If you’re a regular reader of my columns on this website, it’s been pretty easy to see the kind of pattern I fall into with my metal listening habits. I’ve made no secret that I like my metal on the more extreme side, in particular the realms of funeral doom, black metal, death metal, and the intersections thereof. Recently, though, I’ve felt like I needed to break out of my rut and see what else has been out there that I’ve been missing out on. Prior to this article, my experience with the diverse world of post-metal was limited to my hometown heroes, Russian Circles and Pelican, with a Red Sparowes album thrown in for good measure. When talking about this with my Nine Circles colleagues, I was bombarded with a slew of highly recommended albums that I had somehow missed out on over the years, and it became clear that this was the avenue I needed to pursue to broaden my metal vocabulary, so to speak. Thus, the seed for this piece was born. Some of these albums are classics that I never got around to visiting, some are more recent releases that simply flew under my radar, but all of them helped rekindle a love for a subgenre that I had been sorely missing out on. Continue reading →
Today we discuss the post-metal and ambient-laden, mood-enticing work of Latitudes. Halinig from the United Kingdom, Latitudes are probably most easily described as a progressive metal band. In fact, they share much sonically with the German progressive band The Ocean. Much like progressive bands, Latitudes focuses on full-length releases spaced by a few years. With their third full-length release, Old Sunlight, Latitudes have abandoned the instrumental concept (in a manner very similar to Isis circa Oceanic) and have created an album that fans of Neurosis, Sunn O))) and Immolation will revel in. Old Sunlight is a seven-track work that is more massive than advertised.
As a brand new writer to Nine Circles, it feels somewhat symbolically significant that my first article here should be one of thanks. I’ve grown up surrounded by music in general and, since my college years, by heavy music specifically. Punk, hardcore, metal… after a childhood spent with classical music, film scores and classic rock, these genres welcomed me with open arms and I never looked back. I’ve been given so much by the art, music and individuals of these communities that I owe them all a huge debt of gratitude. Continue reading →
Full disclosure: I love Intronaut. Reviewing an album from one of your favorite bands can be tough; you want to be fair, but listening to music is a subjective experience. If you like something, you just plain like it. When I listen to Intronaut, I just plain like it. That said, I try to recognize when a band doesn’t live up to its potential just as much as when they do. I felt very strongly that their previous record, Habitual Levitations, was a letdown. It wasn’t a bad album, per se, but it lacked many of the elements of Intronaut’s sound that I feel make them one of the best bands in the contemporary metal landscape. Thankfully, on their newest album, The Direction of Last Things, Intronaut have not only once again mastered another incarnation of their sound, but have quite possibly crafted their finest outing yet.Continue reading →
As I was reading about metal supergroup Sumac’s new debut album, The Deal, I was thinking: we often reduce what a band sounds like to a mere math problem. There’s one member who’s also in a hardcore band, one who used to be in a sludge band, and one in a doom metal band. And, as press releases often breathlessly claim, the band they’re all in together sounds like a mixture of those styles. Groundbreaking! So what happens when your math problem consists of Aaron Turner (Isis, Old Man Gloom), Brian Cook (Russian Circles, These Arms Are Snakes), and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists)? Does the proven skill of the combined musicians ensure that the music will be greater than the sum of its parts? Continue reading →