Best of 2019: Vincent’s List

Best of 2019

I always have a tough time with these introduction things when it comes to End of Year lists.  The temptation is to sum up the year with some anecdotes about what it meant to me and how the music I loved played into it.  Yet what could I say about a year that was such a mixed bag for me?  On a personal note, my mental health took an all-out nosedive last year that I’m still trying to claw my way out of, yet my partner and I got engaged and are looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together (not that we weren’t already, but you get the point).  The weight of the worst depression and anxiety I’ve ever faced affected my ability to connect to a lot of the music I heard last year, yet I started a column on here that lead me back to a genre of music I had not seriously kept up with for some time, and in doing so I found a little piece of myself again.  Years are years are years, and life is cyclical and spiralic in nature.  I won’t pretend there weren’t good things to come out of last year, just as I won’t pretend there won’t be hard times in the year ahead.  But I will always have a carefully curated soundtrack to help me along the way, and below represents what helped me get through 2019.   Continue reading

Best of 2019: Dan still likes metal, but maybe not writing?

Best of 2019

Oh look, it’s been over a month since my last post.

Related: I don’t really know if I like blog writing anymore?

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Best of 2019: Angela’s List

Best of 2019

Most of us are eager to dart into 2020 and leave 2019 in our wakes.  While I’m ready for a fresh start and a new year, I want to linger in 2019 a little longer to savor the musical releases.  Many wonderful albums were released this year which made narrowing down and ranking my top picks a challenge.  The albums that ended up on this list are albums that resonated with me—albums that I kept revisiting, I kept blasting through headphones, and kept giving me goosebumps.

I decided to pick 9 albums in honor of Nine Circles and this wonderful community that welcomed me in this year.  Let’s dive in! Continue reading

Best of 2019: Jon’s List

Best of 2019

This past year for me was spent quietly tending to personal projects and family concerns. Most of the reviews I wrote were in the first half; the second half I mostly concerned myself with releasing another Domestikwom album, starting a movie podcast with Chris, and a YouTube channel with occasional Nine Circles contributor and Qoheleth noise man Jeremy Hunt.

When I finally lifted my head above ground, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had actually done a good enough job of keeping up with the year’s new releases that I could put together a list I could stand behind.   Continue reading

Best of 2019: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

Best of 2019

No meandering preamble.  Too much of 2019 was utter shit, and music was the salve to my battered and bruised soul.  Last week I touted 19 albums that helped me cope with the personal and global tragedies that the year brought, and this week brings another 15 records that, while not formally ranked all can on a given day act as my #26, or even my #1.  Don’t try to find reason or logic in a list.  Not only is it all subjective, but it’s all subject to change on a dime, on a given moment when the axis spins and tries to buck you off into orbit, and all you can cling to is the fragment of a melody, a riff or a lyric that tethers you to the world, keeps you grounded and ready for another day.

Enough.  Let’s do this.   Continue reading