Album Review: Visigoth – “Conqueror’s Oath”

visigoth - conqueror's oath

It’s hard to escape the tendency to double-down on your sophomore album.  You hit a measure of critical success and use that as a springboard to expand, to up your ambition and simply do more.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes you get Use Your Illusion I and II.  It’s a harder road to critically look at what worked and pare down to the essentials, to trim the fat and unleash a street ready fighting machine.  Visigoth manages the tricky balance of paring an already lean attack to the essentials while simultaneously broadening their scope on the righteous heavy metal punch of Conqueror’s Oath.   Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 29 (2.12.2018)


For those of you sweating Valentine’s Day fear not, there’s still a couple days to find that perfect thing for that perfect someone. Candy and music (metal), dinner and music (metal)…the pairings are endless. And yes, you’re welcome for those ideas. Anyway, it’s Monday which means another playlist of what we were over the moon about last week. It also means the time is now for that gallon of coffee, but I digress…subscribe to our YouTube channel here so you never miss a thing then head inside for a loud, eclectic and great bunch of tunes. Continue reading

Another Glorious Battle Awaits: Frank’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2018

Frank's Power Metal 2018

Happy New Year, friends! 2018 is finally here and I am officially calling it “The Year of Awesome!” Will I be thinking that at the end of the year? Who knows. My resolution was to be more positive about myself this year, and I’m gonna stick to it, dagnabbit! One thing I definitely know is that this year should be full of metal goodness, especially Power Metal. In fact, the Zelda-themed progressive power metal band Master Sword released their debut album on January 2nd, so check it out if you wish. This article is all about anticipated albums, however, and my excitement is very, very high. My list is pretty big and covers several metal sub-genres, but I’m not much of a writer and if I go on too long I keep using the same words over and over, so let’s cut this short and get to the list. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Podcast: Episode 40


The guys discuss Kylesa‘s recently announced hiatus and gush over Wolves in the Throne Room‘s fall tour plans, then Dan RAVES about last Friday’s Night Demon Against the GrainVisigoth show at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus. Plus, new albums from Schammasch and Fallujah!

All that and much, much more in Episode 40, so check it out!

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Keep it heavy,

Horns Up’s Best of Q1: Manny-O-War’s List

horns up best of q1

I trust my colleagues will update you on the likes of black metal, death metal and all the other genres of metal that permeate this scene like the sprawling architecture of Los Angeles. I, on the other hand, want to circle back to something I brought up in my review of Visigoth’s The Revenant King: that 2015 will be the year of power metal; the year that true heavy metal returns in all its cheesy, original glory; the year that age-appropriate music becomes available en masse and à la mode for all of us elder statespeople of metal. How’d that play out? Let’s see: Continue reading