Second Circle: Maligner and Obscure Evil

Second Circle of Hell

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 albums that share a common theme.

Was it really more than 10 years ago everyone started proclaiming thrash was back? When Municipal Waste blasted out with Hazardous Mutation ¹ (which you can argue is more Crossover than Thrash ²) and unleashed a glut of Exodus and Testament clones, most of which weren’t old enough to remember the dirt glory that was the 80s? I admit I may have reinforced some of the more questionable aspects of the movement (though I’ll never apologize for Toxic Holocaust and S.S.S.) but the reality is the genre never really went away — just ask Overkill. And despite being claimed “dead” by a number of online sites and magazines look across the border and things look just fine, particularly when you look at two great releases coming out this week from Maligner and Obscure Evil. Continue reading