Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2018 End of Year List (But Could Have)

EOY 2018 Header 9C

* SPOILERS: it’s gonna be 20 albums…buckle your seat belts.

I told myself this year I was going to take it easy – do the Honorable Mentions, get the final list out, and put 2018 to rest.  On a global, national, and personal front the year’s been pretty much a disaster from the start, and the quicker I can put it in my rearview mirror the better.  But the more I tweaked and played with my end of year selections (thank you Trello for making that shit so easy) the more I realized that – like always – music was the thing that propped me up and made every setback if not better, at least tolerable.  And when the dust cleared from all the list building I found a huge excess of albums that didn’t make my lists but easily could have on another day.  Everything is interchangeable; we are not the people we were even a moment ago, and those experiences constantly inform our perspective on the world, metal albums included. Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Cult Leader and Speculoos Cookie Beer

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Cult Leader’s A Patient Man and Angel City Brewing Company’s Speculoos Cookie Beer.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Clearing Out the Promo Pile, 2018 Edition

9C ov...Promo Pile

Every leaf that falls from a tree, signaling the beginning of winter and the end of the year feels like it lands as yet another promo I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.  The end of November also marks the time I start flushing out my various end of year lists, creating playlists of contenders and engaging in the massive purge of albums from my computer, releasing albums I’ll never come back to and freeing up precious space on the old hard drive.

But those lost, deserted promos call out to me, begging for another chance to be consumed, to be measured and contemplated.  So think of this edition of Nine Circles ov… as part of the process (or just a cheap sequel to my last post), digging in the dirt for those glints of promise that  – even this late in the year – can change a mind. Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Portrayal of Guilt and Bedrock Nitro Brown Ale

Receiving the Evcharist 2018

Receiving the Evcharist is our weekly feature where we pair choice albums with our favorite libations.  Drink from the cup of heresy. This week’s offering: Portrayal of Guilt’s Let Pain Be Your Guide and Modern Times Brewing Company’s Bedrock Nitro Brown Ale.   Continue reading

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Allfather’s Tom Ballard on “And All Will Be Desolation” and much more!

allfather band

Back in September, Allfather released their first ‘official’ full length, And All Will Be Desolation, and if you’ve been even the most casual of fan, it’s undeniable how astounding their progression is on this album. If you’ve followed them since the beginning (No gods. No masters.) as I have, you must have been as blown away as was I. Everything about their doom by way of hardcore by way of death metal by way of sludge is thicker and heavier than anything they’ve done leading up to this, but it’s the way they’ve grown in the songwriting department that shines the most. I’ve been speaking with vocalist Tom Ballard over messages and emails for some time now but recently had the chance to chat with him about the new album, fan interactions and so much more. It was great, after all this time, to finally have a one on one with him so head inside to hear how it went. Continue reading