Nine Circles ov…”Obscure” Metal Records We Didn’t Review in 2017 (Until Now)

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We here at Nine Circles endeavor to bring to you, our devoted readers, as much razor sharp insight and commentary into the hidden pockets, nooks, and crevices the extreme metal world can offer.  We have burrowed into the underground scenes of Singapore and the Philippines, profiled some of the best and darkest metal labels around, and even reviewed a record or two.

But even our exacting eye and archeological know-how can’t dig up every release that comes out in a year.  Sometimes things get lost in the panoply of splits, reissues, cassette only demos and 800g quadruple sided splattered with the tears of an angel vinyl exclusive.  Who knows how these obscure nuggets missed our Sauron gaze? Lack of marketing funds? Little social media presence?  It doesn’t matter, for in today’s edition of Nine Circles ov… I attempt to shed some light on these obscure, little known bands…

…Lord knows they could use the exposure.   Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Frank S. Talks Some Power Metal!

Yyyyyep! That’s what we’re calling this thing now! What we’ve got for you today isn’t really a podcast, because it’s not part of an RSS feed, and thus not automatically delivered to your podcasting apps. It’s kind of an interview / review in one, I guess? Yes. But nobody wants to call it that, so hence, you’re getting The Nine Circles Audio Thing and dammit, you’re gonna like it.

No, really, you are; we’ve got an awesome chat with power metal guru and Nine Circles contributor Frank Santorelli! Frank took a break from his busy schedule — the dude’s prepping for a move to Italy!! — to discuss two recent power metal albums that crossed his earholes: Aldaria‘s Land of Light and Astral Doors‘ Black Eyed Children. Call it an “Ask the Expert” discussion, if you will? Or don’t; I don’t really care. But check it out either way! Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Power Metal That Eased Me Into Liking Power Metal (Again)

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I find it fascinating that power metal still doesn’t get the fair shake it deserves from the metal community.  The same folks who mock and ridicule bands for dressing up like superheroes in their videos or writing about dragons or Lord of the Rings are the same folks who worship bands who revel in dressing up and running around in the forest in wizard hats or, come to think of it, also write about the Lord of the Rings (or at least derive their name from it). Yet, despite these similar touch points in silliness power metal still has a stigma attached to it, one I admit to having for a time as I became engrossed in the more extreme aspects of metal.

What’s the point, besides my linking to that awesomely ridiculous Immortal video?  It’s that there’s plenty to love in power metal, and the claims of cheese and pomp are no more valid than they are in any other genre in the scene.  For this edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to take a look at a few of the bands and albums that brought me back into the fold – many of them introduced to me by former 9C scribe and power metal champion Frank.  So think of these as gateway bands: we’re not going full-on Gloryhammer yet (although Gloryhammer is awesome); the emphasis is on heaviness, aggression and, ultimately, power ¹.   Continue reading

Album Review: Cryonic Temple – “Into the Glorious Battle”

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“To arms, my brothers!  For today we march Into the Glorious Battle with the Cryonic Temple!  Or we march to the Cryonic Temple so that we may go Into the Glorious Battle!  Look: we’re either engaging in a Glorious Battle at the Cryonic Temple or with the Cryonic Temple or against the Cryonic Temple…to be honest I was a little unclear when the orders came through, what with all the keyboards and major arpeggios they’re playing through the loudspeakers.”

“Anyway, to arms!” Continue reading

Album Review: Flidais – “Kazador”

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The world of power metal has grown at a great pace over the past 2-3 years. One of the big reasons for that growth is the amount of newer bands contributing, especially bands from North America. Flidais, hailing from Ontario, seem destined to lead the charge with their new EP Kazador. Incorporating many different styles, this group of talented musicians have created a set of tunes that many power metal fans (and metal fans in general) will thoroughly enjoy. Continue reading