We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list. There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work. But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.” I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me. All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far. I can’t ask for much more than that. Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.
So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading
I remember the hype and acclaim around The Oath and their brand of Sabbath acid rock doom not doing all that much for me, so when singer Johanna Sadonis took the band’s demise to form Lucifer with ex-Cathedral’s Gaz Jennings as a musical partner it felt like more of the same. Three years on from their debut and a serious switch in collaborators brings forth a more sun-drenched Lucifer II, and the result is a truly memorable rock album that slithers in the darkness and the light, putting the focus on hooks and head nods instead of wallowing gauze and doom. Continue reading
While Black Sabbath were setting the very bones of what we’ve come to define as heavy metal music, there were a slew of other bands in the late 60s and early 70s playing righteously heavy music. Mixing boogie, psychedelia and straight ahead rock in the vein of bands like Cream and Blue Cheer. Bang, for a time, were set to be the Next Big Thing, even opening for Sabbath. Their self titled 1972 debut was a powerhouse of tight, adventurous hard rock but, as is evident on Ripple Music’s recent compilation The Best of BANG, there was a lot more to the band than a couple hard licks and a footnote in the annals of metal. Bang were a dead on, kick ass rocking unit. Continue reading
It seems silly to judge the volume and or content of music from one year to another – I’m sure I was feeling the crunch of not being able to adequately catch up with new music this time last year as well, but this year it just feels heavier. Between surprise releases I never saw coming to recommendations from friends and stuff that’s been either on our radar or blasted into the ether by huge marketing pushes, there’s just a weight of distorted riffs sitting on my shoulder no amount of headphone time seems to disperse. Which is not to diminish any of the records I’m about to cover that we haven’t devoted a full review to: there are easily two in this list I’m over the moon for. Nevertheless, for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s spend a little time with some early 2018 releases we may not have covered in depth, but are still worth your time. Continue reading
After a handful of singles and a brief hiatus, Toronto’s The Divided Line return tomorrow with their debut EP Paramnesia. Instantly apparent is just how much this self-imposed hiatus has paid off as their brand of progressive and melodic rock is tighter and more focused than ever. The influence of late 90s and early 2000s hard rock radio is strong but the band’s commanding approach and moving lyrics make this an EP you don’t want to miss. And to that point, we have a full stream just ahead of tomorrow’s release. Head inside to take a listen and hit the links contained for your own copy. Continue reading