Best of 2020: Zyklonius’s List

Best of 2020

In 2020, time became a melting flat circle and the concept of eternal recurrence became far too real, mundane and inescapable. Thankfully the high quality of metal released during the year provided solace, perspective and inspiration that helped endure the blizzard of blurring days, weeks and months. Time lost all structural integrity and meaning also in the sense that you will find full-length albums, EPs and even single-track releases on my list, owing to their excellence, innovation, enjoyability, distinct identity and sound as well the evolutionary leaps the featured bands took. The fact that I could omit from my list so many fantastic releases, from the likes of Afterbirth, Havukruunu, Mare Cognitum & Spectral Lore, Serocs, Sweven, Wake and Wills Dissolve, is simply indicative of the sheer quantity of stellar-grade metal in 2020. The list is long and full of flowery prose elaborating why these particular releases resonated with me, so enough with the prefacing.

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Initial Descent: August 23 – 29, 2020

Necrot
Necrot

Catch that Enslaved Below the Lights stream last week? Maybe it’s still up but if not, and you missed it, shame on you is all I can say. Anyway, another new week and another massive pile of bloody metal to sink your teeth into. Shall we? Rhetorical, of course. The Bay Area’s death metal behemoths Necrot are back with a vicious slab of old school infused death that’ll set your head on fire and make your ears bleed, everyone’s favorite grind masters Pig Destroyer have an EP that is at once familiar but boundary pushing on the backside, Exist chair an all star class on how progressive metal should be done, and Panzerfaust hit us right in the raw yet hypnotic black metal feels and those are good feels, to be sure. See? I told you this week would be massive, and there’s still a ton more below. Enjoy.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 138 (7.18.2020)

playlist - mixtape

Welcome to another edition of our Saturday morning mixtape.  This week, we have a ton of new singles from Unleash the Archers, Primitive Man, Black Magnet, and Full of Hell & Health.  Plus, Chris gives us a triple dose of Fear, we throw a bunch of Rebel Wizard at you (because seriously Magickal Mystical Indifference absolutely rules), and much more.  As always, listen below, and thanks for checking this out.

– Vincent


 

Best of 2019: Zyklonius’ List

Best of 2019

By now, it has become customary for me to recall at the turn of the year how great the past 12 months were for metal and its myriad sub-genres and styles, and how difficult it has become to keep one’s head above the water in the face of the deluge of releases. I have been listening to metal for over 25 years but am still astonished and impressed on a daily basis by the boundless imagination on display, be it the ever-blossoming creativity of bands who have been operating for 20 years or the ravenous appetite of newcomers.  Continue reading

Best of 2016: Zyklonius’ List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

I am writing this intro blurb on Christmas eve, on Lemmy’s birthday and almost exactly a year after his death. Today, the largest newspaper in Finland published a fascinating article discussing Lemmy’s life (unfortunately in Finnish). The article’s lead paragraph notes the failure of humanity to carry on without Lemmy and the shockwave his death created, paving the way for 2016 in all its depressing grimness. Continue reading