It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here talking about metal. That’s because I’ve been knee-deep in Blood Red, our annual horror series where I watch a crap-ton of movies and write them up for the Letterboxd Hooptober Marathon. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to metal – I’ve been trying to keep up with the veritable glut of heavy offerings bestowed upon us so far this Autumn season. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I thought I’d jump in and share nine recent(-ish) releases that have been keeping the blood pumping…as it spurts out a major artery.
Somewhere in the tangle of stoner metal and hard rock, where the sinew of heavy distortion meets the sweet muscle of melody and hook, lay the spark of what just might be my favorite kind of music. Hard, biting, but never afraid to grab onto a hook and hold on for dear life. Sometimes you want to roar and smash your head, and sometimes you just want to close your eyes, reach out to the universe and sing along loud enough to let it know you exist, you matter, and you feel the connection the music brings.
New York’s Moon Tooth has set aside March 29 to unveil their monstrous second full length Crux and if razor edged hard rock/metal that is as aggressive as it is memorable is something you’ve been missing, this album needs to be in your pre-order list. The band’s trajectory has been nothing short of amazing; 2015’s Freaks EP was a ball of unbridled energy and 2016’s Chromaparagon added a progressive touch to said energy but tighter and more focused. On Crux, the band’s path shifts towards planet ‘kick ass and take names later.’ But seriously, this sophomore outing is exactly that but most of all it’s MEMORABLE and I can’t get enough of it. I recently had the opportunity to chat with guitarist Nick Lee about Crux, a new tour, lessons learned along the way, solid advice for any new band, and so much more. Head below to hear how it all went down and click those outro links to show some love to Moon Tooth. Continue reading →
We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list. There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work. But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.” I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me. All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far. I can’t ask for much more than that. Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.
I remember the hype and acclaim around The Oath and their brand of Sabbath acid rock doom not doing all that much for me, so when singer Johanna Sadonis took the band’s demise to form Lucifer with ex-Cathedral’s Gaz Jennings as a musical partner it felt like more of the same. Three years on from their debut and a serious switch in collaborators brings forth a more sun-drenched Lucifer II, and the result is a truly memorable rock album that slithers in the darkness and the light, putting the focus on hooks and head nods instead of wallowing gauze and doom. Continue reading →