The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 110 (12.28.2019)

playlist - mixtape

Welcome to another Saturday mixtape. One that I don’t have to frantically throw together at the last Minute!  Because I actually managed to plan ahead for once!  Go me.  Let’s celebrate together with another batch of our favorite songs we’ve been listening to lately.  We’ve got a full house and some eclectic picks today, so there’s plenty out there for everyone.  Thanks for taking the time out to read the last one of these for this decade.

– Vincent

Best of 2019: Charles’s List

Best of 2019

Every year I come up with a list of albums, and every year I have trouble trying to firmly rank them. Also, doesn’t everyone just scroll to the end to see what the best album is? I know I do. So here’s my list where the first entries are the best, and it gets decidedly fuzzier after that. But one thing is certain, every album on this list is one of the best albums of the year. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

(ed: Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or just happy Wednesday, whatever. Consider this a break from the family deal where there’s too many bags of torn gift wrap and cousin Eddie is playing banjo on your last nerve. Enjoy Charles’ picks and check all these out seeing as you’ve got all those gift cards and/or extra cash burning a hole in that pocket.)

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Best of 2016: Dan’s List

Nine Circles Best of 2016 Standard

So yeah, this year sure sucked in a lot of ways, didn’t it?

On a personal level…where to begin? My family said goodbye to our beloved dog, Bailey. I had a rough breakup at the end of April. I got into a deeper rut in my professional life than I’d ever experienced before, which culminated in me quitting my job and leaving New York. I also, briefly, quit Nine Circles. (You didn’t think I’d stay away for good though, did you?)

And that’s just my stuff! Beyond that…well, for starters, pretty much everyone died. Prince, Alan Rickman, Phife Dawg, Craig Sager…I mean, you kind of had to know 2016 was going to be shitty on that front after we lost David goddamn Bowie when the year was scarcely a week old. And that’s all to say nothing of the other shit: escalation of racial tensions across the country, continued apathy toward a changing climate, Christmas Eve / Day and New Year’s Eve / Day both falling on Saturdays and Sundays…it was a lot, man. Oh, and we also elected the personification of an Internet comment section to the presidency. That was neat.

In spite of all that, 2016 wound up being a goddamn banner year for metal. When I first started thinking about this list, I was envisioning maybe a Top 15 – but that quickly grew to a Top 25, and then to its current incarnation: a Top 50, with 20 “ranked” albums and 30 honorable mentions, not to mention EPs. It was just impossible to whittle it down any further; that’s how good metal was this year. Hell, I had a number of albums that featured in my mid-year list that didn’t even make it into the honorable mentions section of this one!

Make no mistake, this year would have felt exponentially shittier without all of those records. In times like these, cueing up a metal record that’s driving you bonkers, throwing your head back and howling at the moon kind of becomes essential to maintaining your sanity. And you know what? Sanity was maintained. (Well, mine at least…I dunno about America’s. All the more reason for America to start listening to more damn metal.)

This year may have thrown every possible pile of feces it could at us, but you know what? We made it through anyway. We’re still here and it’s not. And that’s nothing to turn our noses at. Here are the records that helped make that happen for me:  Continue reading

Initial Descent: April 15, 2016

Phew. We’ve had a few big weeks in a row, so I’m not gonna lie…it’s kinda nice to have a bit of a slower one this week. And also, I’m off work today, so I can actually catch up on some of this stuff! Anyway, “slower” doesn’t mean “slow,” though. There’s still a bunch of cool stuff dropping: from Swedish hardcore legends Victims (whom our own Manny-O-War just interviewed), to the debut full-length from Chicago death crew Nucleus. As you can see, this week’s no slouch — so let’s not waste any more time talking about it. Here’s what’s on tap for Friday, April 15:
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Album Review: Victims – “Sirens”

Victims-Sirens-1500x1500Five years is a long time for any band to not put out a new release, but in circles of punk and hardcore, it’s practically unheard of. The exception to the rule is when you’ve put out a spree of albums so significant and critically acclaimed that you can bask in the afterglow. Such is the case with Stockholm-based Victims, whose newest album Sirens continues in the tradition of the fiery but melodic Swedish crust punk. Sirens does introduce a few subtle changes into the band’s sound, though, which makes it stand out all the more from their already near-flawless discography.  Continue reading