Best of 2017: Josh’s List

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Us writer types always say the current year was an amazing year for metal. And I’m saying it here, 2017 was a killer year for metal. Just when you thought death metal would reign supreme black metal would come through to take over and then charred hardcore would take its place only to have doom metal rear its head. This was a year I thought I nailed and this list would be easy come year’s end. But, no dice on that whatsoever as there were even more favorites than last year. I set out to keep the typical nine full lengths and nine eps but had to scrap that when I failed to make extreme cuts because the quality was too high. Music has and always will be extremely personal to me and I’ve always loved best of list season as it gives me a chance to catch up on what I’ve missed. You’ll find a few albums here that I covered at length earlier in the year as well as others I didn’t get a chance to. But my final picks lived and died on the impact made on me, whether deeply personal or just a ton of fun that I couldn’t stop listening to. Just like I have for as long as I’ve been reading these best of lists, I truly hope you find something here that hits home with you or something you missed that you wish you hadn’t. Music, metal in particular, keeps me going and offers me a place to hunker down and just be me, to shut out the world in general and enjoy listening to artists that keep me entertained and allows me those fleeting moments of peace. Thank you all, you got me through another year and I’m eternally grateful. Let’s get to it shall we… 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

Initial Descent: November 5 – 11, 2017

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Vitriol – courtesy of Charlotte Gane

Darkness falls way too early now and it feels as though there’s not enough time to get anything done. Yea, I’m complaining a bit but honestly I hate the time change. But on the plus side, this is the time of year I always seem to revisit some of my favorite frostbitten and grim metal albums but also revel in finding new favorites as well. And with that let’s get to it. Leading us off this week is the astounding Pain Will Define Their Death EP from death metallers Vitriol and believe me when I say these three tracks WILL turn your head, Cloak offer up their charred and extremely addictive take on heavy metal with debut To Venomous DepthsSomnuri also offer up a great full length debut with Somnuri which is sludgy, noisy, heavy and forward thinking — hard to pin down but fun to try, and Swedeath torch runners Under the Church return with their second full length Supernatural Punishment which, astoundingly, bests their ridiculously good debut. Well, I’m off to see Primitive Man and life is good. Dive in and stick around for awhile, there is much to explore… Continue reading

Interview: Vitriol on Identity, Originality and Bearing the Torch for Extreme Metal

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Vitriol – courtesy of Charlotte Gane
I’m seeing more and more coverage for Oregon’s Vitriol and honestly I couldn’t be happier. My first exposure to this barbarically brutish death / extreme metal band was through their “Victim” video — within the first minute I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It was savage in its sound, relentless in its pace and ultra-technical in its construction but the standout was in how much of the death metal I came to know and love long ago was contained in these few minutes: gritty, violent and absolutely true to the genre. Pain Will Define Their Death sees its release next week and within the three songs contained, the exact same can be said for all. We’ve featured them in a recent Profile and in our Monday morning playlists, today we are proud to feature them in a band and album focused interview that is extremely enlightening on things such as, but not limited to, band identity, originality and bearing the torch for death and extreme metal. Carve out some time to see what they had to say… Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 12 (10.9.2017)

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For some it’s a holiday, which means no work, but for others it’s just another Monday. I fall in to the latter but who cares, right? As Corey mentioned last week Halloween is approaching and it’s a joyous time of year — horror movies, haunted houses, costumes (good and bad), candy and seasonal beer (again, some good some bad). One thing is for sure though, no matter what you have going on we have the playlist for it and with this being the 12th volume, and back to a robust size, there’s literally something for everyone. Drop by and say hello on our YouTube channel but in the meantime hit the play button immediately below and kick the week off right. Continue reading