The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 273 (3.4.2023)

We’re creeping ever so close to the release of 72 Seasons, so why not launch this, the 273rd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, with the latest from Metallica. “If Darkness Had a Son” continues the streak of heavy, catchy as hell songs, and I for one can’t wait for the full album. I’ve been thinking a lot a lately about what we like, and how our tastes are informed by so many things, and I’m slowly getting to the point (or age, most likely) where I don’t give a flying f-ck about what’s cool or hip in a “scene” predicated on gatekeeping in both directions – it’s a drag and bores me to tears. How about this? I’ll like the underground indie band pumping out new and interesting tunes just as much as I dig the major label big boys still keeping things interesting decades later. Deal?

What’s the rest of the staff listening to? Lots of new music from the likes of Aara, Legion of the Damned, Out of the Mouths of Graves, Enslaved, Dawn Ray’d, Henget, Isolant, and Liturgy, not to mention a lot more both new and old, metal, and well…not so metal.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week…


The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 272 (2.25.2023)

Yeah…sometimes life just comes up and not only bites you in the ass, but grabs a hold and throws you down in the ditch, pisses on your head and laughs as it walks away. So this week’s edition – the 272nd – of the Nine Circles Playlist is coming a little later than it should, and that’s all on me. So I’m gonna make the preamble short and just get right into the meat of the matter, starting with a doozy from the new Venomous Concept album. I love the more punk and post-punk elements on it and hope you will, too. Looking through my recent vinyl acquisitions we’re also gonna drop a pair of 90s classics from Eucharist and Amorphis so you can all feel that weird snare and the cold ice blue of Finnish metal.

The rest of the staff will keep things on par with the usual varied insanity. So get your ears ready for music from the likes of Usnea, Klone, Polymoon, Grave Pleasures, Birdflesh, Lotus Eater Machine, Gravpel, Ulthar, Leander Kills, Dååth, Botanist, Big|Brave, Anatomy of Habit, and the newest from VoidCeremony. But that’s not all: you get some old emo from Marietta, some more In Flames love, older tracks from Opeth, Spectral Lore and Madder Mortem and a few more surprises, not to mention the ALWAYS appropriate Joy Division to close things out.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week…


Album Review: BIG|BRAVE — “nature morte”

Big Brave - nature morte

It should be no secret here that we have all been eagerly awaiting nature morteBIG|BRAVE is a band that fits into the nebulous space between metal and experimental, between crushingly heavy and ethereally light in a way that few of their peers manage to navigate successfully.  There seems to be no stopping their wild and creative tear they’ve been on, especially 2021’s double whammy of Vital and their collaboration with fellow game-changers The Body, it’s been a long time coming for their follow-up, but a lot has also happened, personally and globally, that has shaped nature morte into being.

Continue reading

CANTO: Enemy Eyes, Megadeth, Ofdrykkja, and More

Feeling better, tomorrow is Friday, and there are horror movies in my future. I’ll take it!

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2021

Best of 2021

Oh hey, you thought lists were all done?  Nope, I’ve got one more in the tank and some more albums to talk about.  I wrote one of these lists last year, amid a flurry of excitement and trepidation that I had missed something truly great, which is kind of a silly thing to worry about now that I think about it.  Of course I did then, and of course I do now.  There just isn’t enough time in the world for me to take every great album in, even in the span of a whole year.  And, not least of all, new bands and new albums are always being thrown my way thanks to the good folks we have on staff.  So, here I sit with some leftovers of 2021, albums that for whatever reason didn’t jump out at me right away but have since found their way into my heart.  Don’t consider these throwaways; they stack up to anything on anyone else’s list, and in fact, many of them WERE on other peoples’ list and that’s what brought them to my attention.  Just consider it a nice bonus present, post-holidays.

Continue reading