What is black metal anymore? Does the label have any meaning left? When it comes down to it, the music we celebrate here at Nine Circles is loud, abrasive, and marches to the beat of a rebellious heart. People get caught up in categorization and labelling, under the impression that pigeonholing something gives them some sort of power over it. Eigenlicht is having none of that on debut full length Self-Annihiliating Consciousness, a towering monolith of sound that pushes against the constraints of the genre, refusing to bow before something as devoid of meaning as “black metal” even as it uses some of the building blocks of the movement in its nebulous and far-reaching shape. Continue reading →
A lot of bands lumped in the throwback circuit of 70s nostalgia rock (I’m thinking bands like Witchcraft, Kadavar, and the recently reunited Graveyard) takes their cues from the Marshall stacks and searing solos of the progenitors of the field, but there’s a smaller component often missed. Listening to Under the Mountain, the debut album from Scottish classic rockers King Witch I discovered they realized that gap as well, and made sure to cover it on a powerhouse collection of tunes I’ve been spinning a lot these past few weeks. Continue reading →
Every January, in the immediate aftermath of the bountiful harvest and stocktaking of the previous year’s metal offerings, I inexplicably get worried that the new year will be when the awesome wave finally breaks and the quality of metal nosedives. In 2017, a certain January release dispelled my fears by claiming the number one spot of my end-of-year list. In 2018, Agrimonia’sAwaken provides a similar cannon blast of optimism wrapped in multiple layers of darkness and beauty. Continue reading →
Australian post-metal / doom stalwarts Hawkmoth just released their second album Godless Summit via Black Bow Records and is the first part in a planned two part opus. In a matter of just four tracks this album goes from lonely and desolate landscapes to crushing emotional heaviness and back again with ease but it’s the restraint the band shows throughout that really pushes Godless Summit past its predecessor, Calamitas. It would’ve been easy to relent and just explode into a cacophony of doom in several places throughout but they keep it together and consistent for an intense yet even listen. The band, collectively, sent us their best of 2017 list so let’s get to it.
I’ve never been to Cleveland, but based on the scuzzed-out sludge of Deathcrawl, it sounds like a lost circle of Hell, covered in netted filth of those consigned to its swampy punishment. I mean this, of course, in the best possible way because based on the band’s upcoming album Acceptable Level of Misery it’s a place I want to visit again and again. Ahead of its October 27 release we have the exclusive premier of the ripping “Entombed By All the Things We Seek” to prepare your soul for its penance. Continue reading →