Second Circle: Ghost Ship Octavius and Mortanius

second circle - ghost ship octavius and mortanius

In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.

We’re still early in the music season, and it’s been a hot minute since we talked about power metal here on the site, despite my promises to the contrary.  Happily, not only has February started to bring a few promos to the inbox, but it also brought a theme, with two bands whose names end in “-ius” which is enough for me to get off my ass and do a Second Circle.  So without further ado let’s dive into Ghost Ship Octavius and Mortanius. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Things to Look Forward to in 2019

darkthrone

#1 New Darkthrone.

#2-9 see #1.

I kid (kind of).  There’s a ton of stuff to look forward to this year, just as there is every year.  But rather than do the usual “Most Anticipated Albums” post I thought for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I’d run down the list of everything I’m looking forward to regarding metal in the Year of Our Dark Metal Overlords 2019.   Some might be albums, some might be experiences or just things I’d like to see happen.

But yeah…really I just want new Darkthrone.  Let’s jump in. Continue reading

December 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Lovebites – “Clockwork Immortality” & the Top 10 Power Metal Albums of 2018

lovebites pmaotm dec 2018

It’s been a blast covering the vast expanse of styles that power metal has to offer on a monthly basis, but sadly all things must pass.  As I went through each month finding amazing records I kept holding off writing about them until the end of month post, and by doing so there were times I couldn’t give some of the albums their proper turn in the spotlight.  So rather than one post a month where we cover the genre my goal is to integrate power metal more fully into the coverage here at Nine Circles, allowing the bands and albums the proper room to shine on their own.

But before we do that, let’s get December out of the way with the only band to make the Power Metal Album of the Month twice in the same year: Lovebites and their new full length Clockwork ImmortalContinue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

EOY 2018 Header 9C

* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.

I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest.  On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better.  But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable.  And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day.  Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading

November 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Dire Peril – “The Extraterrestrial Compendium”

PMAOTM november 2018 dire peril - the extraterrestrial compendium

Taking over the reins of this column has been an experience.  As I dove deeper into the ever-evolving mass that is power metal and its many offshoots, I’ve begun to tap back into those things that made me fall in love with metal when I was a kid.  The deeper narratives and mythologies, the technical prowess, all in favor to the all-mighty chorus – these were the things that shielded a troubled awkward kid growing up afraid and uncertain.  And as my life as a 45-year old man takes another sharp turn to the afraid and uncertain I’ve been leaning hard into those things that provided comfort before.  Since getting the promo for The Extraterrestrial Compendium, the debut full length from power metal super-duo Dire Peril, I’ve been struck with just how effective the album is at balancing grace and power, despite the pedigree behind.  For that and so much more it was a no-brainer it would be the November Power Metal Album of the Month.    Continue reading