The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 259 (11.26.2022)

For those of you who celebrate it, welcome back from the throes of mass turkey consumption, of stuffing annihilation, and of pie decimation. For the rest of you, simply welcome back. I got a huge Thanksgiving gift when I learned Elder released their latest album Innate Passage a day early on Bandcamp, and then it just kept coming when I finally got to hear the totality of the new Spiritworld album. Both albums are putting serious crimps in my already drafted end of year list, so let’s kick off with them for this, the 259th Nine Circles Playlist.

The rest of the gang managed to pry themselves off the couch and offer up the usual assortment of metal maladies to get your body in shape for the holiday rush. We’ve got Jade, Fvnerals, live Der Weg Einer Freiheit, new Nothingness and Shedfromthebody. We’ve got a big ol’ epic from The Otolith, tracks from Esquela Grind, Intranced, and Reeking Aura. You want a little more moody and a little less extreme? Okay: we’ve got you dialed in with some Kathryn Mohr, some Silversun Pickups, and for the countryheads out there even a little slinky funk courtesy of Paul Cauthen. And one of the best bands in the world to close it out.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 225 (4.02.2022)

playlist - mixtape

We’re back, and it feels like Spring is really starting to take a hold. I’ve been re-organizing my vinyl collection the past few days, figuring out just where the hell everything is going to fit and how I’m going to explain to my wife why I need to take over another room before the next stack arrives. First world problems to be sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it to kick off the 225th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, you know?

We’re gonna kick things off with some of the surprises I’ve discovered the last week, starting with new music from Michael Romeo, who brings the heavy prog I crave from Symphony X on his new solo joint. Anton ups the tech factor with some ripping new Inanimate Existence and follows it up with Luminous Vault and Lustmord collaborating with The Ocean. Josh digs into the dank earth of death metal to give light to Analepsy, Visceral Explosion, and Flesh Configuration before shaking things up a bit with Downcross and Real Steel. Vincent goes wide as usual with the newest single from Devil Master, Tzompantli, Falls of Rauros and deep cut from the Pieces of April soundtrack by Stephin Merrit. Hera returns to the playlist and brings Ibaraki, Ghost, Terzij de Horde, Playgrounded, Sadist, and something I’m assuming is called You May Kiss the Bride? I don’t know..it’s heavy though! Next up is Angela bringing some long awaited new music from Meshuggah as well as Frayle, Amenra, and Bhleg. Once again bringing up rear guard is Buke, and he’s chock full of great stuff, from the new Haunt single to some real old classic Opeth, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, Autopsy, and finally some truly classic prog in the way of the might Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

Album Review:  Bhleg — “Fäghring”

I have been enamored with Swedish black/folk metal band Bhleg ever since my other half reviewed the trio’s previous album back in January of 2021.  I am excited to see Bhleg back at it again so quickly with their latest release, Fäghring.  Additionally, this is the fourth and final installation of their album tetralogy “Ár.”  Each album from Bhleg is more refined, dynamic, and impressive than the last, and Fäghring is no exception.  Unique instrumentation, vocal variety, and intricate compositions make this album a must listen and an epic finale to “Ár.”  Bhelg have mastered the world of black metal and folk music and continue to grow and perfect their distinctive sound.

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Album Review: Bhleg — “Ödhin”

I’m a simple man.  I see a Nordvis promo and I click it.  We all have our labels that we’ve come to instantly associate with quality in our heads, and for me it doesn’t get much better than the Swedish label’s self-styled brand of “poor music for poor people.”  I haven’t yet met a release of theirs that I didn’t appreciate, and I certainly didn’t see that trend stop when I picked up Ödhin, the newest release from Swedish folk/black metal duo Bhleg (who may just have the best name on the scene right now). 

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