2017 turned out to be a strange year for me musically. In my first full year writing for Nine Circles I had the opportunity to explore different genres and bands I never would have discovered on my own, and taking in so much music (even when I didn’t want to, in all honesty) not only broadened my horizons and (hopefully) improved my critical thinking on music, but also helped me to understand better what it was I needed from music.
Next week I’ll be unveiling my personal Top 25 albums for 2017, along with a second post of 15 honorable mentions. But there was so much that impacted me, and so for this final 2017 edition of Nine Circles ov… I wanted to give out a few of my own personal awards to some bands and albums that left their marks on me. So without further ado, let’s dive in… Continue reading →
Rolling in late (or early depending on your viewpoint) after a huge gathering of many people and many treats from local breweries means I’m satisfied and ready to hunker down with some of this list at maximum volume. And with the amount of releases this week that could take awhile…lucky thing for us it’s the weekend. Let’s get to it, noise rock purists Dodecad kick things off this week in the noisest and best way possible with their third effort Contempt and trust me when I say: if you’re even remotely a fan of noise rock you NEED this album immediately, it is that good. Next up is the debut, The Imprisoning War, from symphonic black metallers Hate Moon, and it’s the perfect balance of brute force and sweeping melodies. Moving along is Moonlight Desires with Just the Hits 1981-1985 and while this may not be the typical top slot candidate this album is an epic ton of fun with plenty of scorching rock theatrics, right now we all could use some fun and an opportunity to just let the rough side drag so let this album serve as such. Closing out the opening few is the dark americana EP Stands With Death from The Dark Red Seed, personally I’m a fan of all things King Dude and this EP scratches that itch as well as shares a guitarist with said Dude, highly recommended. There you have it, the lead off four but as usual we are nowhere even close to done. Pull up a chair and stay awhile, it only gets better from here. Oh and if you don’t like something or if you do let us know in the comments or don’t, but definitely enjoy. Continue reading →
Sometimes we get so caught up in what’s considered “metal” or not we forget how little genre tags and labels mean when it comes to how music makes you feel. I’ll admit to getting caught up in discussions over distinctions between metalcore and NWOAHM, how far the “post-” label can go before metal get thrown out all together…but when I take a breath, close my eyes and open my ears, in the end all I want is loud guitars that crunch, a voice that soars, and tight, tight songs. I know when I take off the black t-shirts and corpsepaint, what I really want is something fun. I want Just the Hits (1981-1985), and if they’re performed by Moonlight Desires?
I started using Bandcamp about 2 years ago. At first it was innocent: maybe an album here or there I read about in Decibel but couldn’t find on a streaming service. Occasioanlly a compilation or anthology I heard about from Henry Rollins’s amazing weekly radio show on KCRW. It was fun, it was innocent, and most importantly, no one was getting hurt. And then, in January of 2016, someone had the bright idea to start this #metalbandcampgiftclub thing and everything just kind of went out the window. At first it was just giving, you know? What’s wrong with giving? But then I started getting, too. And it got harder to just give, right? Because maybe you wanted that album too, you see? And it just spiraled and skyrocketed and every other terrible metaphor you can think of to say things, well…got out of hand.
Seriously, Bandcamp is a great service for both fans and artists. And when I sat down to think about what to write for this week’s Nine Circles ov… I realized I had all this great music I hadn’t listened to yet, so why not pick a few highlights and share ’em here with the fine Nine Circles readership. I’ll try to remember the whys and wherefores, you just check out some great metal. Continue reading →