Donuts & CANTO: Pallbearer, Negură Bunget, Fates Warning and more!

pallbearer-band-2017
Pallbearer

March 23, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from yesterday:

  • To support their new album, Heartless, (which drops TOMORROW!!!!) Pallbearer have announced a run of tour dates throughout the U.S. and Europe. Support will come from Marissa Nadler, Kayo Dot, Pinkish Black, and unfortunately not my wallet, as there’s no Philly date. Oh well, I did pre-order the album.
  • Sad news from the world of Negură Bunget, as founding drummer Gabriel “Negru” Mafa has passed away at age 42. Not much is known about the circumstances surrounding Mafa’s passing, but…that’s just far, far too young to go. Rest in peace, Gabriel.
  • Speaking of tour dates, Fates Warning have announced a set of their own! Nice to see they’ll be hitting such thriving metropoli as Patchogue, NY, and Joliet, IL.
  • Some great news from the Eyehategod camp, as frontman Mike IX Williams, has revealed he’s recovering well from the liver transplant he underwent back in December. They’ve also announced some shows coming up in April — one of which is at Philly’s First Unitarian Church. Irony: TOP SCORE.
  • Clutch have announced their first-ever Earth Rocker festival, which will take place on May 20 in Shivey, WV. Support acts include LuceroThe Sword and a whole bunch of others. Plus, tickets are just $35, which is almost enough to make you overlook the fact that this is in West Virginia.
  • Gorguts will be hitting the road with Defeated Sanity and Exist in June. I don’t really know what an Exist is, and couldn’t give less of a shit about Defeated Sanity, but…man, Gorguts. Le Poisson Rouge, I might be comin’ for ya…
  • And finally, Iron Maiden‘s The Number of the Beast turned 35 yesterday. There’s nothing more I really need to say about that. Just watch the video for the title track:

Up the goddamn irons. Now and forever. Anyway, that’ll do it for now — check back this time tomorrow for our next edition!

Keep it heavy,
Dan

Best of 2016: Dan’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

So yeah, this year sure sucked in a lot of ways, didn’t it?

On a personal level…where to begin? My family said goodbye to our beloved dog, Bailey. I had a rough breakup at the end of April. I got into a deeper rut in my professional life than I’d ever experienced before, which culminated in me quitting my job and leaving New York. I also, briefly, quit Nine Circles. (You didn’t think I’d stay away for good though, did you?)

And that’s just my stuff! Beyond that…well, for starters, pretty much everyone died. Prince, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Craig Sager…I mean, you kind of had to know 2016 was going to be shitty on that front after we lost David goddamn Bowie when the year was scarcely a week old. And that’s all to say nothing of the other shit: escalation of racial tensions across the country, continued apathy toward a changing climate, Christmas Eve / Day and New Year’s Eve / Day both falling on Saturdays and Sundays…it was a lot, man. Oh, and we also elected the personification of an Internet comment section to the presidency. That was neat.

In spite of all that, 2016 wound up being a goddamn banner year for metal. When I first started thinking about this list, I was envisioning maybe a Top 15 – but that quickly grew to a Top 25, and then to its current incarnation: a Top 50, with 20 “ranked” albums and 30 honorable mentions, not to mention EPs. It was just impossible to whittle it down any further; that’s how good metal was this year. Hell, I had a number of albums that featured in my mid-year list that didn’t even make it into the honorable mentions section of this one!

Make no mistake, this year would have felt exponentially shittier without all of those records. In times like these, cueing up a metal record that’s driving you bonkers, throwing your head back and howling at the moon kind of becomes essential to maintaining your sanity. And you know what? Sanity was maintained. (Well, mine at least…I dunno about America’s. All the more reason for America to start listening to more damn metal.)

This year may have thrown every possible pile of feces it could at us, but you know what? We made it through anyway. We’re still here and it’s not. And that’s nothing to turn our noses at. Here are the records that helped make that happen for me:  Continue reading

Best of 2016: Chris’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

End of the year, ladies and gentlemen. The time when lists flow like liquor at an office party, where the online community comes together as one gargantuan digital animal to do what it does best: nitpick, subtweet, and throw so many accusations of pandering, overrated and “hipster” picks that come December 31st we’ll all be sick and tired and never want to do this shit again.

Until next year, of course.  When we’ll do it all over again. Continue reading

Nine Circles Ov… July 2016

july 2016

July was, again, loaded with one in the chamber. Actually, I hate guns. So scratch that metaphor. Here are some titles that were dropped in June: Grave Desecrator with Dust to Lust, what may be the best Fates Warning LP in their career, an EP from Monolithe, the beyond highly anticipated Inter Arma release, two releases on Gilead Media, both Mizmor and Anicon, Profound Lore ready to release the sophomore album from A.M.S.G. (which is flat-out brilliant), a new album from Ringworm, a greatest hits from Dragonforce, Dan Swano’s project Witherscape releasing a full-length, a new Fistula, an album from Make, two brilliant releases from I, Voidhanger including Summit and Goatcraft as well as a slew of stuff from Hell’s Headbangers, Signal Rex, Horror Pain Gore Death, Iron Bonehead and Nuclear War Now! Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 1, 2016

Fates Warning (Photo by Stephanie Cabral)

Holy shit, we’re officially into Q3. Where on Earth has this year gone? I’m in full-on holiday weekend-mode this morning, kids, which is a nice distraction from the fact that there’s not a ton of eye-catching metal dropping this week. Some, sure. But not a ton. Oh well. We’re taking this coming week off from the pod to go America all over your asses anyway, so this is a non-issue.

Anyway, about that eye-catching metal — what’ve we got? Well, for starters, we’ve got a new one from Fates Warning — who return with album no. 12, Theories of Flight, after almost 35 years as a band. We’ve also got stuff from Grave Desecrator and Monoliths, as well as a solo album from Accept guitarist Wolf Hoffmann. Plus, a pretty sweet Archgoat box set dropped yesterday, of which I’m sure MannyOWar already has four. Anyway! Enough chat. Here’s what’s on tap for July 1:
Continue reading