Best of 2017: Mark’s List

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It was an honor joining the Nice Circles team this year. I started a series of posts called A Headbanger’s Journey that I hope to continue into 2018.  Late to the party,  I bought an absurd amount of music at the end of the year, much of it from the excellent Nine Circles coverage and I’m just now coming up for breath. In 2016 I went back in time to investigate the early death metal classics of the late 80’s/early 90’s and this year, I did the same with classic punk and hardcore. Both of those genres inform my current listening and are reflected in this list. So, let’s see where the rubber hits the road.   Continue reading

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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Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

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Its been a long time since I posted anything for Nine Circles. Of all the things 2017 has been for me, it has definitely been the busiest I’ve ever been. I joined more bands, recorded drums / vocals for other bands, art for my bands and other bands, PR for my bands and others, started a record label, and a bunch of other stuff. I miss being more active with Nine Circles but it looks like the current staff has been crushing it!

Anyway, the time has come for year end list. I love reading everyone’s lists and seeing what albums I might have missed or maybe need to check out again. I hope you find some new music in here you will enjoy. Continue reading

Best of 2017: Greg Rosenstahl from Godz ov War Productions

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For those of you unaware, Godz ov War Productions is a record label from Poland that specializes in the extremely extreme side of metal. Just this year alone the label has released albums from Pig’s Blood, Persecutory, Corpse Garden and Loathfinder just to name a few. And behind every good label is a workhorse capable of vaulting insane amounts of work with bands, day to day business of said label, PR, keeping up with a store and Bandcamp page, constantly curating a social media presence and overseeing various streaming platforms. For Godz ov War this workhorse is Greg Rosenstahl and I’m convinced the man never sleeps. It’s obvious he lives, eats and breathes for the label and the bands he works with based on the results we all can easily see. Just what does someone who works in, and with, all things extreme pick for the best of 2017? Head inside to find out. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 17 (11.13.2017)

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Good morning all, hope that monster size cup of coffee is treating you right so far. Plenty of the same happening here and the eyes are finally losing their weekend glaze. I hit up Primitive Man and Bell Witch over the weekend, the ears are still ringing but it hurts so good — you all know that feeling very well I’m sure. More to come on that at a later date but for now we must fill your ears with the goodness we, collectively, were listening to last week and consequently help those of you who don’t drink coffee. Consider it a pick me up, you’re welcome. Anyway, subscribe to our You Tube channel here and head inside for your Monday morning blast. Continue reading