Best of 2017: Mark’s List

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

It was an honor joining the Nice Circles team this year. I started a series of posts called A Headbanger’s Journey that I hope to continue into 2018.  Late to the party,  I bought an absurd amount of music at the end of the year, much of it from the excellent Nine Circles coverage and I’m just now coming up for breath. In 2016 I went back in time to investigate the early death metal classics of the late 80’s/early 90’s and this year, I did the same with classic punk and hardcore. Both of those genres inform my current listening and are reflected in this list. So, let’s see where the rubber hits the road.   Continue reading

Best of 2017: Greg Rosenstahl from Godz ov War Productions

Greg Rosenstahl

For those of you unaware, Godz ov War Productions is a record label from Poland that specializes in the extremely extreme side of metal. Just this year alone the label has released albums from Pig’s Blood, Persecutory, Corpse Garden and Loathfinder just to name a few. And behind every good label is a workhorse capable of vaulting insane amounts of work with bands, day to day business of said label, PR, keeping up with a store and Bandcamp page, constantly curating a social media presence and overseeing various streaming platforms. For Godz ov War this workhorse is Greg Rosenstahl and I’m convinced the man never sleeps. It’s obvious he lives, eats and breathes for the label and the bands he works with based on the results we all can easily see. Just what does someone who works in, and with, all things extreme pick for the best of 2017? Head inside to find out. Continue reading

Receiving the Evcharist: Impetuous Ritual and Harmony Foretold

Receiving the Evcharist

Greetings my dear congregation.  While we normally try to find pairings that offer similar characteristics on this column, today is going to be a ceremony of opposites.  Dark beer and dark music is my usual modus operandi, but on a day where it is literally 100 degrees out, dark syrup-y drinks are not going to work.  Instead, something more palate cleansing is going to be on the menu.  Let’s get down to business. The Metal: Impetuous Ritual’s Blight Upon Martyred Sentience.  The Booze: Campanology Brewing’s Harmony Foretold.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 11 – 17, 2017

cavernlight band shot
Cavernlight
Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages…wait, this ain’t no circus. This is metal. And we have plenty of it to sift through today on Initial Descent. Over the top? Meh, just do it already. Leading off is Cavernlight‘s debut full length As We Cup Our Hands and Drink From the Stream and don’t let that long title throw you, this is an album heavy on doom metal with chunks of noise and black metal expertly woven in to create a massive sound befitting of the long title. Next up are the “wall of death metal” masters Impetuous Ritual with their latest effort Blight Upon Martyred Sentience and trust me when I say: this band has done the impossible and not only bettered their previous outings but made it sound all the more dangerous yet crystal clear — a masterwork of avantgarde death metal. Moving along are the 27 year veterans Aposento with their second full length Bleed to Death and if you’re looking for death metal that’s in strict adherence to the old ways then this is it, highly recommended. Rolling on, if I were to tell you there’s an album out this week that blisters and bubbles in it’s heavy metal sincerity would you believe me? Rhetorical question, there is and it’s Iced Earth with Incorruptible — if you know then good, if not go find out. Not quite last but filling out the top slots is Tombs with The Grand Annihilation and having spent the better part of the last two days with this thing I can safely say this is one of, if not, the best album this band has done to date. Strong words indeed but the heavier lean on black metal combined with their trademark bruising is amazing. Don’t stop there as there is soooo much more to get to, after the jump. Continue reading