Get ready folks…more sax-infused metal coming your way whether you want it or not. Some folks are sick of it, some folks love it…either way, you’re probably not going to be able to escape it. Just recently I’ve had the skronk of a reed instrument accompanying the likes of the latest from Imperial Triumphant (featuring Kenny G no less), a massive opener from the forthcoming White Ward album, and hot off the presses the new single from staff favorites KEN mode which absolutely slays. In other words, just another day for the 235th Nine Circles Playlist.
Elsewhere the 9C crew leave the orchestra instruments behind for some gnarled metal. Josh whips up a frenzy with new tracks from Hammer King, Inhuman Condition, Soreption, and some classic Slayer. Anton ups there ante with Aara, Panzerfaust, and High Castle Teleorkestra. Ian only brings one track to the playlist this week but it’s a whopper…if you’ve never heard the theme song from Home Improvement masked with the vocals of David Lee Roth, well…I welcome you to the insanity of Neil Cicierega. After mellowing things out a bit with some Elliot Smith, Vincent hits us with some Lantlôs and The Black Atlantic. Finally Angela closes the list with new music from Wake, recent Dopelord and Windhand.
In 2020, time became a melting flat circle and the concept of eternal recurrence became far too real, mundane and inescapable. Thankfully the high quality of metal released during the year provided solace, perspective and inspiration that helped endure the blizzard of blurring days, weeks and months. Time lost all structural integrity and meaning also in the sense that you will find full-length albums, EPs and even single-track releases on my list, owing to their excellence, innovation, enjoyability, distinct identity and sound as well the evolutionary leaps the featured bands took. The fact that I could omit from my list so many fantastic releases, from the likes of Afterbirth, Havukruunu, Mare Cognitum & Spectral Lore, Serocs, Sweven, Wake and Wills Dissolve, is simply indicative of the sheer quantity of stellar-grade metal in 2020. The list is long and full of flowery prose elaborating why these particular releases resonated with me, so enough with the prefacing.
Catch that Enslaved Below the Lights stream last week? Maybe it’s still up but if not, and you missed it, shame on you is all I can say. Anyway, another new week and another massive pile of bloody metal to sink your teeth into. Shall we? Rhetorical, of course. The Bay Area’s death metal behemoths Necrot are back with a vicious slab of old school infused death that’ll set your head on fire and make your ears bleed, everyone’s favorite grind masters Pig Destroyer have an EP that is at once familiar but boundary pushing on the backside, Exist chair an all star class on how progressive metal should be done, and Panzerfaust hit us right in the raw yet hypnotic black metal feels and those are good feels, to be sure. See? I told you this week would be massive, and there’s still a ton more below. Enjoy.
Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning mixtape. This week, we have a ton of new singles from Unleash the Archers, Primitive Man, Black Magnet, and Full of Hell & Health. Plus, Chris gives us a triple dose of Fear, we throw a bunch of Rebel Wizard at you (because seriously Magickal Mystical Indifference absolutely rules), and much more. As always, listen below, and thanks for checking this out.
By now, it has become customary for me to recall at the turn of the year how great the past 12 months were for metal and its myriad sub-genres and styles, and how difficult it has become to keep one’s head above the water in the face of the deluge of releases. I have been listening to metal for over 25 years but am still astonished and impressed on a daily basis by the boundless imagination on display, be it the ever-blossoming creativity of bands who have been operating for 20 years or the ravenous appetite of newcomers. Continue reading →