The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 203 (10.30.2021)

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I’m not sure where you all are, but here in New York it finally feels like Autumn…right on the porch knocking at the door of All Hallow’s Eve. It’s the time of frights, of golds and browns and dark and whispers. So I can’t think of a better way to kick off the two hundred and third Nine Circles playlist than with a little Samhain to get you all in the mood. And since more than a few of the staff are completely head over heels for the new Mastodon, we threw a doozy of a late track in here for you, too.

Elsewhere we got you covered no matter your tastes: Josh comes in hot with some classic Fastway and one of my favorites for the year, Green Lung. Zyklonius is gushing over the new tech metal from Allegaeon, while Vincent throws some delicious curveballs with toe and his beloved Mountain Goats. We’re not quite back to the extreme, as our Northern Brother Jon dips into his first tastes of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but tempers it with some mewithoutyou. The Man with the Mic himself Buke goes old and new school with Manowar and Monolord, while Ian goes crazy for Archspire and Angela digs into the new Ghost Bath and closes us out with a bonafide classic from Siouxsie and the Banshees. And that’s only the tip of iceberg of what’s in store, so buckle up, grab your mask, and hit play below. We’ll see you next week.

Chris

Exclusive Stream: Uburen – “I Hail”

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With Halloween lying just around the bend, Norwegian black metallers Uburen are set to release their second album, Frå døden fødes livTwo years removed from their debut Withered Roots, this nine-track collection offers a take on pagan black metal that’s traditionally raw yet features a healthy dose underlying melodic elements. In anticipation of this release, “I Hail” is available for stream below.

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As evidenced below, influences can be tied back to black metal pioneers Enslaved and Bathory, among others. While perhaps not replicating any specific genre directly, Uburen has created a unique intensity around their brand of black metal that simultaneously pays tribute to the genre’s beginnings. Given what we have heard so far, there is plenty to look forward to come Halloween.


 Frå døden fødes liv will be available on October 31st through Via Nocturna and be purchased here. Additionally, the previously released track “I Become” is also available for streaming. For more information on Uburen, visit their official Facebook page.


 

Manny’s Magical Genre Guide: Black Metal

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Iconic photo from the basement of Euronymous’s record shop Helvete located in Norway. The basement housed his independent record label “Deathlike Silence Productions”

Directly from the depths of hellish, white teen angst was born the fiery brand of metal known simply as “black metal.” Exactly who coined the term first and which band used it properly is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is how pervasive the genre has been in extreme metal since the early 1980s. While developing mostly in Scandinavia the movement has eventually spread into Europe proper, Asia, the Balkans and the Americas—becoming a global phenomenon. Associated with black metal are plenty of non-musical elements including the legendary use of corpse paint, stage names and extreme secrecy as well as some illegal activities such as church burning, violent assault and murder. It should be noted that while plenty of black metal has been heavily criticized for its white power, Nazi-like lyrics and penchant for hate (more on that later) that doesn’t define the genre nor limit the thematic leanings. Continue reading

Album Review: Occult Burial – “Hideous Obscure”

When a cover like the one pictured above arrives in your inbox any metal writer should be given pause. First of all, it’s awesome. Second of all, that logo rules. Third, there’s a badass skull front an center (with teeth). Finally, there’s some heavily studded armbands. Now, can this band deliver? Because that is one hell of a first impression. I’ll hand it to them, they back it the ‘f’ up. Occult Burial are not only obsessed with sick covers but they also love speed riffs, thrash metal and some old school butchery. Thus, Hideous Obscure is more than just a pretty cover to hang above your toilet. It’s a “take no prisoners” style of album that’s sure to bash in the hood of your neighbors car all while you are asleep. Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov… Darkthrone

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Along with Bathory, Mayhem and a handful of other acts, Darkthrone is one of the most commonly recognized and iconic black metal bands of all time. And though they’ve moved through multiple musical phases — death metal, black metal, crust/punk/thrash, classic metal — one clear element shines through every record: Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are extremely passionate and devoted to creating good metal music. For me, discovering the band has fit the ideal story of heavy metal fandom. I first saw their album covers in a friend’s collection, and was enamored with the dark imagery and the whole mystique (the names, the corpse paint, etc.). I checked out a few songs, got a couple records, and since then it’s been the long journey of exploring each record and building up a set of favorite songs. Nine of those are listed below. Continue reading