Album Review: Dead Empires – “Designed To Disappear”

Dead Empires - Designed to Disappear

If you’ve followed along with New York’s Dead Empires‘ last two albums, a couple of things will be evident when approaching third full length, Designed to Disappear: 1) this band is eccentric and unafraid to experiment, and 2) their instrumental approach worked by engaging and challenging listeners, completely enveloping all thought processes over the course of these albums. With this third effort, the band has added a vocalist and my immediate concern was how this would affect their sound, would it be worse? Better? Meh? Or even worse still, lose its gleam? I was quickly relieved of any fears as this effort IS their best to date. Continue reading

Album Review: Djinn and Miskatonic – “Even Gods Must Die”

Djinn and Miskatonic - Even Gods Must Die

You wouldn’t normally think of India as the first place for some heavy, Lovecraftian inspired doom metal.  After all, the country has a rich history and mythology ripe for the metal picking.  Nevertheless, something dark and otherworldly must be peeking behind the veil of reality because Djinn and Miskatonic have crafted a bowel shaking, Great Old One stomping record in Even Gods Must Die, their second foray into the eldritch dark.  Carrying the torch of bands like Electric Wizard married to the stoner groove of The Obsessed, the album hybrid works and shows that the cyclopean eye of doom can cast its baleful gaze from any corner of the globe.   Continue reading

Best of 2017: Chris’s Honorable Mention List

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Hello there, online metal community.  How you holding up?  List fatigue setting in yet?  If so sorry: this is in no way going to help. My first year writing for Nine Circles resulted in listening to over 500 albums – I won’t even begin to pretend they all got a fair shake, but they all got at least one listen.  The sheer glut of music that passed through my ears was like an awakening, helping me to better understand what it was music did for me, what I needed it to do for me.  I found albums that mesmerized on first listen only to fade quickly, and albums I initially dismissed only to find their hooks in me months later, and it’s these surprise revelations that keep me listening, keep me writing, and keep me so engaged with this beast we call metal.

You’d think doing a Top 25 would be sufficient to cover all the bases, but it feels like it doesn’t even make a dent into the great music that sustained me over the course of the year.  And so, if you’ll indulge me, here’s an extra 15 albums that warrant honorable mention.  Think of them as #26-40 (hey, if Decibel can do it…), in any order you like, though they’re alphabetical below.  Let’s dig in…   Continue reading

Interview: Disastroid on New Album Screen, Blurring Genre Lines and Their DIY Approach

Disastroid
Disastroid

California’s Disastroid recently released their latest album Screen which has a strong footing in both noise rock and sludge but highlights their love of energetic rock ‘n’ roll, grunge and catchy songwriting. They’re a hard band to pin down but as you’ll read below, they are more than ok with that. Since forming in 2007 each release introduces yet another side of the band and puts a brighter spotlight on each of these three members varied roots in music but across all their releases both heavy and appealing are the unifying factors. I recently had the chance to ask the band about Screen, how they comfortably blur genre lines and about their DIY approach. So head inside to see what they had to say and be sure to give them a listen. Continue reading