In a romantic sense, New York City embodies a perfect sampling of America. Opulence and poverty, history and revision, thriving culture and commodified gentrification, honesty and corruption, passionate vision and stubborn ignorance, grandeur and insignificance — all these things come together to make up a city that is as beloved for its endless opportunity and diversity in people and worldviews as it is reviled for its deep-seated association with power, money and depravity. Imperial Triumphant have taken it on themselves to tell the whole story of the city they call home, and Alphaville is the next chapter in that tale. Continue reading
When a band takes over five years between albums, expectations can and should run wild, especially if your previous album stunned critics with its idiosyncratic style and unrestrained creativity, yet at the same time remained criminally unnoticed. Do you return with updates to your formula and double-down on your artistic approach or do you dilute the complexity of said formula to achieve a flavor more palatable to the masses? With Immoto, Nero di Marte tackle this dilemma decisively with mesmerizing results that reverberate hauntingly. Continue reading
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
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.
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