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

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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

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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

Initial Descent: June 4 – 10, 2017

Triumvir Foul
Triumvir Foul

It’s Saturday and that means a lot of things for a lot of folks but for us it means NEW METAL. And once again we are stacked beyond ceiling height with it this week. Triumvir Foul leads us off (because they rule) with their second full length, Spiritual Bloodshed, and it finds them once again displaying some dangerous death metal chops but it’s darker than their first and they sound better than ever, you know what to do. Next up is the perfect soundtrack for a Saturday with Space Witch‘s space prog take on the stoner doom metal genre Arcanum and the band actually does the impossible in this crowded scene — they stand out! Rolling on is Abrams who truly find their identity with a career defining heavy rock album on Morning, it’s heavy and beautiful and well…I could go on but trust me here — GET IT. Anathema return with a further journey into their moody, melodic and astounding alt-rock on The Optimist and old school death metal darlings Necrot with their debut full length Blood Offerings — and I use darlings here because this band has that something special when it comes to bringing the death metal of yesteryear screaming into 2017. They combine all the high points from their limited material thus far into a fist pumping, hair raising album. But wait, there’s more — much, much more so dive in and find all the gems this week has to offer. Continue reading