Nine Circles ov…”Special” EOY Awards (2017 Edition)

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

2017 turned out to be a strange year for me musically.  In my first full year writing for Nine Circles I had the opportunity to explore different genres and bands I never would have discovered on my own, and taking in so much music (even when I didn’t want to, in all honesty) not only broadened my horizons and (hopefully) improved my critical thinking on music, but also helped me to understand better what it was I needed from music.

Next week I’ll be unveiling my personal Top 25 albums for 2017, along with a second post of 15 honorable mentions.  But there was so much that impacted me, and so for this final 2017 edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to give out a few of my own personal awards to some bands and albums that left their marks on me.  So without further ado, let’s dive in…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Some EOY Considerations (You May Have Forgotten About*)

Nine Circles ov end of year header

I get it – we’re all under the crunch here at Nine Circles getting our 2017 lists in order, and the last thing you need is to look at another list of albums you might want to consider before signing off on your own EOY list.  And hey – I’ll be the first to admit that in the interest of full disclosure I don’t think any of these are actually going to make my list…

But that doesn’t mean they don’t warrant some consideration.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… please think of this as some of my alternates – maybe they didn’t quite resonate enough with me to make my list, but that doesn’t mean you should leave them off yours!   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Transcending Records

transcending records logo

Transcending Records may be a jack-of-all-trades, acting as a record label, online shop, and distribution company out of the Chicago area, but all of that work is focused on one thing: bringing brutal metal to the masses.  And like many noble pursuits, it’s damn hard to make any money at it.  But a massive storm in October put an even larger dent in things, as a flood wiped out a significant portion of the business’s stock.  CDs, cassettes, clothing, even personal items were completely lost.  So they salvaged what they could and put together some cool packages, including a box of 15 CDs and a plethora of stickers for folks willing to help support them.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov... not only am I asking you to help support Transcending Records in the best way possible: hit their site and check out what’s available (they have some GREAT releases coming soon, including the debut from Transylvania Slut and the latest from Monolith Cult) but I’ve assembled nine sick and twisted blasts of metal that came in the bundle I received as thanks for my support.  let’s dig in…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Bandcamp Ketchup

Nine Circles ov bandcamp ketchup

Ketchup, catsup, catch-up…it’s all the same here at Nine Circles: stuff is constantly falling through the cracks.  And while we’ll have our annual quarterly round-up from the crew coming shortly, I’ve got enough albums I’ve been digging over the last few months that devoting a Nine Circles ov… column felt natural.  All of the selections below came from my own interest in the band – this isn’t a list of the releases we receive as promos I haven’t had time to review (that list would be immense and frightnening).

So let’s see what’s on the menu…   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…The Binder of Forgotten Metal: The Final Chapter

binder of forgotten metal part 3

Third time’s the charm, I guess.  We’ve dipped two times into the Binder of Forgotten Metal, and there’s just enough magic darkness left for a final call.  It’s been a trip revisiting some of these records (not so much others, thank you Kalas), finding the bits and pieces that stitched together reveal a step of the journey I’ve been on as a metalhead for over 35 years.  So there’s mix of nostalgia and sadness as we close the book on this particular Nine Circles ov…series and the memories the music unearthed.

So let’s crack the binding one more time, dust off those square covers and see what’s hiding in the back pages one more time…   Continue reading