Best of 2018: Chris’s Honorable Mentions List

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We’ll save the long-winded rhetoric for the final list.  There’s fifteen albums listed here that are categorized as “Honorable Mentions” because that’s typically how these list things work.  But in reality it’s a disservice to relegate the incredible music contained herein to a tier of “also ran.”  I spent much of the year thinking about what I needed music to do for me, and hunting for the songs, the bands, and the albums that worked – selfishly – for me.  All of the albums listed below work on me and for me: pushing me to move further, holding me back when I’ve gone too far.  I can’t ask for much more than that.  Last year I titled my honorable mentions albums #40-26, but in truth a number can’t define the reinforcement and excitement this music provided.

So let’s dive in and talk about them for a spell. Continue reading

The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 45 (6.18.2018)

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In the next few days the solstice will arrive, marking the longest day of the year before making its inexorable tread back to darkness.  So why not listen to some of the music the Nine Circles staff have been blasting in an increasingly futile attempt to impose some semblance of order into our chaotic lives? There’s a mix of a number of different sounds this week, running from hardcore and black metal to country and whatever we’re classifying Zeal & Ardor these days (besides excellent).

Grab a beverage, make sure your sunglasses are snug, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel here so you can treasure these playlists forever like a parent with severe attachment issues.  As a creepy dude on an island once said, “Be seeing you.”   Continue reading

Initial Descent: June 3 – 9, 2018

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YOB

Another week full of stuff, things, happenings and more stuff. Whatever. But now, a fresh start in the form of new releases and even though the massive quantity of recent weeks has waned a bit, quality takes a front seat. So, what’s up this week?

Oregon’s (and the world for that matter) favorite doom sons, YOB, return with their eighth full length Our Raw Heart and in case you’ve somehow missed it to this point, this is some of their most heart wrenching yet fully realized work to date. Yea, I said it. Feel free to have your own opinion. Nearly as massive but on the death metal front is Tomb Mold with their second full length Manor of Infinite Forms which rides even higher than their debut — is it possible? Yes…and again, insert opinion here. Moving right along with Lago, a band I discovered and developed a huge affinity for back in 2014, return with their second full length Sea of Duress and honestly I didn’t expect this much death metal maturity but I’m fully engrossed once again and happier than a pig in sh…you get the idea. Last up in the opening slots this week is Zeal & Ardor with their amazing combination of black metal and spirtuals with Stranger Fruit and this is where you’ll find something way different from the norm yet something to completely lose yourself in — love this band. We’ve had an already massive showing but as usual there is soooo much more. Stick around as long as you like and by all means, leave those opinions in the comments section below.  Continue reading

Best of 2017: Hera’s List – Woes of Research

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We’re stoked to feature Hera Vidal, purveyor of all things heavy and writer/deep metal researcher for sites like Broken Amp and Metal Bandcamp here as a featured guest presenting her Top Albums of 2017.  Hopefully we’ll see her pop up here again in 2018.  Until then, take it away, Hera! 

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2017 was a fantastic year for metal. However, this means that I now have another pile of albums to look into that I probably missed. The struggle to keep up with releases is real, you guys.

Anyway, it’s list season!

Now, there is some criteria for me to decide my top albums of the year, and they usually revolve around one key factor: I have not written about them, whether they are planned drafts or have been published elsewhere. That means albums like E, Berdreyminn, and Codex Omega – which I enjoyed – and a bunch of black metal albums are not going to be on this list.

With that in mind, here is a list of 10 albums I enjoyed in 2017. If you think I missed one, please let me know via Twitter and/or any way you can get ahold of me.   Continue reading

Donuts & CANTO: Moon Tooth, Void Ritual, Meshuggah and more!

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Moon Tooth

April 19, 2017

Good morning, it’s time to metal. Here’s some news you might have missed from yesterday:

  • Leading off, here’s a tour announcement you won’t see every day: Moon Tooth has revealed that they and Tombs will be supporting…Fit for an Autopsy? And hey! They’re coming to my hometown, so I can do one of my patented “catch both the opening bands, then Irish exit before the headliner” routines!

Continue reading