Nine Circles ov…Cradle of Filth

I first discovered Cradle of Filth via the temporary resurrection of Headbanger’s Ball in 2003, when their video for “Mannequin” was in heavy rotation. This catchy yet creepy song stuck with me and helped me remember the band when I started getting more into black metal the following year, picking up the Lovecraft and Witch Hearts compilation and getting thoroughly hooked. “But they’re not really black metal, what are you talking about?!” Ah yes, I understood early on how controversial the band was within black metal circles. They, along with Dimmu Borgir and Satyricon, had achieved some crossover mainstream success in the mid-2000s. And thus this leads us into my Nine Circles ov…Cradle of Filth. Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…the Iron Maiden and Judas Priest Reunions

judas priest rob halford iron maiden bruce dickinson

It’s been a couple of weeks since the release of Firepower, and none of us can stop listening to it. Seriously. The eighteenth studio album from NWOBHM legends Judas Priest, has given the world many things. It’s given listeners one of vocalist Rob Halford’s strongest vocal performances in years, and the band’s best album overall since 1990’s Painkiller. It gave the band a No. 5 debut on the Billboard 200 — their highest chart U.S. chart position ever. And most importantly, it’s given the vast metal blogosphere a treasure trove of ideas for new #content.

Unfortunately for you — or perhaps “fortunately,” depending on what you think of us — we were not immune from that last gift.

Firepower marked the ninth album released by either Priest or that other NWOBHM band you often hear about, Iron Maiden, since the bands reunited with their legendary frontmen — Halford and Bruce Dickinson, respectively — in the early aughts. (Maiden’s released five to Priest’s four, albeit with a four-year head start.) And since this particular segment also comes in nines, we figured we’d feed that insatiable #content beast by ranking all of them here in one, combined list.

Notice the “we” there? Yep. Unlike most entries in the “Nine Circles ov…” canon, this won’t just be one person’s list, but rather a team effort. Why’s that? Well… because pretty much the whole team was high on Firepower, and wanted in on this in some capacity. So we asked everyone involved to come up with their own, individual lists for the nine albums, then calculated each album’s average position to determine our final, full-team rankings. And then, obviously, we each picked a couple and wrote about them. Because that’s what we do.

All of that (and more!) is below. So up the Irons, call for the Priest, and click on through to check it out! Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…2018 Metal Catch Up

Nine Circles Ov 2018 catch up

It seems silly to judge the volume and or content of music from one year to another – I’m sure I was feeling the crunch of not being able to adequately catch up with new music this time last year as well, but this year it just feels heavier.  Between surprise releases I never saw coming to recommendations from friends and stuff that’s been either on our radar or blasted into the ether by huge marketing pushes, there’s just a weight of distorted riffs sitting on my shoulder no amount of headphone time seems to disperse.  Which is not to diminish any of the records I’m about to cover that we haven’t devoted a full review to: there are easily two in this list I’m over the moon for.  Nevertheless, for this edition of Nine Circles ov… let’s spend a little time with some early 2018 releases we may not have covered in depth, but are still worth your time.   Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…a 9C Review Preview (aka my Vacation Playlist)

9C metal vacation playlist

That’s right, folks…in a few short hours I will be on a plane and getting out of this god forsaken hell hole where it’s already stating to snow AGAIN and heading South for warmer climes, cooler waters, and copious amounts of alcohol – copious in this instance meaning maybe 1-2 drinks since I’m old and sleepy and my liver won’t stand for much more than that at this point.

But fear not!  Our lovely editor has made sure I am not forgoing my Nine Circles duties, and has loaded me up with  a ton of music to start digesting so when I get back I can get back to sharing what’s hot, what’s not, and what’ll curl your toes with glee or disgust (who am I to judge?).  So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I give you a purview of a few things on my radar over the next few weeks.  Does this seem like a quick ploy to bang a column out before I leave for vacation?  Sure!  Does it matter?  You be the judge!     Continue reading

Nine Circles ov… Power Metal 2007

2007

Ever since I left social media in early 2017 I’ve had plenty of extra time on my hands. Sure, I spend most of that extra time staring at my bedroom wall, but I also use it to go back and listen to tunes from years ago. With the influx of new music being released every week it gets increasingly hard to slow down and listen to albums that entertained you when you were younger. I am definitely guilty of this. Now that I’ve dusted off the old CDs and revisited them I have the opportunity to analyze certain things I may not have thought of the first time around.

One of the things I’ve noticed is despite the early 2000s being a dark time for power metal, the sub-genre had an amazing 2007. Some of my favorite records were released in that year, particularly Manowar, who delivered their most divisive album amongst the die hards: Gods Of War. I can go on for hours talking about Manowar (seriously, I can – ask the dudes who run this site) but there was much more that deserves your attention. So for this edition of Nine Circles ov… I am going to highlight some power metal albums I loved from 2007. These are not ranked but arranged in alphabetical order.
Continue reading