Best of 2016, Q1: Literati Overlord’s List

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I can’t really decide how I feel about 2016 in terms of new metal just yet. The albums that have impressed me — and I mean really impressed me — are among some of the best works I’ve heard in years. But then on the other hand, those were rather limited in number and much of the rest was ‘good-not-great’. Regardless, quarterly recap time is always a blast, so I’m excited about the end of Q1 either way.

The one thing I will note before getting into my list is the diversity in quality metal from the past few months. While 2015 saw black metal rise to the top for the majority of the year, I have already been more impressed by various death, doom, and folk metal outfits, making 2016’s Q1 list far more diverse than last year’s. And that’s just good fun for everyone. Anyway, I don’t want to ramble anymore than I already have. Let’s get on with it. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Podcast: Episode 37

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It’s the first episode of Q2, and as luck would have it, neither Dan nor Corey paid much attention to metal news in the last week. So instead, they’re recapping their favorite albums from Q1! Take a listen and catch up on albums from LycusNa∂raOranssi Pazuzu and more, plus a look ahead to some highly anticipated albums slated for the next three months!

All that and…not all that much more in Episode 37 — I mean, you’ll get your Heaven and Hell, of course, because water is wet — but check it out anyway!

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Keep it heavy,
Dan

Album Review: Skuggsjá – “A Piece for Mind & Mirror”

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Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik’s Skuggsjá is a musical collaboration that came together as a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution. In 2014. But after positive reception at the Eidsivablot festival in Norway and then later at Roadburn 2015, it was decided that the piece needed to be recorded; to be made available for a the masses. And am I ever grateful this… experiment, I suppose, reached this point. Centered around traditions and tales of their Norse background, with A Piece for Mind & Mirror, Skuggsjá have created what is undoubtedly the most mesmerizing collection of sounds so far in 2016. Nestled somewhere in the intersection of folk, black metal, and post metal, it is a true masterpiece that is capable of enticing audiences of all genres. Continue reading

Initial Descent: March 11, 2016

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I’m starting this off with a picture of Germany’s Accuser, because there’s not a TON else coming out today — and I’m sure as hell not about to lead with a picture of Killswitch Engage. Who, yes, still exist and who, yes, are also dropping a new album today. Oh well. We’ve also got a new split from Panopticon and Waldgefluster, as well as a reissue from Auroch, so get ready to dig your teeth in. Here’s what’s on tap for Friday, March 11:
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Throwback Thursday: Enslaved turns Twenty-Five!

Aside from our very rigid fitness regimen the rules over at Nine Circles are pretty simple. We like a staff that enjoys music, wants to spread that love to other people and, most importantly, has a deeply entrenched love for the band Enslaved. Hell, I met Corey (the Literati Overlord) for the first time at an Enslaved show. So when Enslaved turns twenty-five we stop and take pause. Few bands have put out the absolutely massive catalog that they have. The band has put out fifteen full-lengths (ok, one was a split with Emperor), toured the world many times over and attended many a North American hockey game. So what is the band doing to celebrate? Follow the jump to find out. Continue reading