It’s August, which I feel is enough time to start building the argument that one of the releases destined to end up on my 2020 EOY list is a compilation of demos that were originally released in 1990. One of my “safe places” during this shitstorm that is the current world politic has been retreating to the sounds that made me fall in love with metal, metal that moved beyond the hairspray and whirlwind solos that attracted me in the first place.
With that in mind, I want to focus this edition of Nine Circles ov… on the absolute treasure trove that is Divebomb Records (not to mention parent company Tribunal Records). The work they’re doing releasing obscure and oftentimes unrecognized early metal gems—not to mention some great packaging when it comes to physical releases—has been exemplary, and the chance to highlight some of the many, many great pieces I’ve found digging through their Bandcamp page is one I couldn’t pass up. Continue reading
There is a certain danger inherent in this kind of Babe Ruth-esque shot calling when it comes to mid-year lists. I myself am already guilty of attempting to label something my pre-emptive ‘Album of the Year’ and then almost immediately finding something I like more that takes its place. Twice in this case. But on the other hand, in an effort to buck my natural instinct to focus on only the worst aspects of my existence, I would like to acknowledge the albums that have made the first half of this year worth being present for. It’ll be quick and dirty, and I make no claims that this will represent me six months down the line when AOTY Season rolls around, but if you’re interested in what I’ve been enjoying so far in 2020, read about it under the cut in this Nine Circles ov… edition.
I don’t think anyone expected the world to be where it was when 2020 kicked off. To even attempt to put into words the surge of feelings around a global pandemic that refuses to go away, a wretched history of systemic racism, brutality, and ignorance being exposed and reckoned with in the streets all over the world, and everything else the first six months has brought to light is reckless and futile for me right now. I continue to watch, listen, and learn as much as I can: to actively be part of a solution instead of passively being part of the problem.
In the moments between there is music, and if there’s even a glimmer of light right now, it’s in how good 2020 has been with regards to metal. So let’s see where my penchant lies as we cross the halfway mark of year that feels like forever. Continue reading
It started about two years ago, and I have our Fearless Editor Josh to blame. For Christmas I received a flat, square cardboard box containing a creamy white edition of the self titled album from Succumb. I didn’t have a turntable…yet.
Two years later and I have a hefty collection spanning a plethora of genres, largely thanks my inability to stop my subscription to VNYL, a curated record subscription service. Every month I get three albums created to my tastes based on my listening history on Spotify as well as my Discogs collection. It can be hit or miss, particularly with their metal selections, but every time I start to pick up the phone to cancel another batch comes in with a surprise that makes me think, “Damn…maybe I should hold off another month.” So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…let’s dive into nine curated metal selections sent to me and see if they’re truly reflective of my listening tastes.
As always, let’s do this. Continue reading
Being into metal can be isolating enough…I remember as a kid in in high school (this would be circa 1990?) having to do a social studies project where kids would sing songs with social or political relevance. I can’t tell you how many kids did Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire.”
Me? I did Testament’s “Greenhouse Effect.” Being isolated wasn’t a problem after that.
This, of course, is something different. Continue reading