Ah, yes. Here we are again. Yet another journey around the sun has given us reason to pause and reflect on how lucky we are to have, almost literally, an indefinite source of music and art to appreciate at any moment in time. In this case, the musical form known as heavy metal. Yes, even in our very defined place in the artistic world, there is an unending wave of inspired music that we endlessly celebrate, together, across the globe. Except… wait, metal internet is basically the worst and ruins everything, doesn’t it? Nevermind. Continue reading
It appears I’m destined to be late to the party with my year end list, again. But really, who reads year-end lists in January anyway?
And you, apparently, read them as well, so thank you for checking mine out. This year was quite a ride for me, with not as many ups as there were downs unfortunately, but I made it through, and if there is nothing else for me to hold on to, it’s that. I made it. I’m still here, I still have a roof over my head, a loving partner, and the support of a legion of family and friends. And as always, good music to provide the soundtrack along the way.
Which brings us to what stood out to me in 2018. While this was a great year for music as any we’ve been having, my list this year is a little more brief than previous years. I found a lot of albums I liked this year, but the ones that I loved came fewer and farther between. Perhaps this was a product of my headspace not being the best for most of the time. Maybe I’m just getting pickier as time goes on. Who knows. Lists are subjective, and this is only representative of one humble person. But if you’re curious about what I kept coming back to over the last twelve months, then read on…
And hey. Thanks for being here. Continue reading
Oh boy. Honestly, I probably should have waited until all my year end lists published before diving into albums I had lofty expectations for. Oh well. The good news is, out of the five albums I previewed (which is definitely the wrong word to use here) back in January, four of them have been released and the fifth definitely won’t be anytime soon. If ever. So I can talk about most of these! Shall we? Continue reading
* 8/29 mea culpa: After some robust discussion online I’ve added a new paragraph addressing in part the thorny issue of including “problematic bands” in a list such as this. Providing proper context is always important, and I failed to do that. The fault is mine, and I hope the added commentary helps clarify the choices made.
Ah, social media…where would we complain and spit our vitriol over “Best Of” lists if we didn’t have you? Last week’s ire in a buttercup came from Metal Hammer‘s list of “The 40 Best Black Metal Albums Ever” — a post that at its heart really just outlined 40 really good to great albums influential to the genre over the course of three decades. Compiled and with commentary by Dayal Patterson, a man that knows a thing or two about black metal, the article (I’m guessing titled by parent company Louder/Future Pic to generate more clicks — successfully) instead served as fodder for other sites to call out and complain over as well as get the always sensible metal community to froth at the mouth over what was and wasn’t on a list that in all reality serves as a pretty nice introduction to the early evolution of a now expansive and diverse genre.
Well, for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. we show that we’re not above our own cheap commentary, even if it’s at our own expense… Continue reading
In the next few days the solstice will arrive, marking the longest day of the year before making its inexorable tread back to darkness. So why not listen to some of the music the Nine Circles staff have been blasting in an increasingly futile attempt to impose some semblance of order into our chaotic lives? There’s a mix of a number of different sounds this week, running from hardcore and black metal to country and whatever we’re classifying Zeal & Ardor these days (besides excellent).
Grab a beverage, make sure your sunglasses are snug, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel here so you can treasure these playlists forever like a parent with severe attachment issues. As a creepy dude on an island once said, “Be seeing you.” Continue reading