He saw the light flash like a child’s sparkler on the 4th of July. It registered for an instant, then faded in the roar of the explosion reverberating in the open air. There was an odor that he couldn’t identify by name (it was cordite, not really used in gunpowder mixtures since the end of WWII) but instinctually knew. All of this happened in the space between synapses before his body acknowledged the impact of the bullet that – according to the laws of physics – he should have noticed before the sound of the revolver, or indeed the smell. As he dropped to the ground, consciousness slowly fading into the ether he had one solitary, lonely thought:
“What’s going to kick off the 275th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist?”
“The title track from the new Night Demon album,” a voice we only hear at the end of our life’s thread replied.
What’s the rest of the staff listening to? How about Boris, new Frozen Soul, Sortilege, Noxium Ferus, Lunar Chamber, Hideous Divinity, Paraphilia, Úlfúð and Afsky, not to mention the “correct” mix of a classic Megadeth song. There’s also tracks from Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya, Catherine Wheel, Mrs. Piss, old school love with Exodus and Exumer, a brutal throwback to Death Grips and much more.
We (the Top Brass, Benevolent Overlords, etc: Corey, Dan K, Chris, and Josh) had so much fun drunkenly rambling about Sky Void of Stars and Foregone that we decided to come back for round three! This time around, we’re taking a first dive (some of us actually followed this rule) into Periphery V, the highly anticipated new album from djent stars Periphery. Josh is very much aware and familiar with the Periphery discography while the rest of the group is very much unaware. So. How shall this go with that in mind? Will Josh be the only one left standing? Will we collectively end up new fans after this? We ask the hard questions around here, and rarely answer them. But, maybe this time something will be answered.
Need a reminder of how this works? Sure, you can have one. We pick an album off the promo pile we’re interested in, we get drunk, and we share our first impressions. Cohesive reviews can be hard, and we don’t get paid for this shit. Deal with it. Let’s fucking go!
What is it in music that makes certain songs, albums, bands really hit that sweet spot for you? This is a question I think about a lot that I haven’t come up with a really good answer for, yet. Case in point: I was a casual listener of Periphery until Periphery IV landed and now I’m all in. That album hit me like a ton of bricks in the best of ways and I’d consider it a desert island album at this point. Anyway, moving on to new releases and speaking of; Periphery hits us with another stone cold gem of djent power that is fast approaching my feels on the last album. Then we’ve got some tech death from Gorod, avantgarde black metal from The Lovecraft Sextet, and delectable brutal death from Depraved Murder. But, as always, there’s a ton more to dig into just below these four so do that and let us know what hits you in the feels. Also, let us know if you have a genuinely good answer to the opening question and I don’t mean “because it’s good, dummy.” See you here throughout the week.
Since we somehow managed to complete another trip around the sun recently, I’ve seen a lot of those anticipatory posts flying around where people share what albums they’re looking forward to in the year ahead. And I get it. Lists are clickbait-y, and there actually is a lot of stuff to look forward to in Metal: 2023. Being one to regularly cave to peer pressure, I figured we could jump on that train as well. And by “we”, I mean your Nine Circles editing staff, also known as the Top Brass, and also known as the Benevolent Overlords to at least one person. See, I personally didn’t want to write up on nine different albums that don’t even exist yet. It’s hard for me to explain why I’m looking forward to something beyond simply saying “I like that band, so I hope the new album doesn’t suck”. But two or three albums? I can bullshit my way through that, no problem. And wouldn’t you know it? Other members of the editing team were willing to drop some words on a couple albums of their choosing, as well. That, my friends, is how we got here. So without further delay, starting with my picks, here are nine albums the Nine Circles Top Brass are looking forward to in the year ahead.
The beginning of the year always rekindles the flame of metal for me. Excitement for what’s coming, for what already has been comes faster, easier. I’m still going through the latest CD and vinyl acquisitions and it’s been pretty much non-stop Celtic Frost (seriously that Danse Macabre box set is killer), Wayfarer, and – thanks to Fearless Editor™ Josh – the new Misþyrming, so let’s kick off the 266th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with what you can hear if you pass by my place right now.
As per usual the rest of the gang has plenty of the tunes pouring through their speakers for you to get down to (in a total, like, metal way of course). So let music from the likes of Sanhedrin, Black Magnet, Ulthar, Days of Desolation, Moonlight Sorcery, Inherits the Void, Periphery, Night Demon, Sanguisugabogg as well as cuts from Nile, Rotten Sound, Big Black, and a small tribute to guitar legend Jeff Beck (RIP) take you away for the week.