Best of 2018: Zyklonius’ List

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Ah, 2018. What an absurd, exhausting and often infuriating ride you were, with death as my ubiquitous companion and co-pilot. You entailed on one hand a near-cataclysmic series of loved ones dying around me in rapid succession, while on the other, an ever-flowing stream of metal that helped make that maelstrom somehow survivable and acceptable for yours truly.

As you, the well-informed reader, likely noticed during the course of the year, and will see again when you read further below, 2018 was a banner year for death metal of all colors and shapes, but most and especially for the boundary-pushing kind that redefines and reconfigures the entire genre. Another type of metal that really resonated with me was one of transcendence and catharsis, of dreamlike journey, cosmic marvel and triumphant rebirth. Overall, the vast array of diverse evolutionary pathways, latest career pinnacles, and dazzling artistic growth and achievement in the field of metal was a compelling sight to behold and a wondrous thing to experience.

As further proof of the excellent and exciting state of metal today, albums worthy of inclusion in the below list continued to be released until the very final days of the year, resulting in perhaps the strongest December release-wise in recent memory.

With this succinct backdrop in mind, I offer the following 23 releases as a tribute to goddess Eris. Continue reading

Best of 2018: Josh’s List

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I had a plan in January. The same plan I have every January: to only document the albums that strike a major chord in one way or another. Yet, here we sit in December and I’m debating on at least one or two of my locked list and mourning those who fell off. Don’t take ‘fell off’ as a knock either. It simply means there was no shortage of amazing albums this year and well, I just enjoy the torture of whittling away on my favorites (not).

I’ve spoken at length about how important music is for life in general and how important it is for me as someone that had a finger on the play button for nearly all 8,760 hours that made up this year. EOY lists, I love them – always have and always will. It’s a chance to purge all the best and move on to yet another cycle into the unknown. Fire walk with me through the albums that hit home the hardest… Continue reading

Initial Descent: December 16 – 22, 2018

Sulphur Aeon
Sulphur Aeon

Mid December and everyone is smack dab in the center of the end of year festivities. We’ve begun and will continue, as will many others so be sure to stick around for all the party favors and maybe even an album or two you missed. But wait! We still have a couple weeks of new releases to go and the quality just won’t quit. What’s up this week? Read on…

Germany’s Sulphur Aeon are back with their third full length The Scythe of Cosmic Chaos and I don’t disagree with what a good friend of mine had to say about it: “they’re dropping that killer The Satanist follow up Behemoth forgot to do.” Next up is the Greek technical death metal phenoms, Cerebrum, with Iridium and this is one full of complexities designed to make you beg for more and then there’s the brutish vocals, just sayin’. Last up top this week (yea, I did go with three this week and glad you noticed) is the HM2 infused death / black / melodic powerhouse In Shadows and Dust with Enlightened By Darkness — this thing smokes, so hop to it.

The quantity wanes but, like I said, the quality remains. Just be sure to keep exploring in the midst of all the EOY shindigs. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 55 (10.27.2018)

playlist - mixtape

Yea, I know it’s been almost a month since we had one of these. Things happened, blah blah. Anyway, this here playlist is back – at least for this week. A lot has happened since the last one, a lot has been released and we’ve had our ears on a lot of stuff. Some of which we’re sharing with you directly below. I mean, we always talk music around the water cooler anyway so why not share, right? Right. And yes, we give you The Ocean right off the bat, album is FINALLY out this week – score. You came here for the tunes and not the talk so, shall we…

– Josh