What can I say? Sometimes it’s not that the promo pile is brimming over with releases and you miss out on a few things, sometimes you just get so caught up you simply forget. You miss the signs that something you’ve been waiting for forever slips by (ahem, *Hällas*) or that one album your friend has been telling you is damn good and you need to hear it and…you don’t. Sometimes a band you love just ups and sneaks one past you without a word.
And sometimes…sometimes children…you don’t get a promo at all.
We’re not complaining; we’re a small site and we do this for the simplest of reasons, and whether or not that also happens to feed the vicious masochistic streak hiding below our tender skins well, so be it. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s check out a few that got away.
We’re back, and it feels like Spring is really starting to take a hold. I’ve been re-organizing my vinyl collection the past few days, figuring out just where the hell everything is going to fit and how I’m going to explain to my wife why I need to take over another room before the next stack arrives. First world problems to be sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it to kick off the 225th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, you know?
We’re gonna kick things off with some of the surprises I’ve discovered the last week, starting with new music from Michael Romeo, who brings the heavy prog I crave from Symphony X on his new solo joint. Anton ups the tech factor with some ripping new Inanimate Existence and follows it up with Luminous Vault and Lustmord collaborating with The Ocean. Josh digs into the dank earth of death metal to give light to Analepsy, Visceral Explosion, and Flesh Configuration before shaking things up a bit with Downcross and Real Steel. Vincent goes wide as usual with the newest single from Devil Master, Tzompantli, Falls of Rauros and deep cut from the Pieces of April soundtrack by Stephin Merrit. Hera returns to the playlist and brings Ibaraki, Ghost, Terzij de Horde, Playgrounded, Sadist, and something I’m assuming is called You May Kiss the Bride? I don’t know..it’s heavy though! Next up is Angela bringing some long awaited new music from Meshuggah as well as Frayle, Amenra, and Bhleg. Once again bringing up rear guard is Buke, and he’s chock full of great stuff, from the new Haunt single to some real old classic Opeth, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, Autopsy, and finally some truly classic prog in the way of the might Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Greetings and salutations, fellow champions of the rock. July has been an absolutely insane month for new extreme music, so much so that I am still buried under a mountain of albums I need to catch up on. Normally I’d apologize for the Power Metal Album of the Month for July coming to you a few days late, but all things happen for a reason, and that reason was I needed to pick myself up off the floor after hearing the kinda-sorta* solo debut from Symphony X axeman/chief songwriter Michael Romeo, the unapologetically classic War of the Worlds, Pt. 1. Continue reading →
Symphony X is a progressive metal band, and for the majority of their two-plus decades as a band, they’ve been pretty good at that whole “progress” thing. They’ve explored time and feel changes in their songs, constructed concept pieces about works like Homer’s Odyssey or Milton’s Paradise Lost, and generally made a good effort to keep their sound fresh and captivating. Which is why album number nine, Underworld, can’t help but feel like a little bit of a let-down. Continue reading →