Josh Thieler’s Favorite Releases of 2017

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

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: Zyklonius’ List

9C 2017 EOY Header Image

Another trip around the sun, another stellar year for metal, with a wealth of riveting riffage, pulverizing beats, blood-curdling growls and blazing tremolos. Verily, this is an era of abundance, where it is impossible to stay on top of the deluge of top-shelf metal released every week. Best of all, quality seems to go hand in hand with quantity. If there ever was an antithesis to the contemporary temptation for instant gratification and disposability, every album I included in my mid-year stocktaking exercise ended up on my end-of-year list, having continued to impress and astonish me as time went by, testament to the spectacular songwriting, boundless creativity and killer riff delivery of the bands that conjured up these stunning works of art. And just when I thought things could not get any better, both seasoned veterans and hungry newcomers arrived, bearing gifts of seismic impact. I hope the following releases enrich your life, even if only with a fraction of the effect they had on me. Now, dig in! Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 21 (12.11.2017)

NINE-CIRCLES_LOGO-Light Background_SQUARE

Not sure how many of you were hit with the snow but it was fun while it lasted. With temps in the 40’s yesterday it’s all but gone from here. We got it early in the season so there’s a good chance we’ll get more, or not. Last week’s playlist was long enough to keep the music going until now but it’s Monday again and that means another playlist. This time, it’s all about what we were listening to last week and hopefully these picks will knock the weekend cobwebs out. Grab some more coffee and say hello to the new week with us and our varied picks. Continue reading

Initial Descent: September 3 – 9, 2017

Helpless
Helpless

Hurricanes can suck it, we’ve had enough but there’s more to come. If you’re in the path of this damn thing get yourself out of harm’s way, it’s not worth trying to pull a Captain Dan. Harsh times call for harsh music and we have plenty of that on this edition of Initial Descent. Leading the way is the UK’s Helpless with their debut full length Debt and honestly this album took me completely by surprise with a brutal mix of grind, hardcore and noise — I can’t recommend this one enough. Next up is the absolutely dark and nasty funeral doom of Usnea‘s Portals into Futility, this band never cease to amaze with their level of utter desparity. Moving on and closing out the opening spots, we have another top shelf surprise with the extremely dark black metal of Biesy on their debut full length Noc Lekkich Obyczajów and honestly this is 42 minutes that will keep you GLUED to the speakers or headphones or whatever you choose to jam it on. But as usual that’s not all so read on to find more that will inevitably become favorites with us. Continue reading

Album Review: Usnea – “Portals Into Futility”

usnea portals into futility cover

Everybody has that list of bands that they swear they’re going to check out at some point, I just need time, I’m just busy with work, I swear I’ll get to them tomorrow, repeat ad infinitum.  One of the bands who sat at the top of my own such list for a good deal of time was Portland, OR’s Usnea.  I’m an absolute sucker for anything funeral doom, so it seems absurd that I had not given this band more than a casual glance yet.  Fortunately, I have a chance to fix that now that the band is set to release their new album, Portals Into Futilitynext week.    Continue reading