Best of 2018: Josh’s List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Best of 2018: Chris’s List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

What does music do for you?

In the end, it’s the only question that matters.  An admittedly hard question to hear, what with the screaming of every opinion in every corner of the internet, but in the end when you step away from the noise and muck of screen shouting and scene guarding it’s your opinion in the end.  Every year that I’ve written an end of year list for Nine Circles it’s been a variation of the same theme: when we write about music, we’re writing about ourselves.  What matters is what the music does to you, and for you.

But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading

Nine Circles ov…Recent Albums I Only Have Time to Review in One Sentence

9C inbox

Sometimes you hit that point in your inbox where you just want to take the poor thing outside and put it out of its misery.  The glut of things unassigned, unread or untouched is a sight to behold.  We tread in fear of accidentally clicking on a link and having the whole thing fall in on our heads, Romanian hardcode tolling against the latest skate punk out of California busting heads with Australian progressive black metal and whatever the hell that weird buzzing sound is coming out of Europe.

It is, as they say in the parlance of the time, swole.

So for this edition of Nine Circles ov…. I thought I’d try to run through a few recent releases and give them a little space here on the site, and also ease the burgeoning hemorrhage our inbox is suffering.  But time is short, and I can already see the next wave of promos coming in, so we’re gonna make this quick and relegate each release to a single sentence.  Ready? Set? Go!   Continue reading

Premiere: Piah Mater – “Solace In Oblivion”

Piah Mater - The Wandering Daughter

With a Profile appearance and a top slot in Initial Descent, Brazil’s Piah Mater have made a big impact, with their forthcoming The Wandering Daughter, here in the halls of Nine Circles. Their truly progressive approach to death and black metal is robust, forward thinking and memorable. Now, I know progressive is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days but when a band actually favors or promotes change and innovation within their music as this trio does they’ve earned the right to flaunt the tag with impunity. Today, we are extremely pleased to bring you a premiere of the album’s second track “Solace In Oblivion” which is an excellent example of everything just mentioned and furthermore is an ambitious statement for a relatively young band. Head directly below to hear and experience it for yourself. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 30 – October 6, 2018

Behemoth 2018

October, finally. The best month of the year is upon us which is a cause for celebration. ‘But, it’s Monday’ you say – hogwash, it’s the first day of October. Moving on, metal is celebrating another release week and we’ve got your fix for all things shiny and new. What’s in store? Keep reading…

The world is pretty dark and Behemoth loves us as noted from the title of their eleventh full length I Loved You At Your Darkest. What can I say? Behemoth is still Behemoth and even though it’s not a great album it is a good one, if you dug their last handful you’ll dig this one as well. Based on the lead off single, High On Fire is back sounding better than ever with Electric Messiah which should come as no surprise – galloping riff thunder from the riff lord, color me excited. The ever chaotic and apocalyptic brand of black metal that Carpe Noctem debuted back in 2013 is even more upfront on Vitrun but more than that, this thing is an absolute beast that towers over their debut – highly recommended. Last up top is Brazil’s Piah Mater with a truly progressive death / black / rock effort on The Wandering Daughter and when I say this thing impressed the hell out of me I mean it wholeheartedly. They strike an outstanding balance of Opeth and Enslaved but turn it into something wholly their own and show off some outstanding chops in the process. Just go buy it already.

Enough chat, there’s a long list to get to down there so have at it. Continue reading