How long has it been? Over a week? Jesus, I’m sorry about that. Blame marathon training.
- As always, let’s start with a tour. And there is a big one to mention today. Revocation are co-headlining a North American tour with Voivod. Supporting acts include Psycroptic, Skeletal Remains, and Conjurer. Seriously… that shit is stacked. Dates are this coming fall.
- Another tour, also large. Municipal Waste and Napalm Death, with Sick of it All and Take Offense. Dates are in October, and as it happens my local date for this tour is the same weekend/festival as the tour above. But it’s in Worcester. Attendance likelihood: 20%.
- Horrendous fans out there may be interested in their two hour Gimme Radio show that starts tonight at 7:00. They’ll have their own playlist, fielding live questions from fans, and all kinds of fun stuff. And if you miss it, there’s a re-air on Sunday.
- Amon Amarth dropped a new video for “Mjolner, Hammer of Thor”. You know, the most Amon Amarth-iest song title out of the all the Amon Amarth song titles.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”
Ah, 2018. What an absurd, exhausting and often infuriating ride you were, with death as my ubiquitous companion and co-pilot. You entailed on one hand a near-cataclysmic series of loved ones dying around me in rapid succession, while on the other, an ever-flowing stream of metal that helped make that maelstrom somehow survivable and acceptable for yours truly.
As you, the well-informed reader, likely noticed during the course of the year, and will see again when you read further below, 2018 was a banner year for death metal of all colors and shapes, but most and especially for the boundary-pushing kind that redefines and reconfigures the entire genre. Another type of metal that really resonated with me was one of transcendence and catharsis, of dreamlike journey, cosmic marvel and triumphant rebirth. Overall, the vast array of diverse evolutionary pathways, latest career pinnacles, and dazzling artistic growth and achievement in the field of metal was a compelling sight to behold and a wondrous thing to experience.
As further proof of the excellent and exciting state of metal today, albums worthy of inclusion in the below list continued to be released until the very final days of the year, resulting in perhaps the strongest December release-wise in recent memory.
With this succinct backdrop in mind, I offer the following 23 releases as a tribute to goddess Eris. Continue reading
So, I was looking back at my year-end post from 2017 the other day, and I had to laugh. As you may recall, I opened said post with a little self-pat-on-the-back for finally making good on my pipe dream of taking in less music. (I listened to 165-170 albums over the course of the year, which is still a shit-ton, but it was down significantly from years’ past.)
Well, my count this year will make that one blush. As of this moment, my “2018” folder on Spotify – the place I archived playlists for all the albums I really sat down with and took time to enjoy – consists of just 91 playlists. And that’s from albums across all genres, not just metal. Continue reading
What does music do for you?
In the end, it’s the only question that matters. An admittedly hard question to hear, what with the screaming of every opinion in every corner of the internet, but in the end when you step away from the noise and muck of screen shouting and scene guarding it’s your opinion in the end. Every year that I’ve written an end of year list for Nine Circles it’s been a variation of the same theme: when we write about music, we’re writing about ourselves. What matters is what the music does to you, and only for you.
But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading
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.
I’ve had technical death metal on the brain lately. Mind you: not “tech-death” as in practically everyone on Unique Leader (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but more in that sweet, sweet Death vein. I watched the new documentary on Chuck Schuldiner Death By Metal this weekend and it all came back: the intricate riffing, odd time signatures but most importantly the hooks. Damn but Chuck and co. could craft some major hooks to go along with the incredible chops. So for this edition of Second Circle I decided to check out two new releases from bands putting their own spin on what Death did so well so many years ago: Horrendous and Revocation. Both bands have been a bit of a mixed bag for me in the past; let’s dive in and see if that’s still the case.