Scholar of the First Sin: Hera’s Best of 2018

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Yes, that title is a Dark Souls reference, and it’s a title I would like to have some day.

Anyway, it’s that time of year where we all just want to enjoy the last vestiges of holidays before the new year begins and we all decide to make lists. Whether it is for presents, things to throw out, or just a general shopping list for Christmas, we are bound to make one.

However, here in the hallowed halls of 9C, we are making one better: It’s time for EOY list season!

2018 was an impressive year for music in general. The sheer amount of releases this year was mind-blowing – so much so that I decided to make it into a top 20. That’s right: I expanded my list because 10 ain’t gonna cut it. However, there were a lot of albums left out from this list because they weren’t being as heavily played as they were supposed to be or they came out too late for me to actually put on this list (sorry Within Temptation!). I also decided to cut EPs from this list, as they deserve their own separate thing that won’t be explored until I have some more time. Let’s get started… Continue reading

Angst and Loss In Translation: The Lyricism of Sinistro – “Sangue Cassia”

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Despite the prevalence of translated material across the world, things, like the nuances and imagery of the native language, get lost in translation. However, this hasn’t stopped professional translators from doing their jobs, whether it is to translate to a room full of people or translating books into English and vice versa. Such is the case with Sangue CassiaSinistro’s most recent effort – an album filled with nuances and imagery whose story may be lost in translation.

Full disclaimer: I do not speak Portuguese. My translation and interpretation skills lie in switching between Spanish and English. Despite this, I couldn’t help but be enamored of the idea of being able to translate the lyrics and understand them in context – or at least, try to understand them in context (after all, Spanish and Portuguese are language cousins). Due to this, my translation and interpretations may be incorrect, so please take them with a grain of salt. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 28 – Best of January Edition (2.5.2018)

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After a weekend full of criss-crossing the NC mountains, visiting breweries and eating some amazing food, it’s time once again to start a new week. I’m fine with this, for once, and am looking forward to more weekends just like this one. Anyway, we’re switching it up a little this week and highlighting some of our collective favorites from last month and a couple of extras as well. May do this on a regular basis and may not but we had fun discussing these and we hope it makes today just a little better. Music does have the power to do that. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here and head inside for a listen to what made our January better. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 27 (1.29.2018)

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Monday. Again. Yes, that infamous day that drags us from sleep too early and forces us back into the world at large. But, rather than focus on the negative, we have another playlist full of tunes that will bring you to life and jumpstart the week. Breaking from the norm of just a playlist, I want to mention a couple of new releases that, rightfully, took up a huge chunk of time this weekend: Neverending Winter – Сеногной and Sanguine Moon – What Shadows Once Hid… Be sure and check those out. Moving on, subscribe to our YouTube channel here and head inside to listen along as we share last week’s tunes. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 24 (1.8.2018)

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The dawn of a new week…or Monday depending on your point of view. I always love the feel of a new year, so much hope and the timing is right for fresh thinking about what’s expected. You can choose to be a negative ninnie or you can choose to look at everything with fresh eyes and thoughts. I’m not suggesting a complete turn away from the world at large but I am suggesting to find things: music, people, friends, family or whatever does it for you, and place emphasis on these things. We’re challenging ourselves this year and we hope you’ll do the same. Anyway, enough rah rah talk — the music we jammed on last week awaits. Subscribe here and hit the play button immediately below. Grab a fresh cup of coffee, you can thank us later. Continue reading