And here we are. A few more pages of the book before it closes.
Two thousand and seventeen years after we decided to start again at zero it feels like a reset is needed more than ever. And this doesn’t even take into consideration the collective chaos and suppurating hate that seemingly fills the space between the molecules in our media, our politics, and our increasingly hostile behavior toward each other. That poison surrounds but has yet to work its way into my bloodstream. It’s a selfish ask, entirely due to my own weaknesses, insecurities and inability to take the steps needed to be just a little better each day: as a husband, a father, a writer, a musician, but most of all as a human being. It’s been a challenging year, and I have a long road ahead if I want to keep on having challenging years, let alone any years.
More than ever it was music that kept my head above water, allowed a glimmer of land to guide me ashore. Continue reading
Another trip around the sun, another stellar year for metal, with a wealth of riveting riffage, pulverizing beats, blood-curdling growls and blazing tremolos. Verily, this is an era of abundance, where it is impossible to stay on top of the deluge of top-shelf metal released every week. Best of all, quality seems to go hand in hand with quantity. If there ever was an antithesis to the contemporary temptation for instant gratification and disposability, every album I included in my mid-year stocktaking exercise ended up on my end-of-year list, having continued to impress and astonish me as time went by, testament to the spectacular songwriting, boundless creativity and killer riff delivery of the bands that conjured up these stunning works of art. And just when I thought things could not get any better, both seasoned veterans and hungry newcomers arrived, bearing gifts of seismic impact. I hope the following releases enrich your life, even if only with a fraction of the effect they had on me. Now, dig in! Continue reading
Since we are closing in on the final few weeks of the year and ‘best of’ list season has begun, for this edition of the Nine Circles Playlist each of us picked a select few of our favorite songs from 2017. Some of these are from albums that didn’t quite hit the mark, as a whole, but had that one particular song or set of songs that warranted an extra high play count. And some of these have been included here even though you may see them again in list form — or maybe not, only time will tell. As usual, expect a wide variety of picks contained in this playlist so, grab a cup of coffee and journey through this collection with us. Oh and feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section to tell us why or why not these songs ruled or didn’t. Continue reading
Remember how we all got together as a team (well, most of us) and shared some of our favorite albums from the prior few months that we either forgot to cover or didn’t feel like writing full reviews about? Well, now that we’ve passed the midway point in 2017, some of us are proud to bring you some overlooked highlights from the second quarter. Yes, I am aware we are over a month into Q3, but I really don’t know what to tell ya. We’ve been lazy. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into it. Album we missed in Q2 2017. Here. We. Go. Continue reading
Welcome to yet another week! Reason for excitement for some, and depression for most. Being one to fall into the latter category, I’m happy to introduce a new piece of Nine Circles content that will hopefully lessen the dread that coincides with your first cup of coffee for the week (or your last beer from the weekend). And for the inexplicably happy Monday morning-ers, um, maybe you’ll like this, too? Anyway. Going forward, each Monday we will share a collection of songs that have recently stood out to the curious collection of creatures we call the Nine Circles staff. These songs could be old or new, metal or not, and there is no methodology to the order in which they fall. Each writer will select two or three to feature. We won’t give bother telling you who chose what… because who cares?
Kinda cool right? Instead of forcing you to read several hundred words to figure out what we like, you can kinda just… listen to it. So, without further delay, I give you the inaugural Nine Circles Playlist… Continue reading