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

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* 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

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 57 (11.24.2018)

playlist - mixtape

I AM THE CAPTAIN NOW.

In less threatening words, hello readers!  You might recognize me as your drinking buddy, who brings you album and beer pairings every Friday that I am not infected with E. Coli.  Since I’ve been focusing on writing shorter reviews for the site this year, I’ve been thinking of more ways I can contribute outside of long-form writing.  Our weekly mixtape is one of my favorite things we’ve added to the site; it’s fun to be able to give our readership a kind of behind the scenes look at what we’re all jamming in our spare time without the necessity of deadlines shaping our listening habits.  So, I staged a coup-de-grace and snatched control of the column away from our editor, but in a nice way that actually helps him, because Josh is a very busy man.  Thanks to him for being gracious in defeat, and to you for reading this.  I hope you find something good to jam out to here, and if not, there’s always next week.  Enjoy Volume 57, friends.

– Vincent

Album Review: In the Woods… – “Cease the Day”

In the Woods... - Cease the Day

Most bands coming out of an extended period of inactivity are applauded for not missing a beat…in other words, sticking firmly to the formula that worked for them.  If Norway’s In the Woods… had a formula at all, it was moving adventurously forward, mixing death, doom, folk and black metal in a way that didn’t sound like anyone else at the time. Since reuniting and coming back with 2016’s excellent Pure (an album that made both Corey’s and my Best of 2016 lists) the band feels completely revitalized, honing their progressive mix to larger extremes.  New album Cease the Day further refines that sense of exploration in extremes, to fantastic results. Continue reading

Initial Descent: November 18 – 24, 2018

Spearhead
Spearhead

A week removed from being back in town, back to reality and back to…freeze warnings. I got nothing good to add here. So, how about another blast of new metal? That’s what were here for so let’s get to it…

Spearhead breaks a seven year silence with their in-your-face militant death metal on Pacifism Is Cowardicebrutal death metal vets Corpsefucking Art are back with another entry in their 20 plus year catalog with Splatterphobiaprogressive by way of black metal Norwegians In The Woods… return with Cease the Day and it’s just as good if not better then Pure, and Corpsessed keep their death metal dingy and dirty on Impetus of DeathAs always, thats’s not all. We’re just getting started so head inside to see what else is upcoming. Oh, one other thing…

If you read this regularly or are a first time visitor, let us know if you love it, hate it, want to see something different, something new, or none of the above. In that case, just leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 9 (9.18.2017)

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Good morning! Back on the Monday routine with this thing… Let’s see how long that lasts. This week’s sampling is a bit all over the map (nothing new there) and I personally included a couple of gems that filled my ears during this past weekend’s Reach the Beach relay. There’s just something amazing about blasting In The Woods… while you’re running along a painfully hilly stretch of road in New Hampshire’s mountains in the middle of the night… Anyway, I digress. Dive in there and have some fun. If you want to take the ol’ time machine back a few weeks, previous playlists can be found on our YouTube channel.

Continue reading