Album of the Day: Slaves BC – Lo, and I Am Burning

The Sound Not The Word

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Label: The Fear and The Void Recordings

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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ALBUM REVIEW: SLAVES BC – LO, AND I AM BURNING

supercorrupter

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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Album Review: Slaves BC – “Lo and I Am Burning”

Nine Circles

Slaves BC Lo and I Am Burning

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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Pittsburgh’s Slaves BC push into personal darkness, blackened sounds on ‘Lo, and I Am Burning’

Meat Mead Metal

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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Review: Slaves BC – Lo, and I am Burning

The Sound Not The Word

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Label: The Fear and The Void Recordings

The previous Slaves BC album, All id Dust and I am Nothing, contained a few hints of where the band might go in the future, with its mixture of sludge, black metal, and hardcore having a personal, cathartic quality; but nothing could have prepared for the devastating of Lo, and I am Burning. The unstable, disconcerting black metal elements have been pushed to the fore, propelled along by an even more furious energy than has been seen previously.

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Album of the Day: Twilight Fauna – Fire of the Spirit

The Sound Not The Word

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Label: Ravenwood Recordings / Fragile Branch Recordings

I’ve recently found myself wanting the audio equivalent of returning home after a long week travelling for work; of a sense of familiarity and belonging, after an extended period of isolation and disconnect. Fire of the Spirit has been meeting that need perfectly, with Twilight Fauna‘s brand of black metal and traditional folk producing a warm, all-encompassing atmosphere that is remarkably refreshing for the soul.

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Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

Nine Circles

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy.

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Premier: Deathcrawl – “Entombed By All the Things We Seek”

Nine Circles

death crawl - acceptable level of misery

I’ve never been to Cleveland, but based on the scuzzed-out sludge of Deathcrawl, it sounds like a lost circle of Hell, covered in netted filth of those consigned to its swampy punishment.  I mean this, of course, in the best possible way because based on the band’s upcoming album Acceptable Level of Misery it’s a place I want to visit again and again.  Ahead of its October 27 release we have the exclusive premier of the ripping “Entombed By All the Things We Seek” to prepare your soul for its penance.  

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Album Review: Twilight Fauna/Evergreen Refuge – “Procession of the Equinox”

Nine Circles

twilight fauna evergreen refuge split

Over the course of a few albums you begin to take the measure of a band by the steps they take on their musical path.  Some bands are explorers, never content with where they were before, always looking to try something else.  Some find their place and stick to it, content to tread the same rhythm over and over again (lest you think that’s always a bad thing, I’ll simply leave you with a “Hey! Ho!  Let’s GO!).  But between the balance of standing in place and grasping for something just out of reach is the band that refines, that chances upon something and digs deeper, finding the hidden corners and unexplored nuances of the terrain they commit to.  And it’s this thin space that Twilight Fauna and Evergreen Refuge have been residing in over the course of multiple albums and side projects, and their latest split Procession of the…

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