Album Review: Sermon of Flames — “I Have Seen the Light, and It Was Repulsive”

I don’t know why I don’t pick up more promos from I, Voidhanger.  I have never been even remotely close to disappointed with anything in the past I’ve reviewed from them, and they are home to some of the most unstoppable titans in the metal scene right now, bands who are not at all afraid to push the boundaries of metal as far as they can possibly go.  With all that in mind, I took on I Have Seen the Light and It Was Repulsive, the debut full length from Sermon of Flames, purely on a whim, and I have to say, the tradition of not being disappointed holds.

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Album Review: Spectral Lore — “Ετερόφωτος”

Ετερόφωτος is part of a category of words that I personally adore that have deep, profound meaning but no direct translation from Greek into English.  Literally meaning “Different light,” the closest approximation is “one whose light comes from others,” and it is this concept that Ayloss, aka Spectral Lore, seeks to explore on a very long-awaited full-length release.  Not only does this album explore deep philosophical concepts, it also continues the running build-up in Ayloss’ releases that lay out a full-on personal manifesto for radical self-discovery and fighting back against the entrenched powers that seek to hold us in our place.

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Album Review: Mare Cognitum — “Solar Paroxysm”

Mare Cognitum - Solar Paroxysm

My review of Mare Cognitum’s 2016 album Luminiferous Aether was one of the earliest pieces of writing I published when I first started writing for Nine Circles. As such, they are a band that occupies a special place in my heart, not just because I think they are one of the best names in black metal today, but because each album that I have a chance to engage with is a chance to see how both I and they have grown. It feels much like checking in with an old friend, even though Jacob Buczarski wouldn’t know me from Adam, a way to mark the passage of time and the distance we’ve come on our respective journies, and on Solar Paroxysm, it seems the passage of time has left both of us with no patience for fucking around.

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Rainbows in the Dark: Crooked Mouth and Headstone Brigade — “Crooked Headstone”

If you know me at this point, you might know that I love collaboration albums.  Bell Witch and Aerial Ruin’s official collaboration was one of my favorite releases of last year, as was Thou and Emma Ruth Rundle’s series of joint releases, and anytime The Body releases a collaboration album with just about anyone, I buy it sight unseen.  There’s something that is just so interesting about when two projects come together to make an end product that is more than the sum of their parts.  Enter Crooked Mouth and Headstone Brigade and their aptly titled collaborative release Crooked Headstone.

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Initial Descent: March 14 – 20, 2021

OLDE – courtesy of Samantha Carcasole

Last week was a week. Here’s hoping this one isn’t. Who’s ready for live shows? Anyone got a wager for when that’ll be? Will we ever get back to normal? All pertinent questions that no one really has an answer for, but all are questions that burn in all our minds. News to no one, I get it. Anyway, we can dream…I guess. Moving on to some new metal, and at least that rubs me the right way; OLDE are back with their outstanding brand of blue collar doom/sludge (seriously, this thing rules and consequently, this band can do no wrong), Mare Cognitum are still excelling at cosmic black metal, Dvne get massively heavy and surprisingly subdued at the same time (it works, trust me), and how about some slam meets deathcore from Distant who actually do a great job at crushing this genre combo. Go get all these new tunes and dream for the day when we might actually get to see all this live again.

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