Album Review: Sutrah — “Aletheia”

Sutrah - Aletheia

All too often, technical death metal may feel soulless, as if its impressive technicality lacks a pulse. Similarly, progressive strains of death metal may end up meandering without proper direction, impetus or impact. Both styles strive to push the envelope, but frequently fall short. With a new 4-track EP Aletheia, Sutrah shows how all this is done with resounding success and spectacular results. Continue reading

Best of 2019: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

Best of 2019

No meandering preamble.  Too much of 2019 was utter shit, and music was the salve to my battered and bruised soul.  Last week I touted 19 albums that helped me cope with the personal and global tragedies that the year brought, and this week brings another 15 records that, while not formally ranked all can on a given day act as my #26, or even my #1.  Don’t try to find reason or logic in a list.  Not only is it all subjective, but it’s all subject to change on a dime, on a given moment when the axis spins and tries to buck you off into orbit, and all you can cling to is the fragment of a melody, a riff or a lyric that tethers you to the world, keeps you grounded and ready for another day.

Enough.  Let’s do this.   Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2019 End of Year List (But Should Have)

Best of 2019

* Hey it’s Thursday!  And it’s more than 9!  What else is new?  I hereby fully (don’t) apologize for the late entry that clearly doesn’t at all conform to the format.  Suck it….

I tried to keep my 2019 End of Year list(s) brief…I really did.  But like last year simply too much happens in the span of 365 days to limit advocating and championing the things one comes to love.  And I’m not talking about the release of records.  I’m speaking to the way we change and grow and mutate with every experience, the way what we hold dear or take comfort in stands as a totem or ward against the hate and pain of a world gone mad, a world that grinds away at our compassion, our love, and our fortitude to stand against it while maintaining the core of who we are.  Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Recent Albums I Only Have Time to Review in One Sentence

9C inbox

Sometimes you hit that point in your inbox where you just want to take the poor thing outside and put it out of its misery.  The glut of things unassigned, unread or untouched is a sight to behold.  We tread in fear of accidentally clicking on a link and having the whole thing fall in on our heads, Romanian hardcode tolling against the latest skate punk out of California busting heads with Australian progressive black metal and whatever the hell that weird buzzing sound is coming out of Europe.

It is, as they say in the parlance of the time, swole.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. I thought I’d try to run through a few recent releases and give them a little space here on the site, and also ease the burgeoning hemorrhage our inbox is suffering.  But time is short, and I can already see the next wave of promos coming in, so we’re gonna make this quick and relegate each release to a single sentence.  Ready? Set? Go!   Continue reading

Premiere: Piah Mater – “Solace In Oblivion”

Piah Mater - The Wandering Daughter

With a Profile appearance and a top slot in Initial Descent, Brazil’s Piah Mater have made a big impact, with their forthcoming The Wandering Daughter, here in the halls of Nine Circles. Their truly progressive approach to death and black metal is robust, forward thinking and memorable. Now, I know progressive is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days but when a band actually favors or promotes change and innovation within their music as this trio does they’ve earned the right to flaunt the tag with impunity. Today, we are extremely pleased to bring you a premiere of the album’s second track “Solace In Oblivion” which is an excellent example of everything just mentioned and furthermore is an ambitious statement for a relatively young band. Head directly below to hear and experience it for yourself. Continue reading