Nine Circles ov…80s Glam/Hair “Metal” Albums That Rock

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Look, let’s cut to the chase: if you grew up in a certain time period, it was impossible to get away from the spandex, the hairspray, the fishnet and the misogynistic lyrics. Glam and hair “metal” ruled MTV, ruled rock radio, and ruled the fashions of teenagers everywhere. It also served as a gateway for thousands of kids that would later move into deeper and darker waters. So congratulations if you only listened to “cool” music as a kid – you were either born much later than I was (early 70s), or you were one of the burnouts behind the gym smoking and listening to Slayer. In both cases congratulations: you’ll probably live longer than me in the one instance, and in the other know I secretly coveted your cool shirts and was enthralled by the music, though it’d be a few years before I bought it.

For this edition of Nine Circles ov… I tried to stay away from obvious answers and obvious classics. So you won’t see Mötley Crüe’s Too Fast For Love or Twisted Sister’s Under the Blade (feel free to fight me on those). You won’t see glammed up 80s entries from bands who rocked hard in the 70s like Scorpions and Kiss. And you certainly won’t see all the great speed and thrash bands that still kill to this day. I went under the bed and pulled out the shoebox of cassettes, dusted them off with my tiger striped bandanna and found a few gems that resonate with me 30 years later. So raise a lighter and let’s have some fun.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…My (unlistened to) Bandcamp Collection

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Hello. My name is Chris, and I have a problem.

I started using Bandcamp about 2 years ago. At first it was innocent: maybe an album here or there I read about in Decibel but couldn’t find on a streaming service. Occasioanlly a compilation or anthology I heard about from Henry Rollins’s amazing weekly radio show on KCRW. It was fun, it was innocent, and most importantly, no one was getting hurt. And then, in January of 2016, someone had the bright idea to start this #metalbandcampgiftclub thing and everything just kind of went out the window. At first it was just giving, you know? What’s wrong with giving? But then I started getting, too. And it got harder to just give, right? Because maybe you wanted that album too, you see? And it just spiraled and skyrocketed and every other terrible metaphor you can think of to say things, well…got out of hand.

Seriously, Bandcamp is a great service for both fans and artists. And when I sat down to think about what to write for this week’s Nine Circles ov… I realized I had all this great music I hadn’t listened to yet, so why not pick a few highlights and share ’em here with the fine Nine Circles readership. I’ll try to remember the whys and wherefores, you just check out some great metal.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Blackened Death Records

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Underground Forever.

Those words stand as the rallying cry for Blackened Death Records, a UK label founded and run by Richard Weeks, a stalwart of the online metal community and a whirling dervish of musical activity, recording under various names and styles for the label, as well as taking over bass duties for The Meads of Asphodel. The label specializes in extreme metal and noise, with an eye to off-kilter and truly independent passion projects, many headed by Weeks himself, who proves adept at a number of different genres and styles.

All that plus a regular podcast where Weeks raps rhapsodic on anything under the sun (as long as its metal), unique merchandise such as the popular “Stop Supporting Racist Bands” t-shirt and various compilation albums featuring new and upcoming bands. It’s a huge output from anyone, let alone a solitary dude so we’re bringing back Nine Circles ov… to not only spotlight a true soldier of metal, but to help immerse you in some of our favorite offerings from Blackened Death Records. Let’s do this.   Continue reading

Visions ov Hell: Evil Invaders – “Raising Hell”

Evil Invaders - Raising Hell

Visions ov Hell means it’s time to begin a new week whether anyone is ready for it or not. Having the Monday blahs is understandable but it doesn’t have to suck completely which is why Evil Invader‘s new video for Raising Hell comes at an opportune time. The band released an EP, In For the Kill, last week and offered two new songs and two live songs from their past. For now Raising Hell will be your extra shot of speed metal to drop in that pot of coffee you’re inevitably choking down. Myself included. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov… Unique Leader Records

Unique Leader Records
Unique Leader Records

With the second full length from Unmerciful now out to the masses (covered here) I couldn’t help but think about the band’s label, Unique Leader Records. Mostly because I haven’t consistently frequented their wares in a few years but there was a time the label was ground zero for my desire to find the most brutal sounding death metal around, not to mention some of the most technical as well. Some of my favorite releases reside with this label and had it not been for them I would have missed out on an integral piece of my metal history. The label has never lost sight of their original vision and has continued to be a benchmark for the extreme sector of death metal. You can connect with their label on Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or their third-party merch website. Continue reading