Best of 2018: Josh’s List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Circle Pit: Albums We Missed Q2, 2018

purgatory

From time to time we all get together as a team and discuss some of our favorite albums we missed covering at release time and there’s been plenty of these discussions so far this year. Whether due to time slipping away from us or whatever the case may be, we miss them. Well, now that we’ve just passed the end of June, we are proud to bring you some overlooked highlights from the second quarter. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into it. Albums we missed in Q2 2018. Here. We. Go.Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 1 – 7, 2018

Lecherous Nocturne
Lecherous Nocturne

Had some much needed downtime this week and, as you might guess, it was grand. Coming home with a full weekend ahead of me just sweetens the pot. And particularly when this week’s new releases are not only exceptional but plentifully so. No more waiting, here we go — Twenty one year death metal vets Lecherous Nocturne are back with their most vicious and darkest album yet, Occultaclysmic and honestly this is the best thing they’ve done since The Age of Miracles Has Passed. Mesarthim seemingly came out of nowhere with The Density Parameter but no surprise here, their blend of cosmic black metal with a heavy dose of atmospherics is amazing. Black Salvation give a class on how to properly vibe on the 70s psych hard rock era while staying fresh and exciting on Uncertainty Is Bliss and if you thought the week couldn’t get any better, Panopticon return with The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness (I and II) and it’s all I had hoped for and so much more — atmospheric black metal meets folk and americana and I’m head over heels with this thing after test driving it on a long mountain hike. Fantastic start to the week already but there’s a ton more to get into so have a seat and ENJOY. 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

Nine Circles ov… Unique Leader Records

Unique Leader Records
Unique Leader Records

With the second full length from Unmerciful now out to the masses (covered here) I couldn’t help but think about the band’s label, Unique Leader Records. Mostly because I haven’t consistently frequented their wares in a few years but there was a time the label was ground zero for my desire to find the most brutal sounding death metal around, not to mention some of the most technical as well. Some of my favorite releases reside with this label and had it not been for them I would have missed out on an integral piece of my metal history. The label has never lost sight of their original vision and has continued to be a benchmark for the extreme sector of death metal. You can connect with their label on Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or their third-party merch website. Continue reading