Best of 2016, Q2: Manny-O-War’s List

nine circles

Well, here we are again. Another three months past and I am still raving (maybe raging?) about what a ridiculously solid year this has been for metal. Yet, I sit here attempting to include metal that is technically going to be released in the third quarter. You think Blood Incantation isn’t going to end up on year end lists? Ryan Page of A.M.S.Gtotally blew the doors off his production formula and his 2016 release will be battling it out among the top candidates as well.  Further, Brooklyn-based Anicon are set to release their debut (which kills). Over in the prog world, Fates Warning, after working hard for over thirty years will soon put out what might be their best album to date. So, this year is bonkers. And lest we forget the upcoming Inter Arma release… So strap in! Continue reading

Nine Circles Ov… June 2016

Photograph by our Dæmoness of Design, Jaci Raia. For more of her beautiful work follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
Photograph by our Dæmoness of Design, Jaci Raia. For more of her beautiful work follow her on Instagram or Twitter.

Not surprisingly, as its become a theme in 2016, May was an outstanding month for metal. Well, another shocker: June is just as good. On the larger side of things a new Thrawsunblat LP was released, there was a Blut Aus Nord / AEvangelist split, Vale of Pnath dropped an LP, Aaron  Turner’s celebrated sludge project Sumac put out an absolute burner and, thanks to Shadow Kingdom, Tombstalker finally got to release Black Crusades on vinyl. But where June really shocked was in the amount of smaller, quality releases. July is looking to change that fact with a bunch of super high-profile, high-quality releases on the horizon. But we will save those for the end. So, for now, let’s take a look at nine releases from June that knocked our (well at least my) socks off.

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Initial Descent: June 3, 2016

candlemass band 2015
Image via

Somehow, it’s June already. Where the hell’s this year gone? Honestly, I’m all for this; the sooner 2016’s over and done with, the better, in my book.

But anyway, interesting week this week. We’ve got a couple of big-ish name releases — an EP from Candlemass, albums from Dark Funeral and Cough, etc. — but then we’ve also got some others from some absolutely HILARIOUSLY named bands. Like? Oh, I don’t know…a new demo from a band called Anal Depression, (yes) one from Clitorodectomía, (also, yes) you name it. Apparently you can never run out of try-too-hardiness in metal. Anyway, enough of that — here’s what’s on tap for this week:
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Album Review: Virus – “Memento Collider”

Artwork and Design by the Kim Design Studio

Here is a very fun game if you’re people watching in a city: Artsy or Deranged. It’s usually borderline impossible to tell the difference. Odds are that without looking below the surface and examining you will probably be right only fifty percent of the time. The same can easily be applied to music. Whether Virus is an artsy band or the work of a deranged mind is difficult to ascertain at first blush. What is certain is that Memento Collider is yet another step toward the avant-garde and away from typical noise experimentation for Virus. Continue reading

The Many Faces of Manny, December 2015: “I’m Sick”

Warning: This month’s edition of “The Many Faces of Manny” will be explicit. While I don’t normally employ curse words and “blue” humor in my writing I am going to today because I’m excessively sick. Thus, my rant will be uncontrolled due to fevers and chills, immense bodily pain and general confusion. So please, hide your sisters, hide your wives [and references to other viral videos] because I am about to flip out about how annoying it is to be sick. If you know me, then you know missing three straight days of work means that I’m actually quite ill. So I feel not only sick but pathetic, unmanly and weak. Which I hate. So without further ado, please continue on…if you dare. Continue reading