The Nine Circles ov…FRANCE

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Intentionally terrible Photoshop job courtesy of yours, truly.

By now, most of y’all are probably aware that the 2018 World Cup has concluded. On Sunday afternoon, France capped off a dominant tournament run by beating Croatia, 4-2, in the final. And while we’re not still dopey enough to commemorate the occasion with something like the “World Cup of Metal,” (Remember that? Gross.) we also weren’t going to let it go completely unnoticed. Hence, here we are with The Nine Circles ov France!

Side note before we begin: as much as I wanted Croatia to win it all, I also know exactly one Croatian metal band. (This one.) So, having preemptively claimed this post before the game, I’m low-key THRILLED that France and its comparably enormous metal scene ended up victorious. Okay, I’ll shut up now. Here we go… Continue reading

The Nine Circles ov…2018 in NOT-Metal (so far…)

9CovNotMetal

Around this time last week, our good buddy Chris shared his thoughts on 2018’s best metal to date. And now — surprise! — I’m here to do the same for the NOT-metal side of things.

In my book — with some notable exceptions like Judicator, Amorphis and Wallachia — the metal’s kind been lagging behind all the other stuff so far this year. That’s not to say I’ve heard anything bad from the heavier realm this year; just that I haven’t heard as much that’s really stuck with me as in years past. That, of course, will have cleared up by the end of the year; it always does.

But for now, you’re getting a NOT-metal list and, dammit, you’re gonna like it! Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…High Dynamic Metal

nine circles ov high fidelity metal

Straight talk:  it doesn’t matter how you consume music.  Listen any way you want: use the earbuds that came with your phone, $1,000 studio monitors, a sound bar…whatever.  If you’re enjoying it, you’re doing it right.  I’m not here to tell you you’re doing it wrong.  That being said, there is a certain pleasure to be derived from tweaking and upgrading, searching for the right combination that takes the music you love to the next level, shorting your synapses and inducing a synethetic delight.  So after numerous discussions with our resident Finn and audiohead Zyklonius I slowly began to improve my at-home listening experience.  I invested in a modest pair of planar magnetic headphones and a headphone amp (the ones above, actually: the HIFIMAN HE-400i and the Schiit Magni 3) and took my first steps into the murky world of the metal audiophile.     Continue reading