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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Best of 2017: Zyklonius’ List

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Another trip around the sun, another stellar year for metal, with a wealth of riveting riffage, pulverizing beats, blood-curdling growls and blazing tremolos. Verily, this is an era of abundance, where it is impossible to stay on top of the deluge of top-shelf metal released every week. Best of all, quality seems to go hand in hand with quantity. If there ever was an antithesis to the contemporary temptation for instant gratification and disposability, every album I included in my mid-year stocktaking exercise ended up on my end-of-year list, having continued to impress and astonish me as time went by, testament to the spectacular songwriting, boundless creativity and killer riff delivery of the bands that conjured up these stunning works of art. And just when I thought things could not get any better, both seasoned veterans and hungry newcomers arrived, bearing gifts of seismic impact. I hope the following releases enrich your life, even if only with a fraction of the effect they had on me. Now, dig in! Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 20: EOY Edition (12.4.2017)


Since we are closing in on the final few weeks of the year and ‘best of’ list season has begun, for this edition of the Nine Circles Playlist each of us picked a select few of our favorite songs from 2017. Some of these are from albums that didn’t quite hit the mark, as a whole, but had that one particular song or set of songs that warranted an extra high play count. And some of these have been included here even though you may see them again in list form — or maybe not, only time will tell. As usual, expect a wide variety of picks contained in this playlist so, grab a cup of coffee and journey through this collection with us. Oh and feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section to tell us why or why not these songs ruled or didn’t. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 17 (11.13.2017)


Good morning all, hope that monster size cup of coffee is treating you right so far. Plenty of the same happening here and the eyes are finally losing their weekend glaze. I hit up Primitive Man and Bell Witch over the weekend, the ears are still ringing but it hurts so good — you all know that feeling very well I’m sure. More to come on that at a later date but for now we must fill your ears with the goodness we, collectively, were listening to last week and consequently help those of you who don’t drink coffee. Consider it a pick me up, you’re welcome. Anyway, subscribe to our You Tube channel here and head inside for your Monday morning blast. Continue reading