Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

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2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 57 (11.24.2018)

playlist - mixtape

I AM THE CAPTAIN NOW.

In less threatening words, hello readers!  You might recognize me as your drinking buddy, who brings you album and beer pairings every Friday that I am not infected with E. Coli.  Since I’ve been focusing on writing shorter reviews for the site this year, I’ve been thinking of more ways I can contribute outside of long-form writing.  Our weekly mixtape is one of my favorite things we’ve added to the site; it’s fun to be able to give our readership a kind of behind the scenes look at what we’re all jamming in our spare time without the necessity of deadlines shaping our listening habits.  So, I staged a coup-de-grace and snatched control of the column away from our editor, but in a nice way that actually helps him, because Josh is a very busy man.  Thanks to him for being gracious in defeat, and to you for reading this.  I hope you find something good to jam out to here, and if not, there’s always next week.  Enjoy Volume 57, friends.

– Vincent

Album Review: Azusa – “Heavy Yoke”

azusa - heavy yoke

Over the years, graphics in video games have evolved from tiny pixelated 8-bit characters to much more photo realistic art styles, and while this is generally seen as an advancement of the medium, in the last 10 years or so, there’s been another movement to bring back that old 8-bit aesthetic, using modern tech to evolve that style to do things it never could in its original incarnation. Think of it as an alternate history. While it’d ever be a mistake to call anything that Swedish extreme metal band Extol did basic, their 5-album discography covered a lot of ground, and any of those albums could provide foundational anchor for a whole band. In the year 2018, we receive just such an album in Heavy Yoke, the debut album from AzusaContinue reading