A lot of things cross my mind when looking at and exploring a list of upcoming metal releases. Most of which no one will ever care about but the one paramount thing is: how many of said albums will make an impression and how many of those will have the kind of staying power that in a year’s time, or longer, will still be in rotation or have me singing/growling/screaming at the top of my lungs in a traffic jam or in the shower like a boss? To be sure, the only way to find out is to explore all possibilities which is why I love doing these. What will be our collective next gem? Read on…
Japan’s Abigail, who have a ridiculous amount of work out there, return with the Far East Black Metal Onslaught EP and it rides high on this list due to its thrashing mad black metal attack that I find to be grin inducing. US old school heavy metallers Haunt offer up their debut of NWOBHM inspired goodness on Burst Into Flame and Lurk find a way to pack doom, black, death and sludge metal into one atmospherically haunting release on Fringe – a mouthful but, a tasty one.
With our fearless editor still banking massive quantities of cocktails on an undisclosed beach I am once again taking keyboard in hand to deliver your weekly dose of Initial Descent. And there’s some killer tunes arriving on the solar wings of Summer, so let’s get to it.
Khemmis return with their particular blend of melodic doom with Desolation, and it doubles down on everything that worked on their previous albums, but with a slight tweak to engage a classic hard rock vibe. And hey, how about those harsh vocals? If you’re into black metal then the rest of this paragraph is going to make you very, very happy because first off Unsettling Whispers, the debut LP from Gaerea is a gorgeous dark and brooding example of atmospheric black metal you just might be hearing a lot more about on an upcoming episode of the Nine Circles Audio Thing. Next up Anicon return with Entropy Mantra, and I make no excuses: these guys have completely keyed into my love of modernizing traditional black metal since their Aphasia EP back in 2015. The new album just rips with great drumming and blistering guitar lines. Finally, Sweden’s Craft are back after seven long years with White Noise and Black Metal, and it’s a clarion call to all the crusty, old school black metal you love with just a hint of progression to show you these veterans can take the face off anyone around nowadays.
And that’s just a taste of what came out this week, so check out the list below and let us know in the comments what’s been whispering evil things to you in the dark. Continue reading →
Metal’s fascination and preoccupation with religion is as old as the genre itself. Whether it’s co-opting iconography and art to twist and subvert convention, or using the tenants of scripture to rail or embrace faith, there’s a forever entwined relationship between the two. De Profundis are no strangers to exploring the negative impact religion has on life in both a modern and historical context, but on fifth full length The Blinding Light of Faith they wrap that exploration in some of the most progressive and deeply satisfying death metal this side of Schuldiner, and in the process pull out the best album of their career and one of the best death metal releases in 2018. Continue reading →
In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
Do you feel it yet? The slow, agonizing crush of new music? It’s not even the end of February and it feels like we’re being bombarded with releases left and right. I made a personal resolution this year to dig a little deeper and check out more bands I’m not familiar with, and while the beginning of the year is a bit of a dumping ground when it comes to movies, for film it’s a perfect opportunity to unearth some gems. Also, like last time, this particular edition of Second Circle has the ill-fitting theme of two bands that begin with “A” so without further ado let’s jump into the insanity of Arkheth and the melancholic death of Apostle of Solitude… Continue reading →