Second Circle: Of Wolves and IRN

Second 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’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 IRNContinue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Netherlands’ Timo Ellis on new album “Zombie Techno,” side effects of current events and staying busy creating music, an explosive new video, and more!

Netherlands

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.
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Album Review: Vile Creature — “Glory, Glory! Apathy Took Helm!”

vile creature - glory, glory!

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

Album Review: Lesser Glow — “Nullity”

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