Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2021

Best of 2021

I am the Scholar of the First Sin, and I have insight to give.

Last year, my list was short and to the point, as I spent more time listening to music that gave me respite and comfort than to new releases. This meant that, once I had more time on my hands, I was finally able to go out and see what I had missed. The fact that I can’t include Dark Tranquility’s Moment, an album that deserves more attention, on this list because it came out last year fucking kills me.

Despite the Omicron variant (at this time) destroying all hope for a small sense of normalcy, 2021 was an absolutely fantastic year for music. After many bands either couldn’t tour because of the onset of the pandemic or postponed a lot of their releases, this year provided us with new music, which meant that a lot of vetting had to happen in order for me to make this list. After graduation, I suddenly had more time than I ever had to do with and decided to dive deep into what I had been ignoring for the better part of five months.

Welcome to EOY list season!

Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 209 (12.11.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Friday night. I have the usual going on: new music in the cans and some nice whiskey (currently the Redbreast 12, a recent turn-on after being largely ignorant of Irish whiskeys)within easy reach. I need it because next week I start the three-week odyssey that is my annual End of Year round up but…great stuff just won’t stop coming out (seriously: wait until you all hear the new Ustalost). And 2022 is already off to an INSANE start. I’m listening to our early pick for January’s AOTM and…well, you’ll just have to wait to and see what it is. It’s damn good though – I can tell you that much.

But seeing as there’s a few weeks left in 2021, let’s kick off the 209th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with some killer tracks. The stoner gods have been shining their bloodshot eyes down on me, so my contribution this month kicks off with some classic High on Fire and a killer live track from Crown Lands, a band that has me scrambling to find opportunities to tell everyone how good the peculiar mix of Rush and stoner prog they’re putting out in the universe is. Josh picks up the baton for both the old and the new, mixing up some vicious death metal out of the Transcending Obscurity bullpen with Paganizer and Hellfrost and Fire but also some razor sharp Christmas hair metal courtesy of Dokken. Anton shows just how strong the early part of 2022 is shaping up to be with new tracks from Hath and Celeste, while Vincent strikes my heart with the wonderful toe and keeps it crazy heavy with the latest from Succumb. Hera raises her head from the abyss to provide some evil delights in the form of Eisbrecher, Khôra, and…and…(checks to be sure) yup, something called Infected Mushroom.

All that and Buke bringing us home with some classics from Rainbow, Savatage, Nevermore, and the newest single from Voivod. So what are you waiting for?

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 176 (4.10.2021)

playlist - mixtape

I echo what Corey said in yesterday’s Canto: “This was one long fucking week.” For some, it’s done. For others, it’s not. Either way we’ve got another loaded mixtape, of stuff we’ve been spinning, to burn the day off with. We’ve got a killer opening pair with new Withered and Cryptosis, Insomnium, The Lion’s Daughter (insane new album that is), Wo Fat, Putrefying Cadaverment, Kauan, Dark Tranquillity, and a ton more. Whether you’re working, playing, drinking, or whatever, we’ve got the goods to get you through the day. Slap that play button below.

– Josh

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 139 (8.1.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning playlist. We’ve got a house full of new picks from Judicator, Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer, and much more. There’s bound to be something you’ll like in there, stop what are you waiting for?

– Vincent


Column: The Path To Paradise Begins In Hell – Industrial Metal

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

In last month’s column, I discussed my love for melodeath and how it got introduced to me by a dear friend of mine who continues to be a major part of my life to this day. Of course, with melodeath going into an interesting direction (trance elements?), we have to talk about one of the more fun yet confusing genres in the metal world.

Also, talking about this genre has made me realize just how damn angry I was back when I first discovered metal. No kid should have the sheer amount of pent-up rage that I did when I was 13/14. Of course, now at 24, my anger has simmered, but it’s still there, hiding underneath the niceties and the spite that seems to power the entire core of my being.

It’s time we talk about Industrial Metal. Continue reading