Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2021: A Mid-Year Report

2021 mid-year report

Wait…so the guy who only wrote a total of 10 freakin’ reviews this year thinks he has any weight when it comes to a mid-year report? Well, uh…I guess that’s why I put the “heavily qualified” in the title of this post?

But seriously, I’ll be the first to admit that metal hasn’t really been my #1 go-to when it comes to music lately, but like everything else, what you see on the Internet never tells you the whole story. I haven’t been writing nearly as much about the genre lately, but I have been listening. Listening, and refining. Finding the things that really resonate despite the press and the push of PR, or what the pundits tell you on the 1,001 other sites out there scrambling for clicks. And what I’ve discovered is that more and more I’m coming to the sounds that drew me to the genre: thrash riffs, lots of melody, and tasty solos. So yeah: expect some old school bands putting out great records more than 30 years into their existence here. And maybe a few newer bands as well.

Is that qualified enough for ya? Then let’s dig in.

Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 188 (7.3.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Happy Saturday. Here’s another mixtape for you. This week, we’ve got some standout death metal from the grotesque riffs of Cerebral Rot to the frantic Aborted, to the knuckle-drag of Frozen Soul. All that and more below.

– Vincent

Album Review: Darkthrone — “Eternal Hails…..”

The world is changing. Faster than anyone would believe, and faster yet in the last year. It’s terrifying and impossible to unsee: in the vicious upheaval of the past year where everyone moved a thousand miles an hour in a thousand different directions it felt like there were fewer and fewer things to cling to. Where were the anchor points, the tethers to a known quantity…something to remind us of the underlying laws of the universe?

Far off in the distance something looms at the horizon. A shape of immeasurable size, and a sound that reverberates in frequencies older than the dinosaurs start to roll in like a massive tide that has been building and building forever…eternally, one could say.

They are back. We stare into the inky unknown black of the night and know that whatever happens, Darkthrone have returned to light the Earth with the torch of heavy metal, to scorch the ground with the prehistoric concussion of Eternal Hails….., the latest piece of evidence that the Old Ones still walk among us, and they have zero interest in anything but the Almighty Riff.

Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 20 – 26, 2021

Amenra
Amenra

Life is sparking again, live shows are popping off left and right, and every week of new metal releases has many something’s for everyone. Things are looking up in those regards, so rejoice…or hail Satan. Or whatever you do these days. This week in new metal uncovers the newest ritual from Amenra, a return to holistically bleak beginnings from Withered, a slappin’ slab of death metal from The Absence, wicked ugly death metal from Cerebral Rot, and the next black/doom/punk chapter from Darkthrone. Oh, you noticed? Yes, there’s five up top and could’ve easily been more but in the context of getting you to the rest of what lies below, I chopped it at cinco. Plenty here for everyone, so go and fire up these band’s bank accounts, pronto. Support what you love with ferocity and sing its praises loud even if no one cares. You do, and that’s all that matters.

Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 184 (6.5.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Good morning and welcome to another Saturday morning mixtape. We have a full house of picks this week, from a Pride month kickoff from Violet Cold, to some classic Wolves in the Throne Room, to the mesmerizing new single from King Woman (a particular staff favorite). Check all that out and much more at the link below

– Vincent