Greetings, fellow travelers of the path, and welcome to another Nine Circles Saturday morning mixtape. This time around, we’ve got a slew of death metal tracks, BIG|BRAVE’s noisy, glorious sludge, a little Alcest, and some classic Tom Waits & newer Steve Von Till to round things out. Check it out below.
My review of Mare Cognitum’s 2016 album Luminiferous Aether was one of the earliest pieces of writing I published when I first started writing for Nine Circles. As such, they are a band that occupies a special place in my heart, not just because I think they are one of the best names in black metal today, but because each album that I have a chance to engage with is a chance to see how both I and they have grown. It feels much like checking in with an old friend, even though Jacob Buczarski wouldn’t know me from Adam, a way to mark the passage of time and the distance we’ve come on our respective journies, and on Solar Paroxysm, it seems the passage of time has left both of us with no patience for fucking around.
Last week was a week. Here’s hoping this one isn’t. Who’s ready for live shows? Anyone got a wager for when that’ll be? Will we ever get back to normal? All pertinent questions that no one really has an answer for, but all are questions that burn in all our minds. News to no one, I get it. Anyway, we can dream…I guess. Moving on to some new metal, and at least that rubs me the right way; OLDE are back with their outstanding brand of blue collar doom/sludge (seriously, this thing rules and consequently, this band can do no wrong), Mare Cognitum are still excelling at cosmic black metal, Dvne get massively heavy and surprisingly subdued at the same time (it works, trust me), and how about some slam meets deathcore from Distant who actually do a great job at crushing this genre combo. Go get all these new tunes and dream for the day when we might actually get to see all this live again.
We’ll wrap up with new music video from Culted for “Maze”, which you can check out below. That’s another sample from Nous, which is out on February 26th through Season of Mist. Here’s that crucial pre-order link, that I did manage to find, as well.
You want more? You got more. Not that I exactly want to look back on 2020, but there was so much killer music this past year that I decided to take a page out of Chris’ book and talk about the ones that got away from me, regardless of how great they might be. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why these albums didn’t make the cut the first time around. It’s the same story for each one, a story about time and energy and brainpower. This year was draining, both from being alive in the world and from having quite a bit to keep up with in the way of reviews and podcasts for a certain illustrious publication, and while I am proud of the list I put out and I’m not going to go back and amend it, I do think there needs to be more room for discussing what I feel like I missed out on. Albums that, for whatever reason, needed more than the time I had for me to fully realize them in my mind’s eye, but now I can unquestionably say they belong among the great ones that we got in the last calendar year.