Second Circle: Horrendous and Revocation

second circle horrendous and revocation

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

I’ve had technical death metal on the brain lately.  Mind you: not “tech-death” as in practically everyone on Unique Leader  (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but more in that sweet, sweet Death vein.  I watched the new documentary on Chuck Schuldiner Death By Metal this weekend and it all came back: the intricate riffing, odd time signatures but most importantly the hooks.  Damn but Chuck and co. could craft some major hooks to go along with the incredible chops.  So for this edition of Second Circle I decided to check out two new releases from bands putting their own spin on what Death did so well so many years ago: Horrendous and Revocation.  Both bands have been a bit of a mixed bag for me in the past; let’s dive in and see if that’s still the case.
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CANTO: Bloodbath, Anaal Nathrakh, Misery Index and more!

bloodbath band photo

Oh hey, it’s me! Yep, I still have time to do these things sometimes. Like, once in a blue moon. Apparently, nursing school and a complete absence from social media aren’t conducive to consistent metal blogging. Who knew? Anyway, we’re already late on this, so I’ll shut up. Here’s some stuff you might have missed from today:

Initial Descent: March 25 – 31, 2018

Eagle Twin
Eagle Twin – photo courtesy of Russel Albert Daniels

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

Album Review: Primordial – “Exile Amongst the Ruins”

Primordial - Exile Amongst The Ruins

Primordial is one of those bands known for their legacy and for Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill’s highly distinct voice. Having recently gotten into them last year, this band has shown that their brand of extreme metal comes with philosophical references and a folk tonality that borders on regal. If there is a band I can consider a classic in their genre, it’s Primordial, as their 30-year career can attest. With Exile Amongst the Ruins, Primordial brings their well-known sound and lyricism to the forefront, giving the listener a worthwhile experience on a much-anticipated album. Continue reading

Album Review: Visigoth – “Conqueror’s Oath”

visigoth - conqueror's oath

It’s hard to escape the tendency to double-down on your sophomore album.  You hit a measure of critical success and use that as a springboard to expand, to up your ambition and simply do more.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes you get Use Your Illusion I and II.  It’s a harder road to critically look at what worked and pare down to the essentials, to trim the fat and unleash a street ready fighting machine.  Visigoth manages the tricky balance of paring an already lean attack to the essentials while simultaneously broadening their scope on the righteous heavy metal punch of Conqueror’s Oath.   Continue reading