Second Circle: Black Anvil and Gatekeeper

second circle - black anvil and gatekeeper

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.

Ah, the Extended Play.  Compact, versatile…few genres really know how to effectively wield the EP like metal does.  In today’s edition of Second Circle we take a look at two EPs, used to different ends, but carrying the message of metal loud and clear.  So let’s kick things off with the forthcoming tribute from Black Anvil and then cap it off with the early 2019 metal hammer that is the latest from Gatekeeper.
Continue reading

Initial Descent: February 17 – 23, 2019

Minors
Minors

By the time this goes to press I’ll be working my way out of the mountains and back into the hustle and bustle. I’ll probably get lost along the way and will, no doubt, be cold but it’ll be worth it. Nature rules, you should try it sometime. Anyway, thanks to these music players / phones / leashes we all have I won’t be without some of this week’s shiny new metal. Long list ahead so let’s get to it…

Ontario’s Minors was recently one of our Profile subjects and we said that their brand of sludge fueled hardcore would “leave jaws planted firmly on floors the world over” on sophomore outing Abject Bodies and we weren’t kidding – take our word for it and buy it. Next up is new music from Primitive Man and Hell which separately would rule by default but to have them on the same album, in Split format, is likely to knock the earth off its axis with their massive combination of death, doom and sludge. Pernicion wreak trve death metal havoc on their EP Seek What They Sought, and Sanhedrin keep the flames of classic heavy metal extremely well stoked on The Poisoner.

What else is up? Read on… Continue reading

October 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Hammer King – “Poseidon Will Carry Us Home”

pmaotm - hammer king

Not gonna lie: I spent much of October working on my own music (shameless plug) and being completely enamored of what is almost certainly going to be November’s pick for Power Metal Album of the Month.  So it was only in the last week or so that I really dove into the month’s offerings of metal both pure and true.  But as always there were more than a few golden nuggets to be had, and I was hard pressed to pick between four stellar stand outs (always a good problem to have!).  So I literally rolled some dice and came up with the majestic speed and 80s influence of Hammer King and their third album of classic metal Poseidon Will Carry Us Home.

But damn, any one of the albums listed below could have taken it so read on for the heavy and the pure! Continue reading

Second Circle: Arkheth and Apostle of Solitude

Second Circle

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.

Do you feel it yet?  The slow, agonizing crush of new music?  It’s not even the end of February and it feels like we’re being bombarded with releases left and right.  I made a personal resolution this year to dig a little deeper and check out more bands I’m not familiar with, and while the beginning of the year is a bit of a dumping ground when it comes to movies, for film it’s a perfect opportunity to unearth some gems.  Also, like last time, this particular edition of Second Circle has the ill-fitting theme of two bands that begin with “A” so without further ado let’s jump into the insanity of Arkheth and the melancholic death of Apostle of Solitude…   Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 12 – 18, 2017

lady beast band
Lady Beast

By the time you read this piece next week we will all be in a turkey coma and waiting to see who moves first on getting the hundreds of boxes down for decorations and such. It’s a standoff, everyone in the room will be hoping you’ll do it while you hope they do it. Good times indeed. But for this week we have another sizable load of metal for your ears to get wrapped around so let’s get to it. First up is glorious NWOBHM meets thrash of Lady Beast‘s sophomore album Vicious Breed which is raucous good time, next up is the varied and all-encompassing palate of death metal, noise rock and post-metal on Last Bastion of Cowardice from Northless, Cavalera Conspiracy return with their fourth full length Psychosis and honestly I’m not sure what I was expecting but this far exceeds anything I was anticipating, let’s just say: the roots are revisited and this thing is an absolute must and closing out the top slots is Daxma with their stunning post-metal meets doom metal approach on The Head Which Becomes the SkullAs usual, we’re not even close to being done so get in there and enjoy… Continue reading