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

EOY 2018 Header 9C

* 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

Album Review: In the Woods… – “Cease the Day”

In the Woods... - Cease the Day

Most bands coming out of an extended period of inactivity are applauded for not missing a beat…in other words, sticking firmly to the formula that worked for them.  If Norway’s In the Woods… had a formula at all, it was moving adventurously forward, mixing death, doom, folk and black metal in a way that didn’t sound like anyone else at the time. Since reuniting and coming back with 2016’s excellent Pure (an album that made both Corey’s and my Best of 2016 lists) the band feels completely revitalized, honing their progressive mix to larger extremes.  New album Cease the Day further refines that sense of exploration in extremes, to fantastic results. Continue reading