Best of 2017: Mark’s List

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

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

Album Review: Pillärs – “Abandoned”

Pillars - Abandoned

There’s something lurking in the blackened pockets and hidden corners in Ohio.  It’s not a new phenomenon; just look back at the explosion of sounds that came out of the 70s: the no- and new-wave punk anarchy from bands like the Bizarros, the Pagans, and a small band called Devo turned cities like Cleveland and Akron into a hotbed of incredible music.  Although not couched in the same style, Pillärs takes its cue from the same spark that drove the furious creativity of those bands, and in debut album Abandoned craft a pummeling assault of crust-laden noise that provides a righteous soundtrack to the beginning of 2018.   Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Ancst and Brother Thelonius

Receiving the Evcharist

Hello once again viewers. I realize that I spend a lot of time in this column focusing on both American music and American beers. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the fact that I live in the USA, and yet I wanted to offer something more worldly this week, and I succeeded about three-quarters of the way there. Inspired by a recent outing to a local German/Belgian establishment, this week showcases tunes from Germany and a beer brewed in the Belgian style, albeit one brewed locally for me. Let’s get into it. The Metal: Ancst’s Furnace. The Booze: North Coast Brewing Company’s Brother Thelonius. Continue reading

Interview: Trap Them’s Ryan McKenney on Crown Feral, Non-Musical Influences and Technology

Trap Them

Since 2001, Washington’s Trap Them have cut their own angry path through the hardcore/crust/metal landscape. Early on, the band became extremely reliable for anyone looking for an aggressive outlet to turn to. Later this month the band’s fifth full length Crown Feral will be released and their tried and true reliability hasn’t changed one bit — if anything it’s possibly one of the darkest and best written albums of the band’s career. On the heels of the album release is a continent spanning back to back tour so their next few months will be hectic to say the least. Vocalist and founding member Ryan McKenney was kind enough to give us a few minutes to discuss all this and more. Read all about what he had to say after the jump… Continue reading