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. 164 (1.16.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Clock on the wall says 1am and unsurprisingly cracking a bottle of Henry McKenna 10yr bourbon just feels right as I sample the picks we’ve assembled for this week’s playlist. Don’t judge me, no work tomorrow and after 40+ years of practice my eyes will open no later than 5am so put that in your pipe and smoke it. Anyway, we’ve got a stacked mixtape for this glorious Saturday and I’ve confirmed it’s, as they say, a banger. I bring some new Bloody Hammers and The Crown, Vince brings The Ruins of Beverast and Havukruunu, Didrik lays down a killer Woods of Ypres pick along with new Soen, Ian offers up a Møl cut and an Aara track, and Angela keeps the livestream Goatwhore feels alive as well as a selection from Divide and Dissolve. All that and a ton more awaits behind the play button below, so get after it.

– Josh

The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Best of 2020

Best of 2020

For this episode we go all in with most of the staff for our best of 2020 picks. We hit the high notes of what tickled our fancies for the year that was a shitstorm and even welcomed in a new member to the family. So, buckle up for an epic episode that has a wealth of stuff you may have missed and be sure to take notes, artists we mention need your support so open up those wallets and purses.

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The Third Circle of Bandcamp: August 2020 Edition

third circle of Bandcamp header

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines.  You got ’em, I got ’em, but more pertinent to this post Charles has ’em, so I’m jumping in to put together a batch of great music you can find on the grand poobah of digital music, Bandcamp.  We got metal, we got stuff that’s tangent to metal, and we got stuff that is unequivocally not metal.  Is that a typical Third Circle post?  Hell if I know, but let’s jump in and see what you think…

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Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

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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