Album Review: Abrams — “Modern Ways”

Abrams - Modern Ways

For Denver’s Abrams‘ 2017 release, Morning, I spent some time on their past and how it tied to that specific release and how with Morning the band seemed to have found its true self, all of which you can read here for context. Plus, it made my best of list for 2017. Now, with Modern Ways, their third full length, that “true self” is being fleshed out even further taking cues from Morning and expanding on its best parts to create a heavy rock album chock full of soaring melodies, hooks for days, and a slight pop sensibility just to keep the good times flowing. As high as I was, and still am, on Morning, Modern Ways is better. All my trepidation regarding whether they’d stay the course, whether this effort would top the last, and whether or not this would be a defining moment disintegrated upon my initial spin and each subsequent spin leaves my jaw on the floor. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Random VNYL Metal Records

9 circles VNYL header

It started about two years ago, and I have our Fearless Editor Josh to blame.  For Christmas I received a flat, square cardboard box containing a creamy white edition of the self titled album from Succumb.  I didn’t have a turntable…yet.

Two years later and I have a hefty collection spanning a plethora of genres, largely thanks my inability to stop my subscription to VNYL, a curated record subscription service.  Every month I get three albums created to my tastes based on my listening history on Spotify as well as my Discogs collection.  It can be hit or miss, particularly with their metal selections, but every time I start to pick up the phone to cancel another batch comes in with a surprise that makes me think, “Damn…maybe I should hold off another month.”   So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…let’s dive into nine curated metal selections sent to me and see if they’re truly reflective of my listening tastes.

As always, let’s do this. Continue reading

Profile: Haukur Már Guðmundsson of Iceland’s Kavorka

Kavorka

The words Iceland or Icelandic generally are followed by black metal since black metal from there is insanely good. But, Icelandic metal and even heavy rock are equally amazing as evident by Kavorka‘s debut full length, Internal Rituals, which was released late last year. The lyrical themes are dark and extremely personal while the music is a cohesive mix of metal, rock, blues, doom, and sludge—a mouthful for sure but this band is flat out powerful, period. This is an amazing debut from a band that sounds far beyond their years. We recently caught up with vocalist Haukur Már Guðmundsson and asked our set of Profile questions to dig deep in the minds of Kavorka so keep reading to get the scoop and please support the band through the links contained within. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: GiantBomb’s Alex Navarro on Video Games, Metal, and More!

giant bomb logo

It’s metal-adjacent time as Buke goes all in on his other passion – video games – with Alex Navarro of GiantBomb! I know…it’s crazy to think we have other interests other than fist-raising, head-banging riffage, but video games are near and dear to many of our blackened hearts, and in this new world of self isolation there are few better diversions than jumping in for an hour (or eight or ten) of glorious high resolution twitch tomfoolery. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Consuming Metal in Isolation

quarantine

Being into metal can be isolating enough…I remember as a kid in in high school (this would be circa 1990?) having to do a social studies project where kids would sing songs with social or political relevance.  I can’t tell you how many kids did Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”

Me?  I did Testament’s “Greenhouse Effect.”  Being isolated wasn’t a problem after that.

This, of course, is something different. Continue reading