Initial Descent: March 25 – 31, 2018

Eagle Twin
Eagle Twin – photo courtesy of Russel Albert Daniels

Some things happened this week that made it an exceptionally good one for me, not that anyone cares. But it goes to show that there is still some good left to be had in this world, you just have to know where to find it. Or, it has to come to you. Either way, keep that chin up. Alrighty then, as we do here each week on Initial Descent we have another santa sized bag of good metal in store so let’s not waste another word… First up is Eagle Twin who break a six year silence with The Thundering Heard and, no pun intended, this thing is a thunder you’ll want to hear — doom meets blues meets a long player, get on it. Next up is some wicked power metal in the form of The Last Emperor from Judicator, we’re stoked on this one (see our coverage links contained within) and you should be too. Moving along is Exile Amongst the Ruins from Primordial and although they play it rather safe here it is still PRIMORDIAL and still epic if you catch my drift. Closing out the top four is Lychgate with their dynamic and avant-garde black metal on The Contagion In Nine Steps which may well resurface on many lists come end of year time. Make no mistake, these four are a strong start to the week’s offerings but there’s so much more waiting. Hang with us for awhile and see for yourself. Continue reading

Album Review: Lychgate – “The Contagion in Nine Steps”

lychgate - the contagion in nine steps

There’s an aspect of theatricality to black metal that lies forever intertwined with whatever home-brewed philosophy is present.  I don’t say this as a bad thing: in fact it’s a major draw to the genre, but it’s also something that’s not acknowledged enough.  Lychgate seem very aware of how they want to position both the lyrical content of their music as much as instrumentation, and on latest offering The Contagion in Nine Steps this marriage of nihilistic commentary and striking erudite metal has never been as effective.  It’s a deep and challenging record that isn’t afraid to let its dramatic moments fly.   Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy. Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 10, 2016

sumac band

Big week here on the new metal front, and of course, your boy’s nursing a bit of a hangover from last night’s Noisey showcase at Saint Vitus. Big ups to all the bands that played, and big downs to the amount of alcohol that was consumed coming back to bite me in the ass. Oh well. I guess this is what happens when Dan tries to concert on a weeknight…

Anyway, what’s dropping today? All kinds of stuff. We’ve got new full-lengths from Aaron Turner and Sumac, as well as from Boston’s Astronoid and San Diego’s Ghoulgotha. Plus, if you feel like getting #MetalTwitter’s panties in a knot, there’s also a physical reissue of Ghost Bath‘s Moonlover, which originally dropped last year. A bunch more in the works, so let’s jump into it — here’s what’s on tap for this week:
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Initial Descent: May 6, 2016

grave miasma band photo

It has rained every single damn day this week. Which, really, is just what I need less than two weeks removed from a breakup. Good job, universe! Oh well, May’s upon us. There’s no way it won’t improve upon April from a lifeical standpoint, but it may also do so from a metallic perspective as well. Quite a bit to look forward to over the next 25 days.

That starts today, with new stuff from U.K. death crew Grave Miasma, who release their gnarly new EP, Endless Pilgrimage. I’ll have a full review of that thing up early next week, but as a pre-emptive TL;DR — it’s worth your time. We’ve also got new albums from AlaricVektor…hell, even one from not-metal-but-yes-awesome synthwave mainstay Perturbator. It’s a solid week, so let’s jump in. Here’s what’s on tap for Friday, May 6:
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