If you grew up listening to metal in the 80s, you know just how important the name Johnny Zazula was. If I found a cassette put out by Megaforce Records or otherwise had Johnny Z’s name associated with it, I was buying it. He was a giant in the field of thrash metal, and losing him at the age of 69 is a crying shame. So yeah, we’re kicking off the 2017th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist with a bunch of stuff associated with him. Throw one back for a titan of the genre.
The rest of the crew is all over the map, so let’s get to it. Anton brings the heavy and the new with Absent in Body, Wait, and The Last of Lucy. Ian hits with Celeste who I’ve really been digging lately, and throws in some Warning and Stormkeep to keep it moving. Josh threw me into a timewarp listening to the great first album by Tora Tora, but quickly amps the heavy up with Corpsegrinder, Extinction A.D. and Centinex (oh, and some DMX which is as heavy as anything else on this playlist). Vincent reliably brings The Mountain Goats and adds in some Elle and Cremation Lily. Angela keeps the new train moving with the new single from Messa, the latest from Rolo Tomassi and some Microwave while Buke – perhaps sensing my bringing in enough of the old school – goes decidedly modern and heavy with Dying Fetus, Ihsahn, Arcturus, and Diabolical Masquerade.
Pour one out for Johnny Z. We’ll see you next week.
We’re kicking through November, and I’m here with my usual: a steaming cup of coffee in a cup big enough to swim in, and a playlist of all the metal I’ve listened to in 2021 to start sorting out end of year stuff.
It’s a loooong list.
So to make it easier OF COURSE I’m going to kick it off with some Darkthrone. But the rest of the crew is definitely going to bring you to some uncharted corners for Volume 205 of the Nine Circles Playlist. I don’t know who Thangorodrim are, but they’re bringing the dark vibes on their debut. Jon just has a birthday, so he’s letting loose with some faves like Dethklok and Strapping Young Lad. Josh is over the moon over the news that Death Breath are coming back, and The Halo Effect, aka In Flames 2.0 seem to be moving in a good direction with their debut single. Vincent crosses the border into pop with some good good CHVRCHES but quickly hops back over with the long awaited new song from Nechochwen. And Ian closes us out this week with some Spiritbox, Owen, and Coheed and Cambria. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this week’s list, so settle in and give your ears a workout.
The cold weather’s finally kicked in. I’ve got a steaming cup of coffee so big I need two hands to bring its caffeinated goodness to my lips, and I’ve spent the past hour fiddling with parametric EQs to kick my headphones into high gear while listening to newest single by one of my favorite guitarists on this great glob of a world, Wata from Boris. Wherever you are I hope you’re finding some kind of aural and chemical comfort (feel free to pick your own poison; I’ll stick with coffee) right now.
Of course that’s not the only thing we’re blasting in Volume 204 of the Nine Circles Playlist. After thinking they were done Porcupine Tree is back in the saddle and released a new single which feels like Steven Wilson bringing his pop sensibility into the band and the band fighting back, and I love it. Josh brings the filthy death metal with Under the Church and Concrete Winds, while Vincent splits his time between the grace of Alcest and the brutality of Atræ Bilis. Anton revels in the swirling symphonic chaos of Dessiderium, and Buke? Buke is living in the glory his (and my) youth with classics from Twisted Sister, Down, and even some Spinal Tap. Finally, Angela brings it all home with the latest from 9C favorite Emma Ruth Rundle and some new stuff from Monolord. In other words it’s a stacked house, so settle in and enjoy the tunes.
Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning playlist. This week, it’s Big Screamo Hours for yours truly, Josh has you covered with the new Steve Von Till single, and Buke gets a little…on the nose with one of his picks. Check out all this, and more, at the link below.
I always have a tough time with these introduction things when it comes to End of Year lists. The temptation is to sum up the year with some anecdotes about what it meant to me and how the music I loved played into it. Yet what could I say about a year that was such a mixed bag for me? On a personal note, my mental health took an all-out nosedive last year that I’m still trying to claw my way out of, yet my partner and I got engaged and are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together (not that we weren’t already, but you get the point). The weight of the worst depression and anxiety I’ve ever faced affected my ability to connect to a lot of the music I heard last year, yet I started a column on here that lead me back to a genre of music I had not seriously kept up with for some time, and in doing so I found a little piece of myself again. Years are years are years, and life is cyclical and spiralic in nature. I won’t pretend there weren’t good things to come out of last year, just as I won’t pretend there won’t be hard times in the year ahead. But I will always have a carefully curated soundtrack to help me along the way, and below represents what helped me get through 2019. Continue reading →