Nine Circles ov…FRANCE

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Intentionally terrible Photoshop job courtesy of yours, truly.

By now, most of y’all are probably aware that the 2018 World Cup has concluded. On Sunday afternoon, France capped off a dominant tournament run by beating Croatia, 4-2, in the final. And while we’re not still dopey enough to commemorate the occasion with something like the “World Cup of Metal,” (Remember that? Gross.) we also weren’t going to let it go completely unnoticed. Hence, here we are with The Nine Circles ov France!

Side note before we begin: as much as I wanted Croatia to win it all, I also know exactly one Croatian metal band. (This one.) So, having preemptively claimed this post before the game, I’m low-key THRILLED that France and its comparably enormous metal scene ended up victorious. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Here we go… Continue reading

Wake Up and Smell the Satan! – April 20, 2018

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For a stretch of time, this space profiled some of the most legendary and emergent black metal and infernally infused extreme music. Whether it was Behemoth or Diocletian, it was all deliciously dark magic worth your time.

It’s been a lively few days. Between the arrest of James Larkin on human trafficking charges to the 13th annual exorcists convention hosted by the Vatican (the decline of Christianity and rise of the Internet are driving the exorcism business) to the long-winding Septicflesh/Dark Funeral tour, the (sinister) heavens have much to rejoice about this week. On the down side, French protesters are seeking to shut down Hellfest on charges of Satanism, and two of Rotting Christ’s members were jailed this week in the country of Georgia, allegedly for practicing Satanism. Capping it all off with the day every doughnut shop eagerly awaits seems fitting.

Finally this week, Sentient Ruin and Argento Records announced they would jointly issue French black metal act Novae Militiae’s 2017 album Gash’khalah to vinyl and cassette. The digital release of infernal noise and throwback black metal fury came out last year. “Black Temple Consecration” is among the beauties of this release.

– EA

Album Review: Throane – “Plus une main à mordre”

Throane Plus Une Main À Mordre

French black metal act Throane‘s debut album Derrière-nous, la lumière was one of the most criminally underrated releases of last year.  Its swirling eddies of morose guitar and aching vocals entranced me from the first listen, and I was surprised and a little sad to see that it didn’t seem to make many other year end lists except for my own.  Thankfully, the project is releasing a new full-length, Plus une main à mordreand it already stands to up the ante considerably.   Continue reading

Album Review: Skelethal – Of the Depths…

Skelethal - Of the Depths...

Lately, there seems to be an ever-flowing stream of Swedish-sounding death metal — and we’re talking real death metal, not melodeath — that doesn’t actually come from Sweden. I have a particularly dark recollection of Arizona natives Gatecreeper wowing the hell out of me with last year’s Sonoran Deprivation, while Germany’s Revel in Flesh and Holland’s Bodyfarm have also done a nice job carrying listeners down a Stockholm-inspired left hand path in recent years.

The latest addition to this group is France’s Skelethal, who’ll likely send listeners tumbling into the grave with their debut full-length, Of the Depths. It’s an album plucked straight from the murky depths where no life dwells, and while it’s hardly charting any new musical courses, it’s still a solid listen and one of the more entertaining death metal releases of the year to date.  Continue reading

Album Review: Au Champ Des Morts – “Le Jour Se Lève”

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Artwork by Dehn Sora

With influences across the board, yet black metal at its core, it’s not surprise that we sit here writing about Au Champ Des Morts debut release, a 7″ EP consisting of only two tracks. For all its brevity, Le Jour Se Lève certainly knows how to make an impression. Laced with classic French black metal; thick, swirling chaotic blast beats with treble heavy guitars yet soft enough on the surface to provide for musicianship galore, Le Jour Se Lève is an absolute show stopper. For a year that has been thin on black metal, the pace is certainly picking up thanks, in no small part, to bands like Au Champ Des Morts. Continue reading