2017 Mid-Year Report, Part Deux: Managing the Overflow

immortal band
*there is no Immortal in this list.  I just really like the pic.

The style and format of the Nine Cirles ov… articles is such that we limit ourselves to nine entries on whatever topic it is we’re blathering about.  It’s a blessing and a curse: it really helps hone down what you want to cover but, as in the case of this week’s mid-year favorites it can really kill your groove, particularly when there’s so much awesome to cover in the first half of the year.

And man there’s SO MUCH GOOD STUFF OUT THERE.  Someone on Twitter mentioned how he dug the list for the simple reason that none of my choices would have made his list.  Now, after you pick yourself up off the floor in shock that sometimes (rarely, admittedly) social media can be a sensible and warm community, revel in the fact that this just reinforces the amount of quality out there so far in 2017.  So, you all good with a second course?  Let’s dig in… Continue reading

Album Review: Artificial Brain – “Infrared Horizon”

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If we’re gonna talk about Artificial Brain and their new behemoth of an album Infrared Horizon, we need to talk about space.  And I don’t mean space as in the overall concept of the record, or indeed of the band’s thematic palette.  I’m talking about the space in between notes, the dynamic release of tension that is essential in order to break apart the monotony that a record this dense can easily fall prey to.

In other words, let me tell you how Artificial Brain learned every lesson they needed to learn in order to craft one of the best death metal albums of the year.   Continue reading

Donuts & CANTO: Sólstafir, Tool, the Night Flight Orchestra and more!

solstafir-band-photo-2017
Solstafir

March 24, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you may have missed from yesterday:

  • First off, a little something that should make our Literati Overlord wet in the pants: Sólstafir have dropped a new song, titled “Bláfjall.” It’ll be on their new album, Berdreyminn, which drops in May. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen / be sad / wish I was Icelandic.
  • Next, a little something that should make us all wet in the pants: Tool are apparently in talks to end their holdout from streaming services. I’m pretty sure this leaves Kid Rock as the lone major streaming holdout, and…I mean, if you give a fuck about that, you’re reading the wrong blog.
  • The Night Flight Orchestra are dropping a new album in May, but to whet our appetites, they’ve released a lyric video for the their new song, “Midnight Flyer.” In case you’re not familiar, the Night Flight Orchestra is Björn Strid (Soilwork), Sharlee D’Angelo (Arch Enemy) and others playing dad-rock. It’s better than it sounds, I promise.
  • Speaking (again) of bands that have stuff coming out in May, Neurosis guitarist Steve Von Till released a new song from his side project, Harvestman. It’s all kinds of terrific.
  • Belphegor have announced their 11th studio album, Totenritual. I know what you’re thinking, but guess what, fuckers? THIS ONE’s coming out in September. So there.
  • Rocklahoma — otherwise known as “what happens when your balding rocker dad gets into your Pixy Stix supply during a bad trip and decides to start a festival” — has announced its daily headliners for 2017. They are: Def Leppard, Soundgarden and The Offspring. Sense: this lineup makes none.
  • And finally, Artificial Brain have released the title track from their upcoming album Infrared Horizon, with guest vocals from Trevor Strnad of The Black Dahlia Murder. Check it out below:

Infrared Horizon drops in April via Profound Lore. Anyway, that’ll do it for now — check back this time on Monday for our next edition!

Keep it heavy,
Dan