Second Circle: Engulfed and Condemned

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.

Not only has the start of So Many Good Releases™ commenced in the metal world, but I’m losing an hour come tomorrow morning (no matter what our overly enthusiastic editor says about “gaining our days back”) so getting a chance to listen/absorb/transform back into words every single worthwhile release has become a bit of challenge. We here at Nine Circles are making plans to address that in the near future, but in the meantime I’ve got you covered with another Second Circle, this time featuring two death metal releases worth checking out by Engulfed and Condemned. So brush up on your vokills and let’s dig in.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 5 – 11, 2017

Lock Up
Lock Up

Quick reminder before we get into this amazing week in metal: we gain our days back tomorrow so don’t be a knucklehead and use the “I forgot to set my clock right” excuse at work on Monday, just saying. Now for the goods: everyone’s favorite grind/death metal veterans Lock Up return with Demonization and, with a new frontman in Kevin Sharp, to say they’ve hit the biggest homerun of their career is an understatement — hearing is believing so get to it. Even though Engulfed‘s debut full length Engulfed In Obscurity has been out digitally for a minute it’s set for a CD release this week which is the perfect opportunity for those of you who missed it (you boneheads) to take advantage of some extremely dense and classic sounding death metal. Atmospheric black metallers Fen return with their fifth full length Winter and this is one you’re going to want to take the time to listen to in full — trust me it’s well worth it, don’t skimp just do it. And last but not least is In the Company of Serpents with their latest full length Ain Soph Aur which finds the band fully realizing their immense doom talents amongst a backdrop of spaghetti western motifs as they explore the “true self” and what a ride it is, think of your favorite doom band mixed with an old classic western film score — yet another one you just have to hear to believe. Alright so, the first four are ridiculously good but as always there’s much, much more to explore right after the jump.

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Album Review: Serpent’s Lair – “Circumambulating the Stillborn”

serpents lair circumambulating the stillborn

Draped in secret and mystery, little is actually known about Serpent’s Lair. Although, in this case, that doesn’t seem to be a gimmick. The band is simply all about the music. Hailing from Denmark, Serpent’s Lair previously released a demo in 2014 are now ready to unleash their debut LP, Circumambulating the Stillborn. The album is a mix of dissonant melody, atmosphere and chaotic swirling winds of black metal. Overall, the quality production and relentless tenacity make for an inspiring trip through the forest of modern black metal.

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Album Review: Vacivus – “Rites of Ascension”

vacivus rite of ascension

Just when 2015 appeared ready to cease dropping blackened death albums full of occult and death oriented themes, Vicivus comes along to caress 2015 right in Satan’s balls. Rite of Ascension achieves the descriptor of a “sprawling work of blackened death metal” despite being barely over twenty-three minutes. The EP ebbs and flows with chaotic function and, in the end, leaves the listener comatose and begging for more. Continue reading