* 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 →
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 →
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 →
It seems silly to judge the volume and or content of music from one year to another – I’m sure I was feeling the crunch of not being able to adequately catch up with new music this time last year as well, but this year it just feels heavier. Between surprise releases I never saw coming to recommendations from friends and stuff that’s been either on our radar or blasted into the ether by huge marketing pushes, there’s just a weight of distorted riffs sitting on my shoulder no amount of headphone time seems to disperse. Which is not to diminish any of the records I’m about to cover that we haven’t devoted a full review to: there are easily two in this list I’m over the moon for. Nevertheless, for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s spend a little time with some early 2018 releases we may not have covered in depth, but are still worth your time. Continue reading →
So, besides championing the music I love to the masses here at Nine Circles, I also bash a bunch of instruments together under the perhaps ill-conceived name Necrolytic Goat Converter. I mention this for two reasons: 1) so it doesn’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere when I mention my new album Isolated Evolution comes out August 18 and you can pre-order it here, and 2) one of the things that often gets mentioned in both reviews and interviews for ANY band or album is influences. Drawing comparisons and tracing lines to other music is par for the course when it comes to reviewing albums – heck, we do it ourselves here all the time.
So, since it’s been asked of me more than once and it gives me the chance to briefly wax poetic on some of the music I love, this edition of Nine Circles ov… highlights some of the specific songs and bands that served as a foundation upon which I constructed the album. Which I will again gladly point out you can pre-order using the link above. That being said, let’s dig in… Continue reading →