Interview: Joel Violette of Thrawsunblat on “Great Brunswick Forest,” Musical Reinterpretation, and How to Spot a Moose in the Wild

thrawsunblat band photo

Over the course of three albums and a handful of EPs, Thrawsunblat have carved a space for themselves in the genre of black metal by integrating the Maritime folk of their home province of New Brunswick, Canada. With their newest album Great Brunswick Forest, which is out October 19, the trio of Joel Violette, Rae Amitay and Keegan MC immerse themselves and their listeners wholeheartedly into that Maritime folk. Careful listeners of the band’s discography should recognize the familiar elements that make Thrawsunblat what it is, and yet this does feel like a big step forward. We reached out to Joel to talk about the creative process for the new album, his fascination with re-interpreting songs and also a bit of Maritime tourism. Continue reading

Circle Pit, Vol. VII, June 2018: “What Album Can You Not Live Without”

nine circles circle pit

I know, you thought this would be a quarterly round up. Sorry, but you’ll need to wait a little longer for that. It’s been a minute since we did one of these with an actual topic. Well, two years to be exact. But who’s counting? Anyway, the question was posed to our group: “What’s the ONE album you absolutely, positively cannot live without?” And the rules were simple, we graciously allowed everyone to actually pick two: one metal album and one album of any other genre. Or, those that never branch out could opt to name just a metal album. Yes, that’s contradictory to the question, but our folks generally like more than just metal so sue us for breaking form. There was some great conversation about these picks but for now, we leave you with the group choices and a playlist at the bottom. Enjoy. Continue reading

Album Review: Vile Creature – “Cast of Static and Smoke”

vile creature cast of static and smoke

While the last few years may have been dominated by talk of just how many great death metal releases we’ve gotten (and who could blame anyone for saying so), looking to the future, I feel that there is a change in the winds coming: 2018 is going to be the year of doom metal.  With releases on the horizon from Fórn, Body Void, and Thou, to say nothing of genre stalwarts like Mournful Congregation, there’s a lot to get excited over in the world of all things slow and heavy.  Setting the tone for all these releases to come, and setting the bar pretty high at that, is Cast of Static and Smoke, the new release from Canadian duo Vile Creature.   Continue reading

Profile: DJ Scully of Forward Thinkers Dead Empires

Dead Empires
Dead Empires

Dead Empires fans are going to be in for a treat with Designed to Disappear, the bands third full length since forming in 2009. Waiting in Waves and Secret Snakes / Silent Serpents were instrumental atom bombs of progressive metal with a strong lean towards the sludge palette. But with the addition of vocalist Jason Sherman (Torrential Downpour) the band takes on a new persona. And it’s one of a heavier ilk, steeped in hardcore and death metal but with the balls to still be able to pull out a reggae jam (“A Summertime Song”) and pop melodies (“Ergot”). The hues painted with this album are some of the deepest the band has mined to date and they pull it off with an ease befitted of only the most seasoned vets in the game. It is an absolute must to experience the feelings encountered throughout Designed to Disappear and it’s nearly impossible to put it down once you’ve made this journey. Just ahead of the album’s release we had the opportunity to ask DJ Scully our set of Profile questions so head inside to see what he had to say. Continue reading

Album Review: Pillärs – “Abandoned”

Pillars - Abandoned

There’s something lurking in the blackened pockets and hidden corners in Ohio.  It’s not a new phenomenon; just look back at the explosion of sounds that came out of the 70s: the no- and new-wave punk anarchy from bands like the Bizarros, the Pagans, and a small band called Devo turned cities like Cleveland and Akron into a hotbed of incredible music.  Although not couched in the same style, Pillärs takes its cue from the same spark that drove the furious creativity of those bands, and in debut album Abandoned craft a pummeling assault of crust-laden noise that provides a righteous soundtrack to the beginning of 2018.   Continue reading