Initial Descent: January 31 – February 6, 2021

Chaos Echœs

You may ask “why feature Chaos Echœs now?” and the answers are: 1) because they are releasing an astounding live soundboard recording from 2018 on glorious vinyl and 2) because they were masters of their craft. Period. Must own situation so go do that now and then finish up here. Other, of note, new releases this week come in the form of entrancing black metal from The Ruins of Beverast, upbeat folk metal from Korpiklaani, and epic post-metal from Cult of Luna—it’s an EP so maybe half epic? All that and much more directly below.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 166 (1.30.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Last playlist of January and even though it’s a little late, there’s still plenty of time to rip your favorite beverage and jam. I mean, what the hell else you got to do?! Anyway, this week’s edition is stacked with stuff we’ve been digging this week; I’ve got the new Empyrium and 16, Vince has Amulets and Laster, Zyklonius has the new Stortregn, Angela has a cut from Heilung and the new Chelsea/ERR track, Ian brings new Genghis Tron and Tribulation, and Didrik drops new Soen and a pick from Baulds Draumar. All that and so much more behind the play button below. So, drink, listen, and be merry.

– Josh

Initial Descent: November 17 – 23, 2019

Blood Incantation
Blood Incantation

No chit-chat this week, we’ve got a stacked list to get to so let’s do it… The death metal benders and shapers, Blood Incantation, are back with an effort that finds them, yet again, pushing the boundaries of the genre far beyond its capacity – alienesque indeed. Newcomers Astralborne explode off the starting gate with an incendiary melodic death metal debut that rips, tears, shreds, and progs; in other words, an immensely satisfying maiden voyage. Obsequiae flood the moats again with their third full length of intriguing and well thought out castle metal but more than that, this is their best yet so jump on it. And, closing out the top slots is the always avantgarde and always exceptional Chaos Echœs with a double disc that features a once in a lifetime live performance, outtakes, alternate song versions, and yes, more live recordings spanning four years. All that said, in the span of four top slot albums we’ve got four must own albums. That’s some damn good odds. And, we’re far from done here so head below to unload the rest of that paycheck you got Friday. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Josh’s List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Initial Descent: February 11 – 17, 2018

Harakiri for the Sky
Harakiri for the Sky

Did you spend some quality time with your valentine? Yea, it was in the middle of the week…and work…and stuff. But, it’s the weekend now so no excuses right?! Take them camping, start a fire, go for a hike but whatever you do, don’t forget your headphones and might want to bring a splitter so you both can enjoy what this week’s new releases have to offer. Kicking off this week of heart’s is Austria’s Harakiri for the Sky as they continue to mix post-metal melancholy with black metal aggressiveness on Arson, thought provoking black metallers Eignelicht offer up their highly anticipated full length debut Self-Annihilating Consciousness and even though it’s only five tracks its all consuming nature makes it feel so much more expansive, Chaos Echoes successfully trump their own astounding debut on Mouvement and further prove that they are the reigning champs of extremely complex and contextual music, rounding out the opening slots: punk attitude meets hardcore intensity on The Good The Bad and The Zugly‘s third full length Misanthropical House. As you can clearly see, buying that headphone splitter is a great idea so you can share all the good stuff this week has to offer. There’s more to follow so head inside and enjoy. Continue reading