Best of 2017: Mark’s List

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It was an honor joining the Nice Circles team this year. I started a series of posts called A Headbanger’s Journey that I hope to continue into 2018.  Late to the party,  I bought an absurd amount of music at the end of the year, much of it from the excellent Nine Circles coverage and I’m just now coming up for breath. In 2016 I went back in time to investigate the early death metal classics of the late 80’s/early 90’s and this year, I did the same with classic punk and hardcore. Both of those genres inform my current listening and are reflected in this list. So, let’s see where the rubber hits the road.   Continue reading

Best of 2017: Vincent’s List

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Welcome back to part two of my best of 2017 series.  Last time I talked about my favorite shorter releases from the past year in an effort to shine light on some things that might have otherwise not gotten the respect they deserved.  Now comes the meat of the series: my favorite full-length albums.  Figuring out this list was a pretty exhausting process, not only because I listened to significantly more full-lengths than I did shorter releases this year, but because I wanted to make an effort to challenge myself when it came to thinking about what really stuck with me.  In 2016, my criteria for what I chose to include on my year-end list was more simplistic, and no disrespect is meant to anyone who writes 50 or 100 album lists of everything they thought was cool, but for this year, I wanted to really think about whether or not an album had a genuine impact on me versus just listening to it and thinking it was good.  As such, I ended up with a slightly shorter list this time around, and some albums and artists I liked did not end up making it on here, but I feel like this list is the most real representation of my “favorites” than ever.  Without further ado… Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

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Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy. Continue reading

The Abyss Gazes Back: Vincent Makes Sense of His Anticipated Albums from 2017

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You may recall in January, I was one of many here at Nine Circles who published a list of albums I was excited for in the coming year.  With 2017 almost over, it’s time now to look back and see how these albums stacked up against my expectations.  Who delivered, and who left me wanting more?  Read on to find out. Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 11 – 17, 2017

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Cavernlight
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…wait, this ain’t no circus. This is metal. And we have plenty of it to sift through today on Initial Descent. Over the top? Meh, just do it already. Leading off is Cavernlight‘s debut full length As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream and don’t let that long title throw you, this is an album heavy on doom metal with chunks of noise and black metal expertly woven in to create a massive sound befitting of the long title. Next up are the “wall of death metal” masters Impetuous Ritual with their latest effort Blight Upon Martyred Sentience and trust me when I say: this band has done the impossible and not only bettered their previous outings but made it sound all the more dangerous yet crystal clear — a masterwork of avantgarde death metal. Moving along are the 27 year veterans Aposento with their second full length Bleed to Death and if you’re looking for death metal that’s in strict adherence to the old ways then this is it, highly recommended. Rolling on, if I were to tell you there’s an album out this week that blisters and bubbles in it’s heavy metal sincerity would you believe me? Rhetorical question, there is and it’s Iced Earth with Incorruptible — if you know then good, if not go find out. Not quite last but filling out the top slots is Tombs with The Grand Annihilation and having spent the better part of the last two days with this thing I can safely say this is one of, if not, the best album this band has done to date. Strong words indeed but the heavier lean on black metal combined with their trademark bruising is amazing. Don’t stop there as there is soooo much more to get to, after the jump. Continue reading