Initial Descent: September 16 – 22, 2018

Krigsgrav
Krigsgrav

Weekend is gone. I’m falling short on words so let’s just get to the week that is in new metal…

Don’t mess with Texas they said, somebody did and now Krigsgrav is back for revenge on Leave No Path To Follow and they’ve one upped themselves again here, no small feat since Waves of Degradation was a killer and likewise for The Carrion Fields but their brand of black metal laced with doom and gazey corners is a full on epic beast to behold. Fórn have been through all kinds of hell over the past two years and it shows in every pained note of Rites of Despair – this is a tremendous doom album that tests wills while keeping anticipations high for what’s to come next, highly recommended but you knew that so buy it already. Following on the heels of Sumac’s free form, on the spot collab with Keiji Haino is Love In Shadow which keeps that feel going but is a return to what they do best: crush souls with a bombardment of cerebral sludge. Last up in the top slots is Wisconsin’s Prezir with their war ready take on gritty yet memorable black metal on As Rats Devour Lions and the blood flows freely, just sayin’.

Jump in below, enjoy everything and stay as long as you like. We’ll see you back here throughout the week. Continue reading

Best of 2016: Dan’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

So yeah, this year sure sucked in a lot of ways, didn’t it?

On a personal level…where to begin? My family said goodbye to our beloved dog, Bailey. I had a rough breakup at the end of April. I got into a deeper rut in my professional life than I’d ever experienced before, which culminated in me quitting my job and leaving New York. I also, briefly, quit Nine Circles. (You didn’t think I’d stay away for good though, did you?)

And that’s just my stuff! Beyond that…well, for starters, pretty much everyone died. Prince, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Craig Sager…I mean, you kind of had to know 2016 was going to be shitty on that front after we lost David goddamn Bowie when the year was scarcely a week old. And that’s all to say nothing of the other shit: escalation of racial tensions across the country, continued apathy toward a changing climate, Christmas Eve / Day and New Year’s Eve / Day both falling on Saturdays and Sundays…it was a lot, man. Oh, and we also elected the personification of an Internet comment section to the presidency. That was neat.

In spite of all that, 2016 wound up being a goddamn banner year for metal. When I first started thinking about this list, I was envisioning maybe a Top 15 – but that quickly grew to a Top 25, and then to its current incarnation: a Top 50, with 20 “ranked” albums and 30 honorable mentions, not to mention EPs. It was just impossible to whittle it down any further; that’s how good metal was this year. Hell, I had a number of albums that featured in my mid-year list that didn’t even make it into the honorable mentions section of this one!

Make no mistake, this year would have felt exponentially shittier without all of those records. In times like these, cueing up a metal record that’s driving you bonkers, throwing your head back and howling at the moon kind of becomes essential to maintaining your sanity. And you know what? Sanity was maintained. (Well, mine at least…I dunno about America’s. All the more reason for America to start listening to more damn metal.)

This year may have thrown every possible pile of feces it could at us, but you know what? We made it through anyway. We’re still here and it’s not. And that’s nothing to turn our noses at. Here are the records that helped make that happen for me:  Continue reading

Best of 2016: Jonathan Petkau’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

Many of you know Jonathan Petkau from his podcast Respectably Loud or his other podcast, which he does with his wife, The X-Hausted Files or from his tireless efforts with the almighty Skulltoaster on Metal Minute or from his black metal project Domestikwom or possibly for keeping the list for MetalBandCampGiftClub nice and tidy. To say Jon is a busy man is an understatement and what I’ve mentioned doesn’t even include Dad duties. So, it is with extreme pleasure and appreciation that we are able to present his Best of 2016 list. Honestly I don’t know where he finds the time to listen to music at all but even the busiest of people need a soundtrack so without further ado, click that continue reading button and jump in. Continue reading

CANTO: New In Flames, New Meshuggah, and some killer tours

in flames battles

“It’s the cowardice that pulls you under, and takes you to the end, where it begins. Release, the world is waiting on your arrival. Close your eyes, as we witness another bullet ride.”

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
– Corey