Best of 2017: Some stuff Dan liked this year!

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Hey y’all, it’s been a minute! More accurately, it’s been about 221,000! Over the last four months, when I haven’t been watching the world rapidly start to resemble a toilet overflowing with diarrhea, I’ve been slaving away at my first semester of nursing school. Which has meant that finally, after a solid 2-3 years in a row of telling myself, “I’m gonna listen to less music this year,” I actually did listen to less music this year! My best estimate is…probably 165 albums? Maybe 170? Still a bunch, but down more than a hundred from each of the last couple of years. MISSION [SORTA] ACCOMPLISHED.

On the other hand, this puts me in something of an odd position when it comes to picking my “Best of 2017.” I didn’t listen to as much music. I deleted my Twitter and reduced my overall social media presence by, conservatively, 75% — which, by the way, was a fucking AMAZING life decision that I recommend all of you try — so I had neither a steady stream of albums-you-must-hear-or-you-will-be-shunned crossing my radar screen, nor the urge to seek out even more obscure albums that I could shun others for not having heard. Oh, and also, most of my favorite albums this year were from outside the metal genre. Me putting this list together and claiming it to be THE BEST OF 2017 would be a little delusional.

So, that’s why I’m not doing that. Okay fine, I’ve made a list and ordered it — alphabetically, because EAT IT, BIG RANKINGS — but that’s it. This is just some stuff I listened to and happened to really enjoy this year. Authoritativeness be damned. (Or left for the folks over at Last Rites.) Let’s jump in.

A note before beginning:

This list is going to focus on the metal portion of this year’s listening. (And perhaps, in some cases, the metal-adjacent.) So, even though Ulver put out my favorite album of the year in any genre with The Assassination of Julius Caesar, you’re not going to see that thing in this post. Same with Anathema. Same with…I dunno, Steven Wilson, or The War on Drugs, or other contributions from pretty-blatantly-not-metal artists. If time permits, I’ll do a year-end Rainbows in the Dark recap. (Maybe.) But this is my metal list, and it shall be kept metal. Now, all that said…

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Best of 2015: Josh’s List

Best 2015

For as far back as I can remember the ‘Best of’ lists have been something I’ve always enjoyed for a lot of reasons. But the discovery aspect is the most important reason. It’s my chance to catch up on all the gems I missed and hopefully find a few that resonate with me for more than just the time it takes to go from the first track to the last. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to this site for allowing me to not only write about metal but to share my picks of the year with all of you. Continue reading

Rainbows in the Dark: Best of 2015 Edition

Best 2015

Enjoying all of our Best of 2015 posts so far? Well…don’t expect that to continue here. (I mean, it might, I guess…but that’ll come down to how much or little you like non-metal music. Because that’s what this post is all about.) Throughout the year, we’ve been using these Rainbows in the Dark posts to bring you occasional snippets from outside the realms of grim, brutal and heavy, so now, they’re getting their own end of year list.

Don’t worry, the blurbs will be short. Because let’s be real, neither you nor I have any more time or energy for long, drawn-out wordsturbating at this point. So enjoy it! Or maybe not, I dunno. Let’s take a look: Continue reading

Best of 2015: Dan’s Honorable Mentions

Best 2015

If you listen to our podcast regularly, you’ll know I’ve already run down my Top 15 albums of the year. If you don’t… firstly, what the hell’s wrong with you? And secondly, you can find my picks here (Nos. 15-11), here (10-6) and here (top five). I try to avoid being redundant — thanks, journalism school! — so I didn’t want to rewrite these picks out here again on the blog. Instead, this post will cover nine honorable mentions for 2015. These may not have made the final cut, and they certainly aren’t the only honorable mentions I’ve got from this year, but they’re all well worth your time. Here’s what I’ve got:  Continue reading

The Nine Circles Podcast: Episode 27

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We’re back with more Best-of-’15 recaps this week, as the guys look back at albums from ObsequiaeDeath Karma and Thulcandra, among others. Plus, Spotify’s year-end listening data, and a celebration of the now-MLS-CHAMPION PORTLAND TIMBERS! (You’re probably not excited about this so we’re going to get EXTRA excited about it!!!!)

All that and…really, not all that much more in Episode 27, but check it out anyway!

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Keep it heavy,
Dan