Second Circle: Of Wolves and IRN

Second Circle

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

It’s been a while since we put one of these out, huh?  I always like to use Second Circles to check out artists I’ve never heard of before, or explore genres or styles that are relatively unfamiliar to me.  In this case I took a look at the promo list and picked two bands I had no exposure to that carried in their promo the label of sludge, since I’ve been so gung-ho over the latest from -(16)-.

Do these bands help scratch that sludge itch?  This edition of Second Circle aims to find out with new releases from Of Wolves and IRNContinue reading

Album Review: Wolfbrigade – “The Enemy: Reality”

wolfbrigade - the enemy: reality

Anger.  Righteous indignation.  These are the stakes that tether and ground rock and roll to the Earth, roll it in the dirt and filth and muck.  If it can rise from that soup, caked and muddied from battle we call it crust punk.  I’m on pain meds so I have no idea if that metaphor makes any sense but it’s what I think of when I hear Wolfbrigade.  There’s little in the way of pretense or artifice on new album The Enemy: Reality.  Just an unrelenting pursuit of speed and aggression, a hardcore chase of the elusive Kilmister meat and potato savagery.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Metal on My Horror Break

Nine Cirlces ov.... October 2019

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.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.  Continue reading

Album Review: Svalbard – “It’s Hard to Have Hope”

svalbard it's hard to have hope

It’s hard to have hope.  In no time like the present do statements like this ring true.  On both a micro and macro level, it can seem at many times like the world is falling apart.  Music is something that should be a comfort to all, yet even scenes that are supposed to be welcoming to all those society pushes to the fringes are plagued by the same bigotry and gatekeeping that they are supposed to fight against.  When even this comfort is denied, optimism seems like an impossibility.  Enter Svalbard, and their new album It’s Hard to Have Hopethe soundtrack to you dusting yourself off and fighting the good and necessary fight for the future we all deserve. Continue reading

Album Review: Vitamin X – “Age of Paranoia”

vitamin x - age of paranoia

Say you’ve never heard of Vitamin X.  You’re perusing the record store and you’re flipping through the “V” section (maybe you’re looking for some Vanilla Fudge, who are we to judge in this hypothetical record store?) and nestled between the Vinnie Vincent Invasion and that Vixen album you always liked you come across this album cover and you make a judgement call as to genre.  I don’t know what you’re guess would have been,  but hardcore thrash crossover punk would NOT have been mine, which makes the fact that Age of Paranoia is not only that but a killer example of the genre kind of wonderful.  It’s a ripping record that invokes everything that drew me to punk as a kid and a great surprise as we head into the halfway point of the year.   Continue reading