Album Review: Allegaeon — “Damnum”

Allegaeon - Damnum

Damnum: from the Latin for “harm” or “loss.”  In a legal sense, damnum refers to a harm inflicted or loss incurred without bodily injury, but in a linguistic sense it goes much deeper.  It represents an aching pain and sorrow, a cruel taking of something, an emotional harm that sits and stews deep and wide.  It’s that kind of loss and pain that influenced Colorado’s Allegaeon on this, their sixth full length album.  Fueled in equal measures by a renewed sense of creative drive and a profound sense of personal and existential grief, Damnum sees the outfit push against what is expected of them, both from within and without.

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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: First Fragment was October 2021’s Album of the Month!

One Zero Zero, baby! Episode 100 of The Nine Circles Audio Thing is here, and after a September break the AOTM is back and covering the sophomore album from Quebec’s First Fragment, “Gloire Éternelle.” Buke rallies the troops including Hera, Ian, Angela, Vincent, and a freshly returned from the wastelands Anton (who had the pick this month) as they discuss tech death’s short shrift in the metal conversation, the joys of fretless bass, and a whole lot more concerning one of the best the genre has to offer.

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Album Review: Archspire — “Bleed the Future”

Archspire - Bleed the Future

Archspire are one of those rare breeds of bands that almost no one is passive about: you’re either firmly on one side of the fence or the other.  For some, the boisterous and unabashed desire to be the fastest and most technical is exactly what the genre of tech-death needs; for others, it’s showoffmanship of the highest order, wankery for its own sake.  Fortunately for both sides, Bleed the Future seems to address the fixes that allow both parties to enjoy this album in equal measure, incorporating both their most memorable and catchy songwriting as well as their fastest and more brutal.

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Album Review: Æpoch — “Hiraeth”

Life is crazy for me right now, so I have a short little review coming at you for a short little release, but one that is no less impressive or worthy of talking about.  A…Tech Byte, if you will (TRADEMARK PENDING).  Ontario tech/prog death foursome Æpoch are following up their well-received 2020 EP The Scryer with another bite-sized offering, Hiraeth, this time looking ahead to the future instead of wistfully recalling the past and showcasing both new blood and a new outlook on their brand of metal.  And boy, what a gruesome future it is they see…

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Album Review: Ophidian I — “Desolate”

Speaking as a person who is, ahem, Technically Inclined (seriously, Buke, Hera, waiting for that guest spot) I enjoy music that is highly technical without any of the usual caveats like “but it’s not technical like that” or “but it’s at least listenable.”  Of course I enjoy music that is accessible and that is not a gigantic mess of sound, but…I also enjoy music that is technical for its own sake.  Maybe it’s the fact that like every teenager who had dreams of selling out arenas and putting on clinics (spoiler alert: I’m competent but not that great), I worshipped at the altar of Malmsteen, Becker, Vai and Satriani.  Maybe Ophidian I did too, because boy does Desolate reignite some of that indescribable wonder that electrifying lead guitar work sets in my soul.

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