Nine Circles ov…Recent Albums I Only Have Time to Review in One Sentence…Part III?

I mean…it may be Part III, but who’s keeping The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 178 (4.24.2021)Nine track? Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, and the metals are flying fast and furious enough that there’s a veritable cornucopia of releases worth your time. I mean, not my time…I’ve been busy, you know? Work, um…more work… that one YouTube video I’ve benn playing on repeat forever (it’s this one, by the way).

Really there’s no excuse for not enlightening you, the honorable and erudite Nine Circles reader, on my pithy and concise views of what’s been popping’ on the metal threads the last few weeks or months that our staff haven’t already covered. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… sit down and fasten those seatbelts as I once again provide one-sentence reviews of stuff that’s been floating my proverbial boat.

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CANTO: Altarage, Iotunn, Bridge Burner, and More

One more day and then a four day weekend. Hot. Damn.

  • There are a couple new videos to share today that I’ve been intrigued by. Let’s start with Jaye Jayle, who released a new clip for “From Louisville”. That track was the closer from 2020’s Prisyn, which is available through Sargent House.
  • Spanish extreme metal crew Altarage have revealed new album details. Succomb is slated for an April 23rd release through Season of Mist. Go watch the video clip for the first single from that album, “Magno Evento”, right now.
  • New Zealand’s Bridge Burner have announced their Hibernation Release debut. Disempath will be out on April 2nd and can be pre-ordered here. There are a couple vinyl variants out there, which is fun. Check out the title-track, over at Decibel.
  • And we’ll close with the new video and single from Iotunn. I know Access All Worlds is a release quite a few of the 9C team are looking forward to, so here’s another sample in the form of “The Tower of Cosmic Nihility”. That album drops on February 26th through Metal Blade.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: Iotunn, Summoning The Lich, Culted, and More

Oh look, America broke. Who could have EVER seen this coming?? Anyway. 2/26 seems to be a popular date in today’s announcements…

  • Summoning The Lich just signed on to a deal with Prosthetic Records back in October, and today have announced details surrounding their debut album. The fantasy-themed death metal crew out of St. Louis will release United In Chaos on February 26th. Check out that clip for “The Nightmare Begins” while you’re at it.
  • Iotunn, the progressive metal band out of Denmark, have unveiled new album details. Access All Worlds will also be out on February 26th, through Metal Blade Records. Today, they released a new single for “Voyage of the Garganey I”, which can be heard at that link as well.
  • We’re still paying tribute to Alexi Laiho at Nine Circles, so let’s pause here and take a few minutes to watch this cover of “Downfall”. That clip includes members of Immortal Guardian, Helion Prime, and Oceans Of Slumber.
  • Blackened industrial doom project Culted are releasing a new album on, you guessed it, February 26th through Season of Mist, titled Nous. You can pre-order that here. Check out the new video for “Black Bird” immediately below.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: Carach Angren, En Minor, Demon Hunter, and More

Insert witty commentary here.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Nine Circles ov…Power Metal That Eased Me Into Liking Power Metal (Again)

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I find it fascinating that power metal still doesn’t get the fair shake it deserves from the metal community.  The same folks who mock and ridicule bands for dressing up like superheroes in their videos or writing about dragons or Lord of the Rings are the same folks who worship bands who revel in dressing up and running around in the forest in wizard hats or, come to think of it, also write about the Lord of the Rings (or at least derive their name from it). Yet, despite these similar touch points in silliness power metal still has a stigma attached to it, one I admit to having for a time as I became engrossed in the more extreme aspects of metal.

What’s the point, besides my linking to that awesomely ridiculous Immortal video?  It’s that there’s plenty to love in power metal, and the claims of cheese and pomp are no more valid than they are in any other genre in the scene.  For this edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to take a look at a few of the bands and albums that brought me back into the fold – many of them introduced to me by former 9C scribe and power metal champion Frank.  So think of these as gateway bands: we’re not going full-on Gloryhammer yet (although Gloryhammer is awesome); the emphasis is on heaviness, aggression and, ultimately, power ¹.   Continue reading