Nine Circles ov…High Dynamic Metal

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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

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 42 (5.28.2018)

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Happy Memorial Day everyone. Another MDF rolled by this weekend and from what I could tell, it looked like a good time was had by all. However, neighboring Ellicott City was struck by devastating floods and we hope the best for everyone involved. We’ve got another playlist of tracks we’ve been listening to and whether you’re working or sitting at home, there’s something here for everyone. Don’t forget to follow our YouTube channel then head directly below for your weekly dose. Continue reading

CANTO: NEMF Lineup, Bleeding Through, Kerry King, and More

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1/23/2018. It’s icing outside.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– cmb

Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

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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…

Continue reading

Best of 2017: Fábio Da Silva of Annihilation

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We recently featured Annihilation in a Profile of rhythm guitarist and founding member Fábio Da Silva which you can check out here. Their latest album The Undivided Wholeness of All Things, released last month, is yet another testament to what is capable in brutal, technical death metal while not falling into any of the typical traps of either. Put plainly, it’s a stellar release so obviously, we are excited to bring you his best metal picks from 2017. Continue reading