Circling the Bowl (3/4/23)

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As highly esteemed music journalists at this prestigious Toilet ov Hell, we hear a lot of new music day to day. But what are we actually listening to? “Circling the Bowl” is a weekly series where we get to share the jams we’ve been truly been jamming, and we invite you all to share as well.


Joaquin Stick – Welcome to Prog week! This year has been pretty slow on good prog tunes so far (but fast on bad ones, including Hypno5e and a promising but totally vacant album from a band called Lunar). I wish I were mean enough to write some reviews of those two. I have some thoughts. But anyway, here are a few decent ones this year, including one from a band I enjoyed in my progdork days 15 years ago who somehow actually put out a solid record:

  • The World is Quiet HereZon (Maybe my favorite album this year so far)
  • Witch RipperThe Flight After the Fall (So glad Spear picked this one out on TTT, this is exactly my shit)
  • RiversideID.Entity (Unexpectedly still relevant)
  • HakenFauna (Far from their best but still good)

Megachiles – Took my kid to the science museum last weekend. His reaction to seeing Dino Skeltons for the first time was to clamber into the displays and attempt to climb dem bones. Proud parent mome.

  • Primal BeastTyrant Lizard KingDINO SYNTH 2 GET MESOZOIC 2
  • Chapel of Disease  …AAWHSTSWHETEPour one out for this now defunct Mark Knopflerin’ Death Metal outfit 🙁
  • PURE IMPPURE IMP – Forget goblin mode, this gothic synth is PURE IMP.
  • Crusty Old Toad King Cryptid“I’M A FUCKIN’ VAMPIRE!!”
  • FLUISTERAARS BloemDat Dutch BM to yearn 4 Spring 2
  • Majesties Vast Reaches UnclaimedAnderson/Skildum write a bad riff challenge (impossible)

Hans – Most of my listening is in service to The List, so it feels nice to hop into older things now and then that I can just listen to without having to decide if they’re worthy of inclusion or review (especially now that it feels too late for “Things we missed last year”-type posts). So here’s some not-super-current things I had on this week:

  • SadnessApril Sunset et al. – Wonderful, long-form (at least on this release) blackgaze from the person behind Trhä (I somehow thought nobody knew who that was; turns out Bandcamp featured them a while ago). With 30+ releases, you bet it gets a bit hit-or-miss, but this album and most of the others mentioned in that guide are stunningly beautiful.
  • MaurdaCultus Brachypter – just the absolute nastiest lo-fi death metal. Ugh!
  • AberrationAberration – cavernous and confounding.

Rolderathis – I’m still feeling kind of allergic to new music, genre be damned, but yesterday’s heap of releases was too bangin’ for my icy heart to resist. I’ve definitely been craving stuff on the more melodic end, probably due to the harsh noise wall coming from the upstairs apartment being renovated 9-5 for the last two weeks. Along with the tracks below, I’ve had Control Denied and Death constantly perched on my shoulders, sort of like the angel and devil trope, vying for most obsessive re-listens of decades-old albums.

  • Apoptygma Berzerk“Unicorn (Video Version)” (I think I heard this on one of those defunct Channel 800+ music stations on TV a zillion years ago. Still a banger!)
  • Carcariass “The Hive” (And this is where I’d put the entire album link IF IT HAD BEEN RELEASED ON TIME.)
  • The VagabandBeautiful World (Fav track: “The Pedlar’s Way”) (Thanks to TheKenWord at AMG for the rec and listening buddiness!)
  • Majesties – Vast Reaches Unclaimed (Fav track: “Verdant Paths to Radiance”)
  • Palace of Worms – Cabal (Fav track: “Bizarre Blood and Exhumations”)
  • Decrepit BirthDiminishing Between Worlds (Fav track: “The Living Doorway”)

A Spooky Mansion – Trying to keep up with new full-lengths for review has left me a little burned out. Historically I always approached music like a fucking NERD, by reading books and articles about it and doing long dives into seasoned greats before branching out. The frontier of the genre is not where I feel comfy. So this week I let off some anxiety with Grind Homework, including my first proper listens for Scum and Horrified. Somewhere around the squealing sax/surf/grind of John Zorn, my mood also got noisy and experimental. Honestly, though, I probably listened to more hours of Radio New Vegas than all of those combined.


Spear – Because I have a small and sponge-like brain, most of my listening this week was informed by talking to people about music and then immediately running off to listen to whatever we were talking about. Since I’ve been yelling at anyone and everyone about the Majesties debut, much of said listening was melodeath from right around the turn of the century (give or take a few years). It was a fun trip down memory lane, and it’s also pretty interesting to see how the genre has evolved and branched out over the years.

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