Nine Circles ov…Red Lead Media & PR

red lead media

“But hey,” you ask.  “Where do all those promos come from?”

They come from PR groups, my friends.  Many, many PR groups.  Inboxes get stuffed to the gills with pleas for some kind of coverage, whether its a review, interview, profile, track premiere…and as the release date for an album gets closer and the reminders come in, it can get even more overwhelming.  But with so much music out there, having a good PR person in your corner can make the difference between selling your album to six of your friends and family, and getting exposure (any exposure) to an audience that can pick up and carry your work forward.  I’d say PR groups are a necessary evil, except my experience as both a writer and a musician has found, for the most part, these dogged flag wavers to be anything but evil.

And so I thought for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I’d highlight the music that’s come to my attention via Jadd and the folks from Red Lead Media & PR.  Focusing on punk and hard rock in a variety of styles (not to mention being the in-house PR division for Magnetic Eye Records) there’s a healthy variety of music below so keep cool and dig in.  Who knows, maybe something will take your fancy…. Continue reading

Album Review: Boss Keloid – “Melted On the Inch”

Boss Keloid - Melted On the Inch

One thing I revel in hearing are bands that have grabbed my attention, for whatever reason, progress with each new album. Boss Keloid have offered a lot in that regard but nothing prepared me for what their third full length Melted On the Inch offers. Progression for many bands is simply making another album with a twist of a riff or two, maybe switch vocal approaches or slowing the groove down. But for Boss Keloid it means reinventing themselves while staying true to their stoner doom roots. And the noise they put together is glorious. 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

Album Review: Shooting Guns – “Flavour Country”

shooting guns - flavor country

So soon, you ask?  Yes!  Time to once again grab our brother from the North Jonathan Petkau (Respectably Loud, DomestikwomSpacekau and most recently the excellent Dudeist Priests) to cover the varied ground that is the new Shooting Guns LP…

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Given their prolific output of splits and film scores of late, it’s easy to miss the fact that Flavour Country (no I won’t correct that spelling no matter how the red line in Microsoft Word tells me it’s wrong) is technically only the third full length from Saskatoon heavy psych band Shooting Guns. Whether inspired by their recent turn to film scoring or just concurrently alongside it, Shooting Guns this time expand their sonic interests while knowing when those ideas are sufficiently expressed. In other words, Flavour Country covers a lot of ground in its 34-minute run time.   Continue reading

Album Review: Space Witch – “Arcanum”

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Ah, stoner/doom…how easy it is to fall under your numbing spell, how simple it is to get lost in your repetitive riffing, your lethargic tempos, your incantations of despair.  And yet…how difficult it is to stand out in an increasingly crowded pack of grunged out bearded weirdos intent on bludgeoning the music world with another riff on Sleep, or Electric Wizard, or Weedeater, or…well, take your pick.  By keeping one foot firmly planted in the more esoteric 70s astral prog sonics of bands like Hawkwind even as they lumber through the fuzzed out landscapes molded by Sleep and the other aforementioned bands, Space Witch manage to carve out their own identity with new album Arcanum, a spacey, tripped out sludge through a muddy galaxy of distortion and electronics.   Continue reading