Initial Descent: July 23 – 29, 2017

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Couch Slut – pic courtesy of Roger Hayn

It’s hot folks, summertime is definitely upon us. Which means it’s time to make shorts out of those raggedy jeans you’ve been hanging onto for no apparent reason. Or you could find some water, a cooler full of cold refreshments or sit in front of a fan. One thing’s for sure though: we have the soundtrack to however you plan to deal with that case of swamp-ass on this plentiful edition of Initial Descent. Starting things off with a nasty, noisy bang is the second full length, Contempt, from Couch Slut and if you’ve yet to hear it I honestly don’t know what you’re doing with your life — this thing rules in so many ways. Next up is Byzantine who quite literally show just how blistering modern heavy metal can be on The Cicada Tree. Moving along, Less Art gives us a bleak but extremely powerful post-hardcore debut on Strangled Light — an outstanding experience from start to finish that does exactly as its title implies. Closing out the top spots is the vicious second EP, Voima on Oikeutta, from Finland’s satanically inclined death/thrash phenoms Huoripukki. So, a fantastic week already but you have no idea how much more great metal is in store (seriously, this week is STACKED) — kick back, cool off, stay awhile and enjoy… Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: A Group Review of Couch Slut’s “Contempt”

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As y’all know, we here at Nine Circles were pretty big fans of Couch Slut‘s first album, My Life as a Woman. (Or maybe you didn’t know that, I dunno.) Either way, that album — released just under three years ago on the now-defunct Handshake Inc. label — established the band, and vocalist Megan Osztrosits in particular, as a filthy, aggressive force in the New York scene and beyond. (Certainly in our Bandcamp collections, that’s for sure.)  Continue reading

Album Review: Less Art – “Strangled Light”

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Once again we call to our friends in the Great North to assist in some gnarly metal reviews.  Today Jonathan Petkau from various endeavors including Respectably Loud, Domestikwom and Spacekau jumps in to cover the debut from Less Art…

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If I were forced to pick a single word to encapsulate the experience of listening to Less Art’s debut album Strangled Light, the word that comes to mind repeatedly is “clarity.” I suspect that probably derives from the fact that Less Art is composed of veteran musicians each with already established careers, as Strangled Light sounds like what should be a band’s fourth or fifth album, not their first swing at bat (a pun for all you Puig Destroyer fans out there.)   Continue reading

Album Review: False – “Hunger” (EP)

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Hunger album art by Stephen Wilson (Unknown Relic)

Every band has to push their creative envelope at some point.  Sticking to your guns is a great thing, but making the same album with exactly the same sound and form again and again can lose it’s impact.  Sometimes it’s necessary to add elements from other genres of music to take things in a new direction.  Sometimes expanded production values are enough to breathe new life into the music.  So what do you do if you’re Minneapolis based black metal act False, who’s shortest track length in their entire discography is nine and a half minutes?  Why, you record a 7″ of course.  And while Hunger shakes the proverbial tree, it enables the band to focus in and deliver some of their best work ever. Continue reading

Profile: Jon Howell of Less Art

Less Art
Less Art – photo courtesy of Scott Evans

If you’ve been missing artists that truly go for the jugular in terms of real world lyricism and real world emotions that run the gamut of feels you are in luck because Strangled Light from Less Art has it in spades. Set for release next week on Gilead Media, this post-hardcore beast hits the ground running with musicianship sharper than a brand new knife and as clear as a crisp winter morning. The band features members from Kowloon Walled City, Thrice and Curl Up and Die so unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this combination is absolutely an indication of the quality contained within. Ahead of their debut full length release we got the chance to ask Jon Howell (guitar) our set of Profile questions and as you will see he is as eloquent and gracious in his answers as he is with his music. Continue reading