Initial Descent: February 5 – 11, 2023

In Flames
In Flames

Super Bowl week is upon us. Does anybody even care at this point though? Look, I’m as big a football fan as that drunk dude you knew from that local bar you used to go to but even I know this one will be a snoozefest. Anyway, it’s finally time for new In Flames even though we’ve heard half the album at this point, BUT that half we’ve heard sure does sound like the days of yore from these melo-swedeathers. So yea, big time ready for that preorder to land. Next up we’ve got some absolutely vicious black metal from Terrestrial Hospice (seriously, this thing is a beast) and a death-power-symphonic-core-operatic chip shot from Dragoncorpse. Indeed, that’s a lot going on and it is quite different, so if that’s your thing be sure to check it out. And as always, there’s several more in the list below worth your time and hard earned money so go explore. See you here throughout the week.

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Album Review: Clouds Taste Satanic — “Tales of Demonic Possession”

The riff, the foundation from which all heavy rock music is built. It is the molten material used to forge inspiration for future generations of rock guitarists. There’s a reason Eddie Van Halen’s most famous piece is called “Eruption.” Whether it’s a sludgy doom riff or a buzzsaw grind riff, heavy music is nothing without the riff. Tales of Demonic Possession, the latest album by Clouds Taste Satanic, is an ode to the riff.

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Album RAMBLE: Katatonia — “Sky Void of Stars”


For Katatonia‘s 13th full length, Sky Void of Stars, we (as in the Top Brass, Benevolent Overlords, etc: Corey, Dan K, Chris, and Josh) decided to capitalize on something we’ve done so many times with this band’s discography; get together over a chat, pour way too many drinks for ourselves, and talk Katatonia. This time around, it only felt right to share that experience with all of you: the first ever Top Brass collaborative review ramble, as it were. If you’ve been following along, our love of all things Katatonia is not subtle. We’ve featured them many times over the years, photographed them, and generally love everything they’ve done from their early death / doom days to their ever-evolving gloom-goth-progressive-metal-rock that seems to only get better the longer they exist. We won’t give too much away ahead of the ramble you’re about to dive into headfirst, but suffice it to say, Sky Void of Stars is the album we needed right now. And let’s be real, this will probably be the first of several drunken nights we spend discussing this album’s place in the Katatonia pantheon. But for now, without further ado, we present our rambles…

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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Best of 2022!

Best of 2022

List season has been in full swing here, as well as across the metal writing sphere, and we still have more fun to be had there. And yes, we love list season in case you were wondering. For this episode our maestro of the mic, Buke, pulls together Hera, Ian, Vincent, Angela, and two new members who have jumped in with both feet: Colin and Dan M., to discuss some of their favorites from 2022 and of course a lot of catching up was had since the last time these folks chatted together. The format “loosely” follows a round robin style of five picks with some honorable mentions thrown in for good measure. From there the conversation is all over the place as we do on these episodes of The Nine Circles Audio Thing. Be sure to pull up a chair and your favorite drink(s), this one is a bit longer than our norm.

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Album Review: He Is Legend — “Endless Hallway”

he is legend - endless hallway

That whole “kitchen-sink” approach to metal, particularly that peculiar strain of emo, screamo metalcore that insisted on 101 riffs per second and demanded alternating screeched and clean vocals was EVERYWHERE in the early 00s. I remember slowly getting back into the swing of extreme music and being presented with bands like The Fall of Troy, Protest the Hero, Horse the Band (holy cow, remember Horse the Band?) and countless others but it was He Is Legend and a small album called I Am Hollywood that really stuck with me. Part of it was their unabashed love of a good lick and being unafraid to write songs that captured the spirit of 90s rock, but c’mon: part of it was also the astounding range and delivery of vocalist Schuylar Croom. So it pleases me to no end that 18 years since discovering them I get to dive into Endless Hallway, their seventh album and continuing affirmation that the band still has the juice to rip a room apart without sacrificing that special sauce that made them stand out from the crowd back in the day.

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