Meanwhile, Over at Nine Circles…(March 2021)

Don’t ask me how, but in the midst of a massive change in my role at work and a ton of doctor appointments, I got the metal itch again. So my lack of new entries here doesn’t mean I’ve completely neglected writing…I’ve just been writing over at Nine Circles. So if you’re interested in some of what I’ve been digging in the more extreme world of music, there’s quick summaries and links after the jump.

First up is a stately slice of atmospheric black metal from Hungarian band Hænesy, unveiling new album Garabontzia early in the month. Among other things, I had this to say:

The production adheres to what you would expect from this kind of music, but it always makes sure to give everything enough space so it’s not a mash of sound where the nuances of the melody get lost. It’s something that could have crushed a song like “Sinking Deep for a Hidden God” but thankfully (and especially on a solid set of headphones) the separation of tracks allows even the subtle acoustic strumming to come through nicely centered between the electric guitars panned hard left and right. It’s an early highlight of a record that consistently pays off by not straying from its purpose. Which is to be a beautifully melancholic metal record.

You can read the full review here.

Next up was the site’s Album of the Month for March, the killer old school blackened thrash band Demiser and their debut Through the Gate Eternal. This one struck a chord with my, taking my nostalgia for the metal I grew up with and wiping my face with it:

We don’t have enough bands out there in metal who just want to get in and rock hard the way we used to do it back when denim was everywhere and cassettes weren’t a niche collectable. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of what’s come in the last 30+ years…wouldn’t trade it for the world. But Demiser make a strong case for just getting out there and being metal as F–K without also trying to create a mythology, drown you in philosophy, or draw you into despair. They want to thrash, rock, and leave a pile of bodies in their wake, and Through the Gate Eternal does that in (Ace of) spades.

You can read the full review here.

Finally we have the new album from progressive sludge band DVNE. Etemen Ænka continues their epic world building and Mastodon riffing and brings up a notch in the fury department. This one has slowly been growing on me, especially the second half:

For me it all starts with the stellar “Sì-XIV”; sic and a half minutes of push and pull tension, soaring clean vocals that hint at more anthemic intentions, and some serious groove in their sludge. The bridge section brings in some keen solo work, and that riff was just built to make heads roll. The highlight of the album, though, is the expansive and orbital “Mleccha”. It continues the second half’s trend of backing off the up front fury and settling into a more open and wide soundscape. Even in its heavier moments, the songs feels like its above, around and surrounding you. When that driving attack comes at around the three minute mark, you see the full potential of this band unleashed.

You can read the full review here.

More to come with the more regular entries from my physical collection, but since I’ve been re-bitten by the metal bug, I thought it would be fun to present some of the releases that struck me this year.

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