One of my earliest and fondest concert memories is that of crowd surfing to Every Time I Die playing “Ebolarama” at Ozzfest 2004. I’d heard the song before on a mix my buddy made for me of a bunch of metalcore bands breaking at the time. This weird song that blended unorthodox singing and song structure with crushing guitars was a standout for me, and I was ecstatic to hear it live (and to find out who played it, my friend didn’t give me a track list). So there I went, flying atop the sea of Che-hats, gauged-ears, sideways haircuts and black sweatbands — a millennial metal moment if there ever was one. So for this Nine Circles ov…, let’s burn this mother down and go through nine of the boys’ best tracks… Continue reading
* 8/29 mea culpa: After some robust discussion online I’ve added a new paragraph addressing in part the thorny issue of including “problematic bands” in a list such as this. Providing proper context is always important, and I failed to do that. The fault is mine, and I hope the added commentary helps clarify the choices made.
Ah, social media…where would we complain and spit our vitriol over “Best Of” lists if we didn’t have you? Last week’s ire in a buttercup came from Metal Hammer‘s list of “The 40 Best Black Metal Albums Ever” — a post that at its heart really just outlined 40 really good to great albums influential to the genre over the course of three decades. Compiled and with commentary by Dayal Patterson, a man that knows a thing or two about black metal, the article (I’m guessing titled by parent company Louder/Future Pic to generate more clicks — successfully) instead served as fodder for other sites to call out and complain over as well as get the always sensible metal community to froth at the mouth over what was and wasn’t on a list that in all reality serves as a pretty nice introduction to the early evolution of a now expansive and diverse genre.
Well, for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. we show that we’re not above our own cheap commentary, even if it’s at our own expense… Continue reading
“But hey,” you ask. “Where do all those promos come from?”
They come from PR groups, my friends. Many, many PR groups. Inboxes get stuffed to the gills with pleas for some kind of coverage, whether its a review, interview, profile, track premiere…and as the release date for an album gets closer and the reminders come in, it can get even more overwhelming. But with so much music out there, having a good PR person in your corner can make the difference between selling your album to six of your friends and family, and getting exposure (any exposure) to an audience that can pick up and carry your work forward. I’d say PR groups are a necessary evil, except my experience as both a writer and a musician has found, for the most part, these dogged flag wavers to be anything but evil.
And so I thought for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I’d highlight the music that’s come to my attention via Jadd and the folks from Red Lead Media & PR. Focusing on punk and hard rock in a variety of styles (not to mention being the in-house PR division for Magnetic Eye Records) there’s a healthy variety of music below so keep cool and dig in. Who knows, maybe something will take your fancy…. Continue reading
By now, most of y’all are probably aware that the 2018 World Cup has concluded. On Sunday afternoon, France capped off a dominant tournament run by beating Croatia, 4-2, in the final. And while we’re not still dopey enough to commemorate the occasion with something like the “World Cup of Metal,” (Remember that? Gross.) we also weren’t going to let it go completely unnoticed. Hence, here we are with The Nine Circles ov France!
Side note before we begin: as much as I wanted Croatia to win it all, I also know exactly one Croatian metal band. (This one.) So, having preemptively claimed this post before the game, I’m low-key THRILLED that France and its comparably enormous metal scene ended up victorious. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Here we go… Continue reading
We’re about to hit the mid-point of the year, and as ever the amount of quality releases seems to increase with each passing breath. I’ve spent some portion of attention to 183 metal releases so far, and in a year where I find my personal tastes drifting more and more away from metal there’s always something that manages to pull me back in. So far there doesn’t seem to be a particular genre or style pressing its nose against the Trend Window™ (unless you count the amount of sax going on I guess…) and I’ve been surprised at the sheer variety of music pulling at my nerve endings these past six months.
So similar to last year, consider this edition of Nine Circles ov… a snapshot. It’s a measure of a point in time, personal to me and indicative as to where my head’s at halfway through the shitstorm that is 2018. And since that’s probably all the justification I’m going to give, so let’s do this. Continue reading