CANTO: Tombs, Fear Factory, Decapitated, and More

Can I also start this with a bier, bitte?

  • We’ll start the week with Tombs, who have released another new track. This one is called “Bone Furnace”, and you can check it out over at Decibel. A reminder that Under Sullen Skies drops on November 20th through Season of Mist.
  • Decapitated have signed back on with Nuclear Blast, and are hinting that new material might be coming our way sooner rather than later. Moving on.
  • Burton C. Bell has quit Fear Factory, and it did not seem to be on good terms (which is probably a shock to very few). We’ll see how Dino and crew eventually respond.
  • Yo, check out this cover of Alice In Chains’ “Rain When I Die”, brought to you by Mastodon, Russian Circles, Mutoid Man, and more. It’s super fun and super good.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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CANTO: In Flames, Hellfest, Witches of Doom, and More

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These days are slowly (quickly?) killing my sanity.

  • Alright, so you all need to start your evening by watching members of Spirit Adrift, Mutoid Man, and High On Fire cover Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years”. I would like to thank Two Minutes To Late Night for bringing us that absolute gift.
  • Canceled or postponed tours don’t only hit bands hard financially, but also their road crews. To help support the folks that make the killer In Flames shows happen year in and year out, the band has decided to drop a new shirt to benefit them. 100% of the proceeds go directly to their crew. Solid stuff, In Flames, solid stuff.
  • Speaking of canceled things, Hellfest is the latest festival to bail on 2020. Scheduled for the weekend of June 19th, this year was supposed to mark the 15th anniversary of the festival, and feature the likes of Faith No More, Judas Priest, etc. Instead, for obvious reasons, the organizers will try again in 2021.
  • And we’ll close with a new lyric video from Witches of Doom for the track “Sister Fire.” That track is taken from Funeral Radio, which is out now on My Kingdom Music. Do what ya gotta do.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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Nine Circles ov… Corey’s 2017 Shows

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This past year, I was fortunate enough to attend 35 different metal performances. There were a couple of duplicates (This Will Destroy You), but for the most part each performance was unique and left an impression in its own way. So, in going back through the past year and finally deciding to tally these shows, I thought it’d be a worthwhile idea to go over some highlights. You’ve obviously seen the more detailed concert reviews the days and weeks following various shows here, but the goal here is a high level recap of my favorites. This has proven more taxing than I would have anticipated, however. Looking back now, I don’t think there was a single show that I did not get at least something out of. Regardless, in no particular order, here are nine (ten?) performances that stood out to me last year. Continue reading

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…

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Best of 2017: Chris’s Honorable Mention List

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Hello there, online metal community.  How you holding up?  List fatigue setting in yet?  If so sorry: this is in no way going to help. My first year writing for Nine Circles resulted in listening to over 500 albums – I won’t even begin to pretend they all got a fair shake, but they all got at least one listen.  The sheer glut of music that passed through my ears was like an awakening, helping me to better understand what it was music did for me, what I needed it to do for me.  I found albums that mesmerized on first listen only to fade quickly, and albums I initially dismissed only to find their hooks in me months later, and it’s these surprise revelations that keep me listening, keep me writing, and keep me so engaged with this beast we call metal.

You’d think doing a Top 25 would be sufficient to cover all the bases, but it feels like it doesn’t even make a dent into the great music that sustained me over the course of the year.  And so, if you’ll indulge me, here’s an extra 15 albums that warrant honorable mention.  Think of them as #26-40 (hey, if Decibel can do it…), in any order you like, though they’re alphabetical below.  Let’s dig in…   Continue reading