For the last five days I’ve been trapped, sequestered in this tiny 9’X12′ space not because I’m sick, but because I’m the only one not sick. After more than two and half years my entire family have fallen ill to the COVID, and I attribute my still (reasonably) healthy body to the massive amounts of metal sliding into my brain pan. May this, the 253rd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, keep you free from illness as well.1
We’re kicking things off with some Rhythm of Fear, whose brand of thrash has my old man bones quaking with nostalgic joy. From there we have a cut from the recent EP by Asarhaddon which hits that atmospheric black metal button I thought I had tucked away for a while now. Elsewhere the crew is pushing some great stuff, including new cuts from a slew of great bands, including Lamentations, Lost in Kiev, Exhumed, Distant, A Pregnant Light, Woods of Desolation, Envy, and frickin’ Blink-182, which is a big ol’ blast of fun. There’s even more surprises in store, but I don’t want to give away the whole store, you know?
Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.
1 Listening to copious amounts of metal shouldn’t be the only thing used in the fight against disease. Use your brain, get vaccinated, and maybe wash those hands a little more often, ya filthy animals.
I’ve really been itching to do a mid-year round-up for a while now, but I have a little bit of reservation about it. Mostly, I don’t really want to spoil anything for the end of the year, because it’s usually around this time that I find the one or two albums that I KNOW are going to top my December list, and this year feels no different. You gotta wait if you want the goods, but in the meantime, this edition of Nine Circles ov… is a list, in no particular order, of albums that I have been really enjoying this year. Some are metal, some are non-metal, some may keep their position until the end of the year and some might end up as honorable mentions, but none of them are the absolute top. Sorry, no spoilers, but these are still fantastic albums well worth the repeated listens I have given them.
When it comes to folk inspired black metal, there’s not many bands better than West Virginia’s Nechochwen. And, on their fourth full length, Kanawha Black, they’ve managed to pull themselves to the front of the pack and widely eclipse their past work. This album has become a fast staff favorite here at Nine Circles for a myriad of reasons, but plainly put, no one out there is doing it better right now. Buke recently sat down with Aaron (aka Nechochwen) to discuss the new album and how it came to be, how the band are fans of French Indian warfare and Native American history and how those topics were lacking in heavy metal when the band formed, how the band got its start, their relationship with Panopticon‘s Austin Lunn and with Bindrune Recordings, the fact that Aaron is a classically trained guitarist, and so much more. We now bring you this conversation in its entirety so grab your beverage of choice, a seat, and enjoy.
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.
Black metal continues, as it has from the first time I got my ears around it, to be my favorite genre of metal. For all the trappings and headaches it can offer, there is truly nothing like black metal when it is at its best, so I’m always happy to talk it up when I find stuff that speaks to me, and today we’re having yet another two-for-one sale on this here website. Nechochwen‘s Kanawha Black and Predatory Light‘s Death and the Twilight Hours are very unlike each other in style and ethos, but bound together under the sign of the black mark.
After this, I get to write about music and alcohol at the same time!
Brand of Sacrifice dropped a reissue of the title track from their most recent album, Lifeblood. The album was released back in March originally, and this version of the track features Will Ramos of Lorna Shore. Give it a listen here.
Updates from Bindrune Recordings are always notable. Nechochwen have returned with the title track from their next album, “Kanawha Black”. Give it a listen here. That album should be out sometime next year, so keep your eye out for more updates.
I’m a really big fan of the new Anomalie album, Tranceformation, so we’ll close with the new video for the third single from that. Check out “Trance I: The Tree”, and remember to pick that album up, which is out November 26th through AOP Records.