The beginning is the end. Literally, in this case. I started this post with the entries for my list a few weeks ago, wrote my 1,000 word review (sorry) on my Album of the Year and concluding paragraph right before Christmas, and now here I am in the vaporous ether before the new year pondering the introduction.
And there are no words left.
I’ve wrangled with the why, trying to make sense of the music I consume and what it says, and I hit a point where trying to find an answer was…pointless. Not because it’s unimportant to know, but in the last two years the rest of the world became so much harder to deal with, life became so much harder to deal with, something in my brain went into emergency mode and just shut down the logic circuits, sending one single message over and over again:
In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
Happy 2021! Everything is fine! I swear! At least in terms of music everything seems to be fine. Right when I was thinking there wouldn’t be anything of note to grab my ears in January (sorry, but Tribulation still fails to do anything for me, so we’ll let others on the site rave) up pops two bands that trade in the kind of music that instantly strikes a chord in my metal heart. So let’s use this edition of Second Circle to the sinister pomp of Bloody Hammers and the killer old school thrash of Miserable…
Clock on the wall says 1am and unsurprisingly cracking a bottle of Henry McKenna 10yr bourbon just feels right as I sample the picks we’ve assembled for this week’s playlist. Don’t judge me, no work tomorrow and after 40+ years of practice my eyes will open no later than 5am so put that in your pipe and smoke it. Anyway, we’ve got a stacked mixtape for this glorious Saturday and I’ve confirmed it’s, as they say, a banger. I bring some new Bloody Hammers and The Crown, Vince brings The Ruins of Beverast and Havukruunu, Didrik lays down a killer Woods of Ypres pick along with new Soen, Ian offers up a Møl cut and an Aara track, and Angela keeps the livestream Goatwhore feels alive as well as a selection from Divide and Dissolve. All that and a ton more awaits behind the play button below, so get after it.
Well…that was a week. And, we’re still here. Crazy right? Whatever. Today’s new release list is a bit longer than the last couple, but we’re getting a slow start to the ‘heaters’ that come through and melt your face off. Bit much? Yes, it is, but who cares. However, there are a few that breach the category. Right, let’s kick it off with dark, sci-fi death metal from Fractal Generator, horror inspired punk/doom from Bloody Hammers who know it’s always the right time for horror, and some gory brutal death from Infected Humans. These three bring the heat, but do peruse the rest below. See you here next week.
Welcome back readers. Saturday is upon us once more, and with it comes another of our world famous (ok, maybe not yet) mixtapes for you. The year is only one-third over and we’ve already been graced with a preposterous amount of good music lately, and this week in particular we got the first new track from the upcoming Yellow Eyes album, who are one of my favorite bands in existence, let alone in black metal. That one’s not on Youtube, so you can have that for free. We’ve tried to cram as much of it here as we can; here’s hoping it provides the soundtrack to a kick-ass day for you. Cheers!