Nine Circles ov…Clearing Out the Promo Pile, 2018 Edition

9C ov...Promo Pile

Every leaf that falls from a tree, signaling the beginning of winter and the end of the year feels like it lands as yet another promo I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.  The end of November also marks the time I start flushing out my various end of year lists, creating playlists of contenders and engaging in the massive purge of albums from my computer, releasing albums I’ll never come back to and freeing up precious space on the old hard drive.

But those lost, deserted promos call out to me, begging for another chance to be consumed, to be measured and contemplated.  So think of this edition of Nine Circles ov… as part of the process (or just a cheap sequel to my last post), digging in the dirt for those glints of promise that  – even this late in the year – can change a mind. Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov…Every Time I Die

One of my earliest and fondest concert memories is that of crowd surfing to Every Time I Die playing “Ebolarama” at Ozzfest 2004. I’d heard the song before on a mix my buddy made for me of a bunch of metalcore bands breaking at the time. This weird song that blended unorthodox singing and song structure with crushing guitars was a standout for me, and I was ecstatic to hear it live (and to find out who played it, my friend didn’t give me a track list). So there I went, flying atop the sea of Che-hats, gauged-ears, sideways haircuts and black sweatbands — a millennial metal moment if there ever was one. So for this Nine Circles ov…, let’s burn this mother down and go through nine of the boys’ best tracks… Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov…Integrity

Integrity was always more than just a hardcore band. Not that anyone from the late-80s/early 90s scene was “just a hardcore band” Sick of it All, Gorilla Biscuits, Strife, Bold, Judge and In My Eyes all had their own sound. But Integrity set themselves apart from the entire landscape with their sound AND their lyrics. Sure, for many years they were on Victory Records and part of the wave of bands that injected more metal into second-wave hardcore, which eventually birthed the sound we think of today.

But again, Integrity was different. Continue reading

Album Review: Underoath – “Erase Me”

Underoath - Erase Me

The new Underoath album is the best record Linkin Park never released.

If you’re looking for a pull quote, there you go. I’ll serve it up to you on a silver platter. I posted this last night on Twitter and the responses I got ran the gamut. Much in the same way that I think responses to Erase Me will cover the spectrum of  “Kick ass! Underoath is back and better than ever!” to “What the hell were they thinking? Where’s my xhardcorex?!” I have a hunch that, once the hype and dust settles down, this record will end up being the most divisive of their career. I’ve listened to it about four or five times so far, with another spin happening right now as I write this.   Continue reading

Album Review: All Pigs Must Die – “Hostage Animal”

all pigs must die hostage animal cover

While black, death, and doom metal may be my forte (and what I spend the most time with), there is something about a grimy, fisticuff-inducing hardcore album that scratches a certain itch for me.  Maybe it’s all the metalcore I cut my teeth on in high school, but it just feels like a good time.  It’s nice to find bands now that take elements of hardcore and bring it to a level of darkness that matches the rest of the music I listen to, and one such act that is a go-to of mine is All Pigs Must Die.  Their brand of dark, visceral hardcore consistently delivers the goods, and nowhere more so than on their new album, Hostage Animal. Continue reading