The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 47 (7.2.2018)

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Good morning and good Monday. What’s good about it? I’m not sure yet, maybe this coffee will have the answers. I do know that it’s hard to believe we’re halfway through 2018 already. There’s been a lot of quality metal in the first half and the second half shows no sign of stopping that trend. To that point, we’ve got another playlist of tracks some of us dug into last week – some new, some old, some eclectic but all are good. Our YouTube channel can be found here but for the sake of being easy, you can hit the play button directly below. Feel free to use it as a July 4th party starter, there’s some fireworks contained within. Speaking of, don’t do anything stupid this week like burn a hand off or singe all the hairs from your face. Just sayin’ Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 24 – 30, 2018

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Kevin Hufnagel

I’m back. Miss me? Of course you didn’t because Chris killed it here on Initial Descent last week. Either way, I’m still picking sand out of…places. But anyway, you came here for new metal and that we have plenty of this week. See what I did there? Saved you from a dumb story about sand, proud and elated you must be.

Enough about that, let’s focus on music. By now Kevin Hufnagel is a household name to a much larger audience than just metal and on Messages To the Past he proves why as he effortlessly recalls guitar virtuosos, past and present, but furthermore offers up a fantastic album full of beautiful peaks and valleys. Cokegoat and Barren Heir bathe in sludge and doom on their split Sunshine / Tracing Light, Italy’s Nomura and Nulla+ leave a trail of bloody ears with their blackened hardcore / punk split impronte / lacrime and Converge drop an EP, Beautiful Ruin, on us out of nowhere — it is a good day indeed.

Good opening four but there’s much more. I’m a poet and didn’t know it…(drum roll). Anyway, grab a coffee or a cold one and stick around, the metal awaits. Continue reading

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: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

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Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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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