Album Review: Joyless Euphoria – “Dreaming In Ultraviolet”

Joyless Euphoria - Dreaming In Ultraviolet

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

Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

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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

Nine Circles ov…”Fixing” The Metal Hammer 40 Best Black Metal Albums…Ever?

fixing black metal

* 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

Nine Circles ov…FRANCE

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Intentionally terrible Photoshop job courtesy of yours, truly.

By now, most of y’all are probably aware that the 2018 World Cup has concluded. On Sunday afternoon, France capped off a dominant tournament run by beating Croatia, 4-2, in the final. And while we’re not still dopey enough to commemorate the occasion with something like the “World Cup of Metal,” (Remember that? Gross.) we also weren’t going to let it go completely unnoticed. Hence, here we are with The Nine Circles ov France!

Side note before we begin: as much as I wanted Croatia to win it all, I also know exactly one Croatian metal band. (This one.) So, having preemptively claimed this post before the game, I’m low-key THRILLED that France and its comparably enormous metal scene ended up victorious. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Here we go… Continue reading

Album Review: Møl – “Jord”

møl - jord

Three notes in and you’ll be forgiven for thinking this is Angelo Badalamenti turning his Twin Peaks theme toward the blackgaze spectrum.  In truth that would be kind of awesome, but just as awesome is that Møl is back, and their debut full length Jord is a fresh injection to the genre, masking melody and emotion in an expansive wall of sound and aggression that shows a continued ascent from their previous (excellent) outings and hints at a fearlessness when it comes to embracing the beauty in metal.   Continue reading