The Abyss Gazes Back: Vincent Makes Sense of His Anticipated Albums from 2017

gazing-into-the-abyss

You may recall in January, I was one of many here at Nine Circles who published a list of albums I was excited for in the coming year.  With 2017 almost over, it’s time now to look back and see how these albums stacked up against my expectations.  Who delivered, and who left me wanting more?  Read on to find out. Continue reading

Concert Review: Bell Witch and Primitive Man, 11.3.2017 and 11.11.2017

Primitive Man - Bell Witch 2017

Both Josh and I were lucky enough to catch the massive Bell Witch/Primitive Man shows in our respective areas. Since these two shows fell in rather quick succession, we decided to combine our thoughts into a single post. These performances undoubtedly left an impact on us both, so let’s get into it, shall we? Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 15 – 21, 2017

Hallatar
Hallatar

As we edge closer to the end of the year the trend in long lists of new releases continues. But one thing that has remained consistent is the quality, for the most part, of these releases week to week. This week is no different here on Initial Descent and expect this trend to continue in the coming weeks. Leading us off is the emotionally stirring debut No Stars Upon the Bridge from atmospheric doom metallers Hallatar, many names you’ll recognize from this group: Amorphis, Trees of Eternity and HIM so be sure to check this one out. Next up is Amenra who continue their very distinct vision of sonic depth, dark spirituality and uncompromising heaviness on Mass VI and again, do not miss it. Moving right along is the debut Teneral from NY’s Pyrolatrous who very successfully combine black and death metal in a unique way. Finishing up the top spots this week is the doom duo Bell Witch with their mammoth one-song opus Mirror Reaper and they actually pull it off. One-song albums are a bit of a chance to say the least but also a marathon if there’s not enough substance but that’s not the case here, grab some popcorn and dig in. Like I said, the quality is already apparent but it also lies in the quantity that follows so stick around and enjoy it. Continue reading

Album Review: Bell Witch – “Mirror Reaper”

Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

Let us be clear, here at the outset:  if there’s an ounce of honesty to be had when writing reviews, it’s in the unspoken (and often masked) understanding that all of us come to an album differently and subjectively.  Whether my take of an album follows an imaginary herd of writers or not doesn’t matter, nor should it. What should matter is the implicit agreement between you and I – or any writer, for that matter – that what we’re telling you comes from our own experiences coming into the record, listening  to it, and digesting its intent.  I emphasize this because my experience with Mirror Reaper, the new massive single track album by Bell Witch is entirely colored by the time and manner in which I took the album in.

And in that specific set of experiences the album charted a course of darkness allowing me to work through fears and pain and come to a place of peace and acceptance.  It’s a powerful work singular in intent and circumstance, and a signpost in the band’s evolution.   Continue reading