The insane amount of good music we’ve gotten this past year really reveals itself when you try to narrow down 50 songs from January to December you want to feature in a year-end playlist. This thing took a while to put together, but it was fun revisiting a ton of great shit from the year, with every corner of extreme music covered in these 50 tracks and five hours of content. These also aren’t necessarily the 50 best songs of the year, but we wanted to pick one per artist that we wanted to feature, so some stuff got left behind. But this list is 50 bands, 50 songs, and all of them killers.
“Man plans and god laughs”; so goes the old saying. There are things that will happen to all of us that we have no control over, and that will come upon us with no warning, upending the order of our lives and leaving us to do what we can to pick up the pieces and carry on. Aside from the everyday practicalities of coping with a major loss or change, there is the emotional aspect too, which is where From a Father’s Son comes in. When his father was diagnosed with an advanced cancer that would soon take his life, Jimmy Sisco created the Anchorhold project to document that time and his memories. As you’d expect, it’s an emotional journey, and hugely heart-felt, with an intensely personal – yet universal – heart.
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Atmospheric black metal can take many shapes and forms, that much we’ve definitely seen and heard in the recent past. But when the subject matter deals with the decline and eventual loss of a loved one, it takes on a whole new meaning as well as provide a bottomless canvas to document the harrowing experience. This is exactly what Jimmy Sisco (Platoon 1107, Absolved) did with his project Anchorhold after his father was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. From A Father’s Son, due out August 10 on The Fear and the Void Recordings, is a four track documentation of the human side to this process and unfolds in an extremely stirring maelstrom of emotions. Today, Nine Circles is pleased to bring you a premiere of the EP’s third track “Five Weeks.”
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We’ve made no secret over the years that we’re a Pittsburgh-based site, even though our reach is worldwide, and we write about bands from every corner of the Earth. But we represent Pittsburgh, and this coming weekend, one of the finest metal festivals going will emanate from here. To say we’re excited is a vast understatement.
The festival came to life six years ago as Gilead Fest, and it took place at Gilead Media’s home headquarters city of Oshkosh, Wisc. The event returned to the same place two years later (which was my first experience there) before Gilead joined up with 20 Buck Spin to create Migration Fest, which took place in Olympia, Wash., in 2016. The event highlights most of the artists from both labels’ stellar rosters, as well as some hand-picked favorites. This year’s event takes place at Mr. Smalls in Millvale, which is just a few minutes…
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Released last week, Lo, and I Am Burning by Slaves BC sounds just as impressive now as when I first reviewed it in January. Full of disconcerting, unstable black metal, it possesses a raw emotional catharsis that is usually absent with such music, giving it a personal feel that helps it to stand out. Situated somewhere between the heaviest, most punishing strands of hardcore and genre-defying black metal band Plebian Grandstand, Lo, and I Am Burning is the sound of a band not so much coming in to their own, but demonstrating why anyone who hadn’t previously been paying attention to them had been missing out.
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Full disclosure, Josh Thieler (studio drummer, vocals) is an internet pal, a great supporter of his scene, and DeathCrawl’s one and only gig in Pittsburgh thus far was with Slaves BC. I loved their last album, 2016’s All Is Dust And I Am Nothing. The band’s line-up has seen some changes since then, and this release sees the band embracing more of the black metal influences that punctuated their 2016 effort. I’m not the biggest fan of black metal – most of it is just noise to me that quickly loses my interest. Bands like Slaves BC, however, that know how to shift moods, vibes, and accent their compositions with grade A hooks definitely succeed at grabbing my attention.
The album sounds great. The mix is perfect. Everything is sitting right where it needs to be and it’s heavy as iron balls. The tracks flow together without pause with a…
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Pittsburgh blackened metallers Slaves BC are back with a new album, Lo and I am Burning, and it’s one that shows just how far a band can go to reinvent their sound in a relatively short time. Slaves BC’s musical jump between their latest offering and 2016’s All is Dust and I Am Nothing is less a jump and more an oblique step, but in a way that highlights the maturation of the members through time spent refining their sound.
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There’s no question we live in dark times. Yeah, we joke around here a whole lot about Armageddon being right around the corner, but we all know we’re meant to suffer well into the future, with those in power dangling the carrot of fortune and comfort in front of our faces. It’s an easy era in which to be depressed or despondent, and that’s not to be taken lightly or in jest.
That has carried over onto Slaves BC’s second record “Lo, and I am Burning,” a nine-track assault that finds the band’s sound spilling more into death and black metal terrains than ever before. The follow-up to Biblically inspired “All Is Dust and I Am Nothing” drags the Pittsburgh-based band away from its more hardcore- and sludge-molded past and into heavy darkness, both musically and lyrically. Here, the band focuses on depression, suicide, loss, fracturing faith, and the current…
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