Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy. Continue reading

Interview: Ufomammut on 8, the Importance of Home and Creative Energy

Ufomammut co Malleus
Ufomammut – pic courtesy of Malleus

A little over a month ago, Italy’s Ufomammut released their aptly titled eighth full length album 8, covered here, which continues to garner a hefty slab of my attention. So much so that I truly believe it is an absolute ‘must hear.’ Each album from this band is another step on an ever expanding journey: from the bulky weight of Godlike Snake to the experimentation of Oro to the forward thinking doom of Eve, Ufomammut continue to push their own sonic boundaries and find ways to make each note resonate more than the last. Plus, they’ve been together so long now that when performing together they seem telepathically linked and able to bend sound to their will. We recently had the opportunity to ask the band a few questions about 8, the importance of home and their creative energy — among other things — so head inside to see what they had to say. Continue reading

Initial Descent: October 15 – 21, 2017

Hallatar
Hallatar

As we edge closer to the end of the year the trend in long lists of new releases continues. But one thing that has remained consistent is the quality, for the most part, of these releases week to week. This week is no different here on Initial Descent and expect this trend to continue in the coming weeks. Leading us off is the emotionally stirring debut No Stars Upon the Bridge from atmospheric doom metallers Hallatar, many names you’ll recognize from this group: Amorphis, Trees of Eternity and HIM so be sure to check this one out. Next up is Amenra who continue their very distinct vision of sonic depth, dark spirituality and uncompromising heaviness on Mass VI and again, do not miss it. Moving right along is the debut Teneral from NY’s Pyrolatrous who very successfully combine black and death metal in a unique way. Finishing up the top spots this week is the doom duo Bell Witch with their mammoth one-song opus Mirror Reaper and they actually pull it off. One-song albums are a bit of a chance to say the least but also a marathon if there’s not enough substance but that’s not the case here, grab some popcorn and dig in. Like I said, the quality is already apparent but it also lies in the quantity that follows so stick around and enjoy it. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 17 – 23, 2017

Ufomammut
Ufomammut – pic courtesy of Malleus

It’s been all over the place as of late: I’ve had good news, bad news, unfortunate events and fortunate events. BUT, who cares as long as we have another Saturday crammed with great metal. And we have exactly that this week on Initial Descent. What you ask? Well, leading off this week’s festivities is the psych doom trio Ufomammut with their latest and eighth full length (Oro was technically one, who’s counting anyway) and as good as their discography has been thus far they’ve gotten even better – oh yeah. Next up, and the second outstanding album in this list, is Satyricon‘s Deep calleth upon Deep and this is where the band gets back to doing what they do best: killing it. Moving on is another return of sorts as Wolves in the Throne Room brings back some of their fury on Thrice Woven (psst – Chris was busy this week and covered both of these last two, make sure to click through and read up). Last but not least is the jaw dropping doomgaze of Mindkult on Lucifer’s Dream and if you’re keeping count, this makes two stellar efforts that command attention. Anywho, hard to top those four but there is a laundry list that follows that will keep you going until next time so get comfy. See you back here next week and good luck getting through all these by then. Continue reading

Album Review: Ufomammut – “8”

Ufomammut - 8

This far along, a band like Ufomammut needs no introduction. Their brand of psychedelic space doom ladened with crushing heaviness has been building steam since 1999. With their latest full length 8, this trio displays why they have been top tier for as long as they have. Doom, stoner and sludge can all be marred by try-hards, repetition and messy production but Ufomammut have, since their inception, been forward thinkers and extremely great songwriters which helps keep their material not only fresh but fully engaging. 18 years on, 8 is another letter perfect example of this. Continue reading