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

Album Review: Astronoid – “Astronoid”

astronoid self titled

On the Scriptnotes podcast, professional screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin dispense advice to young and aspiring writers, and a recurring thread is the idea that building a career of screenwriting isn’t about writing one perfect script, but about being able to repeat that process on an ongoing basis. While not diminishing the merits of a single particularly good work of art, longevity requires more than that. That is the question that is asked of Astronoid’s self-titled sophomore album.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Clearing Out the Promo Pile, 2018 Edition

9C ov...Promo Pile

Every leaf that falls from a tree, signaling the beginning of winter and the end of the year feels like it lands as yet another promo I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.  The end of November also marks the time I start flushing out my various end of year lists, creating playlists of contenders and engaging in the massive purge of albums from my computer, releasing albums I’ll never come back to and freeing up precious space on the old hard drive.

But those lost, deserted promos call out to me, begging for another chance to be consumed, to be measured and contemplated.  So think of this edition of Nine Circles ov… as part of the process (or just a cheap sequel to my last post), digging in the dirt for those glints of promise that  – even this late in the year – can change a mind. Continue reading

Album Review: In the Woods… – “Cease the Day”

In the Woods... - Cease the Day

Most bands coming out of an extended period of inactivity are applauded for not missing a beat…in other words, sticking firmly to the formula that worked for them.  If Norway’s In the Woods… had a formula at all, it was moving adventurously forward, mixing death, doom, folk and black metal in a way that didn’t sound like anyone else at the time. Since reuniting and coming back with 2016’s excellent Pure (an album that made both Corey’s and my Best of 2016 lists) the band feels completely revitalized, honing their progressive mix to larger extremes.  New album Cease the Day further refines that sense of exploration in extremes, to fantastic results. Continue reading