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

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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

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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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Initial Descent: March 19 – 25, 2017

Nine Circles

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The weekend, FINALLY. For those of us who actually have weekends off you know it’s something we look forward to and for those of you that never get a weekend off my heart goes out to you, seriously. Whether you’re off or working or whatever, thank you for stopping by and we have a killer bunch of releases to get to so, shall we? In pole position this week is The Year the Stars Fell from Twilight Fauna and on this release black metal collides with emotional heft, Appalachian themes and astoundingly heavy atmosphere that transcends music in a general sense and goes straight for the heart and mind, give yourself over to this album completely and the reward will be monumental. Next up is Memoriam with For the Fallen and honestly this record gives me chills for a couple reasons: the tie in with Bolt Thrower and just…

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Album Review: Twilight Fauna – “The Year the Stars Fell”

Nine Circles

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Push away the tags, move past the labels and niches of “Appalachian metal” and “black/neofolk” that have been used to describe Twilight Fauna and artist Paul Ravenwood over the years. The concept of music recalling and communicating a sense of place, of community and time is well and good and entirely accurate, but there’s another layer to what Ravenwood is unraveling for the listener in Twilight Fauna’s latest, The Year the Stars Fell. By weaving his musical heritage into his own personal history Ravenwood exposes a raw nerve of grief and tragedy, a painful narrative buried deep under a foundation of feedback waiting for someone to take the time to dig.  

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Mulligan’s Stew: a Collection of Leftover Releases

Nine Circles

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There have been lot of new and awesome albums released in 2017. Unfortunately, a lot of releases get overlooked for coverage by the release date due to limited resources (or interest). These are a collection of releases that for no fault of their own, did not get picked for coverage on their own. That could be because no one knew what they were, no one cared, or we just missed them because we suck. I wanted to take some time and discuss five of these releases. These releases have nothing to do with each other and would probably never be put together other than they unfortunately are all getting reviewed by me.

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PICK OF THE WEEK: Twilight Fauna push deeper into rustic folk on rousing ‘The Year the Stars Fell’

Meat Mead Metal

How many albums or how many songs do you hear each year that give you a glimpse into the creator’s homeland and the traditions held within. Not many, right? And that’s OK. Not every band is resigned to bringing their homeland or territory into their sounds (well, at least if they’re not European), and often what we get is devoid of the strains of where one calls their dwelling.

That’s beginning to shift a bit when it comes to American metal, and Twilight Fauna is one of the bands helping make that so. Long helmed by Johnson City, Tenn.’s own Paul Ravenwood, his band’s music has rounded more toward the Appalachian sounds in recent year. The band’s latest album, the excellent “The Year the Stars Fell,” continues along those dusty, foot traffic-battered roads, giving you a deep breath of air from where he grew up and formed into the person…

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