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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Album Review: Sorcerer – “The Crowning of the Fire King”

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I wish there were more bands fighting to claim the mantle of melodic doom made essential by bands like Candlemass and Solitude Aeternus.  In most cases bands tend to slip too far over to either pure doom or more traditional metal.  Striking that balance between incredible riffs, melodies and solos while maintaining keep your feet firmly planted in a solemn doom foundation is tough.  Unless you happen to be Sorcerer, who can seemingly pull head banging, fist pumping anthems to the heavy out of thin air on their newest album The Crowning of the Fire King.   Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 14 (10.23.2017)

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We’ve passed lucky number 13 and are moving right along. This thing has been going for nearly four months now, where does the time go? Rhetorical question of course. Anyway, after a weekend full of mountains, breweries and fire pits my get up and go is at its absolute minimum to be honest. But we’ve got another eclectic playlist to share with you that hopefully will help open those eyelids and get the blood pumping. You know the drill: subscribe here to stay up to date with these things and head inside for today’s soundtrack. Continue reading

CANTO: Batushka, Sorcerer, Hallatar, and More

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10/18/2017. I leave for Detroit on Friday.

This is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. The above video? Also impressive.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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