Initial Descent: December 9 – 15, 2018

Deitus
Deitus, photo courtesy of Nick Malone

It’s cold and that’s pretty much all I’ve got. Take that as you will. But, you know what warms me up? Another list of metal’s new releases — so, I’m in luck and you are too. Exactly what you are wondering…read on.

The UK’s Deitus return with their blasphemous second full length, Via Dolorosa, which finds the band leaning a little harder on the pure metal side of the black metal spectrum but still intense and still wildly entertaining. Next up, and another I, Voidhanger release, is Devil Worshipper on Music For the Endtimes and being that Ævangelist is in mastermind Matron Thorn’s wheelhouse, expect the same sort of extreme disdain for life, limb and existence as we know it on this debut. Moving right along, and with another D in the alphabet, is Dødsferd on Diseased Remnants of a Dying World which is Greece’s answer to raw black metal with a DSBM bent, and closing out the top slots is a Cronos fronted Venom on Storm the Gates so lay down your souls to the gods rock ‘n’ roll and get venomized — mileage may vary but it’s Venom so, there’s that.

I’m warmed…somewhat, but by the end of this list I’ll be toasty. Get in there and start a fire for yourself. Continue reading

Second Circle: Slegest and Ævangelist

Second Circle

Life is all about contrasts. Some big, some small, some noticeable and some not so much. But in the end, without them, this would be a boring and laborious life. With that said, for this edition of Second Circle I’m taking a look at two albums that are sharp and stark in their contrasts but both have made an indelible impact on my listening habits as of late and both stood out instantly as albums I’d be engrossed in for different reasons and for some time to come. These albums are Slegest‘s Introvert and Ævangelist‘s Matricide In the Temple of Omega. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 11 – 17, 2018

ævangelist
Ævangelist

By the time this goes to print, I’ll be on the way back from the Holy City where I’ll have indulged in breweries, old architecture and a graveyard or two (hey, old architecture there too) but for sure will have several of this week’s new offerings in my ears for the duration. What exactly is new this week? Read on to find out…

Kicking this thing off in grand fashion is the ever suffocating and esoteric maelstrom of darkness that is Ævangelist on Matricide In the Temple of Omega, this is a band that defies categorization but always pushes the boundaries of black and death metal as well as its listener’s limits. Don’t just sample it, completely bury yourself in its hour of audio terror. Next up is Ghostly White from Deceased who over the course of 30 years and some change have put out consistently great death metal and this eighth full length is no exception but furthermore after all this time the band seems to have more energy than ever and dare I say the best chops yet. Moving along is Introvert from Norway’s Slegest which really scratches that black ‘n’ roll itch I get from time to time, this things just rocks. Period. Last in this week’s opening four is Arête with their debut full length Hymnal which expands on everything that made their 2016 EP such a hit. They’ve taken a genre tag, atmospheric black metal, and offered us the very definition of its parts – as the weather turns cold this is an outstanding companion to steal away from the surrounding world and its crazed pace.

Plenty more inside to explore so jump in and don’t miss a thing. Continue reading

Initial Descent: February 11 – 17, 2018

Harakiri for the Sky
Harakiri for the Sky

Did you spend some quality time with your valentine? Yea, it was in the middle of the week…and work…and stuff. But, it’s the weekend now so no excuses right?! Take them camping, start a fire, go for a hike but whatever you do, don’t forget your headphones and might want to bring a splitter so you both can enjoy what this week’s new releases have to offer. Kicking off this week of heart’s is Austria’s Harakiri for the Sky as they continue to mix post-metal melancholy with black metal aggressiveness on Arson, thought provoking black metallers Eignelicht offer up their highly anticipated full length debut Self-Annihilating Consciousness and even though it’s only five tracks its all consuming nature makes it feel so much more expansive, Chaos Echoes successfully trump their own astounding debut on Mouvement and further prove that they are the reigning champs of extremely complex and contextual music, rounding out the opening slots: punk attitude meets hardcore intensity on The Good The Bad and The Zugly‘s third full length Misanthropical House. As you can clearly see, buying that headphone splitter is a great idea so you can share all the good stuff this week has to offer. There’s more to follow so head inside and enjoy. Continue reading

Album Review: Eigenlicht – “Self-Annihilating Consciousness”

Eigenlicht - Self Annihilating Consciousness

What is black metal anymore?  Does the label have any meaning left?  When it comes down to it, the music we celebrate here at Nine Circles is loud, abrasive, and marches to the beat of a rebellious heart.  People get caught up in categorization and labelling, under the impression that pigeonholing something gives them some sort of power over it.  Eigenlicht is having none of that on debut full length Self-Annihiliating Consciousness, a towering monolith of sound that pushes against the constraints of the genre, refusing to bow before something as devoid of meaning as “black metal” even as it uses some of the building blocks of the movement in its nebulous and far-reaching shape.   Continue reading