 2019 if that says anything about how good it is. Head inside to get all the details and hear how the conversation went down.
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Album Review: Schammasch – “Hearts of No Light”

Schammasch - Hearts of No Light

The question is immediate, wet and dripping on the lips of everyone familiar with the avant-garde black metal leanings of Schammasch: How do you follow up Triangle?  How do you find something else to say after delivering a critically acclaimed triple album that seemingly touched on every aspect of a genre, heady and expansive and mystical in its aural presentation?  The way out is through, as the man once said.  By simultaneously expanding their sound and distilling its essence, Hearts of No Light does in one album what Triangle did in three: explore dark avenues of philosophical yearning by way of even darker, brooding atmosphere and winding black metal roads.

In short, it’s a killer, a worthy and mesmerizing new offering from one of the best bands putting their stamp on the genre. Continue reading

Album Review: Howling Sycamore – “Seven Pathways to Annihilation”

Howling Sycamore - Seven Pathways to Annihilation

Whenever someone mentions the term supergroup, I can’t help but think of massive ones, like Ayreon or Avantasia, and the way they are able to create stories while incorporating a revolving door of vocalists and musicians that play major parts as characters. However, supergroups don’t need a huge group of people to be considered as such, which brings us to the band Howling Sycamore, whose members have various degrees of expertise across the metal spectrum, making this one of the more ambitious groups I’ve encountered. But, that doesn’t mean that Seven Pathways to Annihilation works like a total charm. Continue reading