Second Circle: Beyond Creation & The Odious Construct

second circle beyond creation and odious circle

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.

It seems I can’t get away from it.  I didn’t mean to do another round of technical death metal, but the last few weeks have just brought out some killer stuff and it’s been scratching that melodic itch I’ve had lately.  Sometimes it works that way: you spend a few months completely immersed in black metal, then it’s scuzzed out stoner rock or some other genre niche for a couple of weeks until your lizard brain responds to something else.  Maybe it’s nü-country, who knows? All I know is I’ve been learning to trust what my ears tell me and when it finds something good, to cling to it until the next thing comes along.  But for right now it’s still the progressive hodge-podge that is technical death metal so for this edition of Second Circle let’s dive back into the syncopation with the latest offerings from Beyond Creation and The Odious Construct.   Continue reading

Second Circle: Horrendous and Revocation

second circle horrendous and revocation

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.

I’ve had technical death metal on the brain lately.  Mind you: not “tech-death” as in practically everyone on Unique Leader  (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but more in that sweet, sweet Death vein.  I watched the new documentary on Chuck Schuldiner Death By Metal this weekend and it all came back: the intricate riffing, odd time signatures but most importantly the hooks.  Damn but Chuck and co. could craft some major hooks to go along with the incredible chops.  So for this edition of Second Circle I decided to check out two new releases from bands putting their own spin on what Death did so well so many years ago: Horrendous and Revocation.  Both bands have been a bit of a mixed bag for me in the past; let’s dive in and see if that’s still the case.
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Album Review: KEN Mode – “Loved”

KEN Mode - Loved

Becoming disillusioned with the world, especially for anyone reading a heavy metal review on the internet like this one is common enough. Metal is rife with idealized and (possibly) fantastical or political worlds. There’s a romantic notion to the idea that we could make the world better. But if that world fails to materialize, whether through your own fault or not, you might find yourself mindlessly drifting through those old worlds in the meantime. Life never stops being bullshit but it’s the path we’re on. Enter KEN Mode’s latest Loved.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: August 26 – September 1, 2018

Thou
Thou

Took part in a BMW performance experience last week in which I got to drive several different ‘M’ models extremely fast (you know, drive it like you stole it) which gave me great pleasure. And over the course of this half day excursion the top four albums below were my soundtrack. Tons of fun was had, you had to be there. Anyway, what’s out this week in the world of metal? Read on…

First up is NOLA’s favorite sons, Thou, with their magnificent take on sludge and doom but with Magus they really reach into progressive territory and it rules – if you dig this band and their recent trio of EP’s you will love this. Ken Mode are back with Loved which is a jagged pill of brutalicious noise rock that, no shocker here, also rules. In the midst of death/black/sludge/prog/djent tagsploitation it’s a nice change of pace to hear a fist pumping, adrenalizing, straight forward heavy metal album such as U.D.O.’s sixteenth full length Steelfactory – old guard or no, this is just a ridiculously fun album. Rounding out the top slots is Australia’s Descent on Towers of Grandiosity which is like pouring death metal, grindcore and crusty old hardcore punk into a vat of acid and watching it explode into a mass of blood red particles.

Now you know of four and there’s so much more…high hat please…anyway, stick around for the rest. Continue reading

Initial Descent: August 12 – 18, 2018

Trappist
Trappist – photo courtesy of Paul Lee

We are in the throes of a new week, like it or not. No need to get all bent out of the frame though, Monday means it’s time for new metal and for another week of showcasing some of it. Plus we’re on the downhill slide of the year and if the first half was any indication, the second half should be a knockout finish. Speaking of, we begin the week with a four pack of treats. Carry on…

We like beer and so does Trappist, who in the span of 21 tracks in 33 minutes, rip with crusty d-beat violence on their debut Ancient Brewing Tactics all in the name of almighty beer. It’s a supercharged juggernaut slam full of all star guests so make sure to check this one out – they’ve also included some pairings, nice guys. Just in time to extinguish the light from everything are two beasts of blackened doom and noise; Primitive Man and Unearthly Trance offer up a Split release that will leave indelible marks on any and all souls who dare to listen (over the top? nah). Black Tusk return with an all-guns-blazing attack of swampheavypunkmetal on T.C.B.T. and Cemetery Urn continue their reign of savage death metal on Barbaric Retribution.

As usual, we are far from done with what this week has to offer so head directly below to get your fill. Continue reading