Best of 2018: Josh’s List

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I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

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* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.

I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest.  On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better.  But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable.  And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day.  Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 35 (4.2.2018)

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New week and new month yet I’m still head over heels into last week’s new releases. So much good stuff came out, might take me weeks to get beyond it. Anyway, how was the weekend? Short you say? I agree but the weekend will be here again soon so there’s that. Huge coffee mugs in hand, we offer you another playlist of what grabbed our attention last week and it is indeed another great, eclectic bunch of tracks to make today more bearable. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel here so you never skip a beat. Also, feel free to leave us some comments on what’s been grabbing your attention lately — we’d love to hear about it. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 25 – 31, 2018

Eagle Twin
Eagle Twin – photo courtesy of Russel Albert Daniels

Some things happened this week that made it an exceptionally good one for me, not that anyone cares. But it goes to show that there is still some good left to be had in this world, you just have to know where to find it. Or, it has to come to you. Either way, keep that chin up. Alrighty then, as we do here each week on Initial Descent we have another santa sized bag of good metal in store so let’s not waste another word… First up is Eagle Twin who break a six year silence with The Thundering Heard and, no pun intended, this thing is a thunder you’ll want to hear — doom meets blues meets a long player, get on it. Next up is some wicked power metal in the form of The Last Emperor from Judicator, we’re stoked on this one (see our coverage links contained within) and you should be too. Moving along is Exile Amongst the Ruins from Primordial and although they play it rather safe here it is still PRIMORDIAL and still epic if you catch my drift. Closing out the top four is Lychgate with their dynamic and avant-garde black metal on The Contagion In Nine Steps which may well resurface on many lists come end of year time. Make no mistake, these four are a strong start to the week’s offerings but there’s so much more waiting. Hang with us for awhile and see for yourself. Continue reading

Album Review: Eagle Twin – “The Thundering Heard”

Eagle Twin - The Thundering Heard

Eagle Twin are back with a giant slab of blues fueled doom that is sure to satisfy.  The Thundering Heard delivers the goods in a big way and has me reminiscing about the doom revival in the aughts that captivated my listening when I started paying close attention to modern metal. Continue reading