Initial Descent: March 24 – 30, 2019

Moon Tooth
Moon Tooth

Had an interesting and funny conversation amongst the staff last week (our water cooler conversations are always golden) regarding tech death versus technical death metal which led into the myriad of varying genre tags. Out of nowhere came “I consider Judas Priest heavy metal, all else is just metal” which is accurate and great and made me roar with laughter – score. Really, it is that simple if you think about it…and then it’s not, everyone wants to know what they’re getting into up front. Either way, get into what this week has to offer.

To say I’ve been carried away by Moon Tooth’s Crux is the understatement of the year – it’s rock, it’s metal but most of all it’s MEMORABLE which is something we don’t get enough of these days so by all means, get yourself a copy STAT. Next up is the debut, Something Wicked Marches In, from Vltimas and I knew to expect a pummeling mixture of death and black metal based on the membership here but I didn’t count on this thing being as addictive as it is. Sliding into some nastier territory is Triumvir Foul with their blend of bestial black, death, and noise on Urine of Abomination, definitely drink this one in folks. Last up top is the third full length, Departed Souls, from Boston’s Magic Circle who show that a four year gap doesn’t mean a thing when a band can churn out doomy heavy metal as good as this, another MUST own so do that.

Those four could be the entire week but ALAS, there’s much more. Get in there with all the grind, death, core, post, black, rock, atmospheric, symphonic, heavy, power, instru-metal…I could go on for days. But I won’t. Continue reading

Josh Thieler’s Favorite Records of 2018

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2018 has been quite the year. It was a roller coaster personally, nationally, globally, and in the realm of metal. There are people that I loved that are gone now. There are people who are gone that I should have loved more. I failed a lot of people. I’ve struggled in so many ways. If you are curious about that, just listen to the last Slaves BC record or read any interviews I did during that release cycle. I got fatter, fitter, quit smoking, joined five or six more bands, did artwork for some bands, did PR for some others, and spent a lot (but never enough) of time with my wonderful wife and animals.

Anyway, I listened to a ton of music again in 2018. I didn’t get a chance to talk about any of it very much, but I listened to a ton. 2018 was another fantastic year for metal/hardcore/whatever. I’ve been altering this list for months and I had a real hard time narrowing it down as much as I did. Just like last year, I have compiled my favorite 50 full length metal/hardcore records, favorite 10 non-metal records, and my top 10 favorite EP’s/singles/etc.

I made this playlist with one track from each of the records that are on Spotify for you to listen to a sampling of everything below. Thank you for checking this out and here’s to a better 2019!

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Initial Descent: April 15 – 21, 2018

Ghastly
Ghastly – photo courtesy of S. Kujansuu

Hard to keep track of all the things going on in the world and as time goes by it’s just as hard to keep up with your own corner of the world. After all these years I haven’t found that magic trigger that slows time but just as well…I guess. No, it’s not cryptic — it just is. A wise man once said “it is what it is.” Right on, dude. Anywhooo, new metal is why you came and that we have a lot of so let’s jump in. First up is the ever satisfying Finnish death metal in the form of Ghastly on Death Velour, Finnish and death metal are a match made for each other, nuff said. Next is Pinkus Abortion Technician from the always reliable Melvins, here we have some mash ups and reimaginings from the vets of sludge / noise / rock — reliable and great. Moving along is Siege Bondage Adverse to the Godhead from Dagger Lust which proves to be the most cohesive their brand of noise and extreme metal has been thus far. Last up top is the blackened death metal of Demonic Obedience on Fatalistic Uprising of Abhorrent Creation and even though I cringe at “blackened,” these guys get it absolutely right and it sounds amazing. As you know by now we are not ones to leave you hanging at just four albums, so get in there and take in the rest of this massive list. Continue reading

Unholy Trinity: Vrasubatlat Spring Releases

vrasubatlat

Portland, OR’s premiere boutique metal label Vrasubatlat has been an unstoppable machine since the label opened its doors in 2015.  Gaining almost instant regard for its projects and commitment to a cohesive aesthetic, the label has attracted followers in high places in the short amount of time it has been releasing music, cementing relationships with fellow local hotshots Fallen Empire Records and one of my favorite noise labels Unseen Force.  I’ve been riding this particular hype train since the first batch of releases dropped, and today it is my pleasure to be able to share my thoughts on not one, not two, but three new full-length albums that span across all the styles of music that make Vrasubatlat the diverse treasure trove it is.

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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