Best of 2018: Dan tried to keep up on his metal. It went…not great.

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So, I was looking back at my year-end post from 2017 the other day, and I had to laugh. As you may recall, I opened said post with a little self-pat-on-the-back for finally making good on my pipe dream of taking in less music. (I listened to 165-170 albums over the course of the year, which is still a shit-ton, but it was down significantly from years’ past.)

Well, my count this year will make that one blush. As of this moment, my “2018” folder on Spotify – the place I archived playlists for all the albums I really sat down with and took time to enjoy – consists of just 91 playlists. And that’s from albums across all genres, not just metal. Continue reading

December 2018 Power Metal Album of the Month: Lovebites – “Clockwork Immortality” & the Top 10 Power Metal Albums of 2018

lovebites pmaotm dec 2018

It’s been a blast covering the vast expanse of styles that power metal has to offer on a monthly basis, but sadly all things must pass.  As I went through each month finding amazing records I kept holding off writing about them until the end of month post, and by doing so there were times I couldn’t give some of the albums their proper turn in the spotlight.  So rather than one post a month where we cover the genre my goal is to integrate power metal more fully into the coverage here at Nine Circles, allowing the bands and albums the proper room to shine on their own.

But before we do that, let’s get December out of the way with the only band to make the Power Metal Album of the Month twice in the same year: Lovebites and their new full length Clockwork ImmortalContinue reading

Best of 2018: Chris’s List

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What does music do for you?

In the end, it’s the only question that matters.  An admittedly hard question to hear, what with the screaming of every opinion in every corner of the internet, but in the end when you step away from the noise and muck of screen shouting and scene guarding it’s your opinion in the end.  Every year that I’ve written an end of year list for Nine Circles it’s been a variation of the same theme: when we write about music, we’re writing about ourselves.  What matters is what the music does to you, and for you.

But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 25 – 31, 2018

Eagle Twin
Eagle Twin – photo courtesy of Russel Albert Daniels

Some things happened this week that made it an exceptionally good one for me, not that anyone cares. But it goes to show that there is still some good left to be had in this world, you just have to know where to find it. Or, it has to come to you. Either way, keep that chin up. Alrighty then, as we do here each week on Initial Descent we have another santa sized bag of good metal in store so let’s not waste another word… First up is Eagle Twin who break a six year silence with The Thundering Heard and, no pun intended, this thing is a thunder you’ll want to hear — doom meets blues meets a long player, get on it. Next up is some wicked power metal in the form of The Last Emperor from Judicator, we’re stoked on this one (see our coverage links contained within) and you should be too. Moving along is Exile Amongst the Ruins from Primordial and although they play it rather safe here it is still PRIMORDIAL and still epic if you catch my drift. Closing out the top four is Lychgate with their dynamic and avant-garde black metal on The Contagion In Nine Steps which may well resurface on many lists come end of year time. Make no mistake, these four are a strong start to the week’s offerings but there’s so much more waiting. Hang with us for awhile and see for yourself. Continue reading