Album Review and Interview: Call of the Void – “AYFKM”

Nine Circles

Call of the Void - AYFKM

Call of the Void is a relatively young band for as much as they have accomplished since forming. They signed a deal with Relapse Records before releasing their debut in 2013. Their records have been solid and reviewed positively across the board. They’ve toured extensively with awesome bands like Bleak and Inter Arma: making a reputation on fantastic and intense live shows. AYFKM is their first release since losing their vocalist after releasing Ageless in 2015. With their crushing live performance and praise-worthy studio releases, I had no worries about how the new release would be.

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Best of 2016: Jonathan Petkau’s List

Nine Circles

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Many of you know Jonathan Petkau from his podcast Respectably Loud or his other podcast, which he does with his wife, The X-Hausted Files or from his tireless efforts with the almighty Skulltoaster on Metal Minute or from his black metal project Domestikwom or possibly for keeping the list for MetalBandCampGiftClub nice and tidy. To say Jon is a busy man is an understatement and what I’ve mentioned doesn’t even include Dad duties. So, it is with extreme pleasure and appreciation that we are able to present his Best of 2016 list. Honestly I don’t know where he finds the time to listen to music at all but even the busiest of people need a soundtrack so without further ado, click that continue reading button and jump in.

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Best of 2016: Chris’s List

Nine Circles

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

End of the year, ladies and gentlemen. The time when lists flow like liquor at an office party, where the online community comes together as one gargantuan digital animal to do what it does best: nitpick, subtweet, and throw so many accusations of pandering, overrated and “hipster” picks that come December 31st we’ll all be sick and tired and never want to do this shit again.

Until next year, of course.  When we’ll do it all over again.

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The Brewsome Details: Meg Evans, James Evans, and PGH Brewtal Beer Fest

Nine Circles

Brutal Beer Fest

Metal and Beer are a match made in Heaven (or Hell, whatever). People do enjoy beer that do not enjoy metal and vice versa. You can enjoy one without the other, but putting them together makes everything else in life better (See the Receiving the Eucharist articles my Nine Circles brethren have been doing). So I was elated when I heard that Meg and James Evans were putting together a metal and beer fest called PGH Brewtal Beer Fest. Meg is the head brewer for Pittsburgh’s Rock Bottom and James brews for Spoonwood Brewing Company. Even though they are busy organizing the fest, headbanging, and making beer, Meg and James agreed to take the time to answer some questions, see what they had to say after the jump.

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Mulligan’s Stew: a Collection of Leftover Releases

Nine Circles

9c-mulligans-stew

This week brought a lot of new and awesome albums. 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, they sucked, or we just missed them because we suck. I wanted to take some time and discuss seven of these releases (now its four because a PR rep couldn’t provide me with a working link for music). These releases have nothing to do with each other and would probably never be put together other than they unfortunately happen to share the same release date and they are all getting reviewed by me.

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Green Elder / Pensive Ceremony – Split; Twilight Fauna – Fire of the Spirit (2016)

Valley of Steel

cover

Green Elder / Pensive CeremonySplit (self-released, 11 August 2016)

Cover

Twilight FaunaFire of the Spirit (Ravenwood Recordings / Fragile Branch Recordings, 19 August 2016)

Hello, and happy Friday! Today I’d like to call your attention to a pair of releases you may enjoy, that just came out last month. The second one is an album called Fire of the Spirit, Twilight Fauna‘s sixth full-length record over the past several years, in addition to numerous other discographical items. (As you may or may not be aware, Twilight Fauna is a solo black metal project with strong Appalachian folk roots, with everything written and performed by sole member Paul Ravenwood of Johnson City, Tennessee.) But before that, in light of it having been released a week earlier, we’ll talk about a 12″ split record that features Green Elder — also a Ravenwood solo gig, but…

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Album Review: SubRosa – “For This We Fought The Battle Of Ages”

Nine Circles

subrosa

Salt Lake City’s SubRosa has triumphantly returned with For This We Fought the Battle of Ages. SubRosa have steadily released truly fantastic releases since 2005 with multiple EPs and LPs. 2013’s More Constant Than the Gods raised the bar for the band but also for the entire genre of doom. Three years later, the hopes and expectations for For This We Fought the Battle of Ages have been blown out of the water.

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Album Review: Spire – “Entropy”

Nine Circles

entropy

A lot of metal’s subgenres can easily get distracted by trying to be the fastest, the heaviest, lowest, slowest, and whatever else that often can remove the dangerous passions from the music. Some metal bands focus all of their attentions on competing in such a way to turn songwriting into something more akin to playing a sport. Thankfully, Australian black metal band Spire have shown with their debut full length that they are not afraid to take their time both in writing and in execution of their craft. Entropy is not the fastest or the most br00tal, but it is as ominous and unsettling as being in the eye of a hurricane.

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Manny’s Magical Genre Guide: Black Metal

Nine Circles

1280px-Black_metal_-_graffity_in_euronymous'_basement Iconic photo from the basement of Euronymous’s record shop Helvete located in Norway. The basement housed his independent record label “Deathlike Silence Productions”

Directly from the depths of hellish, white teen angst was born the fiery brand of metal known simply as “black metal.” Exactly who coined the term first and which band used it properly is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is how pervasive the genre has been in extreme metal since the early 1980s. While developing mostly in Scandinavia the movement has eventually spread into Europe proper, Asia, the Balkans and the Americas—becoming a global phenomenon. Associated with black metal are plenty of non-musical elements including the legendary use of corpse paint, stage names and extreme secrecy as well as some illegal activities such as church burning, violent assault and murder. It should be noted that while plenty of black metal has been heavily criticized for…

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