Second Circle: Majestic Mass and Doldrey

Majestic Mass - Doldrey

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’s been a hot minute since we sang the praises of Caligari Records but don’t mistake that for a lack of releases. The label continuously churns out some of the nastiest content from all corners of the metal spectrum and mostly on cassette which I adore. For this edition of Second Circle we’re taking a look at the blackened rock of Majestic Mass and the death punk of Doldrey. Continue reading

Profile: Old School Thrashers Degrave

Degrave
Degrave

Old school might be a tad misleading but it’s a term I’ll easily throw out for full effect when speaking of Missouri shredders Degrave and their fiery brand of thrash metal on the upcoming self-titled album Degrave. Remember the days of high top Reeboks and wickedly fast solos where it sounded like the two main concerns were how much speed one could muster and how efficient one could be while doing it? That’s the kind of old school I’m referring to. It’s a certain era of thrash that was glorious in its heyday and thanks to the current guard of bands reviving / refreshing this era and genre, it will live on indefinitely. Degrave offer up just enough nostalgia to turn many heads while being deadly serious about their craft and how it comes across to the listener — IDEAL thrash metal. Just ahead of Friday’s release date we had the chance to ask the band our set of Profile questions to find out a little more about these speed demons and what makes them tick. Read on to see what they had to say and be sure to grab your copy later this week. Continue reading

Profile: Ryan Schutte of Seattle’s Experimental Mathy Grind Duo Pound

Pound
Pound

For a band that consists solely of two members that play a nine string guitar and dual drum kits respectively, Seattle’s Pound make one hell of a sweet racket. Set to release their debut full length, Pound, in July via Silent Pendulum Records this duo will readily lay to rest any doubts of reading a descriptor such as “mathy grind over ridiculous grooves with a pinch of doom and a techy heart.” Yes, there is quite a a lot thrown together here but the seamless way guitarist Ryan Schutte and drummer David Stickney string it all together, cohesive and hypnotic are words that float right to the front of the brain. I’ve said before that an instrumental band absolutely has to give it all to keep attention spans and Pound do this in spades. We recently had the chance to sit down with Ryan armed with our set of Profile questions to find out what makes the band tick and he knocked it out of the park for an extremely interesting read. Check it out below and don’t forget to hit the links and grab a copy for yourself. Continue reading

Profile: Poland’s Extreme Grindcore Unit Hostia

Hostia
Hostia

Warsaw, Poland based Hostia will be your favorite grindcore band on the strength of their self-titled debut full length due out this week on Via Nocturna. And you’ve probably never heard of them. Strong statement? Maybe. But they made us believers with their venomous approach to an already devastating genre. It’s thirteen songs of spewed bile rallying against religion, establishment and the boring status quo that sucks you in from the opening bell of “Corroded Cross” and finds you picking up teeth along the way to closer “Karl’s Delicatessen.” Plus, the production on this thing is such that not a second is wasted or lost under the weight of blasts and warp speed riffs. Just ahead of Hostia we sat down with the band to get acquainted via our set of Profile questions. Read on to see what they had to say and be sure to support the band from the links contained within. Continue reading

Album Review: Witch Mountain – “Witch Mountain”

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Metal bands replace lead singers with some regularity, but seldom does a transition come with the stakes before Portland doom favorites Witch Mountain on their upcoming Witch Mountain.

When the peerless Uta Plotkin announced in 2014 that she was leaving the band, it had come on the heels of a phenomenal run of albums, capped off by Witch Mountain’s breakthrough, Mobile of Angels. Given the band had been on hiatus for a minute before her entry, Plotkin’s sensational voice inarguably breathed life into Witch Mountain in 2009 and helped it score its greatest achievements over her career with the group. Major media coverage, big festivals and a devoted following were among the rewards for a brisk live performance schedule and steady output. Around the same time of Plotkin’s exit, bassist Charles Thomas, a replacement for longtime bass player Dave Hoopaugh, bid his farewell, too. Continue reading