Best of 2018: Chris’s List

EOY 2018 Header 9C

What does music do for you?

In the end, it’s the only question that matters.  An admittedly hard question to hear, what with the screaming of every opinion in every corner of the internet, but in the end when you step away from the noise and muck of screen shouting and scene guarding it’s your opinion in the end.  Every year that I’ve written an end of year list for Nine Circles it’s been a variation of the same theme: when we write about music, we’re writing about ourselves.  What matters is what the music does to you, and for you.

But what’s the point, if you’re really only writing for yourself? Continue reading

Interview: Tony and John of Judicator on “The Last Emperor,” Finding Light in the Trappings of History, and the State of Power Metal

Judicator Band Photo 2

In the hallowed halls of modern power metal, Judicator hold a special place.  Over the course of three albums they’ve held the banner high for the genre, emphasizing strong, intricate songwriting that balances passion and power, unafraid to incorporate different styles into the mix but always in service to the song.  New album The Last Emperor only lifts that banner higher, building off of everything that came before even as it sets itself apart from its predecessors and what the rest of the community is doing.  It’s exciting, technical without feeling staid, and an instant contender for end of year lists.  You can read our own Power Metal Frank’s take on the album, which I happen to be in complete agreement with, so when the opportunity arose to talk to Tony Cordisco and John Yelland I jumped at the chance.

There’s some great stuff to unpack here, so without further ado check it out after the jump.    Continue reading

Album Review: Judicator – “The Last Emperor”

The Last Emperor Front Cover

I’ve said it before in a post or two in the past, but I’m gonna say it again: the year of our Lord (Joey DeMaio) 2015 was – in my humble opinion – the best year Power Metal has ever had. It just seemed that every power metal album was of superb quality. One album at the top of that great list was Judicator’s critically acclaimed third offering At The Expense of Humanity. They steered away from the historical concepts from their first two albums and delivered a record very personal both lyrically and sonically. After a few bumps in the road they are finally releasing their fourth, The Last Emperor. The question I asked myself before I started listening was can they continue that passionate sound while going back to a historical theme? I hate to give it away right at the opener but the answer is a resounding HOLY CHRIST, YES!!! Continue reading