The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 8 (9.12.2017)

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Greetings once again. It’s been a rough weekend for a lot of people and there’s a lot to do in the coming weeks and months so here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery on all fronts. Irma was mostly a wind and rain event for us, meaning: tress down and power outages so we skated by. Anyway, we have another fantastic playlist in store for you featuring, as usual, a broad spectrum of artists and genres. Think of this as your Tuesday pick me up, or whatever. Give it a listen below and revisit some of our previous playlists while you’re at it. Let’s get to it, shall we… Continue reading

Nine Circles ov… “Isolated Evolution” Influences

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So, besides championing the music I love to the masses here at Nine Circles, I also bash a bunch of instruments together under the perhaps ill-conceived name Necrolytic Goat Converter.  I mention this for two reasons: 1) so it doesn’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere when I mention my new album Isolated Evolution comes out August 18 and you can pre-order it here, and 2) one of the things that often gets mentioned in both reviews and interviews for ANY band or album is influences.  Drawing comparisons and tracing lines to other music is par for the course when it comes to reviewing albums – heck, we do it ourselves here all the time.

So, since it’s been asked of me more than once and it gives me the chance to briefly wax poetic on some of the music I love, this edition of Nine Circles ov… highlights some of the specific songs and bands that served as a foundation upon which I constructed the album.  Which I will again gladly point out you can pre-order using the link above.  That being said, let’s dig in…   Continue reading

Best of 2016: Dan’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

So yeah, this year sure sucked in a lot of ways, didn’t it?

On a personal level…where to begin? My family said goodbye to our beloved dog, Bailey. I had a rough breakup at the end of April. I got into a deeper rut in my professional life than I’d ever experienced before, which culminated in me quitting my job and leaving New York. I also, briefly, quit Nine Circles. (You didn’t think I’d stay away for good though, did you?)

And that’s just my stuff! Beyond that…well, for starters, pretty much everyone died. Prince, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Craig Sager…I mean, you kind of had to know 2016 was going to be shitty on that front after we lost David goddamn Bowie when the year was scarcely a week old. And that’s all to say nothing of the other shit: escalation of racial tensions across the country, continued apathy toward a changing climate, Christmas Eve / Day and New Year’s Eve / Day both falling on Saturdays and Sundays…it was a lot, man. Oh, and we also elected the personification of an Internet comment section to the presidency. That was neat.

In spite of all that, 2016 wound up being a goddamn banner year for metal. When I first started thinking about this list, I was envisioning maybe a Top 15 – but that quickly grew to a Top 25, and then to its current incarnation: a Top 50, with 20 “ranked” albums and 30 honorable mentions, not to mention EPs. It was just impossible to whittle it down any further; that’s how good metal was this year. Hell, I had a number of albums that featured in my mid-year list that didn’t even make it into the honorable mentions section of this one!

Make no mistake, this year would have felt exponentially shittier without all of those records. In times like these, cueing up a metal record that’s driving you bonkers, throwing your head back and howling at the moon kind of becomes essential to maintaining your sanity. And you know what? Sanity was maintained. (Well, mine at least…I dunno about America’s. All the more reason for America to start listening to more damn metal.)

This year may have thrown every possible pile of feces it could at us, but you know what? We made it through anyway. We’re still here and it’s not. And that’s nothing to turn our noses at. Here are the records that helped make that happen for me:  Continue reading

Best of 2016: Chris’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

End of the year, ladies and gentlemen. The time when lists flow like liquor at an office party, where the online community comes together as one gargantuan digital animal to do what it does best: nitpick, subtweet, and throw so many accusations of pandering, overrated and “hipster” picks that come December 31st we’ll all be sick and tired and never want to do this shit again.

Until next year, of course.  When we’ll do it all over again. Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 9 – 15, 2016

Darkthrone
Darkthrone

It always seems that October flies by faster than any other month. Here we are, already halfway through and thankfully, the new metal releases just seem to get better each week. This one is no different but with Darkthrone‘s Arctic Thunder, it just got a lot bigger and for a lot of metalheads that have been anxiously awaiting their return. But we also have the latest entry into grindcore perfection with Voices from Wormrot, Waldgeflüster return with their pagan, atmospheric black metal on Ruinen, hard driving contemporary metallers Anciients offer up their second full length Voice of the Void, 40 Watt Sun‘s Wider Than the Sky is an emotionally stirring doom album and Our Place of Worship is Silence give us some gritty death metal on The Embodiment of Hate. Powerful week for sure, and we haven’t even scratched the surface yet so dive deeper after the jump. Continue reading