Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy. Continue reading

Initial Descent: December 18 – 24, 2017

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Krallice

Merry Christmas! One more Initial Descent to go and 2016 is in the rearview mirror. Also, if you haven’t finished your christmas shopping, may the force be with you as you find empty shelves and hells minions in the stores. Or you could just give up and Bandcamp gift everyone on your list something from the massive metal year we’ve had. See, we truly care about you readers and are here for you. Speaking of; we here at Nine Circles want to extend a huge and heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you that have stopped by and spent any amount of time with us. We hope you will continue to visit us in 2017 and we will do everything we can to keep it interesting. Also we want to thank all the bands, artists, labels, PR firms and all those behind the scenes that offer us an opportunity to do this and the means in which to do it with. To our staff; we appreciate you and everything you do more than you know. You volunteer your time to do this and being that time is in short supply it means so much that you sacrifice it for us to move forward. You rule, period. This week KRALLICE leads the charge with Prelapsarian and yes they still kill it, on the Viking metal front we have No Blood No Glory from Pimeä Metsä, Nahtrunar continues their grim approach to black metal on Existenz and Panzerfaust takes a look at evil as it relates to the human condition on their extremely dense black metal album The Lucifer Principle. As usual that’s only the beginning so hit that continue reading button and see what else is out there. Continue reading

Best of 2016: Vincent Martinek’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Hey all. This has been a great year for music, made better because I got to share so much of my thoughts about what I was hearing with you, alongside the rest of the Nine Circles crew. It’s been a pleasure to work with some of the most talented people I’ve had the honor to know. Thanks to Dan and Corey for getting me started, to Josh Stewart for being a phenomenal editor, and to all the amazing people I do this with whose writing inspired me to better my own. Here’s to many more. And now that the sap is out of the way, on to the tunes.

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Concert Review: Migration Fest, Part 1

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Now that the dust has had time to settle over the past few weeks, I’m ready to start recounting the incredible experience that was my first trip to the Pacific Northwest for Migration Fest. Now, please keep in mind that the title this post is misleading. Calling this a ‘review’ may not be accurate. That would imply that there could have been some negative aspects of Migration weekend… and that just isn’t reality. No, this far better categorized as a recount. Or better yet, a praising. You may have also noticed that this is referenced as ‘Part 1’. I’ll cover Thursday (in part) and Friday here, and then offer my highlights of the other days… eventually. I didn’t feel like writing, not bombarding you, with about 2500 words of reading material in one sitting. You’re welcome.  Continue reading