Album Review: Grave Upheaval – “Untitled”

Grave Upheaval - Untitled

Anonymity has been one of extreme music’s time-honored, though shopworn, traditions since even before the first wave of black metal. It has endured through a succession of major and far-lesser-known acts spanning continents and decades, in part, because anonymity taps that fearful part of the imagination in which these walls of haunting sound flourish. Furthermore, this tactic subtly returns to the music snob in all of us, by letting the music speak for itself. However, so common is anonymity that it has become an officious self-parody in instances like Ghost, where estranged bandmates battle it out in court over money, intellectual property and identity.

The Australian group Grave Upheaval seemingly pursues obscurity intentionally. About five years ago, the band released an album titled simply Untitled. It conveys no lineup information and its tracks are titled in a fashion that is as bland as one can get, e.g. Roman numeral titles. Now, roughly five years after Untitled, Grave Upheaval is back.

With what, you ask? Untitled, of course. Not Untitled II. Just Untitled. Not a good sign, perhaps. Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Demoncy – “Faustian Dawn”

demoncy-faustian-dawn-cover

Demoncy are a band that I’ve always felt have never gotten their fair share of credit. Despite forming only a few years after their Norwegian contemporaries and being one of the first bands to bring black metal to North America with their 1993 demo Faustian Dawn, the band never seems to be mentioned in the same breath as many other greats, both from the US and abroad. While the band’s sound may have shifted in a different direction over the years, Faustian Dawn is nevertheless an important part of Demoncy’s legacy as well as that of black metal as a whole; it represents a snapshot in time to the beginnings of US black metal and helped pioneer the style in this country. With both the vinyl reissue of Faustian Dawn and the band’s appearance at California Death Fest happening this weekend, now is the perfect time to get acquainted (or re-acquainted as the case may be) with this classic work. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 25 – October 1, 2016

Winterfylleth
Winterfylleth

Here we are at the dawn of October. One of the finest months of the year, obviously. What better way to kick it off than with a stacked list of metal that is as varied as the many horror movies you need to watch over the next 31 days. Anyway, Initial Descent knows you need it so, this week we have the amazing new album The Dark Hereafter from Winterfylleth, a jazzy avant-garde self titled debut from Brain Tentacles, Okkultokrati‘s Raspberry Dawn that is satan rock at it’s finest and of course Sorceress from everyone’s favorite target Opeth. For everyone still mad about the whole no death metal thing, news flash, they’re still great. Also Veilburner returns with their third full length of inherently evil and challenging black/death/experimental The Obscene Rite and Halshug cracks the earth in half with their brutal new album Sort Sind. Plenty here for you to enjoy so without further delay, get busy after the jump. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 11 – 17, 2016

High Spirits
High Spirits
Welcome to another Initial Descent and yet another stacked batch of releases. Hopefully you spent yesterday getting a head start because there’s enough on tap here to keep most anyone busy. We all could use some happiness so do yourself, and those around you, a favor and check out High Spirit‘s latest full length Motivator. On the opposite spectrum, if you just recovered from Subrosa’s latest dive into Light Falls from Wrekmeister Harmonies and keep that heavy yet somber feeling alive. Blister your eardrums with Cara Neir and Wildspeaker‘s latest Split on Broken Limbs Recordings, who actually have several out this week that warrant your time. Sumerlands debut Sumerlands deeply satisfies the traditional heavy metal craving and Mare Cognitum returns with their hypnotizing take on atmospheric black metal with Luminiferous Aether. All that and much more so click that “continue reading” link. Continue reading