Best of 2017: Chris’s Honorable Mention List

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Hello there, online metal community.  How you holding up?  List fatigue setting in yet?  If so sorry: this is in no way going to help. My first year writing for Nine Circles resulted in listening to over 500 albums – I won’t even begin to pretend they all got a fair shake, but they all got at least one listen.  The sheer glut of music that passed through my ears was like an awakening, helping me to better understand what it was music did for me, what I needed it to do for me.  I found albums that mesmerized on first listen only to fade quickly, and albums I initially dismissed only to find their hooks in me months later, and it’s these surprise revelations that keep me listening, keep me writing, and keep me so engaged with this beast we call metal.

You’d think doing a Top 25 would be sufficient to cover all the bases, but it feels like it doesn’t even make a dent into the great music that sustained me over the course of the year.  And so, if you’ll indulge me, here’s an extra 15 albums that warrant honorable mention.  Think of them as #26-40 (hey, if Decibel can do it…), in any order you like, though they’re alphabetical below.  Let’s dig in…   Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 18 (11.20.2017)

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Short work week ahead so that’s always a plus but we still have a few days to slog through to get there. And it’s Monday so hopefully you’re caffeinated and ready to roll. But if not we have the perfect playlist consisting of all the stuff we jammed on last week to help you get the proverbial juices flowing and see you through the day. We hope you dig it and as usual you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here to get a jump on what we do the minute it happens. Instant gratification at its finest. Anyway, head inside and hit the play button… Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 12 – 18, 2017

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Lady Beast

By the time you read this piece next week we will all be in a turkey coma and waiting to see who moves first on getting the hundreds of boxes down for decorations and such. It’s a standoff, everyone in the room will be hoping you’ll do it while you hope they do it. Good times indeed. But for this week we have another sizable load of metal for your ears to get wrapped around so let’s get to it. First up is glorious NWOBHM meets thrash of Lady Beast‘s sophomore album Vicious Breed which is raucous good time, next up is the varied and all-encompassing palate of death metal, noise rock and post-metal on Last Bastion of Cowardice from Northless, Cavalera Conspiracy return with their fourth full length Psychosis and honestly I’m not sure what I was expecting but this far exceeds anything I was anticipating, let’s just say: the roots are revisited and this thing is an absolute must and closing out the top slots is Daxma with their stunning post-metal meets doom metal approach on The Head Which Becomes the SkullAs usual, we’re not even close to being done so get in there and enjoy… Continue reading