CANTO: Aara, Of Mice & Men, The Lion’s Daughter, and More

Somehow we made it to the midway point of the week without the universe collapsing.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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All In: Nine Circles ov 2020 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2020

Greetings everyone, and welcome to Best of 2020 season! I know we are all anxiously awaiting another calendar turn, but before we start dealing with Decaying Society: Episode 2021, we have some highlights from the metal world to discuss. And let’s face it, despite the absurdity of 2020 in every sense of the term, there were still plenty of monster releases that graced our ears in the last 12 months. Before we roll into our individual lists, we’re kicking the season off with our combined staff list. First a reminder of how this all works…

Like last year, each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores between everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2020, brought to you by, well, everyone.

One change to it this year, however, is that we’ve also crowned a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. Clearly the highest honor in the industry. Who claimed this title for 2020? You’ll have to wait until the very end.

Anyway, that’s all simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…

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Initial Descent: December 13 – 19, 2020

Akhlys
Akhlys – photo courtesy of Kuba Leszko

I know; lists, right? We’re in that season and you’ve probably read a ton and will read a ton more but this list is new stuff and if you’ll remember, last week I said the hits just continue to roll in. Now, I prove it with more of those new hits. Black metallers Akhlys are back to wreck the sleep/dream continuum as only they can, Wombbath and Pillory keep death metal brutal and nasty, and Grayceon offer something vastly different in the form of prog rock but as the album cover eludes, it’s got way more depth than just prog and rock. Yep, hits. And lots of them. Roll through all the goods below and go support as many as you can. You can also gift them to your friends and enemies since we’re in that season too, just a thought.

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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Aversio Humanitatis was June 2020’s Album of the Month!

Episode 48 of The Nine Circles Audio Thing is all about the Album of the Month for June which is Behold the Silent Dwellers by Spain’s black metal purveyors Aversio Humanitatis. Buke once again captains the episode joined by Vince, Ian, Charles, and Anton who had the pick for the month!
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Initial Descent: June 14 – 20, 2020

Aversio Humanitatis
Aversio Humanitatis

And, we shall march forward. Forward to an unknown future. Forward to an unknown new norm. Forward to some more bullshit. How about forward to some new metal? That’s my jam, so let’s roll. Aversio Humanitatis grace us with their second full length and I say grace us because it’s an epic level outing of black metal that cracks skulls as easy as it mesmerizes with grandiose skill and songcraft; dark, atmospheric, and sharp as an axe so, do the thing. Then we’ve got Zebadiah Crowe with an excellent name, excellent album cover, and equally as excellent blackened thrash with an industrial tinge, do this one too. Moving along, Ritual Mass offer up a quick ass kicker of death metal and honestly since it’s on Caligari that should tell you all you need to know about its quality. Last but far from least is a vinyl issue of one of the filthiest death metal names in the game, Cryptworm. No excuse to not have this on your turntable. And there you have it, the top four this week but there’s so much more below that awaits your hard earned dollar. Keep your heads on straight and keep trudging, we’re all in the same stinking ass boat. Continue reading