Second Circle: Hath and Egregore

Second Circle

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.

Within the last two years or so, I’ve come to enjoy taking a long, hard look at my own biases when it comes to music I like and don’t like. I have a long-form rambling manifesto on the topic of progressive metal from a while back to that effect, but that is not where this self-interrogation begins or ends. I have been finding a lot of albums lately that I love despite their being played in a style of metal that I don’t generally gravitate towards, and this brings me another chance to shine a light into the cobweb-strewn corners of what’s left of my brain and grill myself about two albums that could each conceivably be called ‘blackened death metal’, although both choose to do something wildly different with that prompt. With that, I bring you something old, and something new…

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Hath’s Frank Albanese on new album “All That Was Promised,” working with Willowtip, Bandcamp, and much more!

Hath

On their debut Of Rot and RuinHath stunned a crowded death metal landscape with their brutal Opethesque take on it. Now, three years and a pandemic later, All That Was Promised is even better with tighter songwriting, even more razor sharp riffs than before, and an incredibly apocalyptic atmosphere. In two albums, Hath has reached a level that most bands take years to develop. Just on the heels of the new album’s release, Buke had the chance to chat with vocalist and guitarist Frank Albanese about the new album and how the band dealt with the extremely high bar they set three years ago, how it’s been working with Willowtip Records and how that union came to be, Bandcamp and the Epic Games recent purchase of same, how Frank learned to play guitar, and some of Frank’s and the band’s history in the Jersey scene. They also cover one of Frank’s favorite albums of 2021, video games, album art, giving black metal artists free ideas, and a ton more. 

This is an epic length 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

Midnight

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: Blind Guardian, Amorphis, Hath, and More

There’s a massive of pile of awesomeness today, so let’s see what five or six items I care about most.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Album Review: Cathexis — “Untethered Abyss”

Ever since I became part of the Technically Inclined podcast, I have become increasingly aware of the various flavors of tech death and how each band that plays under that genre has their own way of playing it. Because of this, I have opted to start reviewing more tech death, as I feel the genre does not get enough love unless it is combined with either a progressive or melodic touch. This brings me to CathexisUntethered Abyss, an album that stays true to the tech death sound with a few flaws in between.

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