Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2019

Best of 2019

The Dark Souls franchise may own this title, but Aldia’s got nothing on me.

Last year around this time I made a statement, hoping that I would take it easier on the album listening; however, I also said that it would be for naught, as my 2019 release calendar was looking great and I was so excited about it.

However, life has a way of kicking you in the bollocks. Continue reading

Best of 2019: Vincent’s List

Best of 2019

I always have a tough time with these introduction things when it comes to End of Year lists.  The temptation is to sum up the year with some anecdotes about what it meant to me and how the music I loved played into it.  Yet what could I say about a year that was such a mixed bag for me?  On a personal note, my mental health took an all-out nosedive last year that I’m still trying to claw my way out of, yet my partner and I got engaged and are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together (not that we weren’t already, but you get the point).  The weight of the worst depression and anxiety I’ve ever faced affected my ability to connect to a lot of the music I heard last year, yet I started a column on here that lead me back to a genre of music I had not seriously kept up with for some time, and in doing so I found a little piece of myself again.  Years are years are years, and life is cyclical and spiralic in nature.  I won’t pretend there weren’t good things to come out of last year, just as I won’t pretend there won’t be hard times in the year ahead.  But I will always have a carefully curated soundtrack to help me along the way, and below represents what helped me get through 2019.   Continue reading

Best of 2019: Josh’s List

Best of 2019

I know, you’ve come here in hopes of some diatribe about how my 2019 sucked ass or how I loathed a lot of stuff this year. But, if that’s what you came for look elsewhere. 2019 has been a good year for me on many fronts. My family continually prove to me that true beauty does exist, I have a great job that was extremely busy all year, I got to speak with a few bands I truly adore, I trimmed social media, I kept up with those who matter, and those who matter kept up with me. Oh, almost forgot, amazing bourbon was had along the way and we found a new local brewery with a top shelf IPA. One thing that hasn’t changed is the impact music has on my life and this list, my list, encompasses what raised the hair on the back of my neck. Buckle up buttercup. Continue reading

Best of 2019: Jon’s List

Best of 2019

This past year for me was spent quietly tending to personal projects and family concerns. Most of the reviews I wrote were in the first half; the second half I mostly concerned myself with releasing another Domestikwom album, starting a movie podcast with Chris, and a YouTube channel with occasional Nine Circles contributor and Qoheleth noise man Jeremy Hunt.

When I finally lifted my head above ground, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had actually done a good enough job of keeping up with the year’s new releases that I could put together a list I could stand behind.   Continue reading

Nine* Circles ov…What “Didn’t” Make My 2019 End of Year List (But Should Have)

Best of 2019

* Hey it’s Thursday!  And it’s more than 9!  What else is new?  I hereby fully (don’t) apologize for the late entry that clearly doesn’t at all conform to the format.  Suck it….

I tried to keep my 2019 End of Year list(s) brief…I really did.  But like last year simply too much happens in the span of 365 days to limit advocating and championing the things one comes to love.  And I’m not talking about the release of records.  I’m speaking to the way we change and grow and mutate with every experience, the way what we hold dear or take comfort in stands as a totem or ward against the hate and pain of a world gone mad, a world that grinds away at our compassion, our love, and our fortitude to stand against it while maintaining the core of who we are.  Continue reading