Album Review: Judicator — “Let There Be Nothing”

judicator - let there be nothing

There’s a nasty rumor – perpetuated by years of actually being true – that when an underground band signs to a larger, mainstream label their sound gets neutered; their wings are clipped and their teeth are filed down so as to not harm the delicate sensibilities of the commercial masses.  Prosthetic Records have been defying this with excellent releases from the likes of Vile Creature and Rebel Wizard, just to mention two amazing releases from 2020 alone.  So it should come as no surprise that Judicator, far from delivering a rote, by-the-numbers slab of historical power metal have put out possibly the heaviest, more glorious record of their careers with Let There Be Nothing.  This is the benchmark by which I hold other bands who want to carry the label of “USPM” accountable in terms of power, majesty and killer anthemic riffs moving forward.

You’ve been warned. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Falconer’s Stefan Weinerhall on new album “From a Dying Ember,” closing the book on a 20 year run, future possibilities, who sits at the power metal roundtable, and more!

Falconer

Power metal elicits passion like no other fanbase in metal.  As a genre it’s stuck to its guns of pomp and bombast, technical wizardry and anthemic hooks and carved a truly unique niche that continues to surprise to this day.  And for 20 years over the course of nine albums Falconer have been staunch advocates for forward-thinking, aggressive and righteous metal that never catered to a fad.  New album From A Dying Ember may be the closing chapter of the band, but as you’ll see from our interview with Stefan Weinerhall the future is always filled with possibilities.
Continue reading

Album Review: Sorcerer — “Lamenting Of The Innocent”

Sorcerer - Lamenting of the Innocent

With Lamenting of the Innocent you can now make it a streak of three that Sorcerer have been holding the torch aloft for the pinnacle of epic, melodic doom metal in the vein of…yeah, Candlemass.  But that’s the one and only time I want to call that tired comparison, because after three albums of this caliber, Sorcerer deserve to stand on their own as masters of the form. Continue reading

The Path to Paradise Begins in Hell – Addendum, Part II

The Path to Paradise Begins In Hell

It’s been a while (9/19) since I have written something for the column, but real life sucks; between grad school and putting my body through the wringer, priorities shifted and this kept getting pushed back. However, this hasn’t stopped me from listening to music and writing about other things, so we are going to continue the addenda. There are five genres left and then we can finally move on to other genres and whatever else I want to write about, because after two more genres, we might be going into no man’s land.

Also, when this gets published, it might be the new year, so Happy New Year, everyone! Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Power Metal in 2019

Gloryhammer 2019

It’s been a hot minute since this site dove into the hallowed halls of power metal.  Sure, there was that Rhapsody of Fire review a few months ago, and if you’ve been listening to our monthly Album of the Month podcast we can’t stop talking about how great the latest Gloryhammer is (seriously, it’s great…so much so that we’re not even including it in this post but giving it the header.  Run, don’t walk to check out Legends From Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex), but this year’s been a bit of a slog regarding content, let alone content for that most triumphant of genres.  So let’s rectify that with this edition of Nine Circles ov…and talk about some of the great power metal in 2019. Continue reading