Holy shit…we’re already a quarter of the way through the year? Are you kidding me!?!? It’s funny how time plays tricks on you: it feels like the year just kicked off, but as the same time it feels like it’s been an eternity since the world was normal (if it ever was). Last night for the first time in over two and half years I went to a show and it…was…okay? I don’t think I’ll ever be completely comfortable being packed like cattle in a too-hot room with hundred of other sweaty bacteria-laden bodies, but man was it great to catch that vibe of live performance again. So you’ll forgive me if I open the 224th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with some tunes that speak to the heart of my comeback concert.
Don’t worry, though: I think the rest of the 9C gang has the metal covered for you. Josh is first out of the gate this week with the newest from Jungle Rot, and some killer music from Enslaved, Stabbing, Thou, and a slick mashup I won’t spoil. Anton brings the new brutal with a terrifying video from Cult Burial, Katharos XIII, and the latest from Ufomammut. Vincent sticks to more sedate waters with more Orville Peck and Midwife, but throws in som vintage Depeche Mode and than some nasty death with Hath. I don’t like playing favorites (except when it’s Buke) but Angela has fast been proving to be a veritable fountain of great recommendations, and this week she brings it with NOÊTA, Chalk Hands, and a killer new track from the mighty hardcore legends Terror. And if that wasn’t enough Buke comes in to clean up with Anthrax, Kvaen, Druid Lord, Mystifier, and some Joe Walsh of all people before finally tucking us in with some Dio.
It’s nearly a given at this point in heavy music that genre lines are far more blurred than they were even ten years ago. As the tendrils of post-metal, ambient music, and shoegaze crept into black metal, death metal, and doom metal (and vice versa), it suddenly became much harder to classify bands with a rigid genre tag. The same has happened with a good amount of music tangential to metal: Post-punk has always been viewed as the big brother (or father, even) of goth rock, new wave, and industrial, but the beginning of each sound was fairly self-contained in its origins until artists started integrating more textures. It’s interesting, then, when all these worlds collide at once; Atlanta-based trio Dead Register have crafted an absolutely stunning debut with Fiber, which seamlessly coalesces influences from gothic rock, shoegaze, doom metal, and some “post” tendencies, both rock and metal. Continue reading →
Over his last few albums, Manson’s music has simply sounded a bit tired. It’s felt tame. Its infamous bite has dulled, both sonically and lyrically. At times, it’s even begun to sound like it was made by someone old enough to have been raising a pitchfork against him back in the day. But that all changes with his newest effort, The Pale Emperor—a fantastic listen that rates as his best work since at least The Golden Age of Grotesque, and possibly even longer.