Ah, yes. Here we are again. Yet another journey around the sun has given us reason to pause and reflect on how lucky we are to have, almost literally, an indefinite source of music and art to appreciate at any moment in time. In this case, the musical form known as heavy metal. Yes, even in our very defined place in the artistic world, there is an unending wave of inspired music that we endlessly celebrate, together, across the globe. Except… wait, metal internet is basically the worst and ruins everything, doesn’t it? Nevermind. Continue reading
It appears I’m destined to be late to the party with my year end list, again. But really, who reads year-end lists in January anyway?
And you, apparently, read them as well, so thank you for checking mine out. This year was quite a ride for me, with not as many ups as there were downs unfortunately, but I made it through, and if there is nothing else for me to hold on to, it’s that. I made it. I’m still here, I still have a roof over my head, a loving partner, and the support of a legion of family and friends. And as always, good music to provide the soundtrack along the way.
Which brings us to what stood out to me in 2018. While this was a great year for music as any we’ve been having, my list this year is a little more brief than previous years. I found a lot of albums I liked this year, but the ones that I loved came fewer and farther between. Perhaps this was a product of my headspace not being the best for most of the time. Maybe I’m just getting pickier as time goes on. Who knows. Lists are subjective, and this is only representative of one humble person. But if you’re curious about what I kept coming back to over the last twelve months, then read on…
And hey. Thanks for being here. Continue reading
What does music do for you?
In the end, it’s the only question that matters. An admittedly hard question to hear, what with the screaming of every opinion in every corner of the internet, but in the end when you step away from the noise and muck of screen shouting and scene guarding it’s your opinion in the end. Every year that I’ve written an end of year list for Nine Circles it’s been a variation of the same theme: when we write about music, we’re writing about ourselves. What matters is what the music does to you, and for you.
But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading
* 8/29 mea culpa: After some robust discussion online I’ve added a new paragraph addressing in part the thorny issue of including “problematic bands” in a list such as this. Providing proper context is always important, and I failed to do that. The fault is mine, and I hope the added commentary helps clarify the choices made.
Ah, social media…where would we complain and spit our vitriol over “Best Of” lists if we didn’t have you? Last week’s ire in a buttercup came from Metal Hammer‘s list of “The 40 Best Black Metal Albums Ever” — a post that at its heart really just outlined 40 really good to great albums influential to the genre over the course of three decades. Compiled and with commentary by Dayal Patterson, a man that knows a thing or two about black metal, the article (I’m guessing titled by parent company Louder/Future Pic to generate more clicks — successfully) instead served as fodder for other sites to call out and complain over as well as get the always sensible metal community to froth at the mouth over what was and wasn’t on a list that in all reality serves as a pretty nice introduction to the early evolution of a now expansive and diverse genre.
Well, for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. we show that we’re not above our own cheap commentary, even if it’s at our own expense… Continue reading