Nine Circles ov…Ian’s Mid-Year Favorites

I’ve really been itching to do a mid-year round-up for a while now, but I have a little bit of reservation about it.  Mostly, I don’t really want to spoil anything for the end of the year, because it’s usually around this time that I find the one or two albums that I KNOW are going to top my December list, and this year feels no different.  You gotta wait if you want the goods, but in the meantime, this edition of Nine Circles ov… is a list, in no particular order, of albums that I have been really enjoying this year.  Some are metal, some are non-metal, some may keep their position until the end of the year and some might end up as honorable mentions, but none of them are the absolute top.  Sorry, no spoilers, but these are still fantastic albums well worth the repeated listens I have given them.

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 240 (7.16.2022)

We’re doing something a little different for this, our 240th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist. Around the 9C offices the jibberjab has been about mid-year favorites (maybe you’ve read a few of our posts), and so I decided to ask each of the folks on staff to supply me with a track from their favorite metal (or metal adjacent) album this year.

I’m not gonna say who picked what, but I can say all of these choices righteously rock. And there was one album that was a three-way tie among the staff (what can I say, Corey, Josh and I have excellent – and similar – taste) so in instances of duplicates we let one person pick the track and the others would choose from their second favorite album. So settle in and crank it LOUD, and enjoy some of the best music to come out so far in 2022, including cuts from Saor, Pyrithe, Zeal & Ardor, A Pregnant Light, Nite, Kreator, Wilderun, Tzompantli and a bunch more…

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris

Initial Descent: May 1 – 7, 2022

God Mother
God Mother – image courtesy of Annie Månsson

Draft day was last week, it’s finally warm, we’re still getting an obscene amount of good metal, and, needless to say, all this makes me happy. And, the fact that it’s Monday doesn’t phase me one bit. Alright then, new metal and we got it and you need it so dig in and see what’s up this week…everyone’s favorite d-beat-grind-hardcorists God Mother are back with an absolute steamroller of an EP, the undisputed kings of power doom, Ufomammut, grace us with a killer album, Tzompantli offers up a very unique and very heavy take on death-doom, Tenebro goes whole hog on the Italian horror movie love by way of gritty and nasty death metal, and there’s an unbelievably long list that follows to entertain any tastes. No excuses, go get them. Oh, want to see your band here in the future? Get in touch, contact info awaits on the about page. See you here throughout the week…

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 225 (4.02.2022)

playlist - mixtape

We’re back, and it feels like Spring is really starting to take a hold. I’ve been re-organizing my vinyl collection the past few days, figuring out just where the hell everything is going to fit and how I’m going to explain to my wife why I need to take over another room before the next stack arrives. First world problems to be sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use it to kick off the 225th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, you know?

We’re gonna kick things off with some of the surprises I’ve discovered the last week, starting with new music from Michael Romeo, who brings the heavy prog I crave from Symphony X on his new solo joint. Anton ups the tech factor with some ripping new Inanimate Existence and follows it up with Luminous Vault and Lustmord collaborating with The Ocean. Josh digs into the dank earth of death metal to give light to Analepsy, Visceral Explosion, and Flesh Configuration before shaking things up a bit with Downcross and Real Steel. Vincent goes wide as usual with the newest single from Devil Master, Tzompantli, Falls of Rauros and deep cut from the Pieces of April soundtrack by Stephin Merrit. Hera returns to the playlist and brings Ibaraki, Ghost, Terzij de Horde, Playgrounded, Sadist, and something I’m assuming is called You May Kiss the Bride? I don’t know..it’s heavy though! Next up is Angela bringing some long awaited new music from Meshuggah as well as Frayle, Amenra, and Bhleg. Once again bringing up rear guard is Buke, and he’s chock full of great stuff, from the new Haunt single to some real old classic Opeth, Morbid Angel, Ripping Corpse, Autopsy, and finally some truly classic prog in the way of the might Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Get listening. Stay safe. See you next week.

Chris