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 only for you.
But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading
Every January, in the immediate aftermath of the bountiful harvest and stocktaking of the previous year’s metal offerings, I inexplicably get worried that the new year will be when the awesome wave finally breaks and the quality of metal nosedives. In 2017, a certain January release dispelled my fears by claiming the number one spot of my end-of-year list. In 2018, Agrimonia’s Awaken provides a similar cannon blast of optimism wrapped in multiple layers of darkness and beauty. Continue reading
I always regret going back to my hometown in small-town Ohio for a reason: It’s at least 15 years behind the curve of, well, everything else. Going to my hometown is like stepping in a time capsule that only goes to the absolute worst parts of the early 2000’s. Sinphobia‘s debut album Awaken conjures the same emotional response from me as going back to my hometown. Equal parts bone-headed “death metal” (e.g., groove metal) and tough-guy metalcore (with breakdowns!), it’s not just derivative — it’s like they collected all the throwaway riffs of every second-tier metalcore act from a decade ago, threw some layered growls on top, and decided to call it death metal, all while writing piss-poor songs in the process. Continue reading