Best of 2020: Chris’s Honorable Mention List

Best of 2020

It’s the beginning of the end. Of the year. This shitty, terrifying, mind-screw of a year. But you know what?  It’s also the beginning of list making, which by now (if you’ve been reading me over the last four years) you realize I relish even as I qualify and condition every list I make.  As per usual I kicked it off with a list of great albums that  – for various reasons – didn’t make my main lists, but that didn’t make them any less special.  Every album does that for me: even the ones I don’t connect with tell me something about how I connect with music, and sometimes that’s just as important as finding an album that does make that connection. Continue reading

CANTO: Schammasch, Judicator, Spirit Adrift, and More

judicator band 2020

I’m ready for another vacation… only one more day!

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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The Nine Circles Audio Thing: Judicator was July 2020’s Album of the Month!

FIFTY EPISODES! HOLY CRAP! I wish we could say we had something special planned for this milestone, but nope…it’s just another round of The Nine Circles Audio Thing. The gang gets together for July’s Album of the Month: the blistering power metal opus Let There Be Nothing by USPM masters Judicator.  Buke managed to wrangle Ian, Angela, Vince, and – in a rare sighting – DAN! Who incidentally had the pick for the month! Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 139 (8.1.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning playlist. We’ve got a house full of new picks from Judicator, Napalm Death, Pig Destroyer, and much more. There’s bound to be something you’ll like in there, stop what are you waiting for?

– Vincent


Album Review: Judicator — “Let There Be Nothing”

judicator - let there be nothing

There’s a nasty rumor – perpetuated by years of actually being true – that when an underground band signs to a larger, mainstream label their sound gets neutered; their wings are clipped and their teeth are filed down so as to not harm the delicate sensibilities of the commercial masses.  Prosthetic Records have been defying this with excellent releases from the likes of Vile Creature and Rebel Wizard, just to mention two amazing releases from 2020 alone.  So it should come as no surprise that Judicator, far from delivering a rote, by-the-numbers slab of historical power metal have put out possibly the heaviest, more glorious record of their careers with Let There Be Nothing.  This is the benchmark by which I hold other bands who want to carry the label of “USPM” accountable in terms of power, majesty and killer anthemic riffs moving forward.

You’ve been warned. Continue reading