Next week I’ll be posting Part 1 of my annual glut of end of year posts, but there’s usually so much I enjoyed I like to spread the wealth a little bit and put some beloved but odd-man-out entries out there for you to consider. In a dumpster fire of a year like 2020, putting anything out is kind of a miracle, but the amount of quality music – let alone metal – is kind of astounding. It served as a balm when I needed to calm down, as an ignition switch when I needed to get fired up, and as a wail of despair when I didn’t think I could take much more of what life was throwing at me.
So similar to years past, any one of these could have made my final list. Maybe it was a lack of time, maybe it was something that stood as a taste instead of a meal…maybe it’s just that what I needed was served elsewhere. Doesn’t make this list any less righteous. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…, let’s stop talking and get into the good stuff.
We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list. There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work. But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.” I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me. All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far. I can’t ask for much more than that. Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.
So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading
It seems silly to judge the volume and or content of music from one year to another – I’m sure I was feeling the crunch of not being able to adequately catch up with new music this time last year as well, but this year it just feels heavier. Between surprise releases I never saw coming to recommendations from friends and stuff that’s been either on our radar or blasted into the ether by huge marketing pushes, there’s just a weight of distorted riffs sitting on my shoulder no amount of headphone time seems to disperse. Which is not to diminish any of the records I’m about to cover that we haven’t devoted a full review to: there are easily two in this list I’m over the moon for. Nevertheless, for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s spend a little time with some early 2018 releases we may not have covered in depth, but are still worth your time. Continue reading
End of the year, ladies and gentlemen. The time when lists flow like liquor at an office party, where the online community comes together as one gargantuan digital animal to do what it does best: nitpick, subtweet, and throw so many accusations of pandering, overrated and “hipster” picks that come December 31st we’ll all be sick and tired and never want to do this shit again.
Until next year, of course. When we’ll do it all over again. Continue reading
Today we have the pleasure of featuring a Best of 2016 list from Twilight Fauna‘s mastermind Paul Ravenwood. These lists are always fun but having the opportunity to see what an artist of Paul’s caliber has been listening to and subsequently loved enough to do this is a treat for us and will be for you as well. You know how these things work so read on — after the jump — to find out what he has in store. Continue reading