You know what it is. I’m too tired and too hung over to get a more pithy introduction out for the 249th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, so let’s just get to the music, huh?
A lot of new music out this week, but I keep finding myself drawn back to the latest from Mork, who kill it with their raw, atmospheric black metal. We also have the debut from Sonja finally in our hands, and I may have more to say about that next week, pairing them off with the wicked retro thrash of Transgressive. We also have new music from Lorna Shore, Wolfheart, Trocar, the Anitchrist Imperium, Dream Unending, Woods of Desolation, AWS, Behemoth, and Psychonaut, not to mention a killer classic of post punk from Pink Turns Blue.
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.
The Dark Souls franchise may own this title, but Aldia’s got nothing on me.
Last year around this time I made a statement, hoping that I would take it easier on the album listening; however, I also said that it would be for naught, as my 2019 release calendar was looking great and I was so excited about it.
It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, despite writing about numerous other things and being on the Nine Circles Audio Thing. Blame grad school – I am stuck in this hellhole to further new opportunities, so I am hoping things pan out. Otherwise, I will be so mad. Luckily, I am free (for now!), so here we are!
Anyway, last time, I discussed gothic metal and my appreciation of the aesthetic as a whole. I consider that genre to be the darker side of symphonic metal; instead of the beautiful fairy queen, you get the belle dame sans merci who will make you suffer for your desires. I also wanted to address something that I thought of before we jump into the next genre – if you think about it, there are more men involved in gothic metal than in symphonic metal. Granted, the genres overlap, but men rarely take the spotlight in symphonic metal. Maybe some of you can tell me why?
Now, we can start talking about a genre that is known to be experimental in nature, albeit not avant-garde (I might write about avant-garde at some point). Given our recent discussion of Empath (see podcast), it’s only fair that we look at how this genre has become a staple in my music listening and how it has expanded my horizons into other bands.
What’s happening friends. Currently I am attempting to recover from the Los Angeles leg of the Decibel Magazine tour, a night of gargantuan death metal performances from acts both new and well-established. Blood Incantation ripped through the entire 20 minutes of their “Vitrification of Blood pts. 1 and 2” and, if my ears did not deceive me, closed their set with a brand new song, proving beyond doubt why they are my favorite death metal band going right now. Necrot got the circle pits going and put on a hell of a show, including beseeching the crowd to help them summon ‘the motherfuckin’ devil.’ Morbid Angel are nothing short of the godfathers of death metal, and one of my favorite acts in the genre, so to finally be able to see them was a real treat for me. Finally Cannibal Corpse closed out the night in fine form, with replacement guitarist Erik Rutan shredding in fine form. Quality evening with a quality soundtrack, but I’m dead on my feet today. So here’s hoping our little mix tape provides the kind of quality soundtrack to whatever evening you’ll be having.