Best of 2018: Zyklonius’ List

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Ah, 2018. What an absurd, exhausting and often infuriating ride you were, with death as my ubiquitous companion and co-pilot. You entailed on one hand a near-cataclysmic series of loved ones dying around me in rapid succession, while on the other, an ever-flowing stream of metal that helped make that maelstrom somehow survivable and acceptable for yours truly.

As you, the well-informed reader, likely noticed during the course of the year, and will see again when you read further below, 2018 was a banner year for death metal of all colors and shapes, but most and especially for the boundary-pushing kind that redefines and reconfigures the entire genre. Another type of metal that really resonated with me was one of transcendence and catharsis, of dreamlike journey, cosmic marvel and triumphant rebirth. Overall, the vast array of diverse evolutionary pathways, latest career pinnacles, and dazzling artistic growth and achievement in the field of metal was a compelling sight to behold and a wondrous thing to experience.

As further proof of the excellent and exciting state of metal today, albums worthy of inclusion in the below list continued to be released until the very final days of the year, resulting in perhaps the strongest December release-wise in recent memory.

With this succinct backdrop in mind, I offer the following 23 releases as a tribute to goddess Eris. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Dan tried to keep up on his metal. It went…not great.

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So, I was looking back at my year-end post from 2017 the other day, and I had to laugh. As you may recall, I opened said post with a little self-pat-on-the-back for finally making good on my pipe dream of taking in less music. (I listened to 165-170 albums over the course of the year, which is still a shit-ton, but it was down significantly from years’ past.)

Well, my count this year will make that one blush. As of this moment, my “2018” folder on Spotify – the place I archived playlists for all the albums I really sat down with and took time to enjoy – consists of just 91 playlists. And that’s from albums across all genres, not just metal. Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

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* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.

I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest.  On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better.  But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable.  And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day.  Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading

Circle Pit: Albums We Missed Q2, 2018

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From time to time we all get together as a team and discuss some of our favorite albums we missed covering at release time and there’s been plenty of these discussions so far this year. Whether due to time slipping away from us or whatever the case may be, we miss them. Well, now that we’ve just passed the end of June, we are proud to bring you some overlooked highlights from the second quarter. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into it. Albums we missed in Q2 2018. Here. We. Go.Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 41 (5.21.2018)

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It’s Monday. I got nothing.

We’ve got a loaded list today since last week we round-tabled on Panopticon, which you can take a listen to here. Spoiler alert: it was a lot of fun. And we’ve already got a plan for the next one so stay tuned for that. Head on over to our YouTube channel to subscribe then hit the play button below along with your mega sized cup of coffee. Oh, and let’s up the ante; hit us in the comments with your faves from the past week or two. We’d love to know what we’re missing out on but also to listen right along with you. See you here this week. Continue reading