Concert Review: The Ocean and Leprous, 3.23.2022

The pandemic had robbed us of the joys of going to a concert, but with some regulations in force — such as masking and providing proof of vaccination — tours have finally resumed. When I heard that The Ocean was coming into town as support for Leprous on their North American tour, I decided to go, everything else be damned. Given that these bands had both placed high in my EOY lists over the last few years, I was excited (if not a little anxious) to go and see them. I had high expectations for a great show, and — spoiler alert! — they delivered.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 225 (4.02.2022)

playlist - mixtape

We’re back, and it feels like Spring is really starting to take a hold. I’ve been re-organizing my vinyl collection the past few days, figuring out just where the hell everything is going to fit and how I’m going to explain to my wife why I need to take over another room before the next stack arrives. First world problems to be sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it to kick off the 225th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, you know?

We’re gonna kick things off with some of the surprises I’ve discovered the last week, starting with new music from Michael Romeo, who brings the heavy prog I crave from Symphony X on his new solo joint. Anton ups the tech factor with some ripping new Inanimate Existence and follows it up with Luminous Vault and Lustmord collaborating with The Ocean. Josh digs into the dank earth of death metal to give light to Analepsy, Visceral Explosion, and Flesh Configuration before shaking things up a bit with Downcross and Real Steel. Vincent goes wide as usual with the newest single from Devil Master, Tzompantli, Falls of Rauros and deep cut from the Pieces of April soundtrack by Stephin Merrit. Hera returns to the playlist and brings Ibaraki, Ghost, Terzij de Horde, Playgrounded, Sadist, and something I’m assuming is called You May Kiss the Bride? I don’t know..it’s heavy though! Next up is Angela bringing some long awaited new music from Meshuggah as well as Frayle, Amenra, and Bhleg. Once again bringing up rear guard is Buke, and he’s chock full of great stuff, from the new Haunt single to some real old classic Opeth, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, Autopsy, and finally some truly classic prog in the way of the might Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

Concert Review: The Ocean and Leprous, 3.8.2022

It sure does feel good to be here again! For some reason I can’t quite put my finger on what caused my extended departure from the concert world, but having just eclipsed the two year mark since my last show, the time finally came. Truthfully, it would be hard to pick a better situation for such a return. After Phanerozoic I and Phanerozoic II both topped my lists in their respective release years, it is just too perfect that the first live performance I’ve caught in what feels like an eon was, in fact, The Ocean. And yes, that geologic time scale reference was intentional. Better still, this date at the Brighton Music Hall was headlined by Leprous, who finally got their hooks in me after an absolutely mesmerizing performance. Let’s dive into the festivities.

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Initial Descent: November 21 – 27, 2021

Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy

Stateside we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving this week which means…we eat. A lot. And watch football. Then nap on the couch. Some will then commence the absurdity that is Black Friday where normal folks turn into animals and nearly kill each other to save a buck or be first to that precious PS5 while trampling bodies underfoot. Ahhh, good times. For the rest of you, it’ll be Thursday and Friday, yay for you. Anyway, new metal is here for your perusal and kicking things off we’ve got a long awaited return from Hypocrisy, a live album from The Ocean who are unmistakably one of the heaviest hitters in the post-metal scene, a death metal kidney punch from Teeth, speedy blackened death metal from Concrete Winds, and a whole host more that follows. There’s even a couple of Christmas albums down below just in case you haven’t already had enough of that. Whatever you’ll be celebrating or doing this week, there’s plenty here to soundtrack it so get after it.

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