Ah, blackgaze – the genre that, when done correctly, can be the most beautiful thing to grace a set of ears. As someone whose primary listening turns dark in the summer, it made sense to continue my sensibilities into pursuing what else is out there before I’m neck-deep into black metal for the next four months. Which brings me to When the Darkness Falls, an EP from the Ukrainian one-man project, Nuitville, whose emotional flair really caught my attention and held it for the duration. Continue reading
Well, we’re here again. Another deadline looming and another herculean pile of promos and new releases to get through. Gotta have an opinion on it all, man! Gotta get your view HEARD on the Net of Inter, the tangled web of social media that serves as the roaring voice of the DISCERNING MASS! Nuance? Never heard of it! Just shout AS LOUD AS YOU CAN ABOUT WHATEVER HALF-FORMED THOUGHT YOU HAVE IN YOUR BRILLIANT HEAD SO EVERYONE KNOWS YOU WERE FIRST! YOU WERE THERE AT THE BEGINNING! NO ONE CAN FOOL YOU!
What the hell…let’s join the Body Eclectic and get our malnourished and quivering need for acceptance and acknowledgement out there. And since considered thinking is at a premium, let’s keep this edition of Nine Circles ov snappy once again with one-sentence summaries of nine recent releases. Continue reading
Blackgaze can be joyous, although I don’t go looking for it very often. While my tastes tend to go for the atmospheric and off-kilter, I sometimes find something that catches my eye that really makes me want to sit and listen. Whether it’s how the album sounds or how it’s constructed, my brain always tries to fill in the gaps of what makes something tick. In the case of Joyless Euphoria’s Dreaming In Ultraviolet, what made me sit down and take notice was how inherently colorful and joyous it is. Even though the genre it comes from is not known for its levity, this album has something that makes me want to get up and weep in joy. Continue reading
We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list. There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work. But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.” I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me. All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far. I can’t ask for much more than that. Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.
So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading
* 8/29 mea culpa: After some robust discussion online I’ve added a new paragraph addressing in part the thorny issue of including “problematic bands” in a list such as this. Providing proper context is always important, and I failed to do that. The fault is mine, and I hope the added commentary helps clarify the choices made.
Ah, social media…where would we complain and spit our vitriol over “Best Of” lists if we didn’t have you? Last week’s ire in a buttercup came from Metal Hammer‘s list of “The 40 Best Black Metal Albums Ever” — a post that at its heart really just outlined 40 really good to great albums influential to the genre over the course of three decades. Compiled and with commentary by Dayal Patterson, a man that knows a thing or two about black metal, the article (I’m guessing titled by parent company Louder/Future Pic to generate more clicks — successfully) instead served as fodder for other sites to call out and complain over as well as get the always sensible metal community to froth at the mouth over what was and wasn’t on a list that in all reality serves as a pretty nice introduction to the early evolution of a now expansive and diverse genre.
Well, for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. we show that we’re not above our own cheap commentary, even if it’s at our own expense… Continue reading