“But wait, Chris! What happened to Episode 236 of the Nine Circles Playlist?!”
Sometimes playlists are just too wild to be contained on the webpage of a humble music blog. Even now, if you listen closely between the high pitched whine of the street lamps you can hear the fading tremolo picking and blast beats of a runaway playlist, foraging on the remains of boy bands (rest in peace, BTS) and the tattered remnants of forgotten 00s dub step. If you love something, set it free…but if you simply forget to post something at least make the story fun.
Anyway, let’s talk about the much more present edition, which is literally below for you to relish with your favorite accoutrements. Josh is kicking it off with the latest from Megadeth…maybe the best song they’ve done in 15 years or more. And if that doesn’t rock your world, the new Krisiun is even more brutal. Followed with a hefty dose of Lorna Shore you should be off to a great start. Anton gleefully shoves some Antigama, Aenaon, and Xenoglyph to ensure you have 100% of your extreme intake complete. Vincent gets a massive track from Scarcity on and is slowly fulfilling an unspoken promise to feature every track from Bloc Party‘s debut in the playlist. Hera fuels my nightmares with something called AWS which I am assured is not Amazon Web Services…unless it is? She also has White Ward, Apocalyptica, Leprous, and a great collaboration between Trent Reznor and Danny Elfman. Ian brings in some great new music from the likes of Wake, Saor, and Russian Circles, as well as a classic banger from Alexisonfire to celebrate the release of their new album. Finally Angela returns as a voice of calm and serenity, giving us soothing lullabies from the likes of Deathwhite, Silent Majority, Stay Inside, and Aptera, which I’ve also been enjoying immensely.
As for me? I’ll end the playlist this week with a few tracks you can expect to see me review in the coming weeks.
The pandemic had robbed us of the joys of going to a concert, but with some regulations in force — such as masking and providing proof of vaccination — tours have finally resumed. When I heard that The Ocean was coming into town as support for Leprous on their North American tour, I decided to go, everything else be damned. Given that these bands had both placed high in my EOY lists over the last few years, I was excited (if not a little anxious) to go and see them. I had high expectations for a great show, and — spoiler alert! — they delivered.
It sure does feel good to be here again! For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on what caused my extended departure from the concert world, but having just eclipsed the two year mark since my last show, the time finally came. Truthfully, it would be hard to pick a better situation for such a return. After PhanerozoicI and Phanerozoic II both topped my lists in their respective release years, it is just too perfect that the first live performance I’ve caught in what feels like an eon was, in fact, The Ocean. And yes, that geologic time scale reference was intentional. Better still, this date at the Brighton Music Hall was headlined by Leprous, who finally got their hooks in me after an absolutely mesmerizing performance. Let’s dive into the festivities.
I am the Scholar of the First Sin, and I have insight to give.
Last year, my list was short and to the point, as I spent more time listening to music that gave me respite and comfort than to new releases. This meant that, once I had more time on my hands, I was finally able to go out and see what I had missed. The fact that I can’t include Dark Tranquility’s Moment, an album that deserves more attention, on this list because it came out last year fucking kills me.
Despite the Omicron variant (at this time) destroying all hope for a small sense of normalcy, 2021 was an absolutely fantastic year for music. After many bands either couldn’t tour because of the onset of the pandemic or postponed a lot of their releases, this year provided us with new music, which meant that a lot of vetting had to happen in order for me to make this list. After graduation, I suddenly had more time than I ever had to do with and decided to dive deep into what I had been ignoring for the better part of five months.
Drowse dropped a cover of Slipknot’s “Wait and Bleed” today, and that feels like a thing worth checking out. So… here you go! That’s from a nu metal covers compilation from The Flenser titled Send the Pain Below, which you can grab on vinyl through their Series Three membership.
And we’ll close some Roadburn Redux material from last year. Horte shared footage of “Valoa on liikaa” today, and you can watch it below. That track is taken from Maa antaa yön vaientaa, which dropped on August 27th through Pelagic Records.