The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 244 (8.13.2022)

Can we all agree the world is a garbage fire right now? I think we can all agree. We might not agree on the reasons WHY we think it’s a garbage fire, but maybe we can all unite under the commonality that the flames are curling ever closer to our toes. And if not, there’s always metal, right?

And to that end we’re kicking off the 244th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a couple veterans churning out some kille rnew music, like the latest from Megadeth and the reunion of Fates Warning alums Ray Alder and Mark Zonder in the aptly named A-Z. Plus we have razor sharp slices of new (not nu) metal from the likes of Sigh, Sumerlands, The Antichrist Imperium, Liminal Shroud and Arch Enemy. Plus some off the beaten path tracks from bands like Slowdive and Ride before jumping back into extremity with Black Anvil, In Flames, The Answer Lies in the Black Void and more!

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 241 (7.23.2022)

While Chris is out slaying dragons and ripping some epic guitar solos from a mountaintop somewhere, you got me for this, the 241st edition of The Nine Circles Playlist. For real though, the man is on vacation and technically could be doing all that. However, I can tell you with certainty that we’ve got another loaded mixtape this week as Ian pays tribute to Mariusz Lewandowski with all his selections revolving around albums that share the late artist’s master touch such as cuts from Abigail Williams and Xenobiotic, Anton brings some heat with the newest Conan, Jon picks the insane new Ken Mode, Vincent drops one from Acephalix, Angela includes Wailin Storms (check out her review), Chris goes down an insanely good 80s thrash rabbit hole with choice cuts from Toxik, Coroner, and others, and I drop a live session from Burst, the new BANGER from Megadeth, and a new one from Karl Sanders. But, that’s only naming a few as we’ve got way more in store right behind that play button below. So, play it loud and piss off the neighbors.

Josh

Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2020 One Last Time

Best of 2020

You want more?  You got more.  Not that I exactly want to look back on 2020, but there was so much killer music this past year that I decided to take a page out of Chris’ book and talk about the ones that got away from me, regardless of how great they might be.  I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why these albums didn’t make the cut the first time around.  It’s the same story for each one, a story about time and energy and brainpower.  This year was draining, both from being alive in the world and from having quite a bit to keep up with in the way of reviews and podcasts for a certain illustrious publication, and while I am proud of the list I put out and I’m not going to go back and amend it, I do think there needs to be more room for discussing what I feel like I missed out on.  Albums that, for whatever reason, needed more than the time I had for me to fully realize them in my mind’s eye, but now I can unquestionably say they belong among the great ones that we got in the last calendar year.

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The Third Circle of Bandcamp: February 2020 Edition

third circle of Bandcamp headerWell friends, this may be it, with nothing to do but sit at home and listen to tunes while the world dies around us. So for the three of you (or less) who actually listens to these: I salute you, and deliver unto you the soundtrack to our apocalypse. Not much else to say, I just hope there’s still people to write for next month.

Ambient synth and soundscapes from Unreqvited’s latest EP starts us off, and leads seamlessly into Jaern’s stoner doom. Then we crank it up with some excellent tech death courtesy of Xenobiotic, which flows into the intense blackened melodic death of KVAEN. Sons of a Wanted Man follow with wonderful blackgaze chased by the experimental synths and sludgy black metal of Tombs. Speeding it up, we have riffy prog from the new Intronaut, and then we wrap with a couple of atmoblack tracks from Skyforest and Cult of Fire respectively. Continue reading

Album Review: Xenobiotic — “Mordrake”

Xenobiotic - Mordrake

Sometimes you want to listen to an album that pushes the boundaries of what metal is capable of by incorporating interesting and innovative instrumentation and songwriting.  Sometimes you want to listen to an album that stirs the soul and seeks to provoke deep introspection and provide a resonant message.  Sometimes you want to listen to an album so stupid dumb heavy that you forget how to do math.  If you’re like me and you have almost no use for times tables in your daily life anymore, then Perth, Australia, natives Xenobiotic’s sophomore album Mordrake will treat you just right. Continue reading