Nine Circles ov…Prog Rock in 2019

rick wakeman

Sometimes you want those blast beats and cavernous riffs to pound your skull from the inside…and sometimes you just want to float away on layers of keyboards, odd time signatures, and a plethora of instruments you’ve never heard of.  ‘Round these extreme parts we tend to only look at progressive music when it’s attached to the word “metal” but there’s been some excellent releases this year where the “prog” takes command of the music and allows its freak flag to shine.

Sometimes they’re not even Opeth.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. I wanted to take a look at 9 prog releases from the Year of Our (Dark) Lord 2019 that have kept me moving in strange waters when I tired of the bludgeon of more extreme music. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Metal on My Horror Break

Nine Cirlces ov.... October 2019

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on here talking about metal.  That’s because I’ve been knee-deep in Blood Red, our annual horror series where I watch a crap-ton of movies and write them up for the Letterboxd Hooptober Marathon.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to metal – I’ve been trying to keep up with the veritable glut of heavy offerings bestowed upon us so far this Autumn season.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I thought I’d jump in and share nine recent(-ish) releases that have been keeping the blood pumping…as it spurts out a major artery.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.  Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov…Ghost

If you think about it, Ghost has covered a buttload of ground for a metal-adjacent band — hell, for any kind of band — in a dozen or so years of existence. They’ve closed out Maryland Deathfest, signed to a major label and won a Grammy award. They’ve weathered a very public legal saga between frontman Tobias Forge (“Papa Emeritus”) and numerous former “Nameless Ghouls.” And now, they’re headlining arenas across the country. Not bad for a largely anonymous group of Satan worshippers!

With four albums under their belt — and, more to the point, with your author heading to the Giant Center in Hershey, PA, to catch them this Thursday — it’s high time we put their discography under the microscope for a Nine Circles ov treatment. So grab a communion wafer and let’s jump in!

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Nine Circles ov…Death Metal in 2019

Sanguisugabogg

Death metal has seen a banner year. And, it’s seen a year that clearly divided the genre into swampy caveman ooze and extreme for the sake of extreme. Basically, whatever is your preference is out there and your favorite album awaits. This is the year for death metal fans and that’s the bottom line. Yes, I do realize we’re closing in on EOY season but for us, all that fun is held until, you know, the end of the year so why not broach some of the good shit now? Rhetorical, of course. As a reminder, last time we did this was for black metal and it was a silver platter of offerings so be sure to revisit that. Moving on, we do have rules for this piece. I hate rules. But, the only one for this Nine Circles ov… is that anything covered here can only be albums we haven’t covered in long form which leaves out Vitriol, Fluids, Tomb Mold, and several other holy-hell-top-notch albums. Be that as it may, there’s tons here to dig into from 2019 so get your shovel and dig until you hit the coffins.
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Nine Circles ov…Black Metal in 2019

belzebubs

Peek behind the curtains, look in the crevices of dark corners unexamined by light and that’s where I’ve been finding some of the best music of 2019.  Last week we took a stroll through some of the best power metal to strike sword and shield this year, and the chance to do the same with black metal was too good to pass up.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… we’re going back into the dark to look at the some of the best the genre has proffered for our alien oblations, keeping away from the big hitters (but DAMN I dig that Abbath) as well as any we might have already mentioned on the site or the podcast. Don your cloak, grab your candelabra, and let’s journey into the dark night of black metal, 2019. Continue reading