There are numbers, and there are numbers. For example, this is in fact the 254th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, which I’ve been painstakingly assembling for you for almost exactly one year – since the 202nd edition, to be precise. But the real important number to consider is SIX. Because in six days my beloved Darkthrone will be releasing a new album. So even though we featured it in there Cantos this week you know we have to use “Caravan of Broken Ghosts” to kick things off with bang.
And though I could easily just continue filling the playlist with more Darkthrone, there’s a hell of a lot more out there to get you through the week, am I right? So how about some scuzzy Sabbath metal from Peth, some sax skronking stoner rock from Ecstatic Vision, and then some killer metal from Lykotonon, Ultar, -(16)-, Sarcator, Bonecarver, Atrocity, Boris, Sonja, and some older cuts from the likes of Thursday, Cloud Rat, and hell…even some Sisters of Mercy?
Well whaddaya know? We made it to 250. This is the 250th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist and since it’s our party we’ll invite who want to, you know?
So you’re gonna hear stuff like the new Venom, Inc. which is killing anything Cronos might be doing (although thanks for releasing the In Nominee Satanas set on CD) and Gaerea who just released a killer new record, as did the noise kings KEN mode. But that’s not all! How about some vicious preview tracks from the likes of Autopsy and Scars of the Flesh? Or maybe you’re feeling like it’s an indie weekend? We got you some older tunes by Pianos Becomes the Teeth and Catherine Wheel to soundtrack your vibe. Lest you turn away there’s still plenty of heavy to be had with music from Ashen, Aenaon, Ultar, and a bevy of classic metal tracks to close things out from the likes of DBC, Sodom, Morbid Angel and Vader.
Like Stephen Tyler said, ‘I’m back in the saddle again.’ Thanks to Josh for once again picking up this column while I was off on my sojourn to the Pacific Northwest. I fought no demon hordes in my tenure there (although I did steal a couple souls…), just a lot of hiking, sightseeing, and stuffing my face with doughnuts and beer. As all good vacations should be. And now, back to business. We have a ton of good tunes for you on this week’s playlist, so dive right in and see what’s been running through our collective headphones lately.
From the first few minutes of Pantheon MMXIX by Ultar, you can already tell that this is a completely different beast from 2016’s Kadath. Building on their previous sound, they roll in clean vocals, more intricate songwriting, and a tighter production. Yet at the same time, they double down on the black metal elements; screams to make your soul shiver, and dissonant passages that take you back 20 years. With such an excellent follow up, it’s obvious that Ultar is a major player in the future of post-black-metal.