Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

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Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Nine Circles ov…Some EOY Considerations (You May Have Forgotten About*)

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I get it – we’re all under the crunch here at Nine Circles getting our 2017 lists in order, and the last thing you need is to look at another list of albums you might want to consider before signing off on your own EOY list.  And hey – I’ll be the first to admit that in the interest of full disclosure I don’t think any of these are actually going to make my list…

But that doesn’t mean they don’t warrant some consideration.  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… please think of this as some of my alternates – maybe they didn’t quite resonate enough with me to make my list, but that doesn’t mean you should leave them off yours!   Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 14 (10.23.2017)

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We’ve passed lucky number 13 and are moving right along. This thing has been going for nearly four months now, where does the time go? Rhetorical question of course. Anyway, after a weekend full of mountains, breweries and fire pits my get up and go is at its absolute minimum to be honest. But we’ve got another eclectic playlist to share with you that hopefully will help open those eyelids and get the blood pumping. You know the drill: subscribe here to stay up to date with these things and head inside for today’s soundtrack. Continue reading

CANTO: Tombs, Annihilator, Exhumed, and More!

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9/26/2017. Two days in a row. Whoa.

That is a featured track from Thoughts From A Stone, which also drops on October 13th. So be sure to do that.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Concert Review: Maryland Deathfest XV, Part Three

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[click here for part one]  [click here for part two]  [click here for part four]

Let’s forget about the frustration that was the lead-up-to / early-departure-from Autopsy and pretend instead that Friday simply went out with a bang. (With Vader, duh.) We were a full day and change into a festival that — judging by the nuanced reactions of THE INTERNET — was supposed to be a total disaster, and yet things were…not just going off as planned, but also actively thriving? Well, spoiler alert, Day 3 at MDF would only prove to be a continuation of that. Let’s get into it.  Continue reading