Nine Circles ov…The Binder of Forgotten Metal

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There is a significant real estate issue in my house when it comes to physical media.  I have one room that is totally mine, but there's only so much you can cram into a 9×12 foot office.  So I began to make concessions: in addition to moving largely digital I've been transferring a lot of my CDs into binders, relegating the towers (thank you IKEA Gnedby) to the music I listen to the most.

When I first got back into extreme music, I was buying whatever I could to get a sense of what it was I liked and identified with.  Now I have two fat binders full of stuff I probably haven't listened to in years, so for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I decided to grab one of those dusty old binders, open it up and grab some metal to see what I moved in error, and what rightfully deserved its place among the forgotten. Let's dig in…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov… “Isolated Evolution” Influences

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So, besides championing the music I love to the masses here at Nine Circles, I also bash a bunch of instruments together under the perhaps ill-conceived name Necrolytic Goat Converter.  I mention this for two reasons: 1) so it doesn’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere when I mention my new album Isolated Evolution comes out August 18 and you can pre-order it here, and 2) one of the things that often gets mentioned in both reviews and interviews for ANY band or album is influences.  Drawing comparisons and tracing lines to other music is par for the course when it comes to reviewing albums – heck, we do it ourselves here all the time.

So, since it’s been asked of me more than once and it gives me the chance to briefly wax poetic on some of the music I love, this edition of Nine Circles ov… highlights some of the specific songs and bands that served as a foundation upon which I constructed the album.  Which I will again gladly point out you can pre-order using the link above.  That being said, let’s dig in…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Self Definition Through Music

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I may have said this before, but a large part of my life’s journey over the last 20 years has been analyzing what the media we consume says about us.  Each of us is obviously more than the sum of what they’ve read, watched, or listened to, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a hell of a lot of those films, books, and albums tied into the bundle of molecules that makes up who were are.  Whether it’s that record you heard at your first college party or the movie you remember watching over and over again with your father as a little kid, this seemingly disposable media is anything but…

Especially when you’re not in the most optimal mental or emotional state.  That’s when you turn to those things the resonate closest to you, that help you reinforce and re-align your identity with yourself.  For years I’ve kept an ever-expanding list of songs and albums under a playlist simply titled “Self Definition.”  It’s my lifeline for when the water gets too choppy, for when things seems to fall in on themselves in such a way you feel like you’re buried under a million things that won’t let you breathe, let you be heard.  And since the past few weeks have felt like to me, I wanted to take this edition of Nine Circles ov… to share some of those tracks that get me through the dark and remind me in a note or a chord or lyric of who I am.  Let’s dive in…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…2017: A Mid-Year Report

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Do we even do mid year lists around here?  I debated with myself (eeewww) for hours about doing one, but having just run the tally of albums I checked out this year I realized 1) now was as good a time as any to sit down and stock of what stuck in my ears so far in 2017 and 2) I needed a topic for the next Nine Circles ov… anyway, so why not kill two birds with one stone and highlight some of the great releases from the first half of the year?

And let’s be clear: there’s a lot to check out.  I have 251 albums sitting in my 2017 folder right now and I’ll be the first to admit there’s no way in Hell I devoted the attention some of these releases deserved, which is probably why mid year lists change so much by the time the end of the year rolls around.  What didn’t stick now may stick later, the chemical makeup in your brain undergoes a subtle shift and HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE GREATEST ALBUM OF ALL TIME…you get the picture.  So consider this a snapshot: if the quality of these nine releases are anything to go by, metal is having another great year – so great I have an album on here you all will cry our isn’t even remotely metal – and will only get get better as the year moves along.  Let’s do this.

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Nine Circles ov…My Metal “Retreat”

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Man cannot live on metal alone.

“Blasphemy!” you may cry, but true…at least in this dude’s case.  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of stress and activity as I turned another year older, paid another bill, worked another late night, blah blah blah.  It gets to a point sometimes when you just need to clear your head and take a little time for yourself.  Not to mention that after a while when you’re digesting promo after promo you run the danger of not giving the music the attention it warrants.  And you start to look for shortcuts.  “Well,” you tell yourself, “I heard the first four songs, I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to really change my mind about this thing.” Or worse, you start just leaning more and more on the materials in the press release: “Oh! A cross of Joan Baez and Incantation?  But with drone elements?  I’ll say a mix of Joni Mitchell and Malevolent Creation with, uh….fuck it, drone elements.”

You know what I’m taking about.  For me, it’s a matter of disconnecting in order to reconnect.  And there’s been plenty of music I’ve been discovering over the past few months that have helped me to reconnect with what it is I love about loud noises.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I want to share a few of the records that have been recharging the batteries and re-calibrating the heavy sensors.  Let’s dig in.   Continue reading