December 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Lovebites – “Clockwork Immortality” & the Top 10 Power Metal Albums of 2018

lovebites pmaotm dec 2018

It’s been a blast covering the vast expanse of styles that power metal has to offer on a monthly basis, but sadly all things must pass.  As I went through each month finding amazing records I kept holding off writing about them until the end of month post, and by doing so there were times I couldn’t give some of the albums their proper turn in the spotlight.  So rather than one post a month where we cover the genre my goal is to integrate power metal more fully into the coverage here at Nine Circles, allowing the bands and albums the proper room to shine on their own.

But before we do that, let’s get December out of the way with the only band to make the Power Metal Album of the Month twice in the same year: Lovebites and their new full length Clockwork ImmortalContinue reading

Best of 2018: Josh’s List

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I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Best of 2018: Chris’s List

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What does music do for you?

In the end, it’s the only question that matters.  An admittedly hard question to hear, what with the screaming of every opinion in every corner of the internet, but in the end when you step away from the noise and muck of screen shouting and scene guarding it’s your opinion in the end.  Every year that I’ve written an end of year list for Nine Circles it’s been a variation of the same theme: when we write about music, we’re writing about ourselves.  What matters is what the music does to you, and for you.

But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading

Album Review: Siniestro – “Arctic Blood” (EP)

Siniestro - Arctic Blood

Blackened thrash, a term to these ears that goes together like bacon cheese burger or Imperial Stout (or PB and J for the kiddies).  Such is the musical stylings donned by Sweden’s Siniestro, who have arrived in time for the holiday season to bring you their new EP Arctic Blood.  The question is will Siniestro’s brand of fast n’ evil up your holiday jeer? Kind of yes and kind of…well, read on. Continue reading

November 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Dire Peril – “The Extraterrestrial Compendium”

PMAOTM november 2018 dire peril - the extraterrestrial compendium

Taking over the reins of this column has been an experience.  As I dove deeper into the ever-evolving mass that is power metal and its many offshoots, I’ve begun to tap back into those things that made me fall in love with metal when I was a kid.  The deeper narratives and mythologies, the technical prowess, all in favor to the all-mighty chorus – these were the things that shielded a troubled awkward kid growing up afraid and uncertain.  And as my life as a 45-year old man takes another sharp turn to the afraid and uncertain I’ve been leaning hard into those things that provided comfort before.  Since getting the promo for The Extraterrestrial Compendium, the debut full length from power metal super-duo Dire Peril, I’ve been struck with just how effective the album is at balancing grace and power, despite the pedigree behind.  For that and so much more it was a no-brainer it would be the November Power Metal Album of the Month.    Continue reading