CANTO: Epica, Wode, Big | Brave, and More

What’s everyone drinking tonight? I’m curious.

  • The latest installment from Wode, titled Burn In Many Mirrors, drops on April 2nd through 20 Buck Spin, and pre-orders are up for digital and physical formats. More importantly, at least terms of today’s relevance, they dropped a new track called “Fire In The Hills”, and it is expectedly awesome.
  • Big | Brave have a new LP coming soon. Vital will be released on CD and digitally on April 23rd, with a vinyl format following on July 9th, from Southern Lord. For a glimpse into what’s to come, check out the video for “Half Breed”. It’s a Friday, so there are new videos to share all over the place, but make sure this one is on your list.
  • Oceans has a new EP scheduled for an April 30th release through Nuclear Blast, titled We Are Nøt Okay, and today they released a video for the title-track. Andy Dörner of Caliban jumped in to provide some vocals on that one, which is pretty cool.
  • And lastly, this has been coming for awhile, today is the official release date for Ωmega, the latest studio album from symphonic metal legends Epica. To celebrate the album’s arrival, they’ve also released a new music video for “Skeleton Key”, which has been embedded immediately below. Check it out.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: Wode, Bewitcher, High On Fire, and More

Not gonna lie, I’ve already done a lot of damage this Bandcamp Friday. And there are still so many hours left!

  • Wode are releasing their third album, Burn In Many Mirrors, in early April through 20 Buck Spin. Yet another awesome release announcement this week. For a preview, check out “Vanish Beneath” right now. Physical pre-orders coming later this month.
  • Korpiklaani released their latest album today, titled Jylhä, through Nuclear Blast, if you somehow missed that memo. In addition to that, however, they also dropped a new video for “Tuuleton” today. So give that a peep when time allows.
  • Southern Lord has announced a limited edition reissue of The Art of Self Defense. The repressing of the High On Fire studio debut will be out at the end of March, and can be pre-ordered through Bandcamp or Southern Lord.
  • Bewitcher released a new video for “Mystifier (White Night City)”, a track taken from their upcoming new album, Cursed Be Thy Kingdom. That album drops on April 16th through Century Media Records, and can be pre-ordered here.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Nine Circles ov…Some EOY Considerations (You May Have Forgotten About*)

Nine Circles ov end of year header

I get it – we’re all under the crunch here at Nine Circles getting our 2017 lists in order, and the last thing you need is to look at another list of albums you might want to consider before signing off on your own EOY list.  And hey – I’ll be the first to admit that in the interest of full disclosure I don’t think any of these are actually going to make my list…

But that doesn’t mean they don’t warrant some consideration.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… please think of this as some of my alternates – maybe they didn’t quite resonate enough with me to make my list, but that doesn’t mean you should leave them off yours!   Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 21 – 27, 2017

Jordablod Band
Jordablod

MDF week is upon us and while I can’t be there I know plenty of you that are. Hopefully soon I can live vicariously through your experiences, be safe and enjoy. For the rest of you, it’s another stacked week here on Initial Descent. And leading us off is the amazing prog/black/death metal debut Upon My Cremation Pyre from Jordablod. If you’ve ever heeded my advice I implore you to check this one out — scorching way to burst onto the scene here. Next up is Wode with their second full length Servants of the Countercosmos and as ridiculously good as their debut was this one is even better. The formula has been altered slightly but the results are astounding, count on this one staying the course the rest of the year. Sólstafir return with Bedreyminn and unshockingly they’ve done it yet again — blistering post rock collides with their signature metal style and it’s, simply put, bliss. Last of the top slots goes to Illustrations with Acts of God and if you missed out on this band’s debut do not make that mistake again. Hardcore is the foundation but many elements have been added to make this a heartfelt and colorful album, highly recommended. As usual, there is much more to sink your teeth into right after the jump… Continue reading