Album Review:  Messa — “Close”

Fans have waited four long years for a new release from experimental doom act, Messa, and the band’s latest release, Close, is well worth the wait. It does not disappoint as it is an elevated offering that dives into new instrumentation and techniques while expanding on the band’s already established unique sound.  Messa started out as a progressive doom band before evolving to incorporate various influences including jazz, blues, sludge, black metal, and dark ambience.  Close brings together all these elements while also adding cultural inspirations and instruments.  In addition to the uniqueness of style and sound, the production is clean and crisp helping listeners unearth each new piece while flowing brilliantly from movement to movement.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 222 (3.12.2022)

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Weird random though for the morning: although we’re often nostalgic for things from our youth, sometimes the things from our youth are not things from our youth, you catch me? I don’t know; I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Maybe it’s the music, so many new albums coming out that capture so succinctly the signatures of the sounds that came before it (*cough* Ghost) I’m caught in a revelry of the past. Don’t fear, though: I won’t let it influence the 222nd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist too much…

…but I will a little, kicking it off with a certain massive popular band who finally went all in on the hard rock/pomp of the 80s (*cough* Ghost). But man, if you haven’t also heard the latest from Drug Church get thee to a computer and rectify that post-haste. Hits the 90s indie hardcore rock so good, and they’re from my old stomping grounds of Albany, NY to boot. Elsewhere Anton brings up Siberia, Vital Spirit, and Autarkh III to get the nasty flowing. Vincent continues to champion site favorite Absent in Body and throws in some new music from Devil Master and Egregore as well as Bootblacks. Josh takes a break from his non-stop listening of Impera to get down with the OTHER site favorite Zeal & Ardor but also manages to make room for Corpsessed, King Dude, and a pair of outlaw country tunes, including the latest from Paul Cauthen. Buke can always be counted on with some choice classic cuts, and he does not fail this week, serving up some vintage KISS and Rainbow, but also hits with new cuts from Rammstein and Deathwhite (there’s some Anvil in there, too). And Angela comes in to remind that if the first quarter of 2022 was already stacked tooth gills with great music, we just got the new Messa, a new single from Conjurer, and the latest from Chelsea Wolfe.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 220 (2.26.2022)

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Say goodbye, February. I wish I could say goodbye to the panic, the anxiety, and the fear as well, but tyrants are gonna tyrant, I guess. At least there’s music to keep us from falling over the brink, so let’s just jump into the 220th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, and do what we can to stay informed, stay sane, and make what small differences we can to make this planet better for everyone.

I’m framing the playlist out with some Scatterbrain, because that describes my mental state at the moment and quite frankly it’s the music I needed to lighten the mood up. Anton brings in Ernia, Mass Worship, and Playgrounded. Josh mixes it up with Analepsy, Atoll, Black Flag and some vintage Dokken, among others. Vincent continues falling for Mitski and toe, but also rages with Worm and the new Falls of Rauros. Angela features the latest from Messa, Celeste, and Trna as well as a banger from Oathbreaker. And Buke? Buke goes with the latest from Spirit Adrift and Evil Invaders, but then hits the wayback button for some Candlemass, Dark Angel, Mercyful Fate, and Megadeth.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 217 (2.5.2022)

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If you grew up listening to metal in the 80s, you know just how important the name Johnny Zazula was. If I found a cassette put out by Megaforce Records or otherwise had Johnny Z’s name associated with it, I was buying it. He was a giant in the field of thrash metal, and losing him at the age of 69 is a crying shame. So yeah, we’re kicking off the 2017th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a bunch of stuff associated with him. Throw one back for a titan of the genre.

The rest of the crew is all over the map, so let’s get to it. Anton brings the heavy and the new with Absent in Body, Wait, and The Last of Lucy. Ian hits with Celeste who I’ve really been digging lately, and throws in some Warning and Stormkeep to keep it moving. Josh threw me into a timewarp listening to the great first album by Tora Tora, but quickly amps the heavy up with Corpsegrinder, Extinction A.D. and Centinex (oh, and some DMX which is as heavy as anything else on this playlist). Vincent reliably brings The Mountain Goats and adds in some Elle and Cremation Lily. Angela keeps the new train moving with the new single from Messa, the latest from Rolo Tomassi and some Microwave while Buke – perhaps sensing my bringing in enough of the old school – goes decidedly modern and heavy with Dying Fetus, Ihsahn, Arcturus, and Diabolical Masquerade.

Pour one out for Johnny Z. We’ll see you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 182 (5.22.2021)

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Welcome to this week’s Nine Circles Saturday morning mixtape playlist. This week, we’ve got Grey Aura‘s abstract black metal, the newest single from death metal stalwarts Hooded Menace, classic Batushka (from before there were, like, 80 of them), and much more. All available, free of charge, at the link below. Unless you feel like giving us your credit card information. We’ll gladly take it.

– Vincent