We’re about to hit the mid-point of the year, and as ever the amount of quality releases seems to increase with each passing breath. I’ve spent some portion of attention to 183 metal releases so far, and in a year where I find my personal tastes drifting more and more away from metal there’s always something that manages to pull me back in. So far there doesn’t seem to be a particular genre or style pressing its nose against the Trend Window™ (unless you count the amount of sax going on I guess…) and I’ve been surprised at the sheer variety of music pulling at my nerve endings these past six months.
So similar to last year, consider this edition of Nine Circles ov… a snapshot. It’s a measure of a point in time, personal to me and indicative as to where my head’s at halfway through the shitstorm that is 2018. And since that’s probably all the justification I’m going to give, so let’s do this. Continue reading →
Some things happened this week that made it an exceptionally good one for me, not that anyone cares. But it goes to show that there is still some good left to be had in this world, you just have to know where to find it. Or, it has to come to you. Either way, keep that chin up. Alrighty then, as we do here each week on Initial Descent we have another santa sized bag of good metal in store so let’s not waste another word… First up is Eagle Twin who break a six year silence with The Thundering Heard and, no pun intended, this thing is a thunder you’ll want to hear — doom meets blues meets a long player, get on it. Next up is some wicked power metal in the form of The Last Emperor from Judicator, we’re stoked on this one (see our coverage links contained within) and you should be too. Moving along is Exile Amongst the Ruins from Primordial and although they play it rather safe here it is still PRIMORDIAL and still epic if you catch my drift. Closing out the top four is Lychgate with their dynamic and avant-garde black metal on The Contagion In Nine Steps which may well resurface on many lists come end of year time. Make no mistake, these four are a strong start to the week’s offerings but there’s so much more waiting. Hang with us for awhile and see for yourself. Continue reading →
In the hallowed halls of modern power metal, Judicator hold a special place. Over the course of three albums they’ve held the banner high for the genre, emphasizing strong, intricate songwriting that balances passion and power, unafraid to incorporate different styles into the mix but always in service to the song. New album The Last Emperor only lifts that banner higher, building off of everything that came before even as it sets itself apart from its predecessors and what the rest of the community is doing. It’s exciting, technical without feeling staid, and an instant contender for end of year lists. You can read our own Power Metal Frank’s take on the album, which I happen to be in complete agreement with, so when the opportunity arose to talk to Tony Cordisco and John Yelland I jumped at the chance.
There’s some great stuff to unpack here, so without further ado check it out after the jump. Continue reading →
I’ve said it before in a post or two in the past, but I’m gonna say it again: the year of our Lord (Joey DeMaio) 2015 was – in my humble opinion – the best year Power Metal has ever had. It just seemed that every power metal album was of superb quality. One album at the top of that great list was Judicator’s critically acclaimed third offering At The Expense of Humanity. They steered away from the historical concepts from their first two albums and delivered a record very personal both lyrically and sonically. After a few bumps in the road they are finally releasing their fourth, The Last Emperor. The question I asked myself before I started listening was can they continue that passionate sound while going back to a historical theme? I hate to give it away right at the opener but the answer is a resounding HOLY CHRIST, YES!!! Continue reading →
Full disclosure here: as good a weather as we had this weekend and as much time as I spent out in it, I do not want today to be Monday. But, time marches on and so does the laborious task of a new week. Anyway, we’ve got a fresh batch of tunes for you to digest and pair with whatever coffee you have flowing this morning. As usual, the tastes are all over the place but that’s what makes these enjoyable. And honestly, who can’t use a little joy on a Monday?! Subscribe to our YouTube channel here so you don’t miss a thing and stay tuned later today for a giveaway from a band we’re excited about. Head inside. Listen. Guzzle coffee. Headbang at your desk. You’re welcome. Continue reading →