Missed Connections: Looking Back on 2020 One Last Time

Best of 2020

You want more?  You got more.  Not that I exactly want to look back on 2020, but there was so much killer music this past year that I decided to take a page out of Chris’ book and talk about the ones that got away from me, regardless of how great they might be.  I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about why these albums didn’t make the cut the first time around.  It’s the same story for each one, a story about time and energy and brainpower.  This year was draining, both from being alive in the world and from having quite a bit to keep up with in the way of reviews and podcasts for a certain illustrious publication, and while I am proud of the list I put out and I’m not going to go back and amend it, I do think there needs to be more room for discussing what I feel like I missed out on.  Albums that, for whatever reason, needed more than the time I had for me to fully realize them in my mind’s eye, but now I can unquestionably say they belong among the great ones that we got in the last calendar year.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 160 (12.19.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Welcome, one and all, to another edition of our Saturday morning mixtape series. This week, we’ve got a ton of new singles from the likes of The Ruins of Beverast, Tribulation, and Emptiness, plus a new Two Minutes to Late Night cover, some classic Arsis, and even a little garage rock for good measure. Take a listen down below.

– Vincent

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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Album Review: Grayceon – “IV”

Grayceon - IV

When it comes to the “progressive” label, the music that is labeled as such usually doesn’t fit what the listener’s concept of progressive is. The label is a subjective one, as sometimes, music that is considered to be progressive doesn’t fall under that label. Because of progressive metal’s tendency to feature technical complexity, lengthy instrumental passages, and various foreign influences like an uncommon instrument – in this case, the cello – the label can become broad and confusing. Thus, with Grayceon‘s IV being labeled as a progressive metal album, I decided to dive in and see whether the label actually fits. Continue reading