Rainbows in the Dark: Hail Spirit Noir — “Mannequins”

Again we have another band gracing the halls of this non-metal column (although pretty loosely so), one that certainly we on staff here cannot seem to get enough of and statistically speaking, quite a number of you all out there in Reader Land probably feel the same way.  Hail Spirit Noir are no strangers to boldly and unabashedly pushing the boundaries of their sound and the world of metal in general, but on Mannequins, the outfit abandon all pretense of metal entirely and deliver something quite unexpected, definitely a little out there, but no less of a success than anyone would expect.

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Embracing the Descent: September 5 – 11, 2021

EMBRACING TEMP LOGO

Been awhile since we did one of these. Extra day off, extra time, all that jazz. Whatever. You know how this rolls, we pick a fresh batch of albums that struck a chord and you go binge on them. Simple, right? We don’t need to tell you but will anyway; 2021 has given us some gems and will continue to do so and for that we all need to thank the dark lord that bands are even still making music after the shit everyone has been through and still going through. New favorites are coming out every week with no end in sight. This week we’ve got five that struck like lightning; two of them are from last week, but demand your prompt attention. Head inside to see what’s in store and don’t forget to check out the full listing from Monday’s Initial Descent.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 191 (8.7.2021)

playlist - mixtape

The Playlist is BACK baby. Figured I’d take this one since it was my fault we missed the last couple. Hey man, gotta have a day in the sun and sand at least once a year right? Right. Alright then, you know how this works; we pull together a mixtape of jams we’ve been into this week, put it in a playlist, and paste it here for you to enjoy. This week we’ve got new Archspire, Spirit Adrift, Teeth, Eyes of Perdition, Deafheaven, Full of Hell, and Wolves In the Throne Room along with some choice cuts from Fluids, King Woman, Hail Spirit Noir, and True Widow. And that’s just naming a few as there’s several more in this mixtape that is fit for whatever you have going on this Saturday. So, hit the play button below and get your groove on. Or whatever else you want to get on. Your choice. Cheers.

– Josh

Best of 2020: Zyklonius’s List

Best of 2020

In 2020, time became a melting flat circle and the concept of eternal recurrence became far too real, mundane and inescapable. Thankfully the high quality of metal released during the year provided solace, perspective and inspiration that helped endure the blizzard of blurring days, weeks and months. Time lost all structural integrity and meaning also in the sense that you will find full-length albums, EPs and even single-track releases on my list, owing to their excellence, innovation, enjoyability, distinct identity and sound as well the evolutionary leaps the featured bands took. The fact that I could omit from my list so many fantastic releases, from the likes of Afterbirth, Havukruunu, Mare Cognitum & Spectral Lore, Serocs, Sweven, Wake and Wills Dissolve, is simply indicative of the sheer quantity of stellar-grade metal in 2020. The list is long and full of flowery prose elaborating why these particular releases resonated with me, so enough with the prefacing.

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Best of 2020: Chris’s List

Best of 2020

If you’re reading this there are two possibilities at play, either of which warrant a hearty congratulations:

  1. It’s the end of the year, and you found the strength, courage and forbearance to get through the infested muck that was 2020.  Congratulations!  I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but let’s put the future aside for a moment and just revel in survival, and talk about some great music.
  2. It’s an indeterminate time in the future, after the apocalypse, and the collective hive mind has integrated into the data streams and come across this post in a random search string query to ascertain various data points about the distant past.  Congratulations!  I’m not alive to know what the Time Lords have in mind for the future, but let’s put that aside for a moment and just revel in whatever constitutes life in your existence, and talk about some great music.

Either way, it’s list time… Continue reading