The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Highlights from the first half of 2018!

Time for another audio thing! In this edition, the group gets together to discuss some of their favorite albums from the first half of the year. (Yes, we’re aware it’s halfway through July. Promptness, thy name is NOT Nine Circles.)

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Nine Circles ov…the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest Reunions

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It’s been a couple of weeks since the release of Firepower, and none of us can stop listening to it. Seriously. The eighteenth studio album from NWOBHM legends Judas Priest, has given the world many things. It’s given listeners one of vocalist Rob Halford’s strongest vocal performances in years, and the band’s best album overall since 1990’s Painkiller. It gave the band a No. 5 debut on the Billboard 200 — their highest chart U.S. chart position ever. And most importantly, it’s given the vast metal blogosphere a treasure trove of ideas for new #content.

Unfortunately for you — or perhaps “fortunately,” depending on what you think of us — we were not immune from that last gift.

Firepower marked the ninth album released by either Priest or that other NWOBHM band you often hear about, Iron Maiden, since the bands reunited with their legendary frontmen — Halford and Bruce Dickinson, respectively — in the early aughts. (Maiden’s released five to Priest’s four, albeit with a four-year head start.) And since this particular segment also comes in nines, we figured we’d feed that insatiable #content beast by ranking all of them here in one, combined list.

Notice the “we” there? Yep. Unlike most entries in the “Nine Circles ov…” canon, this won’t just be one person’s list, but rather a team effort. Why’s that? Well… because pretty much the whole team was high on Firepower, and wanted in on this in some capacity. So we asked everyone involved to come up with their own, individual lists for the nine albums, then calculated each album’s average position to determine our final, full-team rankings. And then, obviously, we each picked a couple and wrote about them. Because that’s what we do.

All of that (and more!) is below. So up the Irons, call for the Priest, and click on through to check it out! Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 34 (3.26.2018)

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I’ve been floored by the staggering amount of releases coming at us each week. Maybe it was this way last year and my memory sucks but it seems there’s no let up in the climbing quantity of new metal. No complaints from me at all though, the more the merrier I say. Long story short, if you haven’t found at least a handful of albums to latch onto, you’re not looking hard enough. Anyway, we had a good week around the Nine Circles table and collectively we listened to a ton of music which we are sharing with you below. As per usual for a Monday morning, grab the biggest cup of coffee you can find and hit the play button on our playlist. And, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel here. Here’s to a good week for you all, we’ll be seeing you throughout the week. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 32 (3.12.2018)

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Not sure about you but I’m still jamming Judas Priest’s Firepower and it still sounds freakin’ amazing. ICYMI, Chris discussed it right here. Come to think of it, there’s so many albums since January that I’ve yet to put down. Anyway, a new week dawns which means we’ve put together a whole new set of tunes we really dug into last week. Some new, some old and some not metal but they’re all good. So, grab that cup of joe — yes, that monster cup that occupies the biggest shelf in your cabinet — and hit the play button below. Also, don’t forget this is the last week of the giveaway for two vinyl copies of Fathers self-titled album, details on that here. Aaaand, subscribe to our YouTube channel here. Now, get after those tunes. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 4 – 10, 2018

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Vile Creature

March. Already. Seems like yesterday we were regaling you with our favorite albums from last year. Then again, five years ago seems like yesterday to me so I’m a horrible judge of time. Be that as it may, 2018 has had a strong start musically and there’s no denying that regardless of taste and seemingly no let up in quality either. Which leads us right into this week with the absolutely riveting Cast of Static and Smoke from Vile Creature and its not only a great doom album but it’s centered around an excellent post-apocalyptic. Next up is Judas Priest with Firepower which, quite frankly, is the best thing they’ve done in a long time — you be the judge but for me, this is the heavy metal I wanted and needed to hear from the almighty Priest. Moving along, Eviternity from Kosmogyr is an unpredictable yet overwhelmingly powerful black metal debut that demands your attention but gives so much in return — not to be missed. Closing out the top slots this week is the debut, Purge, from India’s Killibrium which strikes a wicked balance between old and new school death metal with some killer grooves. As you read through and discover the rest of the list below you’ll understand how hard it was to not include at least 10 or so more up here so dive in and enjoy. Continue reading