Nine (or so Heavily Qualified) Circles ov…2021: A Mid-Year Report

2021 mid-year report

Wait…so the guy who only wrote a total of 10 freakin’ reviews this year thinks he has any weight when it comes to a mid-year report? Well, uh…I guess that’s why I put the “heavily qualified” in the title of this post?

But seriously, I’ll be the first to admit that metal hasn’t really been my #1 go-to when it comes to music lately, but like everything else, what you see on the Internet never tells you the whole story. I haven’t been writing nearly as much about the genre lately, but I have been listening. Listening, and refining. Finding the things that really resonate despite the press and the push of PR, or what the pundits tell you on the 1,001 other sites out there scrambling for clicks. And what I’ve discovered is that more and more I’m coming to the sounds that drew me to the genre: thrash riffs, lots of melody, and tasty solos. So yeah: expect some old school bands putting out great records more than 30 years into their existence here. And maybe a few newer bands as well.

Is that qualified enough for ya? Then let’s dig in.

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Second Circle: Bloody Hammers and Miserable

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

Happy 2021! Everything is fine! I swear! At least in terms of music everything seems to be fine. Right when I was thinking there wouldn’t be anything of note to grab my ears in January (sorry, but Tribulation still fails to do anything for me, so we’ll let others on the site rave) up pops two bands that trade in the kind of music that instantly strikes a chord in my metal heart. So let’s use this edition of Second Circle to the sinister pomp of Bloody Hammers and the killer old school thrash of Miserable

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Best of 2016: Paul Ravenwood from Twilight Fauna

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Today we have the pleasure of featuring a Best of 2016 list from Twilight Fauna‘s mastermind Paul Ravenwood. These lists are always fun but having the opportunity to see what an artist of Paul’s caliber has been listening to and subsequently loved enough to do this is a treat for us and will be for you as well. You know how these things work so read on — after the jump — to find out what he has in store. Continue reading

Rainbows in the Dark: Miserable – “Uncontrollable”

Kristina Esfandiari is not only the voice behind the lovely and forlorn King Woman (and a one-time member of Whirr). She also has been working hard on her solo project, Miserable. Her voice is effortless, airy and full of depressive beauty. Her work with Miserable is not merely, as the name suggests, mono-dimensional sadness. Rather, Miserable creates a depressive and emotional landscape using minimalist instrumentation, layered vocals, plenty of reverb and Kristina Esfandiari’s best weapon: her incomparable voice. And the debut LP, Uncontrollable is a majestic undertaking of emotional depth and fortitude. Continue reading

Wake Up and Smell the Satan! – April 29, 2016

wake-up-and-smell-satan

Today is going to shock you. First, I “woke up” with a feeling in my “gut” that an asteroid collision with Earth is an imminent happenstance. With that in mind, it’s important to know that you’re going to die. I feel I’m doing you a service by letting you know. This way you can make arrangements to have fun in  your brief final moments upon the Earth’s surface. You will, however, likely waste them like the putrid scum of existence that you are. Continue reading