Nine Circles ov…High Dynamic Metal

nine circles ov high fidelity metal

Straight talk:  it doesn’t matter how you consume music.  Listen any way you want: use the earbuds that came with your phone, $1,000 studio monitors, a sound bar…whatever.  If you’re enjoying it, you’re doing it right.  I’m not here to tell you you’re doing it wrong.  That being said, there is a certain pleasure to be derived from tweaking and upgrading, searching for the right combination that takes the music you love to the next level, shorting your synapses and inducing a synethetic delight.  So after numerous discussions with our resident Finn and audiohead Zyklonius I slowly began to improve my at-home listening experience.  I invested in a modest pair of planar magnetic headphones and a headphone amp (the ones above, actually: the HIFIMAN HE-400i and the Schiit Magni 3) and took my first steps into the murky world of the metal audiophile.     Continue reading

Circle Pit: Albums We Missed, Q1 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. 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 March, we are proud to bring you some overlooked highlights from the first quarter. So, without further delay, let’s jump right into it. Albums we missed in Q1 2018. Here. We. Go. Continue reading

Initial Descent: July 8, 2016

inter arma band
Inter Arma (Photo courtesy of the band)

Another week of new releases is upon us. And while it’s a bit top-heavy, the top’s got such quality as to make it a total doozy. What’ve we got up top?

Well, for starters, there’s Inter Arma. The Richmond quintet continue their genre-bending brilliance on full-length no. 3, Paradise Gallows. And guess who’s seeing them tonight at St. Vitus? That’s right — this guy. We’ve also got the debut full-length from Brooklyn’s Anicon, who kick so many different kinds of ass. Gilead Media done good with this one, folks. Also, depending on who you ask, Vanhelgd may be dropping their killer new album, Temple of Phobos today! (They also may not be dropping it until July 22, or may have dropped it last Friday — we’ve been told 3-4 different things and have no idea which one is correct. Fun!)

Plus, there’s some new stuff from CentinexMonolithe…hell, there’s even a Cradle of Filth reissue (reimagining? original imagining?) if you’re into that kinda thing. So enough talk; here’s what’s on tap for July 8:
Continue reading

Best of 2015: Matt Fitton’s List

Best 2015

2015 was a weird one for me. I’m still very new around these parts, but some of you may know me already. I had a very transitional first half of the year where I lost a long term job, I left my native homeland and I moved to pastures new for what turned out to be a buttload more opportunity in both my work life and my social life. Nottingham played host to some truly killer shows this year! But throughout the ups and downs the almighty riffs of years past kept me all warm and tingly inside, and as a consequence of upheaval it wasn’t until the second half of this year that I really began to experience new material. Some of the following gems landed quite late on in the past twelve months, but don’t let anybody ever tell you that this year was a slow one for the good stuff. 2015 was indeed “rad times” in musically heavy terms, so here’s my favorite nine releases of the year…

beavis rad times Continue reading

Best of Q4: Corey’s List

nine circles

And here we are. Just a handful of days stand between us and the end of 2015. But before we usher in the new year by wrapping up the best from this current year, we are still faced with the task of revisiting the last three months. Analyzing albums that drop in the final quarter of a given year can always be a tricky task. Sometimes it just simply isn’t enough time for an album to develop with an audience enough to warrant any year-end recognition. Despite that, 2014 saw a number of impressive releases in the final months. 2015 has proven to be no different. Continue reading