Initial Descent: March 11 – 17, 2018

Slaves BC
Slaves BC

Lots of things happening this month: March Madness, warmer weather (sort of) and the time change. So if you’re into any of that, have at it. Around here, new metal is what’s happening and if you came here looking for it you’re definitely in luck. Long list ahead so let’s get to it — first up is the absolutely vicious yet cuttingly personal black/death of Lo and I am Burning from Slaves BC. As you are all aware (or not) Josh Thieler writes for us from time to time and we love him dearly but that has nothing to do with top billing this week, this band has grown exponentially and have put their best foot forward here. Next up is Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers of Nihil and this is another album where a band has put their best foot forward, technical death metal that bleeds forward thinking and rules. Moving along is the extremely soothing dark folk of Ulvesang on The Hunt, this is the one you need while contemplating life or just trying to get through it — perfect soundtrack. Closing out the top slots this week is the EP Question from the Mexican quartet of the same name Question, this thing is ultra-aggressive, extreme and with four tracks it steamrolls the senses in the best way possible. Plenty of fodder already for end of year thoughts but there’s much more to get to. Stick around and bask in the rest… Continue reading

Album Review: Slaves BC – “Lo and I Am Burning”

Slaves BC Lo and I Am Burning

Pittsburgh blackened metallers Slaves BC are back with a new album, Lo and I am Burning, and it’s one that shows just how far a band can go to reinvent their sound in a relatively short time.  Slaves BC’s musical jump between their latest offering and 2016’s All is Dust and I Am Nothing is less a jump and more an oblique step, but in a way that highlights the maturation of the members through time spent refining their sound. Continue reading

Best of 2016: Josh’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Outside of metal so much happened this year that it really is mind boggling to think back on it. We lost visionaries and legends, witnessed violence of epic proportions, politics took a huge dive into the void and negativity seemed to reign supreme. And all that is barely scratching the surface. I’m definitely not going to be the one to say that 2017 WILL be better but I will say — let’s attempt to make our little corners of the world better, be better to each other and approach it with some semblance of positivity.

On the flip side of the coin, 2016 was about as strong a year in metal that I personally have seen in ages which was a great thing considering the state of affairs otherwise. As usual, metal was my comfort food and the offerings were bountiful. With that said, making a best of list was extremely difficult. What made the cut is only a fraction of my favorites but they represent what I listened to and enjoyed the most but also are the ones that I returned to an insane amount of times and for endless reasons. Stick a fork in 2016 and let these champions ride you out on a high note.  Continue reading

Best of 2016: Jonathan Petkau’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Many of you know Jonathan Petkau from his podcast Respectably Loud or his other podcast, which he does with his wife, The X-Hausted Files or from his tireless efforts with the almighty Skulltoaster on Metal Minute or from his black metal project Domestikwom or possibly for keeping the list for MetalBandCampGiftClub nice and tidy. To say Jon is a busy man is an understatement and what I’ve mentioned doesn’t even include Dad duties. So, it is with extreme pleasure and appreciation that we are able to present his Best of 2016 list. Honestly I don’t know where he finds the time to listen to music at all but even the busiest of people need a soundtrack so without further ado, click that continue reading button and jump in. Continue reading

Best of 2016: Paul Ravenwood from Twilight Fauna

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Today we have the pleasure of featuring a Best of 2016 list from Twilight Fauna‘s mastermind Paul Ravenwood. These lists are always fun but having the opportunity to see what an artist of Paul’s caliber has been listening to and subsequently loved enough to do this is a treat for us and will be for you as well. You know how these things work so read on — after the jump — to find out what he has in store. Continue reading