#1 New Darkthrone.
#2-9 see #1.
I kid (kind of). There’s a ton of stuff to look forward to this year, just as there is every year. But rather than do the usual “Most Anticipated Albums” post I thought for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I’d run down the list of everything I’m looking forward to regarding metal in the Year of Our Dark Metal Overlords 2019. Some might be albums, some might be experiences or just things I’d like to see happen.
But yeah…really I just want new Darkthrone. Let’s jump in.
New Darkthrone: Is this the year Fenriz and Nocturno Culto unleash another slab of whatever genre they plan to murder next? According to their Instagram page (yup, Darkthrone have an Instagram page) recording is already done. Arctic Thunder was my favorite album of the year for 2016, and if something is released this year I’m sure you won’t be surprised when you read my EOY list this December to see it gracing the top spot yet again.
More Power Metal: One of the best things about taking over the Power Metal Album of the Month column last year was getting exposed to so many great records I wouldn’t, under normal circumstances, have sought out. Folks are always talking about looking for the next thing, the next discovery to broaden and enrich their musical knowledge but power metal often gets swept aside for – quite frankly – stupid and ridiculously narrow minded reasons. This year I’m hoping to find another collection of great albums like I did last year from Judicator, Dire Peril, and Immortal Guardian to freak out to.
New Baroness: John Baizley and company never fail to put out something adventurous and colorful with each album. For whatever reason I was less engaged with Purple than their previous efforts, but I’ll attribute that more to my own disposition than anything the band did, so maybe 2019 is the year I not only get blown away by the new Baroness, but that I rediscover the merits of Purple as well.
Getting more involved with physical media: All the promos I listen to aside, there’s nothing like sitting down to listen to an album with a physical component in your hands, whether it’s a vinyl sleeve, the pullout from a cassette, or even a CD booklet. I’ve been thinking about the physical side of music so much I started a music blog where I cover nothing but the albums I own physical copies of (shameless plug). But after being blown away from the creativity of packages like the latest from the Ocean, the cassette only distribution of Spring Break Tapes and Tridroid Records, I want to get more tangible with the music I listen to in 2019.
New Everything from Tom G Warrior: It’s hard not to get excited when news comes out that not only will we be getting a new album from Triptykon, but potentially also the long in development musical suite Thomas Gabriel Warrior’s been working on forever. That combined with the announcement that he’ll be putting together a band to cover old Hellhammer material at the next Roadburn is just icing on the cake for a phenomenal year of forthcoming music from the man.
Getting our online presence back in shape: We’ve already started doing this with the Nine Circles Audio Thing, and one thing I’m hoping to do more in 2019 is get more audio content out there, whether it’s interviews, the embarrassingly sporadic Album of the Month podcast or special episodes where we just chew the fat about bands and albums we love. No guarantee yet we’ll be dipping our toes back into the morbid cesspool that is Twitter but who knows…crazier things have happened, as is evidenced by literally everything that has happened in the last 2 years.
New Torche: There was something about Restarter that didn’t sit well with me, but everything else Torche has done, from their debut self-titled album up to the joy that was Harmonicraft is untouchable. Their ability to be devastatingly heavy while embracing pop is second to none, and I’ll always give them the benefit of the doubt. Here’s hoping whatever comes out in 2019 has my house shaking with madness and pure unadulterated glee.
Whatever genre is going to have a banner year: Last year it felt like we were overstuffed with amazing death metal, and the horizon looks to be just as bright with new music on the way from everyone including Blood Incantation, Misery Index, and even Tomb Mold, despite having an amazing album come out about six months ago. But what genre will take hold and rip our faces off this year? My money is on black metal having a stellar 2019, we already have a great record from Mo’ynoq and this week the new self-titled from Barshasketh is a face melter.
New ???: All darkthrone jokes aside, the biggest album I’m looking forward to this year is the one I have no idea is coming, from a band I never heard of before, and it’s going to blow the ever living shit out of me. Everyone is aware of what new music is coming out from bands we already know, but what about the ones we’ve never heard of before?
It’s not enough to listen to new music this year, I want to make some, too. After releasing a split EP back in October with Domestikwom and a new volume of experimental noise this past week, it’s time to knuckle down and focus on the followup to my own debut full length Isolated Evolution. Is this just a cheap attempt to get you to check my album out? No, but the fact that it’s PWYW on Bandcamp is…
Until next time, keep it heavy.