The Nine Circles ov…80s Death Metal

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In any form of art, there’s something magical about the “early works,” those seminal points of origin that set the course for wider narrative. It’s like the moment when the archaeologist finds and examines the fossil that ties together the map of disparate species. Or like the literary researcher who finally reaches the shelf with all the old texts, dusts them off and sets to work. Early extreme metal is a lot like this. There’s that turn around 1985 when you hear bands start to pull away from classical heavy metal. The guitar and bass picking patterns change, the vocals begin to lose their pitch, and the double-bass drum steadily becomes more important. Certain records appear and you realize, “wait, this isn’t really thrash anymore is it?” Buckle up and ride with us through The Nine Circles ov…80s Death Metal. Continue reading

Album Review: Unnatural – “The Path to Ruin” (EP)

frontcoverBorn out of former members of Morgue and Temporal Bleed, Chicago-based death metal outfit Unnatural will soon be dropping their debut EP The Path to Ruin through Horror Pain Gore Death. With no inclination toward anything to do with modern death metal, The Path to Ruin is a simple, no-frills EP that relies on the weight of its delivery rather than any kind of inventiveness. It’s ridiculously primitive and bare-bones, almost to a fault, but it’s still an engaging listen, even if its value doesn’t go much beyond a few cursory spins.  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Sacrilege – “Behind The Realms Of Madness”

sacrilege behind the realms of madness

Sadly, like so many bands, Sacrilege passed away far before its time. After putting out only three full-length albums, beginning with Behind the Realms of Madness ending with their heavily doom-laden Turn Back Trilobite in 1989, Sacrilege decided to call it quits that same year and, until now, have only been heard of on cover compilations. Sacrilege are not only back together (as is Discharge) but Behind The Realms Of Madness will be reissued by Relapse Records on November 13, 2015. The reissue will include seven previously unreleased bonus tracks and a complete re-master by none other than Brad Boatright of Audiosiege. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Bolt Thrower – “The IVth Crusade”

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With the sudden and unexpected tragic death of Bolt Thrower’s drummer, Martin Kearns (affectionately known as ‘Kiddie’) I figured we would take a look at what is easily one of the best and most important metal albums of all time: Bolt Thrower’s 1993 release The IVth Crusade. The album marked a switch for Bolt Thrower as they dropped the speed, thickened the bottom end and essentially invented death doom as we know it today. And yes, Martin Kearns didn’t play on the album, Andy Whale did, Kearns spent over twenty-one years playing these tracks live. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Podcast: Episode 18

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The guys touch on amusing news from Abbath and Sabaton, then dig into new albums from Windhand and Funeral Throne. (Okay, a new album from Windhand and a reissue from Funeral Throne. Whatever.) Plus, a rant about waste-of-life, hedge-funder-turned-pharmaceutical-executive Martin Shkreli!

All that and much, much more in Episode 18, so check it out!

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