MDF week is upon us and while I can’t be there I know plenty of you that are. Hopefully soon I can live vicariously through your experiences, be safe and enjoy. For the rest of you, it’s another stacked week here on Initial Descent. And leading us off is the amazing prog/black/death metal debut Upon My Cremation Pyre from Jordablod. If you’ve ever heeded my advice I implore you to check this one out — scorching way to burst onto the scene here. Next up is Wode with their second full length Servants of the Countercosmos and as ridiculously good as their debut was this one is even better. The formula has been altered slightly but the results are astounding, count on this one staying the course the rest of the year. Sólstafir return with Bedreyminn and unshockingly they’ve done it yet again — blistering post rock collides with their signature metal style and it’s, simply put, bliss. Last of the top slots goes to Illustrations with Acts of God and if you missed out on this band’s debut do not make that mistake again. Hardcore is the foundation but many elements have been added to make this a heartfelt and colorful album, highly recommended. As usual, there is much more to sink your teeth into right after the jump… Continue reading
Seems like it was just over a year ago our editor was extolling the virtues of Wode and their cold take on the classic black metal sound on their debut LP. I listened to it all spring and into the summer, and its precision and adherence to a strict code of freezing precision and brutality left enough of an impression that it made my end of year list for 2016. Now the formula that worked so well is tweaked ever so slightly, that cold warmed by the dark earth of the grave with their second album, Servants of the Countercosmos. Continue reading
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.
Here’s the way it usually works. Our illustrious editor gets in dozens and dozens of promos each week that he puts up on a Google doc for the writers, who converge like a pack of wild dogs, starving and scrabbling to get a cut of the juiciest meat. That’s how it usually works, but every so often you just come across something else, whether it’s an obscure band you found in you Bandcamp collection one day because of a label subscription with an AMAZING cover or a surprise drop from a band saying goodbye. In this edition of Second Circle we’re stepping away from the promo box to alert you, however briefly, to the wonders of Mountains Crave and Device. So let’s find those comfortable pants you wear when no one’s watching and dig in… Continue reading
Empires of Ash, the debut full length, from atmospheric black metallers Sojourner was released last year via Avantegarde Music and recently saw a cassette reissue via Fólkvangr Records. And if you count Saor and Summoning as favorites from this genre, there’s no better time to get in on the ground floor with the epic take Sojourner has to offer. Gruff vocals and frantic tremolo work earmark the bands black metal side but it’s the synth, melodic chords and angelic vocals that set this band — and album — apart. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mike Lamb (drums, guitars, piano, synth) for our Profile set of questions and he was more than generous with his answers. Keep reading to see what he had to say. Continue reading
Merry Christmas! One more Initial Descent to go and 2016 is in the rearview mirror. Also, if you haven’t finished your christmas shopping, may the force be with you as you find empty shelves and hells minions in the stores. Or you could just give up and Bandcamp gift everyone on your list something from the massive metal year we’ve had. See, we truly care about you readers and are here for you. Speaking of; we here at Nine Circles want to extend a huge and heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you that have stopped by and spent any amount of time with us. We hope you will continue to visit us in 2017 and we will do everything we can to keep it interesting. Also we want to thank all the bands, artists, labels, PR firms and all those behind the scenes that offer us an opportunity to do this and the means in which to do it with. To our staff; we appreciate you and everything you do more than you know. You volunteer your time to do this and being that time is in short supply it means so much that you sacrifice it for us to move forward. You rule, period. This week KRALLICE leads the charge with Prelapsarian and yes they still kill it, on the Viking metal front we have No Blood No Glory from Pimeä Metsä, Nahtrunar continues their grim approach to black metal on Existenz and Panzerfaust takes a look at evil as it relates to the human condition on their extremely dense black metal album The Lucifer Principle. As usual that’s only the beginning so hit that continue reading button and see what else is out there. Continue reading