CANTO: Gatecreeper, Vintersea, Swampbeast, and More

I think this is going to be a pretty massive year in metal, and we’re gonna need it.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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All In: Nine Circles ov 2020 — The Staff’s Combined List

Best of 2020

Greetings everyone, and welcome to Best of 2020 season! I know we are all anxiously awaiting another calendar turn, but before we start dealing with Decaying Society: Episode 2021, we have some highlights from the metal world to discuss. And let’s face it, despite the absurdity of 2020 in every sense of the term, there were still plenty of monster releases that graced our ears in the last 12 months. Before we roll into our individual lists, we’re kicking the season off with our combined staff list. First a reminder of how this all works…

Like last year, each member of the Nine Circles staff (well, most of them), chose their nine favorite albums (inclusive of EPs), listed in order, and up to nine honorable mentions. Obviously, branding counts. A scoring system was applied to the rankings. For example, one person’s first place album received 10 points, the second received 9, so on and so forth… and all honorable mentions received 1 point. Then, combining the scores between everyone’s lists, we have ourselves a Nine Circles ov 2020, brought to you by, well, everyone.

One change to it this year, however, is that we’ve also crowned a label of the year, using the same scoring process as above. Clearly the highest honor in the industry. Who claimed this title for 2020? You’ll have to wait until the very end.

Anyway, that’s all simple enough, right? Right. Enough reading, let’s get into it…

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Initial Descent: December 13 – 19, 2020

Akhlys
Akhlys – photo courtesy of Kuba Leszko

I know; lists, right? We’re in that season and you’ve probably read a ton and will read a ton more but this list is new stuff and if you’ll remember, last week I said the hits just continue to roll in. Now, I prove it with more of those new hits. Black metallers Akhlys are back to wreck the sleep/dream continuum as only they can, Wombbath and Pillory keep death metal brutal and nasty, and Grayceon offer something vastly different in the form of prog rock but as the album cover eludes, it’s got way more depth than just prog and rock. Yep, hits. And lots of them. Roll through all the goods below and go support as many as you can. You can also gift them to your friends and enemies since we’re in that season too, just a thought.

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CANTO: Paradise Lost, Wake, Darkest Hour, and More

Paradise Lost 2020

Had to take the last few days off due to travel and drunken shenanigans.

  • Paradise Lost have announced a streaming show, which will take place on November 5th. Tickets for the event can be purchased here, and as always, there are VIP options and some swag.
  • Wake just dropped a new EP yesterday titled Confluence. Give it a listen here, and maybe also buy one of those gorgeous physical copies, which will be released through Translation Loss Records.
  • Darkest Hour are performing a streaming event as well, with Misery Signals, on December 5th. Proceeds from the event will support struggling music venues, so make sure you scoop up a ticket here.
  • Finally, some fresh death metal out of Ukraine. Here is a new music video from Hell:on for “My Testament”, a track taken from their upcoming new album, Scythian Stamm, which drops on November 1st.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”
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