Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

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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Keeper of the Flame: Frank’s List of the Best Power Metal of 2017

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Well, 2017 is at an end. You know what that means, don’t ya?

LISTS!!!

I’m gonna keep this intro short and sweet because this is all about the tunes. Since Nine Circles is the mecca of extreme music discussion, I’m going to change things up a bit. My list is strictly Power Metal. As the resident Power Metal guru I want to highlight 20 great albums from this awesome, yet misunderstood sub-genre. If you’re okay with Power Metal, cool! If not…LEAVE THE HALL!!! I now present to you my 20 favorite Power Metal albums of 2017.   Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 25 – October 1, 2016

Winterfylleth
Winterfylleth

Here we are at the dawn of October. One of the finest months of the year, obviously. What better way to kick it off than with a stacked list of metal that is as varied as the many horror movies you need to watch over the next 31 days. Anyway, Initial Descent knows you need it so, this week we have the amazing new album The Dark Hereafter from Winterfylleth, a jazzy avant-garde self titled debut from Brain Tentacles, Okkultokrati‘s Raspberry Dawn that is satan rock at it’s finest and of course Sorceress from everyone’s favorite target Opeth. For everyone still mad about the whole no death metal thing, news flash, they’re still great. Also Veilburner returns with their third full length of inherently evil and challenging black/death/experimental The Obscene Rite and Halshug cracks the earth in half with their brutal new album Sort Sind. Plenty here for you to enjoy so without further delay, get busy after the jump. Continue reading

Album Review: Seven Kingdoms – “In the Walls” (EP)

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Florida power metal act Seven Kingdoms’ new EP In the Walls is a taste of what will hopefully be featured on their upcoming full-length, due out in January 2017. It contains four tracks: two songs off the new album and two re-recorded songs from their debut full length Brothers of the Night. Clocking in at only 20 minutes, this album teaser will definitely have you circling the calendar for the upcoming full length. There are no low points here and features what you expect from power metal; incredible musicianship, near-flawless vocals, immense strength and passion. All of which has driven Seven Kingdoms since album one. 
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