Phil Demmel of Vio-Lence on new EP “Let The World Burn,” changing of the Bay Area scene, a long career, and much more!

Vio-Lence couretsy of Gene Ambo

Vio-Lence may not have the largest back catalog of releases but they’re a band that’s been around since 1985 and have been a huge force in thrash metal, even through the 29 years since their last full length. New EP, Let The World Burn, sounds like they’ve been steadily releasing work since then, they haven’t lost a step and in fact rip it up like never before. As an EP, it rolls by way too fast but is an amazing piece of work that no one should sleep on. Buke recently sat down with guitarist Phil Demmel to discuss the new EP, how it came together and getting back in that thrash mindset. They also cover Phil’s storied career in Machine Head and how The Blackening was such a lightning rod as well as how his other projects have colored his playing over the years, fatherhood and how it’s the best thing ever, Phil’s bar and how that experience has been, and so much more.

This is a killer conversation, so grab your beverage of choice and settle in for another edition of the Nine Circles Audio Thing.

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Initial Descent: February 27 – March 5, 2022


As the world keeps laying dull turds at our feet, the music just gets better and better. At least there’s that. For this week’s new release batch, we’ve got several examples of my previous statement and first up is everyone’s favorite demon rocker, Midnight, who are nothing if not incredibly reliable when it comes to needing something fast, dangerous, and wickedly good. Following that we’ve got sludge from the all time great riff lords Crowbar, death metal with a side of blackened char from Hath, a stunning return from Vio-Lence who prove they haven’t lost a thrashy step in all these years, and a bunch more worthy of your time in the list that follows. So, keep expecting those turds, but absolutely keep supporting great music. Seemingly, it only gets better from here.

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CANTO: Vio-Lence, Sunrot, Foscor, and More

Another Monday filled with misery!

  • Post-sludge collective Sunrot have signed on with Prosthetic Records, and they released a new single titled “21%” to mark the occasion. They’re also working a full-length album under the new label, which we’ll keep our eyes out for in the months ahead.
  • Jumping over to Season of Mist, Foscor unveiled a new music video today for “Misofonia”. That release is in celebration of the band’s 20th anniversary, and is a track taken from bonus editions of 2017’s Les Irreals Visions. Commemorative merch can be purchased here.
  • Lotus Thrones, the post-industrial solo project out of Philadelphia, is releasing a new EP on February 25th titled Hibernal. That will be out digitally through Disorder Recordings and on cassette through Seeing Eye Records. Check out “Codependent Arsonry” here.
  • Wrapping up Monday with Vio-Lence feels like the right call. Especially this particular Monday. Below is the clip for “Let the World Burn”, the title-track from the new EP out on March 4th through Metal Blade. They’re also on tour with Coroner in May.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 218 (2.11.2022)

playlist - mixtape

Thank whatever gods you lay your oblations to, because if we were basing the 218th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist solely on my recent listening history, it would be nothing but the new Zeal & Ardor. I wrote two reviews this week for Nine Circles – for two excellent albums – but the new self-titled release by Manuel Gagneux is something for the ages. For form’s sake I also added new tracks by Vicious Knights and All Them Witches so not to seem too biased.

But that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Anton wants to make sure everyones gets in on Cailleach Calling, Tomarum and Gloson. Josh is going in hard with the latest from Midnight, Kreator and Dark Funeral, but then turns around and reminds you that Blue Murder was a kickass band back in the day. Vincent rolls out some Rolo Tomassi for the second week in a row, sprinkles in some Holy Fawn and ends on another recurring track with some Mitski. Angela can always be counted on to bring something fresh to the proceedings, and she doesn’t disappoint with tracks from Konvent, Greet Death, and the great collaborative album from Pijn and Conjurer. Finally, Buke roars in with some new Mortuary Drape, Vio-lence, Vanum, and Walg.

Get listening. See you next week.


The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 217 (2.5.2022)

playlist - mixtape

If you grew up listening to metal in the 80s, you know just how important the name Johnny Zazula was. If I found a cassette put out by Megaforce Records or otherwise had Johnny Z’s name associated with it, I was buying it. He was a giant in the field of thrash metal, and losing him at the age of 69 is a crying shame. So yeah, we’re kicking off the 2017th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a bunch of stuff associated with him. Throw one back for a titan of the genre.

The rest of the crew is all over the map, so let’s get to it. Anton brings the heavy and the new with Absent in Body, Wait, and The Last of Lucy. Ian hits with Celeste who I’ve really been digging lately, and throws in some Warning and Stormkeep to keep it moving. Josh threw me into a timewarp listening to the great first album by Tora Tora, but quickly amps the heavy up with Corpsegrinder, Extinction A.D. and Centinex (oh, and some DMX which is as heavy as anything else on this playlist). Vincent reliably brings The Mountain Goats and adds in some Elle and Cremation Lily. Angela keeps the new train moving with the new single from Messa, the latest from Rolo Tomassi and some Microwave while Buke – perhaps sensing my bringing in enough of the old school – goes decidedly modern and heavy with Dying Fetus, Ihsahn, Arcturus, and Diabolical Masquerade.

Pour one out for Johnny Z. We’ll see you next week.