Best of 2017: Mark’s List

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It was an honor joining the Nice Circles team this year. I started a series of posts called A Headbanger’s Journey that I hope to continue into 2018.  Late to the party,  I bought an absurd amount of music at the end of the year, much of it from the excellent Nine Circles coverage and I’m just now coming up for breath. In 2016 I went back in time to investigate the early death metal classics of the late 80’s/early 90’s and this year, I did the same with classic punk and hardcore. Both of those genres inform my current listening and are reflected in this list. So, let’s see where the rubber hits the road.   Continue reading

Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

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Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Best of 2017: Josh’s List

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Us writer types always say the current year was an amazing year for metal. And I’m saying it here, 2017 was a killer year for metal. Just when you thought death metal would reign supreme black metal would come through to take over and then charred hardcore would take its place only to have doom metal rear its head. This was a year I thought I nailed and this list would be easy come year’s end. But, no dice on that whatsoever as there were even more favorites than last year. I set out to keep the typical nine full lengths and nine eps but had to scrap that when I failed to make extreme cuts because the quality was too high. Music has and always will be extremely personal to me and I’ve always loved best of list season as it gives me a chance to catch up on what I’ve missed. You’ll find a few albums here that I covered at length earlier in the year as well as others I didn’t get a chance to. But my final picks lived and died on the impact made on me, whether deeply personal or just a ton of fun that I couldn’t stop listening to. Just like I have for as long as I’ve been reading these best of lists, I truly hope you find something here that hits home with you or something you missed that you wish you hadn’t. Music, metal in particular, keeps me going and offers me a place to hunker down and just be me, to shut out the world in general and enjoy listening to artists that keep me entertained and allows me those fleeting moments of peace. Thank you all, you got me through another year and I’m eternally grateful. Let’s get to it shall we… Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

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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

Circle Pit: Albums We Missed, Q3 2017

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Here we are at the end of the third quarter, well really two weeks into the last quarter of the year. But, who’s counting? We missed some things that we wanted to cover around their respective release dates — it happens. As we do from time to time, a few of us got together to share some albums that we feel strongly about and that should garner more of your time as a listener. Whether you decide to set aside some precious time for these is up to you but we love them and hope you feel the same. So without further ado, here’s our picks out of what we didn’t cover but should have… Continue reading