No meandering preamble. Too much of 2019 was utter shit, and music was the salve to my battered and bruised soul. Last week I touted 19 albums that helped me cope with the personal and global tragedies that the year brought, and this week brings another 15 records that, while not formally ranked all can on a given day act as my #26, or even my #1. Don’t try to find reason or logic in a list. Not only is it all subjective, but it’s all subject to change on a dime, on a given moment when the axis spins and tries to buck you off into orbit, and all you can cling to is the fragment of a melody, a riff or a lyric that tethers you to the world, keeps you grounded and ready for another day.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here talking about metal. That’s because I’ve been knee-deep in Blood Red, our annual horror series where I watch a crap-ton of movies and write them up for the Letterboxd Hooptober Marathon. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to metal – I’ve been trying to keep up with the veritable glut of heavy offerings bestowed upon us so far this Autumn season. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I thought I’d jump in and share nine recent(-ish) releases that have been keeping the blood pumping…as it spurts out a major artery.
Devils, Witches, Ghouls, Freaks, and Sinners it’s our time. October is the month where the freak flags fly, inhibitions are at their most transparent, and the most wicked, vile imaginations are out in full force. Take a step back and breathe in that crisp fall air whilst knowing that Devil’s Night is drawing nigh. Oh yea, all that and a bag of chips. New metal. We got it. You need it. GO…
Pacific Northwest death/doom dealers Mortiferum axe their way onto the scene with a dank ass debut that reaches into the chest cavity, grabs the beating heart, and eats it slowly, very slowly. Then, neatly cleans up and moves on to the next victim. Next, on yet another debut, Australia’s Carcinoid vomits forth a hellishly tortured landscape of putrid death metal nasty enough to make its own blood drenched horror movie. Moving on, extreme metal scene veterans Sammath return with their sixth full length of blackened death/war metal and it’s a smorgasbord of insanity just waiting for a victim. Last up top is Blut Aus Nord, whom I’m sure you’ve heard that their latest full length of otherworldly progressive black metal was leaked by some two-bit-asshole so they decided to unleash the digital and yes, you already know it rules. But now, the physical edition is upon us and woe be unto the souls that miss out. Just sayin’. Top four down, much more to come. FEAST… 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 →