I tell you what, man. All this fawning over mediocre pastiches and pale imitations of older, better music is slowly killing me. I am just not hearing what others are in some of the big names getting all the buzz out there. Sure, that’s a “me” problem but since I write this weekly thing I’m entitled to a) bitch when I want to and b) kick it off how I want to, so this, the 276th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist is going to rip with a new Ihsahn track because that’s where my soul is musically right now. Then the new one from Immortal because with or without Abbath, Demonaz knows how to craft a gnarly tune, and finally the latest from Mork, who frankly ran circles around the other popular black metal release that came out this week.
Don’t worry. If you don’t give a crap about my whingeing, the rest of the staff has some metal to offer up, and sone of it is even good! There’s awesome new music from Gozu, Dødheimsgard, and The Ocean which you KNOW we’re most likely gonna ramble about. Plus new tracks from Harboured, Heretoir, Blaze of Sorrow, A Pregnant Light, Foretoken, and Acid King. Plus music from Powerwolf, Estoner, and since I screwed our own Dan Morris by missing his picks last week, we’re going to close with the astounding Roxy Music, because this week marks the 50th anniversary of For Your Pleasure, and that’s a fucking album for the ages.
He saw the light flash like a child’s sparkler on the 4th of July. It registered for an instant, then faded in the roar of the explosion reverberating in the open air. There was an odor that he couldn’t identify by name (it was cordite, not really used in gunpowder mixtures since the end of WWII) but instinctually knew. All of this happened in the space between synapses before his body acknowledged the impact of the bullet that – according to the laws of physics – he should have noticed before the sound of the revolver, or indeed the smell. As he dropped to the ground, consciousness slowly fading into the ether he had one solitary, lonely thought:
“What’s going to kick off the 275th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist?”
“The title track from the new Night Demon album,” a voice we only hear at the end of our life’s thread replied.
What’s the rest of the staff listening to? How about Boris, new Frozen Soul, Sortilege, Noxium Ferus, Lunar Chamber, Hideous Divinity, Paraphilia, Úlfúð and Afsky, not to mention the “correct” mix of a classic Megadeth song. There’s also tracks from Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya, Catherine Wheel, Mrs. Piss, old school love with Exodus and Exumer, a brutal throwback to Death Grips and much more.
It was one of those weeks, folks. I’ve been heading back to the office more and more, and while the morning commute music starts light and lively at the beginning of the week, but the end I was blasting old school death metal just to fight the madness of the 45 minutes to traverse 6.7 miles and the anticipation of idiots and blow hards for another 10 hours. Man, I forgot how ferocious and full of ideas the old guard was, so we’re opening up the 274th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a trifecta of classics from Suffocation, Pestilence, and Nocturnus. Hope it gets your weekend off to a great start.
What’s the rest of the staff listening to? Well, there’s the triumphant return of Yakuza which instantly made my list of most anticipated albums, plus cuts from JAAW, Aphotic, Ihsahn and Ritual Mortis, more old school live from the likes of Kalmah, Sacramentum, and Soilwork, not to mention cuts from Barren Heir, Pharmakon, Gridlink, and Liturgy. More surprises lurk within (like holy shit maybe I’m crazy but this new Winger song ain’t half bad…), but we’re ending with a double-shot of classic Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rest in Peace, Gary Rossington…those early albums will shine forever.
We’re creeping ever so close to the release of 72 Seasons, so why not launch this, the 273rd edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, with the latest from Metallica. “If Darkness Had a Son” continues the streak of heavy, catchy as hell songs, and I for one can’t wait for the full album. I’ve been thinking a lot a lately about what we like, and how our tastes are informed by so many things, and I’m slowly getting to the point (or age, most likely) where I don’t give a flying f-ck about what’s cool or hip in a “scene” predicated on gatekeeping in both directions – it’s a drag and bores me to tears. How about this? I’ll like the underground indie band pumping out new and interesting tunes just as much as I dig the major label big boys still keeping things interesting decades later. Deal?
What’s the rest of the staff listening to? Lots of new music from the likes of Aara, Legion of the Damned, Out of the Mouths of Graves, Enslaved, Dawn Ray’d, Henget, Isolant, and Liturgy, not to mention a lot more both new and old, metal, and well…not so metal.
Yeah…sometimes life just comes up and not only bites you in the ass, but grabs a hold and throws you down in the ditch, pisses on your head and laughs as it walks away. So this week’s edition – the 272nd – of the Nine Circles Playlist is coming a little later than it should, and that’s all on me. So I’m gonna make the preamble short and just get right into the meat of the matter, starting with a doozy from the new Venomous Concept album. I love the more punk and post-punk elements on it and hope you will, too. Looking through my recent vinyl acquisitions we’re also gonna drop a pair of 90s classics from Eucharist and Amorphis so you can all feel that weird snare and the cold ice blue of Finnish metal.
The rest of the staff will keep things on par with the usual varied insanity. So get your ears ready for music from the likes of Usnea, Klone, Polymoon, Grave Pleasures, Birdflesh, Lotus Eater Machine, Gravpel, Ulthar, Leander Kills, Dååth, Botanist, Big|Brave, Anatomy of Habit, and the newest from VoidCeremony. But that’s not all: you get some old emo from Marietta, some more In Flames love, older tracks from Opeth, Spectral Lore and Madder Mortem and a few more surprises, not to mention the ALWAYS appropriate Joy Division to close things out.