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 while since we put one of these out, huh? I always like to use Second Circles to check out artists I’ve never heard of before, or explore genres or styles that are relatively unfamiliar to me. In this case I took a look at the promo list and picked two bands I had no exposure to that carried in their promo the label of sludge, since I’ve been so gung-ho over the latest from -(16)-.
Do these bands help scratch that sludge itch? This edition of Second Circle aims to find out with new releases from Of Wolves and IRN… Continue reading
Current events have been a bitch for artists the world over but for Brooklyn rockers, Netherlands, it’s afforded the opportunity to double down on creating music. Last week the band released their fifth full length Zombie Techno via frontman Timo Ellis‘s Records and Tapes Records imprint and it’s another in a long line that’s incredibly hard to pin down but for those of you living under a rock and completely unaware, their sound is somewhere between sludge, pop, avantmetal, and heavy as heck with amazing vocals. It’s catchy, entertaining, unique and carries a powerful message. So, yeah…if you like Netherlands, it’s time to get excited and if you don’t know, it’s time to get acquainted.
I don’t think anyone expected the world to be where it was when 2020 kicked off. To even attempt to put into words the surge of feelings around a global pandemic that refuses to go away, a wretched history of systemic racism, brutality, and ignorance being exposed and reckoned with in the streets all over the world, and everything else the first six months has brought to light is reckless and futile for me right now. I continue to watch, listen, and learn as much as I can: to actively be part of a solution instead of passively being part of the problem.
In the moments between there is music, and if there’s even a glimmer of light right now, it’s in how good 2020 has been with regards to metal. So let’s see where my penchant lies as we cross the halfway mark of year that feels like forever. Continue reading
Were you afraid that by signing to a larger record label Vile Creature was going to soften its edges? That the music would fall into more generic genre trappings? I would venture a single glance at the cover to Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm! would quash any and all of those concerns. After two full lengths and an EP of crushing sludge doom that I could appreciate from a distance, here is the album that refuses to be held at arm’s length, that forces your eyes open to gaze upon its exquisite, grotesque beauty. Continue reading
I feel like sludge is in something of a renaissance right now. Between mainstreamers like Mastodon and Baroness to critical darlings like Inter Arma, Intronaut and almost anything Aaron Turner is involved in, sludge has arguably never been closer to the forefront of new and exciting metal as it is now. I feel like a large part of that is the trend of embracing the atmosphere and crushing heaviness that are the pillars of sludge and driving them both to their extremes. And, that’s exactly what Boston’s Lesser Glow does on their sophomore release Nullity. Continue reading