There is a certain danger inherent in this kind of Babe Ruth-esque shot calling when it comes to mid-year lists. I myself am already guilty of attempting to label something my pre-emptive ‘Album of the Year’ and then almost immediately finding something I like more that takes its place. Twice in this case. But on the other hand, in an effort to buck my natural instinct to focus on only the worst aspects of my existence, I would like to acknowledge the albums that have made the first half of this year worth being present for. It’ll be quick and dirty, and I make no claims that this will represent me six months down the line when AOTY Season rolls around, but if you’re interested in what I’ve been enjoying so far in 2020, read about it under the cut in this Nine Circles ov… edition.
I don’t think anyone expected the world to be where it was when 2020 kicked off. To even attempt to put into words the surge of feelings around a global pandemic that refuses to go away, a wretched history of systemic racism, brutality, and ignorance being exposed and reckoned with in the streets all over the world, and everything else the first six months has brought to light is reckless and futile for me right now. I continue to watch, listen, and learn as much as I can: to actively be part of a solution instead of passively being part of the problem.
In the moments between there is music, and if there’s even a glimmer of light right now, it’s in how good 2020 has been with regards to metal. So let’s see where my penchant lies as we cross the halfway mark of year that feels like forever. Continue reading
Welcome to another exciting edition of our Saturday morning playlist. This week, we’ve got the outrageously good Unleash the Archers single, one from the new Vile Creature album (also a confirmed good time), a smattering of post-hardcore favorites, and much more. Click down below if you’re not a false.
ACAB. Black Lives Matter. Transphobes can DIAF.
What, you don’t come here for the politics? Too fuckin’ bad. This is my house. Two things make me happy: people in the streets, and music. I can’t be in the streets due to health reasons, but I can sure as shit find and share music. So that’s what I’m doing.
Why link those two things together? Because tomorrow Bandcamp is donating 100% of their cut to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. So go buy some tunes. Buy lots of tunes. Because if there’s one thing I know, it’s that cops are throwing Black people in jail during these protests, and they’re going to need lawyers. So make with the buying.
If you are at all familiar with our Nine Circles Audio Thing podcast, you’re most likely acquainted with (and probably tired of) my constant refrain of, “I just don’t like prog, dude.” We’ve been covering a lot of progressive stuff on our recent Album of the Month episodes, between February’s Intronaut and our recent Katatonia episodes, so I’ve had a lot of reason to make my feelings on the subject known. But, if you look at any of my year end lists, you can see quite a number of albums on there that are, without question, prog metal albums of some degree or another. Most famously, last year’s Waste of Space Orchestra album won my heart despite being very prog heavy, and breaking my “I don’t like albums longer than an hour” code as well. So when it comes down to it…do I actually not like prog? And if I do like it, why do I spend so much time maligning it? These questions gave me a lot of thought, and with nothing better to do during a quarantine than pick apart my own psyche, I decided to at least be scientific about the process and write it all down. What’s to follow is something of a primer about what makes an album ‘Prog That I Like’ versus ‘Prog That I Don’t Like’ and is inspired by four albums, of this ilk, I’ve listened to lately. Continue reading