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

Second Circle: WOORMS and Orchid

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.

In sharing a common theme, Louisiana’s WOORMS and India’s Orchid are out there on the spectrum of tripping the light fantastic. One does it with mind melting sludge and noise while the other does it with mind challenging technical ecstacy in the form of the avantgarde and extreme. So, for this Second Circle we’re taking a look at Slake and Miasma and how it would be best to take both in separate listening sessions so complete brain corrosion is avoided. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list.  There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work.  But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.”  I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me.  All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far.  I can’t ask for much more than that.  Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.

So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: A Forest of Stars was September 2018’s Album of the Month!

Nine Circles Audio Thing

Hey, we’re late again! A little less late than last time, but…still late! Huzzah! Anyway, we’re back with another edition of our Album of the Month series. In this edition, we’ll be chatting about A Forest of Stars and their latest effort, Grave Mounds and Grave Mistakes — our album of the month pick for September! Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Imperial Triumphant was July 2018’s Album of the Month!

How ’bout that new podcast logo, huh? HUH? Anyway, it’s mid-August, and that means it’s time to look back at July for our latest Album of the Month podcast. This month’s honoree: Imperial Triumphant!

Continue reading