It starts like it does every other year, with me desperately trying to whittle down the list of incredible albums I listened to into a manageable number. Well, maybe not so manageable; I know I’m known around these parts as the guy whose lists are waaaaay too long. But there’s so much out there, so many albums that impact me in large and small ways. Maybe it’s a riff, or a chorus, or a certain vocal line. It doesn’t matter; I just know I want to acknowledge it in some way and pass it on. Maybe it will impact you, too.
You’d think a list of 40 albums – my “official” Top 25 ranked list and an Honorable Mention list of 15 other albums in alphabetical order would be enough (it is for Decibel). But it never is. So for the past few years I’ve tacked on an additional nine albums that may not have made my lists for various reasons, but I still love and want to put on your radar. It’s never too late too discover something. Time may move ever forward, but these great records will forever be here for you to discover. Forget labels. Forget hype and marketing. Take a look (better yet, take a listen) to this edition of Nine Circles ov… and see what didn’t make my list for 2021…but maybe should have.
Welcome to another Nine Circles Saturday morning mixtape. This week, we’re sharing some of our favorite Entombed/Entombed A.D. cuts in honor of the life and legacy of L-G Petrov, a presence that left an undeniable mark on the world of death metal and extreme music as a whole. Plus, a whole slew of everything else we’ve been listening to. Tune in at the link below.
The more I listen to black metal, the less I find myself caring about about things like rules or categorization. I’m not looking for black metal to change my worldview, or adhere to a set of parameters that maybe made sense over 20 years ago, but mean little now. I want the music to align to what I need at a given moment, and whether it does that via second wave lo-fi buzzing guitars, symphonic sweeping tremolo lines, or post rock shoegaze, it doesn’t matter in the end. I don’t need it to educate me, I need it to carry me – a weird thing to say about black metal, but there you go. And Garabontzia, the latest from Hungarian band Hænesy does that nicely, channeling post black metal whipped through a haze of reverb and ambient keyboard to deliver a spacious wave of noise that crashes in ever softening reverberations.
Are we still talking about black metal? Does it really matter?