Initial Descent: February 21 – 27, 2021

Black Sheep Wall
Black Sheep Wall

Last week was a good week. Finally. Lots of reasons and none of which matter to anyone but me. I mention it because it was an anomaly as of late and demanded mentioning. And, I’m all out of witty one liners—even though last week was full of crappy but funny movie quotes—so you got that for an opening statement. Yay you. Anyway, new week means new releases and we got a ton of them to get to and from all corners of the vast metal and metalish landscape. Looking for some incredible sludge that bites back? Black Sheep Wall has your back. How about some shamanic doom? Sunnata saves the day. Or maybe some filthy doom/sludge is calling? 16 and Grime do it and do it well on a split so you’re covered there. Or maybe some exceptionally low end driven, crazy, avant-metal fits the bill? You guessed it, Timo Ellis is looking out for you—just sayin’, I’ll die on the hill of Timo Ellis and Netherlands so there’s that to entice you. All that and a very long list to follow so GET AFTER IT, folks.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 166 (1.30.2021)

playlist - mixtape

Last playlist of January and even though it’s a little late, there’s still plenty of time to rip your favorite beverage and jam. I mean, what the hell else you got to do?! Anyway, this week’s edition is stacked with stuff we’ve been digging this week; I’ve got the new Empyrium and 16, Vince has Amulets and Laster, Zyklonius has the new Stortregn, Angela has a cut from Heilung and the new Chelsea/ERR track, Ian brings new Genghis Tron and Tribulation, and Didrik drops new Soen and a pick from Baulds Draumar. All that and so much more behind the play button below. So, drink, listen, and be merry.

– Josh

Best of 2020: Josh’s List

Best of 2020

I could wax for paragraphs on how 2020 leapt into the toilet in March and continues to swirl, deeper in, teetering just on the edge of complete obliteration, but that would be news to no one. In a year when bands could’ve easily went into hiatus based on no way to tour or support themselves—and honestly no one would’ve blamed them—we are damn lucky to have any music at all much less any best of lists. Thankfully the bands turned it up, tuned low, and cranked it out anyway, despite the thought of any sort of monetary return. In short, metal freakin’ ruled this year and kept me sane while the world crumbled and hope was fleeting at best. My music collection grew like my headphone time at dangerous volume levels (according to my apple stats) and I loved the fact that bands sounded angrier and louder, experimented more, stretched thin genre lines to the limit, and generally laid their balls on the chopping block in a way we haven’t heard in a long time. That chopping block bit was one of ten rules I made for my 2020 list back in January and all the artists that made my list did just that in one way or another but my picks this year were also about the albums that really stuck with me for either the long haul or made a fast impression. So, keep reading and maybe one, or more, of these will hit you the way it hit me.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 132 (6.6.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning mixtape. This week: new ones from Imperial Triumphant and Steve von Till, old ones from Redbait, and lots more in between. Listen at the link below.

– Vincent