Initial Descent: June 26 – July 2, 2022


I’m baaaack, sunburn and all. Miss me? Rhetorical…of course you did. Thanks to the homies for taking on my duties from last week. By now, I’m sure you’ve dabbled with the new Megadeth track, but if not, what the hell are you waiting for, DO IT! Seriously, this is the best Mustaine and Co. have sounded in… let’s just say a very long time. Alright then; new week, new metal, LET’S DO IT! Massacre‘s return last year was such a hit, they stomped the gas with new material and voila! a new EP, then we’ve got black metal from both Hulder (hotly anticipated from what I understand) and Black Cilice which looks and sounds much darker, next we’ve got some insane deathgrind from Narakah, and as usual, a very long list of other releases well worth your time to investigate. Happy hunting and we’ll see you here throughout the week.

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Initial Descent: June 5 – 11, 2022


New week and another new list of incoming metal. This is my one and only favorite thing about any given Monday and gets the pump primed for Friday. Or, something like that. Anyway, we’ve got much to explore here as we kick things off with a long awaited return from Kreator who are still the undisputed titans of thrash, an extreme take on black / death metal from Vølus, a nasty compilation of sorts from Fluids and just because it’s a comp doesn’t mean you get to sleep on it so DON’T, death metal that stings the nostrils from Severe Torture, and a whole heap of other stuff you need in your life. Happy hunting and see you here throughout the week…

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Album Review: Watain – “The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain”

Watain - The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain

Oh, Watain…where have you been? It’s been a little over four years since your return to the fold offering of Trident Wolf Eclipse…an album whose title signified those things you associated with your b(r)and. It’s safe to say I wasn’t over the moon with it. Now you come back with the even more outlandish (and frankly wonderful title) The Agony & Ecstasy of Watain. Sirs. You have evoked your own name in your title, and not eponymously, either. Not to mention the trials and tribulations of the great Michelangelo. What I am saying, gentlemen, is that you have either set yourselves up for a fall or you had a sneaking suspicion that your latest album is your best in a long while. Well, after careful review and consideration I am of the mind that it is most certainly the latter. This, my friend, is the bee’s knees.

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Initial Descent: February 13 – 19, 2022


Every time I see another news blip that Chris Barnes has opened his mouth, I shake my head and wonder why he’s even talking. For a guy that hasn’t put out a good death metal album in 23 years, he sure can talk some stupid shit. So, in case you missed it, just type it in the search bar and read up for a good laugh. MOVING ON… speaking of good excellent death metal, Immolation are back with a beast of an album and again, I get to knock off another preorder for one of my highly anticipated releases. Much excite. The death metal rolls on with speed freaks Schizophrenia and techies The Last of Lucy, Pike vs The Automaton lands and it’s absolutely Matt Pikeian (good, good thing), and we close with tons more in the list below. By the way, death metal ain’t dead folks. It’s just getting better everyday.

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All In: Nine Circles ov 2021 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2021

Greetings everyone, and welcome to Best of 2021 season! News to no one, this year was a flaming bag of feces everywhere else except for the land of metal. We definitely had a pop off valve for releasing all the pent up frustrations in the form of every single kind of metal available and from all across the globe. Bands were bigger, madder, and grander than ever before and made believers out of all of us in one way or another. We’ve already kicked off some Honorable Mentions lists, but before we roll into our individual MAIN lists, we’re kicking the season off with our combined staff list. First a reminder of how this all works…

But, first; this is typically a Tuesday post for the one of you paying attention. However, it’s EOY season so who cares. NOW, like last year and previous years, each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores between everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2021, brought to you by, well, everyone.

We’re keeping the thing we did in previous years, which is: crowning a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. Clearly the highest honor in the industry. Who claimed this title for 2021? You’ll have to wait until the very end.

Anyway, that’s all simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…

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